A recent study found that newly-minted college graduates are struggling to practice good financial health. 

In recent months, there have been several stories in the news about schools that are providing financial literacy programs to their students. Most of these programs are initiated as a way to help students avoid the burden of student loan debt. But there’s a long way to go yet to provide real help to the majority of grads, a new study shows.

A survey by OppLoans of 500 college graduates revealed that most consumers struggle to maintain good financial habits after graduation. The individuals surveyed graduated in 2016, and seven out of 10 reported multiple financial mistakes in the two years since graduation.

Sixty-nine percent admitted that they had missed payments on their credit cards, utilities, student loans, and car loans. Regularly missing payments can cause significant damage to an individual’s credit score. For instance, a borrower with good credit can see their credit score go down by as much as 110 points just for missing one 30-day payment window, according to Equifax.

Most graduates reported struggling to manage their credit card debt after graduation, and 51 percent admitted to paying their credit card bill at least 30 days late at least once. Meanwhile, 20 percent said they had missed payments more than once.

And many students had a hard time managing their student loan payments: 29 percent of respondents were over 90 days late making a federal loan payment, while 19 percent paid their private loans 45 days late. And 15 percent said they missed a car payment by 30 days or more.

MUST READ:
IRS Agent In Trouble After Persuading Medical Marijuana Dispensary Owner to Pay Off His Student Loans in Exchange for Easy Audit

Some people may not know that routinely paying their utilities late can hurt their credit score. But utility companies do report late payments to credit bureaus, especially if the account is sent to collections. Twenty-nine percent said they had been sent to a collection agency for an overdue utility payment.

A credit card balance exceeding 30 percent of the credit limit can negatively affect an individual’s credit score. Over one-third (37 percent) of respondents said they had a credit card balance that currently exceeds 30 percent of the total credit limit. Meanwhile, 20 percent said their balance had exceeded that limit at one time.

Student loan debt is a growing problem in the United States, and the total amount of outstanding debt currently exceeds $1.4 trillion. This is about $620 billion more than Americans owe in total credit card debt. And what is most problematic is 11 percent of these students are either delinquent on their loan payments or already in default.

For most college students, the first couple years after graduation are challenging as they learn to manage the “real world.” Many of these financial mistakes may not seem like such a big deal at the time, but they can result in serious consequences down the road. This survey provides more proof that a new solution is needed to help borrowers manage their debt responsibly.