College Archives - Common Trust FCU

Helping Young People Manage Their Money.

Whether a few bucks from the grandparents on their birthday or their first paycheck from a summer job, teaching young people how to manage their money is one of the most important lessons they’ll ever learn. They already know how to spend the money. The challenge is to show them how to earn it, save it, and maybe spend it more smartly.

To help, we’ve pulled together a few tips, some timely suggestions, and even thrown in a few good deals. Yes, because we’re a credit union – but we were young once, also. 

Earning It.

“Slow feet don’t eat.” Your kids might not miss any meals, but instilling an appreciation for the daily hustle can only serve them well in the long view. Chances are good they’ve already been introduced to the free-market economy by being paid cash for services rendered – shoveling snow, washing the dishes, vacuuming the floor, etc. Valuable stuff, but don’t neglect the flip side – don’t do the work, and they don’t get paid.

Eventually, many older kids become someone else’s employees, and nothing offers real-life money lessons better than a real-life job. First-time employees have to show up on time, work for someone who won’t care how cute they once were, and pay taxes. Oh, and one additional real-life lesson worth learning: Seeing Uncle Sam’s piece of their paycheck. 

Saving It.

If your kids earn more dollars than coins, it’s time for their first bank account. Make it theirsdon’t connect it to your account in case of overdrafts or a stolen identity. Do be the signer on the account to see spending behavior. It’s your opportunity to show young account holders how to balance their budget, track spending, and understand the long-term benefits of saving. A first car, college, that VR headset they didn’t get as a gift – if they want it, they need to start saving for it. From now until June 1st, Common Trust Federal Credit Union is offering a Youth Savings Account promotion. Open a savings account with us, and they’ll be automatically registered to win a new bike.

Now, Give Them Some Credit.

Some of those things worth saving for require not only cash but credit. Good credit takes discipline, which young people don’t always have. Hey, we don’t judge – plenty of adults learned the hard way about the importance of having and keeping good credit. An excellent plan for getting young adults started on the path to good credit is the credit-builder loan. That’s a special kind of loan specifically designed to boost credit scores. The young person  – aka “the borrower” – pays a lender in monthly installments and, in the end, receives that money in a savings account. The lender reports their on-time monthly payments to the credit bureaus, thus building (or rebuilding) their credit history. At Common Trust, it would be an honor to help a young person establish a good credit history with a credit-builder loan. 

The Ultimate Dorm Room Essentials Checklist

The end of summer marks the harbinger for bright, fall beginnings, and for some, the start of an extraordinary journey to college. For first-time first-year college students, the passage into university life can be a daunting one–it is a new experience all around and necessitates learning independence and organization. Entering campus life is an exciting milestone, and the Common Trust team wants to propose the ultimate dorm room essentials tips in addition to offering financial assistance for a seamless start. We hope our Essentials Guidelines provide some useful ideas to help you plan. Also, this exciting event of venturing to college is notably the ideal time to explore our Back to School Loan for your preparation. Your excitement is our excitement, and we look forward to offering incoming freshmen support for this significant turning point moment. 

Get & Stay Organized 

For any incoming college student, living away from home and the dawning of independence can feel overwhelming. Organization is the key ingredient to relieving stress, as your dorm room checklist is probably multiplying by the minute. The first order of being organized is to distill your list to purchase the items you actually need. We recommend first combing through your checklist and narrowing it down to key things– it can be easy to go overboard, but remember that less may be more as space is limited. Before heading to the store, talk with your roommate(s) to coordinate your new environment to figure out who is bringing what so you do not transport more than you should. 

Mainstays for a Comfortable Stay 

Dorm room essentials may seem obvious; bedding, bath and laundry products, and computer necessities, but dorms are bare and primed for your arrival. Dorm rooms are typically fairly small, so adjusting to a tighter room requires a downsizing mentality to maximize space. The following items should help you condense space and allow you to have all the things you need.

Bedding & Personals List

  1. Bed Risers – bed lifts allow you to increase space under your bed so you can store what you don’t need for that season. We also recommend buying a few plastic bins to store items under the bed.
  2. Bath caddy, towels, and shower shoes 
  3. Health and Grooming essentials 
  4. Hanging closet shelving and over-the-door hanging vanity organizer to keep all your toiletries together and free up space elsewhere
  5. Hydro Flask – save on buying bottled water and keep a hydro flask handy when in-room or heading to class.
  6. Small vacuum or dustbuster to keep your room clean 
  7. Favorite art or music posters, string lighting, and other items for decor to personalize your space

Study & Electronics List

College life is surely about balancing studying and fun. While in academic mode, having your desk and study zone well-organized will help keep you focused and feel less overwhelmed. Late night studying is bound to happen, so be equipped with the proper necessities for optimal concentration.

  1. Laptop, printer, surge protector, and all appropriate charging cables 
  2. Laptop desk for portability 
  3. Desk lamp for late-night study sessions
  4. Wireless headphones, or even noise cancellation headphones
  5. Desk shelving units for books and files
  6. Calculator and Dictionary 
  7. Supplies 

Entertainment & Downtime List

Amidst your rigorous studies, you will have time for recreation with your new friends and roommates. Sharing in streaming services and TV purchasing can also ease budgets, so be sure to collaborate with your suitemates on how you want to contribute to your shared space.

  1. TV 
  2. Mini fridge and microwave 
  3. Streaming stick 
  4. White noise machine for tranquil sleep 
  5. Speakers for music streaming

Carpe Diem

From August 1st through September 30th, Common Trust is running a Back to School Loan Promotion for students to get a jump start on collecting the items needed for success away from home. With first-time expenses amassing, this loan was calculated to lighten the load as you settle into your new routines. Our exclusive Back to School Loan features benefits such as; 

  • A $2,400 Loan (Existing loans must be paid off or included in the new loan)
  • Rates as low as 7.5% (*subject to creditworthiness)
  • 12 months to repay the loan
  • Payments amounting to $208.22, or approximately $52 per week

Getting acclimated to dorm life is an exhilarating process, and we look forward to helping you thrive upon your first foot on campus. The Common Trust Team is accessible to answer your questions on activating this unique loan opportunity to launch your new experience ahead of the game. We wish the best of luck to all rising college students in this new academic year — you’ve got this, and we’ve got you.

To learn more about the Back to School Loan, we invite you to explore here

Announcing the 2020 Credit Union College Scholarship Program

The Cooperative Credit Union Association, Inc.’s College Scholarship Program will be awarding six (6) $1500 scholarships. There will be one scholarship awarded per chapter. Information regarding eligibility for these scholarships is listed below.

  1. Eligibility is limited to high school seniors who will be enrolled in an undergraduate college
    degree program during the 2020-2021 academic year.
  2. Applicant or parent/guardian must be a member of the Common Trust Federal Credit Union.
  3. Students must submit a typewritten essay, in 250 words or less, about a person or event that
    has been an inspiration to you and how it has affected you and your outlook on life
  4. An academic transcript of grades must be submitted along with the completed application.

DEADLINES: Must submit completed applications along with an academic transcript to the Common Trust Federal Credit Union no later than February 29, 2020.

5 Tips to Get Your Student Financially Smart for College and Beyond

College is a profound experience for students, one that teaches them more than just Bio 101 and English Lit. The lessons on independence, both socially and financially, will carry with them throughout their tenure and beyond. Is your student ready to tackle the challenges of making their own money, creating their own budget, and staying fiscally responsible? 

As your student ages toward this big milestone, it’s critical that you prepare them with a solid foundational knowledge of how money works and why it’s important to be smart with their money. Here are 5 lessons to instill on them to get them excited and invested in their financial future:

1. Make a Cost List

Sit down with your child and help them create a list of how much everything they use costs. Food, clothing, electricity, cell phones — itemize these consumables over the course of a month to give them a true idea of how much it costs to be financially independent. 

2. Create a Budget

Incoming money from paychecks and outgoing money to bills — this is the heartbeat of adulthood. Teach your student how to best manage this equation to understand how much they need to make, how much they can afford to spend, and how much they should save. 

3. Emphasize Savings

When teens get their first job, this sudden influx of cash is the time to institute a plan that will help them learn the importance of savings. Most experts recommend 30% be put into savings, but more can’t hurt, especially with the looming costs of books and supplies for college.

4. Keep Yourself Responsible

Ever had your toddler repeat a curse word that accidentally slipped out? Use this “Do as I do” mentality to show your child how important it is to be responsible. Get them involved in saving for a vacation, or have them sit with you while you pay bills. Be their financial role model.

5. Consider a Digital Aid

In this digital era, there are countless tools available to help parents and kids create budgets, track spending on late-night food runs to fuel study sessions, and stay on top of the student loan repayment schedule. 

A good step toward financial independence is understanding how savings and loan programs work. At Common Trust Federal Credit Union, our Financial Education Center offers tools and lessons on common banking needs. Also, our Back to School Loan promotion offers students a way to offset the costs associated with going to college with a low interest rate and 12-month payback period. Learn more today!

Dorm Room Comfort: 9 Overlooked Essentials You’ll Want This Fall

Moving out on your own is a huge step, one full of equal parts excitement and nervousness. Without the comforts of home, you can feel unanchored in the new space while adjusting to the sheer freedom of being a college student. It doesn’t have to be this way, though! 

Other dorm room lists have the basics covered — sheets, comforter, towels, shower shoes, etc. — let’s take a deeper look at those essential extras that will make your shared space feel like a home and provide you with the support you need to make your college experience successful! 

1. Area rug — Getting up for that 8 a.m. lab might be easier if your feet hit a plush carpet rather than a cold floor. Measure the space to get the right size, and pack a small vacuum and fabric spray to keep it clean and fresh. 

2. Dish and silverware set — A small set that includes a few plates, a bowl, a mug, and some silverware will go a long way toward making late-night ramen or local take-out feel like a home cooked meal.

3. Powerstrips — There are never enough outlets, especially when you have to share them. Look for a model that has a long extension cord, plenty of plug space and USB ports for easy charging.

4. Cozy blanket — You have a nice comforter set, but a soft throw blanket gives you options when you don’t necessarily want to get into bed. Use it to wrap up during cold study sessions or when taking a much-needed video game break.

5. Trash can — You forget that you need one until you actually need it. Get a slim model and use those delivery bags to line it for easy disposal on your way to class. 

6. Alarm clock — Yeah, we know: Your phone alarm works great … until it doesn’t. Spend the dough to get a real alarm clock. Some models even offer special features, like a bed shaker or puzzle, that’ll make sure you don’t miss class.

7. Sound-proof headphones — Dorms are, by nature, communal spaces. There will be times when you want to crank your music loud — and conversely times when the party down the hall is disrupting your study time. Best be prepared.

8. Laundry basket — Opt for a sturdy, collapsible model with handles that can fit in your closet and hold all the supplies you need, like soap and dryer sheets. 

9. Curtains — Aside from adding privacy in a fairly non-private space, they can also function as decor on bare concrete walls. Sheer to light-blocking varieties are available — and in a pinch, a shower curtain will do.

One thing all students will need in their dorm rooms is a new computer — and with the Common Trust Federal Credit Union computer loan promotion, you can borrow up to $3,000 for computer-related purchases at a low rate to ensure you’re set up with all the latest tech you’ll need. Head to the branch today or apply online to get started!

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