Managing Your Finances Wisely
- Open a checking and savings account. Don’t overdraw these accounts.
- Make your monthly payments for loans and services on time.
- Create a spending plan to budget for your “wants” as well as your “needs.” Your total expenses should be less than or equal to your total income.
- If things are getting out of control, contact your creditors; seek help from a certified, reputable credit counseling service. A reputable agency will never ask you to skip any payments to your creditors or make a large up-front payment to their organization before they start paying your creditors.
- Start saving now! Create an emergency savings fund equal to three to six months of your normal monthly earnings first.
- Understand that alternative/private student loans have different features than your federal student loans.
- Use credit cards wisely to help establish a solid credit rating and avoid financial problems. Each time you use your credit card, you are borrowing money; if you don’t pay your balance each month, you have to pay a finance charge. Keep copies of all your credit card records and receipts to compare to your monthly statements. Follow up on any errors. Shred or otherwise destroy carbons and receipts before throwing them away.
- Review your credit report, a collection of information about you and your credit history. Request your free credit reports at www.AnnualCreditReport.com annually and review them to ensure the information is accurate. In Southwest Ohio contact Consumer Credit Counseling Service at 1-800-377-2432 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.