For Teachers

Teaching by Topic: Credit

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

classroom-with-teacher-preparing-lesson-plan

Understanding and managing credit is a life skill that will benefit all your students. Teachers can lay the framework for teaching credit early on, and upper-level students benefit significantly when they learn it well.

You can find the materials you need to teach credit, regardless of your students’ levels. Here are credit lessons, worksheets, activities, games, and some essential tips –  by grade. We also include credit learning objectives for each grade, which are pulled straight from the National Standards for Personal Finance Education.

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!

Pre-K

The topic of credit is hard to grasp for students this young. However, teachers can build the money math and awareness that kids will need later. Here are some links to help boost your pre-K students’ money knowledge and prepare them to learn about credit later.

For more resources on other topics, check out our Pre-K Money Lesson Plans Center.

Kindergarten

Learning Objectives

In Kindergarten, students can build money awareness and see how wants and needs are essential. They should be able to:

  • Identify goods and services that people often purchase with credit.

Kindergarten Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP Kindergarten – Goods: In this lesson, students look at goods and services and learn that there are multiple ways to pay for them. They see that some goods cost more than others and that people can use credit to purchase them.

Kindergarten Credit Worksheets

*Note: Many of these materials are free but may require an email to access. The idea of credit is still tough to grasp at this age, so focusing on counting and arithmetic is a good idea.

Kindergarten Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to Kindergarten Students

  • Start simply and model how people can borrow from each other.
  • Remind students there are multiple ways to pay for items.
  • Use real money and play credit cards, stressing that responsibility is essential with credit.

For more resources on other topics, check out our Kindergarten Money Lesson Plans Center.

1st Grade

Learning Objectives

1st-graders know the basic idea of credit, as in borrowing, and you can prepare them for more advanced understandings of credit. They should be able to:

  • Discuss reasons people may prefer to buy something with credit rather than paying cash.

1st Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 1st Grade – Spending: Your 1st-graders focus on decision-making in this lesson, making informed choices to manage money wisely. By focusing on wants and needs, students see when to use specific forms of payment, including credit.

1st Grade Credit Worksheets

1st Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 1st Graders

  • Keep working on counting coins and identifying currency.
  • Introduce the concept of lending and borrowing using class items.
  • Use the class store to teach about credit.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 1st Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

2nd Grade

Learning Objectives

By teaching kids about tradeoffs and saving money, you can continue to build background knowledge for deeper understanding later. Students should be able to:

  • Provide examples of financial choices that have opportunity costs.

2nd Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 2nd Grade – Opportunity Cost: In this lesson, teachers show kids that people spend and save differently, and give up opportunities when making buying decisions. Students learn that using credit can affect their spending and saving habits significantly.

2nd Grade Credit Worksheets

2nd Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 2nd Graders

  • Ensure that students are practicing arithmetic and counting money frequently.
  • Show students pictures of credit cards and begin explaining how they work.
  • Introduce the idea of interest and its pros and cons.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 2nd Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

3rd Grade

Learning Objectives

By 3rd grade, students understand the idea of interest and that borrowing is not always free. They should be able to:

  • Explain why a person who borrows $100 to buy something, often must pay back more than $100 at a future date.

3rd Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 3rd Grade – Interest: Students learn in-depth about interest, through videos, stories, activities, and online games. They see how credit works and the dangers of interest accruing on money they borrow.

3rd Grade Credit Worksheets

3rd Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 3rd Graders

  • Keep building credit-related vocabulary.
  • Practice money math and coin counting often.
  • Link the ideas of income, saving, spending, and budgeting to using credit, showing students how to be responsible.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 3rd Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

4th Grade

Learning Objectives

4th-graders can grasp the concepts well, and teachers can start showing responsible credit habits. Students should be able to:

  • Explain why a person might prefer to lend an item or money to one person over another.

4th Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 4th Grade – Managing Credit: This lesson teaches how to manage credit responsibly. Students watch a video about credit cards, read informational texts, complete activities, and play games to solidify their understanding.

4th Grade Credit Worksheets

4th Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 4th Graders

  • Don’t underestimate your 4th-graders: push them to learn more higher-level concepts.
  • Work on multiplication, division, and real-life interest calculations.
  • Use group work to improve collaboration skills.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 4th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

5th Grade

Learning Objectives

At this point, students can see how some items cost more than many can afford at one point. They should be able to:

  • Justify the use of credit for a specific purchase.

5th Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 5th Grade – Credit and Debit: Students differentiate between credit and debit, learning how they can use each to their advantage. They see how using credit responsibly is important and how interest can fluctuate.

5th Grade Credit Worksheets

5th Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 5th Graders

  • Add an element of credit to your classroom store.
  • Have students research credit card and lending sites to see how it works in real life.
  • Continue working on money math skills through repetition.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 5th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

6th Grade

Learning Objectives

In middle school and beyond, students can begin to calculate interest and understand differences in credit products. Students should be able to:

  • See that credit cards typically charge higher interest rates on balances due compared with rates on other types of loans.

6th Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 6th Grade – Finance: In this lesson, students watch a video about credit cards and create a PSA. They also see how interest can be a positive and a negative and work on using multiplication to solve money problems.

6th Grade Credit Worksheets

6th Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 6th Graders

  • Emphasize often that credit is a way of borrowing money: they must pay back every penny.
  • Show students that creditworthiness is their reputation, and they need to be responsible.
  • Use online credit card calculators to see how interest can add up over time.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 6th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

7th Grade

Learning Objectives

7th-graders understand the pros and cons of credit. They should be able to:

  • Identify indicators that a person has accumulated too much debt.

7th Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 7th Grade – Personal Finance: This lesson has students analyze their spending habits and create budgets, including using credit and responsibly paying back charges. They work on setting goals, making detailed plans, and reading articles to learn how to manage their money.

7th Grade Credit Worksheets

7th Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 7th Graders

  • Focus on the differences between debit and credit cards.
  • Have students use money math in various subjects; work with other teachers, if possible.
  • Use pretend credit cards in class to show kids how they work.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 7th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

8th Grade

Learning Objectives

Students in this grade can break down what leads to good credit and strive to achieve that goal. They should be able to:

  • Identify the type of information contained in a credit report.
  • Explain why using credit to finance education and housing could be beneficial.

8th Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 8th Grade – Managing Credit: Your 8th-graders watch a video detailing how credit works, including credit scores and reports. They look at different types of loans, participate in various activities to strengthen knowledge, and play a credit game.

8th Grade Credit Worksheets

8th Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 8th Graders

  • Be practical and use real-life examples constantly.
  • Highlight the warning signs of credit misuse.
  • Break down credit reports, showing kids the importance of monitoring them.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 8th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

9th Grade

Learning Objectives

9th-graders are well aware of the details of credit and can now differentiate between specific loans and categories. They should be able to:

  • Explain why lenders charge lower interest rates on secured loans than on unsecured loans.

9th Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 9th Grade – Banks and Banking: In this lesson, students learn about banks, their services, and their products, including credit cards. They see the difference between various loans, including secured and unsecured.

9th Grade Credit Worksheets

9th Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 9th Graders

  • Keep credit lessons specific to their lives.
  • Show them the power of credit and also the dangers.
  • Break down interest rates and how they can significantly affect the amount owed.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 9th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

10th Grade

Learning Objectives

Students can see how credit will be part of their near future. They should be able to:

  • Describe the different sources of funding for post-secondary education.

10th Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 10th Grade – Personal Finance: Students watch a video, read an article, and develop a personal plan for their financial future. They look at college costs and funding sources to get an idea of the amount they will need.

10th Grade Credit Worksheets

10th Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 10th Graders

  • Show students the borrowing rates of auto, home, and credit cards.
  • Break down credit scores and the specific ways to raise them.
  • Have students in groups often to work on collaborative solutions.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 10th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

11th Grade

Learning Objectives

11th-grade students apply their knowledge to personal situations, looking out for bad deals. They should be able to:

  • Students see that alternative financial services, such as payday loans, check-cashing services, pawnshops, and instant tax refunds, provide easy access to credit, often at relatively high cost.

11th Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 11th Grade – Loans and Credit: Through videos, articles, assessments, and research, your 11th-graders will learn all about loans and credit. They see which lending sources are more reliable and how to avoid scams and bad decisions.

11th Grade Credit Worksheets

11th Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 11th Graders

  • Give your students time to research personal credit and financial goals.
  • Show the many credit calculators and tools available online.
  • Have kids research the costs of college, weighing their career goals and incomes.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 11th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

12th Grade

Learning Objectives

12th-graders should have a deep understanding of credit and how to improve their situations. They should be able to:

  • See that a credit score is a numeric rating that assesses a person’s credit risk based on information in their credit report.

12th Grade Credit Lesson Plans

  • KMLP 12th Grade –Managing Credit: Students learn how credit scores work, analyze a credit report and statement, and maximize their credit usage to boost their overall finances. They complete several activities to build knowledge, including videos, PowerPoints, and games.

12th Grade Credit Worksheets

12th Grade Credit Games and Activities

Tips for Teaching Credit to 12th Graders

  • Let students research, research, research.
  • Have students explore which credit monitoring sites and apps are best for safety and accuracy.
  • Focus on career exploration and the role of credit in achieving those goals.

For more resources on other topics, check out our 12th Grade Money Lesson Plans Center.

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: July 28, 2022