Community notice board
SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) – Leaving for college is an exciting time for many young adults. As state colleges and universities welcome students to campus, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation shares five ways young adults and their parents can prepare financially for adventure.
- Insure your property – Find out from your insurer about the coverage of your property. Learn about tenant insurance and use the division’s buying guide to find the insurance coverage that’s right for you.
- Understand how you pay for college – Make sure you understand the financial aid offer and the terms of your student loans. Make a plan and update it regularly to make sure you graduate with debt you can afford.
- Take credit cards seriously – Credit cards can help you build your credit profile, but the fees can add up quickly. Before you apply for this free giveaway, take a look at the fine print and weigh the pros and cons. You might need a co-signer, or you could be an authorized user on someone else’s card, if they are also managing their credit well. Remember to pay the balance in full each month; don’t pay interest for that late night pizza.
- Start a budget – Set a monthly budget to make sure you have enough cash for major expenses, such as books, loans, food, and rent. It will also help you see how much you have available for fun activities and to build up your savings.
- Find a bank or credit union – If you are considering opening new checking and savings accounts, do your research to choose the one that offers the best rates and benefits. Bank On Oregon lists some financial institutions with low cost accounts. If you already have a bank or credit union, check if it has a branch near campus or make sure it has the apps and tools to meet your online needs. Banks and credit unions are federally insured and protect your deposits, unlike Venmo and PayPal accounts.
In addition to these five steps, the division encourages young adults and their parents to consider these additional ways to prepare financially for college.
- Review health Assurance – Students can remain affiliated with their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26. Make sure there are network providers available near campus. If the health plan does not provide adequate network coverage in the area, check to see if the school has a student health plan that may offer better coverage. Remember, a cheaper premium doesn’t always mean full health coverage.
- Review auto insurance – Make sure your auto insurance will cover the student as the primary driver and that the physical address of the car is up to date. Make sure you check the car’s auto coverages and that you have the correct deductible amounts on your policy to make sure they match your needs.
- Prepare for disaster – Disasters can happen anywhere. Take the time to prepare for a disaster in your new location. A few simple tasks, such as building an emergency kit, creating a home inventory, and making copies of important documents, will save you time, money, and stress in a disaster. Use this guide to help you prepare.
There are several ways to prepare financially for college. By starting with these steps, you’ll prepare for your stay away from home and help build a financial foundation you can build on for a lifetime.
If you have any questions about your insurance or financial accounts, speak with your business representative, agent or broker. If you still have questions or concerns, free help is available from Consumer Advocates in the Financial Regulation Division: