Why Don’t They Teach Kids About Buying A Home In School?

Kids learn a lot at school. They learn about history, the Founding Fathers, how to do algebra and why rivers erode their banks. And while that’s all well and good – there’s just one problem. It’s not a practical education. Educators are often so obsessed with teaching their own hobbies and pet interests that they neglect to impart the life skills that will really help children navigate the financial world and succeed in it.

Top on the list of financial topics that should be considered in school is buying a home. Taking out a mortgage is likely the biggest financial decision a young person will make in their lives. Yet the school system right now neglects to teach this in any kind of detail. Instead, children are hyper-trained at an early age in the academics, at the cost of their social, emotional, practical, economical and financial development.

Interest Rate

interest rate sign - kids learning abut mortgages

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The first thing that kids need to understand about mortgages is the interest rate. This, in essence, is the price you pay for money. The higher the interest rate, the higher the price of money. A mortgage is nothing more than a fancy way of saying a “house loan” – and the interest paid on it is the price of having that money today.

home loan image - kids learning abut mortgages

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Term

Another idea that kids need to get their heads around is the idea of a term. Mortgages come packaged up with different terms. The longer the term, the more time a person has to pay off their mortgage. Most mortgages come with a 25-year term, but term lengths can vary, depending on an individual’s preferences.

Kids need to understand that, given a fixed interest rate, a longer term will result in a higher total amount of money paid as interest. For example, at an interest rate of 5 percent and a mortgage of $100,000, the total amount of money paid as interest over 10 years is $26,682. If paid over 25 years, however, total interest payments are more than $73,441 – nearly the total value of the loan.

Foreclosure

home foreclosure image - kids learning abut mortgages

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When people fall behind on their mortgage payments, they may face foreclosure. Kids need to understand the consequences of not paying their creditors. Foreclosure means that the person paying the mortgage loses ownership of the house, which is then sold by the creditor to recoup their losses. They also need to understand that it is possible to get foreclosure help to prevent this from happening. Sometimes it is possible to restructure the debt or modify the household budget to make it easier to pay mortgage instalments in the future.

Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage insurance is mandatory when the value of the loan on the home is more than 80 percent of the price of the home. This protection is needed, say, regulators, to protect borrowers and creditors alike. However, in practice, it really means more money in the lender’s pocket. Kids need to understand, therefore, that borrowing money can be very expensive. It’s not just the interest rate that they need to be concerned about – it’s all the other fees that they might have to pay.

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