Article: Can The Credit Scoring System Be Fixed?

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I was thinking about this question recently for two reasons: 1) the $23 million fine that CFPB handed down to a few credit reporting agencies for deceptive marketing around credit scores and 2) As fewer millennials choose credit compared to debit, the number of credit invisibles increase. So, what can we learn from this article from the Atlantic (approximately 10 minutes in length)?

My notes:

  • Chicken or the egg problem with credit: “If you think about the credit-invisible population in this country, their ability to enter the financial mainstream and access affordable credit instead of payday lenders and pawnshops and check-cashing services is tied to what’s in their credit report,” says Michael Turner, the president of the Policy and Economic Research Council. “They’re caught in the credit catch-22: In order to qualify for credit you have to have already had credit.”
By |January 16th, 2017|Article, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, WebQuest|

Know Thy Source: Rule #1 in Digital Literacy


Those who use NGPF resources know that we place a premium on teaching students how to navigate the web, discern credible sources of information and do the research required to make sound financial decisions. Occasionally we get pushback that our content should be “commercial free” and that linking to an online article that has ads anywhere on the page is “commercial” and students should not be subjected such distraction. Newsflash: The Internet has gone commercial. All that free content has to be paid for somehow. Isn’t it better that we teach students to be skeptical, critical thinkers about advertising instead of pretending that they can wall themselves off in an ad-free world. 

Question: Are Companies Starting Up In Your Community?

Answer: Great infographic from How Much? shows the percentage of jobs in a market created by start-up companies (defined as “as businesses that began operating in a particular year. There is no prior business activity associated with the startups.”). The bigger the circle, the higher the percentage of jobs that come from start-ups. 

Here’s the graphic:

Question: How Much Do Consumers Spend Annually on Product Warranties?

Answer (From Marketplace.org with 2 minute audio below): Over $42 Billion


Question: How Much Income Does A Household Need To Be In Top 1%?

A good interactive from CNN to stimulate discussion in your classroom and infuse some math too (hat tip to a teacher at JumpStart National Conference who pointed this out to me; sorry that I didn’t catch his name:). As you move the slider bar on the left, the point of the graph moves up to show the percentile ranking:


  • Questions:

WebQuest: Look Out Below! What Happened To These Stocks Last Week?


A good reminder that the stock market is a risky place particularly when you invest in individual stocks. These three popular brands saw significant drops in their stock prices last week. My idea for the assignment:

  • Send your students on a Webquest to find articles explaining why these popular brands saw their stock prices get pummeled last week.
    • Go to Yahoo Finance and type in tickers GPRO, FB and FIT and then scroll down to Company News and skim 2-3 articles to discover the specific reasons that each stock lost value.

What’s New With Prepaid Debit Cards?


New regulations are on their way..here’s an FAQ to help you and your students sort it all out:

  • How big is the market for prepaid cards and who uses them? (Atlantic):

The market for prepaid debit cards has grown dramatically in recent years: The number of people using the cards in addition to their checking accounts increased by 50 percent between 2012 and 2014. According to a report from Pew by 2014, around 23 million Americans were regularly using reloadable cards, and more than one-quarter of those users were Americans who didn’t have bank accounts and were mostly low-income and black. For all their shortcomings, prepaid debit cards fill an important role for Americans who don’t have access to traditional checking or credit accounts. These services allow them to perform basic tasks, such as paying for goods or services online or taking cash out from a convenient ATM, that many Americans take for granted.

Why Your Personal Finance Lessons Need to Be Current

Reason #1: Money is pouring into start-ups to disrupt the financial sector.

Here’s a market map showing all the start-ups looking to disrupt the financial services industry (here’s recent financing activity) and they are targeting your students (millenials) for their services: