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

NE talk teaches credit caution

By Connor Hamilton/reporter

Suzann Clay/The Collegian
Suzann Clay/The Collegian

Financial behaviors can create reputations, both good or bad, NE students learned Feb. 9.

NE financial aid specialist Joe Rodriguez highlighted the importance of having good credit and explained how to avoid making decisions that negatively affect one’s financial reputation.

“Having no credit history is like having bad credit,” he said. “A good credit report not only saves you money but increases your reputation needed to purchase things like a car or house.”

Rodriguez handed out workbooks and showed a visual presentation to attendees, both of which contained in-depth information on managing credit.

They then participated in a question-and-answer session.

Rodriguez’s presentation began with the basics of credit management.

He explained credit reports and defined key terms like interest and the cost of using credit. He continued with more specific information about repayment history and percentages.

In terms of take-home pay, Rodriguez advised against using more than 15 to 20 percent for non-mortgage debt payments.

Identity theft was also discussed.

“It is important to check your credit report because there may be things on that report that you don’t know are there,” he said.

Two students discussed issues they had with their credit companies not allowing them to make purchases on their credit cards when they traveled out of state. This is an extra security precaution that companies will take to combat identity theft, Rodriguez said.

Identity also needs to be verified when students apply for loans.

The session concluded with a group activity labeled the Credit Score Climb in which students were divided into four teams to compete in answering a series of flash card questions relating to the presentation.

The teams were asked questions such as “Which of the following can have a negative impact on your credit?”

Correct answers were rewarded with an increased credit score while incorrect answers decreased the credit score.

One student asked how not paying a parking ticket would affect one’s credit. Rodriguez said parking tickets are a civil offense, and the city that issued the ticket may report the fine to a collections agency.

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