More than ever, in this economy and while you’re a college student, it’s important to educate yourself about financial matters.

How can I create a budget and stick to it?  What is my credit score and what does it mean to me? How can I impact my credit score? What do I do if I’m a victim of identity theft?

These are all very important questions. And while most of us know something about most of these questions, there is much to learn — and much to gain — in understanding and practicing basic financial skills and planning.

The Carey Business School wants to ensure that you have the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in managing your finances while you’re earning your degree. We believe that this will not only assist you in making better financial choices now, but also far into your future.

SALT, a financial literacy site, from American Student Assistance is available for your use. Create a free account here: www.saltmoney.org/jhucarey

Know Your Credit Score

Good credit can open doors to purchasing a home or a car, but obtaining credit also comes with risks if you do not fully understand the terms and conditions of your credit contract.   Before you obtain a credit card, it is extremely important to weigh the benefits and  the risks to  make sure it is in your best interest to do so.
 
 
 

BENEFITS AND RISKS OF CREDIT CARDS

Benefits
  • Helps in emergencies
  • Convenient
  • Easy for internet purchases
  • Required for car rental
  • Safer than carrying cash
  • Possible travel and cash-back rewards
Risks
  • High fees
  • ​High interest rates
  • Short or no grace period
  • Leads to impulse purchases
  • Can lead to bad credit if not used properly
  • ​Confusing credit terms

 CREDIT REPORT WEB SITES 

All US residents my receive one credit report from each bureau annually. Contact the three credit bureau reporting agencies below to request your copy.

Equifax
www.equifax.com or 1-800-685-1111

Experian
www.experian.com or 1-888-397-3742

TransUnion
www.transunion.com or 1-800-888-4213

DEBT MANAGEMENT

We take debt management and the overall welfare of our students very seriously. We strongly suggest to our students to seek other means of financing their education to decrease their dependence upon loans. Please give careful thought before getting further into debt.

We recommend that you:

  • Avoid borrowing if you can. Take advantage of our payment plan.
  • Secure employment with a company that offers tuition reimbursement/remission.
  • Apply for external scholarships to decrease the need to borrow.  
  • Consider paying the interest on your unsubsidized loans throughout the year to avoid capitalization of interest if possible.
  • Pay interest on all loans which are in forbearance, deferment, etc. for whatever reason, even if only a portion of the amount due is viable.

How much should you borrow?
Try our Debt Management Worksheet to calculate your education debt-to-income ratio.