Sustainability-as-a-concept: Helping young people to handle their personal economy
How can credit information company help young people to avoid money problems. This is how Asiakastieto made it in Finland.
Incompetence to maintain home economics is an increasing problem in Finland. According to Asiakastieto’s analyzes the risk to face insolvency and get payment default remarks on your credit report is high especially when you are a young adult.
“You fly from home to live on your own. Random income and easily growing spend is a situation hard to handle. Unfortunately, for many people it means quickly deep financial problems, which is bad for individual but for the whole society as well. That was the reason why Asiakastieto started its Financial skills project for the young people in the beginning of 2010s. The project was named TarkkaFyrkka (pedantic money)", says Heikki Ruponen, the leader of the concept in Asiakastieto.
The purpose of the project is to give young people basic knowledge about credit information, payment defaults and how to prevent risk of falling to financial problems. The idea is to make them understand the basics and seek for help when they see the unwanted change happening on their financial situation.
In cooperation with Youth Academy
TarkkaFyrkka lessons are usually kept in classroom environment, approximately for 15-30 persons at the time. Asiakastieto produces the 75-minute lessons in cooperation with Youth Academy, a well-known non-profit organization that builds bridges between young people and society.
The target group for TarkkaFyrkka is about 17-25 years old students because they are close to situation where they need to use their credit information - renting their first own home, paying their own phone bills, getting student loan or some other loan etc.
“We want to meet them in the classroom, because there, it is easier to have a two-way discussion and to make sure that everybody is at least listening. The ambassadors from Youth Academy are leading the lessons, but in an ideal situation the teacher is also included. That makes the lesson scalable, when the teacher also learns at least the basics and can help spreading the gospel of smart economics”, Heikki Ruponen says.
During the decade Asiakastieto and Youth Academy have tested various methods and themes to find the best way to execute the concept. 2020 theme is “Financial problems and feelings”.
“We find it very important to start and help others to start talking about your financial problems. We also want to encourage youngsters to help each other to solve their problems and find help when needed. We believe that the big issue with payment defaults and financial problems is that one doesn’t seek for help in time or at all. So, by starting a conversation you can push friend to seek for help”.
TarkkaFyrkka was recognized by HundrED organization in 2019 when it achieved “Financial Skills for the Youth” recognition of being a potential innovation teaching young people Financial skills. The idea of HundRed organization is to help good innovations to spread wider in the whole world!
Don’t do it alone. You are professionals in credit information business but there are organizations who can help you educate young people. Asiakastieto has made TarkkaFyrkka in co-operation with Youth Academy since 2017. The TarkkaFyrkka has raised to the next level thanks to cooperation.
Don’t wait for young people to come to you, you must go to them. School is also an environment where everybody goes, and you will find the right target groups - especially those youngsters who really need your help.
Participate. Even though Youth Academy has taken the responsibility of the actual lessons, manage the project and participate to some lessons. If you leave the project on its own, it will not spread to the larger audience and the impact will be smaller.
Trust yourself. You don’t need tricks to get young people to listen about credit information and payment defaults. Sometimes it is hard to get young people’s attention, but it is totally normal. And, be honest, you probably remember how you were at a younger age… ;)