| ADMISSIONS | Paying for College | Financial Aid | Financial Literacy
Whether you are just starting college or graduate school, or if you are leaving college to start a new career, you will be facing new financial challenges.
According to recent estimates, about 50% of all college students leave college with a diploma and debt of about $17,500, with close to $13,000 in student loans and the remainder on credit cards. The average debt of WSU student loan borrowers who graduated in 2014 was $20,014.According to the Institute for College Access & Success’ College InSight report, 66% of college graduates living in Massachusetts in 2012 had student loan debt. While the average amount of debt was $28,460, WCVB-TV Channel 5 Boston ranked WSU as the 7th least expensive college for tuition and fees in New England, based on a 2014 report published by the U.S. Department of Education. (WCVB used the information to compile a list of the 40 most cost-effective higher education institutions.)
Debt can be expensive. Interest payments on debt work against you. Payments on your debt will affect your future income.
Keep in mind that the value of your Worcester State University education will become a lifelong asset to you. It is not only an asset of monetary value, but also one of how you approach a lifetime of experience and challenges. The development of prudent financial decisions such as how much you borrow or spend while in college and the judicial use of credit cards and checking accounts and other financial management tools will affect how you approach finances and debt management in the years to come.
As the days become shorter, we realize that fall is just around the corner, and so are those back-to-school items. The following are some tips to help you create your own "Back-to-School Spending Plan:"
Source: CCCS Credit Counseling
Many people think that credit cards are "free." In reality, you pay for the use of credit cards in every purchase you make. The merchant providing the service pays the credit card company and charges you in the price of the goods and services you buy (1.5 % to 3% or perhaps more). If you pay your credit balance each month, that is all you pay. If you carry your balance forward, you will also be charged interest of up to 19% or more on your balances. Things to know about credit cards Credit cards can be a very handy tool for students if used correctly. If not, they can become a burden and can cost you a great deal in the interest that you pay the credit card companies. When applying for a credit card, look for the best deal. All credit cards are not the same.
Paying balances in full at the end of each month is the best way to make sure that credit card debt does not get out of hand.Avoid using credit cards to buy things that you could not afford to buy if you did not have one.Even small card limits of $500 to $1,500 can seem enormous when you don’t have the money to pay your balance and interest charges begin stacking up every month.Manage Debt NowStop spending money on things you don’t need.If you can, live at home for a few months after graduation to save on rent.Don’t use your credit card.If you have a summer job, work overtime or get another part time job and pay off your credit card debt.Remember, you can only spend your money once. After that, you are spending the credit card company’s money and they charge you big time for the privilege.Consumer Credit Counseling Service is a free nonprofit foundation, available to help you manage your debt. Call 800-388-2227 or contact them at www.creditcounseling.org.Close Look at CreditMaintaining good credit will help you:
Signs that you might have a problem with too much debt are:
Record KeepingKeep all copies of loan, credit card and checking account paperwork. Keep all notification from lenders, guarantors and servicers. Keep all copies of utility bills, etc to help in making an accurate budget. Read and respond to all mail.
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