Hundreds of bankers across Iowa are launching programs today designed to teach children in all grades about the value of saving money. Ben Hildebrandt, spokesman for the Iowa Bankers Association, says kids are almost never too young to start developing their financial literacy.He says, “It’s just as important to know money management skills as it is to learn reading, writing and arithmetic.” Hildebrandt says 412 charter banks statewide with about a-thousand branches are involved in the effort to get kids thinking about saving. He says each branch will do something a little different to get the word out about cents and sensibility.A national study finds one in three high school seniors have credit cards in their names, carrying an average of three thousand dollars debt. About 94-thousand people under age 25 are expected to file bankruptcy this year. Hildebrandt says those statistics are disheartening, but he looks upon them as a reason to push more bankers and parents to help kids learn about money. He says the economy in Iowa depends on informed people.He compares drugs and credit cards, saying, both are readily available to children and seem cheap at first, but can lead to financial devastation and emotional despair. Unlike drugs though, credit is necessary and a good rating can make it easier for young people to rent their first apartments, land good jobs, get better insurance rates and to buy homes.
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