By Drew Drohan

Staff Writer

Members of Pen Air Federal Credit Union joined a panel for Fall 2018 Financial Bootcamp in the Commons Conference Center Wednesday.

The event’s mission was to educate students on how to invest, budget and manage debt from their current and post student years.

The panel included Pen Air employees Casey White, Debbie Kemp and Steve O’Reilly. All three shared their insight on a number of issues. The panel was moderated by UWF professor Dr. Doug Waggle.

Student loans, credit cards and debt were a few of the topics addressed.

Kemp was eager to tell students the importance of build their credit score to benefit themselves.

“You need to establish a good credit rating as its something that will stay with you your whole life,” Kemp said. “When you are trying to get a new apartment or even insurance for your car or home, your credit score is analyzed.”

The panelist explained how student’s credit scores are built, from credit card use to how much debt has accumulated.

They also explained how students can establish credit early in their careers or even while attending school.

“Credit cards can be valuable, if used wisely,” White said. “Remember to pay attention to your balances and make sure you’re never maxing out a card.”

All three panelist warned students of identity theft and offered quick solutions to keeping their identity safe. They reminded attendees to always check their bank statements for potential charges they didn’t make.

“First file a police report if you suspect your identity has been stole,” White said. “Then call all three credit bureaus to have your credit frozen and let them know you’ve been a part of an identity theft.”

The discussion was followed by a Q&A after, allowing students to engage with the panel on issues such as consolidating student loans.

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