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Chapter 23 covers credit cards and debt management. We start with the basics to help students understand what debt is and how some debt is good and other debt is bad. We give students tools and strategies to keep track of their debt, tips on managing debt (including credit cards), and resources that can help them if their debt is out of control.


  1. Fill out the table (“Debt Record”) on page 158. How long will it take you to pay off your current bad debt? The National Foundation for Credit Counseling website ( has a great calculator to help you with this task.
  2. Tour the websites of both major credit counseling services: Consumer Credit Counseling Service ( and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling ( Which sections of the two websites do you find most helpful and interesting? What facts, tips, and strategies did you learn that you will likely use?
  3. Develop a plan for keeping your debt load as low as possible. How can you limit spending now so that you’re not paying for it will into the future? Remember to keep your goals in plain sight—literally, write them down where you can see them on a regular basis.
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