The New York Times recent “Debt Trap” series included some alarming statistics:
- The average American household has $8,565 in credit card debt spread out over 13 cards.
- The average college student graduates with $20,000 in debt, including $2,623 in credit card debt.
Schools and universities need to address the problem of American indebtedness by teaching students basic financial concepts, including business math, balancing a checkbook, opening a savings account, avoiding credit card debt, and investing in the stock market.
A call for education, of course, shouldn’t minimize the need for more regulation. Banks shouldn’t be permitted to sign up consumers for mortgages that they can’t afford; credit card companies shouldn’t be allowed to charge $35 late fees; and universities shouldn’t be complicit in hawking credit card offers to students.