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MLC Direction is here to provide opportunities for students to increase their exposure to financial concepts: budgeting, loan borrowing limits and repayment options, responsible credit card use, understanding your credit report, retirement, insurance, and more!

finanical-literacy-logoFinancial Literacy Program

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Online Activities

Group Sessions

Resources

Budget

  • Basic Principles:
    • Save for an Emergency Fund
    • Learn to live on LESS
    • Limit how much you eat out

Career Data and Exploration

  • O*NET is the nation’s primary source of occupational information, providing excellent resources.

CashCourse

Credit

  • Check your credit report at least once per year from one of the 3 credit bureaus:
    Experian – TransUnion – Equifax — annualcreditreport.com
  • Credit cards can help you build your credit if used properly
    • Pay your full balance every month AND on-time
    • If you don’t have the money for something, DON’T buy it!
  • Avoid canceling unused accounts – this generally increases your credit utilization (how much of the available credit you are using) , which can reduce your credit score
  • Steps to Improve Your Credit Score:
    http://www.experian.com/credit-education/improve-credit-score.html

    • Your credit score assesses 5 different pieces of information:
      *Payment History (35% of the score) on time/late
      *Amounts You Owe (30% of the score) balance of debt
      *Length of Credit History (15% of the score) how long has the account been open
      *New Credit (10% of the score) have you recently applied for multiple accounts
      *Types of Credit (10% of the score) revolving credit vs. installment loan

Date on a Dime: Inexpensive and Fun Activities

Resources

Loans

Don’t borrow more than your first year’s Gross Earnings!

  • Remember the federal loan limits:
    LoanLimits
  • Estimate your loan repayment with the Federal Student Aid Loan Estimator
    (select Proceed and enter your loan totals or loan estimates)

Private Loan Consolidation:

Direct Loan Consolidation:

  • Do you have both Perkins AND Federal Direct (Stafford) loans? Discover more information about a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Minister of the Gospel - male called workers

  • You are considered self-employed.
  • Income tax/social security tax/etc. will not be automatically withdrawn from your paycheck.
  • Plan on setting up a separate account to deposit 20-25% of each paycheck. You can then pay your quarterly tax estimates directly from this account that you have been setting aside funds in to prepare for the large payments. Quarterly tax estimates for pastors are due on: January 15, April 15, June 15, and September 15.
  • When you complete your taxes, talk to your accountant/tax preparer! Let them know you are a Minister of the Gospel so they can help you properly complete your tax return information.

Paying for College

To help keep college costs down,
good planning is the best strategy!

  • Take AP Courses that will transfer for your major (or as needed elective credits.)
  • Save money from high school graduation and work as much as possible in the summer.
  • Apply for financial aid every year.
  • Minimize student loans – only borrow what you need.
  • Try to graduate in 4 years.

Pre-Seminary Students

  • During your Financial Review Meeting, preparation for seminary payments are reviewed.

What are students saying about the Financial Review Meetings?

“Seeing average people’s expenses was nice for me. It was great exposure, I personally also believe we should have more of this at MLC.”

“This was a great meeting because I was nervous but I was greatly helped.”

“I have options for future repayment and I have people I can contact that will help me if I have questions.”

“It’s good to have some sort of understanding of how to budget for the next few years.”

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Financial Literacy Events and Updates