HCCI Offers Life Skills to Compliment Work Skills

September 24, 2015

Topeka, Kan. – Learning at Washburn Tech includes more than classroom knowledge and hands-on skills. It covers dollars and sense, meaning financial sense, thanks to community partners like Housing and Credit Counseling (HCCI).

“At HCCI, we talk with people every day who are working hard but can’t get ahead,” said Elissa Moore, education coordinator, HCCI. “Our partnership with Washburn Tech allows us the opportunity to educate students on the importance of repaying student loans, since that type of delinquency can create such a large impact in their daily lives.”

Currently, the student loan debt in our country is more than $1.2 trillion with 37 million Americans having loans. Nearly one in six borrowers, or 17%, have a loan balance in default. On average in Kansas, student loan debt is $23,000 per student.

According to Tammy Parsons, financial aid officer at Washburn Tech, student loan default rates are on the rise nationwide. “Institutions are ramping up entrance counseling to ensure students understand the borrowing, repayment and budgeting processes,” Parsons said. “That’s why we asked HCCI to create and offer a class to our students on budgeting for student loans.”

The class covers topics such as goal-setting, spending plans, loan repayment and options for those having a tough time making a loan payment. It also includes tips on how to stay organized to minimize the difficulty in making timely payments to both creditors and a student loan servicer.

“I don’t think many people are aware how one late payment to a creditor, especially on a student loan, can have so many adverse effects on an individual’s credit report. It can cause them to pay higher interest rates on loans, pay higher premiums on auto insurance and even prevent them from landing the job they really want. This can be a real letdown, since students spend countless hours in their programs at Washburn Tech with the sole objective of being able to get a better job with better pay in a field that they will enjoy,” said Moore. “We are glad that Washburn Tech has asked us to provide students with this class when they make that decision to utilize financial aid. It is our goal at HCCI to provide students with the knowledge and tools they need to help them succeed with their financial goals upon graduation and beyond.”

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