ItMake$Cents! Chronicles: One-on-One

The Chronicles: Each week I will bring you information from financial aid counselors, ItMake$Cents! peer mentors, and other valuable financial consultants who can help answer questions about loans, debt, savings, etc. in someway or another.

One-on-One Consultation with Isaac

It’s seen time and time again. Not only are students swamped with debt but generally speaking, most students don’t know where to start with managing their money. As Isaac Schulte, a student financial aid mentor at the It Make$ Cents! (IMC) Office, on UW- La Crosse campus said, “It’s not that students don’t have enough money for something, it’s just that they don’t know how to spread out the money they have for as long as they need it.” I believe Isaac speaks for a good portion of students on this campus. I can only speak for myself but before coming to college and even nowadays, as a college senior, I still neglect to follow a budget and never truly understand where my money is going.

To get a better understanding of students’ financial needs and questions I scheduled a one-on-one consolidation with Isaac. After talking to Isaac I realized that throughout my last four years I could have saved more money, reduced my debt and prepared a better financial outlook for myself. I should have sought out financial advice and other information from the start.

During the One-on-One

Basically, I asked Isaac to give me the rundown of what his advice would be for an incoming freshman. However, you can ask anything financially related or specific to your needs. I just felt completely lost and needed a push in the right direction.

Here’s what he said:

1. Download Mint: The online smart phone application that helps budget your finances & allows you to see where your money is going. 

Follow the 60/20/20 Rule: 

60 20 60 rule

2. Save Now! 

Savings Account: Set money aside into a different account & have money accumulate. Get in CONTROL of your spending habits.

Basic information on Savings Account can be found here.

3. Credit Scores. Do you know yours? Look it up here at Annual Credit Report

It is crucial to understand your credit score to help with: 

  • Lower Interest Rates
  • More eligibility for loans
  • Better rates on a house and/or a car
  • Jobs
  • Cell phones

4. Loans/Repayment: Loans and the repayment plans are necessary to pay them back in a decent amount of time and help reduce the amount of debt. If it is possible to make payments while still in school, you should try to do that.

  • Look into your loan options
    • Federal and private loans
    • Perkin Loans
    • Consolidate into one Direct Consolidation Loan
  • Click the link to choose the Loan Repayment plan best for you.
    • Know your budget before you accept their student aid package (make sure it’s feasible)

Going into this consultation IMC Office, conveniently located at 2103 Centennial Hall, with Isaac, I had a bunch of questions ranging from Credit Score to Debt to Loans and whatever else I could think of that might be helpful. Come to find out the entire thing was helpful, who would have guessed?

Realistically, students don’t take nearly enough advantage of the financial help IMC! has to offer. Isaac offered more help than I could have imagined due to being a student and could easily relate to where I was coming from. Being a college student himself, he knew how to answer the questions I had and had great advice as to how to be more financially responsible.

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