You probably already have a student loan, which is the basis of your finances for the remainder of your studies. That is the first rung on the ladder that, we hope, will take you onwards and upwards to financial success and security. What you do now, how you behave, and conduct your account, will go towards your reputation, which in financial circles is called a credit rating.

The world of money is an unforgiving one based relentlessly on the bottom line. They lend you money, you pay it back. You pay it back with interest, which is what they charge you for the privilege of using their cash. It’s important to learn the art of budgeting and how money works as early as possible in life as these are the skills that will set you up for prosperity later in life.

Learning to Negotiate

Razor-sharp businesspeople think that everything is negotiable. Sell them a car and ask for $25,000, and they will offer $15,000. Buy something from them and they will ask for an astronomical amount. They don’t expect you to pay it: it’s just the opening gambit in the game of making money. So, you offer them less and they want a little more, or a lot more, and eventually you agree a figure.

This may go against the grain for you, but it’s a skill that must be acquired, because you’re going to come up against this attitude repeatedly. It is important, then, to build up your confidence, and understand that there is usually some leeway that can be negotiated in your favor. Don’t be a soft touch. Be honorable and ethical and all those admirable things, but don’t be a sucker.

Get a Credit Card

Many students are now seeing the benefits of getting a credit card to manage college expenses. For those that are ready to manage their finances and budget effectively, getting a credit card is a great option as it can be the first rung on the mighty credit rating ladder. There are hundreds of credit cards out there for students so it’s important to review a guide on what’s the best option for you. Be sure to check out the repayment terms and interest rates.

Monitor Your Credit Rating

Let’s keep on the topic of credit for another moment. There are companies that will show your credit rating online, for a fee, of course, and in a year or two, checking it out can be a relief. Good or bad, you need to know it. There are also ways to improve your rating, and you probably don’t know many of them so grit your teeth and do what’s necessary.

If Things Change, Renegotiate

Let’s say you are committed to paying so much a month off your student loan for so many years, but you land yourself an unexpectedly lucrative job. You can afford to pay more per month and repay the whole thing quicker. So, talk to them about it. Unfortunately, there may be a penalty clause in the contract which complicates matters, making sure they get all the interest they would have been entitled to over the years, and they would rather have that than just see the whole caboodle over and done with. Maybe you can get the debt transferred to another bank offering terms you prefer, so again, talk to them. You might know nothing about this sort of thing now, but you’ll soon pick it up.