Don't let paying for college and money management stress you out. GradReady is here to assist you in making informed decisions when it comes to your tuition cost, budgeting, and student loan debt. GradReady is available 24/7 and creating an account is easy; just use your email address, select your enrollment status, and you're all set! Parents, you can create an account too! After a quick assessment, you will be given three paths -- Paying for College, Money Management, and Real-World Finance. Each path has helpful videos, quizzes, interactive tools, and resources to improve your knowledge and skills in each area.
Paying for College
Paying for college -- it's the reason you're reading this, right? This section provides helpful resources on funding your education, scholarships, smart borrowing tips, and interactive tools like a financing plan and personalized budgeting plan. The Financing Plan acts as a living documentation of your individual cost of going to school, how much money you have available to pay expenses, and how much you might have to borrow to make up any difference. Just plug in your information from your award letter, add in any additional costs or contributions, and discover what your funding gap (or surplus) should look like. You can also create multiple plans to create "what if" scenarios based on other factors that could influence your costs. The personalized budget plan is to be utilized each month to enter your estimated income and expenses, then compare them to your actual income and expenses to ensure you are living within your means. Creating and maintaining a budget is one of the first steps toward understanding your financial wellness.
Money management doesn't have to be difficult! This section of GradReady will provide you with helpful tips regarding banking, the low-down on credit (what it is, and how to build and maintain it), and resources to help you gauge and manage your debt. One of the handy debt management tools available to you is called the "Debt-O-Meter." This tool helps you calculate your debt and compare it to potential future income. Start by selecting your projected graduation date. Then, enter the details of your student loans and potential salary, and the Debt-O-Meter will give you an idea of what your debt-to-income ratio should look like. If your debt-to-income ratio is looking like it may be too high, then check out the helpful resources to see how your monthly payment could be lowered.
Real World Finance
This section of the GradReady website is about navigating finance for the road ahead. Here you will receive assistance with how to best manage your student loan repayment and find guidance on housing, auto, career searches and benefits. This section also features the Electronic Loan Counselor. Just download your loans from the National Student Loan Data System, or NSLDS, and upload them into the Electronic Loan Counselor. Based on your actual data, this tool can help answer some questions you may have regarding what repayment plans fit your unique situation. Then, based on the information and some research, you can choose a plan, then take action by implementing that plan. Continue to revisit this section over time to stay on top of your loans and keep up to date on your budget.
So, begin by clicking the "Start now!" button above and log in to this valuable money management website. This service is free for you to use, and because GradReady is online, it is right at your fingertips when your busy schedule permits.
Viterbo University and its respective associates and employees cannot provide legal, accounting, or tax advice or services. All individuals have unique circumstances regarding their personal financial situations and should seek personal, professional, and expert advice based on their particular circumstances. Financial literacy resources are provided for informational purposes only.