West Midlands Children Receive Financial Education

By: Tom_dawson
Those living in Birmingham could be set to be in a more capable position to manage unsecured loans and other financial matters in later life, it has emerged.

The news comes as a number of bankruptcy officials have visited 20 secondary schools across the West Midlands city educating young people on how to handle their money. Led by Tony Supperstone, the team of experts from R3 - the Association of Business Recovery Professionals - are also teaching schoolchildren on how to avoid getting themselves into an untenable situation where they will be unable to meet debt repayments. The experts worked together with the children on areas such as overdrafts and understanding what interest is. He pointed out that there is a "gap" in the current curriculum when it comes to teaching young people about loans and debt, the Birmingham Post reports.

Mr Supperstone told the publication: "We are trying to get them as early as possible before they start entering into credit card arrangements and taking out all kinds of debts they can't afford to repay. It is early days yet, but this is a national initiative that we have started. We are going around the country asking our members to go into local schools. There is a gap there in education. We think it should be a compulsory part of the curriculum, but in the meantime we are having to fill the gap."

However, R3 is not the only company calling for an increase in the nation's financial literacy, which could consequently improve consumers' attitudes towards savings, budgeting and borrowing, the latter of which could include methods such as secured loans, overdrafts and plastic cards. According to Debtmatters, financial literacy needs to be at the heart of school curriculum as a number of children are leaving education with good exam results and qualifications but little understanding on how to manage their money. Michael Shirley, operations director for the debt solutions firm, suggested there is "a growing proportion of the population that has little experience or knowledge of how to manage their personal finances".

Meanwhile, the West Bromwich Building Society is due to launch an online game, targeted at primary schoolchildren, which aims to help them to develop money management skills which can be transferred into later life. Brian Seymour-Smith, spokesperson for the financial services firm, said: "Unless you have skills handling money you face the danger of getting into debt in later life which closes all kinds of doors."

And although such moves have been targeted towards young people, those Britons who are old enough to have already taken out a personal loan are being advised to take the time to consider their own borrowing. Earlier this year, Moneyfacts analyst Lisa Taylor stated when "used wisely" personal loans, overdrafts and other types of credit can help people manage spending through various ups and downs. However, she advised borrowers to always make more than the minimum repayments whenever possible so as to avoid facing "a lifetime of debt" as they would otherwise be servicing their debts over a much longer period of time.
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