Avoid Foreclosure: Do Your (Math) Homework

How are your math skills? Did you breeze through high school algebra and Econ 101, or struggle through the former and never get to the latter? It turns out, perhaps not surprisingly, that people who know more math and economics are less likely to default on their mortgages.

Stephen Meier, an assistant professor at Columbia Business School, tested sub-prime borrowers in three states on their basic math skills, economic literacy and thinking skills. He found that those with the least numerical knowhow were delinquent on their mortgage 24 percent of the time, twice as often as those with the most.

This group was also three times more likely to face foreclosure than their math-savvy counterparts.