Queen’s students are finance podcasters for change

Commerce students discuss debt, credit scores, more 

The podcast was started by two Queen’s commerce students.
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Journal File Photo

A group of five undergraduate students say financial literacy is lacking and have started a podcast to remedy it.

The XtraCredit podcast is spearheaded by Robert Baluta, Comm ’21, and Emily Liang, Comm ‘20, and was created in collaboration with Queen’s Seminar on Financial Literacy (QSFL) and Students Against Poverty (SAP).

It provides 10-minute crash courses on topics such as credit scores, practicing investment options, and tips on managing student debt and expenses. Meanwhile, Queen’s Pennydrop.org Chapter, a non-profit financial literacy mentorship program, supports the project with educational resources to compliment podcast material.

“We organized a seminar last year and wanted to make the knowledge more easily accessible for students,” Liang told The Journal in an interview.

Baluta and Liang said financial literacy impacts people every single day—particularly students who are generating student debt. The podcasters pointed to a Statistics Canada report that for every dollar made, the average Canadian owes $1.78 in debt.

In recent years, the Ontario government launched initiatives to tackle financial literacy in high school curriculums, but there’s more work to be done, according to the group.

There’s a lack of financial literacy skills, and people may be placed in difficult situations when asking friends about student loans or credit score, the podcasters said. XtraCredit hopes to fill the gap in students’ understanding of financial literacy.

Liang said the name of the podcast is a play on words for gaining extra credit and pocketing change.

“A lot of people don’t know how big of a difference starting early with finances can make and we want people to know there’s a lot to benefit and it doesn’t take that much effort,” Baluta said. “The payoff in the end gets bigger the earlier you start. It's important to know these things from a young age so you do not make any mistakes that could affect you later.”

Financial literacy is comparable to taking care of one’s physical well-being, according to the creators.

“We know that finances are a burden for many students, so our hope is that with these podcasts, students feel more comfortable dealing with finances and become less stressed,” Baluta said.

XtraCredit currently has one podcast on credit scores that can be accessed, while QSFL is set to organize a seminar on financial literacy in March.

The podcast is available to everyone on SoundCloud through the handle @XtraCredit.

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