Your finances during the MBA

Taking care of your money while in the US

  • Personal Finances Resources: Although it may not be
    very high in your to-do list, taking care of your personal finances is extremely
    important. The following sites should help:

  • Financial Aid: Although limited for international
    students, new programs and opportunities are emerging to finance your MBA. Make sure you
    check regularly the Financing your MBA section and
    you keep in touch with the Financial aid person at your school. Keep in mind that new
    financing opportunities arise frequently when a country or region is going through a
    financial crisis.

  • The checking account: The checking account and its
    ATM/Debit card are the center of your finances. Keep the following in mind:

    • Consider online banking at href="/cgi-bin/affil.cgi?num=cbank&loc=text">Compubank. Online banking is
      convenient, safe and inexpensive. Other online banks include href="">Net.B@nk. Check Gomez Advisor's href="">on-line
      Banking ranking

    • If you still prefer old fashiones banking, choose a well known bank
      (FDIC insured), with a branch near the School or near home.

    • Find an account offering automatic payments. This feature will let
      you pay your bills online, directly from your account, simplifying your finances

    • Learn everything you need about banking @ href="">

  • Building credit: Credit is extremely important in
    the US, especially for young professionals.If you decide to stay in this country, you will
    need it for everything from financing your consumer spending (credit cards) to buying a
    car and a home. It is a must to build and keep a good credit standing. Once you get your
    social security number, every transaction involving some sort of credit will be monitored
    by credit bureaus. To build credit: start with a credit card (see below), then
    apply for other forms of credit, like auto lease or financing furniture purchases.

  • Credit Card: Not only a good starting point to build
    a credit history, but also a convenient form of payment. However, without a credit history
    and no current income, it may be difficult to get one. To get one: apply online to href="/cgi-bin/affil.cgi?num=nextc&loc=text">NextCard or href="/cgi-bin/affil.cgi?num=amexp&loc=text">American Express Student Card
    (after you get your Social Security number). These and others are usually aggressively
    marketed on campus by the beginning of the Fall and Spring terms. They are likely to
    approve a credit card (even if with low credit limits) without a credit history.

  • Preparing a budget: Preparing a budget is a good
    idea for anyone. It is especially important for a person living in another country,
    without a regular income and with fairly high expenses. To help you with a budget:


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  • Investing: If you have any saved money (other than
    the money you set aside for tuition and expenses), it is a good idea to start investing.
    It may be a good way to get a better return on your money (compared to bank accounts), and
    it looks great in your resume. Besides,  B-School is the best place to learn about
    investing and to access a huge amount of information on the subject. Some tips:

  • Taxes: As the tax season approaches (April 15 of
    every year), take a few minutes to understand your tax situation. Start by visiting our href="#TAXES">Taxes section, and by talking to your International Student advisor.

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