Education &amp; Training http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12010/all en-US CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can't Afford to Overlook http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/student_graduation_cap_72466853.jpg" alt="Student learning about CSS for college financial aid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to applying for financial aid for college, most families know about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is important for all college-bound individuals to apply for FAFSA, but there is also another important financial aid program to apply for alongside the FAFSA &mdash; the College Scholarship Service Profile, a.k.a the CSS PROFILE.</p> <p>The CSS PROFILE application is created by the College Board, the same people who create the SAT, and used by over 300 colleges and universities nationwide. Where FAFSA is an application for federal aid, PROFILE is for nonfederal financial aid, usually money that the school has control over doling out. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-college?ref=seealso">What to Do if You Didn't Save for Your Child's College</a>)</p> <h2>When to Apply to CSS?</h2> <p>Individuals can apply for CSS as early as October 1st. The College Board encourages applicants to fill out their PROFILE no later than two weeks before their school's priority filing period.</p> <h2>Does the CSS Cost Money?</h2> <p>Yes, the CSS PROFILE application costs $25 for the initial application, and $16 for each additional report. However, there is a fee waiver available for low-income students, as well as individuals who have received a fee waiver for the SAT. Typically families who make less than $40,000 a year or individuals under 24 years of age who are orphans and wards of the court will qualify for a fee waiver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts?ref=seealso">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a>)</p> <h2>Should You Apply for the CSS or FAFSA?</h2> <p>It is very important to note that the CSS does not replace the FAFSA. Instead, it is an additional application required for some colleges. You should apply for both financial aid programs if your school is one of the 300 <a href="https://profileonline.collegeboard.org/prf/PXRemotePartInstitutionServlet/PXRemotePartInstitutionServlet.srv">listed by College Board</a>. If your school is not on the list, then you will not have to fill out the CSS. The list is made up of mostly private schools, and the only state college on the list is Colorado State University.</p> <h2>What Are the Differences Between CSS and FAFSA?</h2> <p>The two applications have quite a few differences that families should be aware of. First off, the CSS calculates family assets and income a little differently than the FAFSA does. This can potentially hurt applicants, causing them to receive less aid.</p> <p>For example, the FAFSA considers gifts made to the parents, including monetary gifts grandparents give to parents for the use of college, as assets. This allows the student to remain eligible for aid. However, CSS considers the same type of gift as income, which would reflect in the aid package.</p> <p>On the plus side, CSS does collect a more in-depth look at your family's finances. For example, the FAFSA does not take into account if you are paying medical expenses or tuition for younger children's schooling. CSS looks at a wide range of circumstances in order to determine what your family can afford.</p> <p>Another important difference to remember is that some schools require divorced families to fill out an additional form. The list of the 300 schools will also inform you if your school wants the details of the noncustodial parent's financial information. If so, you will need to fill out an additional Noncustodial PROFILE.</p> <h2>How Does the CSS Benefit Families?</h2> <p>In many cases, the CSS PROFILE will allow families to receive a financial aid package for 90% to 100 percent of the money they need to attend college. However, it is important to note that this aid package is not always free money. For most families, the financial aid package will also include loans, most likely a mix of private loans and Parent PLUS loans.</p> <p>Families considered high needs, usually those who make less than $40,000 per year, are more likely to receive aid packages that do not have loans in them.</p> <p>Financial aid packages might be presented to families as one lump sum. It is important to sit down with an adviser and know the break down for the aid given. Know what is free aid (aid that never has to be repaid), and know how much of the aid is in the form of loans. It is also important to know what types of loans they are offering to you. You don't want to accept loans at a higher interest than you can get on your own.</p> <p>For more information on the CSS PROFILE, visit the&nbsp;<a href="http://css.collegeboard.org/">College Board</a> website for an interactive tutorial, as well as a list of recently asked questions. You can also talk with your child's college adviser for more information and resources.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes — And How To Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-college">What to Do If You Didn&#039;t Save for Your Child&#039;s College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training college College Board css profile FAFSA federal student aid financial aid student loans students Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:30:12 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1801998 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Smart, Frugal Things Every College Care Package Should Include http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-frugal-things-every-college-care-package-should-include <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-smart-frugal-things-every-college-care-package-should-include" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/college_students_boxes_13133755_0.jpg" alt="Parent sharing frugal things that all college care packages need" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My son headed off to college this fall, so I have been thinking about the best things to send in a college care package. Whatever you ultimately decide to include, make sure the items inside your care package fit the following criteria:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Small</strong>: So your care package items won't take up too much space in a small dorm room or apartment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Lightweight</strong>: For inexpensive shipping or easy carrying to the room.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Nonperishable</strong>: So items won't spoil before they can be enjoyed.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Inexpensive</strong>: After all this is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">frugal care package</a>!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Personal</strong>: Make them remember the comforts of home, as it will relieve stress as they cram for exams.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Useful</strong>: Don't make your student store and haul items around that they'll never use.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Scarce</strong>: Items not easily obtained on campus will be appreciated more.</li> </ul> <p>It is difficult to find things that meet all of these criteria, but good college care package items should meet at least <em>some </em>of them. Here are some best bets for a college care package.</p> <h2>1. Homemade Cookies</h2> <p>Since homemade cookies only stay fresh for a few days, a dozen is a good number to send. Pack your homemade cookies in a zip-lock bag to extend freshness.</p> <h2>2. Clean Clothes</h2> <p>I included a favorite pair of my son's exercise pants that he left at home in my last care package. I remember from my college days how much clean clothes are appreciated!</p> <h2>3. Handwritten Note</h2> <p>Of course you could send a note by text or email, but it is nice to get something tangible from home that your student can have around as a reminder that they have not been forgotten.</p> <h2>4. Photos</h2> <p>It is nice for your student to have some real hard-copy photos from home to look at and maybe even put up in their room or on their desk.</p> <h2>5. Lucky Item</h2> <p>I went to college with a wool trench coat that my father wore when he was in college, which I thought was really cool. I gave my son a medallion that I received to take with him for good luck.</p> <h2>6. Small Toys</h2> <p>Small toys can be good stress relievers and provide a convenient break from studying. Some good toys for a college care package are a Jenga, Play Doh, a deck of cards, or a Rubik's Cube.</p> <h2>7. Smart Snacks</h2> <p>College kids keep weird hours, so late night snacks are always appreciated. Some good snack items are: beef jerky, gum, granola bars, a box of their favorite cereal, microwave popcorn, instant oatmeal, and tea bags. Include a ceramic microwaveable mug that your student can use to heat water to prepare items that require hot water.</p> <h2>8. Cash</h2> <p>Cash will never go unused or unappreciated by a college student! Gift cards are also useful, but I prefer the simplicity and convenience of cash since gift cards cost money to purchase and may have restrictions on where they can be used.</p> <h2>9. Team Gear</h2> <p>This item breaks the rule to send things that are not readily available on campus, but is sure to be a hit anyway. Send a hat, T-shirt, or sweatshirt with the school logo.</p> <h2>10. Forgotten Items</h2> <p>Surprise your student with small things they forgot to take with them. Send their slippers, grooming or self-care products, and other personal items that were left behind. Your student will appreciate these things after they are settled in.</p> <h2>11. Reverse Care Package</h2> <p>Here is a free care package idea &mdash; take stuff away from your student! There were a few items that my son took to college with him that he didn't need, so we picked up a &quot;reverse care package&quot; from his dorm room. Taking unneeded items away gets them out of the way and frees up space. Plus we got to visit our son and see his room after he had it all set up.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-frugal-things-every-college-care-package-should-include">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt">12 Easy Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Education & Training care package college college care package college living college student dorm Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:31:03 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1801617 at http://www.wisebread.com What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_student_books_21091679.jpg" alt="Parents should know about the new college financial aid rules" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While school just started for many, if your child is college-bound or in college, it's already time to start planning for the next school year. Many families rely on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help shoulder the costs of college, and there have been many new changes to the program. These new changes go into effect this October, so listen up.</p> <h2>New Application Start Date</h2> <p>In the past, families would submit the FAFSA form at the beginning of the new year. However, the new start date is now as early as October 1, 2016. This is a huge change, and if you are in college or have a child in college, you will want to fill the application out that day, or at least in the first few weeks of October.</p> <p>For some states, FAFSA aid is distributed on a first come, first served basis. Individuals who apply earlier have a better chance of receiving aid, including grants, work-study, and federal loans.</p> <h2>Change Tax Information Submissions</h2> <p>Another big change is that individuals will not be required to submit the previous year's taxes, but instead tax information from two years prior. This means for the 2017&ndash;2018 school year, families will send in 2015 information. For families that filled out the FAFSA for the 2016&ndash;2017 year, this means you will be sending in your 2015 tax info two years in a row.</p> <p>This change will make filling out and submitting the FAFSA on time a lot easier, since families used to begin the application process at the beginning of the year. Many families would have to estimate tax information and fix it later on.</p> <h2>Less Asset Protection Could Mean Less Aid</h2> <p>When parents report their finances for their child's FAFSA, a portion of their assets, including savings and investment funds, is not calculated as part of the <a href="http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml">Expected Family Contribution</a> (EFC). This was good news for families with healthy investments but not a lot of liquidity to pay for college.</p> <p>However, the dollar amount of assets exempt from the EFC will drop this year, and will continue to drop in following years. This change could mean less financial aid for many families. This will affect middle-income families that were relying on financial aid the most. However, families with lower incomes will most likely not feel the change.</p> <h2>Don't Fall for These FAFSA Myths</h2> <p>Even though there were three major changes to the FAFSA this year, it is still a free form that all families should fill out. Don't fall for these common FAFSA myths and leave money and aid on the table.</p> <h3>1. My Child's Grades Are Not Good Enough</h3> <p>While some schools use FAFSA applications to award merit-based aid, most aid is needs-based. A good portion of financial aid is awarded based off a family's income and size.</p> <h3>2. I Make Too Much Money to Qualify</h3> <p>Many families often forgo applying for financial aid because they believe they make too much. Even if your income makes you ineligible for aid, colleges give out federal student loans through the FAFSA process. If you plan on taking out federal student loans, which are preferable to private student loans, then you must fill out the FAFSA.</p> <h3>3. I Didn't Qualify Last Year</h3> <p>It is wise to apply for FAFSA each year, even if you didn't qualify for aid the year before. There could be unseen changes to your family that you might not have accounted for, such as two children in college rather than one. Also, with the new changes happening this year, you might qualify for aid.</p> <h3>4. The FAFSA Is Too Confusing to Fill Out</h3> <p>This year, you are now allowed to skip questions that do not relate to your family's financial situations. This should make the process a little easier and streamlined. If you are still having issues with your application, there are many free resources online and offline that can help. Please remember that you should never have to pay someone to file this application, nor should you pay for information regarding the process.</p> <p>Circle October 1st on your calendar and have your tax information ready and easy to access. Even if you don't think you will qualify for aid, apply anyway. And remember: You must apply each and <em>every</em> year your child is in college. This isn't a one-time thing.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes — And How To Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-college">What to Do If You Didn&#039;t Save for Your Child&#039;s College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training changes college FAFSA free application for federal student aid loans rules school student loans students Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1801616 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Careers You Don't Need a Ton of Experience to Start http://www.wisebread.com/9-careers-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-experience-to-start <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-careers-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-experience-to-start" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_police_officer_92304699.jpg" alt="Woman finding career that doesn&#039;t need experience to start" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you don't have a lot of experience, but you don't want to settle for a terrible job. What are your options? Well, you may be surprised to learn that there are careers out there <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-side-jobs-you-can-do-on-your-bicycle">offering decent salaries</a> that don't even require a high school diploma, let alone a degree. And since the cost of college these days is so high, continuing education may not even be an option for you. If you're looking for a career that doesn't need any real experience to start, here are nine options worth considering.</p> <h2>1. Private Investigator</h2> <p>You'll see <a href="http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/private-detectives-and-investigators.htm">private investigators</a> popping up in movies and TV shows all the time, and they seem to live the lifestyle of an action hero crossed with Sherlock Holmes. In reality, a P.I. does not spend his or her time jumping off buildings, embroiled in car chases, and saving the day. Instead, the job involves a lot of research and background checking, and 80% of the work will be done in front of a computer and on the phone. Cases usually revolve around personal disputes, legal issues, or financial troubles &mdash; although sometimes a P.I. will be brought in to help look for a missing person, deliver a subpoena, or track down a relative. Although a background in either law enforcement of the military is the usual path of getting into the business, all you really need is a skill for uncovering information and, in some states, a P.I. license.</p> <p><strong>Average Annual Salary</strong>: $45,610</p> <h2>2. Real Estate Broker</h2> <p>With good people skills and the ability to convince someone to buy something, you could do well in real estate. To get started, you will need to get a license to become an agent, and that requires you to take a 60-hour course. Once you have that, you can either go out on your own, or get a job with a local real estate firm. And after you've tucked a little experience under your belt (usually 1-3 years), you can take another test to become a broker. Then, you can build a network of clients and referrals, and start making some serious money. Although the median salary is just over $70k, top real estate brokers can earn well over $300k per year.</p> <p><strong>Average Annual Salary</strong>: $72,500</p> <h2>3. Delivery Driver</h2> <p>If you have a license to drive an automobile, you can become a delivery driver. You do not need a Commercial Driver's License unless the job you're applying for states it specifically. Delivery driver jobs can range from part-time work at the local pizza place, to handling dangerous substances (known as Hazmat). Once upon a time, you needed a good working knowledge of the local, or sometimes national, roads and highways, but smartphones with built-in GPS and map apps have changed all that. The hours can be long, and not always 9-5, but if you're looking for a job with no experience, this is a good bet.</p> <p><strong>Average Annual Salary</strong>: $38,326</p> <h2>4. Deckhand</h2> <p>If you like the ocean and want to do some free traveling, a <a href="http://www.indeed.com/salary/Deckhand.html">deckhand</a> could be just the job you're looking for. The deckhands on a cruise ship don't get to do a lot of fun work, but they do get to see a little of the world as part of the job. Duties include monitoring gangways, running ship drills, mopping, sweeping, cleaning, making minor repairs, painting, helping to dock the boat, solving small problems, and basically being a jack-of-all-trades. Deckhands are also needed on dredges, riverboats, fishing vessels, and scows. No experience is needed to start this job, and contracts are usually for six months or longer. After you gain some experience on the ship, you can move up to deck officer, mate, or even captain.</p> <p><strong>Average Annual Salary</strong>: $38,000</p> <h2>5. Police Officer</h2> <p>&quot;To protect and to serve.&quot; It's the motto of many police departments, and if you have what it takes to do it, you could make a fine police officer. All you need is a high school diploma, and to be in good physical shape. Police expert Neal C. Griffin says that great officers exhibit the <a href="http://www.how-to-become-a-police-officer.com/">Five I's: integrity, intellect, industry, initiative, and impact.</a> Therefore, you should also exhibit excellent moral character, have a knack for solving problems, and work well under duress. If this sounds like something you are interested in, you will need to submit an application, complete a written test (called a civil service exam), and take a physical fitness test. After that, you'll undergo a background check before being accepted to an academy for training. This takes six months, after which you'll do 3-6 months of field training.</p> <p><strong>Average Annual Salary</strong>: $48,815</p> <h2>6. Oil Field Worker</h2> <p>When asked about the experience needed in an interview for <a href="http://www.jobshadow.com/interview-with-a-roughneck/">JobShdaow.com</a>, the &quot;roughneck&quot; replied, &quot;You don't even have to have a GED to do this job. In fact a lot of the industry never finished high school, or middle school. There is no educational boundaries for drilling. All you need is a strong back and a lot of common sense.&quot;</p> <p>This 22-year-old who was interviewed is already making over $100K a year, but does warn that it is hard, sometimes backbreaking work, and the 84-hour workweek can be grueling (you work two weeks on, two weeks off). If you can take direction well, don't mind getting your hands dirty, and can manage the schedule, you'll do well in this business, and make a lot of money. Of course, it can also be dangerous work; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/12/27/250807226/on-the-job-deaths-spiking-as-oil-drilling-quickly-expands">in 2012,</a> 138 workers died on the job, with the fatality rate eight times higher than the all-industry rate of 3.2 deaths per 100,000 workers.</p> <p><strong>Average Annual Salary</strong>: $69,000</p> <h2>7. Administrative Assistant</h2> <p>Although many companies will look for at least a high school diploma on your resume, there is no experience required to be an administrative assistant. You should have good typing and organization skills, and familiarity with some of the most common software programs (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Admin assistants are usually tasked with filing, making and receiving calls, managing visitors, typing letters, organizing business meetings, and doing other odd jobs around the office. If you excel in the position, you can quickly rise to senior administrative assistant, executive assistant, and even senior executive assistant. The higher up the ladder you go, the greater the perks and the pay. You may get to do a lot of traveling, and attend some pretty fancy industry events, too.</p> <p><strong>Average Annual Salary</strong>: $37,006</p> <h2>8. Security Guard</h2> <p>Don't think that all security guards are strapping six-foot bodybuilders with former military experience. While some positions do require someone with good physical fitness and self-defense training, many are simply asked to report suspicious activity. In fact, many retirees go into security work, and they are in their sixties and seventies.</p> <p>Duties can include sitting in a room watching CCTV monitors, crowd control, and doing regular patrols of the building. It's possible you will have to confront people, but that will be outlined in the job description. If you're young and fit, you could easily get promoted to head up a team of guards, and may eventually get a job at the head office.</p> <p><strong>Average Annual Salary: </strong>$29,083</p> <h2>9. Car Sales Consultant</h2> <p>No experience is needed to sell automobiles, but how much you earn in a year will vary greatly depending on the kind of salesperson you are. Now, the profession gets a bad rap, but the industry has definitely cleaned up its image over the last decade. And with the Internet helping people do a lot more research, sales consultants are much less likely to force bad deals and excessive pricing on customers. Instead, the job is more about selling the great features and benefits of the car, and closing the sale. Interestingly enough, only 20% of a dealership's revenue comes from new car sales; the majority comes from buying and selling used cars for a profit, servicing cars, and financing. Selling cars can be hard work, especially during the weekdays when few people come onto the lots. But if you're good at it, you can easily make over $300K a year selling higher-end cars like BMWs and Audis.</p> <p><strong>Average Annual Salary</strong>: $31,000 + Commission</p> <p><em>Salary information found on </em><a href="http://www.indeed.com/"><em>Indeed</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.payscale.com/"><em>Payscale</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="https://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm"><em>Glassdoor</em></a><em>. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-careers-you-dont-need-a-ton-of-experience-to-start">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-guerrilla-job-hunting-work-for-you">Make Guerrilla Job Hunting Work for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-guide-to-getting-a-job-right-out-of-college">Your Guide to Getting a Job Right Out of College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-snapchat-in-your-job-search">How to Use Snapchat in Your Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-times-of-year-to-start-a-job-search">The Best Times of Year to Start a Job Search</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-words-you-need-to-delete-from-your-resume-right-now">12 Words You Need to Delete From Your Resume Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Job Hunting careers job application job experience job hunting job search job training resume salary Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Paul Michael 1796100 at http://www.wisebread.com Student Loan Debt in Collections? Try These 5 Steps http://www.wisebread.com/student-loan-debt-in-collections-try-these-5-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/student-loan-debt-in-collections-try-these-5-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_stressed_bills_87593851.jpg" alt="Woman using 5 steps with student loan debt in collections" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We are all too familiar with the stats when it comes to student loan debt. American borrowers owe more than <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">1.2 trillion in student loan debt</a>, and more than 70% of U.S. college graduates have student loans of some sort. This staggering amount of student loans has far surpassed credit card debt, which now stands firmly in second place behind mortgage debt as the largest source of U.S. debt.</p> <p>But the less-mentioned student loan debt problem is the rising default rate. According to the National Student Loan Data System, 12% of subsidized loans, and 25% of Family Federal Education Loans (FFEL), were in default in 2015.</p> <p>If you're in this situation, and your student loan is on the brink of default, here are five steps to handle student loan debt in collections.</p> <h2>1. Check Your Credit</h2> <p>If you haven't bothered to open up your student loan statement recently, it might be time to check your credit report. Many people don't realize that their student loans are actually in default and spend years thinking the loan must've magically disappeared, or the student loan fairy came and paid off the debt.</p> <p>Once your loan goes into default, it is handed over to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/account-in-collections-heres-how-to-fix-it">collection agency</a>. An account in collection significantly <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-with-the-biggest-impact-on-your-credit-score">affects your credit score</a>. While this might not matter to you now, if you're thinking about buying a house or a car or applying for a credit card, you might find yourself out of luck with a low credit score.</p> <p>It's easier than ever to check your credit fast and easy. There are loads of apps you can use, like <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10809829-1284618439000">Credit Karma</a> and <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12336153-1455123184000">Credit Sesame</a>, that will show your credit score and give you tips on how to better your score. You can also check your credit for free at <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action">AnnualCreditReport.com</a> &mdash; you'll receive your credit report, but will need to pay a small fee if you want to get your actual score.</p> <p>Also, many credit card companies now include your credit score on your monthly statement with some detail about your score.</p> <h2>2. Rehab Your Loan</h2> <p>The next step is to get your loan in a rehabilitation program. Contact the collection agency handling your loan and ask them how to enter the rehabilitation program.</p> <p>Rehabbing a loan is critical because once your student loan is in collections, there are many adverse consequences that extend beyond your credit score. Some collection agencies will garnish your wages to recoup the balance that is owed. Not only can your paychecks be tapped, but also your highly-coveted tax return money.</p> <p>Rehabbing a student loan is just like any other form of rehab &mdash; you've got to get super committed to the process to see results. Rehab brings your loan safely out of default, which will help repair your credit score. It's a process, so make sure you understand exactly what you need to do with each collection agency to bring your loan back to life.</p> <h2>3. Always Pay on Time</h2> <p>Once your loan is in rehab, paying on time will be your best ally in winning the war against student loan default. Rehab offers you a chance to get right with your loan, often through small monthly payments based on your income.</p> <p>The key to loan rehab is to make nine consecutive monthly payments on-time while in the program before your loan can be taken out of collections and sent to a new loan servicing company. At that point, your default status will be removed, and you'll also have access to programs like deferment and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway">forbearance</a>.</p> <h2>4. Get It in Writing</h2> <p>As with most things in life, getting something in writing is your best defense. The same goes for student loan rehabilitation. Once you've made your nine monthly on-time payments and your loan rehab is complete, kindly ask the collection agency for a nice letter stating that all related negative marks from your student loan record have vanished.</p> <p>Now, this is the tricky part. Collection agencies aren't known for their excitement over supplying a letter in writing, which again is why you need to ask in your nicest voice and use a lot of &quot;pretty pleases.&quot;</p> <p>This letter is worth its weight in gold to you, though. It is what you will send to the three main credit bureaus &mdash; Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax &mdash; to ensure that the marks are removed. Make sure that the letter includes your name, the name of the collection agency, the account number that the letter is referencing, and the date the loan rehabilitation process was completed.</p> <h2>5. Stay on Track</h2> <p>The last step may seem like an obvious one, but staying on track is the best way to keep your student loans out of collections. Once you've gone through all the work of rehabbing your loan, the last thing you want to do is undo that process by neglecting your student loan.</p> <p>Here are a few steps to stay on track:</p> <ul> <li>Select a new payment plan that works with your budget. There are countless payment plan options like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-definitive-guide-to-pay-as-you-earn-a-great-student-loan-repayment-plan">Pay As You Earn</a>, which adjusts with your salary.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put your new student loan payments on auto-debit each month so that you make sure it's getting paid.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Create a new monthly budget that includes your student loan payment and scrub through your bank statements to find ways to save money each month. There are lots of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">mobile apps</a> to help you.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Regularly check your credit score to ensure that you're not missing any payments and that your credit score is improving.</li> </ul> <p>If your student loan debt is in collections, it's not the end of the world. It happens to thousands of people each year, so you're not alone. However, you'll want to make sure that you follow these steps, rehab your student loan, and find ways to make your student loan payments work in your budget.</p> <p><em>How are you doing with your student loans?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/student-loan-debt-in-collections-try-these-5-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-student-loan-refinancing-can-save-you-big">4 Times Student Loan Refinancing Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-missed-a-student-loan-payment-now-what">You Missed a Student Loan Payment. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-happens-when-your-credit-card-debt-is-charged-off">What Happens When Your Credit Card Debt Is Charged Off?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans">3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save You Money on Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/prioritize-these-5-bills-when-youre-short-on-cash">Prioritize These 5 Bills When You&#039;re Short on Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Education & Training collections credit score forbearance past due paying bills rehab student loans Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Shannah Game 1788933 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Pay Your Student Loans With Credit Cards? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-student-loans-with-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-pay-your-student-loans-with-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/58839206.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Is it possible to use credit cards to pay off monthly student loan payments, in order to pay less interest and reap the benefits of earning credit card rewards? The answers might surprise you.</p> <h2>Can I Use a 0% Balance Transfer to Pay for My Student Loan?</h2> <p>It <em>is</em> possible to use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">0% APR balance transfer from a credit card</a> to pay off a student loan. But &mdash; and this is a very big but &mdash; there will be a lot of hoops to jump through.</p> <p>First, you will need to have an excellent credit score and be eligible for a 0% balance transfer credit card. Next, you need to talk with the credit card company to understand how you can use a transfer check.</p> <p>Credit card companies want you to transfer debt from <em>other credit cards</em>, which is why they offer balance transfers in the first place. In order to use a balance transfer offer to pay off your student loan, you'll have to make a few calls to ensure you get a balance transfer check. You'll have to also make sure you understand what kind of fees are involved with using the check. Most cards charge a 3%&ndash;5% fee for each balance transferred.</p> <p>Do not confuse a balance transfer check with a cash advance or &quot;convenience&quot; check! They may look the same, but a cash advance incurs interest immediately, and is never a part of a 0% promotional offer.</p> <p>Before you go through this whole process, though, you have to calculate whether you can afford this move.</p> <p>If you have $10,000 left on your student loan, transferring that balance to a 0% APR card and paying it off during the 0% promotional period (typically around 18 months) can save you a lot of time and money paid in interest. However, you will have to commit to paying $556 per month (more for any extra costs the card charges for the transfer) for 18 months to ensure you pay it off during the promotional period. Otherwise, the regular APR will kick in and a credit card's APR will be much higher than the interest charged on your student loan.</p> <h2>Can I Earn Rewards by Paying My Student Loan With a Credit Card?</h2> <p>It would be ideal to earn reward points on student loan debt, however, many lenders will not accept credit cards as a form of payment. Some may, but will tack on a fee. These fees will make your student loan even costlier, and the reward points will not be enough to cover them. For example, a credit card may offer 1% cash back, so paying 3% in fees for it doesn't make sense.</p> <p>Don't be tempted to use those credit card checks to pay for your loan, either. Again, unless they are specific &quot;balance transfer checks&quot; those checks are considered cash advances, which incur interest immediately, and usually at a much (much!) higher interest rate than for regular purchases, which is even worse than getting hit with a fee for processing a credit card payment on your loan.</p> <h2>Student Loans Are Easier to Pay Than Credit Cards</h2> <p>Remember that it is easier to pay off $30,000 in student loan debt than $30,000 in credit card debt. Federal student loans are eligible for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-definitive-guide-to-pay-as-you-earn-a-great-student-loan-repayment-plan?ref=internal">special repayment programs</a> and forbearance and deferment programs. If you lose your job and cannot make your federal student loan payment, you will be able to apply for deferment for up to three years.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans?ref=seealso2">3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save You Money on Student Loans</a></p> <p>This is not the case for credit card debt. Also, the high interest rates that come with credit card debt will make it nearly impossible to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=internal">get rid of debt</a> if you are only making the minimum payments.</p> <p>Is it possible to use a credit card to pay off student loans? It can be if the credit card company and student loan lender agree to it. However, make sure you know all of the fees and risks associated with transferring your student debt to credit card debt.</p> <p><em>How are you doing with your student loan debt?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-student-loans-with-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students">The 5 Best Credit Cards for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-back-to-school-shopping">5 Best Credit Cards for Back to School Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-cash-rewards-for-students-visa-credit-card-review">BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students Visa Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-credit-card-for-students-review">BankAmericard&amp;reg; Credit Card for Students Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-off-your-credit-history-right-with-journey-students-rewards-from-capital-one">Start Off Your Credit History Right with Journey Student Rewards from Capital One</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Education & Training You can use a credit card to pay for just about everything — even other loan payments. But there's a catch. Thu, 08 Sep 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1785292 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Pay Off Your Student Debt Faster http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-debt-faster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-debt-faster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_grad_debt_100645843.jpg" alt="New grad finding ways to pay off student debt faster" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Plenty of us face student debt payments every month. In fact, in the United States an <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/americas-growing-student-loan-debt-crisis-2016-01-15">estimated 40 million people</a> have student loan debt. With the rising cost of education, loans are becoming an increasingly common way for people to pay for school.</p> <p>While compounding debt may feel overwhelming, paying off your student debt isn't impossible &mdash; and you may be able to pay it off faster than you think. There are a few advantages that come along with paying off your debt faster. The sooner you reduce those balances, the sooner you'll stop paying interest on them. And once your debts are all paid off, you can feel good about putting that money toward something else.</p> <p>Here are some easy steps you can take that will help you pay off your student debt faster, saving you money in the long run.</p> <h2>Refinance and Consolidate Your Loans</h2> <p>If you've never <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=student">refinanced your student loans</a>, consider that it may be a good way to save a lot of money and help you to pay off loans faster. With <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=student">online lenders like CommonBond</a>, you can save thousands through lower APRs.</p> <p>You may also want to consolidate multiple loans so that you're making a single monthly payment. This will simplify your payment process, and you'll further benefit from a lower APR when it applies to all of your loans &mdash; not just one of them.</p> <h2>Pay Off Your Student Debt With a Credit Card</h2> <p>You can actually put your monthly loan payment on a credit card and earn rewards for cash or travel. But don't do this if you can't pay off your balance in full each month. You'll end up paying more in interest than any amount of rewards you could earn. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=student">Best Credit Cards for College Students</a>)</p> <h2>Make an Extra Principal Payment</h2> <p>This is an extra payment that you can make on a schedule that you determine &mdash; every two weeks, for instance. If you're making extra payments, it will reduce the time it takes to pay off your loan in full.</p> <h2>Set a Goal and Stick to It</h2> <p>It's really important to figure out a budget that makes sense given your personal situation. You'll need to take into account monthly expenses, like rent, food, a car payment, etc.</p> <p>From there, consider how much money you can put toward paying off your student debt. Remember that the more money you pay toward your loan, the faster you'll be able to pay it off. So you should also consider how much time you'd like to take to pay off your loan. Then you can factor in the money you'll save in the long run by paying off your debt sooner rather than later.</p> <h2>Get a Second Job or Side Hustle</h2> <p>If your budget falls a bit short on cash, you can always look into getting a second job and put those funds toward paying off your student debt. The more time you spend working, the less free time you'll have to spend your money, anyhow. And the effort and discipline you expend on acquiring or perfecting a second income stream will serve your career path and finances well in the future.</p> <p><em>How are you paying off your student loans?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-debt-faster">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans">6 Ways to Travel When You Have Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway">What Is Student Loan Forbearance, Anyway?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-trapped-by-these-higher-education-scams">Don&#039;t Get Trapped by These Higher Education Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-missed-a-student-loan-payment-now-what">You Missed a Student Loan Payment. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training APR consolidation debt interest monthly payments online lenders principal side jobs student loans Thu, 01 Sep 2016 09:30:34 +0000 Nick Wharton 1783722 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_thinking_pencil_86188509.jpg" alt="Woman borrowing student loan money from Amazon Prime" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Amazon Prime has several money-saving benefits for students, including discounted student memberships and textbook rentals. Now, Amazon Prime is offering discounted student loans to its list of perks.</p> <p>Hold up &mdash; Amazon is selling student loans right alongside a <a href="http://amzn.to/2b3wvM0">yodeling pickle</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2bzCWDg">unicorn meat</a>? Is that even legal?</p> <p>Amazon is not the actual lender of these loans. Instead, Amazon is partnering with Wells&nbsp;<a href="https://welcome.wf.com/amazonstudent/">Fargo</a> to offer Student Prime members loans at a discounted rate of 0.5%.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use?ref=seealso">7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use</a></p> <h2>Is There a Catch?</h2> <p>Both Amazon and Wells Fargo are for-profit businesses that are continually looking for creative strategies to increase profits. It was a smart move for both companies, since Amazon will be able to use this perk to increase student prime membership to $49 a year, while also gaining free media coverage. Wells Fargo also benefits from being connected to the largest e-commerce business and its loyal customers.</p> <p>The partnership will allow the bank to have better access to student consumers who can be targeted for many banking products. Overall, it is a win-win partnership for both companies, but will these loans actually benefit borrowers?</p> <h2>Are Student Loans Through Amazon a Good Deal?</h2> <p>Don't get too distracted by the discount Amazon is offering. The loan is still a private student loan through Wells Fargo. Private loans are not eligible for debt forgiveness programs like many federal loans, and sometimes federal loans even have better rates.</p> <p>Private student loans shouldn't be your first choice when seeking to finance a college education. Students should exercise all of their options before driving into debt, including the following:</p> <ul> <li>Federal aid through FAFSA;</li> <li>Scholarships;</li> <li>Grants;</li> <li>Accomplishing the first two years of their degree at a community college;</li> <li>Choosing a state university rather than a private university;</li> <li>Work-study programs;</li> <li>Employment tuition reimbursement programs;</li> <li>Paid internships.</li> </ul> <p>After all of these options are exhausted, then it is best to apply for federal student loans, which have more flexible payment options after graduation. Of course, federal loans have limits on how much a student can borrow, which is why many students turn to private loans.</p> <h2>The Problem With Amazon's Student Loans</h2> <p>Don't be blinded by a discounted interest rate. The 0.5% discount is subtracted from Wells Fargo's usual rates, which are not the lowest among private lenders.</p> <p>Many credit unions will offer discounted rates for being members and enrolling into autoplay, so if private loans are something you are considering, shop around before settling for the Wells Fargo loan.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know?ref=seealso">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></p> <h2>What You Need to Know About Private Student Loans</h2> <p>After graduation, many uncontrollable issues can come up. For example, graduates can struggle getting a job, make less than they expect, or even have a period of illness or disability that does not make work possible. Graduates with federal loans are granted forbearance or deferment. Federal loans can also be eligible for income-based repayment plans to make the monthly payments affordable for each borrower.</p> <p>Many private lenders have forbearance programs in place for cases of unemployment or disability, but acceptance to the program is dependent on the lender. Also, most private lenders will limit the duration of forbearance for unemployment and some might even charge forbearance &quot;fees.&quot; And income-based repayment programs are limited to federal loans.</p> <p>Is foregoing these benefits a risk you're willing to take?</p> <p>UPDATE (September 02, 2016)</p> <p>Just six weeks after announcing their partnership, Amazon and Wells Fargo have ended their private student loan program. Although specific reasons were not given, the end of the partnership was announced shortly after Wells Fargo revealed it had agreed <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/wells-fargo-to-pay-4-million-to-settle-student-loan-servicing-probe-1471899134">to pay a $4 million penalty</a> to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in response to allegations of illegal student loan servicing practices.</p> <p>For more information about private student loans and how to find the best financing for your college degree, please see the following helpful articles:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-every-college-student-must-know-about-private-student-loans?ref=internal">6 Things Every College Student Must Know About Private Student Loans</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-must-know-about-repaying-your-private-student-loans?ref=internal">3 Things You Must Know About Repaying Your Private Student Loans</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans?ref=internal">3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save You Money on Your Student Loans</a></li> </ul> <p><em>What do you think of Amazon and Wells Fargo's partnership to offer discounted student loans?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes — And How To Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-college">What to Do If You Didn&#039;t Save for Your Child&#039;s College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-trapped-by-these-higher-education-scams">Don&#039;t Get Trapped by These Higher Education Scams</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training Amazon amazon prime college private loans student loans students Wells Fargo Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1777930 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Travel When You Have Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_backpack_travel_87628739.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to travel while paying student loans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Student loans are a reality for millions of recent graduates and even some of us who have been out of school for a while. Americans alone have <a href="https://commonbond.co/blog/average-student-loan-debt-and-student-loan-refinancing/">1.36 trillion dollars</a> of student loan debt. That's second only to U.S. mortgage debt.</p> <p>Don't worry! There are plenty of ways to manage your student debt and continue doing what you love. With these tips, you can get out and spend your time traveling while making all of your payments on time!</p> <h2>1. Take a Look at Your Loans Before You Go</h2> <p>Getting ready for a big trip is actually a very good time to re-evaluate your student loans (and the rest of your finances), especially because it has the potential to save you a lot of money. By <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan">refinancing your student loans</a> you could save thousands. That's because you may be able to get a better APR, and you can also change the terms of your loan so that your monthly payment feels more manageable.</p> <p>Even a small difference in the interest rate can make a big difference over the time that you're paying off your loan. With <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans">online lenders like CommonBond</a>, you can get an APR starting as low as 2.14%. It only takes minutes to fill out the application, and you're under no obligation to change your loan once you get your free quote.</p> <p>That cash you're saving can easily go into your travel fund!</p> <h2>2. Consider Consolidating Your Loans</h2> <p>This second tip is closely linked to the first, since in the process of refinancing your loans, you may also want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">consolidate your loans</a>. This means that if you have multiple student loans, instead of paying, let's say, three separate bills every month, you can combine all of your existing loans into one.</p> <p>Consolidating your loans will help to simplify the payment process for you and reduce the time you spend every month administering and worrying about your loan payments.</p> <p>This is an especially important point for people planning to travel, since you're already going to have a lot of logistics to keep straight. The simpler you can keep your loan payments, the better.</p> <h2>3. Put Things in Perspective &mdash; And Into Your Budget!</h2> <p>It can be paralyzing to think about the total amount of money that you owe, especially if you know you're going to be spending the next 20 years of your life paying it off.</p> <p>It's more helpful to put things in perspective, so once you've refinanced your loans and you have a manageable monthly payment, treat that like you would any other monthly bill that you have to pay.</p> <p>Take it on a month-to-month basis and you won't feel as limited by the amount of money that you owe. When you're making your travel budget, simply factor in the monthly payment that you'll be making into your overall budget for the time you'll be traveling, and set aside that money before you go. That way, you won't feel like you have to scramble for funds at the last minute.</p> <h2>4. Start a Travel Fund</h2> <p>Figure out how much money you can commit to setting aside for travel every month. Then you can set up an automatic transfer into a special bank account that is dedicated just to travel expenses. Even if you're only putting in a few hundred dollars a month, you'll be surprised at how fast these funds can add up over time.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=travel">Best Credit Cards for College Students</a></p> <h2>5. Create a Realistic Budget</h2> <p>You should think about how you like to travel and be honest with yourself. Frugal travel is not for everyone, so you should consider what your priorities are; maybe you will be just as satisfied going on a shorter trip and putting more emphasis on higher-end accommodations and fancy restaurant meals.</p> <p>If these types of comforts or luxuries don't matter to you, you can probably get by with a smaller budget, but on a longer trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/savor-your-trip-and-save-big-with-these-5-slow-travel-tips">Save Big With These Slow Travel Tips</a>)</p> <p>Budgeting is all about striking a balance that works best for you while being realistic about how much you can afford to spend on your trip. By weighing these decisions before you leave, you'll eliminate a lot of money-related stress so that you can just enjoy your trip, knowing that you've already budgeted in the funds to cover your student loans.</p> <h2>6. Earn Extra Money for Travel</h2> <p>You're probably already getting excited to go, so if you want to speed up the process you can always consider earning a little extra money to cover your travel expenses.</p> <p>It's up to you what skills you have and what kind of work you enjoy, but maybe you want to consider getting a second part-time job and putting the money you earn right into your travel account!</p> <p>Depending on your professional skill set, you can also consider taking on some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">freelance gigs</a>, since they can be very flexible and add a little something extra to your normal paycheck. While you'll have less free time, this also means less time to be out spending money which can be a big help when you're trying to save money. There are also ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel">make money while you&rsquo;re traveling</a>.</p> <h2>Don't Let Debt Stop You</h2> <p>There's no reason to let student debt paralyze you, and there are simple steps you can take if you're passionate about traveling. It will take a bit of good strategy, combined with some hard work and a proper execution of your plan, but if you're willing to put in the time you can really reap the rewards on your next trip (and even at home).</p> <p><a href="http://www.inklingafar.com/"><em>Amanda Gokee</em></a><em>, a writer at </em><a href="http://www.goatsontheroad.com/"><em>Goats On The Road</em></a><em> contributed to this article and helped with some student loan specific information.</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20When%20You%20Have%20Student%20Loans.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20When%20You%20Have%20Student%20Loans" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Travel%20When%20You%20Have%20Student%20Loans.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-travel-when-you-have-student-loans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-debt-faster">5 Ways to Pay Off Your Student Debt Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans">3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save You Money on Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-ignore-these-4-things-before-refinancing-your-student-loans">Don&#039;t Ignore These 4 Things Before Refinancing Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-s-the-difference-between-student-loan-refinancing-and-consolidation">What’s the Difference Between Student Loan Refinancing and Consolidation?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-student-loan-refinancing-can-save-you-big">4 Times Student Loan Refinancing Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel APR budgeting consolidation debt refinancing strategy student loans travel funds trips Mon, 22 Aug 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Nick Wharton 1775891 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_students_together_76179069.jpg" alt="College freshman using shopping tips to cut costs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Strapped for cash as a freshman? If not now, you will be soon. That goes double for your parents, who are likely footing a portion of the bill &mdash; from tuition to room and board to all the living essentials you'll need when you move into the dorm. To make the transition from high school to college just a little easier on the wallet for both you and your obligatory benefactors, here are a few ways to cut costs as you head into the first year of university.</p> <h2>1. Don't Buy What You Already Own</h2> <p>At the beginning of every school year, students get a list of suggested (and some mandatory) supplies that they'll need for the year. The good news for you is that you've been in school for 12 years now, and you probably already have more than a few things on the freshman list. That means you don't need to spring for new items if the ones you already own are in good condition.</p> <p>&quot;The extensive list of recommended dorm room essentials will make your head spin and your wallet disappear,&quot; money-saving expert Andrea Woroch quips. &quot;While some suggested items like 'bedding to fit an extra long twin mattress' are necessities, items like towels, hangers, and pillows can likely be packed from home.&quot;</p> <p>Also, use common sense and identify items you can cross off the list indefinitely, like a drying rack for laundry (you can hang your clothes around the room) and any stand-alone device that's also in your phone: alarm clock, camera, calculator, MP3, etc.</p> <h2>2. Split Big-Ticket Costs With Your Roommate(s)</h2> <p>If you want a few conveniences of home in your dorm room &mdash; like a fridge or microwave &mdash; considering going halfsies with your roommate(s). Contact your roommates ahead of time to discuss those big-ticket purchases that will be shared among everyone, and how to effectively split the cost. Consider downloading a bill-splitting app to simplify this process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-modern-ways-to-split-the-bill?ref=seealso">5 Modern Ways to Split the Bill</a>)</p> <h2>3. Stock Up on Penny Deals</h2> <p>&quot;When it comes to basic school supplies like pens, notebooks, folders, and sticky notes, it's best to search for penny deals offered during the back-to-school shopping rush and watch for rotating discounts every week,&quot; Woroch suggests.</p> <p>I've seen these types of deals at several popular retailers lately, including Target, Wal-Mart, and Staples, though they're not limited to these stores. Hit them at the right time and you'll walk away with much of what you'll need for classes &mdash; pens, pencils, notebooks, and more &mdash; for just few bucks. You also can access circulars online or via the&nbsp;<a href="https://flipp.com/">Flipp app</a> for quick comparison.</p> <h2>4. Treat Your Old Wardrobe Like It's Brand-new</h2> <p>Everybody loves to go back-to-school clothing shopping. Heck, I'm 35-years-old and I still use this time of year as an excuse to freshen up my wardrobe. If you're on a tight budget, however, consider that your existing wardrobe will be brand-new to everyone at college since nobody has ever seen you before. If you <em>must</em> add a few new pieces to your closet, shop end-of-season sales, clearance sections, or pop into a few secondhand shops (some of which can be found online today).</p> <h2>5. Eat Where It's Free or Discounted</h2> <p>When I was in college, my friends and I had a propensity for buying late-night pizza or bingeing on junk food in our rooms all hours of the day. The problem with this strategy (besides its quick contribution to your Freshman 15) is that it costs a lot of money.</p> <p>To trim some of this expense, eat most of your meals in your cafeteria and take small items back to your room for later, like fruit, bagels, chips, or fixings for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Or, if you're super stealthy, bring an empty food storage container and confiscate heartier meals, like chicken fingers, salads, and your other favorites to scarf down when the cafeteria is closed. If you do plan to go out to eat, identify nights that are easy on your wallet, including half-price apps at happy hour, student nights, and special dish night, like 25-cent wing night or the like.</p> <h2>6. Rent Your Textbooks Instead of Buying Them</h2> <p>Before you buy your textbooks outright, I want you to ask yourself one question: What will you do with that book when the course is over? Your answer is nothing &mdash; except sell it back for a mere fraction of the price you originally paid. And that's if you can even sell it back at all. Publishers are really great at &quot;updating&quot; textbooks and discontinuing previous editions so that the school can require you to purchase the latest version. Because what're you going to do, drop out of school? Uh huh &mdash; they've got you right where they want you.</p> <p>Alas, two can play that game. Woroch explains.</p> <p>&quot;It's no surprise that textbooks represent the biggest line item in your college budget,&quot; she says. &quot;The National Association of College Stores (NACS) estimates the average student spends $655 on these study essentials every year. To save big bucks, skip the overpriced campus store and head straight to an online textbook rental site such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chegg.com/textbooks">Chegg</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.campusbookrentals.com/">Campus Book Rentals</a> to save over 70%. To ensure you're not slapped with any fees at the end of the semester, keep the book in pristine condition and avoiding highlighting or marking up the margins.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Go Grocery Shopping in Groups</h2> <p>Need to stock up on groceries? Get a group together &mdash; which is especially helpful for those who don't have vehicles on campus &mdash; and charge a couple bucks per person for gas. At the store, buy the things you'd like for yourself, but go in equally for items that may be shared by the group, like cereal, coffee, chips, and ramen.</p> <h2>8. Use Your Student ID Everywhere You Go</h2> <p>One of the best parts of being a student is using the student discount wherever it's available. I kept my student ID for years after college, and that granted me savings on clothing, movies, food, electronics, and more for years well past its prime. Of course, you should take advantage of it while you're in college, too. As a general rule of thumb, before you purchase anything anywhere, ask if they offer a student discount. Many establishments do, and that simple question will keep more money in your pocket.</p> <h2>9. Search for Open Box or Refurbished Electronics</h2> <p>In a recent survey, the National Retail Federation found that many colleges and universities require incoming and current students to bring their own computers, so a new laptop is likely on the top of your shopping needs. Instead of investing in the newest and most expensive model, search for open box or refurbished options. Best Buy typically has open box items set up on their salesroom floor, while online vendors such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newegg.com/Open-Box/Store">Newegg</a> have webpages dedicated to these lower-priced options with discounts on open box laptops ranging from 10% to 40%. Apple also offers refurbished MacBooks and iPads, so always check these options before you buy.</p> <p><em>Are you heading into your freshman year of college, or have a kid who's starting their freshman year? How are you saving on supplies and other essentials? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/upromise-world-mastercard-credit-card-review">Upromise World MasterCard Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-to-buy-or-rent-textbooks">20 Places to Buy or Rent Textbooks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping back-to-school classes clothes college discounts dorms freshmen roommates students supplies textbooks Thu, 18 Aug 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1773246 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Ignore These 4 Things Before Refinancing Your Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/dont-ignore-these-4-things-before-refinancing-your-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-ignore-these-4-things-before-refinancing-your-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_woman_thinking_74303951.jpg" alt="Woman not ignoring things before refinancing student loans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average American with student loans has approximately $30,000 in debt, and makes a monthly payment of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2014/06/19-typical-student-loan-debt-akers">nearly $250</a>. With interest rates sometimes reaching as high as 8%, many people struggle to bring down the balance. One popular solution is to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan">refinance your loans</a>, getting a lower interest rate or lower monthly payment with a different repayment term. For some people, this can be an excellent way to make progress on eliminating their debt. For others, it can be a short-term option that ends up causing more problems later on.</p> <h2>What Is Refinancing?</h2> <p>If you have federal or private student loan debt at a high interest rate, you can refinance your debt by taking out a new loan from a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-every-college-student-must-know-about-private-student-loans">private lender</a> to cover your entire current balance. You use that money to pay off your current debt, then make payments at a lower rate or different repayment term on the new loan.</p> <p>If you have high-interest debt, refinancing can be a way to save you thousands over the course of your loans. When you are researching your options, it is important to look at offers from multiple lenders to ensure you are getting the most competitive interest rate and terms. <a href="https://lendedu.com/">LendEDU</a> is a site that allows you to compare multiple offers in one place to get the most attractive loan that meets your needs.</p> <h2>4&nbsp;Factors to Consider Before Refinancing</h2> <p>While refinancing student loans is a good decision for many people, there are factors you need to consider before you sign any agreement.</p> <h3>1. Interest Rates</h3> <p>When refinancing your debt, you will have the option of choosing a variable or fixed interest rate. Variable rates as low as 2% are available. However, they can change every year and can go as high as 8% to 10%. While fixed rates are often slightly higher than the initial variable interest rate, (usually they are about 3%), that interest rate is guaranteed not to increase over the course of your debt. If you have a small amount you can pay off quickly, a variable rate can make sense. However, if you need five to 10 years to pay off your loans, a fixed rate is more secure.</p> <h3>2. Deferment Options</h3> <p>If you have federal student loans, you have the ability to defer your debt if you run into economic hardship, such as if you lose your job. When you refinance with a private lender, you may end up losing that benefit since some companies do not offer deferment options. Make sure you understand their policies regarding economic hardships to ensure you're prepared for the worst-case scenario.</p> <h3>3. Loan Terms</h3> <p>When you refinance, your monthly payment can be cut in half. While that looks great on paper and it frees up money in your budget, you actually will end up paying much more over the length of your loan. To get the payment so low, your repayment term is extended from the standard 10 years to 20 or more. Over the duration of your loan, you can end up paying thousands more in interest. If you opt for an extended repayment term, assess your budget every year. As you move up the corporate ladder and get a better salary, you can increase your monthly payments and pay the debt off more quickly, saving yourself money.</p> <h3>4. Prepayment Penalties</h3> <p>Some private lenders have prepayment penalties, meaning you will owe a fee if you pay off your new loan early. In some cases, the fee may be small, but for some companies, the cost might be prohibitive. Make sure you check if there are any prepayment penalties ahead of time.</p> <p>For some, refinancing student loans can be a great way to save money and pay down the debt faster. It can be a good strategy to get a lower interest rate or to get a more affordable monthly cost. By considering these four factors, you can ensure you are informed and empowered to make the best decision for you.</p> <p><em>Have you refinanced student loans? Has it worked out for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-ignore-these-4-things-before-refinancing-your-student-loans">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans">3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save You Money on Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/refinance-these-4-common-debts-before-year-ends">Refinance These 4 Common Debts Before Year Ends</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-student-loan-refinancing-can-save-you-big">4 Times Student Loan Refinancing Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cancel-student-loans-to-save-and-receive-an-interest-free-120-day-loan">Cancel Student Loans to Save — and Receive an Interest-Free 120-Day Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Education & Training deferment interest rates penalties private lenders refinancing repayment student loans terms Thu, 18 Aug 2016 10:00:16 +0000 Kat Tretina 1774333 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/college_students_happy_87827713.jpg" alt="College students learning money-saving hacks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't let the costs of college loom over your head. Use these seven financial hacks to cruise through college and save thousands off your overall experience.</p> <h2>1. Rent Your Textbook Through Amazon</h2> <p>No need to buy every textbook, especially with <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Rent-Textbooks/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=5657188011">Amazon's rental textbook program</a>. My sister rents all of her textbooks through Amazon and saves $50&ndash;$100 off each book. For example, she rented <em>Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society</em> (9th Edition) for a recent class for $37.45. The new price of the book is $138.47 and the used price is $67.48. Amazon Prime covered shipping costs.</p> <h2>2. Research Book Costs Before Enrolling</h2> <p>When you first start taking college classes, you will have more flexibility over which classes you can choose, especially when you need to fulfill the GE requirement of your degree. Choose your class based on textbook and material fee cost, if possible. I signed up for a psychology class in my freshman year, but the textbook was written by the teacher and would cost $190. Since there was not a way find the book used, I dropped the class within the acceptable time period and took another class that fulfilled the requirement and had $20&ndash;$30 in book costs.</p> <p>Often you can borrow the textbook from the university library. At my school, the recent edition textbooks were only lent out for in-library use for an hour, but that was usually enough time to finish my work.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-part-time-jobs-that-offer-college-benefits?ref=seealso">8 Part-Time Jobs That Offer College Benefits</a></p> <h2>3. Piggyback Your Degree With Community College Courses</h2> <p>I graduated debt-free, and one of the major things that helped me do that was the abundance of community college courses I was able to take. My university allowed 70 community college transfer units. With the help of online classes, I was able to enroll in two local community colleges that increased the type of classes that I could transfer to my degree.</p> <p>I simply looked up agreements between my university and my two local community colleges and took as many classes as possible. One semester, I was enrolled and taking classes at three colleges at once. This also allowed me to take more than 18 units, which allowed me to finish my degree in three years, instead of four. All of this saved me five semesters at my university, which means I saved roughly $20,000.</p> <h2>5. Test Out of Classes</h2> <p>Research the possibility of testing out of some college classes. This can help you avoid boring and costly introduction classes that you already are knowledgeable in. The&nbsp;<a href="https://clep.collegeboard.org/">College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)</a> is accepted by over 2,900 colleges. The CLEP site allows you to search which colleges allow which test, though you will have to find out the maximum amount of credit your university allows through CLEP. The test costs $80, but military personnel may be eligible to receive funding for the cost of CLEP exams.</p> <h2>6. Check Out Local Thrift Stores</h2> <p>Shop at thrift stores that are near your university for a better chance to find apparel with your college's logo on it, as well as still-relevant textbooks. You can score both inexpensively, and either keep them for yourself, or sell them for more online or to other students via sale fliers on the campus' public bulletin board.</p> <h2>7. Become a Resident Assistant (RA)</h2> <p>Movies usually portray resident assistants as overbearing college students who have been on campus for almost a decade. However, the job can be fun and the free rent is definitely a perk that will save you $8,000 to $12,000 a year. Know that these positions are usually competitive, so make your application stand out, and volunteer for other on-campus events to show you have school spirit.</p> <h2>8. Get on a Family Plan</h2> <p>There are many different family plans that you can share to save money. The most popular family plans are offered through cellphone providers. Being on a family plan rather than on your own individual plan can save you $50&ndash;$100 a month off your cellphone bill.</p> <p>Family plans are not just for cellphones, though. You can save money by sharing TV streaming, Amazon Prime, Uber, and more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons?ref=seealso">How Family Plans Can Save You Tons</a>)</p> <p>College is expensive, but that doesn't mean you have to drown in debt to get your degree. Living frugally and minimizing living costs in college will make it easier to once you graduate.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite ways to save money while in college? Already a graduate? Share your experience of frugal college living.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/upromise-world-mastercard-credit-card-review">Upromise World MasterCard Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-to-buy-or-rent-textbooks">20 Places to Buy or Rent Textbooks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping classes college community college hacks rent free saving money school students textbooks Mon, 15 Aug 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1771548 at http://www.wisebread.com What Is Student Loan Forbearance, Anyway? http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/education_costs_graduation_17985755.jpg" alt="Learning what student loan forbearance is" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Struggling to make your student loan payments each month? You're in good company. According to a May story by CBS Moneywatch, members of the class of 2016 who took out student loans left college with an <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/congrats-class-of-2016-youre-the-most-indebted-yet/">average of $37,173</a> in student loan debt. That's the highest average ever, and an increase of 6% from just one year earlier when such students graduated with an average debt of $35,051.</p> <p>If you're struggling to pay your student loans each month, you can apply for either forbearance or deferment of your federal student loan payments. Deferment and forbearance both put a temporary halt on your payments. That sounds good, and it can provide you with relief. But both programs come with limitations and neither does anything to <em>reduce </em>your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt" target="_blank">student loan debt</a>.</p> <p>Deferment and forbearance are worth investigating if your student loan payments have become a burden. But before you sign up for either program, here are the facts you need to know.</p> <h2>What Loans Qualify?</h2> <p>You can only apply for forbearance or deferment of federal student loans. Private loans are not eligible for these programs. If you are struggling to pay private student loans, you'll need to work directly with the lenders behind them.</p> <h2>Deferment</h2> <p>Deferment is the preferred option for a temporary halt on your payments. That's because in deferment, not only are your payments delayed, but the government might even pay the interest on your loan during this period if you are paying off Federal Perkins loans, direct subsidized loans, or subsidized Federal Stafford loans.</p> <p>The government won't pay interest on any of your unsubsidized or PLUS student loans. But even if the government doesn't pay this interest, you do not have to make interest payments on your own during the deferment period. If you don't, though, the interest that accumulated during the deferment period will be added to your principal balance when you do begin making payments again.</p> <h3>Who Qualifies for Deferment?</h3> <p>You are eligible for deferment if you are unemployed or have been unable to find full-time employment. You might also qualify if you are suffering through an economic hardship, such as a reduction in your full-time income.</p> <h3>You Will Have to Apply for Your Deferment</h3> <p>To start the process, call the loan servicer to which you mail your loan payments, unless you need deferment for Perkins loans. In this case, call the school you were attending when you took out the loan. You'll most likely have to fill out a form detailing the reasons why you can't afford your monthly payment.</p> <h2>Forbearance</h2> <p>In forbearance, your federal student loan payments will again be temporarily halted, usually for up to 12 months. But in forbearance the government will not pay your interest during the temporary halt, no matter what type of federal loan you are paying off.</p> <p>You can make the interest payments on your loans during forbearance or you can temporarily stop making these payments, too. Your interest will continue to accumulate during the forbearance period, though, and will be added to your principal balance when this halt ends. This means that the amount you owe after your forbearance period ends will be higher than when you started forbearance. This could make paying off your student loan debt even more challenging.</p> <h3>Who Qualifies for Forbearance</h3> <p>You can qualify for a discretionary forbearance because of illness or financial hardship. Again, you will have to start the process by contacting the lender to which you are sending your student loan payments each month.</p> <h3>Mandatory Forbearance</h3> <p>There are times when the federal government requires your lender to grant forbearance. This is known as mandatory forbearance. You might qualify for this if you are serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program, the total you owe in student loan payments is more than 20% of your total monthly gross income, you qualify for the U.S. Department of Defense's Student Loan Repayment System, or you are serving in a national service program.</p> <p>You might also qualify for mandatory forbearance if qualify for the teacher loan forgiveness program or you are a member of the U.S. National Guard and have been called to duty but don't qualify for a military deferment.</p> <p><em>Are you struggling to repay your student loans? Have you considered these options?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-debt-faster">5 Ways to Pay Off Your Student Debt Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-missed-a-student-loan-payment-now-what">You Missed a Student Loan Payment. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/student-loan-debt-in-collections-try-these-5-steps">Student Loan Debt in Collections? Try These 5 Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training deferment federal government financial hardships forbearance interest principal student loans unemployed Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Dan Rafter 1762586 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_70676425_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="saving on back to school supplies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I realize summer vacation is still in full swing in many parts of the country and most parents have yet to think for a single second about back-to-school supplies. But if you can start your planning now, you can save a lot of money on your purchases. Using time to your advantage gives you the ability to buy when the price is right, and you won't be tempted to buy things at full price simply to cross them off your list. Here are eight ways to save on everything from pencils to a new laptop. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal?ref=seealso">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a>)</p> <h2>1. Always Shop Your Child's Backpack First</h2> <p>Before you stock-up on any school supplies for the upcoming school year, always pull out your child's backpack and empty it out. You'll be happily surprised how many items you'll discover that still have plenty of life left. By doing so, you'll avoid the sickening feeling of buying things like erasers, staplers, glue sticks, and notebooks only to discover perfectly acceptable versions in their backpack.</p> <h2>2. Set Price Alerts on Expensive Items</h2> <p>If you have a new laptop, scientific calculator, or other expensive tech item on your wish list, use time to your advantage and set up price alerts now so you buy only when the price is at its lowest point. If you're an Amazon loyalist, I recommend&nbsp;<a href="http://camelcamelcamel.com/">CamelCamelCamel.com</a> as an easy way to track price fluctuations. You simply sign-up for free, create price alerts for any product, and receive an email when the price is right. They also have a free&nbsp;<a href="http://camelcamelcamel.com/camelizer">browser extension</a> available which gives you instant access to the price history of items sold by Amazon. This is worth examining before you set up your price alerts so you know what price point to aim for.</p> <h2>3. Don't Buy All Supplies From One Store</h2> <p>The best way to guarantee you'll pay more than you should on back-to-school supplies is to walk into a single store and buy every item on your shopping list. Even if you shop at Wal-Mart, you'll still end up buying many items at full price. Instead, check out the sales fliers from all stores and plan your shopping accordingly. By having ample time on your hands to find the best deals, you'll be able to pick up items as you find them on sale. For example, you can pick up paper and pencils from Wal-Mart, but then stock up on the binders and backpacks on sale from Target.</p> <h2>4. Don't Neglect Office Supply Stores</h2> <p>Last year, some of the absolute best deals on back-to-school items were not found at the usual suspects like Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart. Instead they were found at office supply stores like Staples, OfficeMax, and Office Depot. There were some amazing deals, like one-cent pencils, five-cent glue sticks, 10-cent folders, and five-cent erasers. The caveat is that many office supply stores carry a very limited supply, so keep a keen eye on sales fliers and pounce when the deals become available.</p> <h2>5. Always Price-Match Sold Out Items</h2> <p>When you visit a store like Staples and they've sold all of their one-cent pencils or 10-cent folders, don't despair. Instead, take their sales flyer into your lock&nbsp;<a href="http://help.walmart.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/31/~/walmarts-price-matching-policy">Wal-Mart</a> or&nbsp;<a href="https://corporate.target.com/about/shopping-experience/shop-with-confidence">Target</a> and they'll match the price as long as they carry the same brand. Or better yet, simply start your shopping at Wal-Mart or Target and bring along the office supply store ads with you and just match their prices. Keep in mind that when getting your price match, it doesn't matter if the office supply store has actually sold out of the item. This is a terrific way to be able to shop at a single store and get the best price in town on school supplies.</p> <h2>6. Avoid Cartoon Characters</h2> <p>A great way to overpay during back-to-school shopping is to fall for the cute cartoon characters that adorn items like pencils, backpacks, lunch bags, binders, and notepads. They're typically 20%-30% more expensive than items with no characters on them. If your child absolutely has to have Dory on her new lunch bag or backpack, buy some stickers and let them decorate it themselves.</p> <h2>7. Consider Shopping Solo</h2> <p>An easy way to avoid the temptation of buying pricey Disney items is to leave the kids at home altogether. Not only will it allow you to easily stick to your shopping list, but by shopping alone, the kids won't be able to throw you off your mission of finding and buying the best values. I love the idea of getting kids involved in back-to-school shopping, as it often increases their excitement about the upcoming year. I have found that a great way to do this is when you get home from your shopping trip, not during. Once you return, get them involved in the sorting and organizing of all the stuff you bought, and they will typically get all fired up about school.</p> <h2>8. Find Great Tech Deals Online</h2> <p>When it comes to finding online tech deals for items like laptops, desktops, and tablets, there are three sources you should definitely have bookmarked.</p> <p><a href="http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/6099/campaigns/welcome-to-dell-university"><strong>Dell University</strong></a><strong>:</strong> When shopping online for a PC, Dell University has some excellent discounts exclusively for students. To take advantage, all you need to do is register for the free&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dell.com/en-us/member/learn/finance-and-rewards/rewards-details">Dell Advantage program</a> and provide the name of your school.</p> <p><a href="http://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop"><strong>Apple Education Pricing</strong></a><strong>:</strong> If an Apple computer is in your future, you'd be wise to check out their Educational Pricing page and save up to 25% off a new MacBook or iMac.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Global/College-Student-Deals/pcmcat276200050000.c?id=pcmcat276200050000"><strong>Best Buy College Student Deals</strong></a><strong>:</strong> Once you've created a Best Buy account, you can sign-up for exclusive college student deals for computers, small appliances, and accessories like external hard drives and software. Current examples include $100 off a MacBook or iMac, $30 off a Keurig Brewer, and 20% off Samsung and LG microwave ovens.</p> <p>By using these three little-known programs, you'll be able to get all of your tech needs at prices far below retail in many cases.</p> <p><em>How do you save money when buying back-to-school supplies for yourself or your kids? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-everybody-saves-during-back-to-school">8 Ways Everybody Saves During Back-to-School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stock-up-on-school-and-office-supplies-with-back-to-school-sales">Stock up on school (and office) supplies with back-to-school sales</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping back-to-school back-to-school shopping coupons office supplies saving money school supplies shopping Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:30:40 +0000 Kyle James 1748327 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_travel_selfie_58375086.jpg" alt="Man making money moves during his gap year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parents and soon-to-be college students are giving the gap year a second look after the White House announced that Malia Obama will be taking one <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/us/politics/malia-obama-to-attend-harvard-but-not-until-2017.html?_r=1">before attending Harvard in 2017</a>. Also popularized by England's Prince Harry, who famously took time out for ranching in Australia and volunteer work in Africa in 2004, the gap year is a break between high school and the start of a person's higher education (or between college and graduate school).</p> <p>Most often, the gap year is used by young people as an opportunity to see the world, explore new cultures, immerse themselves in a nonacademic pursuit, work a job or internship, or volunteer for a cause. The goal is to gain valuable life experience before delving deeper into academics, trade school, military service &mdash; wherever your next step in life takes you.</p> <p>Of course, a year of self-exploration doesn't come free. Read on for our student guide to prepping finances for a gap year.</p> <h2>1. Start Saving a Year Out</h2> <p>How much a gap year will cost depends on how you plan to use it. So, map out your yearlong plan, estimating how much money you'll need. Of course, plans change. And that's okay. All you really need is a good estimate to get you motivated to start saving.</p> <h2>2. Open a Gap Year Bank Account</h2> <p>Now that you've got a savings goal, open up a separate bank account to house your gap year fund drive. To make your big funding goal seem more achievable, break it down into smaller, more manageable monthly and weekly goals. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Next, devise a plan for reaching these mini-fundraising goals. Will you cut down on weekend spending? Will you get a part-time job or pick up extra hours at your existing gig? Whatever you decide, be sure to hold yourself accountable.</p> <h2>3. Apply for a Grant or Scholarship</h2> <p>There are plenty of grants and scholarships out there created specifically to ease the financial burden of enrichment programming and travel during the gap year. If you have interest in visiting the Middle East, for example, a grant from Unofficial Ambassadors' <a href="http://unofficialambassadors.com/our-programs/aua-mosaic-scholarship/">Mosaic Grants Program</a> can make the experience more affordable. If you have demonstrated leadership in tackling issues aimed at protecting the environment, the <a href="http://www.broweryouthawards.org/">Brower Youth Awards</a>, which is an initiative by Earth Island Institute, divvies out $3,000 scholarships to young people each year.</p> <p>Be sure to also check out any opportunities offered by your prospective university or college as well as local organizations in your area. In Humboldt County, California, for example, there's a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.americangap.org/humboldtscholarship.php">generous annual scholarship</a> that offers up to $6,000 to gap year students who are seeking participation in a program accredited by the American Gap Association. Schools including Tufts University and the University of North Carolina have financial aid programs for gap year students, as well.</p> <h2>4. Give Creative Fundraising a Shot</h2> <p>There are so many ways to rake in extra cash. Just ask the twin teens from England who used their gap year to cultivate a loyal following on a YouTube channel that has earned them <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/9544479/YouTube-videos-funded-our-gap-year-travels.html">tons of money in advertising</a>, which funded their year of travel. Other ideas: Launch a crowdfunding campaign or host an event &mdash; battle of the bands, pool party, theatrical performance &mdash; to which you sell tickets that will cover your expenses.</p> <h2>5. Invest in Traveler's Insurance</h2> <p>If you plan to travel abroad during your gap year, organizations such as <a href="https://www.internationalsos.com/">International SOS</a> offer top-notch insurance policies that can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars should something go wrong. Let's hope you never need it. Truth be told, most of the time traveler's insurance does end up being a waste of money. But should you ever need to cover the cost of inconveniences such as a last-minute trip cancellation, emergency medical evacuation, or lost luggage, you'll be more than glad that you have it.</p> <p>Of all the expenses to skimp on while traveling abroad, don't let insurance be one of them. After you choose a plan, be sure to do your research so that you know exactly what it covers &mdash; and what it doesn't.</p> <h2>6. Learn the Ins and Outs of Your Bank's ATM Fees</h2> <p>Commit to memory the occasions on which your bank will hit you with an ATM fee. Then be sure to avoid them. While a few dollars here and there might not seem like much, over time they can really add up. Just as there's no reason to throw money out the window, there's no reason to not educate yourself on your bank's ATM fee policies.</p> <h2>7. Devise a Strategy for Accessing Day-to-Day Funds Abroad</h2> <p>Despite fees, ATMs are still the best bet for accessing money abroad. If your travels are set to land you in a major international airport, you'll likely get the best rate by withdrawing cash in the local currency from an ATM upon arrival to your destination city. While it can be comforting to travel with some local currency already in your pocket, having that convenience will cost you. You'll have to fork over a commission fee to exchange money at a bank or ATM in the U.S.</p> <p>However, if you'll be flying into a smaller airport, there may not be any ATMs &mdash; or at least not any properly functioning ones &mdash; when you get there. In this case, it's best to travel with about $100 in the local currency so that you can pay for immediate expenses, such as food and transportation, without hassle. Once you journey outside the airport, you can find an ATM and withdraw more local money at a better rate.</p> <h2>8. Reapply for FAFSA</h2> <p>Students who qualify for federal financial aid before deferring college for a year must reapply the next year by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. So long as the finances of the student's family don't change in a major way, the student will likely receive the same financial aid package. Also, students who have secured a scholarship from their university can sometimes negotiate to have the aid held for them until their delayed matriculation. So if you have a university or college-funded scholarship, be sure to inquire about how you can go about receiving the award after your gap year.</p> <p><em>Did you &mdash; or will you &mdash; take a gap year? What'd you do? How did you prepare your finances before you left?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Money%20Moves%20Students%20Should%20Make%20During%20a%20Gap%20Year.jpg&amp;description=8%20Money%20Moves%20Students%20Should%20Make%20During%20a%20Gap%20Year" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Money%20Moves%20Students%20Should%20Make%20During%20a%20Gap%20Year.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students">Don&#039;t Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes — And How To Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel atm fees bank accounts college financial aid gap year scholarships self exploration students traveling abroad Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1735468 at http://www.wisebread.com