Financial Wellness is a state of being. It's having an understanding of your financial situation along with the tools and confidence to maintain balance. Clark College offers workshops and resources to support you on your journey to Financial Wellness.
Explore the information below and find out what we can do for you.
Free One-on-One Help
Meet with a Financial Literacy Coach
In a coaching session, students can ask questions about their financial situation, create a budget that represents their current expenses and income, and discuss future financial goals. The Financial Literacy Coach can provide information, tools, and resources the student can use to reach those goals and manage their current finances.To make an appointment, contact Career Services at 360-992-2902 or visit our office located in Penguin Union Building room 002.
Personal Finance Workshops are offered each quarter and cover topics like how to create a spending plan, manage debt, build credit, or choose a bank account.
Visit the Student Success Workshop page for more information about upcoming events.If you need accommodation due to a disability in order to fully participate in an event, you should contact Clark College’s Disability Support Services Office at 360-992-2314 or 360-992-0901 VP, or visit Disability Support Services (PUB 013) as soon as possible.
Create a Spending Plan
Whether you call it a Spending Plan or a Budget, deciding where your money will go each month can have a positive impact on your personal finances no matter your income. Having a plan for your money allows you to make informed decisions about your spending, make and achieve future goals, and maintain your finances when the unexpected (and possibly expensive) happens.
Creating your first Spending Plan can be tough, so here are a few resources that could help get you started:
Here is a list of resources that can help you manage and/or elminate your debt:
- When you are thinking about taking out a loan, be sure to identify the loan amount, interest rate, and minimum payment. You can use this information to see if the loan would put strain on your monthly budget or cause you to pay more than you would like in interest.
- If you have student loans, visit the Clark College Direct Loan Repayment page for information about repayment options, responsibilities, and contact information if you have questions.
- If you qualify, Community Housing Resource Center can help you explore your options for getting out of debt. They offer classes and counseling for debt settlement and credit restoration.
- Unbury.me is a free tool to help create and visualize the Debt Avalanche and Debt Snowball repayment plans.
Build or Establish Credit
A credit card can be a powerful tool if used correctly, but can negitivly impact your fincances if mishandled. Here are some tips and resources to help you find then use your credit card to support your financial wellness:
- You can explore current credit card services that fit your needs at Wallethub or at Bankrate.
- Having an established relationship with a bank or credit union could assist you in getting approved even if you have no credit history. Be sure to check with your service provider if you are looking to open a credit card account.
- Aim to pay your credit card bill completely each and every month. If you do this you will not have to pay interest and will be doing positive things for your credit score!
- Try to only use your credit card to pay for fixed expenses; expenses that stay the same price month to month. This way you will never be suprised by your credit card bill, making it easier to manage.
- If you feel overwhelmed by credit card debt, you can contact Community Housing Resource Center to see if you qualify for assistance. (also check out the section titled Manage Debt on this page for more information)
Your credit score has a large effect on your financial wellness. The better your credit score, the easier it is to qualify for financial services like home or car loans with lower interest rates, smaller monthly payments, and reduced fees. Here are some tools for you to use to keep up with your credit score:
- Check your credit score and/or locate debt at any time for no charge at Credit Karma.com.
- Mint.com also offers monthly credit score updates.
- Request a credit report for free once per year from each of the three main credit reporting agencies at AnnualCreditReport.com.
- There are additional Consumer Reporting Companies where you can review your credit reports related to employment, tenant, bank, personal property insurance, medical, utilities, retail, and more. The contact information for these can be found at ConsumerFinance.gov.