With a new academic year about to start, WalletHub today released the results of its 2022 College Student Financial Survey, along with its editors’ picks for 2022’s Best Student Checking Accounts and Best Student Credit Cards, selected from hundreds of offers. College students need to prepare for their financial future, and these types of accounts are essential building blocks.
Please find key takeaways below, followed by commentary from WalletHub experts.
- Financial Literacy Improvements: Roughly 8 in 10 students say their financial literacy improved due to the pandemic.
- Debt-Worthy Education: 68% of students say it’s worth going into debt for a college education.
- Not Ready for Financial Independence: More than 1 in 4 students say they don’t feel prepared to be on their own financially.
- Economic Headwinds: 43% of students say the economy is holding them back the most financially, followed by their socioeconomic status (19%), financial literacy (15%), career choice (12%) and education level (11%).
- Concerning Financial Future: 86% of students say the pandemic made them more concerned about their financial future.
- Parental Help with Bill Payments: 37% of college students get help with credit card bills from their parents.
- Best Credit Card for Students: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students offers 1.5 – 3 points per dollar spent, a 25,000-point bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months and no annual fee.
- Best Checking Account for Students: The Capital One Money Teen Checking Account has no monthly fee, overdraft fee or ATM transaction fee. It offers 0.1% APY on all balances.
Q&A with WalletHub
Has the pandemic improved students’ financial literacy?
“Roughly 8 in 10 students say their financial literacy improved due to the pandemic, according to a new WalletHub survey. The pandemic forced people young and old to focus their attention on budgeting and saving, reexamine the sustainability of their income and spending habits, and even learn about inflation and the importance of supply chains,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.
Is it worth it to go into debt for a college education?
“A new WalletHub survey found that 68% of students say it’s worth going into debt for a college education. This makes sense because students see so many of their peers taking on debt for college that it seems expected, and investing in education typically does pay off,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Just because going into debt for a college education can pay off does not mean students shouldn’t worry about how much debt they take on. Choosing a less expensive school or working your way through college could leave you in a better position with more options after graduation, since you won’t have the pressure of paying off debt.”
Are students prepared to be on their own financially?
“More than 1 in 4 students say they don’t feel prepared to be on their own financially, according to a new WalletHub survey, and it is understandable why they feel this way. It is currently a difficult time to be embarking upon financial independence, with inflation high, interest rates rising, and a recession looming,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Many students are still supported by their parents, and removing that safety net can be scary at first, even in the best of times.”
What are the biggest things holding students back financially?
“If you ask students what is holding them back the most financially, the most common response is the economy, with 43% of students saying it’s their biggest financial headwind,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Next up on the list are students’ socioeconomic status (19%), financial literacy (15%), career choice (12%) and education level (11%).”
How common is it for college students to get help with their credit card bills from their parents?
“Roughly 37% of students get help with credit card bills from their parents, according to a new WalletHub survey,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Some parents want to help their children avoid missed payments and credit score damage, or save them from being stranded without any money. Other parents want their kids to grow up and take on more responsibility, including paying for their own day-to-day expenses. Either approach can work. It’s just a matter of finding an arrangement that suits the individuals involved.”