Recent college grads may be in greater need of financial hacks than anyone. Recent college graduates often face challenges like:
On top of this, recent college grads are faced with the monumental challenge of having to manage their personal finances for the first time. Of course, the added burden of student loan debt couldn’t come at a worse time.
Despite all of these challenges, most college graduates benefit from:
In the meantime, it’s the transitionary period that may prove the most challenging. So, let’s go over the financial hacks that recent college grads should be aware of.
An income-driven repayment plan is exactly what its name suggests.
Your monthly student loan repayments are set according to your income and family situation. Most federal student loans qualify for this arrangement.
However, once you apply, you may need to reapply should your home and income situation change again. Updating your information and having your repayments reset accordingly is easy, though.
An income-driven repayment plan is normally accessible to anyone with a federal student loan who is seeking a lower monthly repayment. If you qualify, you may be able to gain a more realistic repayment schedule.
These plans are offered by the Federal Government, and you are required to present your:
You can learn more about the four types of income-driven repayment plans here.
While this is less of a “financial hack” than any other entry on this list, it’s still one that cannot be skipped over.
Everyone who isn’t extremely rich but hopes to improve their financial situation should have a budget. Even if your income is high, it can be quite easy to fail to save and invest without a solid plan and discipline.
A budget is little more than a spending plan. We’ve published many articles on the topic.
For recent college grads, there’s often no getting around the fact that budgeting will be more difficult. But a realistic budget sets you on the right path. As you pay down debt and increase your earning potential, it normally only gets easier, however.
You aren’t reinventing the wheel; you’re just making a wheel that works best for you.
This financial hack can be very easy or very difficult. It depends on your hobbies and what you’ve built a habit of doing for entertainment. However, there are plenty of ways to have fun with little or no money.
There are dozens of possibilities, depending on your location, but some options include
If it’s possible, just walk or ride a bicycle. Cars can be money pits in many ways.
Get creative; there are endless options here!
If you took out private student loans, you may still have access to some financial hacks.
If you took more than one, you can try consolidating your private student loans into one.
As long as you don’t have bad credit, this can often make your repayments more affordable. Like any type of debt consolidation, it can also provide mental relief. You will only have a single debt to worry about, and only one repayment to deal with at a time.
Depending on your former classmates’ situations, this may be what you want to hear. Or, it could be a financial hack that fills you with dread. Either way, moving back in with your parents is a common step after college. Almost a third of recent grads do it.
If moving back home is not feasible, or if it simply stresses you out to think about, consider than almost another third of recent grads moved back to their hometown for cheaper rent.
Being close to your family and old community can be good in general for both cheaper rent and access to a supportive community to guide you through challenges such as those to your health and finances. It can be a great middle path between moving back in with your parents and moving somewhere new where you may lack a supportive community.
Bonus Tips for College Grads
Financial hacks can save you under some circumstances, but may not always be easy or pleasant to achieve.
In general, some practices that don’t qualify as hacks should also be considered.
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