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Financial Wellness Resources

Financial Wellness Resources
Whether you are feeling high levels of financial stress or are simply seeking to expand on your financial knowledge-base, seeking to increase your financial wellness is a great way to feel confident in managing your financial resources for a lifetime of financial well-being. We are here to help guide you on this path.

Increased financial literacy and financial wellness can have positive impacts beyond your wallet.

Having ownership of your finances can be empowering, even if the amount of financial resources is low. Having a plan moving forward can make even the largest pile of debt seem manageable.

Focusing on the basics of positive financial behavior while in college can set the course for the rest of one’s financial life.

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College campuses are often the most prominent locations where people interact with those of different socioeconomic backgrounds. Due to this, some feel the pressure to spend more money than they can afford to keep a positive social image. Navigating these conversations with friends can be tricky.

We offer a workshop on a variety of personal finance topics. View our current workshop list below by clicking on the button.

To schedule a workshop for your organization, contact Kevin Sutton at suttonkl@vt.edu

A budget is an outline of estimated income and expenses used to make a plan for your financial life.

At its core, there are several general “levels” to budgeting:

  • No Budget at all - Clearly, this has a huge amount of risk. People that don’t check their bank account balance because they are afraid to see how low the balance is do not have a budget. The first step in constructing your budget is identifying your income and financial resources.
  • Keep a mental budget – This is not recommended. It is good to at least be aware that money generally exists at your disposal and that you spend it between paychecks, but this is not a tactic that will set you up for financial success. Most people fall into this category.
  • Make a budget one time – This is a very positive action you can take. Putting real thought into what your expenses are, even one time, can plant the seed for real behavioral change if it is deemed necessary. This may also spur additional savings for retirement or adjusting spending in an area that is noticeably high.
  • Continually review your budget – This is ideal. Not only did you put thought into your income and expenses; you went back and reviewed to make your next budget even more accurate. Being able to check and see if you really are spending money in the way that you initially planned will make creating future budgets easier.

People should make a budget in a format that is accessible and visible to them. Many banks have apps that can track spending on purchases used with your debit card where you can also manually add purchases if you used another form of payment. The same is true for many credit card apps. Some people may prefer to manually type all expenses into the notes section on their phone so they can make it a habit of tracking all expenses immediately. This can help inform your creation of a budget (which also is typically a feature on most banking apps). Others may prefer the old-fashioned budget on paper or in excel. We have attached a basic budget sheet with some expenses broken down into greater detail that may serve as a starting point as you create/review your budget.

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Hokie Budget.docx

At any given time, you actually have THREE credit reports, and each report may be slightly different from one another! There are three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion) that each have a report for you. Each report has information used to determine how reliable you are at paying people back. Information on each report is used to calculate your credit score, which technically is also subject to vary slightly on any given day as it depends on which bureau’s report is being used to calculate the score. It is important to view your credit report to notice and correct any errors as well as to get a general picture on how a lender will perceive you. Your credit score will not be included in your credit report. Many banks include this feature on their apps. You may also pay to view your score, but that is not typically necessary.

Directions:

  1. Go to Annualcreditreport.com
  2. Click on “Request your free credit reports”
  3. Click on “Request your credit reports”
  4. Fill out the form to completion (For address, do NOT put campus address) (Also, you do not need the last 4 digits for the zip code)
  5. Request your credit report from any of the 3 bureaus

    You may be asked to verify who your student loan servicer is as a pre-requisite to view your report. Many college students do not know who their servicer is. If you are denied access due to answering one of those questions incorrectly for that bureau, try pulling your report from a different bureau. Some students report that Experian may ask easier questions to view the report.

  6. Look for errors

Note: You can pull one free copy of your credit report from each bureau each year. You are also legally allowed to view a copy of any credit report used that resulted in a credit denial from a lender, even if you have already viewed your free report from that bureau for that year.

Please note that these appointments are educational in nature. Students seeking emergency aid support should contact the Financial Aid Office and/or the Dean of Student’s Office.

How to Manage Your Student Loans:

The following video can provide you with some context as some options you have to repay your federal student loans. If you would like to learn more about student loan repayment or how to set up an account with your servicer, please schedule an appointment with our team here.

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For more information on Virginia Tech’s Financial Wellness resources, contact Kevin Sutton at suttonkl@vt.edu