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Financial Tips for College Graduates

With each milestone comes a change in the way you manage your finances. As a kid, you are just learning, and then you slowly build up responsibility throughout your lifetime. This means that your finances as a college student will be different than those who have graduated. Our credit counseling advice is to prepare yourself. Use this list of tips for college graduates to better manage your finances.

Check ACCC's financial tips for college graduates!

Check ACCC’s financial tips for college graduates!

20 Financial Tips for College Graduates

Congratulations on graduating! Now that you are beyond school, you will probably be facing more and more expenses, including student education loans. You may need to relocate or wait to get hired for a few months. Maybe your parents are now done paying your cell phone or car insurance. For most, entering the workforce can be very liberating. That’s why it’s so important to keep your finances focused through a budget and financial planning. Read through this list of 20 tips for college graduates to learn how you can continue or improve your financial choices.

  1. Live With Roommates
  2. Sell the Car- Use Public Transportation
  3. Always Work
  4. Use Your Network
  5. Volunteer for Experience
  6. Create & Follow a Budget
  7. Be Thrifty
  8. Start Cooking Your Meals
  9. Pay More Than the Minimum on Student Loans
  10. Don’t Forget Renter’s Insurance
  11. Avoid Consumer Debt
  12. Live With Your Parents or Relatives
  13. Think About Your Future Now
  14. Set SMART Goals
  15. Start Investing in Retirement
  16. Learn How to Make Repairs or DIY Projects
  17. Build Credit Without Opening Too Many Cards
  18. Check Your Credit Report Annually
  19. Use the Library for Media Needs
  20. Pay off Debt Using the Snowball or Avalanche Methods

College Graduates Should Be Applying Extra Money to Student Loans

Once more money starts coming in, send in extra payments that apply to the principle of the loans. Most online payments systems now have this an an easy option. If not, call the loan company directly and ask how to send in the extra payments. Typically, it just requires a little note with the payment describing where the money should be applied to.

There are two major benefits to a faster debt elimination than the scheduled repayment period. This extra money will pay down the principle which in turns means less money spent on interest. Borrowers with private loans will benefit most from this since the interest rate is usually higher than federal student loans. The other benefit to extra payments is the shortened repayment period. The loans will be paid back in full quicker than the standard 10 years. That means more money free to save, spend or donate!

Life as a college graduate may look similar to being back in college, but it will also be a lot different. Use these tips to stay ahead of debt and on a positive financial track.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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