by Larry Little
No matter where you go in East Texas or what you're trying to buy you can use a credit card to pay for it and the plastic cards are getting many East Texans in a lot of trouble. Nationwide, the average household has $8400 in credit card debit, 20% of folks are "maxed out" on their credit card limit and the estimated credit card debit in this country is $60 billion. At Solid Foundation an after school mentoring program in Nacogdoches, students are learning about more than math, science, and English. "We actually give them a checkbook, they earn points through grades, their conduct in school, also in bible study and how helpful they are. Once they earn these points they are listed as dollars in their checkbooks. We require them to manage their checkbooks, in other words if they write a check for 40 points in their account, we let them know the bank may process it, but their is a charge factor. We also give them credit cards to buy things in advance if they desire to do that," says John Davis.
Students can buy a computer or smaller items from Solid Foundation, but some are not so willing because of the find print. "We explain the credit system and the fact that credit has a cost and basically what we want to do is let them know is if you have a credit card and you buy things on them, you payback a lot more. My experience is the children were so negative about having credit cards once I told them the cost of it. I wish we as adults would have taken on the same persona. Immediately they didn't want credit cards," says Davis.
Davis believes schools should teach the concept because it's education that will last a lifetime.