Smart consumer tips for the college bound

Smart consumer tips for the college bound

By Karen Stiles. CREATED Aug 13, 2013

MILWAUKEE - If you or someone you know will be leaving for college soon, now might a good time to focus on becoming a smarter consumer.

If you or someone you know will be leaving for college soon, here are a few consumer tips that could save you money and protect you from a loss.

In addition to shopping around for books and supplies, it is also a good idea to shop around for the best deal on bank accounts and credit cards. Watch out for hidden fees and high interest rates on credit card balances. Look for accounts that offer free services, and credit cards that offer cash back rewards on purchases.

Protect your valuables by making sure that they are insured. Although some items may be covered under a parent’s homeowners’ insurance policy, you may need to add riders or purchase renter’s insurance.

Before moving in, make sure that you fully understand the terms and conditions of the lease, and that any existing damage to the premises is noted in writing by you and the landlord.

And, protect your identity and information by using secure passwords, using care with the storage and disposal of documents , and using caution before releasing personal information online, in text messages, or via other requests. If you are unsure, check things out with a trusted source.

There is a lot to learn when you head off to college. But, if you get stuck in a sticky situation, do not be afraid to reach out for help from our Call For Action office or other consumer agencies. We are here to help, and we want you to avoid learning lessons from the school of hard knocks.