Beginning this month, the Woodbury School of Business will be holding a free financial consulting clinic for students and members of the community. The clinic will run Monday evenings in the Losee Center from January 13 to May.
The financial consulting clinic being implemented by the financial planning program at the Woodbury school of business is hoping to provide assistance and relief to members of the community with personalized financial advice to suit their unique circumstances.
“It seems that we spend years learning how to make money, but little or no time learning how to manage money,” Dr. Bernard Poduska, clinic supervisor said. “As a consequence, individuals find themselves in financial trouble not knowing how they got there and having no idea how to get out. The clinic will offer financial counseling that will be specifically designed to meet a particular client’s concerns; stress should be reduced, hope should be increased, and relationships should be improved.”
The financial consulting clinic will be staffed with graduating seniors from the Personal Finance program offered by the Woodbury School of Business.
“These students have been studying finances for four years,” Poduska said. “Many have served internships with financial businesses… The Personal Finance program is only about 3 years old, but is already the largest such program in the United State and has received national recognition.”
The financial consulting clinic will provide a number of topics for people to receive financial counseling on, including remedial, preventive and productive counseling.
Remedial counseling focuses on financial trouble and developing plans for working with creditors, getting out of debt, and avoiding future debt will be offered. Preventive counseling provides help for those looking to improve their financial management skills, and productive counseling offers direction for improving net-worth, and investment strategies.
A brief released by the U.S. Department of Education in October shows a rise of the student debt accrued during four-year tenures of students graduating college. The brief tracked the student debt taken out to pay for college of three different groups of students over a 15 year time period.
The results showed the average amount of student debt for graduating school increasing from $15,000 to $24,700. While studies show Utah doing better at avoiding student debt compared to the rest of the nation, a study published last fall by NerdScholar Studies shows 45% percent of Utah college students will graduate with debt and the average amount of the debt consisting of $17,000.
“Student loans, and the impact they can have on the lives of those who are just getting started in life can end up being overwhelming,” Poduska said. “Many students are experiencing independent living for the first time, getting married, starting a family; all of which can be very expensive. Mismanagement of credit cards, local loans, and purchasing of cars can end up ruining their credit ratings which can haunt them for years.”
The consulting is set up to provide individuals or couples with private consulting sessions with an experienced financial consulter. The sessions are expected to run at 30 minutes and will be held Monday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. It is suggested that clients meet about six times with their counselors.
Enrollment for the financial clinic can be done online and in person at the school. Enrollment on campus is done at room 425 in the computer science building. Enrollment can be done online by e-mailing the head of the financial clinic at [email protected].