Tips for Students

What you don’t know can hurt you.

Students may be knowledgeable and expert in many areas, but lack knowledge about financial matters is very common. The following tips should help students avoid many of the pitfalls that exist out there.

Understand the Contract

There is no way to make an informed choice without knowing what you are choosing between. Credit card agreements are the source of the information that you need to compare credit cards. Also, the credit card agreement is a contract. You can’t keep up your end of the bargain unless you know what you are required to do. The bottom line is that to be responsible, you have to read the contract.

If you are borrowing it, it is not income.

You may be tempted as a student to count your student loan income as real income in order to qualify for a credit card. Don’t. Doing so simply allows you to pile debt upon debt–a practice that can and will destroy the foundation of your financial future.

Do not co-sign for anything that you do not want to pay off.

Co-signing seems like such a simple thing. You just sign a piece of paper and your best friend or significant other can not be accepted where they would have been declined. But like in the mob movies, if you vouch for someone, you are on the hook for them. Co-signing is a great way to lose a friend and destroy your own credit.

Understand your costs

Whether it is the interest rate or the fees, understand the costs that you are going to be paying. You can’t evaluate whether or not credit make sense for you if you do not understand the amount owed.

Know Your Balance, Not Your Payment

For many, they only keep in mind the amount they owe on credit cards by considering the amount of their monthly payment. A better approach is to know and always remember your balance. While servicing your debt is important, thinking about things in terms of the payments is a good way to keep you paying off debt for a long time.