Jump Start Your College Student’s Financial Life

Jump Start Your College Student’s Financial Life

Summer is here and your college age kids and grandkids may be home for a precious few months. Between barbecues, vacations and summer jobs, we hope you’ll find time to impart a little wisdom on your favorite young adult. Here are several topics to help jump start your conversations:

Build Credit

Encourage your college student to begin building their credit history by opening a credit card in their name (we do not recommend cosigning on any line of credit). By using a credit card to make purchases and paying the full balance off each month, an individual builds a credit history and credit score. A strong credit score can be utilized by a young adult to acquire their first car loan, rent an apartment, or, someday, buy a house. As an added bonus, establishing strong credit habits early can build a longer history of good credit.

Establish a Healthcare Power of Attorney

Urge the young adult in your life to establish a Healthcare Power of Attorney naming healthcare representative(s), or agent(s). In an emergency, this allows medical professionals to more freely discuss an individual’s condition with their agent, without violating HIPAA privacy rules. Doctors have told us they wouldn’t send their own children to college without a healthcare power of attorney in place. Power of Attorney for Healthcare forms can be found online for many states. Also, as described in this Wall Street Journal piece, if your child is attending school in another state, it’s worth establishing a healthcare power of attorney in their state and yours.

Review the University Career Services Website

If your college student isn’t already familiar with their campus career services office, spend some time reviewing the website together this summer. For a student unsure of their career path, many universities offer career counseling appointments and job shadow opportunities. Older students often have access to resume writing workshops, career fairs, and employer meet & greets. Help your student identify upcoming fall deadlines and any wardrobe upgrades they may need before attending on campus events.

We hope your summer together is a great one!