Rockland Trust has joined seven local community banks who have long supported financial literacy in Massachusetts to create an innovative financial literacy website for high school students.
The Credit for Life Fair, a half day event where high school students assume the roles of 25-year-old adults and spend their ‘paychecks’ on everything they will need to live, has been a popular event in many Massachusetts public schools for more than a decade. Rockland Trust has historically partnered with many local schools to bring them this interactive learning experience. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought such gatherings to a halt but through a collaboration with seven local banks and a local nonprofit, Credit For Life Fairs can be brought to interested high schools virtually starting in the spring of 2021.
Interested in learning more? Contact Rockland Trust’s Financial Education Officer Julie Beckham at Julie.Beckham@RocklandTrust.com
FINANCIAL LITERACY FACTS
- Financial literacy leads to better personal finance behavior. There are a variety of studies that indicate that individuals with higher levels of financial literacy make better personal finance decisions. Those who are financially illiterate are less likely to have a checking account, rainy day emergency fund or retirement plan, or to own stocks. They are also more likely to use payday loans, pay only the minimum amount owed on their credit cards, have high-cost mortgages, and have higher debt and credit delinquency levels. (Champlain College Report on National High School Financial Literacy, 2020)
- 58% was the average score on a recent financial literacy test among 1,309 teens and young adults. (Financial Educators Council, 2020)
- According to a study by FINRA Investor Education Foundation, there is a clear trend of declining financial literacy. On average, young Americans couldn’t answer a majority of financial literacy questions correctly. People ages 18- to 34-years-old had the sharpest drop in their ability to answer four of five financial literacy questions correctly over the years, declining from 30% to 17% in 2019.
- 86% of high school students say the most important skill they need post-graduation is understanding personal finance. Only 30% believe their schools are delivering on this. (Barr Foundation, 2020)
- Young adults who receive financial education are less likely to carry credit card debt, and more likely to apply to and receive grants and financial aid. (Council for Economic Education)
- In 2019, less than 17% of students were required to take at least one semester of personal finance in high school. (The Mint)
- As of July 2019, 28% of U.S. adults had no emergency savings. (Bankrate)
- 54% of student loan holders didn’t attempt to figure out their future monthly payments before taking out their loans. (Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center – GFLEC)
- From 2015 to 2019, Americans’ consumer credit card balances have nearly doubled, growing from $72 billion to $143 billion. (Transunion)
- Massachusetts ranked 31st of 50 states in overall financial literacy (financial education programs and consumer habits) with an overall score of 59.5. (WalletHub)
- The U.S. set a new record high for student debt in 2020, surpassing $1.7 trillion for the first time. (edsurge.com)
- Preventing Student Debt Problems Begins with Financial Literacy Education