Client Questions – I am a college student with $18,000 in student loans, how do I best prepare for graduation and my first job?
First, I would tell you when you get that first job out of school, please, please, please do not go buy a new car! If you can maintain your current lifestyle you will have a much easier time getting those student loans paid off quickly. Right now before you graduate, check on what your interest rates are going to be on your loans, make sure that you have all of the correct paperwork, and start a filing system for your bills. If you get in the habit now, it will be easier later on. Also, balance your checking account (I know most college students do not have a lot of money) but doing it now will get you in the habit or ask someone to help you learn how to balance your checkbook. Do not rely on on-line banking statements to tell you what your balance is. If you can tell, I am all about habit changes and life style. You have the ability to become very wealthy very quickly if you can avoid most of the mistakes that college graduates make (new car, house or $$ apartment, credit card debt, and letting the student loans hang around for a long time). You can do, just make decision that will propel you to where you want to me 20-30 years from now. Each decision you make will compound either an easy path financial or a hard path financially.