We received a email request today from a teacher for a simulation that would help students understand the loan application process. What a great request! I know that I can sometimes forget the importance of teaching the “how” when it comes to personal finance as in “how to open a bank account,” “how to open a brokerage account”…Now we had an opportunity to help a teacher and add to our simulation library at the same time.

So, I went in search of an online loan application that would not require students to provide personal information (i.e. email address or Social Security Number) and would give them a feel for what it takes to apply for a loan. I stumbled upon a website for the Maryland State Employees Credit Union (SECU) which has a clear description of the auto loan process. In addition, SECU has an online application that students can complete without providing an email address or SSN.

I created an Activity: How Do I Apply for a Loan which walks students through a step-by-step process so they can actually apply for a loan online. As they go through the process, they are asked a series of questions from the perspective of a lender. One line of questioning deals with the importance of various items in the application and why lenders should care.