PHEAA Recognizes April as Financial Literacy Month

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YouCanDealWithIt.com offers free money management and budgeting suggestions

Harrisburg, PA (April 10, 2013)—The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) advises high school students, college students and recent college graduates to strengthen their financial awareness during the month of April. Making smart financial decisions can put you on a path to long-term financial success.

"It is important for young adults to begin their professional life on a solid financial footing," said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. "I encourage young adults to take advantage of educational resources to learn about living within a budget, meeting debt obligations and saving money for long-term financial goals."

Are you aware of the consequences of debt? Are you able to develop a budget and stick to it? Do you understand the pros and cons of using credit cards? Are you able to live within your financial means? These are some of the questions that every young adult should think about and be willing to make adjustments to their lifestyles, when necessary.

For college-bound high school seniors, smart financial aid planning is key to getting the education you want and need, while graduating with as little debt as possible. Students and families should learn about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to qualify for federal and state grants and loans, know the difference between grants, scholarships, federal student loans and private loans, and learn how to compare financial aid packages offered to them by schools. School choice, length of time to degree, and choice of major all impact the amount of debt incurred and employment potential post-graduation.

Information that can help establish a healthy financial foundation can be found at PHEAA's debt management website, YouCanDealWithIt.com, including:

  • Getting organized; if finance-related paperwork is scattered everywhere, it's difficult to get a grip on your finances
  • Borrow Responsibly. Don't borrow more than you need for education. Make sure your monthly student loan payments will be manageable given your expected earnings once employed.
  • Developing and sticking to a budget
  • Saving money for emergencies, "wish-list" items, vacations and long-term financial stability
  • Using credit cards wisely to establish positive credit history; excessive credit card debt can unravel financial security
  • Knowing your credit score, which is important because it shows lenders how responsible you are with money; having a good credit score makes it easier to secure loans

"YouCanDealWithIt.com is not just for college students and recent graduates. It has information for anyone interested in getting direction about managing their finances and developing a financial game plan to meet their needs," said Senator Wayne D. Fontana, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman.

The month of April is officially recognized nationally and by the Commonwealth as Financial Literacy Month.

Students and families are encouraged to visit PHEAA on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/pheaa.aid, where they can view videos of its Higher Education Access Partners offering advice and direction on a variety of topics related to higher education.