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Real Stories

Selecting a Credit Card Online

Materials Needed:
Computer(s) with Internet access

Prior to this class the facilitator must create an account at:

  1. Once this account has been created you will need to start a new blank document titled "What to Look for When Applying for a Credit Card"
  2. Once this document has been created, and after discussing the following questions, you will then need to "SHARE" this document with the participants in the class. PLEASE NOTE: - The students must have a valid email address.

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Facilitator should begin activity by asking the following questions:

  1. According to financial expert Michelle Singletary, "Credit cards companies ... reserve the right to change interest rates at any time." Why do you think they do that?
  2. How many of you have a credit card?
  3. How many of you signed up for a credit card because you were offered a gift?
  4. What things should you consider or compare before selecting one?

Part 1:

  1. Be sure you have "shared" the document you created earlier.
  2. Have the participants visit the following website: www.creditcards.com to begin looking at and comparing credit card companies and their cards.
  3. Direct the participants to create an account at docs.google.com
  4. Once their accounts have been created they will be able to open and edit the document you previously shared with them.
  5. Ask the participants to brainstorm and list items they should consider or compare before selecting a credit card.

Part 2:

  1. If possible, project your computer onto a screen or wall.
  2. Next, open up a web browser and log into your Google docs account and begin to create a new spreadsheet which will be used to compare various credit cards.
  3. The first column heading should be "Participants Name."
  4. The second column heading should be "Name of Credit Card."
  5. The remaining column headings should come from the information the participants listed in part 1. Discuss and list at the top of each column the things that should be compared when selecting a credit card. (These things should include : APR, annual fee, billing cycle, finance charge, grace period, late fees, over limit fees, minimum payment, etc)
  6. Once this has been created, then you must "SHARE" this document with the participants.
  7. Each participant must choose any 3 credit cards they would like to compare and add the appropriate information to this spreadsheet.
  8. Upon completion of this activity, you should have many credit cards to choose from!!

Follow up questions by facilitator:

  1. In addition to credit cards, what other options are available for obtaining credit?
  2. Financial expert Peter Bielagus talks about loans as an alternative form of credit. What advice does he give about loans of various types?
  3. Why is securing your credit identity so important?