The Basics of Buying a Car

scholarship_interviewDeciding which car to buy is a larger decision than choosing a brand and model. You must also decide between buying and leasing, and if you decide to buy, you have a choice between a new and a used car. Choosing between buying and leasing depends, among other things, on your financial situation and whether you keep your cars for a long time. If you decide to buy, you will either buy a new or a used car. Again, this decision depends on your finances, whether you would receive any rebates or cost breaks with a new car, and other factors.

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Your Guide to Understanding Credit

Credit Basics  What it is, why it’s so important

165 (1).jpgAs a college student, you have probably received offers for credit cards. If you have graduated, the number of credit card offers has probably continued, if not increased. Exactly what is credit and why is it important? In this section you will find out the answers to these questions:

What exactly is credit?
What are the benefits of credit?
What is the difference between a credit and a debit card?
What is good credit?
How is credit established?
How can good credit be maintained?

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Smart Spending in School

smart_spendingOkay, freshmen: Getting away from your parents can be a liberating experience. It’s an opportunity to prove you’re an adult and can do it on your own. However, this newfound freedom comes with a down side: its expensive being an adult. As you’ll probably soon find out, things cost more than you think they do, something your parents probably tried explaining for the last 18 years. To get you set for your first year of college here are some freshmen financial tips to help ensure you don’t end up breaking to bank to pay for your new-found independence.

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7 Life Insurance Myths for Young Adults

younginsThere are many misconceptions about life insurance, and who should invest in it. Policies can be complex and difficult to understand, and life insurance has the unpleasant association with death, so it’s just easier not to think about it. 40% of adults have no life insurance, according to the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE).  Here are the top 7 myths about life insurance for young adults and the facts behind them.  

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The Student Loan Debt Crisis

Student loan debt is on the minds of millions of Americans, including students, their parents, financial institutions, and government officials, all of whom are trying to deal with the growing debt crisis.

college_debt.jpgRecent statistics are clear that this issue affects a large segment of the country with approximately 37 million Americans living with outstanding student loan debt. This isn’t a new problem, in fact 60% of these people are adults age 30 and over and they are responsible for 610 billion in outstanding student loan debts. More recent grads who are under 30 make up the remaining 40% and account for another $292 billion. About a decade ago the number of college dropouts who took out loans were less than 25%, today that number has risen to 30% implying that college dropouts are on the rise.

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Budgeting with Mint.com

mint

Creating a budget: it’s something everyone knows is important, in theory, but few people take the time to create and stick to one. Throughout history, setting a budget has required a lot of time and even more math. However, with the internet age comes a plethora of new ways to help you understand where you spend your money. Beyond tracking where your money goes, these budgeting sites includes tools to help you set goals for savings and long term, big purchases like a new home.

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Staple Foods on a Budget

stapleHas anyone ever told you not to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach? Well it’s true, and most people will agree. You crave almost everything you see and in the end you buy unnecessary items. There is a better way to cook and shop while staying on a budget. Buy these staple foods and learn to get creative. Living on a budget does not mean you have to eat ramen every night, but it does mean you need to be smart about what you buy and what you make. Convenience foods are a lifesaver when it’s 6 o’clock on a weekday and you have no dinner plans. Be aware that this list does not take into account food allergies or restrictions.

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Credit Report Basics

living_budgetYou are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies each year. You can do this by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.  This is the only authorized free credit report service.  All others are impostors. Although you can request all three reports at the same time, you can monitor your credit more frequently by spacing the reports throughout the year.  Additionally, if you are turned down for credit, insurance, or employment, you are eligible for an additional free report from the agency they consulted.  To request this report, contact the appropriate agency within 60 days. Continue reading “Credit Report Basics”

Private vs. Federal Loans: Which is Better?

loansCollege can be a pricey endeavor. For students without scholarships or who don’t have generous parents to fall back on, there are few options left to pay for their education. Working during school is an one option, however many degree paths don’t allow for the time commitment to hold down a job. This leaves student loans as the only viable alternative to pay for school for many students. Continue reading “Private vs. Federal Loans: Which is Better?”

A 401(K) and Your Future

401kSaving for retirement seems like a long way off. But the truth of the matter is, you will retire one day and you will have to provide for yourself and possibly others. The more you prepare and start to save, the better off you will be. If you start young, you could even have million dollars saved up by the time you retire. It can be confusing to get started, and a new survey from Charles Schwab shows that you are not alone in your confusion.

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