10 Debt Management Tips for New College Grads

After earning a college degree, it's time to face reality. Here's how to tackle your debts responsibly while navigating a new career and enjoying newfound freedom.

6. Keep up with your payments

Sign up for automatic withdrawal so you don’t fall behind on student loan payments.

If you miss a due date or the account becomes delinquent, you could be hit with late penalties and a ding to your credit score.

7. Negotiate

Don’t wait until you are drowning in debt before asking your creditors to work with you. If you’re desperate, student loan consolidation might be an option. Also consider enlisting a reputable professional to handle the negotiating for you.

If you are saddled with credit card debt, consider transferring the balance to a new card that offers an enticing promotional offer. You can use the Money Talks News credit card search tool to explore options — select “Intro Balance Transfer Rate” from the pull-down menu to filter the search results.

Alternatively, see whether your existing credit card issuer will lower the annual percentage rate or agree to a restructured payment schedule.

8. Steer clear of more student loans

Graduate school is tempting, especially when the job market is dry. But you will only end up with more debt if you return for more education. The other loans won’t go away — they’ll just continue to grow.

Sure, you will have earned a second degree. But you’ll be right back at square one unless you’ve managed to land the job of your dreams before graduation.

9. Take care of yourself

It’s never wise to forgo health insurance to make ends meet. Plus, as long as the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, remains the law of the land, having health insurance is a legal requirement with a fee for those who don’t purchase it.

Sign up for health insurance at your workplace. If it’s not offered there or you’re unemployed, you’re probably eligible to purchase health insurance through HealthCare.gov or your state’s insurance marketplace. Even though open enrollment for this plan year has ended for most people, there are exceptions that may make you eligible for what HealthCare.gov calls a “special enrollment period.”

Or perhaps your parents can add you to their plan. Under the ACA, parents generally can keep children on their health insurance until they reach age 26.

10. Pick up a part-time job

Are you going through the interview process or still waiting to hear back from prospective employers? While waiting, get a part-time job to bring in a little income while you search for more lucrative opportunities.

Do you have tips to help new graduates manage debt? Share them below or on our Facebook page.

Allison Martin
Allison Martin @amthewriter
After spending years as a governmental accountant, I decided to transition into the world of freelance writing. When I'm not busy writing, I enjoy mentoring mommy-preneurs and helping others manage their finances. ... More

Trending Stories

Comments

1,056 Active Deals

More Deals