Breaking News: Americans 'Financially Illiterate'

I guess now that we’ve cured cancer we can move on to the more important research.

Americans don't understand debt, which may be one reason that they have too much of it, according to a survey released Tuesday... The survey presented 1,000 people with a hypothetical scenario about credit card debt and asked them to compute how long it would take to pay it off. Only 35.9% of the 1,000 respondents could figure out how many years it would take for the amount they owe on their credit cards to double. A full 18.2% did not know how to respond and 31.9% of those surveyed over-estimated the timeframe.

The survey by Harvard Business School and Dartmouth College professors and TNS asked respondents to assess their debt levels. Those who said they felt they were carrying too much debt were found to be "wildly wrong" when it came to using compound interest to calculate how long it would take to pay off that debt...

The obvious question I have for these brilliant professors has to be: why on earth should we care what you have to say about financial illiteracy after you invested time and money to tell us something that we already know? -Americans are bad with money and adverse to math.


However, if Harvard is ever interested in conducting a study on how an average college student would spend a $10,000 check from your great university, it would be my pleasure to assist academia.