Smart Money Tips for College Freshmen from your Credit Union.
Banking where your parents do is a good thing. Linking your accounts allows your parents to help you out with cash now and then even though you’ve got your own account. Nationwide free ATM networks and online/mobile banking from your phone means that you won’t need to worry about relocating your banking when you leave for college or return home. Click here to get information about ESCU’s free Student Checking.
Avoid the checking account offers on campus.
Everyone needs a good universally-accepted credit card, but the offers you get on campus won’t be the kinds of cards you’ll want for the long-term. They’re created to take advantage of you with fees and high interest rates. A smarter choice is the fixed-rate Visa from ESCU. Your card will be protected from higher rates that cost money. Focus on making one or two small transactions on your card each month and pay the entire balance off monthly. Don’t rely on your card for daily spending and you’ll leave college without the burden of credit card debt.
Keep your student debt to a minimum.
Student loans might be necessary even if you have scholarships and grants. There are plenty of good options for student loans including your credit union. Check the options for beginning to make small payments now instead of deferring them until graduation. You’ll save thousands in the long run on your loans. See ESCU’s Student Loan options through Sallie Mae Bank here.
Take advantage of financial technology.
Using text alerts form your online banking helps you keep tabs on your balance daily, which means you can avoid any interruptions to your cash flow. Mobile Deposits lets you deposit any paper checks you get free from your mobile device at your credit union. Use the credit union’s Mobile App to give you shortcuts to your accounts. Mobile Banking, Mobile Deposit and Bill Payment are all there, along with search tools to help you find a free ATM near you or a credit union nearby that shares branches with ESCU. Check out the shared branches and ATMs in your college town available to you free.
Be financially realistic.
Your friends may appear to have more money than you. Don’t be tempted to keep up with others financially. Set your monthly spending goals and check in with them occasionally to make sure you’re on track. Your credit history may be part of a future employer’s background check and your financial responsibility now may help you step ahead of others when you’re looking to start your career.