Top 10 Personal Finance Tips for College Students

You understand GPAs and test scores but how can we help you better understand your credit score or the value of saving? The American Bankers Association’s top 10 tips are designed to give students an edge on mastering personal finance.

  1. You are in charge. You are responsible for your finances and you should act accordingly by creating a realistic budget or plan and sticking to it.
  2. Watch Spending. You control your money, determining how you spend or save it. Pace spending and increase saving by cutting unnecessary expenses like eating out or shopping so that your money can last throughout the semester.
  3. Use Credit Wisely. Understand the responsibilities and benefits of credit. How you handle your credit in college could affect you well after graduation. Shop around for a card that best suits your needs.
  4. Utilize Your Bank Account. Banks are more than money in a vault. They offer valuable services that students can benefit from like check cashing, debit cards, online banking, balance alerts, personal loans, direct deposit, financial education and some offer identity theft protection.
  5. Lookout for Money. There’s a lot of money available for students, you just have to look for it. Apply for scholarships and look for student discounts.
  6. New is Out. Consider buying used books or ordering them online. Buying books can become expensive and often used books are in as good of shape as new ones.
  7. Entertain on a Budget. Limit your hanging out fund. There are lots of fun activities to keep you busy in college and most are free to students. Use your meal plan or sample new recipes instead of eating out.
  8. Be particular when it comes to money. Don’t just trust anyone with your money. Be skeptical of classmates, friends or salespeople that have ideas for your money.
  9. Save. Things happen and it’s important that you are financially prepared when your car or computer breaks down. No matter how small the amount you should start putting some money away for unexpected expenses.
  10. Ask. This is a learning experience, so if you need help, ask. Your parents or your banker are a good place to start and remember the sooner the better.
Paying for College

It’s more important than ever for students and former students to make smart decisions about financing their college education. Whether you’re attending college soon, are a current student, or already have student loans, CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) has put together some tools and resources to help you make the best decisions for you.

For information on Student Financial Guides, Student Banking, and Student Loans.

Learn More

Protecting Your Child’s Privacy Online

As a parent, you have control over the personal information companies collect online from your kids under 13. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act gives you tools to do that. The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule. If a site or service is covered by COPPA, it has to get your consent before collecting personal information from your child and it has to honor your choices about how that information is used.

  • What is COPPA?
  • Does COPPA affect the sites and services my kids use?
  • How does COPPA work?
  • What are my choices?
  • What if it looks like a site or service is breaking the rules?

Click here to an find the answers to these questions.