Money Advice for the Young, Fabulous & Broke Class of 2006

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Suze Orman offers three strategies that members of the graduating class of 2006 need to put into play as they enter the workforce.

“Congratulations to the class of 2006. Listen, these are really challenging times, and they’re also exciting times,” says financial expert Suze Orman. In her latest book, The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke (Riverhead Books), Orman discusses the challenges that today’s college graduates face (see http://www.suzeorman.com/yfbvid for a multimedia preview of the book).

“Look at the real estate market. Totally off the charts,” Orman points out. “Look at the price of gasoline. How are you ever going to be able to afford it? How about health insurance, your student loans, and the insurance on your student loans? It’s depressing, but you don’t have be depressed, because there’s also excitement. If you ask me, 2006, this is going to be your year, if you just know what to do.”

Orman offers three strategies that members of the graduating class of 2006 need to put into play as they enter the workforce:

Strategy Number 1: Know the FICO score, that three-digit number that will determine the interest rate that you will pay on credit cards, car loans, and home mortgages. “I want to see you have a FICO score of 760 or above,” Orman coaches. “If you can only get a 10 percent interest rate on a car loan because your FICO score is so low, then improve your score and refinance your auto loan.”

Strategy Number 2: Now that you’ve got a job with a 401(k) plan, and your employer matches what you put into it, invest. “No matter how much debt you have; you cannot afford to pass up free money,” says Orman.

Strategy Number 3: Somebody, someday, is going to ask you to co-sign for a loan. Orman urges college graduates to avoid co-signing a loan for anybody. “If you co-sign and that person can’t pay the bill, guess what? It is your bill, and it can ruin your future. So I’m begging you: don’t do it!”

As certain as she is that her book contains all the information you need to start building a solid financial life, Orman knows it’s best to deliver advice tailored to specific situations. That’s where her website comes in. “I have created the YF&B section at http://www.suzeorman.com. It is loaded with tools and resources, including my Action Planner. The book and website are designed to work in tandem.”

“I know this subject matter is serious,” Orman says. ‘Your future is riding on it. But taking control of your financial life doesn’t have to be a solitary and scary process. Fear comes from not knowing what to do or how to do it. And when we’re fearful, we do nothing. My book and website will give you all the information you need to shed your fears and confidently take action. You really do have what it takes to move past broke. You just need to start moving forward.”

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Nancy Friend

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