Powercat Financial Counseling to unveil online financial management platform

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In a continued effort to assist students with budgetary planning, K-State and Powercat Financial Counseling announced last Tuesday that they will be able to provide students with additional resources to help them successfully balance their finances.

Using an online platform called SALTmoney.org, PFC plans to feature free financial advice that would help users gain additional insight into things like general budget planning, student loan repayment, credit and potential career paths.

PFC is officially launching the financial planning platform at the Activities Carnival and Winter Expo that is taking place in the K-State Student Union on Thursday from 6-8 p.m.

“SALTmoney is a great way to start thinking ahead for students who have loans or are trying to get their financial situations more planned out,” said Jodi Kaus, director of PFC.

SALTmoney was developed by a nonprofit organization called American Student Assistance, and all K-State students and alumni will be able to access the tool for free. Kaus said PFC’s mission is to provide free in-depth advice and explore every possible option that would give students stability and flexibility when budgeting.

After hearing Kaus speak of the advantages, I was intrigued. So, I tried it myself, and I have to say, I was extremely impressed with what the platform has to offer.

In addition to its clean-cut, user-friendly interface, SALT offers several helpful features.

Perhaps the most interesting option available to students, however, is the “Crunch Your Numbers” section.

Using your federal financial aid PIN, the online platform has the ability to link to your federal aid account to help you see your overall loans. The website shows how the terms of your loan, such as interest rates, number of years and principle, affect your payable balance.

Students can also plug in hypothetical figures to find out how changes to your loan, such as increasing monthly payments, decreasing the number of years or even refinancing to a different interest rate, can affect your overall loan amounts.

Using a variety of visual aids, the platform can give even the most novice financial analyst a clear picture of their monetary situation with easy-to-read graphs and pie charts.

Other resources include the “My Money 101” section, which offers students tips on responsibly using different types of credits, and the “Save and Make Money” section, which highlights different ways to earn scholarships, apply for internships and take part in special deals offered by SALT. For example, Tuesday’s deal was up to 30 percent off of Dell desktop and laptops.

Whether you are a student looking to create a plan to repay school loans, acquire an internship, get general career advice or even just find a few bargains to help offset educational costs, SALTmoney.org has a helpful feature to assist almost every student in their quest for financial success.

While browsing the website, I personally was able to observe how my everyday spending habits affect my budget and also discovered a few techniques that I could use to make my spending more efficient and useful.

According to Kaus, Powercat Financial Counseling’s ultimate goal is to help students learn sound financial skills and maintain these habits for years to come.

“SALT will build upon the successful foundation K-State has created with PFC by taking our financial education offerings to the next level,” she said. “SALT will help ensure our alumni can successfully retire their student loan debt, gain the greatest return on their investment and boost their money skills for life.”

Andy Rao is a junior in accounting and finance. Please send comments to [email protected]

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