Brad BarnettBrad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business. He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health. He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University. Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University. Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees. In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.” Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college. He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.
Host: How do I know, if I m taking out too much loan money or if I need any at all?
Brad Barnett: The only way you are going to know if you need loan money is to sit down and do a budget. You want to look at your income minus your expenses. If your expenses are more than your income, well, then you are in trouble, then you probably need some additional assistance. A loan is certainly something that could help you. But, before you do that I would encourage you to look at your expenses again and see if there are some things that you can eliminate, because if you can eliminate some of your expenses or minimize them, then you don t need some additional income from a loan or see if you getting a part time job in the summer or during off periods to earn some additional money to reduce the amount of loans that you have to take out. The bottom line is if you really do a good quality budget and if you find out you do need loans then you won t end up taking out more loan money than is necessary.