Thursday, December 30, 2010

Don't apply to college too early

Applying for college early may seem like a good thing. You get in as soon as you can. It sounds good, but in reality there are a few things you should consider. Before you apply to college, it is best to be armed with a little knowledge.

If you are not really qualified for the college of your choice, it really makes no difference when you apply. You most likely will not get in. It is true, however, that if you are just slightly below good qualifications, you may have a better chance by applying early. If you are highly qualified, it really makes no difference when you apply, so long as you meet the deadlines.

If you are looking for financial aid, do not commit early to one college. The more colleges you are accepted to, the better. You can have all your colleges compete with a financial aid package, and you pick the best value for your circumstances.

Some high schoolers are not ready to make decisions early. Do you really know what you want to do as a junior? Your interests may change, especially in your senior year. But don't delay too long. If you know you have a lot of colleges in mind, it can take quite a while to research and apply to all of them. Make the right choice about when to apply.

Remember that when you apply, that's the record you have up to that point. If you are a little bit lacking, this may hurt. You may need a little more time to pump up your GPA, take the right classes, and have more activities and interests on your college resume.

Remember, apply to colleges at the right time!

>>Tuition Free Colleges.

>>Pell Grants.

>> Cold feet? Try heated electric socks!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Things that can hurt your credit

College students need to think about their credit rating. They may need college loans and credit cards. The more you protect your credit, the better. Here are some things that may hurt your credit so beware.

Any old accounts may affect your credit rating. If you have older accounts that you no longer use, consider keeping them open. The longer you have credit and keep it in good standing, the better.

Don't make any late payments. Late payments can severely affect your credit rating. Paying on time is a good sign. Of course this will also save you money on any late fees.

Check your credit report and fix any errors. You have the right to challenge any errors and make statements or corrections.

Don't borrow more than you need. If your income is small, you want small debts. Avoid getting out of school with massive debt. Your debt to income ratio will be detrimental.

Don't max out your credit cards. Having everything maxed out to the limit is another bad sign. Try and avoid going over 50% of your credit limit.

Read more information:
>>College students and credit cards.

>>Tuition free colleges.

>>Pell Grants.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Debit Cards: Surprise Charges and Warnings

Many people, as well as college students, use debit cards on a daily basis. They are convenient. They are used like cash. You pay no interest like a credit card. But, many people don't know some things that can go wrong when using a debit card. College students are on a tight budget and can't afford even a few dollars lost. Here are some things to know about debit cards when making common purchases.

If you use a debit card, the money gets taken out of your account immediately. So, if you have a dispute with the merchant, they either need to give you a refund, or file a complaint with the bank. That's the problem. The money is gone from your account until it is resolved. With a credit card, the charge goes away during the dispute. Use your debit card at merchants that have good refund policies.

Many places that take debit cards for goods or services may put a hold on your account that is more than your charges. And take days to get that hold taken off. When you purchase gas, the station will probably immediately put a hold of $50 or more on your card. This is to prevent people from pumping more gas than can be put on their card. But even if you spend $20, it may take a few days for the real charge to appear and the other amount "returned" to you. That leaves you without access to your money for a while. Same is true with hotels. Hotels will put a charge to "hold" you accountable for any extra fees like room service, or even damage. This amount may not be reduced until well after you check out, even at a lower charged hotel bill.

This leads to the subject of overdraft protection. It can be bad or good. Due to new rules passed by congress, you must first approve the bank giving you overdraft protection. If not, then any purchase you make that puts you over your limit will probably be declined. This could leave you without a needed service. However, overdraft protection can work against you. There are huge fees associated with this. If you go over just a few dollars, you could end up being charged $20 for just a $2 over charge. Not worth it. Also remember those holds mentioned above? Those holds could put you over the limit and you will either be declined, or face a large overdraft fee. Example, you get gas and have $20 in your account. The gas station puts a hold of $50, sending you over the limit. You get charged an over the limit fee, but a few days later, the hold is gone. Not so the overdraft charge.

Debit cards are good because you pay no interest. But almost any merchant can and does charge you a small fee. Even a 25 cent charge each time can add up.

If you have a choice, it may be better to use a credit card for some purchases, like hotel, gas, and at merchants who may not be easy on refunds.

Read more tips for college students and credit cards.

Find college scholarships.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Finding Scholarships

Paying for college can be an expensive and stressful endeavor. College has become more expensive and money may be short. The economy has left many families and individuals left with worrying about paying for everyday items, let alone paying for college. Finding scholarships may be more important today than ever before. But don't pay a large sum of money to people and places that claim to be able to find scholarships. It is not worth it. There are no guarantees.

The best places to look for scholarships are right in front of you.

The high school counseling office will have information on virtually every real scholarship that is available to you, and whether you have a good chance of qualifying. If you are shopping for college money, stop there first! It's free!

Your parents probably have jobs and work for companies that give out scholarships to employees and their children. Get your parents to check this out. Many of these are automatically awarded if you enroll in college. A few dollars does not hurt your college budget bottom line.

The college you enroll in has many in-house scholarships. Ask the financial aid office for details.

Sometimes you do need to do a little research. But researching college scholarships is free. Stop by your local library to see if they have books on the shelf that deal with college scholarship searches.

There is nothing wrong with spending a couple of dollars on scholarship books. They are fairly cheap, and it may help in finding some scholarships you may not know of. But remember, this is a very little cost compared to some paid scholarship searches. Don't fall into a trap of paying out big money for almost nothing. There is nothing a college scholarship search is going to find that you can't find yourself for free. Click here for the best college scholarship books.

The bottom line is never to pay much, if anything, for finding college scholarships.

>>More college scholarship help.

>>Nursing scholarships.

>>Sports scholarships.