When I left for college I’d never had a credit card before, but I opened one to build credit and pay for books. I transferred my bank account to a local credit union (in the days before online banking), and while I’d always had a part-time job, I’d never really had much financial responsibility. Fast forward three years to my junior year of college when I was paying rent and utilities, buying groceries, making a car payment, and had student loan repayment in my near future. It was a big adjustment. Fortunately I figured out how to budget my money (more or less), and had parents who helped me make smart decisions. But that’s not to say I didn’t make a few mistakes along the way.
If you’re on your way to college – or are already there – the good news is there are plenty of tools available to help you navigate the complicated world of personal finances. Sites like mint.com and Catholic Federal’s Home Banking and Mobile Banking systems can help you track your money. And now there’s a one-stop, personalized website that can help you manage your money – from setting up a budget to understanding credit cards to repaying your student loans. Student Choice and Catholic Federal Credit Union have partnered with iGrad to bring students and their families a unique way to learn about building a solid financial future.
To get started, you’ll answer a few questions about yourself and iGrad will generate loads of content selected just for you. You can work your way through modules of videos, short quizzes, calculators, and more at your own pace. In a few hours’ time (less than you spent binge watching that series on Netflix) you’ll have a better handle on important topics that will pay off for the rest of your life.
Maybe you’re thinking, “But I don’t even have any money to manage yet!” Good news – iGrad also has tools to help you land a job. It offers tips on interviewing, a job search function, and more. Want to know how to leverage social media in a job search? There’s an article for that. And there’s nothing wrong with learning about responsible money management before you actually need it. (Just like those statistics classes you’re going to have to take. Right?)
Let’s be honest – learning about money management is never high on anyone’s list of fun activities. But iGrad makes it as fun and interactive as possible, while presenting content that matters to YOU. So instead of spending an hour every night browsing YouTube for cat videos or taking another of those Facebook quizzes, take a little time to invest in your future and gain a better understanding of your money and your financial aid. You’ll thank yourself later!
Written by: Sarah Miller for Student Choice