student loans

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A Debt-Free College Degree? Yes, It’s Still Possible

Chances are your Facebook feed is lined with cute pictures of the first day of school. And everywhere you turn, there’s a back-to-school promotion. Too bad there aren’t any sales on college education. Quite the opposite, in fact. The average cost of tuition, room and board at American four-year colleges has more than doubled in the past 20 years, while the Consumer Price Index rose only 35 percent. With average costs at $11,970 (public 2-year), $20,770 (in-state public 4-year), $36,420 (out-of-state public 4-year) and $46,950 (private 4-year) per year, it’s no wonder Americans carry a larger student loan debt burden than ever. About 44 million people are on the hook for over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt. For perspective, total U.S. credit card debt is “only” $860 billion. If you or your college-bound child want to avoid the average $35,000-plus debt burden on graduation day, here are 10 ways…

5 Things to Consider When You Have Student Loans and No Job

What happens when you graduated months ago, but haven’t found a job and are starting to feel your student loans breathing down your neck? First of all, don’t panic. Start by figuring out exactly what you owe, by when. Many students loans, including direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans and Federal Stafford loans, have a six-month grace period after graduation, dropping out of school or dropping below half-time status before you need to start making payments. PLUS loans have no grace period. Grace periods on private loans and Federal Perkins loans vary wildly, so it’s important to know what exactly you owe, beginning when. These grace periods are designed to give you time to get a job after graduation. Don’t worry – you aren’t the only graduate who is reaching the end of the grace period with no employment in sight. Don’t Ignore Your Student Loans Before making any other decisions,…

5 Personal Finance Milestones in Your 20s

Your 20s is an amazing time of adventure, career building, self-discovery and building the foundation for a path to navigate your financial life. Reaching life’s biggest financial goals requires a plan that starts with a series of important financial milestones. Follow along to learn about five major personal finance milestones in your 20s and how to achieve those important goals. Building an Emergency Fund The first financial milestone of your 20s involves savings. Specifically, emergency savings. A GoBankingRates survey found nearly two thirds of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. That means they can’t afford to fix a broken car, cover a surprise medical bill or replace a dead furnace without dipping into credit cards or struggling to pay for other bills. At the bare minimum, you should have at least two weeks of cash or one paycheck in savings. This helps you avoid living paycheck to paycheck. Once…

Insurance Protection for College Students

Term life insurance likely isn’t on the radar for college students. They are focused on hanging out with friends, finding an internship and keeping up with social media. After all, they’re young and healthy and any vague thought about an untimely death is scary business and best avoided. Financial experts, on the other hand, advise that term life insurance for college students is extremely important to at least these categories: Students whose parents have co-signed a student loan. Students with a family or financial obligations like a mortgage or other debt. Students with dependent families. The High Cost of Education Consider, first, that college education is a huge investment that may require a student loan. Check out these average costs of tuition and fees for the 2017-18 school year: private colleges – $34,740; state residents at public colleges – $9,970; out-of-state residents attending public universities – $25,620. Multiply those dollars by…

Why Spending a Year at Home is a Brilliant Financial Move for Millennials

After graduating from college, society says it is time to get a job, an apartment and start on your way to the American dream. But what if that plan is outdated and a year at home after college makes more sense? The math shows that a year back home makes financial sense and it is losing the stigma it had only a few years ago. Let’s take a look at recent trends and why a year in your childhood bedroom may pay dividends for years to come. More Millennials Moving Back Home A recent TD Ameritrade survey found 26 percent of millennials in college plan to move back home when they finish school, according to the Pew Research Center. As of last summer, Americans in the 18-34 age range are more likely to live with their parents than any other living situation. It is the first time in 130 years…

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