Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz
Chief Strategist, Consumer Education, Schwab & Co.

What is the issue with credit card debt in America?

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Carrie Schwab Pomerantz on paying off your debt.

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

As chief strategist/consumer education for Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., Schwab-Pomerantz is a leading advocate for individual investors. She speaks and writes extensively about personal finance issues and is a driving force in the movement to improve financial literacy in America. As president of the Charles Schwab Foundation, she also oversees the company's philanthropic strategy and resources.

With her father, company founder, chairman and CEO Charles R. Schwab, Schwab-Pomerantz co-authored "It Pays to Talk: How to Have the Essential Conversations With Your Family About Money and Investing," which Publishers Weekly called "a well-rounded primer that provides one-stop shopping for the many phases of financial understanding and planning."

Schwab-Pomerantz is a sought-after speaker whose public appearances have included appearances on "The Today Show," CNBC and NPR. In 2001, Working Woman magazine recognized her as one of four “Market Movers” in America who are “rewriting the rules of finance,” and she was also recognized as one of the “25 power Elite” in the financial services industry by Investment News. For four consecutive years, The San Francisco Business Times has named her one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business.

A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Schwab-Pomerantz later earned a master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University. She holds NASD Series 7, 63 and 8 registrations. 


Question: What is the issue with credit card debt in America?


Carrie Schwab: It just becomes a way of life in our country [USA]. In fact credit cards weren’t even available about thirty years ago. You are right, we use it is a way to extend our income.

When I talk to families and to consumers at large, I am a big believer that we have to teach our young kids as teenagers, how do you use credit cards wisely. In other words, paying of in a monthly basis, understanding how fees and interest work.

Lots of people were not educated about this and what we are finding through our studies is that teenagers, 13 to18 years-old, already owe on average $300 to an individual or an institution. Even our young kids are using these credit cards.

Parents really need to work with them and make it the discipline that is paid of monthly and similar to teaching you can how to drive. You want them to do it under your roof, before they leave home and get in lot of trouble.


Recorded on: March 27, 2008