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How much personal finance do you know?

For the first time, Catawba College is offering a one-hour-credit personal finance course this semester for students led by retired (2002) Catawba College Professor Al Carter and Food Lion co-founder Ralph Ketner. The Post plans to attend the weekly class and share nuggets of the information presented by Carter, Ketner and guest speakers.
By Mark Wineka
mwineka@salisburypost.com
One of the first exercises in the personal finance class was to take a quiz.
Food Lion co-founder Ralph Ketner offered $500 to the student with the best score. Hereís the quiz:
1. The tax for Social Security and Medicare is what percentage of your income?
A) 1 percent
B) 4 percent
C) 5.6 percent
D) 7.65 percent
2. Your employer must provide every full-time employee …
A) Health insurance
B) Disability insurance
C) Two weeks of paid vacation
D) All of the above
E) None of the above
3. FICO (Fair Isaac Corp.) scores can range from …
A) 3-10
B) 300-850
C) 100-1,000
D) 10-100
4. The major factor in your credit score is …
A) Annual income
B) Age
C) Payment history
D) Credit card balance
5. The interest rate on a student loan …
A) Is always 2 percent less than the prime interest rate
B) Can change each year
C) Is usually 1 percent higher than the prime interest rate
D) Is established by the college granting the loan
6. A DWI offense can result in …
A) 12 points on your driving record
B) Suspension of your license
C) All of these
7. In North Carolina, one cannot drive a vehicle without …
A) Liability insurance
B) Collision insurance
C) Under-insurance coverage
D) None of these
8. Your bank account is insured for how much by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.?
A) $50,000
B) $100,000
C) $250,000
D) No limit
9. Your money is backed by …
A) Gold
B) The U.S. government
C) Federal Reserve
D) Stock Market Reserve
10. When you rent, loss of your personal items is covered by …
A) The landlord, since he owns the property
B) By the insurance required of all landlords
C) Your insurance, which is required of all tenants
D) None of these
When the test was over and Carter judged that a student in the front row had aced it, he threw her a plastic bag filled with the shredded remains of $500 in bills ó the way the Treasury Department gets rid of old money.
ěAll you have to do is glue it back together,î said Ketner, always the prankster.
Carter spent much of the first class asking the eight students what topics they would like to cover. Subjects on the syllabus include budgeting, credit, banking, insurance, automobiles, renting, owning a home, student loans, job interviewing, resumes, taxes and investments.
Carter touched on several credit issues and advised the following:
Develop a relationship with your banker and insurance agent.
Establish a credit history and realize your credit score is important. Obtain your free annual credit report from AnnualCreditReport. com.
Donít think that cutting up a credit card means that its credit line no longer appears on or affects your credit report.
Ketner, a famous whiz at numbers, told a story that made everyone feel better.
Two weeks after he had been appointed to the board of trustees for the old Security Bank and Trust, Ketner realized he had bounced a personal check. A sheepish bank employee called to inform him of his error, and Ketner saw his opportunity to have a little fun.
ěI would not have come on your board if I didnít think the bank could cover my check,î Ketner said.
He added that sometimes the best defense is a good offense.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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