Even after you’ve maximized your income and benefits, you may still find yourself in a position needing extra funds for big purchases like a house, a car, or that education you need to further your career. Borrowing money is an appropriate options, but it is a big responsibility and it requires you to be money smart. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- When you repay a loan, you also pay interest. The longer it takes to repay a loan, the more interest you will pay over time.
- Different lenders charge different interest rates and fees. Shop around to find the best deal.
- Your ability to borrow money depends on your credit history, or your record of repaying loans.
- Paying bills on time can improve your credit score
- Protect your credit information to prevent identity theft
- By law, you are entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report every 12 months.
Here are some resources to help you maintain a strong credit history and be Money Smart when Borrowing. (Resources with * require you to enter your SWAN username and password for off-campus access)
All about credit: history, scores, and reports
How Credit Scores Affect the Price of Credit and Insurance (from Federal Trade Commission)
Consumer’s Guide to Credit Reports and Credit Scores (from the Federal Reserve)
AnnualCreditReport.com: The ONLY site you should go to get your free credit report.
The Ten Most Common Myths About Your Credit Score
How to Build Your Credit from Nothing in Six Simple Steps
10 Ways You Can Improve your Credit Score Right Now
Credit Assessment calculator *
The Insider’s Guide to managing your credit (ebook)*
Taking Credit: Understanding Loans, Credit Cards, and Other Debts (streaming video)*
Types of credit: mortgages, credit/charge cards, auto and student loans
Dealing with Debt (from Federal Trade Commission)
Bankrate.com: Go here to compare lenders’ rates for mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards.
Calculators from Bankrate.com: Mortgage, Credit Cards, Auto Loans
Student loan calculators (from US Department of Education)
5 tips: Shopping for a mortgage (from Federal Reserve)
Consumer’s Guide to Credit Cards (from Federal Reserve)
Mortgage confidential: What you need to know that your lender won’t tell you (ebook)*
Student Loan Repayment Plans
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beating Debt
Life After Debt: Free yourself from the burden of money worries once and for all (ebook)*
Personal Debt Consolidation calculator *
Rolldown your Credit Card debt! calculator *