The amount of hands-on help your child needs decreases with each stage of maturity, and the period right after college graduation is no exception. However, this is a unique time where your child may not need hands-on help in the way of driving them around, doing their laundry, and cooking their meals; but they will need help making the adjustment from independent college student to working professional. Even if the help they need is simply allowing them to move back home after graduation. Regardless of the specifics pertaining to you and your child, there are some general ways that all parents can prepare so that should their child reach out, help is readily available.
Regardless of whether you plan to help your child by providing them funds once they graduate or not, you can help them become financially self-sufficient by offering your experience and advice. The most money kids at this stage have had to manage is minimal compared to the amount of money they will have to manage once they begin their careers, and in most cases their relationship with debt as well.
Student loans often offer a grace period so this is a great time to assist your child with creating a budget for themselves that will include that bill once the grace period ends. You can research the do’s and don’ts before your student loan grace period ends to give them a guideline of how their choices now will impact the payments later. Having these dos and don’ts from a third-party source will also act as somewhat of a liaison so that your child does not feel like they are being preached to, rather guided by fact towards successful use of their grace period.
Since you were likely the one helping them at the conception of these student loans, finishing that experience by helping them get set up for repayment makes sense because you will be well versed in the specifics of their loan types, and various lenders.
Providing your child with the resources to advocate for themselves is the sweet spot between giving a man a fish vs. teaching a man to fish. During the time right after college, it can be easy for a recent grad to slip backwards into collegiate habits so showing them how to tackle the responsibility, they are about to face regarding their finances can counteract that.
Guidance is great but most college grads need tangible help as well. Have a conversation before graduation about what your child can expect as far as things like being allowed to move back home, access to family vehicles or not, deciding on a potential career path, and any requirements that they may have to meet in order to participate in these offerings. Advance notice of how they can expect life to look in terms of parental support and assistance after graduation will allow them to prepare for that transition and also use their student loan grace period to make any necessary adjustments to their lifestyle.