Top Financial Tips for College Students (and Parents!)

As students and parents alike prepare for the big educational adventure ahead, we encourage them to work together and follow these tips for financial success. 

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!

  1. 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
  1. 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.)
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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!