Just 39 percent of 18 year olds say they are “knowledgeable about how to manage a credit card,” according to the latest Teens and Money Survey from financial services firm Charles Schwab. Just 32 percent say they are aware of how interest rates and fees for credit card accounts work. However, 74 percent also say they believe their parents or guardians taught them how to use such an account responsibly.
This is a major change from the survey’s findings in 2007, when 43 percent said they knew how fees and rates worked, and 64 percent stated they knew how to manage a credit card, the report said.
“It seems clear that the great recession has changed the mindset of teens,” said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, senior vice president of Schwab Community Services. “It has given these ‘Recession Generation’ youth a deeper appreciation for what they have and how hard their parents work. This may be the silver lining to the economic downturn since it gives parents and educators an enhanced opportunity to communicate critical lessons about financial decision-making.”
The recession changed consumers’ attitudes towards spending on credit cards almost across the board, and many have made significant efforts to reduce their debts considerably.