Bankruptcy experts have been drafted in to teach Birmingham schoolchildren how to manage money amid growing concern over Britain's £1.25 trillion personal debt mountain.
The move comes as debt specialists also made fresh calls for "financial literacy" to be made a compulsory part of the National Curriculum.
Insolvency teams from R3 - the Association of Business Recovery Professionals - have visited 20 secondary schools in the city to educate youngsters about the danger of debt.
They want to reach them before they are old enough to own a credit card and make sure they are equipped with basic financial skills.
Tony Supperstone, a former BDO Stoy Hayward partner in Birmingham, who is leading the drive by R3, said there was a need to "fill a gap" in current educational provision.
"We are trying to get them as early as possible before they start entering into credit card arrangements and taking out all kinds of debts they can't afford to repay," he said.
"It is early days yet, but this is a national initiative that we have started. We are going around the country asking our members to go into local schools.
"There is a gap there in education. We think it should be a compulsory part of the curriculum, but in the meantime we are having to fill the gap."
Areas covered by the teams include understanding interest, how overdrafts work and keeping accounts.
Two years ago The Birmingham Post launched a campaign together with Barclays Bank calling on the Government to make financial literacy mandatory in schools.
The drive was backed by business leaders including then director general of the CBI Sir Digby Jones.
Earlier this year new Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls said he wanted to make "economic wellbeing and financial capability" a focus of teaching for all 11 to 16-year-olds.
But Ministers have shied away from making it mandatory, claiming they do not want to be "over-prescriptive" with the curriculum.
Mr Supperstone said: "We have tried to lobby the Government but we are not getting very far in that at the moment.
"There is always a reason why something has to be delayed hence we have to take the bull by the horns."
Debt solutions firm Debtmatters demanded the Government put financial literacy at the core of the curriculum.
It said children are leaving school with good exam results and qualifications, but no understanding of the fundamentals of managing their personal finances. Michael Shirley, operations director at Debtmatters, said: "We're not criticising maths teachers, schools or students, but we do think there is a growing proportion of the population that has little experience or knowledge of how to manage their personal finances and it is an area where the school curriculum could help."
The organisation said it expects record numbers of people calling for help in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year.
Barclays also repeated its call for money management lessons to be made mandatory in schools.
Peter Kelly, the bank's head of financial inclusion, said: "Including financial literacy within the school curriculum is extremely important and something that can only benefit young people as they progress through university and adult life."
West Bromwich Building Society, which is launching an online game aimed at developing money handling skills in primary youngsters, also supported the call.
"Unless you have skills handling money you face the danger of getting into debt in later life which closes all kinds of doors," said Brian Seymour-Smith, spokesman for the company.
The Department for Children, Young People and Families said "elements" of financial capability were already delivered in statutory subjects, such as citizenship, and functional numeracy will become an essential part of GCSE maths from 2010.