Commentary: Students need financial literacy

This editorial appeared in The (Tacoma) News Tribune.

Paying off student loans isn't the only debt young people have to worry about when they graduate from college. More than half of them also owe at least $5,000 on high-interest credit cards – putting them in a budget hole that will take years to dig themselves out.

Many never do get out of debt and end up throwing in the towel, declaring bankruptcy and damaging their credit rating for years – making it hard to get car loans and mortgages.

But let's look at the recession as the ultimate teachable moment. There couldn't be a better time to convince people of the need for financial literacy.

That's why U.S. Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., are introducing legislation this week to give $1.2 billion in grants over five years to financial literacy education efforts.

Funding would go to establishing state financial literacy standards and assessing student performance as well as to colleges and nonprofits that provide financial literacy classes.

To read the complete editorial, visit The (Tacoma) News Tribune.

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