What I Wish I Had Known at 18

Document created by melissaf_31 on May 18, 2016Last modified by amara.mastronardi@socialedgeconsulting.com on Dec 5, 2016
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When applying to colleges, apply for every scholarship you possibly can.  There are things out there if you search HARD.  Contact your  prospective school and discuss your desire to go there, but lack of funds.  Often, they are willing to help direct you to scholarships.


KNOW exactly how much you're taking out on your loans.  Know the interest rate and what it means.  Take the time to calculate and figure out what your monthly payments after you graduate.  Consider all of this before taking out the loan.


The day after you graduate, START paying your loans.  Put down anything, even when no minimum payment is required.  I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree in 2012 and my Master's Degree in 2014, so technically my loans are deferred until February 2017.  I started paying them back in October 2015.  I have to say my biggest regret is not starting to pay them back the day after I graduated, or even sooner.  I didn't have a job for two years after my undergrad graduation, but I know that if I tried hard enough, I could have put something down.  Even if you can only put down a very low amount each month.  It will add up, it will save interest, and they will disappear faster.  Now I've worked hard to set up a strict plan to get rid of these loans in 6 years.  I'm working a second job and I'm prepared to make sacrifices because I know in the long run, it will be the best thing for me.


Learn about your credit score.  Get an account at creditkarma.com and check it regularly.  Learn how to improve your score  and work toward that.  Get a credit card.  Use it and pay it off right after you make the purchase. 


These are all of the things I wish someone had told me my Senior Year of high school.. or even in college.