“What is credit?” Clark Financial Literacy Coach Austin Keever asked and answered that question for students on Feb. 21 at his Conquer Credit Workshop.
“I want you to have this information so you know what’s comfortable for you,” Keever said. “I’m not going to tell you what to do, I’m going to tell you what you can do.”
He said “credit is the ability to go into debt,” but also the chance to accomplish or purchase things that you otherwise could not access. Keever presented information to students about what credit is and how to manage it.
Credit scores are solely important for people purchasing larger items like businesses, cars, or houses, Keever said. Credit scores show how trustworthy you are with money and by having a good credit score, you are more likely to be given loans with lower interest rate percentages.
“You can’t handle debt unless you know where your income and expenses are going,” Keever said. He said recommended students create a record based on these factors to help monitor their credit cards.
Keever said he recommends websites like Credit Karma, and Annual Credit Report to help track debt and pay it off on time.
He said the best website, which does interest rate math, is Un-bury Me. It shows the total cost of the debts and loans you may take on while also showing how long you may be paying them off.
“Life happens, and it’s often expensive,” Keever said.
Keever said it’s smart to open an emergency fund with three to six months of expenses saved up for uncontrollable circumstances like car repair or leaking pipes.
Keever is available for one-on-one advice through Career Services. Students can schedule appointments at 360- 992 -2019.