OU Credit Union hosts first financial awareness session


By Erica Marracco

Students got a chance to learn some skills in handling money when Oakland University Credit Union hosted its first financial awareness session, “Financial U,” Oct. 29.

The event was directed by Michigan State Federal Credit Union advisers. OUCU is directly partnered with MSFCU.

Participants were required to be OUCU members in good standing and full-time students at OU. Those who attended received $15 towards their checking account, as well as a free pizza dinner and a chance to win a $100 gift card.

“The idea behind giving $15 and pizza to student members who attend is to create buzz and make the event fun,” said Paul Day, MSFCU Education Outreach Specialist. “One of the goals of our credit union is teaching financial education in the community, and sharing this information with students will help them financially navigate college and beyond.”

Attendees got to learn basic money management skills, such as how to use a credit correctly, the differences between debit and credit cards, what a credit score is, how one’s credit score is determined, what websites are safe to check a credit score and how to budget finances.

“I think it is important for students to learn how to budget because it is a great tool to help themselves get ahead and plan for the future,” Day said. “One way is to write out what you have — income — versus what you are spending. Budgeting is a really important financial habit to have and, once you get into the swing of it, I think following a plan can lead to less stress.”

OUCU sent out an email to members with newsletters explaining the event. They then looked to the MSUFCU to send out Twitter and Facebook updates to let other members know about Financial U.

There were 50 spots available, but only 39 were filled. OUCU hopes the sessions will be filled to capacity in the future.

“Our plan is to have this offering more than once a year,” Day said. “We want to provide it on an annual basis. This first one is to gauge interest in the program and decide where we go from there.”

After about two hours of discussion, the advisors held a raffle to give away the $100 dollar gift cards.

“We’ve held Financial U at Michigan State many times,” MSFCU creative marketing specialist Chad Schaberg said. “One time we gave away a bike, but the chances to win were much lower than it was here at OU.”

Students interested in learning more about OU Credit Union can go to their website at oucreditunion.org, or check out their Facebook page.