Know your rights and responsibilities if you want a loan
- A default on a student loan can result in a bad credit history that can cost you more money down the road, such as when you apply for a loan.
- Take time to understand your rights and responsibilities and reach out to the lender for help at the first sign you may not be able to make a payment.
Be careful with credit cards
- Credit cards can help you establish a credit history. To build a good credit history, you can make small purchases and pay off the balance.
Take steps to improve a bad credit history
- A good credit history will be essential if you are seeking credit to buy a home or an automobile.
- When debts go unpaid, the interest and the amount owed can increase enormously.
- If you are having difficulty paying a bill, ask to set up a more convenient payment plan. Creditors are more likely to work with people who try to restructure their obligations, rather than ignore them.
- Failure to make regularly scheduled payments on a debt will be reflected on your credit record and can affect your future buying power and financial flexibility.
- Watch out for marketing scams that offer easy credit, guaranteed credit approval or the chance to clean up your credit history for a fee.
Start saving for your future
- It’s a good idea to put 10 percent of your monthly income into savings and investments.
- If 10 percent is too much at first, pick a percentage that works for you. Over time, even small amounts will build to larger ones and can help you purchase a house, start a family or be prepared if you find yourself unemployed or temporarily unable to work.
- Retirement savings plans such as IRAs are examples of accounts you can contribute to and also save money on taxes.
Learn as much as you can about personal finance
- Many colleges, local governments and other organizations offer personal finance resources, including classes.
- Visit your local library:
- There are plenty of books, magazines and other sources of information that can prove helpful when trying to improve your finances.
- The FDIC offers free podcasts and an online learning tool.
From FDC 2018 summer newsletter, 25 Years of Tips You Can Bank On.