Be Money Smart

Financial Stress & Hardship

Are you stressed about money? Financial problems are a  source of stress for many students. Some students may experience financial situations requiring immediate action, such as:

  • Working too much to pay bills; can't focus on school
  • No money for food or hygiene products
  • Financial Aid was delayed - no money for textbooks
  • Wallet stolen with social security card
  • Credit card lost or stolen
  • Kicked out of the house – homeless
  • Heat turned off for non-payment in the winter
  • No access to transportation for work or school
  • Student loan going into default

Resources & Assistance

For situations involving a health emergency, see the Student Emergency page. For a medical emergency, call 911. Faculty/Staff may submit a student welfare concern through See Something, Say Something.

 

Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry & Referrals to Community Resources

  • Visit the  Yellowjacket Emergency Pantry (YEP): 406-896-5815
  • YEP can provide you with emergency food and hygiene products and connect you to other campus and community resources.

 

Transportation


 

Problems/Delays with Financial Aid

  • Contact the Office of Financial Aid immediately if:
    • You would like to receive aid, but don't know how to apply
    • You were suspended from aid and don't understand the appeals process
    • Your award is still in progress when the semester starts and you do  not have money for textbooks
    • You are using financial aid and want to drop a class or withdraw from school
  • Talk with Business Services. They will work with you to keep you from being dropped from classes. You may need to sign an installment contract (payment plan).

 

Loss or Theft of Credit/Debit Cards & Identity Theft

  • Contact University Police if you believe someone may have stolen your money, bank or credit card, or your identity: 406-657-2147.
  • For general  information, visit the Federal Trade Commission consumer information website:

 

Student Loan Default Prevention

  • If you can’t afford your student loan payment or don’t understand your options:
    • MSUB Financial Education – 406-657-1795
    • MSUB Financial Aid – 406-657-2188

 

Health


 

Employment


 

Avoiding & Managing Financial Troubles

 

The following strategies are useful for avoiding and managing financial troubles

  • Keep a written budget and live within your means
    • If you receive a financial aid refund, you can use it to prepay off-campus housing expenses
  • Apply for financial aid and scholarships early.
  • Monitor the status of your financial aid award in myInfo and turn in requirements right away, so aid is not delayed.
  • Keep $800 in savings at all times for emergencies or as a cash-flow cushion for bills. 
    • Your  financial aid refund can be used to build your cushion
  • Protect yourself financially with health and auto insurance (apply for Medicaid if you are lower income)
  • Have a support system in place – family, friends,  MSUB student services, community agencies
  • Take advantage of any public assistance programs for which you are eligible while you are a student. You will be giving back to the community once your earn your degree and transition into the workplace.
  • Use credit cards wisely
  • Take steps to protect yourself from identity theft
  • Don’t borrow more in student loans than you need or can repay
  • Contact student loan servicers if you have a financial hardship while in repayment: you have options