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News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance

Commissioner Ken Kobylowski

For Immediate Release:
April 22, 2014

For Further Information:
Ed Rogan or Marshall McKnight (609) 292-5064

Christie Administration Discusses Financial Literacy at
Camden County College as Part of Financial Literacy Month

BLACKWOOD – As part of a month-long series of activities marking National Financial Literacy Month, Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski recently conducted a presentation for college students at Camden County College and discussed financial issues such as college-issued debit cards, credit cards, life and health insurance and student loans. He also discussed basic financial literacy principles, such as setting a budget and how to shop for banking services.

“When college students get to campus they are asked to make financial decisions that can have an impact as lasting as the major they choose and the careers they explore,” said Commissioner Kobylowski. “When college students set budgets and spend within them, select a low-cost bank account and manage their debt wisely, they set the tone for a strong financial foundation throughout life.”

April is National Financial Literacy Month, a national public awareness effort to help consumers establish and maintain healthy financial habits, take charge of their personal financial well-being and make smart financial decisions. The recent presentation was part of the Department’s ongoing financial literacy program, which was launched in 2006 with programs for high school students and expanded in 2012 to include programs for college students and senior citizens.

“Students at every level and consumers of all ages need to understand basic financial facts,” Kobylowski said. “The more financially savvy you are directly correlates to success in your career and quality of life. We will continue to deliver that kind of information to consumers of all ages in this program.”

In the program for college students, some of the topics Commissioner Kobylowski discussed were:

DOBI Financial Literacy Presentation at Camden County College
DOBI Financial Literacy Presentation at Camden County College Above from left, Daniel Lim, NJ Community College Consortium, Commissioner Ken Kobylowski, NJDOBI, and Melanie Monturano, Camden County College Director of Occupational Skills - Continuing Education.

At left, Camden County College student Brandon Blount and Commissioner Ken Kobylowski.
College-Issued Debit Cards: Students should shop around off campus for a financial institution offering a debit card that offers the lowest interest rates and fees. Students may want to opt out of payment cards that their school issues to disburse college loan funds and select direct deposit or paper checks instead. These options may prove to be less expensive.

Credit Cards:
Before signing up for a credit card, students should read the contract carefully and review all fees. Many credit card companies impose steep fees for missed or late payments, exceeding credit limits, or overdrawing an account. Some companies charge fees whether the card is used or not. Also, once the introductory rate expires, the interest rate can increase dramatically.

Student Loans: If possible, choose a federal loan rather than a private loan. Federal loans tend to be lower and fixed with better repayment terms that may include payback deferrals, income-based repayment and public service forgiveness.

Life Insurance: Parents who are co-signing for their child’s college loan should consider purchasing life insurance to cover the guaranteed debt. Most federal and many private college loans – but not all – include debt forgiveness clauses in the event of death; however students and parents who co-sign for the loans without such clauses should make sure that they have some form of protection in the unfortunate event of the student’s death prior to repayment of the loan.

Health Care Insurance: New Jersey law requires college students to have health insurance coverage, and many colleges automatically enroll students in health insurance plans offered by a health insurance carrier through the university. Students who are auto-enrolled can opt out of the college-issued plan by showing they have other coverage.
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