Seminar Talks About Financial Awareness

By Joyce Yau

The Financial Awareness Seminar was held in Ursa Major on
Thursday. Speakers touched on subjects about taxes, credit scores,
student loans and even ended the seminar with an internship
opportunity.

The event was sponsored by ASI’s Student Development and
Leadership Institute program and was geared to help college
students know how they should manage their cash.

Guest speaker Lex Worthington, who owns his own business at 29,
spoke about credit and the guidelines on how to keep a credit score
high.

“A credit score is a three-digit number based on the borrower’s
bill paying history and debt profile and statistical information
about other borrowers that lenders use to determine the likelihood
of certain credit behaviors, including whether you will pay on
time,” according to a handout given by Worthington.

Credit scores will determine how much the interest rate and down
payment will be for a new car or a new home. However, your credit
score is also included in a consumer credit report, which can be
confusing to some.

The FICA score, a scale that measures how well one maintains his
or her credit, will be changing to a maximum of 990 in July of
2007.

“Credit is based on longevity,” said Worthington. “Let’s say
that you have a Sears card and you barely touched it. The typical
person would probably close it just because he/she is not using it.
However, the longer you have the account, the better. Don’t close
trade lines. If you close one, then you close the positive 32
months (or however many months) you have had your Sears card. You
can lose positive points by closing an account.”

After the credit portion of the program, lifestyle came up as a
reason credit can increase quickly and how students are prone to
building debts because they are going to school, not making as much
at their part-time jobs.

According to MILI Corporation, the statistics for 65 year olds
during their retirement stage are divided as follows: 1 percent
will be wealthy, 4 percent financially secure, 7 percent deceased,
23 percent still working and 63 percent dependent on either their
children or in-laws.

Students were shocked about these statistics.

“Wow, I can’t believe that so many people would still be in debt
and not understand how to manage their money by that age. That’s
interesting,” said Robert Brennan, a third-year civil engineering
student.

The MILI Corporation believes in educating their students and
even provided information on how to obtain a financial internship
while in school.

The vice president of the MILI Corporation, Duc Dai Duong, said,
“Our objective is to empower students to go to school, along the
way pick up leadership courses to become business
entrepreneurs.”

“If we are to have any hope of financial security when we
retire, we must start educating ourselves today,” said Raniel
Dizon, a second-year finance, real estate and law student who was
also the event facilitator and creator.

Joyce Yau can be reached by e-mail at news@thepolypost.com or by
phone at (909) 869-3747.

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