It's Graduation Time:
Are Graduates Financially Ready for the Next Step?
My goddaughter, Katie, is graduating from high school this week. She's just one of the approximately 3.3 million graduates graduating from U.S. public and private high schools this year.
We'll be celebrating Katie's accomplishment(s), as well as her upcoming journey in fall for college in New York, with our entire family in early June. So much life lies in front of her. So many opportunities and experiences ...
I think back to when my wife and I were celebrating our 2 boys graduations. It was an unbelievably exciting time for them and us. But as parents, we also worried a bit. We knew what lay ahead of them could prove challenging.
Little did we know when we sent them off to college just what the definition of "challenging" would really be. What do I mean?
Both of our boys graduated from college (one from law school, as well), then stepped out into the world looking for employment, during the economic "downturn" of the mid-to-late 2000's. Challenging indeed.
Now here it is 10 years later. Both met the challenges they faced and are doing well. Thankfully.
But although improved, the U.S. economy and job market remain challenging for many graduates, both high school and college. Today's parents worry, just as Marilyn and I did, if their child is prepared for what lies ahead.
I can tell you from years of experience as a Mortgage Originator ... many are not.
The number of mortgage applicants I've seen over the years with money and credit problems that could be traced back to the period following either their high school graduation or years in college is eye-opening.
For many of my mortgage applicants, both those that were graduates of college and those having directly entered the work world, it was obvious from their credit history/reports, that during those times in their life they had:
- Little or no concept of budgeting or saving
- Not taken financial responsibilities seriously
- No grasp or understanding of Credit/Debt
- Poor financial habits
- If/When in college: Made bad credit decisions (Opened too many credit cards, maxed out credit cards, not paid credit cards in a timely manner, mishandled debit cards, not paid utility payments and rent, etc.)
- Too many - too high Student Loans
- More ...
Years ago, I wrote an article entitled, "What's the Best Gift You can Give a High School Graduate?" The answer contained in that post has only grown in importance during the last decade ...
The best gift? It's the "Gift of Knowledge" ...
As I wrote in that earlier post, parents and guardians need to have multiple and ongoing discussions about financial issues with their children through every phase of their life. Even toddlers are not too young. They should also be candid about the pros, cons, and ramifications of their own money management skills.
I firmly believe too, that parents should insist that every high school offer classes about money, credit, finances, savings, budgeting, and borrowing to their students. We could prevent so much heartache and stress for them if they did. (I reiterate my offer of assistance to local - Will County schools.)
We all have a responsibility to make sure the "gift of knowledge" is firmly put into place. We must make sure that all our kids have the necessary "tools" at their disposal in order to learn ... then make ... sound financial decisions.
The "gift of knowledge" is the best gift we can provide. A gift that ensures our graduates are equipped to make sound financial decisions and avoid serious financial mistakes in the years ahead ...
* In need of financing and credit answers? Looking to see what home buying or refinancing options exist for you in New Lenox, Will County, or elsewhere in the Chicagoland area? Contact me! I'll put my 40 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I'm easily found at:
I'm easily found at:
Mortgage Originator - nmls #216987 - IL Lic. 031.0006220 - WI Licensed
American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator, an Originator with 40+ years of mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:
Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, USDA, and Portfolio Loans in Chicago and the
greater Chicagoland region, including:
The Lincoln-Way Area, Will County, (New Lenox, Frankfort, Mokena,
Manhattan, Joliet, Shorewood, Crest Hill, Plainfield, Bolingbrook,
Romeoville, Naperville, etc.), DuPage County, the City of Chicago, Cook County,
and elsewhere within IL & WI.
Your Referrals are Always Appreciated and Welcomed!