Credit Scores In the News

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Nov 20, 2014
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Credit Scores, Financial Literacy, Student Loans, Advertising, Current Events

Here’s what’s trending on credit scores recently:

  • What city has the highest credit score?  Find out the answer and more in Experian’s State of Credit Report (Experian); great resource to familiarize your students with credit terminology:

Experian’s fifth annual State of Credit highlights the U.S. cities with the highest and lowest credit scores, bankcard usage, average debt as well as other factors in more than 100 metropolitan areas across the country. To find out where your city ranks, click on a state, scroll over a city and view the information for that city and nearby areas.

  • Can a student loan help you build credit (USA Today)?:

Case in point: If you and your family can afford to pay tuition with savings, should you take out a student loan anyway to help build your credit? If you’re not sure if this is a smart move, take a look at the details below — you might be surprised at the answer.

  • Beware of operators offering “free access to credit scores (Boston Globe)”; check out our activity to teach students about “the catch” in offers like this:

“A company that promised customers free credit scores has agreed to pay $22 million to settle charges that it billed them for monthly credit monitoring they did not sign up for.”

  • Vox article provides a good primer on credit scores by answering nine basic questions (and they include a Beyonce video too!):

Imagine trying to lose a few pounds without ever stepping on the scale or trying to cut your cholesterol without ever getting it checked. Tens of millions of Americans are taking a similarly blind approach to their money. Everyone wants their finances to be in good shape, but less than half of all Americans even know their credit score. That’s not good — a bad credit score can mean a high-interest loan that costs you thousands and thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime.

  • What 20 things should a 20-something know about credit scores (GoBankingRates); might be interesting to have students read this article and the preceding one and see how much they overlap:

If I could relive my 20s again, there are a few things I would do differently. First, I would have called my mom before getting that tattoo. Second, I would have driven right past the animal shelter. And third, I would have paid a lot more attention to my credit. Lucky for you, I learned those lessons the hard way so you don’t have to.

  • College students come up with creative marketing tactics to promote credit monitoring company (Albuquerque Journal); what can your students come up with?

To teach students about Credit Karma services, marketing students dressed in blue body suits and orange shorts, donned numbers, front and back, to simulate credit score digits on three consecutive Tuesdays and Thursdays in October and November. They also handed out a small card advising: “Credit can affect more than just your ability to borrow money for a major purchase. It can influence your chances of landing a job or promotion, renting an apartment or even buying a cellphone.”

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Looking for lessons on credit scores?  Check out the NGPF Lesson Library for ideas.

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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