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State officials helping college students learn to avoid bad credit

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

State officials are offering seminars and tutorials to help college students in New Jersey understand credit — and avoid a history of bad credit that can cause long-lasting harm as they begin their careers and adult lives.

“It is important for students to know that decisions they make today about how they borrow money, pay their bills and manage their finances will affect them in the future,” Attorney General Paula T. Dow said. “A bad credit history can follow a person for seven years or more. We are offering this awareness campaign to help stop potentially life-changing problems now, before they spiral out of control.”

The message isn’t only for young people, however.

“Credit cards are so aggressively marketed toward young people, and they are so easy to abuse if someone lacks practical awareness and experience of managing their finances,” added Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs, said. “This combination can harm the financial security not just of young people, but of the parents or adult relatives who co-sign with them.

“We are offering basic education that will help students become smart consumers able to develop and maintain good credit,”

The Division of Consumer Affairs this week reached out to the presidents and directors of 70 New Jersey colleges and universities, offering to hold the seminar “Credit: What Is It and Why Is It Important?” free of charge for students.

The seminars grew out of the Division of Consumer Affairs’ educational program about the importance of good credit, the legal and free ways to repair bad credit, and the risks of working with companies that claim to “erase bad credit.”

The Division of Consumer Affairs outreach campaign is primarily funded by a grant from the Sears Consumer Protection and Education Fund. For more information, go to: NJ Gov: Credit Repair .

Colleges, universities and other groups who would like the Division of Consumer Affairs to hold a “Credit: What Is it and Why Is It Important?” seminar should call 973.504.6214.

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