Spotlight on Library Resources

In seeking to improve your financial knowledge, don’t forget about the University of Illinois Library’s resources. Subject experts and print and e-resources can aid your understanding and help you make more informed decisions when it comes to your personal finances.

The Library has many ebooks and books in print that can provide guidance on borrowing, earning, protecting, saving & investing, and spending. Watch for more “Spotlight on Library Resources” posts, in which we’ll feature a particular e-resource that falls into one of these categories.

Be sure to visit the Library’s resource guide, or LibGuide, on financial literacy. It has useful web tools, introductory and reference resources on personal finance, and sources by specific subject area.

Search or browse BIS (Business Information Services) Fast Answers if you want to find finance articles, or need clarification about types of investments, for example. There is a Finance category for these Frequently Asked Questions.

Finally, don’t forget about the BIS Subject Specialists, librarians who have subject expertise in personal finance, if you are struggling with a particular question

Written by Heidi Johnson, University of Illinois Library

Where can I get a copy of my credit report?

There are several companies that say they provide free credit report services. However, very few actually do, or there’s always a catch–aka a fee–attached to it. Fortunately, AnnualCreditReport.com is the only website that allows you to access your credit reports from all three credit reporting bureaus for free once a year.

Checking your credit report is a great way to review your credit history and ensure that your identity hasn’t been compromised. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to get a free copy of your credit report now!

Written by Alex Ziskind, University of Illinois USFSCO Student Money Management Center

Why should I negotiate?

One of the hardest parts of being on the job market is negotiating for yourself once you have an offer. The expectation is to feel grateful no matter what compensation you are offered, but the truth of the circumstances is that this feeling only helps the employer. While negotiating can be terrifying for some people, the importance in negotiating effectively rests in what is to be gained, or lost. There is a lot at stake!

Employers expect negotiation as part of the hiring process. Your ability to communicate thoughtfully and collaboratively in the negotiation demonstrates that you will be able to take this approach with your colleagues and clients. Negotiating can also be seen as a respectable and admirable quality when done correctly.

The primary point for most people is the value of their monetary compensation. Salary negotiation has both immediate and long-term benefits. Consider that a two to four percent increase in your initial salary can translate to over one million dollars of earnings over your lifetime. That amount could send your child to Harvard four times over. While the amount may not seem like much at first, remember that subsequent raises will be based off your current salary, and if you decide to leave your job, you can gain leverage on your next salary as well.

While salary is important, you must also consider the entire package within the offer. Does it give you financial support for continuing education, insurance, paid time off, gym memberships, childcare, travel stipends, moving expenses, and help locating housing? These additional benefits can dramatically increase the value of your job offer, and must be assessed correctly when estimating your total compensation. Just remember this: You have more leverage at the time of the offer than at any other point in the job search. Take this opportunity to ask for the things that will make you a productive, satisfied employee. If you don’t, you may really lose out in the end.

Written by Kyle Carmack, Graduate College Career Development Office