April 9th Activity of the Day: Calculate Your FICO Credit Scores

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Apr 09, 2015
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Credit Scores, Activity, Featured NGPF Lesson

I know what you’re thinking…how can I spice up credit scores and make it a more engaging topic for high school or college students for that matter.  For those students without credit cards (and with no other borrowing that requires a credit check), this may seem to be one of those topics that they quickly categorize into the “This doesn’t apply to me.”  Unfortunately, as the use of FICO scores has extended beyond simple credit decisions to apartment rentals, insurance premiums and even employment decisions, actions that students take in high school and college can have long-lasting effects (and now FICO scores may start picking up payment history on monthly bills such as utilities or cellphones).  

We know students love scenarios so we have made profiles of two college students the centerpiece of the Calculate:  FICO Credit Scores Activity.  Students play the role of credit counselor for Sam Spendthrift and Jenna Debtfree.  Using a FICO Credit Score simulator, students study the credit profiles of Sam and Jenna and input this information into the simulator.  Students then take the results from the simulator and develop strategies for how Sam and Jenna can improve their credit results.  Knowing that students are probably wondering about their own situation, the activity ends with students using the simulator to estimate their own FICO score.

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Check out the NGPF Lesson on Credit Score Basics

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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