The state of Oregon offers tips and tools for young adults

Once the parties have ended and the caps and gowns are stored away safely, yesterday’s students are tomorrow’s working adults. As they head into their futures, young graduates heading out on their own need to be aware that some of the decisions they face can have long-term consequences.

“Getting off to a good start financially will make life a lot easier and gives people more financial options down the road,” Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, said. “It is much better to take the time now and plan for your future than (to) later wish you had.”

His organization suggests that recent graduates focus on the following areas.

Health insurance. Many entry-level jobs do not include health insurance as a benefit. Fortunately, young adults can stay on their parents’ plans until they reach 26 years of age. They do not need to live at home, attend school or be claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns.

Rental insurance. If fire destroys a rental house or apartment, the owner’s policy will cover damage to the structure but not to the occupants’ belongings. That’s where renters insurance comes in. The cost of renters insurance averages less than $15 per month in Oregon. Most policies cover personal liability if someone is injured because of activities on the rental premises.

Credit. It can be easy to obtain and hard to discharge. Wise graduates will use credit cards carefully, without piling on the debt. Credit scores follow users, and poor scores can force consumers to pay more or result in rejection for everything from insurance to home loans.

Savings. Even though an entry-level job may leave little cash after the bills are paid, putting away even a small amount builds a habit that pays big dividends later. Visit for information about savings, borrowing, budgeting, earning and investing.

Need more information about insurance, mortgages, investment and more? Free assistance is available from the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit for information.

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