As I do several times a year, I’m on the campus of one of our local universities (NNU = Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa ID) promoting financial literacy and financial education among the student body. Besides the popular Debt Reduction Services Inc Bobble Head Pens and Smartphone Stands, I’m giving away booklets, CD-ROMs, and brochures on budgeting, developing effective spending behaviors, building credit wisely (or not getting credit PERIOD in college), and paying down and staying out of consumer debt.
What’s the best financial advice you received before heading off to college or before heading out on your own? Did it have to do with budgeting? Banking? Credit? How has it affected your life?
Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve heard or come up with:
*It’s better to graduate with no credit history than with a lousy credit history. (see note below)
* Go to college to earn course credit, not get buried in consumer debt.
*Being indebted to our Alma Mater is expected. Being indebted to our credit card company while still in college plain stinks!
In my opinion, too many parents encourage their college-aged children to get a credit card or two in order to start building credit. WHY? The average college student already graduates with about $4,000 in credit card debt in addition to the $27,000 of student loan debt they incur before getting their bachelors.
Yes, employers, property managers, and even car insurance companies are looking at our credit, but if I were an employer, I’d rather see an applicant with a clean (empty) credit report than one with collections, overdue car loans, and maxed out credit card accounts. Why (again)? Because the job applicant with collections and credit card debt will be spending way too much time at work dealing with the personal and financial fall out of their debt situation than will the applicant with not consumer debt.
Let me hear from you. Share your comments about good financial advice you received when heading off on your own. Thank you in advance!