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American teenagers are lagging behind when it comes to financial education

A new study finds that American students need to learn about saving. Credit: Wikimedia Commons A new study finds that American students need to learn about saving.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

American high schoolers have a hard time answering basic questions about bank accounts, saving money and credit cards.

That's according to a new study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which compared the financial literacy of 15-year-olds in 18 countries. According to The Atlantic, students were asked to do things like interpret a sample invoice, read a bank statement and - in one of the more difficult questions - explain the benefits of paying off a high interest loan with money from another lender.

The United States was ranked average when compared to the other countries studied, with only one in 10 students considered a top performer (which is defined as someone who can“look ahead to solve financial problems or make the kinds of financial decisions that will be only relevant to them in the future.”). That's in sharp contrast to Chinese students, who ranked at the top of the list.

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Some lawmakers are pressing for more financial education in schools. The Atlantic also notes that 27 states have legislation related to financial literacy pending.

Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.

 
 
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