Money Management

In any college student's mind is the goal of graduating college and getting "that one" job that he or she has always wanted. To achieve this dream, students may incur debt while earning their credential.  In today's ever-so-changing landscape the cost of living sometimes seems unbearable. Tack on student loan debt for some students, and this can be very overwhelming as students begin their careers.

Ashland Community & Technical College encourages students to take an interest in their personal finances, budgeting, saving, credit scores, managing debt, and much, much more. We hope the information we offer students create a unique insight into managing their money.

Below, students will find useful tips to help manage their finances as well as links to resources that should encourage and provide students with a knowledge of how to manage their finances in a responsible manner.

Manage Your Money

  • Open a checking or savings account to establish a relationship with a bank. Opening and using  a savings account effectively will protect you financially and your money can grow with interest accrued. Organization is key to managing your finances. Keep your financial information in one secure location.

Create a Budget

  • Stop chasing your money! A budget is a simple, but powerful plan that shows how much money you make, helps categorize how you actually spend your money, and how you spend your money. A budget helps to capture all your income and expenses. Creating a budget helps you make better financial decisions. By creating a budget, you will not only make smarter decisions, but you will be able to understand how to live within your means. Budgets help you protect your hard earned money.

Begin a Savings Account

  • Try to save at least 10% of your income. If 10% seems to be too much--start with a comfortable percentage. No amount is too small. Have the mindset that pennies saved eventually make dollars! Opening a savings account will not only help secure money during a hard time, but it can help for an emergency, or even reaching a goal such as purchasing your first home.

Prioritize Your Debt

  • Paying all your debts on time will help you establish and maintain a good credit history. It is very important that your bills and other debts are a first priority in your newly created budget.

Student Loan Debt

  • Make absolute sure that you borrow only what you need for your college expenses. Look for scholarships, grants, work opportunities, and other types of financial assistance before borrowing a student loan. If a loan is a must, be sure to know everything about the loan and especially understand repayment.

Understand Credit Reports

  • A credit report is a collection of information about you and your credit history. It contains history of money borrowed and how you are paying those loans back. It is updated each time the credit bureau receives new data. Having a good credit score, helps creditors know if it is safe to lend you money.  A bad credit score can potentially ruin the chances of opening a bank account, buying a home, or even getting a job.

So How Do You Manage Your Finances?

The below links provide valuable information on how to take control of your finances and understand keys to secure a healthy financial future.

These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Ashland Community & Technical College. ACTC bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding content.

CashCourse

The information provided at CashCourse will help you make informed financial decisions throughout your college years and into your professional life.

Practical Money Skills for Life

This great resource offers tools and tips to help students improve their financial future by gaining a better understanding of personal finances. Includes tips on credit, life events such as buying a home, and also provides information on focusing on your savings. Website is provided by the Kentucky State Treasurer.

KHEAA

The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) offers instructional videos on financial literacy. KHEAA also offers a digital magazine on how to manage your finances. ACTC has provided the link to KHEAA as well as their magazine, It's Money Baby.

U.S Financial Literacy and Education Commission

United States government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on this website can help you maximize your financial decisions. Throughout the site, you will find important information from more than 20 Federal agencies and Bureaus designed to help you make smart financial choices.

 

Managing your Student Loans

While seeking a college degree, students at times may have to borrow student loans. Borrowing a student loan comes with responsibility. The Department of Education provides ways for students to attend college by offering low interest rate loans.  Once a student drops below half-time, leaves school, or earns a credential, the Department of Education expects students to repay their student loans.  Failure to repay these loans will cause serious consequences for the borrower. According to U.S News & World report (10/3/13) the national student loan debt now tops $1.1 trillion, with the average student accruing more than $26,000 in debt upon graduating.

Ashland Community & Technical College has an invested interest in students when it comes to borrowing student loans. The Office of Financial Aid can provide several resources detailing the specifics of student loans. 

Along with the information available in print, we would like to provide you with a few resources to help students understand the importance of loan repayment and the responsibilities that come along with borrowing student loans.

Federal Student Aid - How Do I Manage My Loans?

Understanding the repayment process for your federal student loans can go a long way toward building a solid financial foundation.

National Student Loan Data System

Do you know how much you have borrowed? The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. This website will tell you how much you have borrowed, the details of each loan, and who your loan servicer is. A loan servicer is who handles payments and other administrative functions of your student loans. You are responsible for staying in touch with your servicer and making payments, even if you do not receive a bill.