The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Bank VP tells students how to improve credit

By Andrea Conley/reporter

No matter how small their incomes, students should stick to a budget, a financial expert told Trinity River students last week.

Lucas Sawyer, vice president of Worthington National Bank, presented the Money Management seminar Nov. 10, offering advice on creating and staying on a budget and building and maintaining good credit as well as information on interest rates and investment options.

Sawyer told students how to use a simple spreadsheet to create a budget. He also pointed out that through lax spending habits, students often make numerous small purchases of non-essential items, and the expenses add up in the long run.

Students also learned how new credit laws will affect them.

Beginning in February, credit card companies can no longer solicit credit card applications on college campuses.

Also under the new law, applicants must be 21 or older, have a co-signer or show proof of sufficient income to receive a credit card.

Sawyer said students can easily earn and maintain a good credit score, such as by making timely payments.

“Remember, 35 percent of your credit score is based on payment history,” he said.

He also told students to watch their debt-to-credit ratio and said they should generally use only about half of their available credit at any given time.

Jairo Huaman, a first-semester student, said the information will be helpful.

“I will use the [budgeting] spreadsheet, and I will think about the little expenses more,” he said.

Kirk Whitney also thought the seminar was beneficial. 

“I understand more about credit cards and scores,” he said. “It used to be vague, but now I know more about it.”

Sophomore Annette Pittman said she now understands the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards and different credit card companies.

“[The seminar] encouraged me to set up a budget,” she said. “I had one, but my old one wasn’t working.”

TR student development coordinator Colleen Fitzpatrick, who organized the presentation, said her idea to offer the seminar came after meeting Sawyer during Welcome Week and recalling how a similar workshop helped her when she was a college student.

“We had a lady who came to our school and shared all this information with us,” she said.

“She helped me set up a budget and explained credit scores. It was very helpful.” 

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