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Teaching by Topic: Loans

Here are a bunch of tips, learning objectives, worksheets, and pre-built lesson plans to help you build your curriculum to teach students about loans!


Loans are a pivotal part of the overall financial picture. Whether you need to take out a loan for school, buy a house or car, or need extra money in a pinch, loans can be a great tool. Students should understand the power – and dangers – of loans. As a teacher or homeschooler, you are in a great position to inform your learners all about loan terminology and the lending process. Check out these great lesson plans, worksheets, games, and activities to help your students prepare for their financial futures!

National Standards for Personal Finance Education

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Our free cheat sheet covers every learning objective in the National Standards for Personal Finance Education and the corresponding Kids' Money Lesson Plans - we cover each and every standard!

Teaching Loans to K-5th Graders

Teaching loans can start early in school, beginning with the basic concepts of borrowing, being trustworthy, and the idea of interest, which you can introduce as early as 1st or 2nd grade. However, upper elementary is the ideal time to teach explicit loan concepts. These activities can be used at specific levels to guide your students’ understanding of many concepts.

K-5 Loans Lesson Plans 

  • 2nd Grade KMLP: Opportunity Cost: This lesson introduces kids to the idea that if you buy one thing, you give up a chance to purchase another. They learn that major purchases often require loans, which fits into needs vs. wants and how we pay for them.
  • 3rd Grade KMLP: Interest: In this lesson, kids read a book, watch a video, and hold class discussions to get to the bottom of interest. They see how it works in their favor but can also be harmful in loans.
  • 4th Grade KMLP: Managing Credit: This lesson plan covers it all. Whether your students are learning about credit, interest rates, and why businesses lend money to one person over another. 
  • 4th Grade KMLP: Spending: In this lesson, students learn about car loans and how they factor into budgets. They see that loans can be a part of their spending plan and help them build economic success.
  • Sharing a Story About Borrowing: In this lesson, students see the importance of borrowing responsibly, ensuring they take care of things and return them on time. You can reinforce that adults are rewarded with better loan terms when they borrow appropriately. (2nd-5th grade)
  • 5th Grade KMLP: Credit and Debit: This lesson dives into interest, loan vocabulary, and more. They also see that credit and loans can be valuable tools in their arsenal. They learn through a specific example of a car loan.
  • Introduction to Borrowing: This lesson shows how important borrowing can be. It involves a lot of partner discussion, reasoning, and seeing both sides of loans and borrowing. (3rd-5th grade)
  • Money Responsibility: In this lesson, students see how responsible financial decisions can work in their favor. They learn that loans can be a practical tool to reach goals. Kids learn money management techniques to keep their finances in order. (4th-5th grade)

K-5 Loans Worksheets

  • Decision-Making Worksheets: These worksheets demonstrate how to separate choices into precise steps to learn how to improve their decision-making. (2nd-5th grade)
  • Decision Tree: This worksheet has students list all the steps they took in a decision,
  • increasing their financial know-how. (3rd-5thgrade)
  • Banking Terms Worksheet: This fun worksheet introduces essential banking terms, including several about loans. (4th-5th grade)
  • Comparison Shopping: This worksheet shows students how to shop wisely, which you can transfer to home loans and big-ticket purchases. (4th-5thgrade)
  • Allowances and Spending Decisions: This worksheet shows students how to save for and afford large purchases and differentiate between wants and needs. (4th-5th grade)
  • Responsibility Game: Pairs work on this worksheet and try to beat each other, solidifying their responsibility knowledge and awareness. (2nd-4th grade)
  • Rights and Responsibilities: This worksheet shows kids the difference between rights and responsibilities. You can show them how this works in the loan realm. (2nd-4th grade)
  • Budget Worksheet: This worksheet shows students how to budget and requires students to reflect, making this a good option for strengthening basic finances. (1st-2nd grade)
  • Borrowing FAQs: This worksheet has students create replies to common questions about borrowing, helping them synthesize their understanding. (3rd-5th grade)
  • Calculating Interest: This worksheet (scroll down to the last page) focuses on loans and interest, providing practice to students in real lending math examples. (3rd grade)
  • Elementary Entrepreneurs: This worksheet shows kids real-life applications, including a loan agreement activity. (1st-4th grade)
  • Decision-Making Comic Strip: Students draw a comic to analyze their decisions, which educators can tailor to teaching loans. (3rd-5th grade)

K-5 Loans Games and Activities

  • Vault Financial Literacy: This interactive learning activity provides students with instruction in multiple financial concepts, including loans and credit. 
  • Cat Insanity: This fun game shows kids how important it is to be organized in finances, especially as they take out loans and need to repay them. They also learn about interest and compounding.
  • Wise Pockets: This resource contains stories that teach various money lessons, including loans, credit, and borrowing. 

Tips for Teaching Loans to K-5th Grade Students

Keep it “light.” Focus on games, songs, and videos that show the idea of borrowing. Connect to their lives by using examples of borrowing items from friends and the importance of returning them in good shape. You can introduce the idea of interest and how it affects total payments, especially for upper elementary classes.

Teacher Guides by Grade Level

Teaching Loans to 6th-8th Graders

Your middle schoolers are ready to dive into the concept of loans. They have a solid understanding of money, interest, and credit, and these activities can boost their loan understanding. 

6th-8th Loans Lesson Plans

  • 7th Grade KMLP: Personal Finance: This lesson shows students the ins and outs of multiple economic topics, including loans and borrowing. They learn about interest, budgeting for loan payments, and how credit scores can impact their futures.
  • 8th Grade KMLP: Managing Credit: In this lesson, kids see how people use loans for various purchases. They analyze credit reports, watch videos, and learn that not all lenders are fair and honest.
  • Mortgages (BrainPOP): Kids will enjoy this lesson that walks them through the mortgage process. It has many supporting worksheets and interactive activities, including a quiz for you to check on their progress and comprehension.
  • Life is About Choices: This lesson shows kids the impact of major purchases like cars and homes. It focuses on houses, covering topics like mortgages, types of home loans, and how to understand market trends. 
  • Understanding Your Credit Score: This lesson highlights the significance of credit scores, showing learners how and why they can fluctuate. They also discover the power of good credit and how it can determine loan rates.
  • Keeping Score: Why Credit Matters: People should know their credit, but many don’t have a good handle on their scores. This lesson walks students through maintaining good scores and knowing what kind of loan term to expect. 
  • Establishing Credit: This lesson shows middle schoolers how to create a successful path regarding credit. They look at credit scores closely and see how to raise them and get the best loan possible.
  • Purchasing a Vehicle: In this lesson, students see how buying a car really works. It shows them how to shop for vehicles and calculate loan totals.   
  • Being a Responsible Borrower: In this lesson, kids learn the actual costs of borrowing and see the pros and cons involved. It focuses on auto loans, but the tasks can transfer to any loan type.
  • Cars and Loans: This lesson is a good way to show kids how to get a loan and figure out the interest amounts. It stresses the idea of comparison shopping to ensure you get the best rates.

6th-8th Grade Loans Worksheets 

  • Loans and Interest Activity: This worksheet has students determine simple interest on home loans, providing practical experience for their future.
  • Middle School Money: Loan/Interest Calculations: This worksheet is a good exercise for students to figure how much interest can tack onto loans.
  • Borrowing Money For a House: Students complete this worksheet to discover how loans work, calculate interest, and compare loan offers.
  • Buying a House: Students fill out this worksheet set to see how to pay for a home and understand the costs involved.
  • Mortgage Shopping: This worksheet has students compare loan offers from different lenders and find the best overall deal.
  • Interactive: Shady Sam: This worksheet complements the game “Shady Sam” and serves to gauge student comprehension. 
  • Using Your Credit – BizKids: This set of worksheets gives students practice finding how credit can directly affect their financial futures.
  • Simple Interest Real-Life Activity: Kids complete this worksheet to see how various interest rates impact their loans.
  • Beginner’s Budget and Money Management: This worksheet shows students the fundamentals, including writing checks and probing if loans are a good idea for everyone.
  • Simple and Compound Interest: This worksheet has students compute simple and compound interest math problems, showing how each impacts total loan amounts.
  • I’m Buying a Car: This worksheet shows students how to use online apps to determine the costs of purchasing a car. They learn about interest rates, vehicle financing, and how to shop for loans for the best duration and monthly payments for their incomes.
  • Buying a Car: Cash Vs. Interest: This worksheet highlights the pros and cons of getting a car loan instead of using cash. They apply research skills and discover how to find interest rates quickly.
  • Dream Car Loan: This worksheet has students fill in information about their dream car.
  • They learn how much it would total with interest and see if they could realistically afford that car.
  • Deciding Which Car and Car Loan You Can Afford: This worksheet shows students how to calculate and budget for monthly payments and more.
  • Dream Car Math: Students complete calculations in this worksheet to find how interest impacts loan costs.

6th-8th Grade Loans Games and Activities

  • Shady Sam: As students take the role of a predatory lender in this game, they see how easy it is to become prey to high-interest rates and unreasonable loans. 
  • Buy A Car Project: This interactive activity lets students manipulate different car loan-related numbers to discover how the process works.
  • Cartoons: Car Payments: In this fun activity, students investigate cartoons about car loans to expand their understanding of the concept.
  • Compound Interest Game: Students play a game to compare compound vs. simple interest, learning the benefits of interest and how it can become a negative in loans.
  • Car Payment Calculator: Students enter numbers in this calculator to learn how car loan payments vary based on down payments, interest rates, and durations.
  • Misadventures in Money Management: This interactive game lets students see money dangers and how to escape them in an engaging platform. They learn that piling up too much debt can hurt their finances.
  • Loan Myths and Realities: Students analyze statements about lending and decide if they are true or false in this activity.
  • Break the Bank: In this game, kids pretend to be bankers giving loans to customers and then need to stop the evil payday lenders from tricking consumers.
  • Financial Literacy Skills: This resource pack has loans and credit activities to allow students to develop a stronger understanding of loans.
  • Financial Literacy: What Can Banks Offer You?: This activity gives students an extensive overview of banking, including the influence of interest and how the loan process works.
  • Asking For A Loan: Students use their persuasive abilities to ask for a loan in this activity. They write a speech to help them reach their goal.
  • Telling the Difference Between Loan Myths and Realities: Students analyze home loan sentences and decide whether they are true or false in this activity.
  • Dream House Mortgage Calculations: Students research a job and see if their salaries would be enough to afford home loan payments in this activity.

Tips for Teaching Loans to 6th-8th Grade Students

Your middle schoolers are in a transition period. This time can be uncertain, so boost their confidence with team-building and partner work as they learn about loans. Use research-based activities often and keep exercises practical to their future lives.

Teacher Guides by Grade Level

Teaching Loans to 9th-12th Graders

Your high school students are closer than they realize to getting their first loan. The more exposure they have to how lending works, the better. In the lists below, you’ll find hands-on, in-depth activities to bolster student comprehension of various loan topics. 

9th-12th Loans Lesson Plans

  • 9th Grade KMLP: Basic Economics: This lesson covers a broad array of topics, with a focus on personal loans. Kids decide the pros and cons of these loans to see if they are potentially a good idea for their situations. They dive into wants and needs and determine the role of loans.
  • 12th Grade KMLP: Managing Credit: In this lesson, students learn how to understand their credit history, boost credit scores, and deepen their comprehension of how credit works. They participate in varied activities to stay engaged and learn as much as possible.
  • 12th Grade KMLP: Spending: High schoolers see how loan payments work in this lesson, how interest impacts their loan amounts, and how to keep tabs on their spending. They look at mortgage examples to discover what home ownership and lending look like.
  • Calculating Loan Payments: In this lesson, students look into a case study to find how amounts borrowed, down payments, and interest rates affect finances. They also see how to make informed choices about credit choices.  
  • Qualifying For Loans: This lesson shows students how to distinguish between secured and unsecured loans and use that information to see how to get the best rates. They then decide if individuals will be eligible for specific loans.
  • Determining How Down Payments Affect Loans: This lesson shows the significance of down payments on loan totals. It focuses on home loans and other types of loans, giving students a broad understanding of how lending works.
  • Debt: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – BizKids: In this lesson, students find the good and bad of personal loans and other forms of credit. They discover budgeting and compound interest and see how to handle demanding financial situations.
  • Personal Finance Unit – Credit and Interest: This lesson includes credit, credit reports and history, credit scores, and loans. It includes PowerPoints, worksheets, and other engaging activities.
  • Describing Credit Scores: In this lesson, students learn how credit scores and how they can impact their loans. They also learn about the influences that change credit scores, helping them to get a loan with good terms.
  • Determining How Down Payments Affect Loans: Students learn how varying down payment amounts impact monthly and total loan costs in this lesson. They also discover how installment loans can be helpful for affording larger purchases.

9th-12th Grade Loans Worksheets

  • Creating a Buying Plan: This worksheet highlights the importance of planning, reflecting, and decision-making in the loan process.
  • Decision Making: Your high schoolers should know how to self-analyze decisions, and this worksheet walks them through the steps to succeed. Educators can use this throughout the loans unit they teach. 
  • Comparing Auto Loans: This worksheet has students compare loans to see the interest rates, loan duration, monthly payments, and the total cost over the life of the various offerings.
  • Group Project Worksheet: Students partner up for this worksheet to see how to find and finance the car they can afford, showing them how loans operate as they work together.
  • Cosigning Loans And Sharing Credit: In this worksheet, students find the benefits and drawbacks of taking out a loan with a cosigner.
  • Qualifying For Loans: This worksheet shows students how to qualify for a loan, allowing them to see who would likely get a loan and what terms would go along with it.
  • Down Payments and Loans: In this worksheet, students look at various loan terms to see how down payments can lower monthly and total costs.
  • Loan Repayment: This worksheet lets kids compute simple interest on a loan, giving them a quick and valuable skill.
  • Getting Banked: In this worksheet, students research a local bank to see their services, including loans and standard interest rates.
  • Consumer Loan Checklist: This worksheet highlights the information students need to know when applying for a personal loan, and they can practice as they fill out the form.
  • Reading About Credit Scores: Students read a handout and use the worksheet to take notes and think about credit scores, a crucial influence in home loans.
  • Angela Builds Her Credit: This worksheet is a case study of Angela trying to build her credit, showing students how credit scores fluctuate for various reasons and how to qualify for the best loans.
  • Reflecting on Needs and Wants: This worksheet shows students how to consider needs and wants, and teachers can connect this concept to home loans and buying a house. 
  • Personal Credit Report: This worksheet asks students to find information in a credit report, identifying essential components that will boost or harm their credit standing.

9th-12th Grade Loans Games and Activities

  • Differentiating Between Secured and Unsecured Loans: This activity highlights the differences between various loan types. 
  • Identifying the Missing Credit Score Category: Students work together in this activity to discover what factors influence credit scores. 
  • Role-Playing Borrowing and Lending: This partner activity provides kids practice being a lender and a borrower to discover what is important in the home loan process. 
  • Mortgage Calculator: This tool is an excellent way for students to see how down payments and interest rates factor into their loan payments.
  • Buying A Home: This activity lets students see the many factors that go into purchasing a home, including shopping for a mortgage and calculating mortgage costs.
  • Shopping In Credit City: Students engage in a game that highlights the dangers of interest on personal loans and credit through real-world situations they may run into.
  • Personal Loan Application: This activity shows how students would fill out a personal loan application, giving them practical experience. 
  • Loans and Credit: This activity has students solve word problems by determining how the interest rate and loan length change total payments.
  • Banking Basics Card Game: This hands-on activity covers the various services banks offer, including different loans and typical terms.
  • Credits and Loans: This activity contains a PowerPoint and different handouts that students complete about loans, interest, payments, and debt.

Tips for Teaching Loans to 9th-12th Grade Students

Your high school students need to know the power and dangers of taking out loans. Make sure you give them time to explore and research, so they feel prepared for the real world. Differentiate instruction to individual students, providing student loan resources to college-bound kids and auto loan information to those looking to buy their first car. Let them synthesize their findings in PowerPoints or reports, so they feel confident in their learning.

Teacher Guides by Grade Level

More Teacher Resources

About the Author

Peter Brown

Peter Brown is a National Board Certified teacher with over two decades of experience in the classroom. He loves working with students of all ages in many subjects, but particularly in practical areas like money education, to help kids achieve their goals. When he is not teaching or writing about financial literacy, you can find him surfing, hiking, skiing, or traveling to new places.

Last updated on: December 12, 2022