For college student back to school is an exciting time of year, but will excitement comes lots of responsibility. Students must handle academic, professional and financial responsibilities throughout the school year. Better Business Bureau® of Central Oklahoma wants to warn students of potential financial scams that they may encounter this school year.
It is common for college students to face money shortages. Unfortunately, that sometimes causes them to turn to the easy solution for money, but if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
BBB offers these tips to remain aware and avoid predatory scams:
Finding a loan:
- Beware of companies offering a fee to help find scholarships or loans. Loan and scholarship information is free and available to anyone through a variety of different sources.
- Watch out for services that ask minimal information about you and do not provide sufficient information about the company. Make sure you are highly familiar with the company before deciding if you want to work with them.
Choosing a loan:
- Be careful of situations where you are being pressured to make a quick decision. Do your research and discuss all possible benefits and requirements that are associated with the loan.
- Seek free, reliable advice from your financial aid office or school counselor. They are there to address your concerns and give direct help to your school and living expenses.
Managing a loan:
- Consider budgeting your student loans. Student loans appear in large sums at the beginning of the semester, and many students forget they are supposed to be spending their loans on things other than text-books and school necessities. After graduation, carrying a large student debt can affect those wanting to buy essentials such as cars, homes, clothing, and entertainment, so consider putting some of the money left over toward paying off your student loans.
- If you begin to experience loan payment problems, do not ignore them. Deal with the issue right away or legal issues may occur. Do not be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your worries and find a way to manage your payments that works best for everyone.
- Look into taking courses or seminars available to students on campus that educate over matters such as managing money, loans, credit cards and money-saving strategies.
- BBB is also an available aid to help students avoid scams. Before making a hasty decision, BBB can provide reports on business complaints, reviews, and scams for students wanting to make informed and educated decisions.
For more information and a list of accredited business and companies, as well as business reviews, visit oklahomacity.bbb.org.
Contributed by Maddie Mitchell, Communications Strategist
Maddie Mitchell is a senior studying public relations and international studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is a resident of Norman, Oklahoma, and a graduate of Yukon High School. She enjoys writing about tips and tricks for all occasions, and the books she can frequently be found reading.