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Teaching credit classes for financial education

Teaching credit classes is part of a typical financial education program. This basic financial series usually also includes:

  • Financial habits and attitudes

  • Budgeting class

  • Getting Banked (checking and savings accounts)

  • More specific classes about buying a house, car, etc.

However, teaching credit classes can be particularly difficult. As opposed to a budgeting class or a class on getting a checking account, there's far more information, far more facts, and the information is far more complex when teaching credit classes.

A kit for teaching credit classes

The Good Credit Game is a complete kit for easily teaching credit classes. The credit curriculum is designed for classes of 5-30 students. It uses a "teach out of the box" format so you don't need to be a credit expert when you're tasked with teaching credit classes. It includes a number of hands-on activities and credit games to teach the most important concepts typically covered when teaching credit classes, including:

  • What credit is?

  • Why credit matters?

  • The cost of having bad credit.

  • What's in a credit report? How a credit report becomes a credit score?

  • What can you do to improve your credit score?

The tools include a credit board game, a simplified credit report, a Cost of Credit Calculator, and a variety of card-sorting activities.

The complete teacher's guide includes credit lesson plans, tons of background information on a number of credit topics, ready-made mini-lessons and supplemental activities.

In short, The Good Credit Game makes teaching credit fun and easy. It makes teaching credit a hands-on engaging class that's enjoyable for both the teacher and the students.

Tips for teaching credit classes

If you're teaching credit classes, consider these tips:

  • Minimize the use of worksheets, PowerPoint and lecture when teaching credit.

  • Don't be afraid to let participants talk and interact. Don't feel that when you're teaching credit classes, it has to feel like being in a library.

  • Having people work in small groups means it's harder for students to get lost or tune out. (The Good Credit Game anticipates groups of 3-5 people in each credit class.)

  • Cover what's in a credit report – but build up to it. When teaching credit classes, we recommend starting with the more basic idea of what credit is and why it matters. To do this, we equate creditworthiness with being trustworthy when borrowing money from a friend or relative.

  • Help people understand how their credit report and credit scores really affect their everyday lives. This is both with situations like getting a job or apartment or when getting a loan. (The Cost of Credit calculators clearly spell out what different credit scores to do the cost of typical loans that your students may be getting.)

  • Have a plan for what to do if someone wants more individualized help with his or her credit report or credit score. Many organizations that teach credit classes already have someone on staff or a partner organization that will do one-on-one credit counseling, but be sure you know who that person is to make a referral.

  • Stress fun when teaching credit classes.

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