Top Financial Tips for College Students (and Parents!)
Get ready to make the college years a success by organizing your finances and establishing goals.
College is more than writing papers, pulling the occasional all-nighter and hanging out with good friends. It’s also an exciting leap forward toward greater independence and self-reliance as an adult.
At UW Credit Union, we’re here to help students and parents alike prepare for the big educational adventure ahead, especially when it comes to developing budget-savvy habits.
That’s why we encourage college students and their parents to work together and follow these tips for financial success. Think of it as a Financial Wellness 101 group study project!
- Create a budget or spending plan
- Talk about true living costs and financial needs in college
- Identify who is paying for what
- Discuss smart choices for spending on fun activities
- Learn how to use credit wisely
- Explore student-oriented financial products and services
- Discuss credit scores and research positive credit practices (e.g., making on-time payments, etc.)
- Take ownership of student loans
- Understand the FAFSA process and disbursement schedule
- Learn about loan options, terminology, and how student loans work
- Determine if repayments start during college or after graduation
- Protect personal information
- Monitor financial accounts for unauthorized activity
- Learn how to keep credit and debit cards, passwords, etc., secure
- Understand identity theft and how to avoid it
- Identify financial services that fit specific needs
- Learn about checking and savings account options
- Explore ATM fees, minimum balances and special features
- Identify how to transfer money between accounts and financial institutions
Easy, Smart and Stress-Free Options for College Students
Here’s another tip for financial success: Before classes start, it’s a smart move for students to set up their financial accounts ahead of time, ideally before high school graduation, so they’ll hit the ground running.
UW Credit Union offers several hassle-free accounts that are a good fit for college students, whether they’re attending school in Wisconsin or anywhere else in the U.S.
Good luck with the academic journey ahead!