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Training and Education Command

United States Marine Corps
NFCU manager gives financial management tips to Depot personnel

By Cpl. Jennifer Brofer | | February 13, 2003

MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- Whether paying bills, buying a car or applying for a loan, Bill Knepp, manager for Navy Federal Credit Union, has the knowledge and experience that can help anyone escape the burdens of debt and get on the road to financial freedom.

Knepp, a 21-year Marine veteran, has been spreading his knowledge about financial management to Marines and sailors for the past 18 years, most recently during a professional military education session held at the Depot Chapel Feb. 4.

Knepp's one hour and 30 minute class, which can be scheduled upon request, teaches consumers how to understand compound and simple interest, identity theft, revolving credit, as well as how to identify scams on the Internet and through telephone sales.

Knepp, who also teaches his class to Corporal's School students aboard the Air Station, said he developed the class based on his own life experiences to help service members gain a basic knowledge of finances in order to avoid financial "hiccups," as well as for senior enlisted personnel to pass on the information to troops.

"When I started on the job, I saw a lot of young Marines and sailors with 23 percent car loans and excessive credit, so I developed a class to try and assist people before they get into problems," he said.

According to Knepp, the biggest financial mistake consumers make is failing to read the paperwork before signing a document, or being too embarrassed to ask the right questions. The information he teaches in his class can help them avoid making some costly mistakes.

"My class teaches how to recognize gimmicks or pitfalls in the financial world, what actions to take when these actions take place and where to go for assistance," said Knepp. "Most people don't know they can go to the legal office and to the service center to help them take care of situations."

Unlike classes that some may find monotonous, Knepp uses a humorous approach to relay important information and grasp the audience's attention.

"I hope they remember one of those crazy things I did," said Knepp. "If that triggers a response when they enter a financial situation, then good."

Aside from his comprehensive financial management class, Knepp said he can also tailor specific classes to meet different needs, such as establishing credit and credit bureau reports. He also offers free individual budget and financial counseling, which can be scheduled upon request.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Marsia Cassotta, a dental technician for the Depot Naval Dental Center, who attended Knepp's most recent class said, "the class I went to was really entertaining and really informative, and he didn't put people to sleep. He taught us a lot of things about credit cards, and I'm going to use the information he gave me wisely."

To schedule an appointment, or to request a financial management class for your unit, contact Knepp at 525-6300.

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