Financial Literacy for College Students
What is Financial Literacy?
The ability for postsecondary students to use knowledge and skills to make good decisions related to budgeting, borrowing, and loan repayment strategies.
Three Components to Financial Literacy
A budget is a compass that enables a person to stay on the path to reach financial goals. Budgeting and goal-setting are powerful exercises that make it easier to plan for personal savings.
- Budgeting is a stress reliever
- Budgeting gives a person control
- Budgeting can help to avoid debt, improve credit, and live within means
- Budgeting helps to build decision-making skills
Student borrowers should understand the general terminology of the student loan process and gain some basic understanding of the related concepts listed below:
- Loan types - federal vs. private
- Subsidized vs. Unsubsidized loans
- Determining how much to borrow
- Borrowing and credit
- How current borrowing affects future credit
- Impacts on credit score
Repayment of education loans kicks in once a student drops below half-time atttendance or graduates from college. Student borrowers should understand the following concepts:
- Repayment plan options beyond the standard repayment plan, such as Income-Based Repayment and Pay-As-You-Earn
- Know how a loan grace period works
- Know the name and contact information of loan servicer(s)
- Know the role of the loan servicer(s)
Financial Literacy Tools
U.S. Department of Education Resources
- National Student Loan Data System (Houses federal student loan information)
- Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT)
- Direct Loan Repayment Estimator
Additional U.S. Government Resources
Private Organization Resources
Comprehensive College Budgeting, Planning, Repayment & Career Starter Site
The information on this page is provided by Federal Student Aid.