TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The state of Florida recently passed a new law requiring financial literacy training to graduate from high school, with support from leaders, lawmakers and the community. According to a WalletHub study ranking states by financial literacy proficiency, this educational initiative couldn’t have happened any sooner.
Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 1054 on March 22, after the bill passed unanimously in both houses of the Florida Legislature. The bill requires high schools to teach their students about money management, balancing checkbooks and evaluating the services of financial institutions.
Students would also learn “spending, credit, credit scores, and debt management, including retail and credit card debt,” how to complete a loan application, what receiving an inheritance means, and its related implications, the basics of personal insurance policies, how to calculate federal income taxes, local tax assessments, how to calculate interest rates, how to enter into “simple contracts”, how to dispute incorrect billing statements, different types of savings and investment accounts, and a basic knowledge of state and federal finance laws.
The WalletHub study ranked Florida 38th due to its lack of financial knowledge and education, financial planning habits, and wallet literacy. The study said the portfolio literacy was based on a survey they conducted of how residents rated themselves financially for their habits and knowledge.
The state’s financial knowledge study was prompted in part by what the company called massive national credit card debt, which it called a “mountain.”
“We ended 2021 with nearly $1 trillion in total credit card debt. Our mountain of debt is unsurprising, given that less than half of adults have a budget,” WalletHub said. In their correlation analysis, which compared education to financial literacy, Florida was a state with high academic achievement, ranked 7th, but low financial education and literacy.
In WalletHub data, Florida also ranked in the group with low credit scores as well as its lowest financial literacy. Overall, Florida ranked 37th in credit scores among the 50 states and the District of Columbia and 38th in overall financial literacy.
Education on credit scores and credit card usage created by Florida’s new law is also timely, with US credit card debt of $741 billion at the end of the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021. That was a net increase of $87.3 billion from 2021, according to WalletHub. They said it was a 63% bigger increase than after the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009.
Of the Florida cities surveyed, the one with the highest amount of credit card debt in 2021 was Jacksonville, with over $3.8 billion in debt alone.
Here are the Florida cities surveyed for total credit card debt in 2021.
|city of florida||Credit debt|
|Pembroke Pines, Florida.||$811,856,197|
|Port St. Lucie, Florida.||$732,916,465|
|Cape Coral, Florida.||$812,562,865|
|Fort Lauderdale, Florida.||$996,285,862|
|St. Petersburg, Florida.||$1,236,082,307|
Florida cities surveyed for the credit card debt study totaled $15,127,394,084.