Life After School

A crash course in Money 101 for recent college graduates

You’ve earned your diploma. Are you ready for the next test?

Here’s a quick lesson in financial education. Step one: Address your student debt. Yes, it’s painful, but do it anyway. The sooner you get rid of this burden the better you’ll feel. Go to the lender’s website and sign up for an automatic withdrawal from your checking account. A good start is to devote 10 to 15 percent of your income to retiring your debt.

Next, start saving. First, you’ll need an emergency fund. The job market can be dicey for new grads. Stash a few bucks in a savings account to help carry you through any periods of unemployment. Next, open a retirement account. Yes, you are young now. But someday you won't be. Put a few dollars a month in a Roth IRA now and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much serious coin you’ll have at age 65. For the same reasons, if your employer offers a 401(k), sign up for it. Yes, it’s fine to have two retirement accounts. Two is better than one.

Part of being a responsible adult is knowing what not to do. Don’t use credit cards very often. As a young adult, your card will likely have an outrageous interest rate. Big credit card debt plus big interest charges equals credit rating chaos and general financial disaster. Along the same lines, resist the urge to splurge. Think twice about taking exotic vacations or buying an expensive new car. Tahiti isn’t going anywhere, and they’ll still be making fancy BMWs in a few years, so it’s better to make sure you’re on sound footing with your other financial priorities before you cut loose.

OK, you’ve got the big picture. Class dismissed for the day. Your assignment is to go out into the world and work toward a more rewarding future.

Life After School

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Go Green Checking
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Resource Center

Managing Your Loans: Debt Consolidation

If you have a lot of debt, you're not alone. Today, more and more Americans are burdened with credit card and loan payments. So whether you are trying to improve your money management, having difficulty making ends meet, want to lower your monthly loan payments, or just can't seem to keep up with all of your credit card bills, you may be looking for a way to make debt repayment easier.

Paying Off College Expenses: Student Loans

The student loan interest deduction allows you to deduct from your gross income a portion of the interest you pay on student loans.

Lunch Tracker - Visa

The LunchTracker app from Visa helps you mange your spending and start saving money.

Making a budget is now made easier with the LunchTracker app from Visa. Regardless if you pack, eat at home or out at a restaurant, this app allows you to track how much you are spending when you have lunch. Because regardless of how you enjoy your lunch, these charges all add up. Keeping track of this daily expense can help you set spending goals and start saving.

Download mobile apps:
  • Download on the App Store
  • Get it on Google Play

Coastal Digital Banking - Coastal Credit Union

Coastal has upgraded our online banking and mobile banking platforms to a brand new unified system, which we are calling Digital Banking.

Access your Coastal Federal Credit Union accounts, quickly and conveniently, wherever you are with COASTAL Digital Banking! COASTAL Digital Banking allows you to check balances, make transfers, pay bills, and more!

Download mobile apps:
  • Download on the App Store
  • Get it on Google Play

Having this account allowed me to save for college and now I have the opportunity to pay for my education without having to worry about interest.
Claudia M.

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