college http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1489/all en-US How Trump's Presidency Might Change Student Loans http://www.wisebread.com/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-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/saving_college_fund_544603158.jpg" alt="Learning how Trump&#039;s presidency might change student loans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you were a Trump supporter or not, the $1.3 billion student debt issue is one that needs to be tackled. Trump called student debt an 'albatross' around the necks of borrowers. While he didn&rsquo;t spend a lot of his election talking about student loans, he did offer several plans to solve the debt problem.</p> <p>All of the President-Elect&rsquo;s student loan plans are still just that &mdash; plans. However, here is how Trump&rsquo;s presidency might affect your current or future student loan (or your children&rsquo;s loans).</p> <h2>Cap on Maximum Repayment Amount</h2> <p>Trump addressed the ever-growing student loan debt dilemma in his rally in Columbus, Ohio, on October 13. One of his proposed solutions was to cap how much a borrower would have to repay. He said, &quot;We would cap repayment for an affordable portion of the borrower&rsquo;s income, 12.5%, we&rsquo;d cap it. That gives you a lot to play with and a lot to do.&quot;</p> <p>Currently, the Revised Pay As You Earn, or REPAYE, plan allows borrower&rsquo;s to cap their monthly payments at 10% of their discretionary income. However, this is only applicable for federal loans, and the plan requires borrowers to extend the length of their loan, meaning they will pay for their debt longer.</p> <p>Trump&rsquo;s plan to cap loan repayment at 12.5% might look higher initially, but depending on how he enforces the plan, it could save a lot of money for borrowers. If Trump allows the monthly cap to be applied to private loans, then this plan will benefit many borrowers.</p> <h2>Student Loan Forgiveness After 15 Years</h2> <p>Trump added to his speech in Columbus, Ohio, &quot;And if borrowers work hard and make their full payments for 15 years, we&rsquo;ll let them get on with their lives. They just go ahead and they get on with their lives.&quot;</p> <p>Currently loan forgiveness is available through special forgiveness programs, such as the public service loan forgiveness plan and the teacher loan forgiveness plan. The income-driven repayment plan will also forgive student loan debt after 20 or 25 years of payments, depending on which plan you qualify for.</p> <p>Trump&rsquo;s 15-year forgiveness plan would drastically cut the length of loan repayment and finally offer solutions for individuals weighed down with private loan debt. Trump did not give exact numbers to how much this plan would cost or save Americans, but it was said that it would be paid for through reduced federal spending overall. Also, it is believed that this plan would save the government money through fewer defaulted loans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life?ref=seealso">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</a>)</p> <h2>Cut College Costs</h2> <p>Trump also addresses the root of the student loan dilemma &mdash; costs set by colleges. On his site, Trump wrote that he plans to, &quot;work with Congress on reforms to ensure universities are making a good-faith effort to reduce the cost of college and student debt in exchange for the federal tax breaks and tax dollars.&quot;</p> <p>Colleges have no incentives to lower costs, so why should they? If Trump were to offer significant tax breaks, then students might see lower tuition bills, too.</p> <h2>Aid for Non-Traditional Schools</h2> <p>Right now, federal aid is for students attending schools that are accredited through the Department of Education. This means that if a vocational school or nontraditional school program is not accredited, students cannot receive federal aid to help them attend. Trump said on his campaign website that he would help make it possible for any student to attend and complete whatever school or program they wanted.</p> <p>According to his website, he wants to &quot;ensure that the opportunity to attend a two- or four-year college, or to pursue a trade or a skill set through vocational and technical education, will be easier to access, pay for, and finish.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-student-loan-forbearance-anyway?ref=seealso">What Is Student Loan Forbearance, Anyway?</a>)</p> <h2>So What Does Trump&rsquo;s Plans Mean for You?</h2> <p>If you are already paying student loan debt, then there is a possibility that the plans will not fully be developed and implemented for another year or two. Taking on something as big as student debt and bloated college costs is not an overnight job.</p> <p>However, if you are currently in college or are a parent with a child attending college in the next three years, then there is a possibility that Trump&rsquo;s plan will benefit you. For the rest of America, it is hard to determine just how much Trump&rsquo;s plans will cost.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-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-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/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-get-trapped-by-these-higher-education-scams">Don&#039;t Get Trapped by These Higher Education Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-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-ways-student-loans-impact-your-taxes">4 Ways Student Loans Impact Your Taxes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training college debt donald trump federal aid loan forgiveness president trump REPAYE school student loans vocational school Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:30:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1844379 at http://www.wisebread.com How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap) http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/student_happy_books_82665501.jpg" alt="Student earning college credits in high school for cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College credits are expensive. Even a class at a community college can add a few hundred dollars to your overall tuition bill. For most undergrad degrees, the first two years are devoted to general education basics that don't necessarily impact an individual's future career. For example, to get my degree in English, I still needed to take Biology and Calculus classes.</p> <p>There are a few methods that will allow high school students to earn college credits before they actually enter the college scene. Doing so can help them shave off a semester or even a whole year, which translates into a lot of money saved, depending on your college's cost per unit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs?ref=seealso">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a>)</p> <h2>Take CLEP Exams</h2> <p>The College Level Examination Program allows students to earn three credits or more on passed CLEP tests. There are 33 tests that can be taken and there are currently 2,900 colleges and universities that will accept credit for passing CLEP.</p> <p>According to CollegeBoard, &quot;More than 60% of CLEP test takers said that they relied on their <a href="https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/testing/learn-about-the-clep-program">high school course work</a> to learn the material needed for their CLEP exam(s).&quot;</p> <p>The average college course costs $900, and the cost of CLEP is $80. If your child is able to pass five CLEPs, then it will cost you $400, but potentially save you $4,100 in tuition.</p> <p>Every university has their own set of rules, so make sure you know how many credits from CLEP tests they will accept beforehand. It is also wise to know how many CLEPs are applicable toward your major. For example, the college might accept 10 CLEPs, but a specific major might only need eight of those. You don't want to waste time or money taking CLEPs that cannot be applied to your degree.</p> <h2>Take AP Tests</h2> <p>Many schools offer AP courses, which are more demanding that typical high school courses. Not only do AP courses look impressive on college applications, but they can count as college credit if students pass the exam.</p> <p>AP courses and fee exams differ for each school. The standard fee for each exam is $93. A reduced fee is available for low-income families. Some schools might charge additional fees for proctoring and administering the course and exam.</p> <p>Even if your child's school does not offer a certain AP course, your child can still take the exam. You will need to find an authorized testing center, and know that the test might be harder for individuals that did not take the specialized course for the entire year.</p> <h2>Enroll in International Baccalaureate Courses</h2> <p>Depending on the high school, students can take singular IB courses or choose to pursue an IB diploma. An IB diploma is challenging, but it can shave a whole year off a student's college experience. Unfortunately, IB is a smaller program than AP, and is not as widely offered. However, if your child's school does offer IB courses, it is possible that they can transfer for more units than an AP course, depending on the college and course.</p> <p>Check with your child's school to see the exact cost of the IB program. As an example, Davis School District in Bountiful, Utah charges $864 for an IB diploma, which comes with six exams, on top of a $168 registration fee. However, they say their average IB students complete high school with 44 college credits, which comes out to the affordable price of $23.45 per unit. That is a huge difference from the usual $200&ndash;500 per unit cost that community and state colleges charge.</p> <h2>Take College Classes While in High School</h2> <p>Depending on your child's high school and community college regulations, your child can enroll in limited college courses while still in high school. Some college courses require prerequisites and you might need to gain signed authorization from your child's high school principal before they can dual enroll.</p> <p>This option can cost more than AP classes or IB courses, but it can also be more flexible. Community college courses can be demanding, but for a student that is dedicated, it is more than likely they will pass the class. It can be disheartening to take a rigorous AP course only to have your credit riding on passing one exam.</p> <p>Also with community colleges, your child will have access to online class options, help from professors, and summer class options.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">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/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-student-loans">How Trump&#039;s Presidency Might Change Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training ap classes clep college credits ib courses saving money school semesters tuition Tue, 15 Nov 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1827229 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_traveling_together_58534620.jpg" alt="Finding ways to get college kids home on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Kid off to college this year? You're already feeling the pinch on your budget as he or she starts their (fingers crossed) four-year career, but there are perhaps a few expenses you may have overlooked during all the hustle and bustle &mdash; like how your little smarty pants will get home during breaks and holidays. To keep these travel costs manageable, consider these inexpensive ways.</p> <h2>1. Cash in Miles for Free Flights</h2> <p>In all the years you've been saving those airlines miles for the vacation of a lifetime, I bet you never thought you'd have to compromise them by bringing your kid back and forth from college for holiday breaks. Yeah, it sucks, but when they graduate and land that high-paying job, they'll totally pay you back&hellip; right?</p> <p>While you hold your breath on that prospect, consider consulting <a href="http://www.rewardexpert.com/">RewardExpert</a>, which helps travelers create easy-to-follow strategies by developing customized points earning plans and maximizing frequent flyer rewards. The service makes it easy to earn free tickets in just a few months, or help you make the most of what you already have.</p> <h2>2. Carpool With Someone Headed the Same Direction</h2> <p>I often carpooled with friends to and from college who lived at least somewhat close to my home. I'd offer gas money for the ride, and my parents would pick me up from their homes so they didn't have to go out of their way to drop me off at mine. Your kids can do the same thing the old-fashioned way by asking their friends for a ride, or &mdash; if they don't have any friends who live within driving distance of where you're from &mdash; suggest that they post an ad on Craigslist or a community or school message board looking for a driver.</p> <p>Alas, if that's too 20th century for them, there's <a href="http://thecollegecarpool.com/">College Carpool</a>, one of a handful of services that allow students to connect with others driving the same direction through private pages for each college. Through forums, students can find available rides, or proactively request one.</p> <h2>3. Enroll in a Car Share</h2> <p>Does your kid prefer to take the wheel, but they don't have a car of their own on campus? Nowadays they can sign up for car-sharing services, which help eliminate the issue of not being able to rent a car from traditional services (like Alamo) that usually require drivers to be at least 25 years old. Car-sharing services like <a href="http://www.zipcar.com/universities">Zipcar</a> and <a href="https://www.enterprisecarshare.com/us/en/home.html">Enterprise CarShare</a> are available to university students, and monthly fees are low. Once registered, students can reserve a car whenever they need one. This is a helpful convenience especially around the holidays when the rest of the family is busy with their own day-to-day concerns.</p> <h2>4. Hop on the Bus</h2> <p>I never took the bus home from college &mdash; that eight-hour ride didn't much appeal to me, plus I had awesome friends who didn't mind giving me a lift &mdash; but when I moved to Manhattan without a car in my mid-20s, I often hopped on a Greyhound to get back to my hometown of Baltimore. It was convenient, fast, and, most importantly, cheap.</p> <p>Thus, if you live a reasonable distance from child's university and they don't mind tight quarters, this may be a good option for you and your family. It's actually a rather relaxing ride once you get situated; most modern bus services, including BoltBus and Megabus, feature free WI-FI, power outlets, and even reclining seats. Smaller-scale regional buses, like <a href="http://www.coachusa.com/info/shortline/ss.studentdiscounts.asp">Short Line</a>, also offer student discounts.</p> <h2>5. Travel by Train</h2> <p>If booking your kid a bus ticket isn't an option, perhaps riding the friendly rails is a more accommodating compromise. <a href="https://www.amtrak.com/student">Amtrak</a> provides service from 500 destinations in 46 states, and it offers a 15% student discount along with the opportunity to earn points toward free travel. Amtrak is the only nationwide rail-service, which means you don't have any other options for train travel, unless you can work your regional lines to your advantage if they exist.</p> <h2>6. Get Creative</h2> <p>You don't always have to choose one option over another. Sometimes you can use a few different methods &mdash; like a bus to a train or a train to a plane, for instance. Look for the best deals among the types of transportation available to you and plan your student's trip home accordingly. It may take some time to plan and settle on the most efficient and cost-effective method, but it's worth it &mdash; especially when you consider how often you may have to do this over and over again in the next four (or five or six) years.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%20Ways%20to%20Get%20College%20Kids%20Home%20for%20the%20Holidays%20for%20Cheap.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Get%20College%20Kids%20Home%20for%20the%20Holidays%20for%20Cheap" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Get%20College%20Kids%20Home%20for%20the%20Holidays%20for%20Cheap.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap" width="250" height="374" /></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/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap">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/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-the-most-from-your-airline-miles-in-these-5-overlooked-cities">Get the Most From Your Airline Miles in These 5 Overlooked Cities</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-lessons-that-teach-your-kid-to-be-their-own-boss">5 Lessons That Teach Your Kid to Be Their Own Boss</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/10-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</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/7-money-moves-to-make-as-soon-as-the-kids-move-out">7 Money Moves to Make as Soon as the Kids Move Out</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Family Travel carpooling college flights holiday breaks kids moving home public transportation rewards miles teens trains young adults Wed, 09 Nov 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 1806658 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-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/debt_piggy_bank_71881857.jpg" alt="Finding ways to stop student loans from ruining your life" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Student loans have become a huge problem. According to an analysis of government data from Edvisors, some 70% of recent college grads have education debt, and the total amount borrowed works out to an average of more than $37,000 per borrower. So burdensome is this debt that more than 40% of borrowers are behind on their payments or have stopped making them altogether, according to the U.S. Education Department.</p> <p>What can you do to avoid that fate? Here are four ideas &mdash; two geared toward families of high school students who haven't taken out student loans yet, and two aimed at college students who <em>have</em> borrowed.</p> <h2>Before You Borrow</h2> <p>Of course, the best way to keep student loans from ruining your life is to avoid borrowing in the first place. Here are two steps that can help.</p> <h3>1. Get Clear About What You're Going to Study</h3> <p>One reason why college costs so much for so many students is that so few graduate in four years. According to &quot;Four-Year Myth,&quot; a report from Complete College America, the four-year graduation rate at public universities ranges from 19% to 36%. Some who fail to graduate in four years drop out, others flunk out, but many others end up with extended stays on campus because they change majors.</p> <p>College is a very expensive place to &quot;find yourself.&quot; It's far better to enter school with as much clarity as possible about what you want to study.</p> <p>For high school juniors and seniors, there are numerous online assessments designed to help connect their skills, interests, and temperament to a number of possible careers. Some to consider include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.youscience.com/">YouScience</a>;</li> <li><a href="https://careerdirect-ge.org/">Career Direct;</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.mymajors.com/">MyMajors.</a></li> </ul> <p>Knowing what you want to study can help you avoid the five or six-year college plan and its associated costs.</p> <h3>2. Take a Gap Year</h3> <p>Taking a year off in between high school and college has been a popular practice in Europe for many years and is rapidly growing in popularity in the U.S. So much so that there is now a <a href="http://www.americangap.org/index.php">gap year association</a> as well as <a href="http://www.interimprograms.com/">consulting organizations</a> that help families (for a fee) determine whether a gap year makes sense for their children, and if so, how to best structure the gap year. Some schools will accept students and then allow them to defer enrollment for a year. The University of North Carolina even offers a <a href="http://admissions.unc.edu/explore/enrich-your-education/global-gap-year-fellowship/">global gap year fellowship</a>.</p> <p>A gap year can be used to earn money for college or explore career interests. Either way, it can help lessen the need for loans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year?ref=seealso">8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year</a>)</p> <h2>After You Borrow</h2> <p>If you have already taken out loans to pay for college, here are two practical steps for minimizing the burden of such borrowing.</p> <h3>3. Create a Post-College Budget</h3> <p>Numerous surveys have found that students with education loans have little idea what they've gotten themselves into.</p> <p>A recent survey by Lendedu, a company that helps students refinance their education loans, found less than 10% of student borrowers understood how long it would take to pay off their loans or what interest rate they were being charged. Less than 30% understood that if they fail to repay on time, the government could garnish their wages or withhold their tax refunds.</p> <p>A couple of years ago, a study by the Brookings Institute found that among first-year students who had students loans, 17% said they didn't realize they even <em>had</em> loans.</p> <p>If you're going to borrow, you need to know <em>that </em>you owe, <em>what</em> you owe, and what it's going to take to repay. One of the best reality checks is to calculate the monthly cost of your loan payment while you're still in school. Then create a detailed post-college budget using a monthly <a href="http://www.mattaboutmoney.com/resources/">Cash Flow Plan</a> form.</p> <p>Creating a budget that includes student loan payments may motivate you to avoid taking on more debt. At very least, it'll help you understand how much you can afford for housing and other expenses after you graduate and may persuade you to avoid taking on other debts, such as a car loan.</p> <h3>4. Prioritize Accelerated Repayment</h3> <p>Under a standard loan contract, a student loan is to be paid off in 10 years. But you don't have to take that long, and the sooner you can be done with debt, the better. Especially since there are no penalties for paying off a student loan early, commit now putting your debt on an accelerated payoff schedule.</p> <p>The monthly cost calculator mentioned above enables you to run some what-if scenarios based on adding different amounts on top of your required payments. Seeing how much more quickly you could be out of debt may motivate you to live well beneath your means after graduating in order to prioritize accelerated debt repayment.</p> <p>Today, the burden of student loans is causing many young people to delay getting married, put off starting a family, and give up on buying a home. But it doesn't have to be that way for you.</p> <p>Whether you're a high-school student who's just thinking about college financing options or a college student who has already taken on debt, these simple steps should help you keep student loans from taking over your life.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-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-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</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/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-student-loans">How Trump&#039;s Presidency Might Change 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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Education & Training bills borrowing budgeting college degree gap year loan repayment planning school student loans Tue, 11 Oct 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Matt Bell 1810486 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Signs Your College Is a Scam http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-your-college-is-a-scam <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-signs-your-college-is-a-scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_93713933_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="signs your college is a scam" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A college degree opens doors. While there are certainly ways to find professional and financial success without a college degree, it can be a harder and longer path. The relationships built, the skills learned, the knowledge granted, and the credentials earned open pathways that might have beyond an individual's reach.</p> <p>However, not all colleges in the United States deliver the type of education that will lead to financial success. ITT Technical Institutes' <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/09/itt-tech-closes/498752/">recent and sudden closure</a> after it was barred from admitting students utilizing federal funds, was a reminder of that fact. The closure of the school put the educational and financial prospects of thousands of students in jeopardy.</p> <p>Prospective students need to remember that technical schools and colleges &mdash; even nonprofits &mdash; are run like businesses. They won't necessarily broadcast that they aren't capable of delivering the type of education you expect. It's up to you to investigate the school and discover any red flags that indicate the college is a total scam. Here are a few warning signs to look out for.</p> <h2>1. It's in Poor Financial Health</h2> <p>ITT Tech's closure due to financial issues isn't an isolated, once-in-a-blue-moon incident. Inside Higher Ed reports that on average, <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/09/28/moodys-predicts-college-closures-triple-2017">five colleges close down annually</a>. The number of college closures per year is expected to triple in the coming years as admission rates at smaller colleges drop. Smaller private and public colleges are dependent on tuition to remain financially viable. This means that years of low admission rates can result in a slow, prolonged death for the college which can blindside students.</p> <p>When a school closes, students might need to:</p> <ul> <li>Restart the school vetting process;</li> <li>Pay admission and application fees for new colleges;</li> <li>Find an institution that will transfer the most credits;</li> <li>Potentially apply to have&nbsp;<a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/closed-school">federal loans discharged</a>;</li> <li>Contend with issues keeping&nbsp;<a href="http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/09/19/64802/itt-tech-closure-could-turn-into-housing-crisis-fo/">housing benefits</a>.</li> </ul> <p>In order to avoid enrolling in a college that might go under before you graduate, potential college students can check the financial health of their college by doing a Google search about the school's financial health or admission rates.</p> <h2>2. It Lacks Proper Accreditation</h2> <p>Proper accreditation is vital to a degree or certificates' worth. According to RuthAnn Althaus, a program coordinator at Ohio University, <a href="http://onlinemasters.ohio.edu/mhadegree-org-an-interview-with-dr-ruthann-althaus/">accreditation is vital because</a> it &quot;provides assurance to students, their employers, and the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) that institutions are meeting rigorous educational standards and are professionally sound.&quot;</p> <p>If you accidentally attend a college without proper accreditation, you will not be qualified to work in a field that requires a degree, and employers might not recognize your degree as a valid educational credential. You can ensure that the institution is accredited by searching for the school's website for the accreditation information. Be sure to double check the accreditation claim on the accrediting institution's website.</p> <h2>3. Does It Have National or Regional Accreditation?</h2> <p>There's another layer to the accreditation conundrum. In the U.S., colleges and programs can either be regionally accredited or nationally accredited. Accreditation from nationally accredited institutions (a lot of for-profit schools fall into this category) are often not recognized by public colleges.</p> <p>ITT Tech students are currently dealing with this issue. Due to the fact that ITT Tech was nationally accredited, students have very few options as they attempt to find a replacement school. Right now, ITT students<a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/09/01/options-itt-tech-students-if-profit-chain-collapses"> who want to transfer to another school</a> are limited to other nationally accredited schools and the few community colleges that are willing to consider transferring their credits.</p> <p>Before you apply to a nationally accredited institution, you should seriously consider if you would like the option to eventually transfer to a regionally accredited institution.</p> <h2>4. The School Is Facing Accreditation Probation or Withdrawal</h2> <p>Accreditation isn't a lifetime endorsement for a college. Accredited institutions must continually prove that they meet the required educational and financial standards to keep their certification. Schools that fail to meet standards can be placed on probation.</p> <p>Enrolling into a college that is in a probationary period is risky. Failure to improve can lead to the institution losing their accreditation either voluntarily or by having it revoked. The loss of accreditation will mean that if you want a degree that is actually worth anything, you will need to transfer to another school. If this happens in the middle of the semester, you can lose time and money.</p> <h2>5. It's Linked to State or Federal Investigations</h2> <p>State or federal investigations of the school or its accrediting agency might be a sign that the school will not be a good investment. While not all investigations indicate wrongdoing, in recent years, the federal and state investigations of ITT Technical Institutes resulted in the Department of Education barring the school from utilizing federal aid to enroll students. That restriction led to the collapse of the school.</p> <p>When accrediting agencies are investigated, the fallout can be even more extreme. ACICS, the agency that accredited ITT Technical Institution, has been <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/06/24/federal-panel-votes-terminate-acics-and-tightens-screws-other-accreditors">recommended for termination</a> after a federal investigation. If the recommendation goes through, <em>every college</em> ACICS accredits will have 18 months to get recertified with a different agency. Those school's ability to find another certification agency to endorse them really depends on the quality of the institution and their financial health.</p> <p>To be safe, before you enroll in a college, you should search for any news of investigations of the colleges you are vetting or the agency that accredits the college. If the investigations have to do with the school's finances or recruitment practices, you might want to dig a little deeper into the investigation before enrolling.</p> <h2>6. It Has Low Freshman Retention and Graduation Rates</h2> <p>Enrolling in a college with low student retention and graduation rates is an extremely risky endeavor. While you shouldn't discount a school entirely due to low rates, it should at least be a warning sign that should lead to further investigation.</p> <p>Low rates can be the result of:</p> <ul> <li>Students transferring to another school before graduation;</li> <li>Students taking more than four years to graduate;</li> <li>Low emotional and academic student support and guidance by teachers and advisers;</li> <li>Lower academic standards for admission.</li> </ul> <p>You can check the rates of colleges utilizing the website&nbsp;<a href="https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/">College Scorecard</a>.</p> <p>Colleges whose rates are around the national average &mdash; you probably don't need to investigate further. If the college has lower than average rates (10%-20%), that might be a major red flag to take into account before enrolling. You should at least prepare yourself for an uphill battle in your quest to earn your degree.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/samantha-stauf">Samantha Stauf</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-your-college-is-a-scam">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/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-student-loans">How Trump&#039;s Presidency Might Change Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</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/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College 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/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Education & Training back to school college college degree fraud higher education ITT Tech scam school Fri, 07 Oct 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Samantha Stauf 1807406 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Threats to a Secure Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/9-threats-to-a-secure-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-threats-to-a-secure-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_holding_hands_88407163.jpg" alt="Couple learning threats to a secure retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Saving and investing for retirement isn't easy. There's a lot that can happen to take you off track, potentially leaving you less money than you hoped for.</p> <p>From poor financial planning to unexpected events and even nationwide economic woes, here are some of the things that could pose a threat to your secure retirement.</p> <h2>1. Not Investing Enough</h2> <p>It's never easy to figure out how much to invest. After all, you want to make sure you have enough money to deal with your current needs. It's common for people to invest too little, and this can hurt them in the long run.</p> <p>When saving for retirement, it's smart to contribute as close to the maximum each year into 401K and IRA plans. (That's $18,000 for the 401K and $5,500 for the IRA.) If you can't contribute quite that much, at least put enough in to get the company match on your 401K plan.</p> <p>Even a few extra dollars per month into retirement accounts can make a big difference. For example, let's say you have $50,000 in an account and contribute $500 per month for 25 years. Assuming a 7% return, your portfolio would amount to about $677,000. But what if you contributed $1,000 monthly? Then it would hit nearly $1.1 million.</p> <h2>2. Starting Too Late</h2> <p>When investing, time is your biggest friend. The more time you have to invest, the bigger your nest egg can grow. Thus, one of the biggest threats to a secure retirement is failing to contribute to your fund early in life. If you're past 40 years old, you may have only a couple of decades to invest before you wish to stop working, and that may not be long enough to amass the kind of wealth you'll need for a long and comfortable retirement.</p> <p>Let's say you invest $25,000 today and add $1,000 per month until you are 65. If you're currently 45 and get a 7% annual return, you'll have about $625,000 upon retirement. Not bad, but if you had started when you were 25, you'd have nearly $3 million.</p> <h2>3. Raiding Retirement Funds</h2> <p>Retirement accounts such as a 401K or IRA are designed to have money grow more or less untouched until you reach retirement age. You can withdraw money from them, but there's a cost.</p> <p>When you raid these retirement funds, you'll lose the money in penalties, but you'll also lose the potential earnings of the money you take out. Over time, this can cost an investor thousands of dollars.</p> <h2>4. Economic Growth</h2> <p>For decades following World War II, the annual growth rate of the American economy averaged more than 3%, with some years seeing double that. But in recent years, that annual rate has shrunk to barely 2%. In short, the American economy is not growing as fast as it once was, and that has implications for household income, corporate growth, and employment.</p> <h2>5. Possible Entitlement Cuts</h2> <p>Many lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been warning Americans of a looming crisis in entitlement funding. Observers of the federal budget note that unless there is serious reform, Social Security Trust Funds could be depleted within 20 years. This means that for the younger generation, there may not be as much left from the government upon retirement.</p> <p>It's important to note, however, that workers who want to live comfortably after they are done working should not be counting on Social Security to carry them through the end of their life. Someone who saves aggressively and invests wisely should be able to amass enough in a retirement fund to get by even if Social Security benefits are adjusted downward or even eliminated.</p> <h2>6. Declining Pensions</h2> <p>If you currently work for a company that offers a defined benefit plan, you are a rare breed. In recent years, companies have shifted from offering pensions to instead offering 401K plans, in which workers invest on their own. In most cases, they will also get a contribution from their employer, but that's not guaranteed. This doesn't necessarily mean you'll be destitute at retirement, but it does require employees to be much more engaged in their retirement planning.</p> <h2>7. Placing All Your Eggs in One Basket</h2> <p>Even if you are saving aggressively and investing every penny you can, it's possible to end up with less money than you need in retirement. It can happen when your portfolio is too heavily balanced toward a single investment. It's unwise to invest a high percentage of your savings in one company or even one industry or asset class, because one bad day could wipe out a large chunk of your savings. (Consider the plight of Enron employees who lost nearly everything had most of their savings in company stock.)</p> <p>To protect your retirement money, invest in a diverse mixture of stocks in various sizes and asset classes. Buy mutual funds instead of individual stocks, if at all possible.</p> <h2>8. Funding College Instead of Retirement</h2> <p>It's never a bad idea to save money to contribute to your children's education. There are several vehicles including 529 plans that allow you to invest money tax-free toward college. But many investors become so focused on saving for college that they fail to contribute enough to their own retirement fund.</p> <p>Remember that it's possible to <em>borrow </em>money for college, but you can't borrow money to fund your retirement if you find you're lacking in funds when you're done working. Ideally, you'll be able to amass enough money to fund college and your retirement comfortably. But if you have to make a choice, pay your future self first, then contribute to the college fund.</p> <h2>9. Being Poorly Insured</h2> <p>You may feel like nothing bad will ever happen to you. You are young and healthy. You're a safe driver and you live in a nice neighborhood. So you skimp on things like health, auto, and homeowner's insurance. You may think you're saving money, but you're at serious risk for big financial loss if you get seriously ill or have a serious accident.</p> <p>Being uninsured or underinsured can leave you struggling to make ends meet, placing retirement savings on the back burner. You may even have to raid your retirement accounts to pay the bills. It's wise to perform an insurance assessment to determine if you have the proper level of insurance to protect yourself financially.</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/9-threats-to-a-secure-retirement">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/8-signs-your-retirement-is-on-track">8 Signs Your Retirement Is on Track</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/how-to-tell-if-your-401k-is-a-good-or-a-bad-one">How to Tell if Your 401K Is a Good or a Bad 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/5-best-online-brokerages-for-your-ira">5 Best Online Brokerages for Your IRA</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-american-cities-where-you-can-retire-on-just-social-security">5 American Cities Where You Can Retire On Just Social Security</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement college Economy education funds income insurance investing late start pensions risk stocks threats Fri, 07 Oct 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 1807026 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_diploma_94435335.jpg" alt="Woman making the most of her student loan grace period" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Graduating from college with your degree in hand is exciting. But the thought of paying back your students loans? Not so much. But, depending on the type of student loans you took, you're probably eligible for a grace period, or a set number of months after graduation in which you don't have to start repaying your loans.</p> <p>During this time, you can take financial steps to prepare yourself not only for your looming monthly loan payments, but also for your entire financial future. Take advantage of this grace period to begin building your savings, building a solid credit score, and building a budget.</p> <p>Don't skimp on these steps. After all, that grace period doesn't last forever.</p> <h2>How Grace Periods Work</h2> <p>The federal government doesn't always expect you to begin repaying your student loans as soon as you leave college. Instead, most federal student loans come with a grace period. The goal is to give recent graduates a chance to start earning money and settle their finances before they have to start making monthly student loan payments.</p> <p>The grace period varies depending on the type of federal loans you are repaying. Direct subsidized loans, direct unsubsidized loans, subsidized federal Stafford loans, and unsubsidized federal Stafford loans come with a grace period of six months during which you won't have to make payments. Federal Perkins loans come with a grace period of nine months. Depending on when you took them out, the interest on some loans might continue to grow even during the grace period.</p> <h2>1. Select a Repayment Plan</h2> <p>It's during your grace period that you'll need to select a repayment plan for your student loans. For federal student loans, you'll automatically be entered into the Standard Repayment Plan. This plan gives you at least 10 years to repay your student loan debt, and is usually the most affordable choice. Under this plan, you'll pay the least amount of interest.</p> <p>There are exceptions, though. If you haven't been able to find a job or if your job pays you little, an income-driven plan might make more sense. These plans come with lower monthly payments that are designed to be affordable to you. However, you will end up paying more interest over the long run.</p> <p>As your grace period ticks away, make sure to stay in contact with the servicer that is handling your loan repayments. Your servicer can answer any questions you have and help you find the best repayment option. You can find the servicer of your loan at <a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/?login=true">My Federal Student Aid</a>.</p> <h2>2. Create a Budget</h2> <p>Once you enter the workforce, it's essential to create a budget. Simply list all of the money that you earn during the month. Then list all of your expenses, including estimated costs for items such as groceries, dinners out, and entertainment. Now you'll know how much extra money you should have every month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps?ref=seealso">Build a Budget in 5 Easy Steps</a>)</p> <p>Make sure to factor in your estimated monthly student loan payments in this budget. This will help you determine whether you can repay your loans under the Standard Repayment Plan or if you'll need to consider an income-based option for tackling your monthly loan payments.</p> <h2>3. Start Building Your Savings</h2> <p>It's tempting when you get your first paychecks to spend everything you've earned. Resist. Instead, start building your savings. It's important to have an emergency fund that you can tap into whenever a financial emergency pops up. And these emergencies will happen. Your car might suddenly need expensive repairs. If you've built up an emergency fund, you won't have to rely on your high interest rate credit cards to cover these unexpected financial hits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Transfer Balances to These Low Interest Rate Cards</a>)</p> <p>It might sound good, but your grace period is a great time to start saving for retirement. The sooner you start putting money away for your eventual retirement, the better off you'll be once you leave the workforce. Retirement might seem like it's ages away. But if your employer offers a 401K plan, enroll in it and start saving at least some of each paycheck for retirement. If your employer doesn't offer a 401K plan, consider opening an IRA on your own.</p> <p>Of course, this assumes that you'll have enough money to save and meet your monthly financial obligations, including your upcoming student loan payment. If you can't, put retirement savings on hold.</p> <h2>4. Build Your Credit</h2> <p>You need a strong credit score today. Lenders rely on this score when determining who qualifies for auto and mortgage loans and at what interest rates. Fortunately, you can start building a good credit score as soon as you graduate (or before, really). Pay all your bills on time. When you use credit cards, only charge what you can afford to pay off in full when your payment is due. If you take out a car loan, make your payments on time every month.</p> <p>Taking these simple steps will help you build a solid credit score. And when it's time to start making your student-loan payments? Every time you make one of these payments on time, you'll be taking a small step to building your score, too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">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/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training budgeting college federal loans grace periods loans planning repayment plans savings stafford loans student loans Wed, 05 Oct 2016 10:00:05 +0000 Dan Rafter 1805246 at http://www.wisebread.com CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can't Afford to Overlook http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/student_graduation_cap_72466853.jpg" alt="Student learning about CSS for college financial aid" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to applying for financial aid for college, most families know about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is important for all college-bound individuals to apply for FAFSA, but there is also another important financial aid program to apply for alongside the FAFSA &mdash; the College Scholarship Service Profile, a.k.a the CSS PROFILE.</p> <p>The CSS PROFILE application is created by the College Board, the same people who create the SAT, and used by over 300 colleges and universities nationwide. Where FAFSA is an application for federal aid, PROFILE is for nonfederal financial aid, usually money that the school has control over doling out. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-college?ref=seealso">What to Do if You Didn't Save for Your Child's College</a>)</p> <h2>When to Apply to CSS?</h2> <p>Individuals can apply for CSS as early as October 1st. The College Board encourages applicants to fill out their PROFILE no later than two weeks before their school's priority filing period.</p> <h2>Does the CSS Cost Money?</h2> <p>Yes, the CSS PROFILE application costs $25 for the initial application, and $16 for each additional report. However, there is a fee waiver available for low-income students, as well as individuals who have received a fee waiver for the SAT. Typically families who make less than $40,000 a year or individuals under 24 years of age who are orphans and wards of the court will qualify for a fee waiver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts?ref=seealso">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a>)</p> <h2>Should You Apply for the CSS or FAFSA?</h2> <p>It is very important to note that the CSS does not replace the FAFSA. Instead, it is an additional application required for some colleges. You should apply for both financial aid programs if your school is one of the 300 <a href="https://profileonline.collegeboard.org/prf/PXRemotePartInstitutionServlet/PXRemotePartInstitutionServlet.srv">listed by College Board</a>. If your school is not on the list, then you will not have to fill out the CSS. The list is made up of mostly private schools, and the only state college on the list is Colorado State University.</p> <h2>What Are the Differences Between CSS and FAFSA?</h2> <p>The two applications have quite a few differences that families should be aware of. First off, the CSS calculates family assets and income a little differently than the FAFSA does. This can potentially hurt applicants, causing them to receive less aid.</p> <p>For example, the FAFSA considers gifts made to the parents, including monetary gifts grandparents give to parents for the use of college, as assets. This allows the student to remain eligible for aid. However, CSS considers the same type of gift as income, which would reflect in the aid package.</p> <p>On the plus side, CSS does collect a more in-depth look at your family's finances. For example, the FAFSA does not take into account if you are paying medical expenses or tuition for younger children's schooling. CSS looks at a wide range of circumstances in order to determine what your family can afford.</p> <p>Another important difference to remember is that some schools require divorced families to fill out an additional form. The list of the 300 schools will also inform you if your school wants the details of the noncustodial parent's financial information. If so, you will need to fill out an additional Noncustodial PROFILE.</p> <h2>How Does the CSS Benefit Families?</h2> <p>In many cases, the CSS PROFILE will allow families to receive a financial aid package for 90% to 100 percent of the money they need to attend college. However, it is important to note that this aid package is not always free money. For most families, the financial aid package will also include loans, most likely a mix of private loans and Parent PLUS loans.</p> <p>Families considered high needs, usually those who make less than $40,000 per year, are more likely to receive aid packages that do not have loans in them.</p> <p>Financial aid packages might be presented to families as one lump sum. It is important to sit down with an adviser and know the break down for the aid given. Know what is free aid (aid that never has to be repaid), and know how much of the aid is in the form of loans. It is also important to know what types of loans they are offering to you. You don't want to accept loans at a higher interest than you can get on your own.</p> <p>For more information on the CSS PROFILE, visit the&nbsp;<a href="http://css.collegeboard.org/">College Board</a> website for an interactive tutorial, as well as a list of recently asked questions. You can also talk with your child's college adviser for more information and resources.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes — And How To Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-college">What to Do If You Didn&#039;t Save for Your Child&#039;s College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training college College Board css profile FAFSA federal student aid financial aid student loans students Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:30:12 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1801998 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Smart, Frugal Things Every College Care Package Should Include http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-frugal-things-every-college-care-package-should-include <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-smart-frugal-things-every-college-care-package-should-include" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/college_students_boxes_13133755_0.jpg" alt="Parent sharing frugal things that all college care packages need" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My son headed off to college this fall, so I have been thinking about the best things to send in a college care package. Whatever you ultimately decide to include, make sure the items inside your care package fit the following criteria:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Small</strong>: So your care package items won't take up too much space in a small dorm room or apartment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Lightweight</strong>: For inexpensive shipping or easy carrying to the room.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Nonperishable</strong>: So items won't spoil before they can be enjoyed.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Inexpensive</strong>: After all this is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">frugal care package</a>!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Personal</strong>: Make them remember the comforts of home, as it will relieve stress as they cram for exams.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Useful</strong>: Don't make your student store and haul items around that they'll never use.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Scarce</strong>: Items not easily obtained on campus will be appreciated more.</li> </ul> <p>It is difficult to find things that meet all of these criteria, but good college care package items should meet at least <em>some </em>of them. Here are some best bets for a college care package.</p> <h2>1. Homemade Cookies</h2> <p>Since homemade cookies only stay fresh for a few days, a dozen is a good number to send. Pack your homemade cookies in a zip-lock bag to extend freshness.</p> <h2>2. Clean Clothes</h2> <p>I included a favorite pair of my son's exercise pants that he left at home in my last care package. I remember from my college days how much clean clothes are appreciated!</p> <h2>3. Handwritten Note</h2> <p>Of course you could send a note by text or email, but it is nice to get something tangible from home that your student can have around as a reminder that they have not been forgotten.</p> <h2>4. Photos</h2> <p>It is nice for your student to have some real hard-copy photos from home to look at and maybe even put up in their room or on their desk.</p> <h2>5. Lucky Item</h2> <p>I went to college with a wool trench coat that my father wore when he was in college, which I thought was really cool. I gave my son a medallion that I received to take with him for good luck.</p> <h2>6. Small Toys</h2> <p>Small toys can be good stress relievers and provide a convenient break from studying. Some good toys for a college care package are a Jenga, Play Doh, a deck of cards, or a Rubik's Cube.</p> <h2>7. Smart Snacks</h2> <p>College kids keep weird hours, so late night snacks are always appreciated. Some good snack items are: beef jerky, gum, granola bars, a box of their favorite cereal, microwave popcorn, instant oatmeal, and tea bags. Include a ceramic microwaveable mug that your student can use to heat water to prepare items that require hot water.</p> <h2>8. Cash</h2> <p>Cash will never go unused or unappreciated by a college student! Gift cards are also useful, but I prefer the simplicity and convenience of cash since gift cards cost money to purchase and may have restrictions on where they can be used.</p> <h2>9. Team Gear</h2> <p>This item breaks the rule to send things that are not readily available on campus, but is sure to be a hit anyway. Send a hat, T-shirt, or sweatshirt with the school logo.</p> <h2>10. Forgotten Items</h2> <p>Surprise your student with small things they forgot to take with them. Send their slippers, grooming or self-care products, and other personal items that were left behind. Your student will appreciate these things after they are settled in.</p> <h2>11. Reverse Care Package</h2> <p>Here is a free care package idea &mdash; take stuff away from your student! There were a few items that my son took to college with him that he didn't need, so we picked up a &quot;reverse care package&quot; from his dorm room. Taking unneeded items away gets them out of the way and frees up space. Plus we got to visit our son and see his room after he had it all set up.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-frugal-things-every-college-care-package-should-include">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-trumps-presidency-might-change-student-loans">How Trump&#039;s Presidency Might Change 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/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You&#039;re Stuck With Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap">6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Education & Training care package college college care package college living college student dorm Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:31:03 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1801617 at http://www.wisebread.com What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_student_books_21091679.jpg" alt="Parents should know about the new college financial aid rules" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While school just started for many, if your child is college-bound or in college, it's already time to start planning for the next school year. Many families rely on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help shoulder the costs of college, and there have been many new changes to the program. These new changes go into effect this October, so listen up.</p> <h2>New Application Start Date</h2> <p>In the past, families would submit the FAFSA form at the beginning of the new year. However, the new start date is now as early as October 1, 2016. This is a huge change, and if you are in college or have a child in college, you will want to fill the application out that day, or at least in the first few weeks of October.</p> <p>For some states, FAFSA aid is distributed on a first come, first served basis. Individuals who apply earlier have a better chance of receiving aid, including grants, work-study, and federal loans.</p> <h2>Change Tax Information Submissions</h2> <p>Another big change is that individuals will not be required to submit the previous year's taxes, but instead tax information from two years prior. This means for the 2017&ndash;2018 school year, families will send in 2015 information. For families that filled out the FAFSA for the 2016&ndash;2017 year, this means you will be sending in your 2015 tax info two years in a row.</p> <p>This change will make filling out and submitting the FAFSA on time a lot easier, since families used to begin the application process at the beginning of the year. Many families would have to estimate tax information and fix it later on.</p> <h2>Less Asset Protection Could Mean Less Aid</h2> <p>When parents report their finances for their child's FAFSA, a portion of their assets, including savings and investment funds, is not calculated as part of the <a href="http://www.finaid.org/calculators/finaidestimate.phtml">Expected Family Contribution</a> (EFC). This was good news for families with healthy investments but not a lot of liquidity to pay for college.</p> <p>However, the dollar amount of assets exempt from the EFC will drop this year, and will continue to drop in following years. This change could mean less financial aid for many families. This will affect middle-income families that were relying on financial aid the most. However, families with lower incomes will most likely not feel the change.</p> <h2>Don't Fall for These FAFSA Myths</h2> <p>Even though there were three major changes to the FAFSA this year, it is still a free form that all families should fill out. Don't fall for these common FAFSA myths and leave money and aid on the table.</p> <h3>1. My Child's Grades Are Not Good Enough</h3> <p>While some schools use FAFSA applications to award merit-based aid, most aid is needs-based. A good portion of financial aid is awarded based off a family's income and size.</p> <h3>2. I Make Too Much Money to Qualify</h3> <p>Many families often forgo applying for financial aid because they believe they make too much. Even if your income makes you ineligible for aid, colleges give out federal student loans through the FAFSA process. If you plan on taking out federal student loans, which are preferable to private student loans, then you must fill out the FAFSA.</p> <h3>3. I Didn't Qualify Last Year</h3> <p>It is wise to apply for FAFSA each year, even if you didn't qualify for aid the year before. There could be unseen changes to your family that you might not have accounted for, such as two children in college rather than one. Also, with the new changes happening this year, you might qualify for aid.</p> <h3>4. The FAFSA Is Too Confusing to Fill Out</h3> <p>This year, you are now allowed to skip questions that do not relate to your family's financial situations. This should make the process a little easier and streamlined. If you are still having issues with your application, there are many free resources online and offline that can help. Please remember that you should never have to pay someone to file this application, nor should you pay for information regarding the process.</p> <p>Circle October 1st on your calendar and have your tax information ready and easy to access. Even if you don't think you will qualify for aid, apply anyway. And remember: You must apply each and <em>every</em> year your child is in college. This isn't a one-time thing.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</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/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-college">What to Do If You Didn&#039;t Save for Your Child&#039;s College</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes — And How To Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training changes college FAFSA free application for federal student aid loans rules school student loans students Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1801616 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Borrow Student Loan Money From Amazon Prime? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_thinking_pencil_86188509.jpg" alt="Woman borrowing student loan money from Amazon Prime" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Amazon Prime has several money-saving benefits for students, including discounted student memberships and textbook rentals. Now, Amazon Prime is offering discounted student loans to its list of perks.</p> <p>Hold up &mdash; Amazon is selling student loans right alongside a <a href="http://amzn.to/2b3wvM0">yodeling pickle</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2bzCWDg">unicorn meat</a>? Is that even legal?</p> <p>Amazon is not the actual lender of these loans. Instead, Amazon is partnering with Wells&nbsp;<a href="https://welcome.wf.com/amazonstudent/">Fargo</a> to offer Student Prime members loans at a discounted rate of 0.5%.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use?ref=seealso">7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use</a></p> <h2>Is There a Catch?</h2> <p>Both Amazon and Wells Fargo are for-profit businesses that are continually looking for creative strategies to increase profits. It was a smart move for both companies, since Amazon will be able to use this perk to increase student prime membership to $49 a year, while also gaining free media coverage. Wells Fargo also benefits from being connected to the largest e-commerce business and its loyal customers.</p> <p>The partnership will allow the bank to have better access to student consumers who can be targeted for many banking products. Overall, it is a win-win partnership for both companies, but will these loans actually benefit borrowers?</p> <h2>Are Student Loans Through Amazon a Good Deal?</h2> <p>Don't get too distracted by the discount Amazon is offering. The loan is still a private student loan through Wells Fargo. Private loans are not eligible for debt forgiveness programs like many federal loans, and sometimes federal loans even have better rates.</p> <p>Private student loans shouldn't be your first choice when seeking to finance a college education. Students should exercise all of their options before driving into debt, including the following:</p> <ul> <li>Federal aid through FAFSA;</li> <li>Scholarships;</li> <li>Grants;</li> <li>Accomplishing the first two years of their degree at a community college;</li> <li>Choosing a state university rather than a private university;</li> <li>Work-study programs;</li> <li>Employment tuition reimbursement programs;</li> <li>Paid internships.</li> </ul> <p>After all of these options are exhausted, then it is best to apply for federal student loans, which have more flexible payment options after graduation. Of course, federal loans have limits on how much a student can borrow, which is why many students turn to private loans.</p> <h2>The Problem With Amazon's Student Loans</h2> <p>Don't be blinded by a discounted interest rate. The 0.5% discount is subtracted from Wells Fargo's usual rates, which are not the lowest among private lenders.</p> <p>Many credit unions will offer discounted rates for being members and enrolling into autoplay, so if private loans are something you are considering, shop around before settling for the Wells Fargo loan.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know?ref=seealso">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></p> <h2>What You Need to Know About Private Student Loans</h2> <p>After graduation, many uncontrollable issues can come up. For example, graduates can struggle getting a job, make less than they expect, or even have a period of illness or disability that does not make work possible. Graduates with federal loans are granted forbearance or deferment. Federal loans can also be eligible for income-based repayment plans to make the monthly payments affordable for each borrower.</p> <p>Many private lenders have forbearance programs in place for cases of unemployment or disability, but acceptance to the program is dependent on the lender. Also, most private lenders will limit the duration of forbearance for unemployment and some might even charge forbearance &quot;fees.&quot; And income-based repayment programs are limited to federal loans.</p> <p>Is foregoing these benefits a risk you're willing to take?</p> <p>UPDATE (September 02, 2016)</p> <p>Just six weeks after announcing their partnership, Amazon and Wells Fargo have ended their private student loan program. Although specific reasons were not given, the end of the partnership was announced shortly after Wells Fargo revealed it had agreed <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/wells-fargo-to-pay-4-million-to-settle-student-loan-servicing-probe-1471899134">to pay a $4 million penalty</a> to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in response to allegations of illegal student loan servicing practices.</p> <p>For more information about private student loans and how to find the best financing for your college degree, please see the following helpful articles:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-every-college-student-must-know-about-private-student-loans?ref=internal">6 Things Every College Student Must Know About Private Student Loans</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-things-you-must-know-about-repaying-your-private-student-loans?ref=internal">3 Things You Must Know About Repaying Your Private Student Loans</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-private-lenders-that-can-really-save-you-money-on-your-student-loans?ref=internal">3 Private Lenders That Can Really Save You Money on Your Student Loans</a></li> </ul> <p><em>What do you think of Amazon and Wells Fargo's partnership to offer discounted student loans?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-borrow-student-loan-money-from-amazon-prime">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</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-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</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> Personal Finance Education & Training Amazon amazon prime college private loans student loans students Wells Fargo Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1777930 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_students_together_76179069.jpg" alt="College freshman using shopping tips to cut costs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Strapped for cash as a freshman? If not now, you will be soon. That goes double for your parents, who are likely footing a portion of the bill &mdash; from tuition to room and board to all the living essentials you'll need when you move into the dorm. To make the transition from high school to college just a little easier on the wallet for both you and your obligatory benefactors, here are a few ways to cut costs as you head into the first year of university.</p> <h2>1. Don't Buy What You Already Own</h2> <p>At the beginning of every school year, students get a list of suggested (and some mandatory) supplies that they'll need for the year. The good news for you is that you've been in school for 12 years now, and you probably already have more than a few things on the freshman list. That means you don't need to spring for new items if the ones you already own are in good condition.</p> <p>&quot;The extensive list of recommended dorm room essentials will make your head spin and your wallet disappear,&quot; money-saving expert Andrea Woroch quips. &quot;While some suggested items like 'bedding to fit an extra long twin mattress' are necessities, items like towels, hangers, and pillows can likely be packed from home.&quot;</p> <p>Also, use common sense and identify items you can cross off the list indefinitely, like a drying rack for laundry (you can hang your clothes around the room) and any stand-alone device that's also in your phone: alarm clock, camera, calculator, MP3, etc.</p> <h2>2. Split Big-Ticket Costs With Your Roommate(s)</h2> <p>If you want a few conveniences of home in your dorm room &mdash; like a fridge or microwave &mdash; considering going halfsies with your roommate(s). Contact your roommates ahead of time to discuss those big-ticket purchases that will be shared among everyone, and how to effectively split the cost. Consider downloading a bill-splitting app to simplify this process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-modern-ways-to-split-the-bill?ref=seealso">5 Modern Ways to Split the Bill</a>)</p> <h2>3. Stock Up on Penny Deals</h2> <p>&quot;When it comes to basic school supplies like pens, notebooks, folders, and sticky notes, it's best to search for penny deals offered during the back-to-school shopping rush and watch for rotating discounts every week,&quot; Woroch suggests.</p> <p>I've seen these types of deals at several popular retailers lately, including Target, Wal-Mart, and Staples, though they're not limited to these stores. Hit them at the right time and you'll walk away with much of what you'll need for classes &mdash; pens, pencils, notebooks, and more &mdash; for just few bucks. You also can access circulars online or via the&nbsp;<a href="https://flipp.com/">Flipp app</a> for quick comparison.</p> <h2>4. Treat Your Old Wardrobe Like It's Brand-new</h2> <p>Everybody loves to go back-to-school clothing shopping. Heck, I'm 35-years-old and I still use this time of year as an excuse to freshen up my wardrobe. If you're on a tight budget, however, consider that your existing wardrobe will be brand-new to everyone at college since nobody has ever seen you before. If you <em>must</em> add a few new pieces to your closet, shop end-of-season sales, clearance sections, or pop into a few secondhand shops (some of which can be found online today).</p> <h2>5. Eat Where It's Free or Discounted</h2> <p>When I was in college, my friends and I had a propensity for buying late-night pizza or bingeing on junk food in our rooms all hours of the day. The problem with this strategy (besides its quick contribution to your Freshman 15) is that it costs a lot of money.</p> <p>To trim some of this expense, eat most of your meals in your cafeteria and take small items back to your room for later, like fruit, bagels, chips, or fixings for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Or, if you're super stealthy, bring an empty food storage container and confiscate heartier meals, like chicken fingers, salads, and your other favorites to scarf down when the cafeteria is closed. If you do plan to go out to eat, identify nights that are easy on your wallet, including half-price apps at happy hour, student nights, and special dish night, like 25-cent wing night or the like.</p> <h2>6. Rent Your Textbooks Instead of Buying Them</h2> <p>Before you buy your textbooks outright, I want you to ask yourself one question: What will you do with that book when the course is over? Your answer is nothing &mdash; except sell it back for a mere fraction of the price you originally paid. And that's if you can even sell it back at all. Publishers are really great at &quot;updating&quot; textbooks and discontinuing previous editions so that the school can require you to purchase the latest version. Because what're you going to do, drop out of school? Uh huh &mdash; they've got you right where they want you.</p> <p>Alas, two can play that game. Woroch explains.</p> <p>&quot;It's no surprise that textbooks represent the biggest line item in your college budget,&quot; she says. &quot;The National Association of College Stores (NACS) estimates the average student spends $655 on these study essentials every year. To save big bucks, skip the overpriced campus store and head straight to an online textbook rental site such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chegg.com/textbooks">Chegg</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.campusbookrentals.com/">Campus Book Rentals</a> to save over 70%. To ensure you're not slapped with any fees at the end of the semester, keep the book in pristine condition and avoiding highlighting or marking up the margins.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Go Grocery Shopping in Groups</h2> <p>Need to stock up on groceries? Get a group together &mdash; which is especially helpful for those who don't have vehicles on campus &mdash; and charge a couple bucks per person for gas. At the store, buy the things you'd like for yourself, but go in equally for items that may be shared by the group, like cereal, coffee, chips, and ramen.</p> <h2>8. Use Your Student ID Everywhere You Go</h2> <p>One of the best parts of being a student is using the student discount wherever it's available. I kept my student ID for years after college, and that granted me savings on clothing, movies, food, electronics, and more for years well past its prime. Of course, you should take advantage of it while you're in college, too. As a general rule of thumb, before you purchase anything anywhere, ask if they offer a student discount. Many establishments do, and that simple question will keep more money in your pocket.</p> <h2>9. Search for Open Box or Refurbished Electronics</h2> <p>In a recent survey, the National Retail Federation found that many colleges and universities require incoming and current students to bring their own computers, so a new laptop is likely on the top of your shopping needs. Instead of investing in the newest and most expensive model, search for open box or refurbished options. Best Buy typically has open box items set up on their salesroom floor, while online vendors such as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newegg.com/Open-Box/Store">Newegg</a> have webpages dedicated to these lower-priced options with discounts on open box laptops ranging from 10% to 40%. Apple also offers refurbished MacBooks and iPads, so always check these options before you buy.</p> <p><em>Are you heading into your freshman year of college, or have a kid who's starting their freshman year? How are you saving on supplies and other essentials? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/upromise-world-mastercard-credit-card-review">Upromise World MasterCard Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students">Don&#039;t Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping back-to-school classes clothes college discounts dorms freshmen roommates students supplies textbooks Thu, 18 Aug 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1773246 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money-Saving Hacks Every College Student Should Try http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/college_students_happy_87827713.jpg" alt="College students learning money-saving hacks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't let the costs of college loom over your head. Use these seven financial hacks to cruise through college and save thousands off your overall experience.</p> <h2>1. Rent Your Textbook Through Amazon</h2> <p>No need to buy every textbook, especially with <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Rent-Textbooks/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=5657188011">Amazon's rental textbook program</a>. My sister rents all of her textbooks through Amazon and saves $50&ndash;$100 off each book. For example, she rented <em>Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society</em> (9th Edition) for a recent class for $37.45. The new price of the book is $138.47 and the used price is $67.48. Amazon Prime covered shipping costs.</p> <h2>2. Research Book Costs Before Enrolling</h2> <p>When you first start taking college classes, you will have more flexibility over which classes you can choose, especially when you need to fulfill the GE requirement of your degree. Choose your class based on textbook and material fee cost, if possible. I signed up for a psychology class in my freshman year, but the textbook was written by the teacher and would cost $190. Since there was not a way find the book used, I dropped the class within the acceptable time period and took another class that fulfilled the requirement and had $20&ndash;$30 in book costs.</p> <p>Often you can borrow the textbook from the university library. At my school, the recent edition textbooks were only lent out for in-library use for an hour, but that was usually enough time to finish my work.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-part-time-jobs-that-offer-college-benefits?ref=seealso">8 Part-Time Jobs That Offer College Benefits</a></p> <h2>3. Piggyback Your Degree With Community College Courses</h2> <p>I graduated debt-free, and one of the major things that helped me do that was the abundance of community college courses I was able to take. My university allowed 70 community college transfer units. With the help of online classes, I was able to enroll in two local community colleges that increased the type of classes that I could transfer to my degree.</p> <p>I simply looked up agreements between my university and my two local community colleges and took as many classes as possible. One semester, I was enrolled and taking classes at three colleges at once. This also allowed me to take more than 18 units, which allowed me to finish my degree in three years, instead of four. All of this saved me five semesters at my university, which means I saved roughly $20,000.</p> <h2>5. Test Out of Classes</h2> <p>Research the possibility of testing out of some college classes. This can help you avoid boring and costly introduction classes that you already are knowledgeable in. The&nbsp;<a href="https://clep.collegeboard.org/">College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)</a> is accepted by over 2,900 colleges. The CLEP site allows you to search which colleges allow which test, though you will have to find out the maximum amount of credit your university allows through CLEP. The test costs $80, but military personnel may be eligible to receive funding for the cost of CLEP exams.</p> <h2>6. Check Out Local Thrift Stores</h2> <p>Shop at thrift stores that are near your university for a better chance to find apparel with your college's logo on it, as well as still-relevant textbooks. You can score both inexpensively, and either keep them for yourself, or sell them for more online or to other students via sale fliers on the campus' public bulletin board.</p> <h2>7. Become a Resident Assistant (RA)</h2> <p>Movies usually portray resident assistants as overbearing college students who have been on campus for almost a decade. However, the job can be fun and the free rent is definitely a perk that will save you $8,000 to $12,000 a year. Know that these positions are usually competitive, so make your application stand out, and volunteer for other on-campus events to show you have school spirit.</p> <h2>8. Get on a Family Plan</h2> <p>There are many different family plans that you can share to save money. The most popular family plans are offered through cellphone providers. Being on a family plan rather than on your own individual plan can save you $50&ndash;$100 a month off your cellphone bill.</p> <p>Family plans are not just for cellphones, though. You can save money by sharing TV streaming, Amazon Prime, Uber, and more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons?ref=seealso">How Family Plans Can Save You Tons</a>)</p> <p>College is expensive, but that doesn't mean you have to drown in debt to get your degree. Living frugally and minimizing living costs in college will make it easier to once you graduate.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite ways to save money while in college? Already a graduate? Share your experience of frugal college living.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-saving-hacks-every-college-student-should-try">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-college-students-can-save-money-before-class-starts">8 Ways College Students Can Save Money Before Class Starts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-child-can-earn-college-credits-in-high-school-for-cheap">How Your Child Can Earn College Credits in High School (For Cheap)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/upromise-world-mastercard-credit-card-review">Upromise World MasterCard Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping classes college community college hacks rent free saving money school students textbooks Mon, 15 Aug 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1771548 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves Students Should Make During a Gap Year http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_travel_selfie_58375086.jpg" alt="Man making money moves during his gap year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Parents and soon-to-be college students are giving the gap year a second look after the White House announced that Malia Obama will be taking one <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/us/politics/malia-obama-to-attend-harvard-but-not-until-2017.html?_r=1">before attending Harvard in 2017</a>. Also popularized by England's Prince Harry, who famously took time out for ranching in Australia and volunteer work in Africa in 2004, the gap year is a break between high school and the start of a person's higher education (or between college and graduate school).</p> <p>Most often, the gap year is used by young people as an opportunity to see the world, explore new cultures, immerse themselves in a nonacademic pursuit, work a job or internship, or volunteer for a cause. The goal is to gain valuable life experience before delving deeper into academics, trade school, military service &mdash; wherever your next step in life takes you.</p> <p>Of course, a year of self-exploration doesn't come free. Read on for our student guide to prepping finances for a gap year.</p> <h2>1. Start Saving a Year Out</h2> <p>How much a gap year will cost depends on how you plan to use it. So, map out your yearlong plan, estimating how much money you'll need. Of course, plans change. And that's okay. All you really need is a good estimate to get you motivated to start saving.</p> <h2>2. Open a Gap Year Bank Account</h2> <p>Now that you've got a savings goal, open up a separate bank account to house your gap year fund drive. To make your big funding goal seem more achievable, break it down into smaller, more manageable monthly and weekly goals. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Next, devise a plan for reaching these mini-fundraising goals. Will you cut down on weekend spending? Will you get a part-time job or pick up extra hours at your existing gig? Whatever you decide, be sure to hold yourself accountable.</p> <h2>3. Apply for a Grant or Scholarship</h2> <p>There are plenty of grants and scholarships out there created specifically to ease the financial burden of enrichment programming and travel during the gap year. If you have interest in visiting the Middle East, for example, a grant from Unofficial Ambassadors' <a href="http://unofficialambassadors.com/our-programs/aua-mosaic-scholarship/">Mosaic Grants Program</a> can make the experience more affordable. If you have demonstrated leadership in tackling issues aimed at protecting the environment, the <a href="http://www.broweryouthawards.org/">Brower Youth Awards</a>, which is an initiative by Earth Island Institute, divvies out $3,000 scholarships to young people each year.</p> <p>Be sure to also check out any opportunities offered by your prospective university or college as well as local organizations in your area. In Humboldt County, California, for example, there's a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.americangap.org/humboldtscholarship.php">generous annual scholarship</a> that offers up to $6,000 to gap year students who are seeking participation in a program accredited by the American Gap Association. Schools including Tufts University and the University of North Carolina have financial aid programs for gap year students, as well.</p> <h2>4. Give Creative Fundraising a Shot</h2> <p>There are so many ways to rake in extra cash. Just ask the twin teens from England who used their gap year to cultivate a loyal following on a YouTube channel that has earned them <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/9544479/YouTube-videos-funded-our-gap-year-travels.html">tons of money in advertising</a>, which funded their year of travel. Other ideas: Launch a crowdfunding campaign or host an event &mdash; battle of the bands, pool party, theatrical performance &mdash; to which you sell tickets that will cover your expenses.</p> <h2>5. Invest in Traveler's Insurance</h2> <p>If you plan to travel abroad during your gap year, organizations such as <a href="https://www.internationalsos.com/">International SOS</a> offer top-notch insurance policies that can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars should something go wrong. Let's hope you never need it. Truth be told, most of the time traveler's insurance does end up being a waste of money. But should you ever need to cover the cost of inconveniences such as a last-minute trip cancellation, emergency medical evacuation, or lost luggage, you'll be more than glad that you have it.</p> <p>Of all the expenses to skimp on while traveling abroad, don't let insurance be one of them. After you choose a plan, be sure to do your research so that you know exactly what it covers &mdash; and what it doesn't.</p> <h2>6. Learn the Ins and Outs of Your Bank's ATM Fees</h2> <p>Commit to memory the occasions on which your bank will hit you with an ATM fee. Then be sure to avoid them. While a few dollars here and there might not seem like much, over time they can really add up. Just as there's no reason to throw money out the window, there's no reason to not educate yourself on your bank's ATM fee policies.</p> <h2>7. Devise a Strategy for Accessing Day-to-Day Funds Abroad</h2> <p>Despite fees, ATMs are still the best bet for accessing money abroad. If your travels are set to land you in a major international airport, you'll likely get the best rate by withdrawing cash in the local currency from an ATM upon arrival to your destination city. While it can be comforting to travel with some local currency already in your pocket, having that convenience will cost you. You'll have to fork over a commission fee to exchange money at a bank or ATM in the U.S.</p> <p>However, if you'll be flying into a smaller airport, there may not be any ATMs &mdash; or at least not any properly functioning ones &mdash; when you get there. In this case, it's best to travel with about $100 in the local currency so that you can pay for immediate expenses, such as food and transportation, without hassle. Once you journey outside the airport, you can find an ATM and withdraw more local money at a better rate.</p> <h2>8. Reapply for FAFSA</h2> <p>Students who qualify for federal financial aid before deferring college for a year must reapply the next year by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. So long as the finances of the student's family don't change in a major way, the student will likely receive the same financial aid package. Also, students who have secured a scholarship from their university can sometimes negotiate to have the aid held for them until their delayed matriculation. So if you have a university or college-funded scholarship, be sure to inquire about how you can go about receiving the award after your gap year.</p> <p><em>Did you &mdash; or will you &mdash; take a gap year? What'd you do? How did you prepare your finances before you left?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Money%20Moves%20Students%20Should%20Make%20During%20a%20Gap%20Year.jpg&amp;description=8%20Money%20Moves%20Students%20Should%20Make%20During%20a%20Gap%20Year" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Money%20Moves%20Students%20Should%20Make%20During%20a%20Gap%20Year.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-students-should-make-during-a-gap-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap">6 Ways to Get College Kids Home for the Holidays for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-student-loans-from-ruining-your-life">How to Stop Student Loans From Ruining Your Life</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-skip-these-8-tax-breaks-for-students">Don&#039;t Skip These 8 Tax Breaks for Students</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Travel atm fees bank accounts college financial aid gap year scholarships self exploration students traveling abroad Tue, 21 Jun 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1735468 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do If You Didn't Save for Your Child's College http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-college <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-college" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girls_happy_books_66007785.jpg" alt="Learning what to do if you didn&#039;t save for college" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They say children grow up fast, but that couldn't be any truer for parents who suddenly find themselves looking at college applications and admission costs.</p> <p>Perhaps you always meant to save money for your child to go to college, but with all the other bills and expenses, you were never able to. Here are some tips on how to approach college costs now.</p> <h2>Start With the FAFSA</h2> <p>The first place to start is to complete the&nbsp;<a href="https://fafsa.ed.gov/">Free Application for Federal Student Aid</a> (FAFSA) application. Even if you believe that your household income is too high for student aid, you will still need to complete the FAFSA to qualify for federal loans. The FAFSA will give eligible students access to free grant money for college, as well as federal loans. The FAFSA can even connect eligible students to work-study programs for another way to help fund schooling.</p> <p>The FAFSA must be completed every year, Also, it is best to apply as early as possible, since some colleges award aid on a first come, first serve basis.</p> <h2>Start With Junior or Community College</h2> <p>If your child has their hopes set on a fancy university on the other side of the country, then they will probably not like the idea of attending a local junior or community college first. Still, community colleges are significantly cheaper, and children can further save by living at home. And most general education credits can transfer to your child's university of choice.</p> <p>A community college will shave up to two years off the expensive price tag of a university. Plus, if your college-bound child is not 100% sure of their career path, a community college can buy them time to figure it out, without paying the full sticker price of a university. A lot of maturing and life-changing events can happen after high school, and your future potential lawyer might decide they would rather teach in underprivileged areas, instead. Changing your major can be a huge money waste when you do it at a costly university.</p> <p>To be certain of community college credit transferability, visit <a href="http://www.assist.org/">ASSIST</a>, which shows which credits transfer between California community colleges and California State Universities. Check with your local community colleges if they use a similar website or conversion chart, to make sure your child is taking the right classes. It is also a good idea to talk with your child's top university choices about transferring from a community college to see what they require. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-part-time-jobs-that-offer-college-benefits?ref=seealso">8 Part-Time Jobs That Offer College Benefits</a>)</p> <h2>Scholarships Are a Viable Option</h2> <p>Scholarships can certainly help reduce the cost of your child's college admission. However, it is best to have a healthy expectation when you first approach your scholarship search. First of all, it is very unlikely that your child will get offered a full ride, unless they have a very unique profile that makes them especially appealing to schools. A school's top soccer player who has excellent grades is obviously more likely to earn scholarship offers than a non-athletic student with average grades.</p> <p>Look for smaller, local scholarships, which have a less competitive edge. Also, if your child has a part-time job, there might be scholarship options available through that company. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-increase-your-childs-odds-of-winning-a-scholarship?ref=seealso">How to Increase Your Child's Odds of Winning a Scholarship</a>)</p> <h2>Just Say No to the Parent PLUS Loan</h2> <p>We know you want the best for your child and would do anything to grant them success, but tying your name to costly student loan debt can put your retirement at risk. This goes mostly for Parent PLUS loans, though it is a good idea not to co-sign loans for anybody, in general.</p> <p>Trying to pay off a child's student loan debt when you are so close to retirement can derail you financially. Also, PLUS loans are not eligible for any loan forgiveness programs.</p> <h2>Know About Loans and Loan Forgiveness Programs</h2> <p>Before your child signs up for the first loan they are offered, do some research on specific loans and loan forgiveness programs. For example, if your college-aged child wants to pursue teaching, then getting a Perkins Loan can offer the best loan cancellation program. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp">Federal Teacher Cancellation for Perkins Loans</a> offers 15% loan cancellation after one year of teaching in a low-income area, and teaching five years will qualify for full loan forgiveness.</p> <p>Know that private loans will also be easier to secure, but these loans do not qualify for loan forgiveness programs or income-based repayment plans after graduation. You might need to get some private loan funding, but make sure to use federal loans first, since these have the most benefits. Before signing up with a private lender, thoroughly investigate their repayment policies and rules on loan deferment (which allows the borrower to momentarily pause payments if they continue their education or serve in the military or Peace Corps).</p> <p><em>How are you handling the college costs of your children?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-didnt-save-for-your-childs-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-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/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/css-is-one-source-of-college-financial-aid-you-cant-afford-to-overlook">CSS Is One Source of College Financial Aid You Can&#039;t Afford to Overlook</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/the-10-most-common-financial-aid-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">The 10 Most Common Financial Aid Mistakes — And How To Avoid Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-graduate">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Graduate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training college community college FAFSA loan forgiveness parent plus loans student loans Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:30:30 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1723967 at http://www.wisebread.com