» About the Film:
The average American family today carries eight credit cards. Credit card debt and personal bankruptcies are now at an all-time high. With no legal limit on the amount of interest or fees that can be charged, credit cards have become the most profitable sector of the American banking industry: more than $30 billion in profits last year alone. FRONTLINE and The New York Times examine how the credit card industry became so pervasive, so lucrative, and so politically powerful.
» A Note to Teachers:
Although a majority of adults in the United States use credit cards on a regular basis, most do not know the terms of their agreement with the companies that issue their cards. "The Secret Life of Credit Cards" invites students to consider who controls the costs and benefits of the plastic on which Americans have come to rely.
A list of questions for students to discuss before and immediately after viewing.
» Featured Lesson Plan:
» Additional Lesson Ideas:
» Purchasing the Film:
This teacher's guide was developed by Simone Bloom Nathan of Media Education Consultants. It was written by Ellen Greenblatt of University High School, San Francisco. Advisers were Patricia Grimmer of Carbondale High School, Carbondale, Illinois and Joshua Weiner of Benson Polytechnic High School, Portland, Oregon.