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Mississippi’s Treasurer Rolls Out Financial Literacy Program

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 20 Aug 2014 04:40pm | comments
Nyla White
Mississippians have among the highest rate of past due credit in the nation and the state's Treasurer is launching a new statewide financial literacy curriculum intended to help high school students avoid the debt trap. Students are dealing with debt sooner than ever as the average college student loan debt has climbed 361-percent in the last ten years.....
 
Treasurer Lynn Fitch has created a sample financial literacy program called TEAM, or Treasurers Education About Money, that schools can included to help raise the financial knowledge of Mississippi high school students. 
 
Fitch says many students are not told about even basic facts about money like budgeting, investing, or how to handle credit.
 
"67% of Mississippians have no savings. So we need to talk about savings. We need to talk about long range. And this is an opportunity to do just that," Fitch said.
 
Personal debt is an issue for teenagers because as the cost of going to college has sky rocketed, the average student loan debt has increased 361 percent in the last ten years to over 33-thousand dollars. 
 
16 year old Nyla White says she is interested because she sees many adults struggling with debt that she would like to avoid.
 
"Because it helps you out a lot in the real world. I don't want to be in debt. I want to be successful. And I want to know how to manage my money so I won't have to be in debt like so many Americans," White said.
 
 
The program is created with the help of several banking institutions in the state.
 
Candie Simmons with Regions Banks says they are interested in making sure today's students are tomorrow's responsible borrowers and help break the cycle of debt.
 
"it is a cycle that repeats itself. So if we get into the schools and we teach those students, they may be able to go and teach and tell their parents something. But also, it may be an opportunity for us to break the cycle," Simmons said.
 
Nearly half of all Mississippians have delinquent debt in their credit files.
 
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