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What is Financial Literacy and why does it matter?
It is widely believed that lack of financial literacy in our society was a major factor in the recent financial crisis. Financial literacy in today's world is almost as important as learning to read and write and one could argue that a student's credit history is far more important to his or her future than grade point average. Yet most students come to college ill-prepared to manage their money. HigherOne.com
- Knowledge is Freedom
Seventy percent of parents teach their teens how to do laundry. Yet, only 29 percent talk to them about credit card fees and how interest works. When asked, students said they want to learn about personal finances. They want to know how to balance a check book, create a budget and avoid debt. Inceptia.org
- Student Loan Tips and Tricks
There are a few points of caution to keep in mind if you are pursuing student loans. You may be approached by official-sounding organizations offering guaranteed loans or consolidation services, but ensure they are legitimate before responding or providing any information. Advance fee loan scams require upfront payment for loans that never materialize. A good rule of thumb is that you should never have to pay money to get money.
Private loans may be a necessity, but be sure to exhaust all available federal funding first. Filling out the FAFSA early will improve your chances of receiving federal loans. Student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, so you never want to take out more then you will be able to repay. Loan calculators are available to help you understand exactly what you obligation will be after graduation. Knowing your obligation is a huge step towards successfully managing your personal finances.
Additionally, there are other benefits to student loans. Consistent payments on installment loans quickly establishes a track record of good credit. Also, interest paid on student loans is deductible from your federal taxes. Student loans enable millions to earn college degrees, providing job opportunities and $1.2 million in additional income when compared to the earning potential of non-graduates. Armed with the basics presented here, you have taken the first step in financing your education. Leave the stress for finals week. nerdwallet.com
- Scholarship and Grant Tips and Tricks
Because grants and scholarships are "free money," they are often the targets for scammers. A good rule of thumb is: If you have to pay money to get money, it is likely a scam. You should never have to pay in advance or provide sensitive banking information to apply or receive an award. Simple online searches can provide all the financial aid information you need, so be wary of "free" financial aid seminars that are often disguised sales pitches. If you are headed to college, I assume you are already a competent Googler.
Financial aid is a great way to reduce the overall expenses of college, and your search for funds does not have to stop once you start school. So buck the trends of rising student debt, and go get that money! nerdwallet.com
- Veterans Students' eBenefits Portal
eBenefits is a portal for veterans, service members, and their families to research, find access and manage their benefits and personal information. It offers students a personalized 'Dashboard' that provides quick access to eBenefits tools. Students can apply for benefits, download DD 214s, view your benefit status, check Post-9/11 GI Bill entitlement and check enrollment status.
- Budgeting Calculators
Custom calculators can help determine what your school costs will be, how much you should plan to save, and how much aid you will need. finaid.org
YoBucko is a site with a free app that is a personal finance guide that equips young adults with the knowledge and tools needed for financial success. With their mission being to help you live a wealthier life, YoBucko is great resource that is worth checking out.
Financial planning can be tough. College Reality Check's website offers valuable information that can assist you with the planning process. It digs deeper to give you below the surface information about the kind of costs beyond the net price students can expect, and questions to consider such as, 'Will I make enough to repay my debt?" Visit www.collegerealitycheck.com for further information.