As part of our effort to empower people with financial knowledge, Consolidated Credit Canada offers a scholarship to qualifying Canadian students. Occasionally, we’ll share a participant’s essay.
The question we asked was: As a college/university student, what are your main money obstacles and what do you plan on doing to address these issues?
A student named Emily answered…
When you graduate high school and enter life as an adult, you begin to truly face financial hardship. This could be eviscerated with the help of proper money and credit education in high schools. Before doing my own research, I was not aware of the many steps I could take to save money as well as build good credit. The idea of saving money and building credit should not be foreign to fledging adults and should be created within high schools. Some of the steps that can be taken includes a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), as well as building your credit early.
Banking should not be shown to high school students as intimidating. With proper education, many future adults can be saved from financial hardship and stress. One of the methods I have learned to overcome and manage my financial situation is opening a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). These savings accounts are simple to open and should be brought to high school students’ attention because they carry many benefits. Some of these benefits include: your contributions to the account growing each year, you can open one as soon as you turn 18, as well as being able to withdraw and deposit money without extra fees. This is a great method of saving your money for school funds, as it does not get taxed like it would in a normal savings account.
In my high school experience, I was never made aware of the action you can take to make financial situations less intimidating. The only information that was taught to me regarding credit involves how scary debt can be, and not what individuals can do to prevent it. Today, I wish I would have gotten a credit card sooner, even one with a low limit such as $500. If you start building credit early, and have automatic payments to your credit card, you can build your credit score through daily purchases. I personally will be using my credit card for gas, cell phone bills, and streaming service payments. This will allow me to build my credit score without the stress, because I have already been paying for these luxuries on my debit card. In high schools, students should be taught how to build and manage their credit instead of being told how intimidating and scary debt can be and instead should be made aware of how to manage credit. This is an important life skill as you need good credit to rent an apartment or buy a house.
I believe that if we instill some kind of financial course into high schools, it will result in students being able to better save and manage their money and learn how to build and maintain good credit, rather than be intimidated. These are important life skills to have. High school students should not be sent into the real-world blind of their financial options. Not everybody has family members who are aware of these methods to save money and build credit, and it should be taught in high schools in order to help the next generations be free of debt and ineffective financial planning.
Enter for a Chance to Win
The deadline to submit an entry is June 30, 2021. We will choose a winner and contact them directly. Stay tuned for information on upcoming scholarships. Learn more about our scholarship requirements and enter for a chance to win.