Deadline For Program Aiming to Teach Basic Financial Skills to CT People is Tonight

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Thinking back to what you learned about in school: American history, chemistry, algebra... You might be thinking - do these things help in your everyday life?

What about handling debt? Applying for a mortgage? Interest rates and stocks?

Connecticut doesn't require financial literacy courses for students in the state, but lawmakers are considering changing that.

Here's the good news: you can become financially literate for free thanks to a program from the Community Renewal Team of Greater Hartford.

Jason Black from the CRT tells us about the program, who can apply, when, and what it will teach.

“CRT does an annual class that's called our Financial Literacy Institute. It is for adults ages 18 and over from the greater Hartford area. And really anyone in your listening area or viewing area, they could apply for this class, because this year, the class will be online due to COVID restrictions," Black said.

“When you think about it, this is one of those topics that just normally doesn't get taught when we're in school, certainly not when we're in high school, and certainly not when I was in high school. And boy, it would have been great, right? Had there been the opportunity to take a class in financial literacy understand these really important topics, about the things that affect your life on a day to day basis; these are things that we really cannot afford to take for granted," he continued.

The American Public Education Foundation issues report cards on the financial literacy in each state. Last year, Connecticut was given a 'D' because it does not have extensive financial literacy education. But programs like this could make a difference.

“We can't help everyone, right, because we can only take so many people in the class at a time. But it is an annual class. And we do our best to try to make it as accessible as possible to folks who are interested and who expressed that they want to do it. And here's the thing for people who sign up for this class, they better be prepared to take it seriously. The teachers who do this class, they are going to assign homework every single week. And they expect you to do it and they expect you to get it done," Black said.

“It is a 14-week class that begins on September 7 and so it goes right up until December 7. During that 14 weeks, every week, you're going to be focusing on a very specific area of finance, things like establishing or rebuilding your credit, investment planning. Budget stresses, you know, if you're underemployed or maybe you've been unemployed, helping you with insurance, lots of things that we should just know as commonplace so that we can make smart sound financial decisions about our own future," he continued.

The deadline to apply for the program is Monday night. You can learn more by visiting their website.

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