College graduation is an important milestone in your life. It opens new doors and sets you on the path to a professional career. It also means that you are now independent and responsible for handling your own finances. That includes paying your own rent and utilities. You also have to make sure that you keep up with bills, including car payments, credit card debt, and other non-discretionary expenses. Once the post-graduation grace period is up, you will be responsible for making your monthly student loan repayment.
Thanks to technology, you have tools at your fingertips to help you stay on the right financial track so you can build a good credit rating, start saving money and not have to worry about living from hand to mouth. If you have a smartphone, you pay a monthly bill anyway, so it makes sense to take full advantage of all the capabilities that the smartphone has.
Your Personal Bank’s Mobile App
The website iGrad recommends that all recent college grads and young professionals download the app for their personal banks. When you have your bank’s app, you can keep track of your bank balance, sign up for alerts so you don’t get charged for dropping below the minimum required balance, and so most importantly, you don’t get charged for unnecessary overdraft fees. Many banks also have a bill-paying feature that is part of the app.
Mint is a free app from Intuit, Inc., the company that created Quicken and other accounting software. When you look at any list of the best financial apps, whether from financial experts like CNBC, the Business Insider, and Investopedia, you always find Mint listed as one of the top recommendations. Technology experts from sites like Mashable and Digital Trends all list Mint as one of their top picks.
PC Magazine listed Mint as its favorite when the list came out in July of 2014. The app is free, and it’s available on all mobile operating systems, and for the Web. Mint gives users a comprehensive look at their spending habits in a user-friendly interface that is simple to use. It tracks spending habits and then breaks things down into categories. The visual diagrams make it much easier for users to see where their money is going.
The app lets you enter credit card debt, bank accounts, rent, utilities, car payments, and student loan debt. The greatest appeal of Mint is the fact that you can track all of your bills and expenses in one place, and as long as you’re connected to the Internet, you’ll get accurate updates. If you are paying off student loans, Mint can help you see how much you are paying each month. By knowing the percentage of income that goes towards repaying the loan, you may want to look into the available options you have to refinance or consolidate student loans.
If you use your credit card to pay for purchases, Bill Guard is designed to help you track unauthorized charges to your credit card. It also flags merchants who regularly charge consumers for things they didn’t know they were being charged for because they didn’t request or buy the merchandise in the first place. It’s also handy because it advises you of data breaches. It is available for Android and iOS operating systems.
Another top pick, Credit Karma is a free app that lets you track your credit score. It helps you find the best savings on your car and credit card loans. It also has extra tools and calculators that will help you in your quest to raise your credit score.
Be sure to look at all options if you think you want to refinance and consolidate your student loans or graduate student loans. In addition to getting a lower interest rate through LendKey, you may improve your credit by lowering your monthly payment.