On September 23, Nichols College’s Fischer Institute hosted an event called “Making It Work” as part one of a Financial Literacy Series that will take place in the upcoming weeks. This event was hosted and directed by Katie Moulton, associate director of enrollment for student success and retention; Jen Bianco, director of financial assistance; Rachel Ferreira, Call Center manager and director of the Ambassador Program; and Lisa Liese, director of student accounts. This event was focused on credit, credit scores, and credit reports along with the positive and negative effects certain things can have on your credit report, which is a detailed record of your credit history.
Campus officials began by giving a brief overview about some of the major things we, as students, should look out for when making big-or-small purchasing decisions. From buying a car or getting a mortgage on a house, to opening a credit card at a department store to get 25 percent off your purchase, they touched on everything. Did you know ignored library fines or unpaid parking tickets negatively affect your credit score? Did you know it could take seven to 10 years for a “hit” to be removed from your credit history? A “hit” refers to skipping rent payments, having high revolving balances, or failure to pay medical bills.
A big topic discussed was college loans. Students received pointers on how to handle their student loans after graduation—whether it is making on-time payments or deferring them, neither will hurt your credit score. This was informational for me, especially as a senior, because I learned that my loans are deferred until six months after graduation and deferred even longer if I attend graduate school. This made me realize it is important to develop a timeline to prepare for your loans to start.
At the end of the informational part of the event, we all received a piece of paper with “true” written on one side and “false” on the other. We, as an audience, were asked a series of questions that are commonly asked by students pertaining to credit scores and history reports and held up “true” or “false,” depending on our opinion. It was interactive and made students realize they knew more about their credit than they thought they did, or that they mastered the guessing game.
Overall, this event gave students a better understanding of making financial decisions that could affect their credit scores, positively and negatively, in the long run.