Financial literacy is the ability to understand and analyze your finances and your financial opportunities, enabling you to participate more fully in the decisions you make by making informed choices. We want our students to have opportunities to be financially literate when they step onto campus, with the goal of producing graduates who are prepared to successfully handle the financial responsibilities of life.
Managing your money is just as important as you leave school as when you were attending. The following tips will help you manage your money so that you can meet your household expenses and keep making on-time loan payments.
- Develop a realistic budget
- Know your student loan rights and responsibilities
- Make the most of your grace period
- Pay the interest that accrues on your loans during periods when you aren't required to make loan payments
- Understand and limit credit card use
Refer to the Direct Loan Exit Counseling Guide for additional Money Management tips.
Here are some free services that can help you gain a stronger understanding including understanding financial aid, loans, debt, costs and managing a budget:
- 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy
360 Degrees of Financial Literacy is a national volunteer effort of the nation's Certified Public Accountants to help Americans understand their personal finances and develop money management skills. It focuses on financial education as a lifelong endeavor-from children learning about the value of money to adults reaching a secure retirement.
- California Debt Relief
California Debt Relief.org's mission is to connect people in debt to experienced relief specialists who can help remove stress, reduce debts and save money.
- Educational Credit Management Corporation: Financial Awareness Basics
An excellent online tool, resource and financial calculator, the interactive Web site helps users discover ways to pay for college costs, learn how to make informed financial decisions and maintain a healthy balance between academics and campus life.
- Get Rich Slowly
Get Rich Slowly was recently named the most inspired financial blog by Money magazine and is devoted to personal finance. The author shares stories about debt elimination, saving money and practical investing. Readers will also find links to personal finance tools, articles, book reviews and software.
A free website which explains how student loan repayment works, including calculators which explain in-depth how different repayment plans can impact your monthly payments and your total loan debt.
- U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission
MyMoney.gov is dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401k, the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you do it better. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 federal agencies government wide.