How can you build up credit?

You probably know that it’s important to have a good credit score in today’s world. Once you’re out of school, you’ll need to have healthy credit to buy a car and maybe someday, a house. You may not be aware that credit also affects what you pay for insurance, or that many employers look at a person’s credit history before deciding whether to hire them.

But how can you get credit when you don’t have a credit history? Here are three ways: Continue reading

Great answers for common job interview questions

Even if you’re not ready to enter the workforce, it’s important to sharpen your interviewing skills. Nearly every job (and many academic programs) involves an interview at some point. No matter how qualified you may be, how you answer a few questions may be the deciding factor. Here are some of the most common questions — along with smart ways to answer them. Continue reading

A student loan that’s a PLUS

If you’re struggling to find money to cover your college costs, and the school’s financial aid package doesn’t go far enough, there’s a special kind of loan that may be helpful.

It’s called a PLUS loan, which stands for Parent Loan to Undergraduate Students. With a PLUS loan, your parent actually agrees to borrow money for you. Your parent takes out the loan, and you use the proceeds to pay for tuition, textbooks, living expenses, or other needs. Continue reading

Do you “want” it or “need” it?

Many students are managing their own expenses for the first time. If that includes you, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of money management comes down to making decisions. After all, you can only spend money once, so you want to be sure that you make the right choices.

One of the most important money-management lessons you can learn is the difference between wants and needs. In fact, not understanding the difference is one of the biggest reasons people get into trouble with money. Continue reading

Get A Job Or Take A Bigger Loan?

In the long run, earning a college degree should mean that your lifetime income will be substantially higher than what you’d make without one. But in the short term, it can be tough to pay the cost of getting that degree. Students who are struggling to make ends meet as they face their next tuition bill may be wondering if it makes more sense to get a job, or if they’d be better off taking out larger student loans. Continue reading

How NOT to use Student Loans

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When you take out student loans, you may have the opportunity to borrow more than you actually need for tuition, fees, books, and room and board. It can be tempting to ask for extra money to cover other costs associated with going to school — but it usually isn’t a great idea. That’s because student loans can be very costly. The bigger they get, the more time it takes to pay them off, and the more expensive they become.

In simple terms, it’s okay to use your loans to cover things that will have a long-term benefit, such as the cost of your degree and basic room and board. It’s generally not a good idea to borrow for things that will be consumed very quickly, like Saturday-night pizzas, munchies, adult beverages (of course, we’re referring to fancy coffee drinks), or concert tickets. Continue reading

FAFSA is Changing This Year

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The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form is the first step in obtaining financial aid for postsecondary education. For years, students and parents have rushed to file their taxes so they’d have the information needed to complete it. Then they’d wait anxiously to see what their chosen colleges had to offer. Or, they’d enter estimates and have to go back and correct them once they filed their taxes.

This year, there’s no need to rush, because the federal government has changed two key details. First, instead of waiting until January 1, you can file your FAFSA form starting this October. That means you’ll be able to receive financial aid offers from schools much earlier. Second, you’ll be able to use older tax information, instead of waiting to file the current year’s return. For example, students who will be taking classes during the 2017-2018 school year are able to use tax information from 2015, and start filing the FAFSA as early as October 1 of this year. Continue reading