To view the video clip for this story, go to THIS LINK
College Students Learn ABCs Of House Buying
By: Monica Brown
March 5, 2009
At Wagner College, college students are learning the basics of home buying and good credit. NY1 ‘s Monica Brown filed the following report.
Most students in Wagner College in Grymes Hill, Staten Island are years away from buying their first homes. But Wagner wants its students to learn all about the process.
The school teamed up with Neighborhood Housing Services of Staten Island, a non-profit group that helps homebuyers navigate the purchase process while averting foreclosure, to teach the young adults about buying houses.
“They’ll be looking at their credit reports during this class, some of them might get some surprises,” says NHS of S.I. Executive Director Claire Dumas. “And what’s fortunate is that this is early enough where they can do something about it and be more conscientious as they use credit in the future, knowing the effect it can have on their lives later on when they want to make important financial decisions.”
In the real estate investment class, students learn from an NHS manager about everything from budgeting and saving money for a purchase, to making an offer on a house, to the basics of inspections and homeowners’ insurance.
For some students, the real lesson learned was that a credit report can haunt you for years, affecting your ability to get a mortgage with reasonable rates.
“Nobody teaches you those things, especially not the credit card companies, so if it’s something you can learn in the classroom, all the better,” says junior Viana Cangelosi.
“I’m not too sure what my credit score is right now. I mean, I had a heyday last year with my credit card,” says senior Fred Nouvertne.
For sophomore Maria DeSantis, it’s all about establishing a credit score, where she currently has none.
“It was really interesting to see that, even at the age of 20, I should start building my credit score,” she says. “I hadn’t really thought about it, and to potentially buy a house in the future, it’d be important to start building it now.”
Dumas says knowledge is power, and a little education might even go a long way toward stemming the tide of foreclosures sweeping through the borough.
NHS officials say their partnership with Wagner College will extend to a foreclosure prevention forum in April.