SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – The start of studies is an exciting time for many young adults. As colleges and universities across the state are welcoming students back to campus, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation shares five ways young adults and their parents can financially prepare for the adventure.
- Insure your belongings – Check with your insurance company about coverage for your property. Ask about rental deposit insurance and use the department’s buying guide to find the right insurance coverage for you.
- Understand How To Pay For College – Familiarize yourself with the funding offer and the terms of your student loan. Make a plan and update it regularly to make sure you are finishing with debt that you can afford.
- Take credit cards seriously – Credit cards can help build your credit profile, but fees can add up quickly. Before applying for this free gift, read the fine print and weigh the pros and cons. You may need a co-signer or you could be an authorized user on someone else’s card if they are also managing their funds well. Remember to pay the balance in full each month; don’t pay interest on that late night pizza.
- Start a Budget – Set a monthly budget to make sure you have enough cash for important expenses like books, loans, groceries, and rent. That way, you can also see how much you have available for fun activities and build your savings.
- Find a bank or credit union – When looking to open new checking and savings accounts, do your research to select the one that offers the best rates and perks. Bank On Oregon lists some financial institutions with inexpensive accounts. If you already have a bank or credit union, check to see if they have a branch near campus or make sure they have the apps and tools that will meet your online needs. Banks and credit unions are insured by the state and protect your deposits unlike Venmo and PayPal accounts.
In addition to these five steps, the department encourages young adults and their parents to consider these additional financial preparation opportunities for college.
- review Bless you insurance – Students can stay with their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26. Make sure there are network providers available near the campus. If the health insurance plan does not provide adequate network coverage in the area, check to see if the school has a student health insurance plan that may offer better coverage. Remember that a lower premium does not always mean comprehensive health insurance.
- Check the car insurance – Make sure your car insurance covers the student as the lead driver and that the physical address of the car is updated. Make sure you check the auto insurances for the car and that you have the correct deductibles in your policy to make sure they suit your needs.
- Prepare for a disaster – Disasters can happen anywhere. Take the time to prepare for a disaster in your new location. A few simple tasks, like creating an emergency kit, doing a household inventory, and making copies of important documents, will save you time, money, and stress if a disaster strikes. Use this guide to prepare.
There are several ways to prepare for college financially. Starting with these steps will prepare you for your time away from home and build a financial foundation that you can build on for a lifetime.
If you have any questions about your insurance or financial accounts, please contact your corporate representative, agent, or broker. If you still have questions or concerns, you can get free help from consumer advocates at the Financial Regulation Department: