College grads: Top 5 financial mistakes – and how to avoid them

3. Ignoring the due dates

Justin Sullivan/AP/File
San Francisco resident Mary Bull displays her past due Pacific Gas & Electric bill for $243.67 that is handcuffed to her arm, while protesting rising power prices at a Public Utilities Commission meeting in San Francisco in 2001.

In college, remembering to pay credit card bills, utilities, car loans, and rent is often the last thing on students’ minds. However, not paying bills on time will not only incur fees, it can significantly damage students’ credit scores and make them vulnerable to interest hikes.

A big factor of a great credit score is good payment history, so make it effortless to pay on time by setting up e-mail and text alerts for bill payment. When you’re too busy to remember, this siren system reminds you to pay your bills on time and helps you establish this crucial financial habit. Plus, it’ll save you from damaged credit and penalty fees.

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