Credit can make a break you. Many people are learning the hard way but who is to blame? My first instinct is to blame the parents for not teaching their children the basics of money management and credit building. Unfortunately they aren't educated on the issues themselves so can we really place the blame squarely on the shoulders of these parents who were never taught either?
Instead of making Geometry and Algebra II mandatory, I think we should build on classes like Economics. I was given only half a year of Economics my senior year and it was worthless. Sure it was funny playing "stock market" but I didn't learn anything that I would be able to use in daily life.
I feel classes like advanced Math, Chemistry, and Biology should be optional for students who intend to pursue a college education in those subjects. A mandatory class should include real life topics. How many times haven't you heard students argue, or argued yourself, that what is being learned in school isn't something they would ever use in life? I know I made that argument myself when in Geometry and you know what? I was right. I didn't know what I was going to do for a living but I knew I hated the subject. I did fine in the class, it was actually very easy, but it was a waste of an entire year for me.
Money management would have been something I know many of my peers would have benefited from.
As a child, I watched my father pay is bills and control his credit every single day. I learned early on that it was OK to get as many cards as I like. As long as I find one that doesn't charge annual fee's and I paid them off completely every month. Every, single, month.
I have over 700 credit now. I have never spent more than what I had in the bank to pay off completely and only used to credit cards to build credit. I didn't view those cards as mini-loans. I saw them as tools for a purpose. Compressed cash so to speak. If I didn't have the cash in the bank right now and a really good deal at Best Buy would be gone tomorrow, so be it.
My credit is great because of it. Sure I didn't always have the nicest shoes and fancy clothes or cars like my friends did but now I have a home that is all mine, clothes that I can afford, a new car in the garage and they still live at home with their parents looking sadly at pictures of their beloved SUV that just got repo-ed.
So this Friday, be careful. Even if you see that T.V. that you really want at the lowest price you have ever seen it, if you don't have that amount and more already in the bank specifically reserved for the purchase of that television, DO NOT BUY IT. Rebuilding the countries economy starts with rebuilding your own. The credit companies wouldn't be in trouble if we didn't try to live beyond our means. As much as we want to put the blame on greedy corporations, it is really us who are to blame.
If we had been responsible with our own money, we would not be in trouble.