Learning the basics of personal finance is often saved until our first brush with student debt. In the present economic environment though, this can be a difficult lesson, with very little room for error. As the student lifestyle can be an expensive one, this shortage of jobs can make paying off our student debt a daunting prospect. So, the personal finance learning curve needs to be a steep one.

Getting the right start in our financial lives is important because any mistakes that we make in the first few years after graduation could have long-lasting effects. You might even find that your student debt affects your ability to secure a mortgage on a home or get the kind of job you were hoping for. To be sure of safeguarding against these longer-term financial side effects, tackle your debt problems early and take a grown-up approach to personal finance.

Firstly, the basics of personal finance are all common sense; pay your bills on time, try to save what you can and don’t spend any more than you make. However, as so much of being a student is based on credit, your personal finance strategy has to incorporate intelligent debt management, rather than debt avoidance.

In terms of credit card debt, the best way to look after your credit rating is to show lenders that you are a trustworthy, reliable and restrained borrower. That means making your debt repayments on time and limiting how much of your available credit you actually use.

In terms of running your current bank account, the best personal finance advice is perfectly simple; live a thrifty student lifestyle that takes advantage of all of those special student rates. When it comes to paying off any debt, a lower repayment will prolong the repayment period.

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