COSTA MESA, Calif., Sept. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As high school students return to school, they may see the benefits of new state laws across the country that require curriculums to offer a class about personal finance. This is great news for young adults as 76% of recent high school graduates agree it should be required, according to a national survey by Experian. The survey, among 18 and 19-year-olds, revealed that 46% say they have a lot of unanswered questions about money, and feel "uncertain" and "nervous" about when it comes to managing their finances.
How Gen Z'ers Consume Financial Information
Many Gen Z'ers surveyed say innovative tools are the way to go when it comes to learning about credit (45%) and almost half (48%) would prefer to use tech-driven tools versus textbooks to learn more. As more young adults begin to navigate credit, they can now benefit from innovative tools like Experian Boost™, a free online resource that allows consumers to add positive payment history from utility and cell phone payments to their Experian credit reports, which can possibly improve their credit scores instantly. This tool is especially beneficial to young adults who often have a thin credit file due to short credit histories.
Making sure financial education sparks young adults' interest is an important step in educating this audience; only 38% of those surveyed find personal finance topics interesting and 40% feel neutral about it. Survey respondents also say they are currently learning about finances mostly through their friends (28%), YouTube (27%) and some form of social media (24%).
"It's encouraging to see that high school students will have access to formal personal finance education," said Rod Griffin, director of public education for Experian. "Understanding the basics such as how credit scores work and budgeting will set up young adults for financial success before they learn the hard way by falling into debt or misusing credit. It's important for them to learn early, so they feel confident when making decisions about students loans, taking on a credit card, buying a car and renting an apartment – which are all financial steps that often take place after graduating from high school."
Among those surveyed who have taken a finance class, some topics of interest include how to file taxes (33%), pay for college (26%) and plan for different life stages (25%). Respondents who haven't taken a finance class want to know how to save money (43%), manage expenses (38%) and file taxes (36%).
Young Adults are Anxious about Money
Unfortunately, money and finances cause young adults a lot of stress. The survey also found that:
More than half (51%) of respondents are afraid money issues will stop them from doing the things they want to do in life
43% are afraid they will not make enough money to be happy
37% feel pressured to compete with peers when it comes to money and having nice things
36% feel they will never be financially secure no matter how hard they try
More than a third (35%) say they have poor spending habits
30% believe the system is set up to keep them from getting ahead financially
About Experian Experian is the world's leading global information services company. During life's big moments — from buying a home or a car to sending a child to college to growing a business by connecting with new customers — we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organizations to prevent identity fraud and crime.
We have 17,200 people operating across 44 countries, and every day we're investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximize every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.