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HCC to Host Credit for Life Event on April 16

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College will host a Credit for Life event on Thursday, April 16, starting at 8:30 a.m. in the college’s Bartley Center.

Credit for Life is a national, award-winning program for high-school students that was developed in response to the growing need for young people to understand the importance of financial literacy and to see the impact their financial choices and decisions have on the major aspects of their lives. Among high-school teens, only 51% know how to write a check, fewer than 29% know how credit-card fees work, and fewer than 34% can balance a checkbook.

An orientation session for the students is held prior to the fair. Basic financial-literacy information is presented to the students, after which they will choose a potential career from more than 75 career options. Credit for Life committee members take these choices and create a financial profile of their salary, tax deductions, student-loan payments, savings, and credit-card debt at age 25. They then must make financial decisions: live alone or with a roommate, buy or lease a vehicle, purchase furniture, save for retirement, etc. Students see how one financial choice impacts every other choice they make, especially on a budget. The goal is to reach more than 1,000 students this year.

This year’s fair sponsors include PeoplesBank, Chicopee Savings Bank, Freedom Credit Union, Honda Financial, Westfield Bank, Holyoke Gas & Electric, Nick’s Nest, Holyoke Machine, Holyoke Medical Center, the Cottage, John Ferriter, Triple A, United Water, Quantum Properties, Valley Green, Holyoke Rotary, E&C Services, and Aubrey, Dixon and Turgeon, just to name a few. The committee looks forward to working with the various high schools — Holyoke, Easthampton, West Springfield, South Hadley, Agawam, and Dean Tech — to continue to offer this experience to students.

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