Game Theory students have ‘the talk’ with their parents about credit

By Jasper Smith, GTA Instructor

I thoroughly enjoy teaching the students about money and predatory financial products because I know that our formal education system doesn’t teach such lessons. It’s not uncommon that many of my students don’t have a bank account and also happen to know someone (generally a close family member) who uses a predatory financial solution. We strongly encourage the students to consider opening an account (at a bank or credit union) with the earnings they’ll receive from completing the 10-classes with Game Theory Academy. I also challenge my students to ask their parents or guardians why they decided to utilize a bank or credit union. To the students’ amazement, the descriptions they received from their parents or guardians lined up with the explanation from class. It’s these small financial discussions that will make a big impact over time, as many adults do not speak with their children about money.

Since that small homework assignment worked so well, I challenged the students once again to have an adult conversation with their parents or guardians around their credit. One student got completely shut down by his mother, who was puzzled why he was even concerned about her credit. He was brave enough to explain to her that knowing your credit status is extremely important and a parent having bad credit (and not addressing it) could have adverse effects on him when he’s older. He admitted that he was a bit nervous challenging his mother, but he also felt encouraged because he was now equipped with the knowledge around credit and he knew that in time, he would be able to assist his mom with facing her fear around her credit standing. Another student also had an incredible experience when he asked his father about his credit. This student’s dad openly admitted that he had not checked his credit in about three years because he was afraid to see how bad it was, but since his son was know bringing this to the forefront, he was willing to take on this monumental task. The student said he was going to assist his dad with checking his reports online and making sure he checked them on a yearly basis.
Every class that I teach makes me feel like I’m making a difference, albeit on a small level, but a difference nevertheless. Money is a taboo subject, and many families shy away from the conversation. I’m so proud that I have students who are brave enough to ask the tough questions because if it weren’t for them, many of their families will continue to avoid the all important “money-talk”.