While financial education and enablement programs have existed for decades, startup fintech organization Kiddie Kredit is evolving the concept of financial literacy by asking one simple question: Why has credit education been directed solely toward adults?
Enter Evan Leaphart, Kiddie Kredit founder.
After experiencing difficulties at a young age while navigating his own personal credit journey, Leaphart vowed to help others gain a better understanding of credit decisioning. He developed a plan to educate youth, particularly those in lower-to middle-income families, on the importance of credit scoring.
“Credit is fundamental to everyone's financial life, and almost half of Americans don’t understand how their credit score came to be,” said Leaphart. “We need to start with kids and their parents, and we need to do it in a way that is fun and relevant to the ages and stages in a kid's life. The goal is to make credit scoring so easy to understand that a kid can comprehend it, and also help instill the concepts of responsibility and accountability at an early age."
So Kiddie Kredit, founded in 2018, developed a plan to educate youth, particularly those in lower-to middle-income families, on the importance of credit scoring. A downloadable app uses a scoring system from 0-100 - similar to credit scores whereby youth ages 4-12 can lower or raise their “credit score” based on daily chores. These could include completing homework assignments, washing dishes, cutting grass, doing laundry, etc.
“We believe the path to healthy credit needs to start early, and Kiddie Kredit has a creative approach that exposes youth to habits that will have positive impacts for the rest of their lives.” added Leaphart.
Enter Equifax as a strategic partner.
Both Beverly Anderson, president of global consumer solutions at Equifax, and David Stiffler, Equifax Foundation president, understand that gaining access to credit is a roadblock for millions, and more solutions and resources should be in place to support missions like Kiddie Kredit’s.
They see Kiddie Kredit’s model as a simple yet exciting way to educate and engage children on the importance of credit history and their financial health. It’s also aligned to Equifax’s vision of increasing financial inclusion and equity.
“Kiddie Kredit focuses on taking what kids do every day - chores - and linking that to credit scores. Good behaviors around chores lead to good behaviors in building your credit score,” said Anderson.