7 tips on getting a student loan

If you’re graduating from college today, you’re in a completely different situation than your parents were. The cost of college tuition and fees has increase over 1000 percent since the late 1970’s. During that same period, medical expenses climbed just over 600 percent and the cost of food has increase just under 250 percent. So college tuition increases have far outpaced the costs of other goods. The average graduate today owes around $29,000 in debt. That’s a hefty sum, and knowing how to handle that sort of debt burden can be extremely difficult. Here are some tips for knowing how to deal with your student loans in the smartest way possible.

1. Account for your payments in your budget. Before making any major purchases, make sure that you account for the percentage of your budget that will be taken up by loan payments. Many financial advisors recommend a 50-30-20 rule, meaning that – after taxes – you would spend 50 percent of each check on necessities, 30 percent on luxuries, and 20 percent on debt and savings. Of course, in some income brackets that just isn’t possible, especially depending on the cost of living in your area. However, that’s the goal and it’s good to aim for it.

2. Learn about your grace period. After leaving school, you have a grace period before you have to begin repaying your loans. You should know exactly what your grace period is and exactly when it starts. The length of the grace period varies based on the type of loan. For instance, federal Stafford loans allow a six-month grace period; federal Perkins loans allow a nine-month grace period; and federal PLUS loan grace period vary based on when they were issue. Private student loan grace periods vary, so make sure that you contact your lender or reread your paperwork around the time that you graduate so that you know exactly how long you have. If you already have a job and can make payments, though, you may as well skip the grace period to get your payments done sooner.

3. Understand your repayment options. There are various repayment options for student loans. Federal student loan repayments are automatically based on a 10-year plan. However, if you can’t get a sufficiently high-paying job to afford that or if your cost of living is just too high, you can opt for a longer repayment plan. That will make your monthly payments lower but the total cost of repayments will be higher because the total interest payments will be higher.

4. Make extra payments whenever possible. When you have the opportunity, you should pay extra toward the principal on your debt. Paying it off sooner will mean that you have less total interest that you have to pay. However, if you qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness then you can be forgiven the remainder of your loan after making 120 qualifying payments – which usually means 10 years of payments.

5. Learn about deferments and forbearance. If you find that you aren’t able to make your monthly loan payments for whatever reason, you may need to look into deferment and forbearance. In either case, you are permitted not to make loan payments for a certain period of time, but in the case of a deferment you may not be charged interest during that time while in the case of a forbearance you will certainly be charged interest. Peace Corps service, military service, inability to find a job for a certain period of time, and certain qualifying types of jobs can allow you to get a deferment. If you don’t qualify for deferment, you can still request a forbearance. Neither deferments nor forbearances are automatic – usually you will need to ask your lender in either case.

6. Pay off the most expensive loans the soonest. If you have different loans, they probably have different interest rates. If you have the ability to pay any of your loans ahead of schedule, start with the ones that have the highest interest rate.

7. Learn about loan forgiveness options. As mentioned above, Public Service Loan Forgiveness is an option if you work in government, nonprofit, or other jobs that are considered public service. Also, if you are a teacher, nurse, AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps volunteer, there are certain federal loan forgiveness programs that may be available to you. There may also be state and private forgiveness programs available to you.

8. Be careful in consolidating. If you decide to consolidate your loans into a single payment with a single interest rate, be careful about it. You should never consolidate federal student loans into a private student loan because there are federal loan borrower benefits that you will lose – like unemployment deferments and certain loan forgiveness programs – if you consolidate to a private loan.

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Small Life Changes Can Make You Rich

Money Habits: Small Life Changes That Can Make You Rich

Money Habits Book puts together some of the best advice on how to save, spend, and invest your money. Open this book and you will open new opportunities for your financial freedom; you will access a new way of understanding how the monetary mechanism works – an easy-to-follow guide to adopt simple habits that can change your life for good because even if it doesn’t bring happiness, money can bring a lot of nice changes. The question is: are you ready to learn how to create a budget and make your money work for you instead of simply work for your money? Are you ready to jump off that always-drifting boat which holds captive those people (who are most people) who have lost control over their financial situation?

Download Money Habits Now.

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The Best Personal Finance Book of 2014

We picked the best personal finance book of 2014 for you:

Money Habits: Small Life Changes That Can Make You Rich

Money Habits puts together some of the best advice on how to save, spend, and invest your money. Open this book and you will open new opportunities for your financial freedom; you will access a new way of understanding how the monetary mechanism works – an easy-to-follow guide to adopt simple habits that can change your life for good because even if it doesn’t bring happiness, money can bring a lot of nice changes. The question is: are you ready to learn how to create a budget and make your money work for you instead of simply work for your money? Are you ready to jump off that always-drifting boat which holds captive those people (who are most people) who have lost control over their financial situation?

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7 tips for quitting your day job and starting own business

Quitting your day job to embark on another career or start your own business is a huge and frightening step. If you do it, though, you want to make sure you do it right. Here are seven great tips for quitting your day job & starting own business and making a successful transition:

1. Have a plan.

Don’t just quit. Whenever people tell stories of their successful transitions into other careers, they tend to leave out all the planning that went into that transition. You don’t just up and quit your day job and immediately start a successful new career. You need to have a very specific plan of action in mind, you need to do everything possible in preparation, and if possible you should start on some of the basics for your new career before completely quitting your old. In some cases, there may be a legal conflict if you’re going from one endeavor to something else in the same field and generally it won’t be possible to make a full-time commitment to a new career while still working your regular job. However, there are certain things you can do to prepare yourself.

2. Save some money.

You probably won’t start seeing significant profits right away, so you need to be able to pay your bills in the meantime. Remember, once you’re self-employed, you’ll have to pay for your own insurance, too. Of course, many times it just isn’t possible to save up money in advance – and often the fact that you can’t do that may be part of the reason you’re looking for a switch. In that case, though, you may want to think about finding a part-time job to help tide you over until your new business starts seeing appreciable profits.

3. Get educated.

While you’re still planning and saving up money and preparing to quit your regular job, you can work on getting yourself educated about your new field of work. You might find a relevant class at a local community college or, if there are certifications that might help achieve legitimacy in your new field, you might want to look into getting the training necessary for those. You might find online classes that will help or you may just want to read books that relate to the industry. In any case, having a solid base of knowledge in your field is important and it is one thing that you can definitely develop before leaving your current job.

4. Do your research.

You need to be sure that you know what has worked and what hasn’t worked in your new field. You need to know how much each marketing venue will cost and how much each license or certificate you need will cost. You need to have your website ready to launch and, if you want to accept online payments, consider whether you need to have a merchant account set up that will accept credit cards. Have all these things researched and ready to go so that you know exactly what your costs and expected timeline will be before you quit your current job. You don’t want to quit your current job and then find out that you haven’t planned sufficiently for the expenses of your new career.

5. Make a schedule.

Once you are your own boss, it is important that you stick to a schedule. Even if you’re running an online business and don’t need to show up at a certain place at a certain time to deal with your customers, you should still adhere to a schedule. Scheduling is important so that you get a sense of how much time you are putting in to your work and what kind of profits you are realizing from that time investment.

6. Understand that it won’t be easy.

Although there are many advantages to having your own business such as the ability to set your own schedule, being your own boss, and doing something you love, running your own business is difficult. It requires a lot of planning, you won’t see success immediately, you’ll have to deal with a lot of overhead expenses, and you won’t necessarily have a stable income. You just need to be aware of these things before quitting your day job.

7. Don’t burn bridges.

When you’re quitting a job you didn’t particularly like, it can be very tempting to go out with a bang – curse out your incompetent boss or flip off upper management on the way out the door. Even if you’re going into a different field of work and are pretty sure you’re never going to see anyone from your old job again, you never know. So be prudent. There was a time when it was possible that you might not ever cross paths with someone from an old job, especially if you moved far away. Now, though, in the age of the internet bad behavior could haunt you for a long time to come.

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New Book – Retired at 35: A Plan for Early Retirement

The truth is most of us don’t even think they deserve a life of financial freedom but it’s also true that all of us would just love to be able to do what we want, when we want and cut loose from any pecuniary related worries and restraints forever. I ask you now: how often do you reflect on this possibility?

The thing is, if you do think of an early retirement you probably know or think also of the things you would do if money wasn’t a problem for you anymore. There are, of course, the somehow to be expected answers such as becoming more involved with your family, spending more time with your friends, visiting all the places you’ve always wanted to visit, joining a noble cause etc. and they are all just wonderful, but I do believe that even here there is so much more unexplored potential that would ultimately reveal itself in its fullness when you once you are no longer financially confined. But it’s not the same for everybody – for some, who are aware of the dreams or the passions they want to pursue, the latter become the very motivator for fighting to achieve their financial liberation, for others this exact financial liberation is the driving force, the means through which they hope to finally be able to be with themselves and learn those things they love doing most in this life. Whatever side you take here, this book is for you.

Probably the main thing we are facing when considering retiring at an early age is making sure we have enough resources to provide a decent level of income to support us. So, yes, saving is a major topic in this case, but how much should we save and how should we save? Which are the options available for us? This book address these questions in a very accessible way offering you a quick start guide to taking the steps you need on your way to an early financial retirement.

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New Book – Passive Income: Strategies for a More Active Life

Know right from the start that if you want to earn passive income, this doesn’t just happen over night. It might mean essentially that you no longer have to put that much sweat and time into work but certainly that doesn’t refer to the beginning of the journey when quite the opposite is true. You have to prepare yourself if you want to switch from the traditional way of making money to the passive one. But don’t worry, if you are reading this book, it means you have already started to prepare because the preparation we are talking about is mainly related to research and documentation.

What we want is to help you accomplish your objective – and what’s that objective, again? To increase and improve the ways your money work for you, to build alternative and additional streams of income so you can gradually cut yourself loose from a rigid system and become financially free. It doesn’t mean that what you will take away from this book will make you wealthy instantly but it surely means you will be better equipped to deal with the economic challenges on your way to reaching your goals and more confident that financial freedom is something totally attainable.

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Best Personal Finance Books of 2014

Money Maker: Seven Steps Plan to Financial Freedom

Being financially free is not about luck, an obsession with money, or sacrificing all the fun in life. Being financially free is, more than anything, about being conscious of your actions and knowledgeable about how the monetary system works so that you can always make the right financial decisions. By enhancing your understanding of how your actions, thoughts, and emotions create a network that affects your financial status, Money Maker: Seven Step Plan to Financial Freedom guides you toward mastering this network. In order to maximize your wealth, you must cultivate good habits, utilizing a wide variety of information and financial management tools, such as budgets, bank accounts, insurances, and savings plans. Developing such habits is a process that requires self-discipline, but it can be made easier by breaking things into a series of steps.

The aim of this book is to examine the process involved in attaining financial freedom and guide you through the steps that can move you toward achieving your financial goals. It shows how anybody can improve his or her financial status by wisely using resources that are always available and ready to be fructified.

Money Habits: Small Life Changes That Can Make You Rich 

Money Habits puts together some of the best advice on how to save, spend, and invest your money. Open this book and you will open new opportunities for your financial freedom; you will access a new way of understanding how the monetary mechanism works – an easy-to-follow guide to adopt simple habits that can change your life for good because even if it doesn’t bring happiness, money can bring a lot of nice changes. The question is: are you ready to learn how to create a budget and make your money work for you instead of simply work for your money? Are you ready to jump off that always-drifting boat which holds captive those people (who are most people) who have lost control over their financial situation?

Read More

New Book: Money Habits – Small Life Changes That Can Make You Rich

Money Habits puts together some of the best advice on how to save, spend, and invest your money. Open this book and you will open new opportunities for your financial freedom; you will access a new way of understanding how the monetary mechanism works – an easy-to-follow guide to adopt simple habits that can change your life for good because even if it doesn’t bring happiness, money can bring a lot of nice changes. The question is: are you ready to learn how to create a budget and make your money work for you instead of simply work for your money? Are you ready to jump off that always-drifting boat which holds captive those people (who are most people) who have lost control over their financial situation?

Order this book on Amazon.

Read More