Be aware of consequences of consumer debt.
The single most important thing a college student can do is to have a solid knowledge of the basic financial terms and definitions. There are many resources available for students – they can read financial books, personal finance websites, and talk to counselors, parents, and banks. The most trivial and everyday definitions for a credit or a subsidized loan are crucial for understanding when there is danger of gaining a lifetime of debt. Thousands of college students are not clear on financial definitions, while many of them have already taken out college loans; their confusion may result in long-lasting repercussions, including making an unwise decision while buying their first house, first car, or any other expensive items. Often in contracts or loan agreements there may be words or terms that the student, despite all the knowledge from their studying, may not know. The majority of students approach the situation by never asking what some of the words mean because they do not want to sound inexperienced. But more often than not, this will get the student into more trouble. The credit card or a loan could come with extremely high interest rates and strict policies that, by the time the person has spent a good amount of money on it, the student could owe the company an abundance of money that they cannot pay off. The best thing a student can do is to have a thorough knowledge of what they are signing, and be aware of the long-term consequences of consumer debt. Although it is frightening to think about, almost anyone can be ready financially if they start learning and planning ahead.
Natalie Palmer, Siegel HS