Get the Most Bang For your Buck
Money Management Tips: Spend with Care
Make a budget and stick to it. A budget is just a self-imposed guideline for how much money you can spend and what you can spend it on. You will be amazed at how much farther your money goes when you have a budget.
Avoid credit cards. In college, you'll get tons of credit card offers from banks. Your best move? Shred them. As attractive as they might seem, the interest on credit cards can put you in a very deep financial hole.
Buy used books. Many students and their parents are surprised how much textbooks cost. They can average $1,000 a year. Most campus bookstores sell used books that can help reduce this cost. You might also save money by buying textbooks online.
Leave your car at home. Cars consume more than just gas money. There are insurance, parking (and parking tickets!) and repair expenses, too. Walk, use public transportation and/or ride a bike.
Watch the ATM fees. Choose a bank with free ATMs
near your school. ATM fees can add up quickly.
Bad Deals and Scams: Know and Avoid Them
Fee-based scholarship searches. Bad deal. Commercial financial aid advice services may cost more than $1,000, but you should never have to pay for this information.
Your state higher education agency
A college or career school financial aid office
Your high school counselor
Your library's reference section
FREE online scholarship searches
Foundations and religious or community organizations
Your employer or your parents' employer
Fee-based FAFSA assistance. Bad deal. Lots of free help is
available to help you fill out the FAFSA. Web sites that offer
FAFSA help for a fee are NOT affiliated with the U.S. Department of
Education. If you are asked for your credit card information, you
are NOT at the official FAFSA Web site.
Get assistance from these FREE resources:
The official FAFSA site
The financial aid administrator at your school
The Federal Student Aid Information Center. Call 1-800-4-FED-AID
(1-800-433-3243); TTY users can call 1-800-730-8913
Protect your identity.
Avoid scams. Be safe as you go through the financial aid application process to protect your identity. To reduce risk:
After completing your FAFSA online, exit the application and close the browser.
Don't tell anyone your Federal Student Aid PIN, even the person helping you fill out the application.
Review your financial aid documents and keep track of the amounts you applied for and received.
Never give personal information over the phone or Internet unless you made the contact. For questions about a solicitation or your student loan account, call 1-800-4-FED-AID.
Shred receipts and documents with personal information when you are done with them.
Immediately report lost or stolen identification to the issuer
and to the police, if appropriate.
Private loans. Private loans can be useful, but watch out for bad deals. Interest rates can be higher, and repayment terms can be harsher than government loans. Use all federal student loan options first. Investigate the private loan organization, check with the Better Business Bureau, get references and read the fine print.
Visit email@example.com today for more information.