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: Should I take out a loan, or get a credit card to help me pay for expenses?
Brad Barnett: Well, the Loan versus credit card issue, I mean, my advice is if you can avoid both of them, then do. Make a good budget and hopefully you won t have to take out any kind of debt. But if it comes down to one or the other, loan debt, student loan debt, it's typically considered better debt than credit cards. It's factored better in on the credit reports, there maybe some provisions for you to actually write off some of the interest on student loans, when you pay your taxes and there are also caps on what the interest rate can be as well as repayment affirming cancellation provisions. With credit cards that s not the case and it's so easy for students to get in trouble with credit cards. So, if comes down to one or the other, students loans would certainly more advantageous than having a credit card.