ELLINWOOD — State Treasurer Ron Estes was in Ellinwood on Tuesday, explaining to high school students and elementary school students the importance of managing credit cards, savings, and budget.
He explained his job to the students, saying he manages the bank account for the state. He makes sure the money gets deposited into the (state) bank account.
Estes is also the administrator for the Learning Quest accounts, which allow for savings on taxes to pay for technical school or college. In addition, Estes manages the unclaimed property account.
Opening at Ellinwood High School, Estes said that credit cards are a loan that has to be paid back.
"Cash advances are a loan," Estes said. Convenience checks are a loan.
He encouraged the students to read the fine print on balance transfers and to avoid late fees by paying credit cards on time.
Estes told the students to look for cards with a low annual percentage rate (APR), no annual fee, long grace periods and low fees, and to look at the way that interest is calculated.
There are two types of credit card users, revolving and convenience.
Convenience users pay off the credit card each
He explained that the new credit card laws require more legible information and make it easier to compare fees.
The state treasurer recommended to the high school students to only have one credit card, get student loans for tuition, think about wants versus needs, pay more than the minimum monthly payment, and to manage their funds.
He told the students that they are responsible for their own finances, and that if they are irresponsible, there could be consequences such as denial of credit, higher interest rates or difficulty renting an apartment.
Estes warned the students of identity theft. Signs of identity theft are:
•Credit cards or statements coming that are not requested.
•Statements not received.
•Denial of credit.
Estes also spoke to the fifth and sixth grades at Ellinwood Grade School about savings. He encouraged the students to pay themselves first by saving.
He also encouraged the students to think about their needs versus wants.
Lynda Jamison, marketing director for Sunflower Bank explained the reason why the bank brought Estes to Ellinwood. He was brought as a part of the Community Ambassador program to provide information on basic finance, said Jamison. The Community Ambassador program provides a speaker once a month in the high school to teach information on finance, to teach about the community, and to encourage students to come back to Barton County to make this their home.
As a part of the program, the students will build a business plan. The bank will judge the plan in the spring and provide some scholarships.month and are concerned about the interest rate. Revolving users can build up a balance.