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Seminar Teaches College Students to Avoid Financial Traps [AUDIO]


College students are coming out of school with more debt than ever and a seminar at Rutgers University hopes to educate them on the tricks and traps to avoid.

Townsquare Media

Titled, “Avoid the Debt Trap,” the seminar Thursday is being hosted by the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) and will feature expert panelists from the university, as well as comments by Rohit Chopra, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Assistant Director and Student Loan Ombudsman. The seminar takes place at 100 Rock Building, 100 Rockafeller Road, Rm 1071, Piscataway, NJ, and will be from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Jen Coleman, Advocate for NJPIRG, said the program will go over issues like interest, avoiding excess fees, and maintaining good credit. She said many young adults are making their first financial decisions, and are targeted by the financial industry for their inexperience.

“They might not realize that a card might have a per swipe fee or to take advantage of ‘free checking’ they have to meet five different requirements,” Coleman said.

She added that surveys find 25 percent of college students have paid late fees on credit cards and 15 percent have paid bank overdraft fees.

“Overdraft fees cost students over a billion dollars a year,” she said.

Coleman points out that the matter extends beyond a person’s bank account. Financial debt from student loans contributes to more college drop-outs than academic pressure she said, and it can follow students beyond graduation.

“High debt from student loans can prevent students after they graduate from reaching life’s major milestones,” Coleman said.

She said candidates can even be denied for openings because of bad credit.

The seminar will tackle how to manage interest rate from student loans, and to understand what kind of payments graduates will be responsible for.

“A lot of people are projecting that student loans will be the next big bubble, so we need to do something to reign that in.”

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