College Seniors + Graduation = Debt

February 18, 2008


Graduating or just surviving those remaining upper-division courses is probably on every senior’s mind just about now. The joy of being almost done, of all-nighters paying off, and the anxiety to join the real world and “get on with life” flood in at overwhelming speeds.

But when you graduate, where will you be financially? Have you been saving up money or spending it all on books, booze & tuition? With graduation does come a little nest egg of money from family and relatives, but be sure not to squander all that away and start thinking longer term! No, this is not a sponsored post where we’ll be promoting some great savings account for college grads or money management program. Rather we’ll just provide a few quick and dirty tips in hopes that your account balances don’t go negative and you’ll be on your way to a successful career soon.

Forbes.com recently published an interesting article about 5 kids who built up businesses and each made a million-dollars before even turning 20. Give a read to these young entrepreneurs!

Our advice for graduating seniors:

1. Know when your student loan payments begin!

Most student loans have a grace period of 6 months, but not all. Double check to see what kind of payments will be required and when they start. We’re sorry to be downers, but unless you are one of the lucky few college students who did not need to take out loans, you’re already in debt. Hit these payments hard and fast and get out without paying ridiculous amounts of interest. Not to mention, if you’re planning on going to law school or med school, you want to get these loans off your shoulders or at least under control.

2. Move home after graduating!

Assuming this is an option and you do not abhor your parents with every muscle in your body, consider moving home.
In doing so, you save so much money, which can be used to save up for that new car, pay off student loans, buy new clothes, or get those new gadgets you wanted. The costs of living by yourself has increased so much and in this recession like economy, it’s somewhat dangerous to take on so many monthly expenses straight out of college. By living at home, you do not have to pay the ridiculous security deposits, monthly rent, utility bills, internet bills, laundry, and food! You save upwards of $1,000 a month.

And yes, parents can cramp your style a little… but they love you.

3. Open an online savings account

The interest rates you get from online banks such as ING Direct or Emmigrant Direct almost triple those you get at your average Wells Fargo or WaMu.  Look into opening an account at a credible FDIC insured bank and start building up interest for your savings (or future savings).  Also, you should check with your current bank to make see if you will be charged any additional monthly fees (if you signed up for a college savings account, you may be charged monthly fees upon graduating).

4. Start your job hunt now

“99% of everything done in the world, good or bad, is done to pay a mortgage.  Perhaps the world would be a better place if everyone rented.” – Thank You for Smoking – Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart)

If you have not already begun, start your job hunt now!  See our recent post on 5 Ways You Can Stand Out From Other Graduating College Seniors

Have some tips for us or other seniors and would like to share?  Comment below!

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