Thousands of students pass out from colleges every year. However, several graduates are totally unprepared for efficiently handling credit life once they are out of colleges. If you're a fresh graduate and a financial newbie, then have a look at the article to know about some smart tips that can help you manage your finances like an expert.
Smart tips for the graduates
If you do want to smartly manage your financial life after graduation, then implement the following 5 tips.
1. Change your existing payment plan: If it has become difficult for you to make payments on your existing federal student loan, then ask for an alternative repayment plan. You can even go for extended repayment plan wherein you can pay off the loan in 25 years. As the repayment term is quite long, so the monthly payment amount is less.
2. Make it a habit of paying bills on time: Develop a habit of making timely bill payments once you're in the final year of the college. Don't wait till the last date of the bill. Instead, pay the bill the moment you receive it. This will help you feel free and relaxed.
3. Download your credit reports: Remember, insurance companies, creditors, lenders, landlords and even the employers may start analyzing your credit report very soon. You need to have a clean credit report for this very reason. Download your credit report from annualcreditreport.com. You can view your payment activities on your credit report. If there is anything fishy on your credit report, then contact credit reporting agency without any delay.
4. Have your own credit cards: Perhaps you've been made the authorized user of your dad's credit card to build solid credit history. However, the time has arrived when you should have your own credit card. This will help you build a credit history independently. It may be difficult to qualify for an unsecured credit card at this stage. So, what you can do is, obtain a secured credit card for the time being. It is comparatively easier to qualify for this credit card, as you have to deposit a small amount as security against the card.
You can use this card for doing various financial transactions. Make sure you pay bills on time. You can have a solid credit history within as little as 6 months. Once you have built credit history, tell your dad that you don't need to remain as the authorized user on his credit card.
5. Save money for various expenses: Even if you're leading a frugal lifestyle, try to save money whenever you can. You'll have various expenses just after finishing your college. Remember, the big bad world is waiting for you. You have to be financially prepared to enter into the real world.
You'll need cash for renting an apartment, transportation, paying utility bills, etc. Try to save at least $500 per month. This will help you to build an emergency cushion for your future.
Graduates and under-graduates do make financial mistakes. So chances are high that you may also commit several financial blunders. You may just forget to pay a bill or you may cross your credit limit. Try to learn a lesson from these mistakes. Remember, you might have passed out of the college, but you have to still learn a lot of things. Your real education has just begun.