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6
Feb

The Facts About Student Loan Consolidation

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college student 300x200 The Facts About Student Loan Consolidation

Photograph Courtesy Of CollegeDegrees360

Many of the students graduating college have several college loans that they will be expected to start paying shortly after they have graduated. These loans generally have varying interest rates and payment dates, making it difficult to keep everything straight while dealing with everything else that life after college throws at you. Consolidating your student loans may seem like the best option but there are some things that you should be aware of about student loan consolidation before making the decision. Here are the facts that you should know about student loan consolidation.

Consolidation Streamlines Your Payments

One of the biggest benefits of consolidating your student loans is reducing the number of payments that you must make each month. The average college graduate can have several loans for each year that they spent in college, resulting in a large number of different payments that must be made when they begin to repay the loans. Trying to remember all of the payment dates can be a big headache, so it is best to simplify the process as much as possible.

Consolidation Allows You To Explore Alternative Payment Plans

If you are having difficulty making all of your student loan payments each month on your current income, consolidating your student loans into a single loan allows you to explore some alternative payment plans that were not available with your original lender. Most standard repayment plans are based on a ten-year repayment period, while consolidation loans can be taken out with a repayment period of 15, or even 30, years. Stretching out the repayment period can lower your monthly payments, but you could end up paying more in interest over time.

Your Overall Interest Rate May Be Lower

When determining what the fixed interest rate should be for a consolidation loan, the lender offering the consolidation loan will use the weighted average of your current loans’ interest rates, rounded up to the nearest 1/8 of a percent. After this determination is made, the fixed interest rate for the consolidation loan may lower your overall student loan interest rate. This could allow you to pay much less in interest over time and pay off your loan earlier than you would have been able to with your original loans. However, if you happen to consolidate while interest rates are falling, you may actually get locked into a higher interest rate compared to one you could secure down the road, and once you lock in that consolidation loan rate, there’s not much you can do to change it.

3
Feb

Protect Yourself From Tax Identity Theft This Year

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IRS 300x217 Protect Yourself From Tax Identity Theft This Year

Photograph Courtesy Of Matthew G. Bisanz

Many people are going to get an unhappy surprise this year. The income tax refund checks that they have been waiting on will never show up at their home, diverted by a criminal that stole their identity or successfully changed the address that the refund should have been going towards. Tax-related identity theft can be a nightmare for those who end up caught in the web and more people are being affected every year. To avoid becoming a victim, you should follow these tips.

File As Early As You Can

Instead of waiting until the last minute to file your income taxes with the federal and state governments, you should try to send in your information as soon after you receive the relevant documents as you can. Filing your taxes as soon as your W-2s arrive not only eliminated the chances that you will miss the filing date and have to pay a penalty, it also reduces the risks that someone will be able to steal your documents and file fraudulently in your name. However, if you do not have the money available to pay your taxes at that time, you will have to store your completed tax forms and documents in a secure location until you can send the money that you owe with your completed tax information.

Keep Your Documents Secure

It is easier for criminals to steal your identity and your tax refund if they have your tax documents from your employer or your bank in hand. It is important for you to keep an eye on your mail and keep your tax documents secure once you have received them. The “Tax Documents Enclosed” label on the front of the envelope makes it very easy for criminals to spot their target. If your mailbox does not lock and you are gone most of the day, consider investing in one that does lock or a post office box at your local post office for additional security.

File Online

Filing online is one of the fastest and easiest ways available for filing your taxes. There are a number of vendors that supply online tax forms for electronic filing and many people are able to file their federal income tax forms online for free. The forms are transmitted instantly, you immediately receive a confirmation that your information was submitted successfully, you do not have to guess at how much postage is needed to send in your forms, and your return will be processed more quickly. You can also have your refund direct-deposited into your bank account to receive the funds as quickly as possible.

3
Feb

Using Loans To Improve Your Credit Score

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Superhero Infographic 136x1024 Using Loans To Improve Your Credit ScoreIf you are suffering with a bad credit score, it is time to take action. Having a credit score that is in the good to excellent range can have many benefits for multiple areas of your life, so it is important for you to get your credit score as high as you can as quickly as you can.

Fortunately, many people are discovering that loans can help them improve their credit score, opening up financial doors that would have previously been closed to them. Even if you have bad credit, you can obtain a loan to help you reach your financial goals. Here are some of the ways that you can use loans to improve your credit score.

Using The Loans For Debt Consolidation

Using loans for debt consolidation can help you increase your credit score by a significant amount and save you money as well. The aim is to take out one large loan that can be used to pay off several smaller loans that have high interest rates, like credit card debt.

For example, borrowers with bad credit can obtain unsecured loans from Aspire at a lower interest rate than what they are paying to the credit card company and use it to pay off their credit cards, reducing the number of payments they must make each month and reducing the amount of interest they will pay over time. This allows you to pay off your debts quicker, which will provide a significant boost to your credit score.

Using The Loans To Add Positive Information To Credit History

Having different types of debts on your credit history can help to improve your credit score. Creditors want to be able to see that you can handle multiple types of debt without defaulting, so having both revolving and non-revolving debt will get you a higher credit score than having just one or the other. There are many different types of loans that can be used to satisfy this criteria and boost your credit score, including personal loans, auto loans, and lines of credit.

It is important to only apply for loans that you have the financial means to pay back while still being able to save money for unexpected financial issues. Defaulting on one of these loans will be worse for your credit score than if you had never had the loan on your credit history at all.

31
Jan

Save More Money By Paying Your Bills Online

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paying bills 225x300 Save More Money By Paying Your Bills Online

Photograph Courtesy Of Karl Baron

People are always looking for ways to save more money, but they often overlook the small costs that they make repeatedly, which tend to add up to a large amount of money over time. One example of this is paying your bills through the mail every month. Paying your bills through the mail requires a number of small purchases that, by themselves, would be barely noticeable, but taken together could add up to several hundred dollars each year, depending on the number of bills you need to pay. Here are some of the multiple ways that you can save money by paying your bills online.

No More Buying Postage Products

One of the best things about paying your bills online is that you will no longer have to buy postage products to send out your payments. While many businesses provide you with a payment envelope for mailing back your payment checks, you will still need to purchase stamps for each envelope that you send out. Not having to stand in line at the post office will save you a considerable amount of time. You will also save money by using a lower number of checks each month for payments, allowing each book of checks purchased to last much longer.

No More Late Payment Charges

Another benefit to paying your bills online is the speed at which the transaction is completed. The fibre optic cables that connect many homes and businesses to the internet allow the payment transactions to occur almost instantly, reducing your chances of a payment arriving late and triggering a late payment charge. Since late payment charges can range anywhere from $3 to $39, it can be very beneficial financially to ensure that all payments are made before their due dates.

Watch Out For Additional Fees

When paying your bills online, it is very important to watch out for additional fees charged by the company or a third party for using an online portal to make your payment. Many companies will not charge you anything for paying your bill from them through their website, but some companies use a third party company for online payments and these companies typically charge a couple of dollars for each transaction. In these cases, it will be cheaper for you to make your payment through the mail.