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Educating Young Adults About Credit

Young Adult Credit Education: Too Late or Right on Time?

As the government scrambles to prevent our financial system from crumbling to the point of no return, there's a simultaneous effort from the Treasury Department to educate young adults aged 18-24 about the importance of responsibly handling credit. Over the next four to six weeks, video and audio spots will run on donated air time with the warning, "Don’t let your credit put you in a bad place." There's also an online game called The Bad Credit Hotel that is part of the campaign and is meant to teach players about credit scores.

Financial literacy advocates are hoping recent events have brought a new awareness to the dangers of borrowing beyond our means. The campaign is aimed at the 18-24 age group in particular because, as explained by Kathy Crosby of the Ad Council that helped design the campaign, "Our research showed us that there is a sense of invincibility among this age group. Our job was to disrupt this thinking."

Do you think the effort is too late to make an impact, or have recent events allowed for perfect timing in rolling out a financial awareness campaign for young adults?

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GiGiG GiGiG 8 years
Great idea. I do suggest starting even earlier. We are such a society based on instant gratification and credit cards enable us to do so. My parents taught me about balancing my checkbook, comparison shopping for groceries, but never mentioned a word about credit cards. I had so much credit card debt in college. Luckily, I was responsible with payments, so my score has not been affected by it. I finally paid it all of three years ago, happily. I have nothing to show for it--just wisdom. Now I know that credit cards will be a subject my daughter is fully educated in before she leaves home.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
"Not too late, but the earlier, the better." I totally agree. Our econ teacher in high school had someone in to talk to us about credit cards. The guy asked us how much a vacation to Hawaii would cost if we put it on our credit cards and paid just the minimum payments. He also asked how long it would take to pay off. The answer was something like 65,000 over 45 years. That scared me so much I didn't get a credit card until I was 24!
baybug baybug 8 years
I think it is a great idea. It is never too early to educate people credit. It is good to know before the time comes.
thelorax thelorax 8 years
I think it's a great idea! Better late than never.
geebers geebers 8 years
I think this is a great idea. I have been saying this for ages. It is NEVER too late. I think we should start programs in highschool if you ask me. That is when the understanding about money starts. Like I had to learn a LOT when applying for financial aid.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
This is fantastic. I've known so many people who go off to college, get all those credit card offers, sign up for everything willy-nilly, and spend themselves into a huge hole before they've even grasped the concept of interest and credit ratings. Anything that helps to minimize that would be great.
cubadog cubadog 8 years
They should have started this type of campaign years ago. While it is great for future generations it is not that helpful for people that are in a current mess.
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
Probably too late for us in that 18-24 age group already, but it would be a great idea for the younger kids for when they do get that age.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Not too late, but the earlier, the better. Let's start with basics in pre-school / kindergarten.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i don't think that it's ever TOO LATE to educate the younger generation on how to make sound decisions. you have to remember that a lot of the mishaps that have been going on aren't becuase of their bad investments, but those of their parents, and by having these videos and lessons on how to be more financially responsible we're setting up people to be successful and smart in the future. i know that when i was 18 i didn't know anything about inveesting and now that i'm in my mid-20s i still don't know as much as i could and i think that i could really learn a lot from videos like this.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I also feel it's never too late to educate people. I feel that we should never give up on people - unless it's truly warranted. I think this is a great idea. It will help these people 5, 10, and 20 years down the road.
GeriAnne1932 GeriAnne1932 8 years
it'd be good to be taught more than just a brief chapter on interest rates in math in high school. There should be a personal finance course added to curriculum in high schools to help prevent people from living beyond their means....because that's the root of all of this. Our goverment is not serving as a proper rollmodel and so it really just needs to be a mindset change and a lifestyle shift away from the "paris hilton/gotta have it now and all" mentality. I know of many non-profit credit counseling services that provide a counselor for free to help you get things straightened out. People need to be aware of these, not get sucked into those commercials for things you have to pay for...
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
I don't think it's every too late to educate people about this topic. It could be beneficial in keeping some young people from getting into credit trouble. It might also help some who are already in too deep understand their situation so they can get out.
prettywarrior prettywarrior 8 years
It's too late for the people who are already 18-24, but maybe we can stop the next generation from going too crazy with their credit cards. Unfortunately, sometimes people that age live paycheck to paycheck and rack up debt with inevitable extras like medical bills and car repairs.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
I think this is a GREAT idea. Too many people my age spend their credit too freely on frivolous things. Hopefully, this will help and be a wak-up call for some people. But, I'm afraid that it is probably too late for ALOT of people my age.
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