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Massachusetts teens fare poorly in financial skills test

A well-rounded education should provide students with tools that can help them for their financial future. Making decisions about loans, credit cards and other financial endeavors are important decisions that can impact many people's lives. Unfortunately, many education systems are failing. People have gotten into large amounts of debt through high interest rates that are extremely difficult to pay back. In Massachusetts, bankruptcy can be an option for those who are overwhelmed by debt. It can help stop repossession of a house and other property.

Financial decisions can be complex and cumbersome. In an international test on financial knowledge and skills, only 9.4 percent of 15-year-olds in the United States were able to answer the most challenging questions. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that more than 1 in 6 students did not meet adequate levels of financial literacy. The US only has 19 states that require a course in personal finance to be offered in high school. Massachusetts is not one of those 19 states.

Financial literacy is important, especially if someone is considering personal bankruptcy. While bankruptcy does have both benefits and costs, it can be a financial tool for those mired in financial losses. Debt relief can come very quickly, especially if there are high credit card balances and unpaid bills.

In a struggling economy, a recent job loss or change in income could have a major effect on the ability to pay back consumer debt. There are options for those who are in debt. Being informed of proper protocols and qualifications can help someone get on the road to a debt free life. It starts with proper education on the financial tools that are available.

Source: Boston.com, "US students in middle of pack on financial knowhow," Jennifer C. Kerr, July 9, 2014

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