Matador Dollar Day was held Feb. 15 to provide CSUN students with information regarding financial aid, money management and credit-card debt.
“Students get a $20,000 loan on their credit card to get the hottest car – just look in the parking lot – but will not borrow from the student loans office, which has a much low-interest rate,” said Lili Vidal, associate director of the Financial Aid Department.
She said students are graduating from college with unmanageable debt. Vidal said students should reduce their debts by becoming aware of money management skills.
About 60 percent of CSUN students on campus use some form of financial aid, Financial Aid officials said.
According to the United Students Aid Funds on credit-card acquisition, about 70 to 75 percent of college students own at least one credit card, and the majority of those students who are in debt could owe more than $2,000.
“I don’t think students know how to manage their money because most of my friends are in debt,” said Pegah Motaleb, senior English major. “I have $12,000 that I still owe on my car, $5.00 on my credit card and $5,000 in student loans.”
Students who attended the event, which was sponsored by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Department; Student Outreach and Recruitment Services; Student Productions and Campus Entertainment; and EdFund, were giving information from several lenders that work with CSUN. Lender and CSUN financial aid representatives set up booths with money-management information.
EdFund is a national guarantor agency, which collaborates with CSUN and the CSU system to provide free resources to students to help them understand how to pay for their college education. EdFund also guarantees the loans to lenders for students who take out Stafford subsidized loans.
With a subsidized Stafford loan, the government pays the interest while the student is in school. With an unsubsidized Stafford loan, the student pays the interest only, and loan payments are delayed until after graduation day. To obtain a subsidized Stafford Loan, a student must show financial need, Financial Aid officials said.
Annette Ortiz, EdFund client relations manager, said students should take advantage of EdWise – a financial planning tool to help students plan a budget, which also provides tips on how to repay their loans.
Additionally, Ortiz said students look at other resources that are available, such as scholarships and grants. One strategy for students who receive loans is to take less than is offered, she said.
“You could borrow the full amount of a loan or you could borrow less,” Ortiz said.
Cyro Duarte can be reached at email@example.com.