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Borrowing Money

Division III: Gr. 7-9

Understanding Credit and Debit

Most people borrow money at some point in their lives. There are different ways to borrow money from different sources and lenders. Financial tools such as credit cards make it very easy to borrow. Low interest rates and persuasive lenders can lead people to borrow more than they can afford. It is important to help youth understand how to make good borrowing decisions and manage debt so it doesn’t become a problem. They should be able to use credit cards wisely and be able to select a card or cards that are best for them. They should also know how to avoid unnecessary fees and penalties. Borrowing can be a helpful financial tool – so long as it is managed well. 

Please Note: Teaching Units provided are for support and consideration by teachers and are not prescriptive.

Learning Map and Supports for Instruction

The “Learning Map” identifies teaching opportunities in Alberta’s curriculum for each topic and you will find them as part of the Support Teaching Materials provided here. Teachers can, of course, integrate the target areas of financial knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviours anywhere they can find a fit. The Supports for Instruction provide videos, animations, and links to other resources to support teachers in their efforts to improve the financial literacy of their students.



  • Why people borrow money
  • The meaning of “living within your means”
  • Sources of loans and different types of loans
  • How to set personal debt limits to avoid debt troubles
  • What your credit rating is, factors that can affect your credit rating, and how to check your credit rating
  • What payday loans are, and how they compare in cost with loans from other financial institutions
  • Different ways that a person can pay for things over time
  • The costs associated with borrowing money and how to reduce costs and avoid fees and penalties
  • Understand factors a lender will consider when deciding whether to provide a loan and the interest rate that will be charged


  • How to set reasonable, affordable limits on debt
  • Compare lenders to get the best rates and conditions if they borrow money
  • Make informed decisions regarding use of debt
  • How to maintain a good credit rating
  • How to keep the costs of credit as low as possible


  • Take advantage of the benefits that credit cards, and wise use of debt, can provide
  • Recognize there are limits to borrowing
  • Use a credit card wisely
  • Maintain a good credit rating
  • Consider the risks and obligations that come with borrowing decisions
  • Avoid unnecessary fees and penalties