Great Advice for Grads!

Spring is in the air and our appointments with seniors preparing to graduate are picking up! We love talking to seniors. It really is an exciting time but we understand it can also be very anxiety producing. If you just want to bounce ideas off of someone or are looking for specific information to determine what insurance plan to accept, how much to allocate for housing, graduate school loans or many other “senior” topics then take advantage of our one-on-one financial coaching.

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April is Financial Literacy Month!

Financial Literacy Month is here! It is an opportunity to increase our own financial skills and knowledge.

In our work with students and campus groups here are some of the biggest takeaways and tips:
-Managing your money is a learned skill, not something you just ‘know’. It is okay to ask questions, a lot of questions.

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10 Things You Should Know When Starting School

Here are 10 things you should know when starting college and some tips on how to achieve them.

  1. Keep Track of Spending – If you haven’t already, create a monthly budget and record your expenses. Utilize apps to keep track of spending. Make a habit of tracking your expenses.
  2. Learn to Say No – Set limits on dining out and weekend entertainment.

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How to stay on a budget

Establishing a budget is key, especially when an emergency occurs. In order to manage your budget, you will need to identify both your income and your expenses. It is also important to identify your needs versus your wants during this specific period. For example, this may be a good time to cancel subscriptions like Netflix over the short term.

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Filing your 2020 taxes

Filing a tax return could mean you’ll get money back. Here are five things you can do that may help you maximize a tax refund if you’re owed one. Just a reminder, the tax filing deadline is April 15, 2021.

Know Your Dependency Status, If you’re still listed as a dependent on your parents’ tax return, you may not be able to claim those tax breaks.

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4 ways to save

Save Automatically

The easiest way to save? Automatically! It doesn’t matter how much or what you’re saving for, when you make the smart decision to have a portion of your income automatically deposited into a savings account, you have increased your chance for success. You can set up automatic transfers through employers or your financial institution (Bank) to achieve your savings goal.

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What’s a FICO Score?

Credit score is more commonly known as the FICO Score. The FICO Score is the standard credit score in the US. Your FICO Score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report. Late payments will lower your FICO Score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your score.

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I have bad credit, what do I do?

You are not alone; millions of people have trouble with their credit. Before you can determine exactly how to improve your credit, you need to find out why your credit is poor in the first place. We recommend that you obtain copies of your credit reports and scores from all three of the credit reporting agencies to find out exactly what is hurting your credit.

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Do I need to have a credit card to build my credit score as a student?

You don’t necessarily need a credit card to build your credit score, but it certainly can help—if you pay your bill off in full each and every month. A solid banking history and paying all of your monthly bills on time will build your credit. You could also become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card (your parents’, for example) and improve your credit that way.

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What is the Average Credit Score?

Credit scores range from 300 to 850. Generally, a 680 credit score or above is considered a good credit score, while any score above 750 is considered excellent. But what is generally considered an average credit score? Answering this question may be difficult. Every expert, credit bureau, and loan officer has a different opinion as to where the threshold between good credit and poor credit is.

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