Hi! Welcome back to school. I would like to discuss a few basic tips that will help you start the school year off on the right financial foot.
First, here are a few statistics you should know:
- The average college senior graduates with $4,100 in credit card debt
- 7% of students drop out due to financial pressure
- 84% of students say they need more financial education
Whether you are receiving your monthly credit card statement or your first student loan statement upon graduating, it will be too late to realize you shouldn’t have used student loan funds to go on spring vacation or purchase expensive and unneeded items, such as electronic equipment with your credit card.
So, how do you avoid some of these problems?
- Learn how to budget and stick with it. Learn to control your expenses, especially group activities such as eating out or weekend entertainment.
- Keep an eye on the future. Do you really need that item, or will you be happier next month if you bypass that purchase?
- Credit cards are useful tools in today’s society but use them wisely, don’t use for impulse purchases, and ensure your payments are made on time. Check out the small print; does your interest rate increase exponentially if your payment is late? Do they charge a “transfer fee” for balance transfers?
- Use student loan money wisely and remember that the funds will eventually have to be paid back.
For more information on UKFCU student loans click here http://www.uky.edu/UKFCU/loans/student-lending/ , and here http://www.uky.edu/UKFCU/loans/credit-cards/ for credit cards. Just remember that using these funds wisely will pay dividends in the future.