Rigorous financial education at the high school level can lead to better credit scores and lower the probability of credit delinquency, according to a new survey.

The study, which was funded by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, looked at three U.S. states that mandated financial education in high school (Georgia, Idaho and Texas) and compared the credit outcomes for young adults in those states with adults in adjacent states where no state-mandated financial education was implemented.

It found that three years after implementing a financial education mandate, all three states saw significantly increased credit scores, and young adults in all three states had lower delinquency rates on credit accounts. Credit scores improved by 2%, 3% and 5% in Georgia, Idaho and Texas, respectively. Texas had the largest decrease in delinquency rate, which was a six percentage point drop.

According to the study, it takes time for financial education to have an effect. It reports that very few positive effects were measured one year after implementation, but by the second year “there were consistently positive results for the students.”

“These findings will help guide the field in our collective quest to better understand what works in financial education — and how best to tackle the daunting task of increasing the financial capability of all Americans,” said Gerri Walsh, president of the FINRA Foundation.