Young Americans Center for Financial Education provides programs that use real life, hands-on experiences for young people to learn about finance. An important component of these programs is providing opportunities for youth to learn about credit and debit cards, since they are such a staple in today’s economy. Thanks to Vantiv, each student participating in Young AmeriTowne and International Towne receives his or her own card as part of their day-in-Towne experience.
The Young AmeriTowne and International Towne curriculum focuses on two main themes in regards to credit and debit cards: understanding the difference between a credit and debit card and understanding how to use a credit and debit card responsibly. In both programs, students learn about these concepts at school which prepares them to run an economy of 17 shops or 16 countries.
In Young AmeriTowne, students use a real debit card. At the beginning of their day, students deposit a paycheck into their AmeriTowne checking account. To spend the money in their account, students can either write a check or use their debit card. Students are encouraged to record their transactions in their checkbook register to ensure they don’t overdraw their account. Students can check their account balance using one of four kiosks in Towne square so they can see in real-time how a debit card spends money from a checking account.
Citizens use a credit card to purchase goods throughout the world of International Towne. The credit card limit is dependent on the citizen’s salary—a citizen can’t spend more than he or she earns. Students must ensure they can pay a 10% fee, which they learn is the interest or convenience fee for using the card. After his visit to International Towne, Alex wrote, “I learned that it is very important to keep track of how much money you spend on your credit card.” Understanding how a credit card works at the age of 12 or 13 provides students with a huge advantage.
This learning would not be possible without the support of Vantiv, which provided more than 64,800 cards for student use. Thanks to Vantiv, 40,000 youth will learn how to use a credit card or debit card responsibly this school year.