Tips on Paying for College and Your Credit

At UNC Charlotte, we want to help you manage your money and get through college without racking up unnecessary debt. Living for the here and now is over... Saving for the future is in. Check out the site below and learn to budget smarter, keep more cash in your pocket, and become financially stable throughout your college career and beyond.

manageyourmoney.uncc.edu



 

Use College Foundation of North Carolina website at CFNC.org. This website has so many tips for every type of student from high school to college to adult students. You can search for different scholarships, grants, and loans as well as estimate hoe much your load payments will be after college. There also is a 1-888 number that you can call and talk to a person to get individualized help.

Another helpful website is FastWeb.com. This website takes some time to register (about 20 minutes if you answer all the questions) and then you get a list of scholarships for you to use.

 

Searching for scholarship? Another website is Unigo. This is a free website to search for scholarships of all types.

Use our UNC Charlotte Office of Financial Aid website. You can apply for financial aid on-line at this site and find out more about college expenses, loans, etc.

Check out your college’s website because many times colleges will have scholarships for students who are majors in their college.Most college students will tell you – Never pay your tuition by credit card because the interest rates are higher than if you get a student loan. Most times student loans do not need to be repaid until you graduate from college. Read the directions carefully since each loan is different.

If you are in a profession such as nursing, social work, athletic training, exercise science, and public health, search the web for professional organizations. Many times professional organizations provide scholarships for students entering the profession.

Remember, you can always use a search engine (Google, Yahoo) to find information on the pros and cons of using “fee-based” searches for scholarships and ways of financing your college or graduate education.

Wondering about your credit? Wondering if it’s good or bad or if you have any credit? You may be surprised at what you find.  Be proactive.  Just go to Annual Credit Report.  This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.  It also has answers to many frequently asked credit questions.  Don’t put your head in the sand and think that your credit is good just because you think it is.  Many people have a brutal awakening the first time they look at their credit report and they find a credit score so low that they cannot buy the car they wanted.  Or, if they are lucky enough to be able to buy the house or car they wanted, they end up paying much, much more than the person with a good credit score and history. 

What is “stolen identity?” One in every four Americans will have their identity stolen and their credit tarnished.  Don’t be a statistic.  Know your credit – keep it clean – look at it often. Your credit report is something that will affect your entire life whether it is buying a car, a house or even applying for a job – yes, some employers now check your credit report as part of the hiring process- your credit matters.

Check you credit reports to make sure that your credit charges and student loans are reported correctly. If your student loans are paid off, then they should say “Paid” with a “0” balance.  Also, make sure your student loans are not double reporting – twice for the same loan.  Student loans are notorious for this. If you have consolidated two or more loans into one, make sure the only loan that is open is the new loan.  Your old loans should show as “Closed” with a “0” balance.  If your loans are in deferment, make sure it states that – be aware though, if you go to purchase a car or home, even though your loans are in deferment, the monthly payments will be used against your overall debt with most lenders.

Document, document, document and keep records of everything you do. It will be your evidence against any wrong reporting!