Interest in credit: Money Sense volunteer preps MC2 juniors

FacebookLinkedInTwitterDid you know how credit worked when you were a teenager? A group of juniors at Milwaukee Community Cyber H.S. (MC2) is prepared with credit, as they get ready to establish their own credit scores and receive their first card offers.

Marc Colletti, a business owner and former banker, made it his mission to educate 17 students Jeff Wojcik’s algebra classes recently about how credit works and the importance of maintaining a good credit score as a volunteer for Make A Difference – Wisconsin. Colletti started the session by recapping terms from a previous session with the students. When he asked for the definition of annual percentage rate (APR), one student, Adam, answered: “It’s when you pay more money for something. It’s not the same as paying $1 of interest rate monthly than paying $10.”

The session was part two of our “To Your Credit” section of the Money Sense program. However, it quickly moved from a recap into everyday applications of credit. For instance, Colletti said: “If you have a good credit score, let’s say 700, you could be eligible for a loan of up to $20,000, which gets you a car such as Ford Focus or a Corolla.” He went on to explain homeowner loans with pictures of what an average 30-year loan might get you for your money. One of the students, Brent, was flabbergasted at the differences in interest over time. “You could buy a whole other house with what you pay in interest!”, the student said.

The final part of the presentation consisted of an activity where three students play the role of loan applicants before a “loan officer,” in this case played by one of their peers, Zach.

At the end of the class, Nathan, a student who participated as one of the loan applicants in the lesson exercise, walked up to volunteer Colletti and said: “I’ve had money problems so this was helpful. It helped me. Thank you.”

This year, hundreds of volunteers like Marc Colletti dedicated their time and talent to lead financial literacy lessons for thousands of students at schools and community sites across Wisconsin and into Chicago. For more details on volunteering for Make A Difference, visit here.

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