Lesson 6: Credit Cards, Scores, and Choices
Students will be able to understand where North American credit came from, how credit scores are calculated, and how personal decisions affect credit scores.
- Cue up these videos:
- Prepare to give your students access to the following content about credit:
- Print or distribute a KWL chart for each student.
- Have enough Kraft/poster paper and markers on hand for three groups to create visual presentations.
- Prepare to share this hypertext “choose your own adventure” activity.
- Prepare to share this debt repayment calculator.
- Read through the lesson plan and instructional slides.
Hook (5 min)
Slide: Before we get started….
Say: Before we get started, log into Stash101 and spin the 101 Wheel. Go to My Bank > The 101 Wheel.
Slide: Have you or someone you know ever been accepted or rejected because of a credit score?
Say: Let’s take a look at this cartoon. Can someone please read it aloud?
Call on a student.
Say: Why would someone check your credit score before letting you babysit their cat?
Call on 1-2 students.
Say: A credit score is often considered a gauge or measurement of how reliable someone is. Technically, it only applies to finances, but many times people see it as a more general measurement of reliability.
Have you or someone you know ever been accepted or rejected because of a credit score? For example, maybe someone was apartment hunting and ultimately got the apartment they wanted because of their good credit. Or maybe you know someone who was unable to finance the car they wanted because their credit score was too low.
But what does it mean to have a good or bad credit score?
Slide: What do you know about how your credit score is calculated?
Say: What do you know so far about how your credit score is calculated? Fill out the “K”—or “Know”—part of the KWL chart (advise students to make a copy first and work within the copy if they fill this out online). It’s okay to be wrong. Just jot down your thoughts.
Call on a few students to share out.
Overview Videos (10 min)
Slide: History of American credit
Say: Let’s watch two short videos—about the history of American credit and what credit scores are all about.
The first video is from 2013—as you watch, think about which stats you think have changed since then, and why. Also, does this video seem biased to you at all—and how can you tell?
Watch video: The History of Credit—How Debt Became a Way of Life
Call on 1-2 students.
Slide: What questions do you have about how your credit score is calculated?
Say: After watching this video, what questions do you have about how your credit score is calculated? Write down at least three questions you have in the “W”—or “Want”—column of your KWL chart.
Slide: How your credit score is calculated
Say: The second video we’re going to watch may answer some of your questions.
Watch video: Do You Know What Makes Up Your Credit Score?
Slide: Summarize how your credit score is calculated
After watching the video together, say: Take a minute now to fill out the “L”—or “Learn”—part of the KWL chart.
Research and Group Work (15 min)
Slide: Research and group work
Say: Now we’re going to break into three groups. Each group will read one thing about credit and then prepare to share the key information you learn with the whole class. You might create a chart or poster, make bullet points, or design visual aids—it’s up to you. You’ll have 15 minutes to read the content and create what you’re going to share out. You’ll then have 1-2 minutes to share the key points of what you learn with the class.
Break the class into three groups of roughly equal size and assign each group one of the following pieces to read:
- FICO Score Education
- Understand Your Credit Score
- What Is a Credit Score, and What Are the Credit Score Ranges?
When there are five minutes left of work time, tell students so they’ll have time to finish their presentation content.
Presentations (5-10 min)
Slide: Presentations: Share what you learned
Have groups share their findings with the class.
Hypertext Credit Journey (10 min)
Slide: Hypertext credit journey
Say: Ready to put into play what you’ve learned? Go to this hypertext document individually and choose your own credit-related adventure.
After you make your selections and read the results, click “Submit” and then “Submit another response” if you’d like to try again to see what happens if you make different choices.
Slide: Debt repayment calculator
When you’re finished, go to this debt repayment calculator and try out at least 3 different scenarios, with different balances, interest rates, monthly payments, and desired time to pay off the loan.
Exit Ticket and Homework (5 min)
Slide: Exit ticket
Say: What’s one thing you’ve learned about credit and credit scores from this class? And what’s one word you’d use to describe your feelings about credit now? Jot down your answers and share them with me on your way out.
Say: For homework, look up your credit score by going to one of the three credit bureaus. Then, ask two people in your life who are older than you what experiences they’ve had with credit and what advice about credit they’d like to share with you.
Slide: Pre-work for next session
Say: Read this article:
Display Takeaway slide.