Congratulations new graduates! Welcome to the rest of your life. You’re going to love it. It’s as exciting as a keg party.
It’s also crazy expensive. But fear not. We’ve put together a few stories that will help ease your transition from struggling college student to struggling college grad.
First things first: It’s time to take a look at your debt levels. Odds are you’re in over your now-educated head. And the debt that is most likely to drown you is from your student loans. The clock is ticking, and your first payment is due before you know it. More importantly, you have to decide quickly how those payments will be structured.
Loan servicers may impose a deadline to pick a payment plan — not choosing one would mean that the servicer can pick one for you. So, it is best to select the one that best matches your financial situation.
So take action now.
Next, you’ll want to revaluate your credit cards. Some issuers will let you keep the student card you got while you were in school. Others will want you to switch to another plan.
As important, you’ll need to rethink your need for credit.
If you’re a graduating cardholder looking for a larger line of credit, you can contact your issuer via their customer service hotline to request a bump. You also might want to inquire about upgrading to a product more suited to your changing needs. For instance, you may qualify for a better rewards program or for a low interest rate.
Find out what your best options might be.
When that’s done, it’s time to move. Your college dorm has already changed the locks, and your parents probably aren’t thrilled with the idea of you living in the basement.
So pack your bags and head toward the bright lights of the city. Or maybe not … since it’s going to be mighty pricey to get an apartment in a city where folks are hiring.
The problem … is one of supply and demand: people need to live where good jobs are, and housing in these places is therefore more desirable. Because it is scarce, even in such massive cities, it is an expensive good. Some of the best job markets in the nation have the most expensive housing.
But if you’re willing to lower your expectations just a tad, we know of some neighborhoods you’d like.
Even if you can’t possibly come up with the cash for an apartment deposit, we know of some gigs that will feed and house you.
You’ll have to get creative, but there are a number of living and employment situations that offer relief from the tyranny of rent.
Besides, farming, working with the poor or living in a national park are the sort of life experiences you’ll be glad you tried.
Finally, it might be wise to collect a few of the essentials you’ll need for your new life: furniture, dishes, suits that are suitable for job interviews, or perhaps a tent. Let the people in your life know there are credit-card rewards available if they shop for graduation gifts now.