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Financial Literacy Resources


calculator beside check bookIf you have not begun a household budget to incorporate the cost of attending college, or thought about a financial plan for the future, here is a place to start. 

*The information contained in this web page is for reference only. North Central State College assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information available at the weblinks provided.

This webpage contains useful web links to help you locate the information you need to begin a strong financial plan.


 Financial Pitfalls

PayDay Loans:

That is, a cash advance secured by a personal check or paid by electronic transfer, is very expensive credit.  Say you need to borrow $100 for two weeks...

  • You write a check for $115 ($100 + $15 fee to borrow) to the Payday lender.
  • You are offered the electronic transfer option for a  $15 fee.
  • In four weeks, you are unable to pay and must extend the loan again with another $15 fee.
  • Your $100 quick cash has now cost you $145 in just one month!

**obtained from the Federal Trade Commission**


Not Reading the Fine Print:

Consumers become complacent when it comes to reading and signing documents. Skimming a long legal document prior to signing is not enough. Read and ask questions.

Print advertisers should not attempt to hide the real cost or the critical terms or conditions by:

  • Putting them in obscure locations, such as the border area on a print ad
  • Burying them in numerous, densely packed lines of fine print
  • Including them in small-type footnotes.

Television advertisers should not hide key information in:

  • A fast moving "crawl"
  • Superscripts or subscripts using small print sizes or a color that fades into the background
  • Type that disappears from the screen too fast for consumers to read and comprehend
  • The middle of a long statement that scrolls vertically on the screen within a short period of time

    **obtained from the Federal Trade Commission**


Over-use of Credit Cards:
  • Pay promptly to avoid interest charges and late fees
  • Watch for mistakes and unauthorized charges
  • Be cautious of giving your account number over the phone or on unsecure websites
  • Use a seperate, low balance card for safe online transactions
  • Become familiar with the new credit card regulations enacted recently
  • READ your statement. Watch for errors or unauthorized charges.


Rent-to-Own Centers:

These companies ar much like Payday Lenders. Remember these companies are in business to make money-from your money. Renting a 50" flat screen HDTV for 1 year at $40 per week will cost you $2080 in just one year, almost triple the cost of purchasing one outright at an electronics superstore.


Late fees:

Late fees wreak havoc on: your budget, your interest rates, and your credit rating. The best advice is to avoid them at all costs. If you are going to be late making a regular payment, contact the company immediatley to ask for special arrangements and stick to that agreement. Don't skip payments, and don't avoid collectors phone calls.


Identity Theft:

Enough cannot be said about guarding your personal information. Shred documents with account numbers; use the post office for outgoing mail instead of an unsecured home mailbox; exercise caution when making online purchases. Act quickly when you find unauthorized transactions on accounts. Change your online passwords regularly.

If you suspect identity theft:

  • Document the theft with a police report
  • Contact the credit reporting bureaus and place a 90-day fraud alert on your credit files
  • Contact your state attorney general for more helpful information



Daily Money Leaks:

Use grandma's envelope system. Budget out cash in envelopes for necessary purchases like groceries. You are much less likely to overspend when you pay cash.

 For one week, write down every purchase you make to determine where your money leaks are occuring.

Leave your cash and debit cards at home to avoid daily impulse spending.


 Financially Sound Practices:

Sticking to a Budget:

The Internet is a great resource for  budget calculators and budget spreadsheets. Try a few to see which works best for you. Post the household budget plan in a prominant place in the house so everyone can follow it. Tell your friends and family you have started a new budget and are committed to it. Ask for their help in sticking to the budget.


Knowing What You Owe:

An easy way to check your student loan balance is at the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Know the balances on your current commercial loans, credit cards, and bank accounts.


Make Saving a Habit:

By having a savings account and establishing a sum of money you are protecting yourself from unexpected financial hits.

It is that "rainy day fund" your grandparents always talked about. As that rainy day fund grows, you have now begun the "plan for the future" fund as well.

Seek Help From a Non-Profit Credit Counselor:

If you find yourself "in over your head" in debt, seek professional advice.

Choosing a Credit Counselor


Graduate from College:

Its important to know, one of the best economic choices you can make for yourself is to graduate from college.

Highest Education Level Achieved Average Annual Income
Doctoral Degree $89,400
Master's Degree $62,300
Bachelor's Degree $52,200
Associate Degree $38,200
Some College $36,800
High School Graduate $30,400
Not High School Graduate $23,400

 ** US Bureau of Labor and Statistics**

 graduating student wearing cap and gown



Important Websites

National Foundation for Credit Counseling
Consumer credit counseling resources.

Feed The Pig

Fun interactive website designed to promote saving money.

360 Financial Literacy

Find information to help make sound financial decisions in every stage of life.

Student Loan Calculator

Easy to use Department of Education student loan payment calculator.

Federal Trade Commission

Site contains information on Consumer protection, Do Not Call Registry, Identity theft, Free Credit Reports

The top three credit reporting agencies:

free annual credit report

Request your free annual credit report. It' s free, quick, and easy.

Forever Free

Become budget savvy, financially aware, literate and responsible.









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