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Financial Literacy Resources

Develop healthy habits for a secure financial future with the resources below from Nelnet. Create a manageable budget, learn strategies to save money for future security and set financial goals. Many first-time Direct Loan borrowers make their first substantial financial commitment with student loans. The goal of financial literacy is to educate postsecondary students to use knowledge and skills to make good decisions related to budgeting, borrowing and repayment strategies.

Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy from the Department of Education

Let the Department of Education help you find a balance between your income, financial aid resources and living expenses. Click on the links below to read more about financial literacy from the people who bring you the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and process approximately 20 million FAFSA submissions each year.

General Financial Literacy Resources

  • CashCourse is your real-life guide to making informed financial choices. Students can register for a free account to find articles, videos, calculators, worksheets and other financial tools to start taking charge of your money. CashCourse, created by the National Endowment for Financial Education, aims to help college and university students, in particular. Users can also ask questions to the site’s “financial experts” and get feedback.
  • Federal law states that you can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each reporting company. You have the right to ensure that the information on all of your credit reports is accurate and up to date. This website pulls your report from all three credit reporting bureaus and can help you spot identity theft early. Note that this report does not include your credit score.
  • This U.S. government website provides free information on the basics of credit reports and scores. You will learn three ways to improve your credit report and score. The site encourages regular checking of your credit report to make sure that your personal and financial information is accurate and that there is no fraudulent account activity. Each of the three major credit reporting agencies collect and maintain their own records. This is the information that is used to calculate your credit score. The three major credit reporting agencies are listed below:
  • Mint.com is a free financial app for computers and mobile devices that lets you input your personal finances and create a budget for yourself. You can link your accounts to it – using secure encryption and multi-factor authentication. You can also get free credit scores with tips to help improve it. With MintBills, you can organize your recurring bills in one central place and set alerts when each bill is due.

Postsecondary-specific Financial Literacy

  • Loan Simulator is a new tool created by the U.S. Department of Education to help students make decisions about student loans. You can use Loan Simulator to find a repayment plan that meets your needs and goals or to decide whether to consolidate. You can choose to log in using your unique FSA ID and get real-time information on your own student loans, or you can “start from scratch.”
  • YouCanDealWithIt.com was first launched in 1999 as a proactive way to reduce the number of students who encounter financial difficulties and default on their student loans. PHEAA is one of the largest student loan servicing and other student aid programs provider. YouCanDealWithIt.com provides practical and easy-to-understand advice for today’s college students and recent graduates. Topics include understanding student aid, including the repayment of student loans, learning effective money management and dealing with the dangers of credit cards while enjoying the benefits.