L-R: Jonah Chininga and Daniel Ohaegbu (Photo Credits: Yakosu Umana)
Like most students, Jonah Chininga and Daniel Ohaegbu had little to no knowledge of financial wellness while at school.
Today, they work towards making sure students across PEI don’t go through their struggles.
Jonah Chininga is the founder and CEO of a financial planning service called MICC Financial.
He said he wished he had advocacy on financial wellness
“It would have made the whole picture different,” Chininga said.
“When I came to Canada, I didn’t think credit was important.”
Daniel Ohaegbu, the marketing and communications officer for MICC Financial, agrees with Chininga.
“We started this (MICC Financial) out of shared experiences,” Ohaegbu said.
He said there are barely any financial services offered to international students, which they both saw first hand as international students, leaving a good number of them underfunded.
“As an international student, you don’t have access to credit. We are kind of left to the cracks.”
Financial wellness is the ability to manage finances well or deal with a potential financial crisis.
A good number of people aren’t aware of the services which can aid their financial wellbeing, Chininga said.
“Some people aren’t aware of the financial products available to them and they end using products that can have a negative impact on them.”
Most students lack adequate knowledge on how some financial services work, Chininga said.
“A lot of students make minimum payments towards their credit cards. When you’re making minimum payments, you end up paying more interest.”
As for international students, some make risky decisions using payday lenders, Chininga said.
“When they’re in a financial problem, they may use payday lenders which charge very high-interest rates.”
Ohaegbu said it’s crucial for students to understand financial wellness.
“It’s important because it reflects on your whole life,” he said.
“If you have bad financial habits it affects your wellbeing.”
Having a financial planning service is helpful towards financial wellness, Ohaegbu said.
“Having a platform or tool that keeps people accountable for their finances goes a long way for a lot of people.”
Chininga and Ohaegbu were recently ranked amongst the top under 30 (years of age) innovators by the Atlantic Business Magazine.
The recognition is motivating, Chininga said.
“It’s good boosting confidence for the work we are doing. It is inspiring.”
As for Ohaegbu, he is thankful for everyone who’s helped him receive such recognition.
“I’m grateful to God, I’m grateful to my team, I’m grateful to Jonah, and the community.”
In Canada, November is recognized as Financial literacy month. This year marks its 10th anniversary.
MICC Financial plan to host an online event on Wednesday, November 18th called ‘Financial Wellness 101’.