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Creating a bright financial future takes discipline and motivation, especially for those just embarking upon life as full-fledged adult after college graduation. Here are a few key financial tasks that every college graduate should prioritize.
Get a Solid JobLanding your dream job might be the most ideal situation, but the reality is that just six short months after graduating from college, you have to start paying back student loans (possibly even sooner for private school loans.) Take your job search seriously, and make sure you find a good fit. You don’t want to accept any offer that comes your way. But you do want to do your best to join the workforce and start earning. Remember, most jobs can teach you valuable lessons that can move you forward in your career even if it doesn’t turn out to be the place you retire from.
Save As Much for Retirement* As You CanWhen you have bills to pay and student loan payments to worry about, it can be difficult to even begin to think about saving for retirement, but it’s extremely important that you begin saving as much as you can, as early as you can. This will help you take advantage of compounding interest, which can add up to a huge difference in your investment accounts by the time you are old enough to retire. Saving for retirement from your very first paycheck is especially important if you’re lucky enough to have an employer match that you can take advantage of.
Understand Your Credit ScoreYour credit score is extremely important to understand. A bad credit score can be detrimental to your finances because a low credit score can lead to you paying much more in interest when you take out a loan for a large purchase, like a car or a house. You could even be rejected for a loan application if your credit score is too low.
Pay Off Student LoansInstead of dreading your student loan payments or paying only the minimum payment, create a strategy to pay off your student loans as quickly as possible. There are many options to consider. Most student loan lenders have several repayment options, so you can choose the one that works best for you and your budget. You also might consider consolidation, or you might be eligible for a student loan forgiveness program. Do your research and see what you qualify for.