The Path to Financial Freedom
It is essential for students to develop financial literacy skills. Decisions made before and during college will have a major impact on your future. Before making financial decisions, it is important to educate yourself. Provided below are a variety of resources aimed at helping students make informed financial decisions.
1) Apply for financial aid to determine whether you qualify for help paying for college.
2) Monitor your student loans, avoid borrowing more money than you actually need, and know which repayment option is the best fit for you.
3) Establish, build your credit, and monitor it regularly. In today’s society, having good credit is essential if you ever plan to purchase a new home or car.
- Obtain 1 free annual credit report every 12 months from each of the nationwide credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
- If you have old debts, contact your creditors and inquire about the possibility of setting up payment plans.
- If you need to establish credit, consider obtaining a secured credit card. Educate yourself about secured credit card scams before choosing this option.
- Pay bills on time. Late payments can have a detrimental effect on your credit score. Organize due dates by creating a bill schedule.
4) Educate yourself about credit cards.
5) Budget your money. Not budgeting is one of the top mistakes college students make.
- Spend your financial aid refund wisely. Open a checking or savings account so you do not have large sums of cash at your disposal.
- To help manage your money, use the budget-by-semester tool to plan for 1 term or the student budget tool to plan for an entire academic year.
- Take advantage of student discounts, which many area businesses offer.
6) Guard your personal information in order to minimize the possibility of having your identity stolen.
7) Identify ways to reduce spending and save whenever possible.
8) Avoid payday loans, which are known to have extremely high interest rates, rent-to-own centers, pawnshops, and check cashing stores.
9) Graduate from college.