VISTA member can help students with financial planning
Monday, February 4th, 2013
It’s never too early for college students to start planning for their financial future. That’s the message from VISTA member Tre’s Fuller, who has been assigned to Lawrence Technological University to promote financial literacy.
Fuller works part-time in the Office of Student Engagement in the Taubman Center and can be reached at email@example.com. He posts information on facebook.com/savegreenwithblue.
A 2010 graduate from the University of Michigan, Fuller is working as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for a 12-month period that ends in August. He spends half of his work week at Operation HOPE in Detroit where he teaches the importance of budgeting and saving to elementary and middle school students. He also plans to work with University High School students who take classes at LTU.
Fuller holds workshops and other financial literacy events to get the word out on campus about the importance of finding resources to help pay for college and keep students loans down.
“I’m not a financial adviser, but I can suggest resources and point people in the right direction,” Fuller said. “People can bounce ideas off me.”
At this time of year, students should be thinking about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the required first step for applying for federal student loans, which have the lowest interest rates available to college students. A completed FAFSA application is also needed for other loan and grant programs.
March 1 is the deadline for filing FAFSA for 2013. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov.
“People tend to think that it’s a waste of time because they or their families have too much income, but you never know,” Fuller said. “It’s not worth it to lose out on opportunities.”
FAFSA is based on information from tax returns and shouldn’t take more than half an hour to complete.
Students should also check their credit report at least once a year at the government-sponsored site annualcreditreport.com. Identity theft can ruin a student’s credit rating, or a bank may have entered incorrect data about a student.
A bad credit rating can prevent a student from getting a loan, and can lead to problems when applying for a mortgage years later.