Deputy State Treasurer Michael Mehlhaff presented a free Credit Card Literacy Program that the South Dakota State Treasurer's Office is offering to South Dakota high school teachers. The program will help students to be aware of all aspects of using a credit card, such as how to manage debt effectively, protect themselves from potential fraud or contest an incorrect bill.
Nowadays students can receive their own credit card in high classes. No doubt that the Credit Card Literacy Program is absolutely necessary for kids because they have got no financial experience.
The average college student with student loans will graduate with a debt of $20,000. The average freshman with no debt who gets a student credit card in the beginning of his or her term will finish it with $1,500 debt on credit card. About 7% of students quit education due to credit card debt rather than to academic failure. The Credit Card Literacy Program will help students plan a successful financial life and avoid costly mistakes.
Schools that take part in the Credit Card Literacy Program will get free classroom materials through a partnership with the Center for Student Credit Card Education. Every student will get a primer - the ABCs of credit card finance. A supporting trainer's guide and PowerPoint presentation will make teaching the program easier. One trainer's guide will be provided to each school. The materials are made up to prepare students to make well-considered finance decisions when they pass from college to work.
Michael Mehlhaff states that that nowadays most young people receive credit cards before they graduate from high school. He urges everyone to get involved in preparing young people for their financial future. In his opinion, having money is not only the result of how much we earn, but also how we manage money. He thinks that teaching money management skills early will help students to be smart financial consumers and build a positive credit history that will serve them today and for years to come.
South Dakota teachers have already ordered educational material for more than 2,000 students.
"Many of my students want to buy their first car. Of course, they will apply for a credit card - numerous offers are available. We need to tell them how to manage their debt", said Kimberly Guzman, one of the teachers. "They should know that accumulating debt could affect more than just a student's credit score. It's important to understand that employers are also checking their credit rating".
"People who have the least shouldn't pay the most", said Carole Clark. "There was a lack of preventive financial education for kids. I am glad that Credit Card Literacy Program will become a part of modern education. We need to send our students into the real world prepared".