Financial Literacy for College Students
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - It’s that time of year again...when students of all ages head back to school and begin racking up the expenses. NewsSource 8′s Sherry Karabin spoke with a certified credit union financial counselor at UMPI to get some tips on how those starting or returning to college can stop the immediate bleed and prepare for their future.
Jennifer Deschene, UCU Community Engagement Manager, University of Maine in Presque Isle “We have inflation that’s happening right now so we’re seeing a lot of higher-priced items so it’s a good time for people to maybe start thinking about what they can eliminate.”
And as certified credit union financial counselor Jennifer Deschene explains that advice is particularly relevant for those who have children heading back to school.
The National Retail Federation expects families to spend an average of $864 on supplies and other expenses this year and college students will average about $2,000. Thirty-eight percent of consumers say they’re cutting back in other areas to cover the costs.
Deschene, who serves as University Credit Union’s Community Engagement Manager at the University of Maine in Presque Isle says for parents and guardians of college students the new year not only involves upfront expenses, but unpredictable ones as well.
Jennifer Deschene, UCU Community Engagement Manager, University of Maine in Presque Isle “Students may have a vehicle while they are at college, they might run into car troubles, so that’s an added expense.”
One of Deschene’s main roles at the school is to provide the financial literacy education that some students may not have had before. In fact, she says college is the perfect time for young people to take charge of their financial lives by learning how to create a budget and minimize debt.
Jennifer Deschene, UCU Community Engagement Manager, University of Maine in Presque Isle “I often go into the classrooms here at the university and talk about what the tuition bills look like and we talk about you know applying for the FASFA early on so that they may qualify for those loans and all of the funding that they can early on so that they don’t necessarily have to take out private loans, which you know the rates can be a little higher on those.”
Deschene says college is the best time for students to begin establishing credit, especially if they don’t have access to a qualified co-signor.
Jennifer Deschene, UCU Community Engagement Manager, University of Maine in Presque Isle “There may be things that arise as a college student or shortly after graduation where they may need to rent an apartment, oftentimes credit is pulled, they may need to go on their own cellphone plan, oftentimes credit is pulled for that and so if they can and start establishing credit at an early age they’re going to be better off.”
Interestingly, Deschene says credit cards can go a long way toward achieving that goal...as long as they’re used properly.
Jennifer Deschene, UCU Community Engagement Manager, University of Maine in Presque Isle “Maybe make a purchase at the gas pump or make a small purchase but pay it off the next month and try to not carry balances from month to month.”
This is Sherry Karabin reporting for NewsSource 8.
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