Financial Literacy

Minding your Money Matters

Student success also involves financial literacy. Check out the links on this page to keep yourself on budget, predict what your loan payments will be in the future, learn about credit and debt, and much more.

  • Financial Awareness Counseling provides tools and information to help you understand your financial aid and help you manage your finances.
  • Repayment Estimator can get you an early look at which plans you may be eligible for and see estimates for how much you would pay monthly and overall for your Federal Student Loans.
  • Budget Worksheets can help you understand, monitor and utilize your finances wisely.

 

Watch these YouTube Videos from Federal Student Aid!

  • Overview of the Financial Aid Process
    Are you ready to attend college or career school, but need financial aid to help fund your education? Check out this video to learn how the office of Federal Student Aid provides more than $150 billion in grants, loans and work-study funds.
  • FASFA Overview
    Check out this video to learn how the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) gives you access to grants, loans and work-study jobs that can help fund your education.
  • Federal Student Aid - Myths About Financial Aid
    Ready for college, but not sure how to pay for it? Don't let these myths about federal student aid keep you from applying for and getting money to help pay for college.
  • FAFSA: Determining Your Dependency Status
    Are you ready to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, but are unsure whether you'll need to provide parental information on the form? Check out this video to help you determine whether you're an independent or dependent student.
  • How to Fill Out the FAFSA
    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) allows students to apply for more than $150 billion in grants, loans, and work-study funds. Check out this video for info about the FAFSA and the resources available to help fill out this important application.
  • After the FASFA: What Happens Next
    Have you filled out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are wondering what happens next? Check out this video to learn what to expect after completing the FAFSA.
  • Types of Federal Student Aid
    If you need help paying for college or career school, the office of Federal Student Aid can assist you with getting the money you need. Check out this video to learn about grants, loans, and work-study jobs and how they can help fund your education.
  • Responsible Borrowing
    Are you thinking about taking out a federal student loan to help pay for college or career school? Check out this video to learn about your responsibilities as a borrower and what you should consider when taking out loans for college.
  • Budgeting
    Taking time to make a budget can help you make smart financial decisions today and reach your goals in the future. Setting up your budget is simple. You just need to take the time to get started.
  • How to Manage Your Student Loans
    If you're having trouble making payments on your federal student loans, we have several options available to help you manage your debt. Check out this video to learn more about changing repayment plans, postponing or reducing your payments, or combining your federal student loans.
  • Repayment: What to Expect
    Are you unsure about the loan repayment process or wondering when you need to begin making loan payments? Check out this video to learn about what to expect when your federal student loan enters repayment.

 

State of Michigan Student Financial Services Bureau:
Financial Literacy and Resources

Understanding the basics of money management skills such as living within a budget, handling credit and debt, and planning for retirement will provide a solid financial foundation that can lead to a lifetime of financial success.

Be Accountable and Responsible
The first step on the path to financial success is accepting accountability and responsibility. Understand that you are the one in control of your financial future and that every decision or choice you make can have a significant impact.
 
Plot Your Course
Step two on the path to financial success involves planning. It is impossible to effectively manage your finances if you don't know how much money you have available to spend or how you want to budget the money you have. You need to create a road map by defining your financial goals. Establishing a budget and sticking to it is not easy, but it is the best way to ensure that you are in control of your financial future. Think of your budget as a "spending plan." It is a way to be aware of how much money you have, where it needs to go, and how much, if any, is left over.
Video: Don't Buy It If You Can't Afford It
 
Establish a Budget
Not having a budget is like going on a trip without a roadmap. Just like needing to know where you are going, you need financial goals and to plan out the steps to achieving them. For detailed help on developing a spending plan, visit the State's site

Borrow Smart
At some point you may need to borrow money (take out a loan). It is imperative that you borrow smart if you want to maintain your financial stability.
 
Manage Your Credit Cards Wisely
Credit cards are designed for people with income. They are a convenience, but can test your self-control and you must strive to only use them if you plan on paying the balance in full at the end of each month. When selecting a credit card, make certain you have selected one with the most affordable options and no hidden costs.
 
Review and Understand Your Credit Report
A credit report is a collection of information about you and your credit history and will have a significant impact on your financial future.
 
Know When to Ask for Help
The final step on the path to financial success is knowing when to request assistance. These warning signs will indicate financial problems:

  • Are you living paycheck to paycheck with no money going into savings?
  • Are you alternating which bills to pay each month, leaving some unpaid?
  • Are your payments often late?
  • Are you using one credit card to make the payments on another?
  • Do you have creditors calling you?
  • Are you being denied credit?