Tips for Students

For students, smart money moves and good choices today can pave the way to financial success.

With the expenses of college life, living away from home and exploring a new-found sense of independence, college students may find themselves faced with some financial management challenges. Good decisions now can make all the difference.

Choose the right Checking Account

Avoid unnecessary fees, charges and high minimum balances by setting up your checking with SVFCU, where checking accounts are truly free. Manage your account online, have access to Mobile Banking, and get the hang of managing cash flow responsibly, all with no minimum balance or hidden fees.

Consider renting, borrowing, or buying used textbooks

There are many websites that specialize in renting or selling books at lower prices than going through the school, and in many cases you can re-sell the textbook when you're finished to recover a portion of the cost. Consider BookRenter.comOpens in New Window or BookFinder.comOpens in New Window among many others.

Stay on budget

The first step of course being to create a budget. Think through all your predictable monthly expenses and set money aside off the top to pay for them first. As you track your spending and income, you can adjust as needed to avoid shortfalls that could land you in a credit trap. If you realize you are coming up short of funds on more than rare occasions, it might be time to find a part time job (or second job) and give serious consideration to what spending reductions you can make. Avoid places, social situations and people that cost money and lead to giving in to impulsive or bad decisions.

Be wise about credit

Many credit card companies prey on young adults. They may lure you in with teaser rates and higher-than-affordable credit limits. Don't take the bait. Even though as a young person you may have little or no credit history, this is exactly the time to choose the right financial partner to build a credit history. SVFCU has a credit card to suit your needs. You'll never be pressured into uncomfortably high credit limit or an artificially low temporary rate that will suddenly skyrocket. Your limit will be established based on if and how much you are working and on your preference and needs. While you may or may not need a comaker, an SVFCU Visa credit card is the perfect way to make a credit name for yourself.

Financial Aid 101

SVFCU has several types of loans that can help you fund your education. Signature loans are one of the most flexible and simplest for education expenses. Home Equity lines of credit or fixed rate, fixed term Home Equity loans are also popular choices for the larger amounts that can accumulate in the process of achieving a degree. They are perfect for consolidating debt from education expenses and in some cases can even have tax benefits.

Apply for an SVFCU Scholarship

At SVFCU, our young members are important to us and we support them in their aspirations. Find applications for our $1,000 Larry L Stoner Scholarship and the $500 Volunteers Scholarship here. One winner is chosen for each scholarship annually.

*APR=Annual Percentage Rate. Rates are subject to change at any time. SVFCU will determine your rate based on credit history, income, debt and related factors. **Rate equals share or certificate rate at time of loan plus 3.00%. ***Rate will be adjusted for the condition of the collateral, including model year of vehicles.