Rose Bowl Tickets Priciest Ever; MSU Credit Union Offers Loans

By Christy Strawser, digital director

EAST LANSING (CBS Detroit) It would probably be questionable in Finance 101, but a credit union that caters to students, staff and others near Michigan State University is offering an unusual solution to those who want to attend what could be the most expensive Rose Bowl in history.

Take out a loan.

As prices hover near $900 a seat for the game — Forbes is predicting fans are going to pay more to see Michigan State in this Rose Bowl than they’ve ever paid before.

Enter the credit union, which is offering Rose Bowl loans at a minimum of $1,000, with an interest rate of 6.9 percent. Billed as costing “less than typical credit card loans,” it has to be paid off in 18 months.

The criteria for approval is the same as any other loan, the credit union says.

“MSUFCU has offered the Bowl Loan to members for many years now to provide an affordable option to help cover the costs associated with traveling to bowl games, and we’re excited to help our fellow Spartan fans looking to go to the upcoming Rose Bowl game,” said Patrick McPharlin, president and CEO of MSU Federal Credit Union.

“When evaluating these Bowl Loan requests, like any loan requests we receive, we always ensure our members have the ability to repay the loans and stay financially responsible; that’s always a top priority.”

The company’s slogan is “we’ve got your best interest” at heart — but when it comes to giving loans like this to students, Murray Feldman, WWJ financial analyst, says that may not be the case.

CNN Money reported earlier this month average student loan debt for a new college graduate is $29,400.

“It’s teaching them if they can’t afford something they can borrow, borrow borrow … It’s not a good lesson,” Feldman said. “You are teaching students if they can’t afford something, they should borrow money for it. Many financial planners will tell you if you can’t afford it, don’t go into debt, especially at two times or better what the bank will pay you for that money.”

He added: “I think it’s a great money making opportunity for somebody, but I’m not sure it’s worth the price of admission.”

National financial planner Peter Dunn knows how he feels about it.

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