April is National Financial Literacy Awareness Month! In efforts to highlight the importance of financial literacy and teach students how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits, our staff at the Student Loan Education Office want to help you! We hope you stopped by the Be Well Hut on campus or took a ride to class on our CashCab to receive some freebies and coupons. We had a lot of fun!
So what is financial literacy? Financial literacy is the education and understanding of various financial areas including topics related to managing personal finance, money and investing. For some people, it may require knowledge and building new skills. For others, it may mean unlearning bad habits. Like spending your whole paycheck on frivolous things or ignoring your credit card bill! For some it could mean a change in attitude – like choosing to be your own financial advocate. We can help you get there!
Here are a few tips to help you “Spring” into financial wellness.
1. Dust off your credit report
Check your credit report at least once a year to correct errors and detect unauthorized activity. It’s free and it’s yours, so make sure you know what’s in there. Remember, only one web source is authorized to distribute this information to you for free once a year: www.annualcreditreport.com
2. Learn your federal student aid and repayment options
Graduation is just around the corner. Whether you are just starting your college career, or getting to the end of your four years, don’t miss out on the many federal grant and low interest rate loan options available to almost everyone. File your FAFSA on time, apply for scholarships, and make sure you complete your exit counseling during your last semester at ISU! During this session, you’ll explore the payment options for your loans, and create a post graduation budget.
3. Take a course on personal finance
HDFS 183 is a one credit one-credit introduction to managing your money offered both online and in-class. The course covers the student’s perspective on credit, credit cards, debt, financial aid, savings, insurance, and taxes. The class provides an introduction to basic concepts and budgeting practices for management of resources and prevention of financial problems commonly associated with college, including credit and student loans. There is also a 3 credit course, HDFS 283, which goes into a more thorough exploration of personal finance management but from a family perspective. If your schedule permits, these are great classes to take as an undergrad!
4. Seek help
Navigating the financial marketplace can be overwhelming. Prepare yourself with these helpful checklists and tip sheets before making your next financial decisions. It’s never too late to start becoming “Financially Fit!” https://www.nelnet.com/Get-Financially-Fit/ Want to learn more? Attend one of our Lunch & Learn Money Management Workshops this week! These are free and available to all current ISU students! If you would like the slides sent to you, please email Megan Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org If you would rather meet one on one, our staff are available on ISUappointments!
Student Loans & Credit : How to pay them off, and build your credit
Tuesday April 23 12:30 – 1:30 PM 2300 Marston Hall
Wednesday April 24 12:00 – 1:00 PM, 2200 Marston Hall
This will be an introductory lesson on the basics of student loans, the repayment process and how loan borrowing and other financial decisions may affect your credit. Students will learn how to find their federal loan servicer, track or monitor their credit, and estimate their future student loan payments. All students are welcome to attend and any personal finance questions you may have are welcomed.
Happy National Financial Literacy Awareness Month!