Choosing a bank
Here are some money management tips from other international students:
- Budget carefully. You know how much your income and basic expenditures are, so pay all bills immediately at the start of each month, and you will know exactly how much remains.
- Keep accounts. Keeping track of expenditures in various categories (food, books, etc.) can help pinpoint areas of heavy spending, which might surprise you. Done on a monthly basis, this can give you quite an incentive to economize in certain areas.
- Income Tax Returns. If you are in F or J status (even if you have no income), be sure to file income tax forms, which document your tax obligation in the U.S annually. This requirement also includes filing for F-2 and J-2 dependants. See Tax Information on the website for more details.
- Credit. For many students, this may be the first exposure to credit cards. For those students who arrived in the U.S. with few household possessions, it’s a lifesaver, but beware of over-extending yourself. Remember that you may be paying from 13% to 20% interest on some accounts. Also, some companies may not issue a credit card to international students, because they are worried about increased risk in collecting payments.