Sometimes the best intentions can lend themselves to producing the worst results. While many friends and family members may offer quick solutions to your financial anguish, often times, the best education is understanding those lessons first hand. At Putnam Bank we’d like to showcase several of the most common pieces of advice we hear, and what you can do to remedy these particular miscommunications.
Bad Advice #1: You have to go to college to get a decent job.
While a college degree does open additional doors, it is not required for many well-paying jobs available around the nation. Social figures like Mike Rowe, have made it their personal mission to spread the message that you can earn a living without having to sink into debt. Whether you’re interested in IT, manufacturing, grocery management, or other skilled work, you can find numerous positions through technical training or management programs, and avoid the majority of debt most four-year college students incur.
Bad Advice #2: Having debt is okay if you pay your minimum payments.
While it is important to make installments on your loans or debts, eliminating them all together should be the desired end goal. Did you know that when credit reporting companies review your credit score, there are five factors considered? The two most important factors are your payment history and your debt to income ratio. If your monthly debt payments require more than 43 percent of your income, that may raise a flag to any future potential lenders.
Bad Advice #3: To build your credit score you need to purchase everything on your credit card.
While it certainly helps to have a long and healthy track record associated with your credit card usage; having an on-time payment history is far more important. This payment history represents the largest factor of your credit score, which the reporting bureaus track. By never spending more than you have, you can make certain you are able to pay your bill in full each and every month. This action may have the potential to help foster growth for your credit score.
Bad Advice #4: Retirement savings can wait.
Contrary to what many young adults think, right now is the most important time to start saving for retirement. While later in life you might have more disposable income to save, you’ll also have less time before you need those funds. Once compound interest enters any equation, time becomes the most valuable commodity for growing your wealth. For instance, if you saved the Roth IRA maximum of $5,500/year starting at age 25, you’d have $1.17 Million by the time you’re 65. Who wouldn’t want to capitalize on those kinds of savings?
We think you can tackle any piece of advice with a few grains of salt. If you’re curious what your next financial move should be, stop by Putnam Bank and speak to one of our dedicated personal bankers. Our team of financial experts is here to help you and your family succeed!