Maths KS3 / GCSE: The debt spiral

Adina Campbell investigates debt, including how easy it is to get into by using store cards and credit cards.

She meets 21-year-old Karen, who ran up a large debt on her store card, after a £120 purchase soared to a £200 debt due to interest and bank charges.

Finance expert Iona Bain explains how store cards work and what to do if you have debt problems.

This clip is from the series Made of Money.

Teacher Notes

Explain in more detail how interests work and how quickly debt can mount up.

Use online calculators to model the difference that different interest rates make.

Explain how credit cards and store cards work. Discuss why they are so appealing.

Discussion could lead into the subject of credit ratings and how these either open or close doors to financial products.

Students could role play the scenario where the young person tells his or her parents about this debt.

It will help reinforce the importance of having a positive and responsible attitude to money as well as highlighting the social and personal issues related to money problems.

Lead a discussion into how students would deal with their own debt. Where would they go to for advice and assistance?

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching Maths at KS3 and GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.