Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Managing credit is increasingly important not only for adults, but for college students. In recent years with sky rocketing tuition and easily available credit, college students find themselves with increasing debt burdens that result in serious and lasting financial problems. In response, financial literacy programs are emerging in hopes that better educated people will make healthy financial decisions, as well as responsibly manage credit. Research suggests that financial education should begin in high school so that young adults can effectively manage credit during the college years. This study assesses both college students’ financial knowledge and their credit management practices. Specifically, it examines whether Bryant University students retain and use the financial training from high school when making financial decisions and managing credit. The findings from this study illustrate that almost 75% of the 345 students that manage their own credit in college received financial training in high school and that although this training is negatively correlated with poor credit management behavior in college, the association is weak. This study further suggests that even with additional financial literacy training available in college, almost 60% of these students demonstrate poor credit management behavior. As a result, this study suggests that young people need to improve their credit management skills by setting budgets and employing good credit management techniques.

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