Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Obama's new student loan proposals

Did you know that Americans owe more in student loans than credit cards?

On October 26, 2011, President Obama is proposing new student loan repayment rules.

Because student loan is a huge drain on people, and college graduates are saddled with mountains of debt, the president is trying to ease the burden.

Remember that all direct student loans were turned over to the federal government.

Here are some highlights of the new student loan repayment proposals:

Starting in 2012, the most you will have to pay for a student loan payment is 10% of your income. This was supposed to take effect in 2014, Obama is moving it up.

Your federal student loans can be bundled together, giving you one payment, maybe lower. This may come with a reduction of 0.5% on your interest, further lowering your payment.

After 20 years of on time student loan payments, the rest will be forgiven. Currently this is at 25.

So, this may be some good news for recent college graduates. The job market is tough, and you still have to repay your student loans.

However, if you are a current college student, taking out numerous student loans is really a bad idea. You are better off working for money, getting grants, and applying for as many scholarships as you can. Student loans, even with the new rules, will still be burdensome.

More information:

>>Student Loan Consolidation.

>>Repaying Student Loans.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

College Degrees that get jobs

With unemployment still high, many people are looking at all options for jobs. Going back to college can be a great idea, and a ticket to a high paying, in demand career. Here are a few college degrees that are sought after and can lead to a quick, decent paying job.

The medical field is still growing, and growing rapidly. You don't need to be a nurse or doctor to get into this field. A quick two year degree in medical assisting can get you work in a doctors office or related business. Medical assistants perform various clinical tasks, and some clerical. These positions will continue to grow as the medical field expands and gets more technical.

A law degree takes years. But most law offices need legal groundwork. This is done mostly by paralegals. Becoming a paralegal is as short as a two year degree. Any law office utilizes these trained professionals, from public district attorneys, to private law firms. Law research is what they do, and your degree will make you an expert at it. Some firms have internships as well to gain experience.

The computer world is still perhaps the fastest growing segment. You will probably need a bachelor's degree in information technology, or computer science. If you already have a year or two of college under your belt, think about a computer science degree. Anything from information technology to information systems and security is in high demand. It is a tough degree to complete, but has some of the best starting salaries around.

Anything business related is always hot. And a bad economy fuels the need for more. An MBA is not required. A bachelors degree in business will suffice as a starting point. Starting pay and demand is quite high in relation to other degrees. Switching to business after starting college is not hard. Yes, it could even lead you to get an MBA and be well ahead of the pack of job seekers.

If college is an option, no reason to just pick any degree. The degrees above will almost lead to guaranteed jobs. And high paying ones at that!

>>Average teachers salary.

>>Become a teacher.


>>Can you afford to go to college?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

College students can save money by not buying these things

Let's face it. College is expensive. Most college students squeak by on a meager budget. One thing they realize is that tuition is not the only cost. Other things can add up. Many students don't even realize how expensive other things can be. So here are a few items that college students should try and not buy. Every penny saved is a penny back in your pocket.

Leave the car at home. Better yet. Sell it and pocket the cash. The college fees for parking are probably going to cost $50 a month. Or more. And your car will mostly sit. You still have to pay insurance, and car insurance for college students is not cheap. You will be tempted to take trips on the weekend, further costing you money. No doubt a car will end up costing most college students a couple of hundred dollars a month. If you insist on driving in college, here are some lower car insurance tips.

College students do not need the latest fashions. You're going to spend the majority of your time on campus. Buy some used clothes and forget the name brands. Nobody in college will notice anyway. Every student will have unique way of dressing. If you buy new, buy from the cheaper store and skip the brand names.

Textbooks are a huge expense. So, how about trying NOT to buy them. You can rent them from various places now. Many e-readers have textbook versions for a fraction of the cost. But, the best way is to avoid buying them at all. How? Well, show up to class before you buy books. See if the ones on the list are really necessary. If not, and you can still pass the class, don't buy them. Your college library will have copies of all needed books. Most of these cannot be checked out, so copies remain in the library. Get to the library during off hours, and chances are nobody will be using them. You can also check out used book stores to see if an older version works just as well. These would be very cheap. Meet people in the class who have a textbook, and study with them. Here are more tips on saving on textbooks.

College students do not need a lot of notebooks and paper anymore. Most things that used to be passed out, like a syllabus, are now online. You might even do homework online. Maybe you can take notes with your computer. Wait until the first few classes to start and find out exactly how much paper and notebooks you need. Don't wast money on school supplies.

>>Tips for more financial aid.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

College students can raise their credit scores.

In college, you may not be thinking about your credit score. But this can affect everything from getting a job to buying a house. College students may not have much of a credit record, but many do. And because money is tight, their credit scores may not be great. Here are some tips for not only college students, but others as well to raise your credit score.

The total amount of credit you have can work for you or against you. Your score can be improved if you have a lot of open credit in relation to how much you have used. So, if you have maxed out your credit cards, it can lower your score as you have used all of your credit. The simple way is to get more credit, but don't use it. If you have a $5,000 credit limit reached, you have 100% credit used. If you happen to get another credit card, let's say at $2,500, you now have only used 66% of your credit. If you get even more, your percentage drops, raising your credit score.

Because college students may not be fully into the credit game, this can hurt you. Your history counts. If you graduate college have little history, it will work against you. So, the sooner you get credit and show you know how to manage it, the better. If you get a credit card in your freshman year, you will have four years of credit history when graduating. Length of credit history counts.

But be careful on credit cards. Credit cards are looked upon as bad debt since they are unsecured. This can work against you if you have a bunch. Installment loans can improve your score. These include a personal bank loan, a car loan, or even furniture.

Don't just fill out a bunch of credit applications. Each on may count against you. There are soft and hard inquiries. The hard inquires count against you. Those are new applications you turn in requiring a social security number. Inquiries you make yourself, or businesses you already have credit with do not count. If a business just checks your credit, no loan application, that is probably a soft one as well. Remember, soft inquiries do not show on your report.

Your credit history will make up the bulk of your credit score. Pay on time and you have no problem. The longer you show on time payments, the better. So, don't use a credit card unless you can make the payments.

>>Tips for college students and credit cards.

>>Repaying student loans.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

College Dorms: Health hazards for students

The start of the new college year fast approaching. College students probably do little thinking about their dorm rooms, except who is going to be a roommate. They don't even think about the health risks that can be prevalent. If you have been sick in college, then you already know. But many students don't know how to lessen the risks of getting sick. Remember, every day you are sick as a college student is classes missed. Those classes are hard to make up. Here are some tips to keep healthy in college.

Your dorm room and bathroom is just a germs dream come true. You live in close quarters with strangers. Everything about dorm rooms is a breeding ground for germs, bacteria, and illness. Disinfect everything on a regular basis. Sinks, counter tops, desks, chairs, walls. Everything. Don't share glasses, tooth brushes, make up, towels, combs. Nothing. Meningitis can be spread in these rooms quick. Get a meningitis vaccination. If your room mate gets sick, you really need to avoid them. Like the plague. Don't forget the door knobs.

Wash your clothes, linen, and towels regularly. Hang wet towels in a place where they will dry before the next use.

Your bathroom, shower, and sink, need to be mold free. Mold can exacerbate respiratory problems and asthma. Cleaners with mild bleach should keep it under control.

Flu and colds can spread like wildfire. Avoid sick people. It may sound strange, but wear a face mask if you are sick or are close to a sick room mate. Avoid coughing in the air, and avoid people who are coughing.

The best thing you can do is wash your hands often!

Get yourself a pair of shower shoes and wear them in and out of the shower. Don't walk barefoot around the halls either. Shower shoes are just cheap rubber thongs people wear at the beach. If not, you may get a nasty bout of athlete's foot.

Bed bugs can be a major problem. Don't buy used furniture or mattresses. You can find cheap new ones. Wash your linen in hot soapy water often. If you think a mattress is infested with bed bugs, get rid of it. If that's not practical, you can buy a mattress cover to avoid spreading the bugs.

Being clean and having great hygiene is the best thing you can do to avoid getting sick in college. And also avoiding other students who are sick.

Some illnesses will knock you out for weeks. For college students, this may mean having to pay for the class again. It also is a time waster.

>>College Money Secrets

>>Backup power in an emergency-Power Generators.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Car insurance: Students can get better rates.

College students feel the need to drive a car, but a car and expenses that you can incur, like insurance, can break a college budget. The best thing a college student can do is to not have a car. But, many times that's a solution that is not heeded. There are things one can do to lower their auto insurance rates.

Check your current auto policy for any extras that are charged for. Like roadside assistance, towing, and other things that are not really part of the insurance for your car. Drop these and your payments should be lower.

College students may be eligible for good grade discounts. Check with your insurance company and make sure you are getting all discounts, including good driver.

Increasing your deductible can really take a chunk out of your car insurance costs. Try and go for the biggest deductible that you can get. You can probably save hundreds of dollars a year on this alone.

Only pay for the coverage you need. Many insurance companies offer different levels of coverage. Anywhere from minimum coverage, to maybe a gold standard. The top package will include many things, but the cost goes up accordingly. These things can include rental cars, deductible waivers, pick up and drop off, and many other things. The lowest coverage will be the cheapest. Just be sure that what the lowest coverage is will satisfy the state in which you will be attending college accepts.

You have probably seen the many auto insurance commercials about how switching will save you money. It's true in some cases. If you are unhappy with your insurance rates, shop the big companies and see who has the best deal. You may be able to actually save some serious money.

New technology is allowing insurance companies to monitor your driving habits. If you are comfortable with this, you could get a discount.

The bottom line is to make driving a car in college cheap. Get the most discounts you can to save as much money as you can.

>>More car insurance tips for college students.

>>How to be a teacher and get a teaching job.

>>Check out teachers salaries.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Creating a Resume: Things have changed

If you are a recent college graduate, or anyone else job-hunting, you are probably sending out quite a few resumes. In the past, there were little things that you were supposed to do. Well, times have changed. Resumes have been taken into the age of the internet and doing business online. Remember, the companies you work for are probably not standing still. They have the latest technology and their employees and managers are using it. In addition, logic has taken over the resume world.

For instance, you no longer need to include anything about your career goal or objective. The person hiring you does not need to know that, nor do they care. They only care if you are the perfect person for the job you are being interviewed for. In fact, putting a career goal or objective might counter what job is being offered. The hiring manager might scratch you off the list because you won't stay long. You should certainly emphasize your abilities and talents.

The days of mailing your resume are long gone. If you mail a resume, chances are it will sit at the bottom of a pile somewhere, until it gets tossed with the trash. Do not waste time and money on fancy resume paper, envelopes, or mailing fees. Resumes are now sent electronically.

In the past, people put every job they held on their resume. There no longer is a need to do so. It just fills up the resume with unneeded information. Certainly your last employer may be something to put, and one or two other jobs that highlight your skills and experience. But you don't need to account for each and every job you've held.

References on a resume are something else that is not needed anymore. You don't even have to put the over used line, references available on request. Every hiring manager that needs them is going to automatically dig for references.

Those last two tips bring up the last one. You can make your resume anywhere from one to two pages. A one page resume is fine. A two page resume is fine. Don't make your resume longer than two pages however. You need to fine tune it. But many people have a hard time putting it on just one page. In the past, a one page resume was the standard. This is no longer the case. Add another page if you need to.

>>Tips to finding a job after graduating.

>>Job interview tips.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Help with repaying student loans

Most college students will graduate with thousands of dollars in student loans waiting to be paid off. If you borrowed wisely, this may not be a burden. Sadly, many college students borrow more than they should and later find themselves saddled with student loan payments that are tough on the budget. Add this to the state of the economy, and defaulting looks like an option. It's not. You really cannot get away with defaulting on a student loan. It is not discharged in bankruptcy. Not paying on a student loan will lower your credit rating making it hard to buy a home or even get a job. If you feel you are not going to be able to make payments, here are some things you can do.

If you only have federal student loans, it may be easier to rework the payment terms. Private student loans will have other terms from the specific bank. As of recently, all direct student loans are now made through the government.

Get help before you need it. That is, before you have missed any payments. Your student loan is more likely to have better options if you have not missed payments. If you miss a couple of payments, you will be charged late fees and the loan may go to a collection agency. Don't wait until it's too late. If you work, and get a judgment against you, your wages could be attached. If you are getting calls about payment, your loan probably has been turned over to a collection agency.

For student loan payment help, who do you call first? The federal government has set up a toll free number: 1-800-4-FED-AID

The government has many options, including smaller payments, or some sort of delay in making payments.

Before calling, have your financial records in order so that you know what kind of repayment plan that you can handle. Be realistic. They do have repayment plans based on income. But remember, a forbearance and deferments are just that. Delays. You are still responsible for the loan.

If you return to college, join the military or the Peace Corps, you will not have to make payments until afterwards. If you are too ill to work or you care for a loved one, you may be eligible for a deferment as well.

Student loan consolidation normally gets you a lower payment. If you have many student loans, putting them as one lump sum may help.

In rare cases, you may be able to absolve yourself from the student loan and have it completely discharged. This really only happens if you are the victim of loan fraud, or become permanently disabled.

There are various jobs and positions you can take, like teaching in under served areas that will forgive some of your student loans.

Here are key places for information and where to start:

1-800-4-FED-AID

http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/

If collection agencies are calling, contact:
http://www.ombudsman.ed.gov/

More student loan information:
>Student loan consolidation
>Repaying student loans

Thursday, July 7, 2011

3 ways to cut the cost of a college degree

College is expensive. Tuition rates are going up due to budget cuts. Many prospective college students and their parents are trying hard to figure out ways to finance the education. Before you scramble your finances, did you know that there are ways to almost instantly cut your college costs? By quite a large margin?

If you are still in high school and planning your junior or senior year, think about taking AP classes. These classes have the potential to give you college credit for a high school class. These classes will be tougher, but they will also teach you study skills needed for college. You will have to get a passing score on the AP exam at the end of the class. Did you know that getting credit for AP classes can lead to more scholarship money? One big reason to take an AP class is that it counts as a college class. One that you would have spent time and money on in college. That's right. Tuition is expensive. By eliminating classes you need to take, you instantly lower the cost of a degree. It has also been shown that students taking AP classes are more likely to finish college in four years, unlike others. Talk to your school counselor for more information.

Speaking of not having to pay for college classes, have you heard of CLEP? The College-Level Examination Program, or CLEP, gives you college credit for taking a test. Why take a class if you already know it? There are 33 examinations for college credit in a wide range of subjects. The cost of the test at this moment is less than $80. You could get credit for a whole class for that price. Many colleges and universities charge $300-$500 for each unit! A 3 unit class would cost a minimum of $900! Keep in mind too, that many colleges are now limiting the number of units you can take each term. They used to be quite generous. They would charge you per unit up to a level of around 15, then anything over that was the same price. They are now limiting how many untis you can take. Instead of being able to take 21 units, you are maxed at 16. The less classes you need, the better and cheaper for you!

Much is made about where you graduate from college. It might be true in rare cases, most often it does not matter where you graduate from. If worse comes to worse, pick the cheapest, closest college that fits your needs. But before you think about graduating, think about the first two years. The first two years of general education are probably the same no matter what your major. You can do the first two years at a local community college for very cheap. The tuition will be thousands of dollars less. Many local junior colleges have agreements of guaranteed admission with some state colleges if they graduate from the two year school. You can also earn an associate degree in probably something in or close to your major. Not only will thins save money, but the degree will look good on your resume. Most community colleges allow high school seniors, some juniors, to take college classes. Get these classes out of the way now, and you graduate sooner. Graduating sooner means less money out of your pocket!

If your goal is to get a degree, and you are willing to look at all options, you can make college cheaper!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting a job after graduation.

Many college graduates are entering the real word and have begun the task of job hunting. The economy is still not on track, and jobs are pretty scarce. High paying ones are out there, but are getting tougher to find and get. What's a new college graduate to do? They are even competing with last year's graduates. There are a few simple steps that you can take to enter the job market in a timely manner.

If you had a job in college, keep it. Or go back to it. A job is better than no job. Companies like to see a work history. If you had no job, consider getting anything, even part time work. Sometimes a part time job can lead to bigger and better things. You are not always stuck in the same low position. You now have a college degree and that may open more doors in the company.

Any job you get can be great experience to list on a resume. A sales clerk has experience with people. A stock person has shown the ability to complete tasks. A child care worker has experience working with kids and parents. Think outside the box to emphasize skills that can take you further.

If you have gone for interviews and sent out resumes, keep in touch with the person in charge of hiring. Send emails of thank yous or letters. You want them to have you on their minds and standout maybe for another position that gets opened.

If you do get offered jobs at companies you like, be sure they fit your major. It can be difficult to move laterally, as well as up, to a position that suits you better. Sometimes it is better to wait for a job you know you'll love, rather than take an immediate one.

>>More tips to find a job after graduating.

>>Job interview tips

Sunday, June 19, 2011

College students and Debt

Do college students really need to establish credit before graduating?

It may sound simple to answer the question with a yes. The reason being that prospective employers may look at a credit history.

But what will your credit history show?

Many college students get at least one credit card. They are given many applications from various banks and credit card companies. It can be tempting. College students are generally broke, but want cash to spend.

Here's the problem. If you get a credit card with a $5,000 limit, and you max that out, what does that say about you? Just having credit is not the full story. The better question is how responsible you are with it. A college student that has $50,000 in student loan debt, and then thousands of credit card debt, may not look as attractive as another job applicant.

If you are one of these college graduates, and you are up against someone else who does not have debt, their record may look better than yours.

If your credit has made your financial situation worse, then having a credit card really did nothing for you.

Having no credit is far better than having bad credit. Know the difference. This means that you do not need to have a balance on your credit card. Having a credit card with no balance shows you have credit, but are not one to use it frivolously.

College graduates need to manage their credit wisely. That's what your employer will look at.

College students are better off using a debit card for everyday minor purchases.

Borrow only the amount of money you need to complete your education. Many college students get caught up in spending sprees and charging a lot of extra curricular activities.

It's not about have loads of credit. It's about using it and managing it wisely.

>More information on college students and credit cards.

>How to be a Teacher and Find a Teaching Job

>College Money Secrets

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

College graduates and credit scores

College graduation can be the last step before getting a good paying job. You will be sending off resumes and going to interviews. More and more employers are checking the credit ratings and scores of job applicants. Your credit risk could be used to determine if you are fit for the company. College graduates are new to the job market and need to have good credit ratings. How can you protect yours?

The very best thing you can do to maintain credit worthiness and keep your score high is quite simple: Pay your bills on time and keep your accounts current. Timely payments contribute more to your credit score to anything else. This means the flip side is also true. Late or missed payments will hurt your score quite significantly.

This is the main reason why college students should not borrow more than they need. Nor should they buy things on credit knowing they will struggle to make the payments. Ruining your credit score before graduating could be detrimental to your job search. Stop charging things. You can wait until after college to have fun. If you realize you have a sizable credit card debt that is in trouble, contact the lenders. You can start to negotiate lower interest rates and payments. Again, don't get behind in payments. If you do nothing, it will eventually be too late. Try and concentrate on paying off the accounts with the highest interest rate first.

It is wise to keep a close watch on your credit record as well. You want an accurate report. If there are errors, you can send letters to the credit reporting agencies to correct them. You are entitled to a free report every year.

Get your bills and payments organized. Start a system where you keep track and have payment dates set up. This will keep you on the task of monitoring your credit and payments. Many companies are telling customers to opt out of paper mailings. They will notify you of bills online. Think twice about going paperless. A statement in the mail is another reminder. An email may get deleted, missed, or ignored. If you do opt for paperless, then you really need to keep track of bills and payments.

Cutting your spending and sticking with a budget are the best things you can do. As a college student, you probably don't have access to a good money supply. Developing good money habits while you are young will mean you will be better prepared to handle money in the future. Many problems are related to money. Get penny-wise now for a life of being debt-free.

>>Free scholarship search.

>>Be a teacher and get a teaching job.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How to pick a college degree

Picking a college degree can be one of the most important decisions you make in your life. It can mean the difference between getting a job, getting well paid, and make college worth it. Choose wrongly, and it is difficult to recover. Going back to school is not a thing that college graduates look forward to.

One of the best things you can do is wait. Be patient. Many students do have a degree picked out, but many don't and are pressured. Even those that pick a degree before entering college have second thoughts and go through many changes before settling on exactly the right one. You can generally take the first two years of college, get your general education and graduation requirements done during this time. You normally do not have to declare a major when you first enter college anyway. After the first year, you will have a better feel as to your college life, aptitude, study habits, and overall ability to handle college. During the first year, do some serious thinking about what degree to go for.

It is up to you, and you alone, to pick a degree. Don't let others pick one for you. Only you know what you are capable of and can handle. You know your interests. You know what kind of lifestyle you want. You know where you want to live. Your lifestyle, habits, ability, work ethic, and adaptability all factor into a college degree choice. See college counselors early and often. Read the college catalog as to what classes are required for majors. Most majors require some classes outside the major as adjunct to the degree. Like a foreign language or math class as a requirement for the degree. You may like the major classes, but what about the other requirements? How long will it actually take you to finish? You know your weaknesses as well.

A job is a critical reason for getting a degree. Find out what majors pay the most, and the least. Find out which majors are fairly easy, or fairly hard. What college majors are getting the job offers at the moment? There is no reason to get a degree in any major if you are stuck working as a waitress because there are no jobs in your major available. Look to the future as well. Find companies and industries that are growing and their workforce is needed. Gear your degree to something you like, can handle, and get a job with.

You also may need to think outside the box. Some degrees can cover a lot of bases. Companies that are not similar may want the same kinds of people working in their offices. That psychology degree might work in an ad agency looking for people who can analyze reactions.

Remember the reasons for going to college and why you want a degree. Good luck in your choice and choose wisely.

>>College Money Savings Tips.

>>Save Money on Electricity.

>>Military Scholarships.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Graduating college? What's next?

Many graduates will be finding a tough job market after graduation. If your graduation date is looming, you are probably already worried, or at least scrambling around for your next move.

The job market is tough. Today's college graduate will not find jobs just waiting. You will need to hunt long and deep. Job fairs are not really good places for recent college graduates to get jobs. And the problem with internships, is no pay. But an internship may be a possibility if you need a little more experience.

Many college graduates will be moving back home due to lack of a job. If this is potentially your situation, you may think about something else. Graduate school.

Graduate school is a terrific choice in today's economy for college graduates. The best reason is that it eliminates a job hunt for the time being. Going to grad school puts off the job search until, maybe, things are better in the economy. That means you should apply now. There is generally more dollars for financial aid if you are a graduate student. Learn more about graduate school admissions and financial aid.

If you do choose to look for a job, there are some things you can do. Research companies before you get an interview. That way you know the company and that looks good to a prospective employer. You may have to settle for a lesser job than you thought. Don't let that discourage you. Get your foot in the door and move up as best you can. Internships offer no pay, but many times interns are offered jobs. Get more job hunting tips.

Don't let the economy get you down. There are options out there for new college graduates. You may need to think outside the box. Your first choice in companies may not be hiring. Get a second tier list. Find out if there are jobs there that may be offered to people with your degree and experience. Sometimes you will be surprised at the different jobs at certain companies. You may find yourself with a good paying job at a company you would have never considered. Job interview tips.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Establish Good Credit in College

College students work hard for their degree. And hope it will lead to a better job. Having good credit is also a goal. Potential employers may give credit checks to applicants. Not having any credit can be just as bad as having no credit. College students are usually at the perfect age to begin developing a good credit history. The younger you are, the better. Establish a solid credit rating in your young adult years will benefit you for life. But how can you develop credit at such a young age?

The easiest way to establish and boost your credit rating is to get a credit card. Not a debit card. But a real credit card. Debit cards do nothing for credit history. They don't boost your credit rating.

It may be more difficult for young people to get a credit card today. But there are ways around some obstacles. Banks are going back to the old ways of needing to see good credit in order to get good credit. But college students normally can get a couple of credit card offers. Many campuses pass out fliers, although some have stopped this practice. You can look for ads in college-age magazines. Or, go to the websites of some big credit card banks and look for special offers for college students.

You may also have an easier time getting a department store credit card, especially if you have a part-time job. Having some form of employment income is a good thing to have on any credit card application.

What is the easiest most sure way of getting a credit card? Having your parents co-sign for one. They can even add you to one of their credit card accounts. You are now attached to the card and will benefit from the the credit history. If your parents are reluctant, talk them into getting you a credit card with a nominal limit like $200. That way they will know you can't break the bank.

Once you get your first credit card, maintain it correctly. Pay the bill on time each month, and preferably the whole balance. Don't be saddled with more debt than you need. Your student loan balances may be substantial.

You should not get several credit cards. The more open balances you have may count against you. Plus, having several cards is just a temptation to charge more. One credit card, used wisely, paid up, will do your credit rating wonders!

>>More tips for college students and credit cards.

>>How to find college scholarships.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

College Application Mistakes

Going to college will affect the rest of your life. The college you choose will influence your life. It all starts with the application. Many prospective college students think it's just a regular form. You just answer the questions. Nothing to it really, nothing to worry about. It's just a college application and an application is an application. But, the application process is your first chance to influence the admission officers. That's key to getting in. Take the application serious! Here are some common mistakes.

Not doing any research on the school. You need to research the college of your choice. What type of student do they want? What type of student is chosen? Knowing this will enable you to tweak your application to show you ARE the type of student they want.

Doing it themselves. Don't think for a minute that the average college applicant can fill out the admission form by themselves. And be affective. You can't. You need to get help from a person who knows the ins and outs of a college application. Your high school guidance counselor is a good choice. The better you fill the form out, the better your chances.

Not making the application personal. Sell yourself. Why are you unique? The college wants to learn about you. What you are about. If you don't tell them, they may not want you. Make your college application as personal as you can. You want your application to standout from the crowd. What makes you an awesome person? Think about your unique hobby, interests, awards, or accomplishments. If you run marathons, let them know. If you help at the local food bank, let them know. If you are an accomplished singer, shout it out! The more unique you are, the better you will stand out from the other students. You want to get noticed!

Doing stupid stuff on facebook. Or any other social media site. With your real name. And making it public. College admissions officers are scouring social media sites like facebook to see what baggage you have. Don't blow it by putting embarrassing items and photos of yourself and friends. You want to look professional. Do not use your cutesy email, like luv2get-wild@email.com or something silly or risque. It will not score you points.

Messing up the college essay. Take this serious. You will probably need help on this too. Your goal is to sell yourself as a worthy student and person. Tout your accomplishments. Things you have overcome. Adversity and diversity. Get help from a guidance counselor. But watch out for close relatives when getting help. They will have a tendency to get mushy and not concentrate on meaningful stuff. Your essay must show a student who has accomplishments and can be a star scholar in college.

Take your college application seriously!

>>Save money on textbooks.

>>The hidden costs of college.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Paying for college without going broke.

College can be expensive, but it is very desirable. There are various ways of getting money for college up front, but on the back end , it may come back to hamper your future budgets.

Borrowing money should be last on your list. College loans are easy to get, but remember they must be repaid. The more college loans you have, the more loan payments you will have.

Get every penny you can from grants or scholarships. This includes scholarships from your chosen college. All of them have them. Grants can be from the state, or from federal sources if you are studying certain majors. Don't even think about paying for college from loans unless you absolutely have to.

You should apply to more than one school. The financial aid package will be quite different from each one. Check them out in detail. There are two ways to look at them. The one that has the lowest out of pocket cost, and the one with the highest amount of loans. They may be the same school, maybe not. If a college gives you a financial aid package that includes mostly loans, or more in loans than another school, think before you take on the debt.

You never can tell which one will be cheaper in the long run on the basis of private or public college. Some public schools are cheaper, but offer less financial aid. Some private schools are expensive, but can give you all the financial aid you need. Private schools normally have more money to give to deserving students.

529 savings plans may be an option if you plan early in high school. But they are changing all the time and may not actually have as good of a deal as promised.

Sometimes a student loan is the only way left for you to pay for college. But how much should you borrow? Here is a general rule of thumb. Don't borrow more than an average of $8,000-$10,000 per year in college. How much do you expect to make in salary upon graduation? Compare how much you think you will borrow against how much you make. If you will make $50,000 and have $100,000 in loans, it does not make economic sense. The payments will be a financial burden. Your starting salary for your career may be a good total to judge how much to borrow.

Debt is ruining a lot of people's lives. If you are young and going to college, you will be saddled with a ton of debt for years if you over borrow.

More college money tips:
>Help in repaying student loans.
>Student loan consolidation.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

College students: Don't borrow more than you should.

Getting into debt with student loans is common these days. It will take years to payoff the average amount students get in loans. A college degree does lead to a higher average income, but with the economy the way it is, a mountain of student loan debt will hurt. Don't be reluctant to borrow money, but be realistic as to what a college degree can do for you financially. Your borrowing should be inline with future income.

Most students cannot afford to pay cash for college. Student loans may be the only reasonable way to pay for a college degree. You really should borrow no more than the actual cost of your education. Think about ways to cut the costs. Budget. Downsize your lifestyle to get through college as cheap as possible.

Federal student loans are your best bet. They will offer the best repayment plans according to your income. Private loans, even credit cards, can become very expensive in the long run. The federal government has many options for repaying. If the cost of your college educaiton is a lot more than the federal loans, strive to cut your budget and make college cheaper. Borrowing money from other sources is not a good idea. Nothing wrong with choosing a cheaper school.

What is your future income potential? It will make no sense to borrow thousands of dollars for a relatively lower paying job. You must consider how much income you will have in relation to student loan payments. The federal government will cap this at 15% of your income. But even that can be a big chunk out of your lifestyle.

Look into other ways of funding your college. From scholarships to grants. Even asking family and friends to contribute. Cut down on your expenses. Everything from a car to a cell phone adds to your budget. Doing without a few luxury items for four years makes good financial sense.

Know what your potential income will be. If you need to, sit down with a financial adviser and get estimates of salaries and expenses when graduating. Also, you need to look at potential job prospects as well. It makes no sense to go after a high paying job if there is no demand. Likewise, it makes no sense to get into boat loads of student loan debt to get an average salary.

>>30 college money savings tips.


>>Repaying student loans.

Monday, March 21, 2011

College students, car insurance, and states that have high rates.

Many prospective college students are now considering where to go to school in the Fall. While cars are not really needed in college, many students want them. In addition, many students will be driving cross-country to their new college homes, thus having a car while in college. A student that has a car has an extra expense. This expense can break your budget. You may want to consider your college choices if you do have a car and money is tight. Some states charge more on average than others. Here are some facts from insure.com.

Where you drive can have a huge effect on the price you pay for car insurance.

Michigan is the most expensive car insurance state. On average, drivers pay $2,541 a year. Michigan has problems that contribute to this high rate, including a high percentage of drivers not having insurance. Michigan also has a law that gives no limit to personal injury payments. That means insurance companies can pay out large sums of money. If you factor in winter weather, a college student in Michigan may be very well off by not using or having a car. Michigan has some fine colleges. If you are from out of state, think twice about having a car.

Louisiana comes in second highest at $2,541. Louisiana jury verdicts have given out large awards. This, like Michigan, raises the amounts insurance companies pay. They also have a high percentage of drivers with no insurance.

Oklahoma third with Oklahoma, $2,197. Again, a high rate of uninsured drivers and bad weather contribute to the cost.

A college student probably can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 a year for car insurance. California is a tad less than $2,000, while Vermont is the only state less than $1,000 at $995.

You probably would not factor in car insurance costs when making a decision about the college you wish to go to. But, after choosing, you need to think hard about not having a car. Most freshmen will be busy getting used to college life and studying. A car is not needed.

>>Tips for cheaper car insurance for college students.

>>Free college money help.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

College students can be ripped off.

College students are very vulnerable to identity theft and getting ripped off. College is expensive enough without having to pay for scams and other things. Keep a close eye on your wallet. Watch out for these things can really dent your college budget.

If you buy a high priced item, like a stereo or ipad, the salesmen will try and get you to buy lots of extras to go with it. Chances are, you don't need them. And the costs will add up. You don't need a fancy carrying case, cover, stand, ear phones, or whatever other add-on they try and push on you. These items last of taken care off, so a college student should not waste money on paying for extra insurance. Chances are you will never use it. The exception is if you are prone to leave things around the dorm. You may want theft insurance, but can probably get this as part of your parents' homeowners insurance. Bottom line on that is to keep tabs on your property while in college.

College students use smartphones and laptops a lot. You get texts and emails. Sometimes these are scams. Don't open texts or emails when you don't know the sender. Don't fall for text scams that will get you to click then bill you on your phone bill. Never give your social security number, birthdate, or other personal information to anybody via text or email. You may get scam phone calls as well.

Are you close to your grandparents? Many college students are. There is a grandma scam going around. You get an email from your grandma's email account, with some sob story of how she is stuck somewhere and needs cash. She asks you to help. Don't do it. People are having their emails broken into and scamming people with these. Check home first if you think it may be legit.

Spring Break is near, and college students will be traveling. Don't be ripped off by travel scams. You will not get free trips by doing anything, no matter how hard a salesman tries to push you. Chances are, the free will cost you plenty. College students cannot afford to toss money away. Pay for trips with a credit card. That way you will be protected.

College students may need some quick cash. Do not get suckered into an offered loan by sending money. The scam works by asking you to pay a fee upfront, then they will send you the loan paper. Chances are, you will never see the loan and say good bye to your money.

College students need to be smart with their money!

>>How college students can avoid identity theft.

>>Get a medical school scholarship.

Friday, February 18, 2011

One Year Programs for Good Paying Jobs

You don't need a four year degree, or even a two year degree, to get a good job. There are several good paying, in demand jobs that can be gotten after a year or less of training. Here are a few.

Chef: Becoming a chef, cook, food preparer, takes less than a year on average. You can enroll in a public junior college, or private culinary institute. Some big restaurants have on the job training or internships. Chefs can earn on average between $45,000 and $70,000 a year.

Medical Assistant: Health care jobs are in demand. Paraprofessionals are becoming even more desirable. Medical assistants can do a wide variety of medical office tasks, like insurance forms, secretary, set up, even minor medical tasks like vital signs. Private and public career colleges have medical assistant programs that are less than one year. Earning power: $30,000-$40,000 a year.

Pharmacy technicians: Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies in drug stores and hospitals. They work filling drug orders and prescriptions under a registered pharmacist. Private and public career colleges have medical assistant programs that are less than one year. Earning power: $30,000-$40,000 a year.

Paralegal: The law profession is changing and paralegals are becoming quite popular. This one will be more than a year if you don't have a college degree now. But, if you do, then all you need is probably a paralegal certificate. If not, look at a two year program at a junior college. This may be more for a working adult looking to improve their job standing, or recently laid off. Earnings $50,000-$75,000 a year.

Graphic Designer: As the world moves to online media, graphic designers are going to increase in demand. You could probably learn this on your own using various programs, but you need a certificate or some portfolio to show some expertise. Some companies may have on the job training, offering jobs as assistants. Graphic designers can expect to earn about $35,000 a year.

>>5 jobs college students can get now.

>>Free college money help.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

When college students should not use credit cards.

College students are ripe for identity theft to begin with, as they live in an unsecured environment and share a lot of things. Like dorm rooms. College students like to have a little fun off campus as well. There are places and circumstances when you would not want to use a credit card, as the risk is increased.

Swap meets and flea markets. A lot of these booths that take credit cards do not have it hooked up electronically. If it is, over phone lines, etc., it may be secure. But many do the old fashioned way. With credit slips and carbon copies. This is very, very ripe for credit card abuse. If you do, be sure and get any carbon copy. Check out the establishment and determine if they look legit. Your personal information and credit card numbers are now on a piece of paper that may be found by many people. Even by accident.

Watch out for ATMs that are not a bank owned ATM. Major banks have ATMs on the outside of their banks. These are very secure. Use them if you need an ATM. Stand-alone ATMs at fairs and street corners, may not be owned by major bank and are not as secure. These are also more prone to getting the card swipe altered. If you must use one, look carefully at the card swipe and make sure it looks normal and not tampered with. Use your own bank's ATM and you will probably not be charged a large fee.

Anywhere you swipe your credit card, like gas stations, LOOK close to see if it has been tampered with. Look for tell-tale signs like wires and damage.

When traveling out of the country, like on Spring Break, use cash as much as possible. Large hotels and major businesses there probably is no risk in using a credit card. But small independent shops and restaurants have the same risks as the swap meets.

If you buy things online, make sure it is encrypted and secure with an https. If not, don't plug your credit card in. Some small businesses want a credit card number by email. Don't do it. Large retailers, and paypal, will always have a safe website. Also, don't use a credit card for anything while on a public wi-fi hotspot, like at Starbucks. It's not secure. This also includes buying stuff from your smartphone. Not as secure.

>>More tips for college students and credit cards.

>>Free college money help.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

College Admissions

College Admissions Tips

When it comes to applying to college, you need to do some research and narrow your school choice down. Which school has the programs you are looking for? This is your main criteria. You need to attend a school that will get you your major and career goal. Try and find about 6 schools that fit your needs. Use your time wisely and only apply to them.

Half of the list of colleges should schools that you have a reasonable chance, near 100%, of getting admitted. The rest should be ones that you have a good chance, maybe one where you would love to go, but may not get in.

Many students make the mistake of sending out dozens of applications. This is a waste of time, and since college is expensive, this added cost can mount quickly. That's why you want to pick a handful wisely. The best place to always look for help in this process is your high school counselor.

Factors to consider when choosing a college.

Do they offer your major? Do you have a reasonable assurance of getting admitted? Do you like small schools or large schools? Where is the college located? Climate? Is the student body diverse? Is it a public school or private? What is campus life like, are there a wide range of activities? What are the student housing options? College tours are popular, but again, you may be able to just research them online. If you go on a college tour, only pick a couple that are on your list. You will not need to visit them all.

Financial aid and cost.

Perhaps the biggest factor in choosing a college is cost and available financial aid. Many schools can get you the money you need and make up the difference you lack. Some schools won't. Some schools have more money to give away. Get admitted to a couple of schools, then compare financial aid package offers. Ask for more. You can always tell one school that another one is offering more, and see if they can renegotiate a better package. The financial aid office should be your main stop.

When to apply for college.
Between your junior and senior years in high school is when you should really start planning. Your choices should be narrows down when you start your senior year. Spend the summer getting everything you need, papers, resume, applications, etc. You high school counselor will have ways of making this easier, and probably have a checklist. Be sure and get loads of letters of letters of recommendation. Make sure your SAT scores are sent to all colleges you choose.

Around November is when you should start applying. January is when the fun really begins. Your first semester grades are in and should be sent. Many colleges require this. By February you should have everything done and done. That is, everything and anything the colleges you are applying to require. Again, your high school counselor can advise you.

The colleges will probably decide in March and April. Be sure and read all material from the college carefully. They may require an early commitment, or other material sent in. May 1st is the deadline of many colleges. Check out their financial packages and compare them. You may get on a waiting list. If this happens, you cannot delay much while on this list. If you do, you may miss out on another shcool and be left in the cold. It is courtesy to let a college know if you wish to remain on the waiting list. Remember that those admitted later will probably have a lower financial aid package.

Hopefully, you have been accepted to at least two colleges of your choice. The smart student picks one of those, and early!

Don't forget that final grade transcript when you graduate high school.

>>How to find college scholarships.


>>College Survivial tips.


>>College Money Help.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Working adults going to graduate school

Going to a full time graduate program can be tough on a working adult. Especially if the school requires almost exclusively that the student devote all their working time to school. If you are planning on going to graduate school, and work, you may look into the school. Do they forbid you working? They may have this rule if they are giving you some sort of a stipend or financial aid. The best position for doing graduate work is to not be working outside of school. Sometimes they do have some intern or externships that give you a salary. This may not be enough to live on.

If you choose to work, you always have the option of not telling anyone that you are working. But you may be breaking some rules, so check that first. Don't tell any fellow students or any of the instructors that you are working outside of class. But you have to be in school and participate in the required classes and activities 100% of the time. If you are being a stellar student, nobody will question your outside activities. Your job has to be one that is not very demanding, and has many options for work hours. You have got to have time in between classes and work. Do not expect to be a successful student if you are jumping from one to the other. You need to be a well-organized and motivated student.

Never let your job interfere with your studies. This is the biggest concern regarding working and graduate school. Your employer may require you to be there for a special meeting or event, at the exact time of a class activity. Any school projects must be taken care of without delay from working. Looking into other terms of financial aid, like loans may be a better option than working. College debt that leads to a better paying career is worth it.

>>Graduate school admission and financial aid.

>>5 jobs for college students.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Adult students returning to college

The economy has sent many people to the unemployment line. Many jobs that did not require a college degree, and were high paying, are now being eliminated. Adults having the option of returning to college may be in better shape. The good news is that adults can qualify for financial aid.

Because returning adults are most likely over the age of 24, they are independent students. The benefit is that you will not have to include your parent's income and assets when applying for financial aid. Your financial situation may entitle you to more financial aid.

If you are working on a bachelor's degree, you may qualify for Pell Grants. This is money you do not have to pay back. If you are working on a post graduate degree, you do not get grants unless you are going to be a teacher.

If you still work for a company in some capacity, check to see if they offer any scholarships or reimbursements for employees going to college. If your spouse works, check out their employer as well.

Check out what job possibilities you are looking at, and what college degrees may get you there. This way you can find out what financial aid and scholarships are available specifically for your program. Some programs, like teaching, have more money available.

Going back to school is not a bad option. It can increase your skills and delay job hunting.

>>Find College Scholarships.

>>Federal Pell Grants.

>>How to be a teacher and get a teaching job.