Fall semester has begun at Texas Tech, and with the transition to a new school year comes a monsoon of tension and anxiety to students of all majors and classifications: finances. The climb toward adulthood is complex by nature, especially to incoming college students. However, the Red to Black Peer Financial Coaching team assists students with any potential questions or doubts they may have about their financial situation.
Marwa Diab-El-Arab, a personal finance senior and student worker at Red to Black, said their office is located on the second floor of the Student Union building directly above the Barnes & Nobles. The Red to Black office is a student department to help with financial issues, she said. This applies to any financial issues that might have that are not legally or tax, like creating spending funds, building credit, maximizing financial aid, insurance and more.
“One of the things students most overlook is credit cards,” she said. “They don’t know how to use it, and it ends up with them falling in even more debt.”
Red to Black tries to be available and open to all students with presentations and events. The department is an integral tool, she said, that may be utilized to ease the transition from adolescent to a responsible and financially stable adult.
Students may set a date to hold a meeting with a financial coach if they need financial consultation, Eiman Osselian, a PhD in personal financial planning student, said. The financial coaching is a one-on-one advising session to help the student and may be beneficial to them outside of school.
“We can also help you with setting your own goals,” Osselian said. “Financial budgeting, how to borrow and understanding ‘borrowing,’ how to decrease your expenses, and employee benefits.”
Students from all stems of life and branches of education may benefit from Red to Black, as the program instructs them with necessary tools for financial success inside and outside of the classroom.
In addition, Osselian said the free nature of the department is beneficial to students who would otherwise not be able to provide the funds for a consultation.
The Red to Black staff members help students with savings, budgeting, and educate them about credit, Jacob Overfelt, a political science freshman, said. Students may be strong in one area such as budgeting money, he said, but have no experience with credit cards.
“Red to Black would help me understand more about the value of money,” Overfelt said. “I need to better myself when it comes to spending and handling it.”
The presence of the organization is a positive thing for students, Dylan Najvar, a mechanical engineer major, said. Many college students have taken on loans for their education and may not understand the ins and outs of a credit card, he said. If someone desires to start a business, to purchase a home or anything with real estate, credit is essential.
“Having loans and debt is important,” Najvar said. “I hate that I have it, but I may as well utilize it with my credit.”