College Mistakes: Financial Advisors List the Worst

A recent study polled financial advisors to discover the worst financial mistakes made by college students.  

Although the U.S. Department of Education’s new Direct Loan program may make college more affordable for some, mismanaged personal finances could lead to greater problems for future financial security. A survey of more than 340 First Command Financial Advisors revealed their greatest concerns: 

  • 75% reported spending without a budget and credit card debt; 
  • 60% reported overall debt; 
  • 48% reported not having enough savings; 
  • 41% reported not having a plan for the future; 
  • 40% reported lacking knowledge of financial issues.  

“The economic downturn has been a wake-up call for many Americans [to make] meaningful, long-term changes in their household finances,” said Terri Kallsen, CFP and executive vice president of strategic development at First Command. She warned that many college students and recent graduates, however, “may not yet have the life experience and judgment to properly manage [loans or related products].”  

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First Command Financial Services provides financial planning services and investment products. To learn more about this survey, visit