Financial Literacy Month may be during the month of April, but one founder is making sure children and adults have their finances in order year-round.
Evan Leaphart created Kiddie Kredit, an app that is changing the face of credit education and teaching kids about the subject early on.
AfroTech had the chance to sit down with Leaphart to discuss a new partnership with the Equifax Foundation, what Kiddie Kredit is doing this month and beyond to promote financial literacy, and more.
Editorial Note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
AfroTech: April is financial literacy month, can you tell us how your company will help educate the community on the importance of all things finance?
Evan Leaphart: We’re in the early stages of building a city-wide initiative that’s aimed to increase the credit scores of our citizens; that’s something that we’re working on with the Equifax Foundation and a couple of other supporting partners. While it’s in its early stages, by next year we plan to have something in place where we can help raise the credit scores of Miami’s citizens to start, then expand to other cities.
AfroTech: That’s awesome! Can you tell us how Kiddie Kredit’s impact will continue beyond financial literacy month?
Evan Leaphart: Children turn into young adults who are thrown into the real world at 18 and given a credit card with no real understanding of how to properly utilize it. This early onset of financial mismanagement leads to billions of dollars of bad debt for lower and middle-class households because of higher interest rates.
Kiddie Kredit is a financial literacy tool that teaches kids (K-8) about credit by incentivizing productivity and good behavior. The premise of the app is that the better a child performs their duties/activities, the better their score. We do this by creating a “kredit” score that parallels traditional FICO scoring models.
AfroTech: As the founder of Kiddie Kredit, what does ownership mean to you?
Leaphart: Ownership is key. When you don’t own stuff, they can take it from you. When you look at a lot of the wealth gaps that exist, particularly in communities of color, the biggest reason for those gaps is a lack of homeownership. One of the biggest reasons for the lack of homeownership is lower credit scores.
Ownership is everything; that’s how you build equity and wealth. Ownership of stocks, ownership of businesses, ownership of land. Preaching the value of ownership is important to us. What you’ve built, what you’ve earned, what you’ve purchased that’s tangible…they can’t take assets from you that easy, but they can take liability. Ownership is the genesis of wealth building.
For more on Kiddie Kredit, click here.