A young adult beginning college comes with lots of new things. There will be new classes, new living quarters, new friends, and new expenses. There will be new financial scenarios that come up.
Learning how to navigate their financial lives can help set up young adults to hopefully avoid financial hardships such as bankruptcy. USA Today provides a few tips about what college students need to know in order to build a solid basis of financial safety:
Credit score of your own
Maybe this is your first time living apart from your mom and dad. Maybe your parents have financially supported you up until now. They might have even taken out their own loans to get you into college. You parents have afforded many aspects of your life because of their credit scores.
You are a grown-up now. If you have not yet established credit, it is about time to do so — and the temptation to open up a line of credit will be there. Knowing your credit score and wisely establishing a credit score is actually a healthy move. An established and strong credit score will open up doors for you, such as ownership of a home, vehicle, etc.
Credit card of your own
Credit card companies notoriously target college students with attempts to get them to apply for their cards. Depending on the student, getting and using a credit card can be a positive decision. If you are a student who is considering whether to apply for and use a new credit card, think honestly about how responsible you are. Also, think about whether you will realistically be able to pay the monthly bills on time.
If you know yourself and can predict you would be late in paying your credit card bills, avoid getting wrapped up in that credit card quicksand. Maybe work on your discipline and on earning more money until you believe you will be able and responsible enough to pay credit card bills on time.
We will continue this discussion in our next post. Healthy financial habits are fostered early on. Even someone with healthy spending habits, however, can be derailed by life’s surprises. If you are at a loss about how to make ends meet from day to day and maybe even afraid of losing your home, reach out to a bankruptcy attorney who can try to protect you and your family.