BY LOUISE R. SHAW
Clipper Staff Writer
KAYSVILLE – Paying $58 a month toward a credit card debt of $5,000 will cost an additional $16,179 over 30 years, according to representatives from Zions Bank.
Investing that same $58 each month over that same 30 years with a 9 percent return, will result in a gain of more than $100,000.
The numbers paint a pretty clear picture on the difference between paying interest and earning interest.
It was a vision presented to students in Mitch Arquette’s Financial Literacy class at Davis High in honor of National Get Smart About Credit Day.
Chantel Chase, manager of the Women’s Financial Group at Zions, was joined by Natalie Dollinger, Commercial Relationship Manager, to share some of the mistakes and some of the opportunities they’ve seen in their work at the bank.
“If you don’t have the money to pay for something today, what is the likelihood that in 30 days you’ll have enough?” said Chase.
The biggest mistake people make is to think they will make more money next year than they do this year, she said.
It’s best “to live within your means now,” she said.The average American has nine credit cards with an average balance of $2,700, according to Dollinger.
In a study of students at five university campuses, only 10 percent of students paid their credit card balances in full each month.
The study, published in the International Journal of Business and Social Sciences, according to a press release from Zions, also found that only 15 percent of students know their credit card’s interest rate and late fees.
The two guided students through several scenarios, analyzing the total cost of a car loan that goes over four years versus one that is paid off in five years.
They talked about the importance of knowing the entire cost of a loan and of the value of budgeting.
When making loans, bankers look at a number of “Cs” to determine if a lender qualifies, said Dollinger.
Those include the character of the borrower, his or her capacity to pay the loan back, the collateral they have, their credit, market conditions and common sense.
Whether managing a home or a business, students were encouraged to pay all bills on time, to record all debit transactions in order to avoid “a hefty fee” for overdrafts, and to reduce the interest rates on loans or credit cards wherever possible.
The representatives explained refinancing, the difference between secured and unsecured loans (secured have collateral), what it means to be “house poor” (to stretch for a loan you can afford but then not have money left for other things), and payday sharks (who can charge rates as high as 4,000 percent).
“This really impacts the quality of life you have,” said Chase.