SelfScore Visits Students at UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business Part 2

(Photo: Vinni Bala, SelfScore’s Chief Credit Officer, and to his left Consumer Behavior Professor Bill Fanning, take a picture with the two student groups who had the best final presentations)


Earlier this summer, our Chief Credit Officer Vinni Bala met with Professor Bill Fanning’s Consumer Behavior class. SelfScore is partnering with Professor Fanning on the class’s final project where students are conducting market research to better understand the needs, interests, and attitudes of college students when it comes to credit. The research was both insightful and compelling. Here’s a recap of what they discovered.

Students Are Financially Optimistic

As a part of their project, one group filmed several students sharing their thoughts on their current financial situation and their future. Many students were strapped-for-money. A majority of students had credit cards, but expressed confusion or a lack of knowledge on personal finance. Interestingly, many students weren’t taking measurable action to increase their wealth or financial knowledge today, yet they were very excited for their future. Nine out of ten college students were confident that their finances will be in a better shape after graduation.

Foreigners to the World of Finance

All of the groups had the same finding: students didn’t know very much about the different financial institutions or resources. Many students who were surveyed thought that a credit card provider like SelfScore and a credit network like Mastercard were the same type of organization. Most students pointed to their parents as their resource for credit education. The rest admitted that they didn’t know where to find resources.

Millennials Want Rewards

One thing that students know about credit cards is that they provide rewards and cashback. Many students, in fact, cited these incentives as their sole reason for owning a credit card. The students who were excited about credit wanted to gamify it by avoiding debt and maximizing their benefits.

Personal Finance Is Not That Exciting, But Important

Many students had a credit card because their parents told them to have one. Most of the students ended up using the same credit card provider as their parents. While personal finance isn’t the subject of many conversation between their friends, students understand the importance of owning a credit card from their parents.

Their financial situation isn’t of urgency to students. Many students who were surveyed by the consumer behavior class did not have any financial goals. They claimed that they will pay more attention to their personal finances after college and once they start working.

Credit Described in One Word

One group had interesting results from their interviews with several students. When asked to describe credit in one word, several students immediately responded with “score.” The remaining replies were negative, using words like “bad,” “capitalism,” and “debt” to describe credit.

They were then asked: “whether a credit card good or bad.” Surprisingly, most of the candidates said that credit is neither good nor bad. It depends on how aware you are of your personal finances. While credit can spark negative feelings immediately, students know that credit is important and must be used responsibly.

Great Findings with Two Winning Presentations

Among the ten student groups that presented their finding, two were chosen for their insight and presentation. The students brought up many interesting insights to the table. We’d like to take this time to thank Professor Fanning and his class for having SelfScore as part of their final presentation.