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

Students learning how to manage money? Priceless.

By Dena Adi/sports editor

TR students gathered April 6 to learn the importance of banking concepts, credit scoring and budgets.

Chief deposit officer of Worthington National Bank Lucas Sawyer presented Managing Finance: Don’t Let It Manage You, a Discovery Center workshop.

“Let’s take a timeout and see what’s on the minds of students because I never got this education,” he said. “I am here to tell you what’s going on right now, to answer questions that’s been on your mind.”

In a PowerPoint presentation, Sawyer explained the basics of finance, starting with credit scoring.

“Your credit score is basically a long file of information all related to you, tied to your Social Security number: who you are, your spending history on credit, your payment history on the debt you do have and your habits,” he said.

Credit scores range from 350-850 with the larger number being the best, Sawyer said. People build their credit by making payments on time for their credit card bills.

The benefits of maintaining good credit include approvals on loans, lower interest rates on credit cards and cheaper costs, he said.

People can damage their credit with late payments, maxing out credit cards and/or filing for bankruptcy, Sawyer said. Low credit results in fewer approvals for loans, higher interest rates and more costs.

Texas has the lowest average credit score in the nation at 651, he said.

Sawyer emphasized the importance of knowing one’s credit score. The government provides a website at annualcreditreport.com that provides a free report once a year.

An easy way to avoid bad credit, Sawyer said, is making a plan and creating a budget. The first step in making a budget is determining how much is coming in from actual income, not potential income. After that, Sawyer said, one should prioritize how much is going out.

People should put their budget in a spreadsheet format, he said. They should know their “needs” such as rent, utilities, food and transportation and calculate how much money needs to be spent for each. The remaining money can go toward “wants.”

Setting goals can keep people on track, but they need to make a plan to achieve those goals and take action, he said.

TR student Alexandria Jones was receptive to Sawyer’s advice.

“The workshop was informative,” she said. “It taught me stuff that I wasn’t aware of.”

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