Home
A student talks during class.

Financial Aid - Financial Tips

We have years of experience (we don’t need to say exactly how many) advising students on paying for college. Here are few things we tend to tell them.

GradReady

GradReady is an interactive online program that offers critical knowledge to build lifelong financial wellness skills for students.

  • Budgeting
  • Credit and Financial Safety
  • Education Loans
    • Separate your expenses into wants vs. needs and prioritize your spending to meet your needs first.
    • Make sure you are saving some funds from your income each month. Work that into your budget as a need.
    • Use an online money management tool such as Mint or Buxfer to help you keep track of your budget.
    • Don’t spend more than you have. A credit card can be a powerful tool but use it wisely.
    • Poor credit can limit your ability to borrow in the future and makes borrowing more expensive.
    • You can request your credit report for free once per year at annualcreditreport.com.
    • Use your credit report to help monitor for any potential identity theft. More information can be found at identitytheft.gov.
    • Be cautious of debt relief companies. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
    • Look to borrow Federal Direct Student Loans first before adding private or parent loans.
    • Try to limit total borrowing so that your monthly student loan payment does not exceed more than 10-15% of your total monthly income after you graduate.
    • The Department of Education offers great information on total federal loan borrowing, repayment options, and loan consolidation.

    Budgeting

    • Separate your expenses into wants vs. needs and prioritize your spending to meet your needs first.
    • Make sure you are saving some funds from your income each month. Work that into your budget as a need.
    • Use an online money management tool such as Mint or Buxfer to help you keep track of your budget.

    Credit and Financial Safety

    • Don’t spend more than you have. A credit card can be a powerful tool but use it wisely.
    • Poor credit can limit your ability to borrow in the future and makes borrowing more expensive.
    • You can request your credit report for free once per year at annualcreditreport.com.
    • Use your credit report to help monitor for any potential identity theft. More information can be found at identitytheft.gov.
    • Be cautious of debt relief companies. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

    Education Loans

    • Look to borrow Federal Direct Student Loans first before adding private or parent loans.
    • Try to limit total borrowing so that your monthly student loan payment does not exceed more than 10-15% of your total monthly income after you graduate.
    • The Department of Education offers great information on total federal loan borrowing, repayment options, and loan consolidation.