Quick & Easy Credit Scores Lesson

Oct 22, 2015
Credit Scores, Lesson Idea, Video Resource, Featured NGPF Lesson, Activities

We’ve got a new product release planned for next week, so that deadline should have all of my attention right now, but instead I got sidetracked by something the Philadelphia Fed featured on Twitter. Imagine that — Twitter distracted me from work…

Anyway, in case you teach personal finance and also got caught up on social media instead of lesson planning, my Thursday gift to you: a Quick & Easy Lesson on Credit Scores.

  1. Start class with one (or both) of these Discussion Prompts. Maybe you call them “Do Nows,” “Bell Ringers,” or “Entry Activities,” but have your students come in and write quick answers:
    1. Discussion Prompt 1
    2. Discussion Prompt 2
  2. Call on some students to share their answers whole group, or, if you prefer, have them turn & talk with a neighbor on their responses. Some potential follow-up questions:
    1. How does convincing someone to loan you money change based on how well they know you?
    2. How would you go about asking your parent? Your best friend? A distant relative? A perfect stranger?
    3. Turn the table — to whom would you loan money? Does your answer change based on how MUCH money they’re asking for?
  3. Show this 6-minute video on credit scores from the Continuing Feducation Video Series. Encourage your students to take notes! Afterwards, your students should be able to answer:
    1. Who uses credit scores? How?
    2. Why does your credit score matter?
    3. What are the components of a credit score? *Explain each in your own words.
    4. What percent does each component represent?
    5. *The video moves quickly, so a full understanding of each might not be possible for each student to catch. One idea I have — number your students off by 6, and have them responsible for REALLY focusing on what ONE of the 6 components means. So, all the 1s focus on details of Payment History; all the 2s focus on details of Debt to Credit Ration…
    6. Have a representative from each of the 6 groups explain theirs in more detail. Or, if you’re short on time, skip this and move straight onto this activity.
  4. Assign this activity, in which students use an online calculator to CALCULATE: FICO Credit Scores.
  5. Wrap up the lesson with whatever length of share-out you prefer/have time out. Be sure to summarize key takeaways!


There you go — a complete lesson on FICO credit scores. Now, you have time to follow NGPF (or whatever else you want) on Twitter

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.