“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” —Benjamin Franklin
You probably sat through classes in high school wondering when you’d ever use this information again. Maybe you were applying formulas to equations or using rote memorization to recite a poem, but you definitely weren’t sitting in a financial literacy class learning how to manage your money.
There is no life skill so underserved as financial literacy. Across the country, only 12% of high school students are required to take courses on personal finance and among adults that are financially literate, 73% say their education was experience. These statistics suggest that many young adults fall delinquent before ever fully grasping basic financial topics. Subsequently consumers struggle to find a way out of debt.
As a debt collection company, we need volume to survive, so it must be counterintuitive to advocate for better financial literacy, right? Wrong. Debt will never disappear completely. But the depths of debt wouldn’t be so foreign with a proper understanding of financial fundamentals. Consumers would be much more equipped to resolve their debt. Education is empowerment.
Co-CEO Jeff Freedman said, “We recognize that at some point in their lives, many customers will hit a financial bump in the road. The more financially literate someone is, the better, because they will understand that part of our efforts are to try and assist them and navigate during the difficult times.”
In collections, we work with a customer, not against them. Those that are less financially literate often believe we are their adversary. When company and customer can come together for the common goal, resolution becomes painless.
The obstacles to financial literacy are not few. Schools do not prioritize personal finance in their curricula, a large population remains either unbanked or underbanked, and many do not recognize the necessity of financial literacy until they are already in debt. However, awareness is an important first step. As of 2021, 4 out of 7 adults are financially literate. Let’s raise that number together.
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