Trenton, NJ - The average college student incurs $3,000 - $7,000 in credit card debt by the time they graduate. This alarming trend increases financial burdens on young adults at a time when many are just beginning their careers and establishing their lives. The heavy monthly debt obligation, compounded by high interest rates and late fees, frequently results in delinquency and default. This adversely impacts your credit history, inhibiting your ability to secure a favorable mortgage, consumer loan, insurance, and, in some cases, employment.
The New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) has been working closely with New Jersey college students to provide comprehensive financial literacy education. HESAA's REAL Money 101 teaches the basics of prudent money management skills. Each year, almost 4,000 New Jersey students from across the State participate in Real Money 101. "Teaching students how to manage their finances is generally not taught in high school," said Michael Angulo, Executive Director of HESAA. "We teach young adults the skills to manage their finances early on so they avoid unmanageable debt and adverse credit history."
REAL Money 101 is presented by HESAA's professional staff and by State certified credit counseling agencies, and includes topics on credit card debt, budgeting, savings, debt repayment responsibilities, and preventing identity theft. For many students, college is where they are first exposed to credit cards, and is often where they first attempt to manage their own bank account and expenses. REAL Money 101 teaches students to understand the cost of credit, how to balance a checkbook, and the need to save.
Through HESAA, the State of New Jersey is committed to providing financial literacy information to young adults. If you are a college student or young adult and would like to learn more about REAL Money 101, please contact our Client Services staff at (609) 588-3236.
Since 1959, HESAA, a non-profit, state designated Authority, has delivered over $18 billion in financial aid. Each year, over 1 million students receive assistance from outreach programs and aid programs HESAA administers including Tuition Aid Grant (TAG), the Part-time TAG for County College Students, NJSTARS and II, the Garden State Scholars programs, the Federal Family Education Loan program, NJCLASS, and NJBEST. For additional information about HESAA please visit our website at www.hesaa.org or call our Customer Care Center at 609-584-4480.