Here is a list of 8 mistakes we often see in students. You may think this is common sense but you’d be surprised. Along with these mistakes, we discuss some repercussions as well as our own tips to avoid them. Just click to expand!

So what?

  • Penalties and late fees will be added to the bill.
  • You will compromise your credit rating and your credit score will automatically lose points. Check out our “A Recipe for Success” article here.
  • You will run the risk that your interest rate will be increased or your account will be closed.

Tip!

  • Use pre-authorized debits and you’ll never be late again!

So what?

  • You will incur late fees
  • You will not receive your grades at the end of the semester
  • You will not be able to return to school until all outstanding McMaster accounts are in good standing
  • You will not be able to graduate or receive your transcript

Tip!

  • Once you are in receipt of any funds the priority has to be your tuition. Pay this bill IMMEDIATLY

So what?

  • You missed out on an opportunity to reduce your debt load.
  • Your budget is tighter than it needs to be.
  • You’ll pay interest on a Student Line of Credit or credit cards that you may not have needed to use.

Tip!

  • According to StudentAwards, over $15 million goes unclaimed! One of these scholarships could have your name on it.
  • There are many funds that are prepared to support students by recognizing your academic progress, your financial need, your extracurricular activities, even your parent’s work places and religious or ethnic affiliations. Check out McMasters Student Financial Aid and Scholarship page. sfas.mcmaster.ca/index.html

So what?

  • You’ll miss out on money saving activities, events and some really helpful programs that will make your experience at McMaster more exciting and interesting as well as cheaper!

Tip!

  • Check out our Tuition Breakdown page for a list of services you could be utilizing
  • The complete list of services run by the MSU can be found here.

So what?

  • You’ll be spending money you don’t have
  • You could run out of funds before the year ends
  • You could find yourself in more debt than you can handle or expected
  • You could make decisions that are not in your financial best interest

Tip!

  • Look for ways to cut back on expenses and use freebies whenever you can.
  • Check out the student budgeting worksheets on our website.

So what?

  • The debt will grow faster and will get out of your control
  • You will make purchases and choices without knowing the consequences of your actions

Tip!

  • Check your loan amounts and credit card balances regularly
  • Know the interest rates on the loans and cards
  • Be aware of the impact this debt will have on your future financial health
  • Use a debt calculator to see what your future monthly payments will be and don’t exceed 10% of what your monthly future income might be. See our Life After Mac budgeting page

So what?

  • You may end up spending more money than you have available to you
  • A lot of wasted money will go towards paying off interest
  • Those fancy new shoes you got on sale could end up costing more than the original price tag

TIP

  • Credit card interest rates are high so take advantage of the grace period on cards and never pay interest again. Check out our Credit Card statement breakdown page

So what?

  • You will miss out on your chance to get a tax refund
  • You will miss out on both the provincial and federal refunds eligible for low income earners –Trillium and HST

Tip!

  • Even if you don’t have an income you can still file a tax return and be eligible for government programs designed to help low income individuals
  • A refund can add to your income and reduce your reliance on borrowing