It is graduation time, with schools celebrating their students accomplishments and their readiness to move on to the next challenge. The Federal Trade Commission offers its own commencement advice for graduates, on how to make the most of their money and protect themselves in the marketplace. How to be the Class ‘Value-dictorian’ offers tips, including:
Keep your personal information to yourself. In the past five years, millions of Americans have been victims of identity theft, including many students. Protect your passwords, guard you credit card number, shred sensitive paperwork, and don’t leave your mail where it might tempt a potential identity thief.
Understand credit. Credit is more than just a plastic card; it’s your financial future. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you “speak credit.” That “permanent record” your teachers always warned you about? It’s called a credit report. Late payments now will come back to haunt you when you try to buy a car, get an apartment, or even land a job. Once you’ve established credit, get a free copy of your credit report at annualcreditreport.com.
Some employment services are scams. Bona fide job placement services can help launch you in the career of your dreams. But bogus companies can scam you out of your money. Before paying any money to someone offering to help you land a job, check out who you are doing business with.
More tips are available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt153.pdf.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them.