Advice for New Grads

Congratulations to all those who are graduating this month! Completing a new level of education is a huge accomplishment that begins a new and exciting stage of life. As a new class of graduates enters the workforce, we offer a few words of advice.

  • Focus on a new number. The last few years have been focused around building a solid GPA. That’s great, and hopefully that number will impress future employers. However, it’s now time to focus on credit score. A higher credit score will lead to better loan terms, setting up a firm foundation for the future. Begin by signing up to get one free credit report from each of the three reporting agencies. Repair any errors on the report, and begin raising the score by managing bills and credit wisely.
  • Stay out of consumer debt. Hopefully, credit cards have not been a large part of the student life, as they often leave individuals paying interest for years. If they have, create a plan to pay off as much as possible each month. If not, make it a point to not create new debt.
  • Save. Begin saving for both short and long-term needs and desires. As the first “real” job begins, start saving for retirement. The effects of compound interest are very beneficial; the earlier one begins saving, the better.
  • Dream. If you want to become a homeowner someday, realize that it is in reach. Save a little each month for a down payment and allow that money to earn interest.
  • Don’t stop working. Looking for a job is a job in and of itself, but it doesn’t put money in the bank. If struggling to find a “real” position, consider working part-time while searching for the full-time position. Student loans will soon be due, and while deferring is possible, it doesn’t make them disappear. It’s better to start bringing in some rather than no income.
  • Consider housing options now. These days many new graduates are moving back home with parents until their jobs are well established or until they save enough money to move out on their own. This can be a wise option, but at the same time, problems may occur, so be sure to put a plan in place. All adults living in the home should discuss expected guidelines and contributions. Even if there is no rent required, it is a good idea to pay into a savings account, as if it were a monthly rent. This helps establish a budget and can be used for future expenses.

Welcome to the working world, graduate. When it is time to discuss home ownership, we’re here for you. Contact one of our mortgage experts to get started.