Education &amp; Training http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12010/all en-US Learn Something New With These 9 Cheap Apps http://www.wisebread.com/learn-something-new-with-these-9-cheap-apps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/learn-something-new-with-these-9-cheap-apps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000062778500_Large.jpg" alt="learning something new with a cheap educational app" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With so many new things in the world to learn and so little time in your hectic schedule to spare, the learning part should be easy and accessible. For those who don't have the patience to sit down with a book, and who also are extremely attached to their smartphones, apps are a great way to turn a potential distraction into a powerful and portable medium for learning.</p> <p>Here are nine cheap or free apps to help you learn something new.</p> <h2>1. Couch to 5K</h2> <p>Right now, many Americans are trying to keep their New Year's Resolutions. Among the top resolutions is to &quot;get fit&quot; and one of the most common ways to achieve that is to get off the couch and train for a 5K race.</p> <p>Recommended by Shape Magazine as the best app for new runners, Couch to 5K provides you a training schedule of three 30-minute sessions a week for nine weeks to achieve your goal of running your first 5K race. It costs $2.99 to download and it's available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/couch-to-5k-running-app-training/id448474423?mt=8">iTunes</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.active.aps.c25k">Google Play</a>.</p> <p>Ready for the next level? There are also <a href="http://www.activenetwork.com/mobile-apps/5k-to-10k-app">5K to 10K</a> and half-marathon (<a href="http://www.activenetwork.com/mobile-apps/13-1-half-marathon-app">13.One</a>) training apps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise?ref=seealso">5 Apps That Pay You to Exercise</a>)</p> <h2>2. Dictionary</h2> <p>Want to become a &quot;logophile&quot; or discover what that word even means? Then download the Dictionary.com mobile apps for free (available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dictionary.com-dictionary/id308750436?mt=8&amp;at=1l3vsk3&amp;ct=mobileappspage_iphonefree">iPhone</a>, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dictionary.com-dictionary/id364740856?mt=8">iPad</a>, Apple Watch, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dictionary&amp;hl=en">Android</a>, Android Wear, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-com-Dictionary-and-Thesaurus-Android/dp/B004GMT14Y">Amazon</a> devices). With over 100 million app downloads and 5.5 billion word searches per year, Dictionary.com is the world's leading digital English dictionary.</p> <p>Through its Word of the Day feature, you'll learn a new word every day, including its definition, pronunciation, origin, and example of use. This dictionary app also allows you to keep track of your favorite words so that you can bring them up when the time is right &mdash; and impress the pants off everyone you know with your massive vocabulary.</p> <h2>3. Duolingo</h2> <p>Speaking more than one language may enable you for higher pay in certain jobs and help you <a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/journals/pspi/bilingual-minds.html">fight against Alzheimer's disease</a>. By gamifying the language learning process, Duolingo (available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/app/duolingo-learn-spanish-french/id570060128?mt=8">iTunes</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.duolingo">Google Play</a>, and <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/duolingo-learn-languages-for-free/9wzdncrcv5xn">Windows Store</a>) makes your lessons fun and provides immediate gratification. Duolingo grants you points for completing tasks so you can see how you stack up against your friends.</p> <p>Chosen as 2013's App of the Year by Apple and available for free download, Duolingo is a top choice for learning Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Irish, Danish, and English.</p> <h2>4. Fooducate</h2> <p>With an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 from a total of 11,200 ratings, Fooducate is another useful app to keep your resolution for a healthier and fitter 2016. This app, available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fooducate/id398436747?mt=8">iTunes</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fooducate.nutritionapp&amp;referrer=utm_source%3Dfdct-redirect%26utm_campaign%3DFdct-Web-footer-button%26utm_medium%3Dna">Google Play</a>, grades food items from A down to D based on the item's nutrition facts panel and ingredient list.</p> <p>By scanning the UPC of many food items, you'll be able to spot information that may be hard to identify, including tricky trans fats, added sugars, and controversial food colorings. The rating isn't arbitrary. In 2012, the <a href="http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/news/2012/02/sg_healthy_app_challenge-winners.html">U.S. Surgeon General's Healthy App Challenge</a> awarded Fooducate first place in the category of nutrition and healthy eating.</p> <h2>5. Khan Academy</h2> <p>Use it or lose it. Spreadsheet software and modern calculators hinder many math skills, including performing long division, factoring a quadratic equation, finding the least common multiple, or solving a system of linear equations. While you may have thought that you would never have to perform these math operations ever again, you would run into them if you were to take a standardized test, such as the GMAT, GRE, or ASVAB.</p> <p>Without ads and subscription fees, the Khan Academy app, available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/khan-academy/id469863705?mt=8&amp;uo=4">iTunes</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.khanacademy.android&amp;hl=en">Google Play</a>, allows you to review those key math skills. You can also find plenty of free online classes on science, computer programming, history, art, economics, and other topics.</p> <h2>6. Mint</h2> <p>Available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-personal-finance/id300238550?mt=8">iTunes</a>, <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mint&amp;hl=en">Google Play</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Intuit-Mint-com-Personal-Finance/dp/B004T2P7MQ">Amazon</a>, the free Mint app helps you track all your financial accounts, cards, and investments in one place so you can improve your financial wellbeing. While you could try to keep track of all of your finances from statements, you could benefit greatly from Mint's visual dashboard. And since 65% of individuals are <a href="http://www.uab.edu/uasomume/fd2/visuals/page1.htm">visual learners</a>, the app's bar charts, pie charts, and colorful alerts allow you to spend smarter and save more.</p> <p>One of the best features of the app is the ability to create a detailed budget so you can keep track of how much money you have left for the month in specific categories, such as dining, clothing, and transportation.</p> <h2>7. Poems By Heart</h2> <p>Another way to keep your mind sharp is to improve your memory. The Poems By Heart app helps you memorize and recite poems from several genres, including the &quot;Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day&quot; sonnet by Shakespeare and &quot;Eldorado&quot; by Edgar Allan Poe.</p> <p>The app is only available for <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/poems-by-heart-from-penguin/id577789325?mt=8">iPhone and iPad</a> and comes with four free poems. You can buy additional poem packages that feature the works of iconic poets like Walt Whitman, W.B. Yeats, and James Weldon Johnson. Apple featured Poems by Heart as one of &quot;Apple's App Store Best of 2013&quot; because it's highly engaging (and addictive!) user design.</p> <h2>8. Photomath</h2> <p>One of the hardest things about solving mathematical problems is to understand all of the steps involved in the process. Even worse, it's hard enough trying to write down a complicated arithmetic operation or lengthy linear equation.</p> <p>The Photomath app allows you to snap a photo of a wide variety of mathematical expressions, including basic arithmetic, fractions, decimal numbers, linear equations and several functions, with the camera of your <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photomath/id919087726">iPhone</a> or <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microblink.photomath">Android device</a> and show you a step-by-step answer. This is a very useful app for math students of all levels and parents of those young students willing to help out.</p> <h2>9. Quizlet</h2> <p>Flashcards are an excellent study tool because they allow for a self-directed personalized study experience that help us gauge our progress. Available on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quizlet-flashcards-study-tools/id546473125?mt=8">iTunes</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.quizlet.quizletandroid&amp;hl=en&amp;referrer=utm_source%3Dmobilepage">Google Play</a>, the Quizlet app allows you to build your own set of digital flashcards on any subject that you're trying to master. From learning new words in Spanish to memorizing kitchen recipes to preparing for a driving permit practice test, use Quizlet to unlock the learning power of flashcards in six study modes.</p> <p><em>What are other cheap or free apps to help you learn something? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-something-new-with-these-9-cheap-apps">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/10-things-you-didn-t-learn-in-college-but-you-should-have">10 Things You Didn’t Learn in College (but You Should Have)</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/10-more-hobbies-you-can-start-for-free">10 More Hobbies You Can Start for Free</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/college/college-resources">40+ College Resources for Parents and Students</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-ways-to-restart-your-resolutions-this-spring">5 Ways to Restart Your Resolutions This Spring</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-go-to-college-to-learn">Don&#039;t Go to College to Learn</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Lifestyle cheap apps education free apps iPhone learning new skills resolutions Wed, 03 Feb 2016 18:19:00 +0000 Damian Davila 1647754 at http://www.wisebread.com U.S. Bank College Visa Credit Card Review http://www.wisebread.com/us-bank-college-visa-credit-card-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/us-bank-college-visa-credit-card-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000016236814_Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are many suitable credit cards on the market designed to assist college students who don't yet have credit established, but want to start building a good credit rating. For students requiring just a simple credit card to get started on their financial journeys, the U.S. Bank College Visa Credit Card is a solid and affordable choice. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Credit Cards for College Students</a>)</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>The U.S. Bank College Visa Credit Card is a simple credit card which provides students the opportunity to build their credit without a rewards program that can sometimes become confusing and difficult to manage. There is no annual fee.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Overdraft protection</strong>. If you have a U.S. Bank account, cardmembers can enable Overdraft Protection to transfer funds automatically from the credit card into the checking account when you need them, eliminating the risk of overdraft fees and returned payments.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>FlexControl</strong>. U.S. Bank offers cardholders its online tool, FlexControl, for assisting in avoiding interest and late fees when you set your account to make automatic payments. FlexControl also allows you to select purchases that you want to pay down faster, so you don't incur interest on purchases such as groceries or gasoline. With FlexControl Essentials, you could even select up to seven types of purchases from the everyday category that you want to automatically pay in full each month, thus avoiding any additional finance charges.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>11.99% - 20.99% APR</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee ($5 minimum)</li> <li>2% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>No annual fee</strong>. There are a number of student cards that don't charge an annual fee, but this is important especially with a plain vanilla card that doesn't offer extra perks or rewards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Credit Cards with No Annual Fees</a>)</p> <p><strong>Low APR</strong>. The APR is dependent on your individual credit score, but can be as low as 11.99%, which is low in comparison to other student credit cards. While it's best to pay your balance in full each month to avoid paying interest on your purchases, if you must carry a balance from month to month, choose the credit card with the lowest APR possible. Most credit cards for college students charge higher APRs, sometimes as much as 20%. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Simple credit card</strong>. When you're in the process of building a positive credit rating, sometimes it's best to focus on a simple credit card such as this one that doesn't include any distracting bells and whistles. Rewards programs and extra perks can sometimes end up causing more debt. This card provides all the basics of a credit card that can help build your credit as a college student. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-fairaverage-credit?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Credit Cards for People with Fair/Average Credit</a>)</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>No promotional offers</strong>. Often credit cards offer promotional offers, even for student credit cards that can award extra cash or even help you to save money by way of 0% introductory APRs. This card does not include either offer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?seealso">The 5 Best Credit Cards with 0% Intro APRs</a>)</p> <p><strong>No rewards program</strong>. Student credit cards don't always include rewards programs as the focus is generally on just establishing a positive credit history. However, there are cards for college students that provide valuable rewards for purchases. If you are already in the habit of paying your balance in full each month, you could be missing out on cash back. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee</strong>. If you frequently travel abroad or plan to use your credit card for foreign purchases, it's important you choose one without a foreign transaction fee. This card charges as much as 3% depending on the currency, which can add up quickly.&nbsp;(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The U.S. Bank College Visa Credit Card is best for college students who may not have any credit and are in the process of establishing a credit history. Because of the opportunity for one of the lowest APRs available, it is a decent option if you have to carry a balance from time to time. Most importantly, it is best if you reserve this card strictly for domestic purchases that won't cost you a foreign transaction fee.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/us-bank-college-visa-credit-card-review">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/us-bank-cash-visa-signature-credit-card-review">U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Credit Card Review</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/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> <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/skypass-visa-secured-credit-card-review">SKYPASS Visa Secured 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/rewards-that-change-with-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-american-express-credit-card">Rewards that Change with Your Spending: U.S. Bank FlexPerks&amp;reg; Travel Rewards American Express&amp;reg; Credit Card</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/lifemiles-visa-secured-credit-card-earn-miles-as-you-rebuild-your-credit">LifeMiles Visa Secured Credit Card: Earn Miles as You Rebuild Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Education & Training credit card reviews u.s. bank Thu, 28 Jan 2016 18:11:45 +0000 Christina Majaski 1645520 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Surprising Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-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/student_loan_debt_000042931066.jpg" alt="Learning surprising ways to pay off student loans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you went to college, chances are you have student loan debt. Personally, I'm on the 20-year payback plan, and while I'm comfortable with my payments now that two out of three loans are paid in full, the first seven to eight years post-college were extremely hard on my wallet. If you're in a similar situation, there may be some relief in your future. Consider these eight surprising ways to pay off your student loan debt a little faster. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan?ref=seealso">Should You Refinance Your Student Loan?</a><strong>)</strong></p> <h2>1. Volunteer With SponsorChange.org</h2> <p>When I graduated college, I was 100% job focused. I had to find full-time employment right away to pay my rent, gas, food, bills, and of course, my student loans. The job search took up most of my time, and when I finally landed a position, that took up even more of my time. After making ends meet, I certainly didn't have much time to volunteer for activities I enjoyed or support causes I believed in.</p> <p>And that right there is what I love about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sponsorchange.org">SponsorChange.org</a>. Their mission is to connect volunteers with social impact organizations that provide a $10 to $20 per hour stipend for participation in meaningful skill-based project opportunities. The concept is simple: Organizations list projects on the SponsorChange.org site to attract the talent they need. Volunteers &mdash; that's you &mdash; can find projects and build their skills doing something they love by earning money that will go directly toward student loans. It's a win-win for everybody, and you don't have to feel one bit guilty about it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness?ref=seealso">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</a>)</p> <h2>2. Find Student Employment Through Start Jobs</h2> <p>If you're still in school or even a recent grad, you'll want to check out<a href="http://www.startjobs.net"> Start Jobs</a>, an organization that connects students to paying jobs in the field they want to start a career. This allows them to gain the experience necessary to land that first big job right out of college, in turn either taking on less student debt or paying it down faster.</p> <p>&quot;Start Jobs was ranked by Inc.com as one of the best four websites for <a href="http://www.inc.com/samuel-edwards/great-job-sites-for-recent-college-graduates.html">college graduates seeking jobs</a>, listed alongside LinkedIn, Indeed, and CareerBuilder, and it's the only site specifically created for current students and recent graduates for the purpose of attacking the ever-expanding student debt crisis,&quot; according to Start Jobs Community Manager Bryce Hamlin.</p> <h2>3. Accept Help From Your Post-College Employer</h2> <p>The student loan crisis has gotten so bad in recent years that employers are now stepping up to help their workers pay down debt quicker. Price Waterhouse and Coopers, for instance, recently announced that it would help its junior employees (roughly 46,000 staffers) with paybacks starting next year. Eligible employees will receive $1,200 a year for up to six years for student loans. The money will be paid directly to the loan provider, though it will still count as income for employees.</p> <h2>4. Play Givling, an Online Trivia Game</h2> <p><a href="https://givling.com/givling/">Givling</a> is a pay-to-play online trivia game that is making crowdfunding interactive and fun. Three months after its launch this past spring, it paid off contestant <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/this-student-had-his-32000-student-loan-paid-off-by-signing-up-for-an-online-trivia-game-and-he-didnt-even-play-2015-7">Kevin Foster's $31,625 loan</a> and it will pay off the next loan in the queue &mdash; which amounts to $97,000 &mdash; soon. The best part? You don't even have to play the game yourself. You have to sign up, of course, but participation in the trivia games isn't necessary to win.</p> <p>According to Business Insider, &quot;Separately, trivia gamers sign up and are randomly placed into teams of three. Team members answer true or false questions to rack up points. The highest-scoring funding team is eligible for a $4 million prize. In addition to the large $4 million prize, there are smaller daily prize amounts awarded.&quot;</p> <p>Givling costs $0.50 to play a round and an additional $0.30 for a transaction fee. Players also receive one free game a day.</p> <h2>5. Earn Supplemental Income Through Peer-to-Peer Services</h2> <p>Thanks to the &quot;sharing economy&quot; &mdash; which was largely established by the still-growing popularity of peer-to-peer services &mdash; you can make extra cash by renting out items you already own, like your home or car, or offering services like dog sitting.</p> <p>I've rented out a guest bedroom in my home to tourists for the past seven years on Airbnb, and I'm also listed as a dog sitter on DogVacay, in order to bring in extra income. I have a full-time job just like everyone else, and I still have time to manage both of these additional revenue streams. If you have mounting debt from student loans, these peer-to-peer service are a highly effective way of bringing in serious cash &mdash; if you're wholly committed to your endeavors' success &mdash; that you can put toward your payback.</p> <h2>6. Charge Part of the Balance to a No-Interest Credit Card</h2> <p>It's not the ideal solution to use a credit card to pay down other debts, but if the interest rate makes more sense on plastic than it does from you loan repayment terms, it might be a smart move to make a swipe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">Best Credit Cards with 0% Intro Offers</a>)</p> <p>&quot;Using Great Lakes (a loan provider), we were able to call and make a one-time payment using a credit card,&quot; says Douglas Hutchings, who has student-loan debt. &quot;We had an offer for 0% interest for 12 months so we picked an amount that we were confident we could pay over 12 months and charged it to the card. Due to the size of the payment, we also scored a fair amount of credit card rewards points that we plan to use for a future vacation. Between saved interest and credit card points, we came out ahead by over $2,000 for about 60 minutes of 'work.'&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans?ref=seealso">These Private Lenders Can Really Save You Money on Your Student Loans</a></p> <h2>7. Take Out a Loan From Your 401K</h2> <p>Like using a credit card to pay down your student-loan debt, tapping into your 401K shouldn't be the first place you go for extra cash for loan payments. But if it makes sense overall &mdash; in saved interest and other benefits &mdash; it's not an altogether terrible prospect to consider.</p> <p>&quot;One of the things I did to jump start the pay down of my substantial student loans was to take out a loan from my 401K, and put the total amount towards the principal on the student loan,&quot; says Eric Meerman, a portfolio manager at Palisades Hudson Financial Group. &quot;I then kept paying the same monthly amount on the student loan, in addition to paying back the loan to the 401K. While this is not always the best idea since you don't want to miss out on the market appreciation available to stock investments in your 401K, it worked out for me because the market was virtually flat over the term of the payback period.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Live at Home With Your Parents a Little Longer</h2> <p>If mom and dad will have you, live with them a little while longer after college. Chances are they won't charge rent &mdash; or at least not as much as you would pay on your own &mdash; and you'll get lots of free services (laundry, meals, and more), which will ultimately free up more of your income to pay down your student loan debt. I have a buddy who moved back home at age 26 after a few years on his own because his expenses became too much to handle. There's no shame in it, and many of us (myself included) have been there. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-pay-back-student-loans-faster?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster</a>)</p> <p><em>Do you have other interesting ideas on how to pay off student loans? I'd love to hear your thoughts 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/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-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-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/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</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/which-student-loan-repayment-plan-saves-you-the-most">Which Student Loan Repayment Plan Saves You the Most?</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-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</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> Debt Management Education & Training payback student loans volunteering Fri, 11 Dec 2015 18:00:18 +0000 Mikey Rox 1619235 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/college_graduate_debt_000028074368.jpg" alt="College grad learning sobering facts about student loan debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Student loans are a catch-22. Most of us rely on them to get a college degree, which can help us earn about a <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-college-degree-is-worth-1-million-2015-05-07">million dollars more over our lifetimes</a> than those of us without college degrees. On the other hand, the debt we've accrued can impact our financial life decades after we've graduated.</p> <p>Currently, about 40 million American borrowers collectively owe $1.2 trillion in student debt. Some might say student debt is a fair trade given the income potential with a college degree, but there are some sobering facts about student loan debt that might surprise you. Here are five that could make you re-assess higher education loans.</p> <h2>1. Each Graduating Class Becomes More Indebted</h2> <p>It should come as no surprise that the level of student loan debt is rapidly rising. While in the 2003&ndash;2004 school year, only 2% of graduates <a href="http://trends.collegeboard.org/student-aid/figures-tables/cumulative-debt-bachelors-degree-recipients-sector-over-time">carried loan burdens</a> in excess of $40,000, by 2011&ndash;2012, that number exceeded 18%, according to the College Board. And it's likely getting worse.</p> <p>In 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that the class of 2014 was the <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/numbers/congatulations-to-class-of-2014-the-most-indebted-ever-1368/?mod=wsj_nview_latest&amp;mg=blogs-wsj&amp;url=http%253A%252F%252Fblogs.wsj.com%252Fnumbersguy%252Fcongatulations-to-class-of-2014-the-most-indebted-ever-1368%252F%253Fmod%25">most indebted class</a> ever, with an average student loan debt of $33,000. But they didn't hold the title long. Along came the class of 2015 to claim that dubious distinction with an average student loan debt of $35,000. The number will likely continue to increase from year to year, with many college students getting deeper in debt before they're able to purchase their first home.</p> <h2>2. Student Loan Repayment Can Take Longer Than Expected</h2> <p>The standard repayment plan with a federal student loan is 10 years for a bachelor's degree. But unfortunately, many graduates are unable to pay off their student debt in just one decade. On average, it takes about 20 years to <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2014/10/07/student-loan-expectations-myth-vs-reality">repay student loan debt</a> for a bachelor's degree. And if you're on a income-sensitive federal loan repayment plan, such as Income Based Repayment or Pay As You Earn, you could also be paying for up to 25 years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-pay-back-student-loans-faster?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster</a>)</p> <h2>3. There Is a High Default Rate</h2> <p>Perhaps you see yourself finding a job shortly after graduating and paying down your debt in no time. But life doesn't always go according to plan, and keeping up with student loan payments can be more difficult than expected. In 2012, about 35% of student loan borrowers were 90 or more days behind on their student loan payments.</p> <p>Different reasons play a role in student loan default. Some graduates are unable to find work, or they end up earning less than anticipated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 260,000 people with a college or professional degree made at or below the <a href="http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2013.pdf">federal minimum wage</a> of $7.25 per hour in 2013. This undoubtedly is frustrating for graduates who spend tens of thousands of dollars for the opportunity to get ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-student-loan-refinancing-can-save-you-big?ref=seealso">4 Times Student Loan Refinancing Can Save You Big</a>)</p> <h2>4. Student Debt Can Keep You at Home Longer</h2> <p>Because of high student loan debt, moving into their own apartment or buying a home after graduation is out of reach for some grads. One survey found that 27% of those with student debt<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2012-09-06/student-loans-debt-for-life%23p1"> move back in with their parents</a> after graduation. If that wasn't bad enough, another survey found that the median net worth of young households without student debt is <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/05/14/young-adults-student-debt-and-economic-well-being/">approximately seven times higher</a> than the net worth of those with student debt. This could explain why 40% of young borrowers delay major purchases like a house, and why approximately 14% of young borrowers delay marriage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-definitive-guide-to-pay-as-you-earn-a-great-student-loan-repayment-plan?ref=seealso">The Definitive Guide to the Pay As You Earn Federal Student Loan Repayment Plan</a>)</p> <h2>5. You Can't Run or Hide From Student Loan Debt</h2> <p>Student loan debt can haunt you forever. You might qualify for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">federal student loan forgiveness</a> after 10 years if you work in public service, but typically this is one type of debt you can't escape.</p> <p>Federal loans can be discharged or canceled if you become permanently disabled or die. Some private lenders offer this provision, but not all. And if you think bankruptcy can remove the burden of student debt, you're in for a rude awakening.</p> <p>It doesn't matter if you didn't complete your education or if you can't find a job, private and federal lenders eventually want their money. You can apply for a deferment or forbearance, which temporarily lowers or suspends monthly payments in the event of hardship &mdash; but payments eventually resume.</p> <p>Student loans &mdash; like getting an education &mdash; are serious business. Avoid compromising your financial future by borrowing wisely.</p> <p><em>How heavy is your student loan burden?</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/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">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-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</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/a-better-way-to-rank-americas-colleges">A Better Way to Rank America&#039;s Colleges</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/share-your-thoughts-consolidating-student-loans">Share Your Thoughts: Consolidating 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/student-loans-how-to-make-post-college-decisions">Student Loans: How to Make Post-College Decisions</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/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans">8 Surprising Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Education & Training college financial aid higher education repayment student loans Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:00:46 +0000 Mikey Rox 1616761 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Reasons to Get Your Master’s Degree Abroad http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-to-get-your-master-s-degree-abroad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-reasons-to-get-your-master-s-degree-abroad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_globe_000063648887.jpg" alt="Woman learning reasons to get her master&#039;s degree abroad" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traditionally, when we think about studying abroad, it is associated with an undergrad degree. But there is a trend emerging for students to get their master's degrees, or even a second bachelor's degree abroad. And not just spend a semester, but many years in a foreign country.</p> <p>According to the Institute of International Education, more than <a href="http://www.iie.org/Research-and-Publications/Publications-and-Reports/IIE-Bookstore/New-Frontiers">46,500 students from the U.S.</a> pursued full degrees abroad in 2011-2012. Experts believe that, on average, this number grows by 5% per year with more and more U.S. students looking for new opportunities and a lower price tag for their education. If you are looking at furthering your education, check out these three amazing reasons to get your master's degree abroad.</p> <h2>Less Debt and Better Living Options</h2> <p>Unless you've been living under a rock, you are keenly aware of the steep price tag to get your education in the U.S. According to Finaid.org, the <a href="http://www.nasfaa.org/">average cost for a master's degree</a> in 2015 in the U.S. is between $30,000 and $120,000, which varies depending on the type of degree and college you wish to attend. If you already have student loans from your undergrad degree, adding another giant loan on top of that is probably not a great decision.</p> <p>Also, most international universities have a reputation of graduating students in 2-3 years, compared to the U.S., where an undergrad degree might take 4-5 years, and a master's degree might take 3-4 years. What does this mean for you? Cutting just a year from your educational expenses means that you've got more money in your wallet, and you can get to that career and paycheck you've been studying for even quicker.</p> <p>If you like the sound of a free degree, look no further than Germany. Germany is the current leader in free education, coupled with a low cost of living, and one of the most popular places around the world for millennial job growth. Germany even has a growing entrepreneurial scene and is investing heavily in those types of projects that originate in Germany. Other than a few small university fees, students can enjoy a free education with classes taught in English.</p> <p>Germany also has a reputation for high learning standards and a great reputation for students who graduate from their programs. Two of the top destinations to study are Berlin and Munich, where the cities offer great living options, loads of activities, and a great culture to explore.</p> <p>A few other countries leading the way in free (or low-cost) degree programs taught in English are:</p> <ul> <li>France (high living costs)</li> <li>Denmark (high living costs)</li> <li>Finland (high living costs)</li> <li>Norway (high living costs)</li> <li>Greece (affordable living costs)</li> <li>Czech Republic (affordable living costs)</li> </ul> <p>If you are looking to find a country with a degree that will fit your budget, check out <a href="http://www.studyabroad.com/programs/graduate/default.aspx">Studyabroad.com</a> and simply plug in the country and subject and then you are off to the races.</p> <h2>Exploration</h2> <p>One of the best reasons to get an international degree is to be able to explore the world that is literally outside your door. Studying in any of the European Union countries like France or Germany means that you are just a short train or plane ride away from so many other destinations for weekend or summer trips. Imagine attending a true Oktoberfest in Munich, or sipping wine from a vineyard in France, or seeing the running of the bulls up close and personal in Spain. Seeing the world will give you a much more well-rounded vision of different cultures and ways of life that can only enrich your future career, no matter what it might be.</p> <h2>International Experience</h2> <p>With all this exploration, you will be racking up some serious international experiences. There are many degrees like an MBA, or International Relations, or Conflict Resolution where you can benefit from the experience of studying abroad in a foreign country. You are able to learn their rules and regulations, ways of doing business, and might actually have an easier entry into your career if you plan to stay abroad.</p> <p>Most students aren't allowed to stay in the country once they graduate without a work visa. However, what better way to make contacts and forge those relationships than when you are studying there? For those of you who want to come back to the U.S. for your career, having multiple years of foreign experience under your belt can be a real resume booster and will make some great talking points in your interview.</p> <p>Whatever your reason is for going abroad, be it a purely financial decision or your desire to travel the world, the truth is that our world is so interconnected now that having an international master's degree can only add value to your future career aspirations.</p> <p><em>Have you studied abroad? Share your experience below!</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/3-reasons-to-get-your-master-s-degree-abroad">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/budgeting-for-study-abroad-what-youll-need-and-how-to-access-your-money">Budgeting for Study Abroad: What You&#039;ll Need, and How to Access Your Money</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/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</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/6-things-every-college-student-must-know-about-private-student-loans">6 Things Every College Student Must Know About Private 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/save-on-car-rentals-with-these-10-easy-hacks">Save on Car Rentals With These 10 Easy Hacks</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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel college degree student student loan study abroad traveling Thu, 12 Nov 2015 15:15:16 +0000 Shannah Game 1607584 at http://www.wisebread.com An Attractive Option for Students: Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students http://www.wisebread.com/an-attractive-option-for-students-citi-thankyou-preferred-card-for-college-students <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/an-attractive-option-for-students-citi-thankyou-preferred-card-for-college-students" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000036224800.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College students who are just starting out on their financial journeys, might run into the age old problem of not having enough credit to qualify for credit. In these instances, in order to build credit, your options are usually either <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-secured-credit-card-can-repair-your-credit-score-heres-how-to-pick-the-best?ref=review">secured credit cards</a> or cards specifically designed for students. These cards often include perks and benefits you would find on traditional credit cards, plus a few that are specific to consumers who are in college.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=review">Best Credit Cards for College Students</a></p> <p>The <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-12196349-1430139605000?sid=review_1" target="_top">Citi&reg; ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students</a> from our partner Citi is one of the best student credit cards available, providing an opportunity for students to earn ThankYou points from their purchases, while building a strong credit history.</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>Earn two ThankYou points for each dollar spent on dining, which can include bars and fast food restaurants, and for entertainment purchases such as concerts, movie theaters, and museums. Earn one point for each dollar spent on all other purchases. Cardholders can earn an unlimited number of points, which do not expire. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><strong>Sign up bonus: </strong>Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 within the first 3 months.</p> <p>Redeem your points for merchandise, gift cards with popular retailers, gift certificates, statement credit, or check. You can redeem for a check in $50 or $100 denominations, or statement credits starting at $10, however, you receive the most value for your points if you redeem for gift cards, where each point is worth approximately one cent.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Citi Private Pass.</strong> Provides special access to events and exclusive ticket presales with perks such as preferred seating to events such as sporting events, concerts, and family entertainment</p> <p><strong>Citi Price Rewind. </strong>Register your purchases and Citi automatically searches for the items for a lower price. If a lower price is found within 60 days, you can receive a refund of the difference, up to $300 per item and $1,200 per year.</p> <p><strong>Damage and theft protection. </strong>Purchases made with your card are protected up to $1,000 per item, up to $500,000 per year against damage or theft for 120 days of purchase.</p> <p><strong>Trip Cancellation.</strong> If you trip is cancelled or interrupted, you can be reimbursed for non-refundable expenses such as change fees, up to $1,500 per year.</p> <p><strong>EMV chip technology.</strong> Equipped with EMV chip technology for more secured shopping. Credit cards embedded with microchips are accepted worldwide and are often preferred over cards with just the magnetic stripe, especially with certain merchants in Europe.</p> <p><strong>Personal concierge</strong>. Access personal concierge services 24/7 from anywhere in the world if you need assistance with booking flights or making reservations, or buying gifts.</p> <p><a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-12196349-1430139605000?sid=cmajaski-1546771?sid=review_app2"><img width="154" height="50" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>14.24%, 19.24%, or 24.24% APR (0% intro APR on purchases for 7 months)</li> <li>4% Balance Transfer Fee</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Sign-up bonus. </strong>Although one of the smaller sign-up bonuses when compared to other rewards credit cards, this is one of the only student credit cards offering a sign-up bonus at all. The bonus of 2,500 points that you receive if you spend $500 with your card within the first three months, can be redeemed for a $25 gift card. This is a nice bonus if you already plan on making a large purchase within the first few months of opening the account.</p> <p><strong>0% Introductory APR.</strong> There is an introductory APR of 0% for purchases for the first seven months, which can help you save money if you need to make a large purchase. Although rare with student credit cards, it is important that you are diligent in paying off the purchase within the introductory period in order to get the most out of the 0% opportunity.</p> <p><strong>Exclusive Citi benefits.</strong> Citi&rsquo;s Price Rewind and Private Pass are attractive especially for college students who are interested in special events and VIP access. The Price Rewind feature can help save money if students don&rsquo;t have the time to shop around for the best price.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>No 0% for balance transfers. </strong>There is a 0% introductory APR for purchases but does not apply to balance transfers, which might be more valuable to you if you need to transfer a balance from a card with a higher APR. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=review">Best 0% Balance Transfer Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee.</strong> If you are a student planning to travel or make foreign purchases, the foreign transaction fee of 3% is going to devalue any rewards you earn with your purchases. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-off-your-credit-history-right-with-journey-students-rewards-from-capital-one?ref=review">Capital One Journey Student Rewards</a> is one of the only credit cards for college students, which does not charge a foreign transaction fee, and is a better card for foreign purchases or traveling abroad.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students is best for college students who spend heavily in restaurant and entertainment categories. It is also best for students whose spending is primarily domestic, and/or plan on making a large purchase and can take advantage of the sign-up bonus and 0% introductory APR.</p> <p><a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-12196349-1430139605000?sid=review_2" target="_top"><strong>Click here to apply for the Citi&reg; ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/an-attractive-option-for-students-citi-thankyou-preferred-card-for-college-students">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/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/us-bank-college-visa-credit-card-review">U.S. Bank College Visa Credit Card Review</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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/bankamericard-credit-card-for-students-review">BankAmericard Credit Card for Students Review</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Education & Training Wed, 11 Nov 2015 22:16:42 +0000 Christina Majaski 1546771 at http://www.wisebread.com BankAmericard Credit Card for Students Review http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-credit-card-for-students-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bankamericard-credit-card-for-students-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000026244802.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College students are often stuck in the dilemma of being unable to obtain credit simply because they don&rsquo;t have any credit established. This means in order to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=review">build a positive credit history</a>, you must choose either a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards?ref=internal">secured credit card</a> or a student card. The BankAmericard Credit Card for Students is a great starter card to consider. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=review">Best Credit Cards for College Students)</a></p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>The BankAmericard Credit Card for Students is a simple, no-frills credit card designed for students with limited credit histories. New cardholders get 0% APR for balance transfers for 18 months.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>ShopSafe.</strong> Provides extra protection when you shop online. Sign-up to receive a temporary 16-digit account number with an expiration date and security code to use when you shop, rather than using your actual credit card information. The ShopSafe feature allows you to designate a date or period of time, up to a year, in which the temporary account information can be used.</p> <p><strong>Overdraft protection.</strong> Link your Bank of America checking account to the credit card to prevent overdrafts and declined purchases.</p> <p><strong>SafePass.</strong> Another feature that provides extra protection. When you bank online or with your mobile phone, you can opt to receive a 6-digit pass code for authorizing transactions.</p> <p><strong>Text and mobile banking. </strong>Bank of America offers text and mobile phone options for managing your card, making payments, checking available credit, and obtaining information. For students on the go, these features can help make managing your account responsibly, a quick and simple process.</p> <p><strong>Chip technology. </strong>Includes chip technology for security and protection when using your card at chip terminals. Chip cards are accepted globally and are becoming standard in the U.S. Your card still includes the magnetic stripe, but cards with the chip are often preferred over those without.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>11.24% to 21.24% APR (0% intro APR for balance transfers made within the first 60 days, for the first 18 statements)</li> <li>3% Balance Transfers Fee ($10 minimum)</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Qualify for a low APR.</strong> There is a chance you qualify for an APR as low as 11.24%, which is the lowest APR offered with student credit cards. Because of the limited credit file college students often have, the APR can sometimes be fairly high and as much as 20%. It is always recommended in order to get the most from your credit card and experience the most savings, that you pay your balance in full each month to avoid paying interest on your purchases. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-it-for-students-rewards-for-smart-spending?ref=review">Discover it for Students</a> has an APR range that starts at 13.24%.</p> <p><strong>Introductory balance transfer APR. </strong>You can transfer a balance from a card with a higher APR and pay it down without paying interest for 18 billing cycles, which can save you quite a bit of money on interest. Keep in mind that there is a balance transfer fee of $10 or 3% of the transfer, whichever is greater, and you should pay the balance in full during the introductory period. This is one of the longest 0% offers provided by a student credit card, with most being less than a year.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>No sign-up bonus.</strong> Sign-up bonuses are rare with college credit cards, but not completely out of the question. Some cards offer $25 worth of cash back or points for new cardholders.</p> <p><strong>No rewards program. </strong>This is one of the only student credit cards that does not include some kind of rewards program. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-it-chrome-for-students-simple-rewards-for-responsible-spending?ref=review">Discover it Chrome for Students</a> awards cash back for gas and restaurants, while the Bank of America also has a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-cash-rewards-for-students-visa-credit-card-review?ref=review">Cash Rewards for Students Card</a> that offers rewards on gas and groceries.</p> <p>Note: It is important if you carry a balance from month to month that you forego bonuses and rewards programs and instead select a simple card with a low APR. Many rewards cards carry higher APRs, which can cancel out any rewards earned from purchases and can end up being costly.</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee.</strong> The foreign transaction fee of 3% can become costly for students who frequently travel abroad and make foreign purchases with the card. In this case, student cards such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-journey-student-rewards?ref=review">Capital One Journey Student Rewards</a>, which do not carry foreign transaction fees, are better cards for travelers.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The BankAmericard Credit Card for Students is best for college students who are working on building their credit and, because of the foreign transaction fee, purchase primarily domestically. It is also a great low-APR credit card and if unavoidable, for students who must carry a balance from month to month. The card is also ideal if you need to transfer a balance from a card with a high APR and can pay it down within 18 months.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-credit-card-for-students-review">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/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/us-bank-college-visa-credit-card-review">U.S. Bank College Visa Credit Card Review</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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/budgeting-for-study-abroad-what-youll-need-and-how-to-access-your-money">Budgeting for Study Abroad: What You&#039;ll Need, and How to Access Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Education & Training Sat, 07 Nov 2015 02:26:50 +0000 Christina Majaski 1577212 at http://www.wisebread.com BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students Visa Credit Card Review http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-cash-rewards-for-students-visa-credit-card-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bankamericard-cash-rewards-for-students-visa-credit-card-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000055028066.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College students who are just starting out and working on building credit, often turn to credit cards to build their credit files and possibly get something back by way of cash back or other rewards.</p> <p>The BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students Visa Credit Card offers not only a great rewards program for earning cash back on purchases that may be common for students, but also provides valuable opportunities in a sign-up bonus and introductory APR of 0%. As far as perks and rewards go, the BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students Visa Credit Card is one of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students">best student credit cards</a> on the market.</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>The BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students Visa Credit Card awards 3% cash back for gasoline purchases and 2% cash back for grocery store purchases, for the first $1,500 in combined gas and grocery purchases each quarter. You also earn an unlimited 1% cash back for all other purchases and for gas and grocery purchases after you have reached the quarterly limit. You are able to earn an unlimited amount of cash back, which does not expire. Bank of America customers receive a 10% bonus if redeeming cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><strong>Sign up bonus: </strong>$100 bonus if you make at least $500 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening the account. There is also an intro APR of 0% for purchases and balance transfers made within the first 60 days, for the first 12 statement closing dates.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>ShopSafe. </strong>If you choose, you can enroll in ShopSafe, which provides a temporary account number, expiration date, and security code, rather than your actual account information, when you shop online.</p> <p><strong>Chip technology.</strong> Credit cards embedded with microchips are accepted in the U.S. and over 130 countries, and are expected to become the standard. It provides additional security when using your credit card.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>13.24% to 23.24% APR (0% intro APR for the first 12 statement closing dates for purchases and balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening)</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee (minimum $10)</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Sign-up bonus of $100.</strong> If you spend $500 with your card within 90 days, you can receive a bonus of $100, which is a nice bonus especially with a card that has no annual fee.</p> <p><strong>Introductory APR of 0% for 12 months. </strong>If you need to transfer a balance from a card with a high APR or make a large purchase, you can pay down the balance for 12 months at 0%. This is among the longest durations offered by rewards credit cards, with only a handful offering as long as 15 months to pay down your balance.</p> <p><strong>Customer bonus.</strong> If you choose to redeem your cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings, you'll receive a 10% bonus on your cash rewards. For instance, if you earn $50 cash back and redeem it into your Bank of America checking account, you will actually receive $55.</p> <p><strong>Preferred Rewards.</strong> You can also earn larger bonuses if you are a Preferred Rewards member, which is based on your three month average combined balances in your Bank of America accounts. The tiers are classified as Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Honors. Gold requires a three month combined balance average of $20,000 to $50,000 and awards a 25% bonus on your cash back. The top tier, Platinum Honors, requires combined balances for a three month average of over $100,000 and awards a bonus of 75%.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Purchase cap on bonus categories.</strong> The gasoline and grocery store purchases include a cap of $1,500 per quarter combined. If your gasoline and grocery store purchases are significantly more than approximately $500 per month, you may be able to earn more cash back with a card that without limitations. Although there are very few student rewards credit cards which award as much cash back for gas and groceries, non-student credit cards such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/barclays-rewards-mastercard-review-a-promising-new-card-from-an-old-bank">Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard</a> awards 2x points for gasoline and grocery store purchases without any caps, which is double the amount you earn from this card once you reach the $1,500 cap.</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee.</strong> If you frequently travel abroad, this fee will cancel out any rewards earned with the credit card. Student credit cards without foreign transaction fees include the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-it-chrome-for-students-simple-rewards-for-responsible-spending">Discover it Chrome for Students</a> and the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-off-your-credit-history-right-with-journey-students-rewards-from-capital-one">Capital One Journey Student Rewards Card</a>.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students Visa Credit Card is best for college students who can use the card for gasoline and grocery purchases that total less than $1,500 per quarter, and can consistently pay their balances in full each month to avoid any interest charges. It is also a great card for students who need to make a large purchase or transfer a balance, and can take advantage of the sign-up bonus.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-cash-rewards-for-students-visa-credit-card-review">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/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/us-bank-college-visa-credit-card-review">U.S. Bank College Visa Credit Card Review</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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/bankamericard-credit-card-for-students-review">BankAmericard Credit Card for Students Review</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Education & Training Sat, 07 Nov 2015 02:17:11 +0000 Christina Majaski 1577210 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Certifications That Add Big $$ to Your Salary http://www.wisebread.com/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_using_computer_000051515506.jpg" alt="Woman getting certifications that will add money to her salary" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A certification can strengthen your degree, and maybe even improve your income. Better still? It can do all this without you ever having to set foot inside a classroom, as all of the seven certifications listed below are offered online. Take a look, and start moving ahead today.</p> <h2>1. Project Management</h2> <p>Aside from IT, project managers work in engineering, healthcare, and construction. They are responsible for overseeing the completion of a project &mdash; on budget, and on time. It's a high-pressure career, but the salary is great (<a href="http://blog.capterra.com/much-project-managers-make/">average $89,000</a> for entry-level). Fortunately, you don't have to quit your day job to earn your certification. The average cost varies widely, but reputable UC Berkeley lists it as <a href="http://extension.berkeley.edu/cert/project.html">around $5,600</a>. Here is a list of <a href="http://blog.capterra.com/the-5-best-online-project-management-courses/">online project management programs</a> where you can study.</p> <h2>2. Microsoft Certified IT Professional</h2> <p>My friend Chad, who has a degree in IT, obtained this <a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/microsoft-certified-professional.aspx">Microsoft Certified Professional</a> (MCP) certification on his own, reasoning that &quot;I thought it might be helpful.&quot; Upon completion, he showed it to his manager...and was immediately promoted and reimbursed for the cost of obtaining the certification. The cost? A very affordable $150 for the first level (Microsoft Certified); then you can take more courses and build into Professional (MCITP), Architect (MCA), Professional Developer, etc.</p> <p>How much can you expect to earn from certifications? From Microsoft:</p> <p>&quot;In high-growth industries, entry-level employees who hold a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification or Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification can earn up to $16,000 more, annually, than their peers.&quot;</p> <h2>3. CPA</h2> <p>An accountant with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts" target="_blank">Bachelor's degree</a>&nbsp;can expect annual earnings of $63,550 per year. But what if that accountant passes the licensure exam and becomes a Certified Public Accountant? Here is an interesting breakdown from the folks at Becker Professional Education:</p> <p>&quot;Over the course of a 40-year career, a CPA can earn as much as <a href="http://www.becker.com/cpa-review/resources/career-opportunities/what-you-can-earn-as-a-cpa">$1 million more</a> than a non-certified accountant. Here's an example:</p> <ul> <li>Two non-Certified Public Accountants with Bachelor's degrees begin working at the same time at the same large public accounting firm in Audit/Assurance Services at the same annual salary of $68,000.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>One earns the CPA credential, creating a 10% salary differential of about $7,000 more than the other (CPA's can earn between 5% and 15% more than their non-credentialed counterparts).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Over time, more frequent and higher-level promotions can widen the salary gap to as much as $50,000.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Over a full career that can mean an additional $1 million or more in lifetime earnings.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>The <a href="http://www.aicpa.org/BECOMEACPA/LICENSURE/Pages/default.aspx">licensure exam</a> is very rigorous, but what a difference in income obtaining that license makes.</p> <h2>4. Process Management</h2> <p>The question I get most often in HR about this position is, &quot;What is it that those people DO?&quot; Well, they look at a process, or flow, that isn't working, reorganize it, and implement it so that things work better. As a rule, they are really good at seeing the &quot;big picture&quot; and being diplomatic about change. Process managers have a <a href="http://www.abpmp.org/?page=certification_home">governing body</a> and must pass an exam. Earnings are estimated at <a href="http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Process_Improvement_Manager/Salary">$79,000 annually</a>. Fortunately, this is another position where you can obtain online certification (here are some <a href="http://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/business-process-management-bpm/articles/8-business-process-management-bpm-training-provide/">training resources</a>) while keeping your day job.</p> <h2>5. Medical Coder</h2> <p>With the implementation of ICD-10 medical coding, knowledgeable coders are in high demand. Already have your B.A.? Good, because those with Bachelor's degrees &quot;...out-earned those with only a high school diploma by a dramatic $10,000 per year ($51,825 vs. $41,802).&quot; The <a href="http://www.ahima.org/">American Health Information Management Association</a> is the governing body for health information management. It also provides information about education and certification courses. I personally know coders who are able to work from home, which is a nice option if you have a family.</p> <h2>6. Exercise Physiologist</h2> <p>The median salary for a fitness instructor is $40,996. But, obtain certification as an <a href="http://certification.acsm.org/acsm-registered-clinical-exercise-physiologist">exercise physiologist</a>, and that jumps to $44,470. Perhaps more importantly, though, is that if you are interested in this field, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 19% growth, higher than the average for all occupations.</p> <h2>7. Actuary</h2> <p>Have a degree in mathematics? Or, maybe you work in the field of finance, or statistics? The BLS cites median pay in 2012 for actuaries to have been $93,680, with job growth outlook of 26% (much higher than average). Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They often work for insurance companies or in finance. A <a href="http://www.beanactuary.org/what/">series of exams</a> must be passed to obtain certification. It's not all about number-crunching, though &mdash; a good actuary needs the skills to be able to communicate, too.</p> <p>Remember: Do your research before you leap. Some of these certifications are extremely rigorous and, although likely worth it in the long run, will put a strain on your time. Take a look at job listings to see what employers are looking for.</p> <p><em>Have you gotten a certification to boost your career &mdash; and your pay?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-certifications-that-add-big-to-your-salary">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/7-careers-that-pay-women-more-than-men">7 Careers That Pay Women More Than Men</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/crime-scene-cleaner-and-4-other-trades-that-pay-surprisingly-well">Crime Scene Cleaner and 4 Other Trades That Pay Surprisingly Well</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/10-high-paying-careers-with-low-educational-barriers">10 High-Paying Careers With Low Educational Barriers</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/learning-without-the-high-cost-of-higher-education">Learning Without the High Cost of Higher Education</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/are-you-underpaid-how-to-figure-out-what-salary-you-deserve">Are You Underpaid? How to Figure Out What Salary You Deserve</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training certifications degree income jobs online learning salary Tue, 27 Oct 2015 11:15:27 +0000 Marla Walters 1599962 at http://www.wisebread.com Upromise World MasterCard Credit Card Review http://www.wisebread.com/upromise-world-mastercard-credit-card-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/upromise-world-mastercard-credit-card-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000029978892_Medium.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a number of student credit cards on the market designed to help college students start out healthy credit journeys, but credit cards that award you cash back that can be used to save for college or pay student loans are limited. The Upromise World MasterCard is one of the only rewards credit cards on the market designed to actually help prepare for college or pay off the mountain of loans usually incurred during college. Sallie Mae&rsquo;s Upromise program not only provides a different opportunity for earning rewards for purchases, but with the Upromise World MasterCard offers one of the most valuable rewards programs available.</p> <p>If you are a student or someone who would like to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online?ref=review">earn cash back</a>, the Upromise World MasterCard provides one of the best rewards programs offered by a credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=review">Best Credit Cards for College Students</a>)</p> <h2>Why We Like This Card</h2> <ul> <li>$50 cash back sign-up bonus</li> <li>Up to 10% cash back rewards on purchases</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>In order to earn cash back rewards from the Upromise World MasterCard, it is required that you open a free Upromise account. The card features 5% cash back on online shopping with Upromise, which includes hundreds of popular retailers, and on Upromise dining and restaurants. You also earn 2% cash back for each dollar spent in-store at department stores such as Macy&rsquo;s, JCPenney, and Kohl&rsquo;s, and movie theaters, and 1% cash back for all other purchases made with your card. There is no annual fee.</p> <p>These awards are separate from the cash back you get just for being a Upromise member, even without the card. For example, you would earn 5% at a retailer through Upromise.com. If you used your Upromise credit card, you get an <em>additional</em> 5%. This allows you to earn as much as 10% cash back total on Upromise purchases.</p> <p><strong>Sign up bonus: </strong>Use your new card within 90 days of opening your account and get a one-time $50 cash back bonus. Also, get 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles (transfers must be made within the first 45 days).</p> <p>Cardholders can choose to redeem the cash back as an investment into a high-yield Sallie Mae savings account or tax-deferred 529 plan, or use it as payment toward a Sallie Mae student loan. Another option is to request the cash back as a check starting at $10. There are no limits to the amount of cash back you can earn, and it does not expire.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Free FICO credit score.</strong> An important skill for students to learn is to manage their credit, and having access to their FICO score each month provides invaluable insight on how their habits affect their credit.</p> <p><strong>Chip technology.</strong> Includes an embedded microchip for extra security and protection against hackers and identity thieves. Cards with chip technology are widely accepted globally and sometimes preferred over credit cards with only the magnetic stripe.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>13.99%, 19.99%, or 22.99% APR (purchases and balance transfers); 25.24% (cash advance)</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee (or $5, whichever is greater)</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Cash back sign-up bonus.</strong> You can earn a bonus of $50 just for using the card within your first 90 days of opening the account (it can be any activity, even a balance transfer!). While this is not the largest sign-up bonus available, it is one of the easiest to earn, without the spending requirement attached to bonuses with other rewards credit cards. Furthermore, it is the highest offered by any student credit card on the market.</p> <p><strong>Introductory APR.</strong> The introductory APR of 0% offered for balance transfers is one of the longest term introductory offers available with any credit card. Most student credit cards do not offer 0% for longer than six or seven months. If you have a balance to transfer from another credit card, especially one with a higher APR, you can save a significant amount of money in interest payments for 15 months.</p> <p><strong>Multiple bonus categories.</strong> Because Upromise includes over 850 retailers, you have an opportunity with the Upromise World MasterCard to earn bonus cash back in a wide range of categories from retailers such as Amazon.com, Best Buy and Target, to a number of department store and restaurant merchants. Many rewards credit cards offer bonus opportunities, but the categories are limited to one or two types of purchases. Plus, the categories with other rewards programs might rotate quarterly.</p> <p><strong>High earning opportunities.</strong> There are no other rewards credit cards, especially student credit cards, which provide an opportunity to earn as much as 10% cash back on your purchases. Because of the partnership with Upromise retailers, you can earn much more cash back with the Upromise World MasterCard than with any other credit card.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Must use Upromise.com.</strong> In order to earn the most cash back from your credit card, it is important that you are diligent in actually shopping and making your purchases through Upromise's online shopping mall. Otherwise, you lose the extra 5% boost and depending on the type of restaurants and travel, you may not even get 5% back. If you aren&rsquo;t able to dedicate your shopping trips to Upromise, you can likely earn more cash back with credit cards that focus specifically on the types of purchases you make.</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee.</strong> Because of the 3% foreign transaction fee, this is not a great card if you frequently travel abroad or make foreign purchases. This fee can decrease the value of the cash back earned from your purchases a great deal and should only be used on domestic purchases. For students traveling abroad, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-off-your-credit-history-right-with-journey-students-rewards-from-capital-one?ref=review">Capital One Journey Student Rewards</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-it-chrome-for-students-simple-rewards-for-responsible-spending?ref=review">Discover it Chrome for Students</a> are both no foreign transaction fee cards, and might be more economical for foreign purchases.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The Upromise World MasterCard is best for those who regularly shop online and are diligent in using the Upromise shopping mall in order to earn the most cash back possible. It is also best for cardmembers who will use the card primarily for domestic purchases, and is particularly ideal if you need to transfer a balance (and can pay it down within the promotional period) from a credit card with a higher APR.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/upromise-world-mastercard-credit-card-review">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/barclaycard-visa-with-apple-rewards-credit-card-review">Barclaycard Visa with Apple Rewards Credit Card Review</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/barclaycard-rewards-mastercard-review-a-promising-new-card-from-an-old-bank">Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Review: A Promising New Card From an Old Bank</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/us-bank-college-visa-credit-card-review">U.S. Bank College Visa Credit Card 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/the-best-new-travel-rewards-cards-on-the-block-barclaycard-arrival-world-plus-world-elite-mastercard">The Best New Travel Rewards Cards on the Block: Barclaycard Arrival World / Plus World Elite MasterCard</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Education & Training Shopping barclaycard college credit card reviews students upromise Fri, 16 Oct 2015 04:40:54 +0000 Christina Majaski 1546624 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Surprising Ways a College Education Will Improve Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-a-college-education-will-improve-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-ways-a-college-education-will-improve-your-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/recent_graduate_000042637552.jpg" alt="Woman learning surprising ways college education improves her life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sure, we've all heard the statistics about the lifetime earnings power of having a college degree. But if you or the people around you are doing okay without college, perhaps you think a degree is unnecessary. This might be true in some cases (I've written a post recently that defends the argument against a college degree), but research also shows that a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-continue-your-education-without-going-back-to-school">college education</a> can improve your life in more ways than one.</p> <p>Ultimately, though, it's your choice. So before you close the book on higher education, here are 10 surprising benefits of going to college to consider:</p> <h2>1. You'll Earn More Money</h2> <p>Graduates with a bachelor's degree earn about a <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-college-degree-is-worth-1-million-2015-05-07">million dollars more over their lifetimes</a>&nbsp;than those with only some college education and a high school diploma. A Pew Research Center study on college-educated Millennials reports that college graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 working full-time <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/">earn roughly $17,000 more</a> a year. And according to College Board's Education Pays Study 2013, the average &quot;college graduate who enrolls at age 18 and graduates in four years can expect to <a href="http://trends.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/education-pays-2013-full-report.pdf">earn enough by age 36</a> to compensate for being out of the labor force for four years.&quot;</p> <h2>2. You'll Acquire More Assets</h2> <p>Since college graduates on average earn more than their peers with a high school diploma, they typically have more assets. According to the USC Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis, people who <a href="http://www.usc.edu/dept/chepa/IDApays/resources/education_important.pdf">attend some form of college</a> usually save more of their money. They also have more assets, such as homes, cars, and investments.</p> <h2>3. You'll Face a Lower Unemployment Rate</h2> <p>Although there's no such thing as true job security (ask anyone you know&hellip; except your tenured professors), the unemployment rate is lower among those with a college education. The Pew Research Center study found that only <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/">3.8% of those with a bachelor's degree</a> were unemployed in 2012, compared with 8.1% of those with an associate degree or some college and 12.2% of those with a high school diploma. The percent of those living in poverty with a bachelor's degree and high school diploma were 5.8% and 21.8%, respectively. You don't have to be a math major to note the discrepancy.</p> <h2>4. You're More Likely to Have a Pension</h2> <p>A college education also increases the likelihood of enjoying a comfortable, more secure retirement. The College Board study reports that in 2011 only 52% of full-time employees were offered pension plans by their employers. Meanwhile, 65% of employees with a bachelor's degree and 73% of employees with advanced degrees were provided with pensions.</p> <p>Even if your company doesn't offer a pension plan (which is becoming more and more common, by the way), earning more with a college education puts you in a better position to open a 401K or IRA and contribute a greater percentage of your income.</p> <h2>5. You're More Likely to Have Health Insurance</h2> <p>If you don't have health insurance, it only takes one medical emergency to completely ruin your financial life or wipe out your savings account. This is less likely to happen if you have a college education. The College Board found that people with at least a bachelor's degree were more likely to receive health insurance through an employer. In 2011, employers only provided health insurance to 55% of full-time employees with a high school diploma, whereas 69% of employees with bachelor's degrees and 73% of employees with advanced degrees received coverage.</p> <h2>6. You'll Live a Healthier Lifestyle (After You Graduate, of Course)</h2> <p>There's a connection between a college education and a healthier lifestyle. In 2012, only 8% of people with at least a four-year degree were smokers, compared to 25% of high school graduates and those without a high school diploma.</p> <p>College graduates also were less likely to be obese. Looking only at adults between the ages of 25 and 34, the study found that 68% of college graduates engaged in vigorous exercise at least once a week, compared to only 40% of high school graduates. Because college-educated people typically adopt healthier habits, they also live longer.</p> <p>According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), &quot;Men without a high school diploma have a <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/p0516_higher_education.html">life expectancy 9.3 years less</a> than those with at least a bachelor's degree, whereas women without a high school diploma had a life expectancy 8.6 years less than those with at least a bachelor's degree.&quot;</p> <h2>7. You're Able to Spend More Time With Your Children</h2> <p>A college education may also improve your family life, giving you more quality time with your children. College Board reports that mothers with a four-year college degree spend on average about &quot;51% more time on their children's activities than employed mothers with only a high school education.&quot; For those mothers with children under the age three, the amount of playtime spent with their children also increased with education.</p> <h2>8. You're Less Likely to Live With Your Parents</h2> <p>College-educated adults are more likely to be financially independent and less reliant on their parents (after college, that is). In 2012, only 12% of college-educated Millennials lived in their parents' home, compared with 16% of those with a two-year degree or some college, and 18% of high school graduates, says the Pew Research Center.</p> <h2>9. You'll Experience a Higher Rate of Career Satisfaction</h2> <p>If you're in a dead-end job, you might hate going to work every day, and your job might impact your day-to-day happiness. Although a college degree doesn't guarantee you'll enjoy your work, research proves that career satisfaction increases with the level of education. Among workers between the ages of 30 to 45, &quot;51% of those with at least a bachelor's degree reported being very satisfied with their work, compared to only 42% of those without a high school diploma, and 47% of those with a high school diploma,&quot; reports College Board.</p> <h2>10. You'll Gain the Ability to Make Better Decisions</h2> <p>Interestingly enough, a <a href="http://www.usc.edu/dept/chepa/IDApays/resources/education_important.pdf">college education can help you become a savvier, more informed consumer</a>. College doesn't only provide book knowledge to help you succeed in a particular field, it also teaches critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. You learn the importance of weighing the pros and cons before making a decision, and you're more likely to compare rates and prices, which helps you save money.</p> <p><em>Did you go to college? What other ways has a college education improved your life? Let me know 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/10-surprising-ways-a-college-education-will-improve-your-life">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-10"> <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-wait-to-go-to-college">Should You Wait to Go to College?</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/get-a-free-copy-of-navigating-your-health-benefits-for-dummies">Get a Free Copy of &quot;Navigating Your Health Benefits for Dummies&quot;</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/college/college-resources">40+ College Resources for Parents and Students</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/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Education & Training benefits college college education Health health benefits unemployment Tue, 13 Oct 2015 09:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1586508 at http://www.wisebread.com The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/529_piggy_bank_000071193215.jpg" alt="Learning the best state 529 college savings plans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is a pricey proposition for most families, and saving enough to send a kid off to school can seem daunting. Fortunately, 529 plans can be a great help. They allow anyone to invest money into an account, with the gains growing tax free as long as the money is used to pay for educational expenses. In many cases, contributors also get a tax break based on the money they put in. But which plan should you pick?</p> <p>You may instinctively sign up for the plan offered by your own state, but <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-its-okay-to-raid-your-529-plan">many 529 plans</a> are open to anyone in the United States. The key to finding a good 529 plan is the amount of tax benefit offered to the person contributing to the account. It's also important to look at the quality and variety of funds offered, management fees, and other factors.</p> <p>Here are the nine best 529 plans based on these criteria.</p> <h2>1. New York</h2> <p>The 529 plan offered by the Empire State is one of the best-performers, according to SavingforCollege.com. And it has generous tax breaks, including deductions of up to $5,000 per year for an individual, and up to $10,000 per year for married couples.</p> <h2>2. Maine</h2> <p>The state's NextGen College Investing Plan has a nice mix of offerings, including Blackrock Funds and iShares ETFs, which have super-low expense ratios. There are also matching grants of up to $300 per year, and a tax break of $250 annually.</p> <h2>3. Tennessee</h2> <p>The best thing about the TNStars College Savings 529 Program may be its variety of options. There's an age-based option, which allows you to enter into a fund that adjusts its holdings according to when the beneficiary plans to attend college. Then there's a &quot;static&quot; option with 13 different individual selections. Tennessee also offers up to $1,500 in total matching contributions. (There are no additional tax breaks because Tennessee has no personal income tax.)</p> <h2>4. South Carolina</h2> <p>Open only to South Carolina residents, the Future Scholar 529 Plan has no minimum contributions. It has an option of age-based portfolios with three different risk levels, or seven target allocation portfolios. It has a super low expense ratio of less than .25%, and all contributions are fully tax deductible.</p> <h2>5. Louisiana</h2> <p>The START Saving Program is for Louisiana residents only, but it has a nice array of options, including age-based funds or any of six Vanguard mutual funds. There are no program, enrollment, or management fees, and fees of the underlying investments are low. Account holders can get an annual tax break of $2,400 per individual and $4,800 for married couples.</p> <h2>6. California</h2> <p>The ScholarShare College Savings Plan has a ton of options. There are two age-based options, and a whopping 17 static options, including a socially responsible investment option. Fees are very low, but there are no tax breaks.</p> <h2>7. West Virginia</h2> <p>The SMART529 WV College Savings Plan is powered largely by Vanguard index funds, so fees are low. The Bright Babies program offers a $100 one-time contribution from the state. Contributions are fully tax deductible.</p> <h2>8. Colorado</h2> <p>Another Vanguard-driven plan, the Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan offers a $400 match for low and middle income residents, and many students would be eligible for up to $8,000 in scholarship money through the plan. Contributions are tax deductible.</p> <h2>9. Ohio</h2> <p>Another plan with a lot of good variety, the Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan has two age-based options and 16 static options. Up to $2,000 in contributions is tax deductible. Fees are low, with some investments offering expense ratios of as little as .02%.</p> <p><em>Do you contribute to a 529 college savings account?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">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-11"> <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/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/5-creative-uses-for-a-529-plan">5 Creative Uses for a 529 Plan</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/7-times-its-okay-to-raid-your-529-plan">7 Times It&#039;s Okay to Raid Your 529 Plan</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/rethinking-the-529-college-savings-plan-strategy">Rethinking the 529 College Savings Plan Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Investment 529 plans college college savings school tax incentives tuition Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:00:39 +0000 Tim Lemke 1580030 at http://www.wisebread.com Your Guide to Getting a Job Right Out of College http://www.wisebread.com/your-guide-to-getting-a-job-right-out-of-college <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-guide-to-getting-a-job-right-out-of-college" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/female_college_graduate_000059210456.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to get a job right out of college" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Several months ago, when I was still in <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Best-Apps-College-Students-24369921">college</a>, I remember applying for job after job after job, trying my damned hardest to get noticed by <em>someone</em>. It's certainly no easy task for almost any undergrad. I had a lot of experience on my resume, but then again, so did much of my competition &mdash; journalism is a tough field to break into.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Advice-College-Students-31108170">31 Things Every College Student Needs to Know</a></p> <p>After days of endless applications and nerve-wracking interviews, I landed a job at POPSUGAR... before I had even graduated! I was elated to have been accepted to such a big brand in women's lifestyle media. I dedicated so much time to the job hunt, and it had paid off in the best way.</p> <p>True, the majority of college students don't have a job lined up for them. <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/06/10/the-one-thing-college-students-can-do-to-land-a-job/" target="_blank">One study from last year</a> said that only 16.6 percent of college seniors surveyed had gotten a single full-time job offer. But since you're amazing and unique and driven to a &quot;T,&quot; we know you can beat the odds and snag a job fresh out of school. Here's how to do it.</p> <h2>1. Create a Resume That Stands Out</h2> <p>If your resume is boring (aka, you're using too-small Times New Roman and placing your text in the most basic format EVER), it's time to spice it up &mdash; with both design and your words. &quot;This doesn't mean you must have amazing work experience,&quot; says Jane Miller, CEO and founder of <a href="http://janeknows.com/" target="_blank">JaneKnows.com</a>. &quot;It means you need to tell your work and education story in a compelling way that highlights your unique accomplishments. Did you work at a restaurant during summer holidays? That's a great way to talk about your customer service experience. Use action words. Check for typos and grammar. Your resume is YOU on paper!&quot;</p> <p>Check out <a href="http://www.adobe.com/education/students/snazz-up-resume.edu.html?" target="_blank">this tutorial</a> for inspiration on creative resumes.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Important-Life-Lessons-38023312">You'll Know You're a REAL Adult When You Accept These 25 Truths</a></p> <h2>2. Learn What You Bring to the Table</h2> <p>Make a list of your abilities &mdash; what did you learn in or outside of school? (Be sure to add these strengths to your resume, too!) &quot;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Money-Tips-Graduates-37691573">Recent grads</a> don't always know their skills because they don't have the extensive work experience other professionals have,&quot; says Hallie Crawford, career coach and founder of <a href="http://www.halliecrawford.com/" target="_blank">HallieCrawford.com</a>. &quot;Think about what courses you excelled in during college. Identify skills and interests based on those classes and where you excelled in them.&quot; Crawford also recommends interviewing professors, parents, friends, and family about what your skills are &mdash; different perspectives mean a wide range of answers, and a bigger skill-set!</p> <h2>3. Use Any and All Connections</h2> <p>Miller says that sending your resume to the HR inbox at a company usually gets you nowhere. &quot;But if that same resume is forwarded to someone in the company who can then send it to the person who runs that inbox &mdash; well, you have a great shot!&quot; she says. &quot;Go on LinkedIn and see who you know who knows someone at the company that interests you. Reach out and ask to buy them a coffee!&quot; Because Starbucks would win <em>anyone</em> over... right?</p> <p>Crawford recommends asking teachers, friends, and family for networking connections: &quot;Be very professional when leveraging them!&quot; she says.</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-You-Stop-Worrying-About-Your-30s-37912918">15 Things You Stop Giving a Sh*t About in Your 30s</a></p> <h2>4. Conduct Informational Interviews to Learn More About Jobs and Industries</h2> <p>FYI: The purpose of an <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/smart-questions-to-ask-in-an-informational-interview-2015-2" target="_blank">informational interview</a> is to collect insight on a specific profession or field &mdash; which can be infinitely helpful for any student. &quot;Don't ask [the company] for a job,&quot; Crawford says. &quot;Ask them for information. Conduct yourself professionally when you talk with them, prepare questions, and research their industry in advance so you are prepared.&quot; Don't forget to write down everything you learned!</p> <h2>5. Don't Worry if You Don't Land Your Dream Job Right Out of School</h2> <p>So you didn't get that PR job at that huge New York firm you were aiming for &mdash; that's okay! &quot;Any and all jobs that you will have in your career will contribute to telling your great story,&quot; Miller says. &quot;Once you get that first full-time job, you can develop a track record that will give you confidence to find the next (and better) job. Just show up with passion for doing good work and the mindset that this will lead to something even greater.&quot;</p> <p>RELATED:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Make-Workday-Go-Faster-38066287">Here's How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></p> <h2>6. Don't Give Up</h2> <p>Rarely does a collegiate land a job after the first application sent. More often than not, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Tips-Entry-Level-Job-Seekers-36576441">job hunt</a> becomes <em>very</em> exasperating and can feel never-ending... they key is not to give up, even when you want to the most. &quot;It is daunting to go into interview after interview feeling that <em>they</em> have the job and <em>you</em> want the job,&quot; Miller says. &quot;Put lots of lines in the water and be tenacious. And remember to learn something about yourself from every interview. You will just get better and better at explaining about fabulous you!&quot;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Getting a job straight out of college may seem impossible, but if you take some smart steps early, you&#039;ll improve your odds of landing a gig. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Advice-College-Students-31108170">31 Things Every College Student Needs to Know</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Important-Life-Lessons-38023312">You'll Know You're a REAL Adult When You Accept These 25 Truths</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-You-Stop-Worrying-About-Your-30s-37912918">15 Things You Stop Giving a Sh*t About in Your 30s</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Make-Workday-Go-Faster-38066287">Here's How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-guide-to-getting-a-job-right-out-of-college">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-12"> <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-best-jobs-for-work-life-balance">4 Best Jobs for Work Life Balance</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-common-job-hunt-tips-you-should-ignore">8 Common Job-Hunt Tips You Should Ignore</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-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</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/9-things-that-really-annoy-hiring-managers">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</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/10-words-to-never-use-in-a-job-interview">10 Words to Never Use in a Job Interview</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Education & Training Job Hunting career college graduate entry level job job hunting job search Thu, 17 Sep 2015 21:00:08 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1545849 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times It's Okay to Raid Your 529 Plan http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-its-okay-to-raid-your-529-plan <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-its-okay-to-raid-your-529-plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_529_plan_000070739579.jpg" alt="Learning when it&#039;s okay to raid your 529 plan" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A 529 plan is a great way to save for college. Money can grow tax-free if it's used for qualified education expenses, and many states offer great tax deductions on contributions.</p> <p>Generally speaking, it's best to avoid tapping into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-creative-uses-for-a-529-plan">your 529 plan</a> until the beneficiary goes off to school, because otherwise you'll end up paying a 10% penalty and taxes on any gains. Plus, you'll lose out on any future gains that money might have produced.</p> <p>But that doesn't mean there aren't cases when it's okay to make a nonqualified withdrawal. Consider these seven situations.</p> <h2>1. Most of the Money Is Contributions, Not Gains</h2> <p>If you opened a 529 account recently, or if the fund hasn't performed well, it's possible that the money in the account is made up mostly of the cash you put in. In this case, you might avoid paying tax on any withdrawal, because you're only obligated to pay taxes on the gains. You may even avoid the 10% penalty. It won't hurt you too much to take money out under this scenario if you need it, but you should still consider trying to replenish those funds as soon as you can.</p> <h2>2. It's Performing Poorly and You Think You Can Do Better Elsewhere</h2> <p>In most cases, the tax advantages of using a 529 plan make it worthwhile to use for college savings. But they aren't perfect. Often, account holders are very limited in their investment choices, and may pay high management fees. If you've done an analysis and think you can do better overall using a Roth IRA, ESA Coverdell, or a taxable brokerage account, give it a shot. Just be aware of the tax implications and other possible restrictions if you do.</p> <h2>3. Your Only Other Option Is Raiding Your Retirement</h2> <p>It's often said that you can borrow for college, but you can't borrow for retirement. If you're faced with a financial hardship and are considering dipping into your retirement money, turn to the 529 plan first. We all want to save for retirement <em>and</em> our kids' college educations, but retirement should be the first priority.</p> <h2>4. You're Confident You'll Replenish the Funds in Short Order</h2> <p>Sometimes it's okay to make a withdrawal if you find yourself in a short-term cash crunch. If you were laid off from a job, but have one lined up to start within a month, for example. Under this scenario, if you can take money from the account but put it back relatively quickly, the financial harm is relatively minimal &mdash; especially if you didn't take out too much to begin with.</p> <h2>5. You Know Your Kid Isn't Going to College</h2> <p>You may come to the conclusion that the beneficiary of the 529 account is going straight to the workforce, or perhaps joining the military. In this case, it might be worth it to withdraw money now rather than later, when your taxes and penalties may be higher. Before you take the money out, just remember that it's possible to change the beneficiary to another person, such as a younger child, who might be able to use the funds for education in the future.</p> <h2>6. The Beneficiary Lands a Scholarship</h2> <p>Hey, this is a good problem to have. You may be forced to withdraw the money and pay a 10% penalty and taxes on the gains, but otherwise the money is then yours to use as you wish. Congratulate your youngster on his or her hard work.</p> <h2>7. You're at the Maximum Balance</h2> <p>This is another good problem to have, though probably a rare one. If you've been contributing aggressively and the investments have performed well, you may be prevented from adding any more funds to the account. This maximum ranges from $235,000 to $450,000, depending on the state. There's nothing wrong with letting the money sit and grow, but since you're no longer getting a tax advantage on contributions, you may consider taking some funds out and placing it in different investments that will perform even better. Just remember to take penalties and fees into account before making any withdrawals.</p> <p><em>Do you contribute to a 529 plan? Have you ever considered borrowing from it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-its-okay-to-raid-your-529-plan">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-13"> <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-important-things-to-know-about-your-401k-and-ira-in-2016">5 Important Things to Know About Your 401K and IRA in 2016</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-9-best-state-529-college-savings-plans">The 9 Best State 529 College Savings Plans</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/7-things-your-financial-advisor-wishes-you-knew">7 Things Your Financial Advisor Wishes You Knew</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-choose-a-roth-401k-or-a-regular-401k">Should You Choose a Roth 401k or a Regular 401k?</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-reasons-why-you-must-open-a-roth-ira-before-april-15">4 Reasons Why You Must Open a Roth IRA Before April 15</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Investment 529 borrowing money college savings contributions funds taxes Wed, 16 Sep 2015 17:00:13 +0000 Tim Lemke 1555415 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/student_with_books_000045839110.jpg" alt="College student saving money before classes start" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College tuition and housing is expensive enough on its own. But then you start adding up all of the other college costs, both in and out of the classroom, and things can become quite overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways to save significant money on expenses if you do some planning and look for out-of-the-box ways to save. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college/college-resources?ref=seealso">40+ College Resources for Parents and Students</a>)</p> <h2>1. Buy Textbooks Used</h2> <p>News alert: Brand new college textbooks are really, really expensive. Fortunately, the ease of shopping online has created an excellent way to buy gently used textbooks at a steep discount. We're talking over 75% off the retail price of new books and savings in the range of $1,000 over the course of an academic year. A few excellent online resources worth exploring include&nbsp;<a href="https://www.chegg.com/used-textbooks">Chegg</a>, <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-11662519-1420053963000?sid=kjames-1536773" target="_top">eCampus.com</a>, <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-7391941-1425315629000?sid=kjames-1536773" target="_top">AbeBooks.com</a>, <a href="http://www.bigwords.com/">BigWords.com</a>, and even <a href="http://www.barnesandnoble.com/h/textbooks/used">Barnes &amp; Noble</a> has entered the used textbook field. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-to-buy-or-rent-textbooks?ref=seealso">20 Places to Buy or Rent Textbooks</a>)</p> <p>You can also sell back used textbooks for a pretty decent return, so be sure to take care of the books as condition is a huge factor when determining how much you'll get back at the end of the semester. If you don't want to buy your books, you can also look into renting them for the semester and saving a good chunk of change in the process. A few resources worth exploring include&nbsp;<a href="http://www.textbookrentals.com/">TextbookRentals</a>, <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10734724-1428334428000?sid=kjames-1536773" target="_top">BookRenter</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Rent-Textbooks/b/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=5657188011&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=52PUT3E2P7YMCVMA">Amazon</a>.</p> <h2>2. Ask About Student Discounts</h2> <p>When buying items like clothing, shoes, backpacks, and laptops in preparation for the upcoming school year, it would really benefit you to ask about student discounts. A few examples of discounts available include 20% off your order at Banana Republic, 15% off at J. Crew, and even 10% off at your local Goodwill. When it comes to buying tech,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/global/college-student-deals/pcmcat276200050000.c?id=pcmcat276200050000">Best Buy</a>, <a href="http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/campaigns/education_pricing">Apple Store</a>, and <a href="http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/6099/campaigns/welcome-to-dell-university">Dell</a> all have student-specific online programs that offer significant discounts. Apple, for example, is currently offering $200 off a new MacBook and up to $20 off an iPad.</p> <p>Typically, all you need to get the discount is your student ID. If you're a freshman and don't have an ID yet, just bring along your registration letter, or something similar, to prove your student status.&nbsp;Make it a healthy habit to always ask about student discounts when shopping anywhere. Also, be sure to ask when dining out as many restaurants offer unadvertised discounts to students.</p> <h2>3. Find Free or Cheap Transportation</h2> <p>Many colleges and universities team up with local bus authorities to offer free bus rides for students. Many incoming students are not made aware of this. Speaking from my own experience, I was a sophomore in college before I realized I could ride the local bus for free. Once you get on campus, ask around about this possibly free, or highly discounted, transportation method. Not only will you save on gas, but you'll avoid all of the other costs that come with maintaining a vehicle while in school.</p> <h2>4. Call Your Roommate to Avoid Duplicate Purchases</h2> <p>I'll never forget showing up on campus and meeting my first college roommate. It turned out we had quite a bit in common, including ownership of a microwave, mini-fridge, and 27&quot; tube TV. If only I had called him ahead of time to see what stuff he was bringing, it would have saved me significant money. After all, no dorm room ever built has enough room for all your stuff and it's silly not to share. Lesson learned the hard way. Always communicate with your future roommate and determine what items you actually need to buy.</p> <h2>5. Choose the Meal Plan That Works for You</h2> <p>I can remember a friend during my college days who paid for three meals a day (21 meals a week) in the school cafeteria but typically only went 10-15 times per week. At the time, I figured we was blowing close to $50 a week on uneaten meals, not including the money he spent eating out and at the grocery store. Always consider your eating habits when deciding on the right meal plan for you. For example, if you tend to skip breakfast and grab a bagel on the way out the door, you'll want to adjust your meal plan accordingly. Also, if you like throwing a sandwich together for a light lunch and have classes scheduled during lunch hours, you'll want to adjust your plan as well. Bottom line, don't blindly sign up for a meal plan without considering how much of the plan you'll actually use.</p> <h2>6. Research the Best Cell Phone Plan</h2> <p>You can also save significant money by researching the best cell phone plan that meets your specific needs. Simply adding another line to a family plan is not always going to give you the best deal. Or perhaps you're in a situation where that is not even an option. If you tend to use very few talk minutes (100 or less per month), you should consider a&nbsp;<a href="http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/other-prepaid-plans">T-Mobile prepaid plan</a>. For a very affordable $30 a month, you get unlimited web and text, 5GB data at 4G speeds, and 100 talk minutes. I have this no-contract plan and absolutely love it.</p> <p>If you're a big talker and texter, but don't necessarily need high-speed data because of free college Wi-Fi, consider&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cricketwireless.com/cell-phone-plans">Cricket Wireless</a>. For only $25 per month, you get unlimited talk and text, all with no annual contract. If you need a data plan, you can upgrade to 2.5 GB for an additional $15 per month. You can either buy a phone directly from Cricket, or save money by scoring a deal on an unlocked used smartphone on eBay.</p> <h2>7. Set up the Right Student Checking Account</h2> <p>Never blindly accept the bank or checking account recommended by your school. In many cases, they're loaded with hidden fees and often times the college or university receives a kickback for promoting the bank, making it a biased recommendation. It's important to do some independent research and find the right checking account for you. Look for student checking accounts that have no fees for debit transactions, branches near campus so you avoid out-of-network ATM charges, and no monthly fees when a reasonable account balance is maintained.</p> <p>Also, if you're comfortable doing your banking via your smartphone, consider using an online mobile bank like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review?ref=internal">Capital One 360</a>. The lack of physical branches is more than made up for by the lack of fees along with a decent interest rate. No overdraft fees, no minimum monthly balance required, and all completely FDIC insured. Are you worried about not being able to get quick access to cash? Don't be, as Capital One has over 2000 ATMs in addition to 38,000 fee-free ATMs account users can use. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-checking-accounts?ref=seealso">Best Online Checking Accounts</a>)</p> <p>By doing your due diligence and researching frugal ways to save on college costs, you can definitely lower your stress level when it comes time to pay your monthly bills. After all, balancing college life and your studies can be stressful enough without worrying about finances too.</p> <p><em>What other tips do you have for saving money on college expenses?</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/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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