You have probably read the title of this article and thought “oh god, how boring does this sound?” And I do not blame you! The world of finance is filled with jargon and for most students, finances are limited anyway, so is there any real reason to care?
This short list will present 4 simple reasons why being financially ready for the big world, whether it's after uni or before will help you out massively. If you feel like that is incredibly dry to read, then fear not (I will not be offended) a visually appealing info-graphic, created by GiffGaff Gameplan has been included that tackles financial jargon, hooray for pretty things!
Unless you are filthy rich with a mountain of cash, to make big purchases in the future, like a house or car, you will more than likely need to get a mortgage or loan. If you were asked now to calculate the interest on a three-year loan of 5% APR (Annual Percentage Rate), would you know the answer? No? You are not on your own - a survey of 2,000 people were asked this same question, and three got it right. Crazy, huh?
To ensure you have a good chance of securing one, it is always best to start thinking now. Are you sensible with your expenses? Do you have a good credit rating? Have you got a steady income? If you are on a zero hours contract, which a lot of students are, it can make it tricky also.
Do not get too excited, but if you have a crap credit rating, it will cause a heap of problems for the future. Creditors searches vary between hard and soft, depending on the application being made. What they can see includes the last six years of your transaction history, if you hold any joint accounts, and if you are on the electoral register. FYI, I understand many students will not have a joint account, however, for a quick credit boost make sure you register on the electoral roll, which takes minutes! Also below, I have included a short list of ways to improve credit rating. I mean you obviously do not have to do it now, but it is handy to know.
Avoid late payments - i.e phone bills and paying house rent!
Inquire about a credit card to make small payments - best way to start obtaining a good credit score
Paying off your student loan can help improve your credit score (everyone’s dream!)
Review your credit rating frequently
Most students are reckless with money during their university years, and as long your behaviour does not get you in trouble with your landlord and you can still buy food, then that is totally fine. However, after university you will have to prepare for milestone events, raising children, honeymoons (hopefully just the one), pension plans. Of course you are not obliged to follow that route, but even so, being financially stable allows you to live comfortably, and avoid buying a Pot Noodle every day.
A study conducted by a large U.S bank surveyed found that 81% expressed other goals could be achieved when they were in control of their finances. Additionally, 70% said that positive financial health led to enhanced physical health, which probably explains why I do not have a flat stomach. On a serious note, inability to keep track of your finances can impact your mental health too, which can increase blood pressure and cause heart issues.
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