A quarter of U.S. college students who responded to a recent LendEDU survey say their biggest monthly expense is alcohol and/or drugs.
“Quite surprising, but not that crazy,” Nate Matherson, CEO of LendEDU, said in an email. “This was perhaps the most fun response.”
LendEDU, an Iowa-based student loan and refinancing marketplace, surveyed 455 undergraduate and graduate students at three East Coast schools in early 2016. Not only did the survey find that these college kids are using their money for fun, it turns out many haven’t been taught about finances and may face a real wake-up call after graduation.
“College students are leaving campus with an average of $35,000 in student loan debt, yet the majority of students are lacking basic financial skills,” Matherson said. “How can we expect student loan borrowers to repay/escape student debt without personal finance knowledge?”
About half of respondents said they learned at least a little bit about finances in high school, while only 34% said they had taken a college course on personal finance. It appeared that parents were the biggest influence on financial knowledge, with 46% saying their parents taught them about managing money in some way and 24% saying they learned from their parents’ example.
Good Credit Pairs With Good Drinks
The LendEDU team reports that 58% of students surveyed were not actively working to build good credit. However, out of those who had a credit card, only 8% said they had been late on a credit card payment, so they may have good habits that are helping their credit without knowing. (Using a credit card can be a great way for young people to start building credit, and you can check out the best student credit cards here.)
You certainly learn a lot in college, and that includes budgeting, whether it’s for recreation or for financing your education. Developing good spending and saving habits now can help you one day when you are faced with repaying student loans or paying down a mortgage. These good habits can also benefit you in other ways, like building a good credit score. You can keep an eye on your credit by viewing your free credit report summary, updated each month, on Credit.com.
More on Student Loans:
- Can You Get Your Student Loans Forgiven?
- A Credit Guide for College Graduates
- Strategies for Paying Off Student Loan Debt
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