dollar sign Credit Cards Facts Activity

"If you make just the minimum payment, you have effectively DOUBLED your purchase price." Manisha Thakor

Directions: Use the links on PBS's Credit Card site to develop your answers to the questions. Answer sheet info .

1. Write 3 advantages of credit cards.





2. Write 3 disadvantages of credit cards.





3. Find Out:

Should you sign up for a card that charges an annual fee? Explain.



Some people think more is always better. Do you want a high interest rate on a credit card or a low one? Explain.



What happens if you do not pay the payment on time?



Why should you investigate the regular interest rate of the card along with the introductory offer?



4. What are several advantages to having a credit card?



What kind of spender are you? Write your score.



6. Write three questions you should ask yourself BEFORE taking a 0% interest rate.







Do you intend to follow this advice? Why or why not?


7. There are 3 important facts regarding credit scores. Write one of them.


8. What factors go into calculating a credit score? Second info source Your FICO Score


9. Things are slow at work. You get 5 less hours this week. You are short when your car payment is due.
You pay it a week later. How will this impact your credit card's default interest rate?



10. What MUST you do to come out ahead on your credit card that offers rewards?




11. Debit card hold. Read - What you risk by using debit card at the pump.
Why should you pay cash for your gas?


12. Mandatory - Review Credit Card versus Debt Card.

Which should you use to buy a drink: cash, credit card, debt card? Explain your choice.



Ouch! 90 million Americans carry an average of $8,000 in debt from month to month. On average Americans each have $7,951 in credit card debt.

Join the deadbeats - (Credit card company slang for people who pay off the balance in full each month).
55 million Americans pay off their credit card balances in full each month. We are laughing all the way to the bank!

Best choice - Pay with cash. Go to the "Mac/ATM/cash withdrawal machine" at your bank. Withdraw an amount you believe will be enough for your purchases. If you are short, you can pay cash and use the credit card or debit card to cover the difference out of your checking account. You will be more conscious of your spending. You will be less likely to overspend or to impulse buy. Did you know the credit card companies charge the merchant a fee for each purchase? By paying cash you help the local merchants by increasing their bottom line without increasing your costs! The credit card and mac debit companies keep the data about what you buy. They sell this information about you. Paying cash - Protects your privacy.

Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want,
to impress people they don't like. ~ Will Smith

To do -

* Consider 9 ways to avoid credit card fraud.

* Read this article - Life without plastic CNN Money 6/17/08

red check mark Explain the effect credit cards have on users.

* Read this New York Times editorial - Curbing Credit Card Predators - 12/26/08

red check mark Respond with your own opinion piece that is rich in the knowledge you have gained
spacer by competing this activity and your own experience.

dollar sign Challenges:

Avoid Credit Card Debt During the Holidays Explore The Secret History of Credit Cards at PBS
Do Who Controls the Real Cost of Credit Develop a personal finances plan
Pennsylvania Office of Financial Education lots of free resources Gift card fees may nibble at value
Money Essentials at Holiday Gift Cards Can Hide Fees free financial education resources High-Priced Student Loans Spell Trouble

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This activity is released to public domain. Use it freely to help people get control of their finances. Updated 4/2024 by Cynthia O'Hora

tree icon Save a tree - use a Digital Answer Sheet: Highlight the text of the questions on this web page, copy them - Edit .. Copy. Open a text document or word processing document. Paste the questions into the blank document. Answer the questions in the word processing document in a contrasting color ( not yellow) or font (avoid fancy fonts like: black, Symbol, dearform fomnt or broad. Save frequently as you work. I do not like losing my work. You will not like it either. Put your name and the date in a header. Bad things happen. Retain a copy of your work on your computer. Submit your assignment via a class electronic drop box or email attachment.

Proof your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon Make Your Own Printed answer sheet