Teens can learn to avoid credit-card debt

by Eugene Scott – Mar. 30, 2010 03:45 PM
The Arizona Republic

When Phil Lechter was a student at Arizona State University, he rang up some serious debt on his credit card.

He should have known better, considering his mother, Sharon Lechter, was a co-author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” the book about gaining financial independence.

“He came to us and asked us to bail him out and we said, ‘No,’ and it took him seven years of working extra jobs to pay it off and repair his credit,” said Sharon, who admits that her lessons about money hadn’t included information about credit cards.

To kick off April’s National Financial Literacy Month, the Lechters will talk to teens in northeast Phoenix on Wednesday and Thursday about avoiding credit-card debt.

“There are so many different ways in which credit can be attained for different reasons,” said Phil, president of Pay Your Family First. “A teenager can still get credit if they have a job and can show they can repay it, or if they have a parent’s signature.”

Sharon founded Pay Your Family First, a Scottsdale company that teaches financial literacy to young people. Less than 30 percent of teens understand credit-card fees, and the average teen expects to earn $145,000 a year the first year after college, according to PayYourFamilyFirst.com.

Wednesday’s session is from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Ed Robson Family Branch of the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix, 15815 N. 29th St. Pay Your Family First has taught entrepreneurship to the Boys and Girls Clubs for several years.

“It’s amazing what happens to these young people’s self-esteem when they realize they can rely on themselves and not an employer or the government for their well-being,” Sharon said.

Phil will teach teens financial skills through a board game he co-created, ThriveTime for Teens. The game encourages teens to make smart financial decisions.

Link to the article: http://www.azcentral.com/community/nephoenix/articles/2010/03/30/20100330teens-learn-avoid-credit-card-debt.html

_________

How cool is it to be credited as a finanacial mess:-)  I love the fact that my challenges as a teen (back in 1992) still can be shared today to make a difference out there!  – Phil

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