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New Survey Shows Parents Want Mandatory Credit Education Classes for Kids

Majority of parents believe children should be required to take course on how to use credit cards

Raleigh, NC-December, 2011 – It is every parent’s wish for their children to learn from their mistakes.

A recent survey of parents with credit card debt found that when it comes to the lessons learned from the Great Recession, caused in part by a sea of red ink in the budgets of households and nations, parents want their children to get the financial education they did not.

The survey found that:

  • 66% of parents believe parents with credit card debt believe that children should be required to take a class on how to use credit cards.
  • Of those surveyed, only 5% had ever taken a class on how to use credit cards themselves.

The survey of 355 parents with $1000 or more in credit card debt, was commissioned by the nonprofit organization Consumer Education Services, Inc. Respondents had no affiliation with CESI and were recruited online by a third party research company.

“With an eye on children becoming the nation’s future political and business leaders as well as parents, people overwhelmingly see education as key to preventing future crisis,” says Neil Ellington, executive vice president of Consumer Education Services.

“Mandating credit card education courses in high schools would be ideal, since the legal age to use credit cards is 18,” suggests Ellington.

What Now?
Until credit card education is required, Ellington offers these tips for parents to use to educate the nation’s future consumers and leaders about debt.

  • Start young. It’s much easier to develop solid life-long habits when you start young. Open a savings account and have children contribute money from birthday and holiday gifts as well as allowances so they get used to it.
  • Talk about money and spending. It’s great to explain early and often the realities of budgets and limited resources as well as the difference between needs and wants. Don’t be afraid to tell a child that you can’t afford a particular luxury because the money is needed for something important that is needed right away (food, gas, repairs, etc). That makes a perfect teaching moment to explain about saving money for something you want instead of using credit in an unhealthy way.
  • Kids get a better understanding of the value of money and what things really cost when they use their own money to buy something.


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