Mar 16, 2016

Day 11 of the 24 Hour Personal Finance Course: Using a Credit Card

I’m about half way done with my teaching at Eastside, and I felt like I was really on fire today. I know ALMOST all of the students’ names (It’s only day 4! and, hey, one of them called me Amy today… Amy? Sounds sort of like Jessica?…)

It was our first day talking about credit, and I kicked off by asking “Do you think it’s a good idea for a high school student to have a credit card? What about a college student? An adult? Explain your thinking.” This discussion prompt got us started on the right foot, and then I switched over to a Poll Everywhere (quickly becoming an NGPF favorite free tool), that asked them what questions they have about credit (remember, I’d taught them nothing at this point). I chose a question type that not only allowed them to respond but also to vote on the other questions already asked, so I know which are most important. Here are the results:

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 8.48.13 PM


Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 8.48.34 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-16 at 8.48.47 PMAs you can tell, they got a little overzealous “down voting” questions, with the lowest rated question (not shown here) being “Who made up the credit card?” with a score of -12. HAHA. Luckily they’re a close knit group and it was all in fun.

Anyway, I feel like this was a GREAT tool and a powerful way to start off our new unit. Now, I can take the upcoming three class periods — which were supposed to be devoted to loans, credit scores/reports/history, and the credit case study — and make sure that, as I’m choosing resources, I answer all of these topics. And, because I used the Poll Everywhere, collecting this data took only about  3 minutes at the start of class.

In terms of today’s content, all I’ll say was the high school seniors were EXTREMELY interested in learning about credit cards and dispelling some of the misconceptions they’d heard in the past. Some of my favorite questions they asked were around the credit limit vs monthly balance vs how large a payment they can/must make. They did a really great job with our CALCULATE: Understand Your Credit Agreement activity from the Types of Credit Unit in our Activity Bank. They were really eager to understand the ins and outs, which is great, because NOT understanding credit can leave you in a world of hurt and an eternity of debt. I’m looking forward to our next three sessions to hit on all the questions above.

About the Author

Jessica Endlich

When I started working at Next Gen Personal Finance, it's as though my undergraduate degree in finance, followed by ten years as an educator in an NYC public high school, suddenly all made sense.

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