Best Credit Builder Loans for Fresh Graduates

Strong credit can help you buy a car or get a decent mortgage rate later when you graduate. If you are looking to increase your score as a fresh graduate, you might consider a “credit builder” loan. Here is a quick summary of what they are and how they can help you improve your credit, by getting one of the best credit builder loans.

Your credit score is determined by a combination of factors, including what type of credit accounts you have open and how much credit you have available. The best private student loans can help you improve your score by offering a line of credit that is reported to each of the three offices. They are generally offered by credit unions.

You are approved for a certain amount, generally, not more than $1,000, reports credit expert John Ulzheimer. But the loan amount is not given. Instead, the credit union places it in a savings account that earns interest. Then you make monthly payments. When the loan is repaid, you get the money in the account, Ulzheimer explains. It is like paying for money before borrowing it. After all, the idea is not to access money. It is to improve your score.

Like Ulzheimer, credit expert Alex Gerard recommends these types of loans to build credit. He tells that combined with a credit card, these loans can help you establish and increase your score in one year. But keep in mind that most credit unions charge interest on their monthly fees, so you’ll end up paying off the loan, as reported by the New York Times. Basically, you’re paying to increase your score, but the Times adds that some nonprofits offer 0% interest loans. If you opt for a credit generator loan, make sure you know what the rate is.

Best Credit Builder Loan To Consider In 2020

Many banks and other financial institutions provide customers with credit builder loans. The most prominent bodies are credit unions, web-based lenders, and banks. These entities offer loans stapled with different interest rates, principal loan amounts, processing fees, and repayment terms.

For anyone looking to secure a credit builder loan, the most resourceful suggestion would be to evaluate your options and find an affordable choice. It must also be a lender that reports to credit reporting agencies (such as those who provide student loan forgiveness for nurses) and has nominal interest rates, such as the best student loans.

Here are your options:

Best Credit Builder Loans From Banks

1.  Republic Bank

This bank holds a C- BBB rating and according to experts, their credit builder program can likely improve your credit score in as little as a year. Funds you borrow will be kept in a Certificate of Deposit (CD), where it will earn interest during the repayment tenure.

  • Amount: $500 to $1,500
  • Term period: 12, 18, or 24 months
  • Lowest APR: 6.37%
  • Fees: $10 (processing fee)

2.  Heartland Bank

This particular bank has an A+ rating from BBB and credit builder loan comes in their Small Dollar Loan Program. It allows you to repair or build your personal credit. The amount of money is directly transferred into a Heartland Bank Simply Savings Account where the sitting funds ear interest on repayment.

  • Loan Amount: $500 – $1,500
  • Term Length: 12 months
  • Lowest APR: 14.65%
  • Fees: $25 (document fee)

3.  Self

It was previously known as Self Lender and has received an A- BBB rating. Self’s website is quite interactive and user-friendly, which helps you understand their credit builder loan program in complete detail. You can also see how differently monthly terms change the cost of your loan. Loans here are FDIC insured, and you can benefit from the option of closing your or paying off early.

  • Loan Amount: $600 – $1,800
  • Term Length: 12 – 24 months
  • Lowest APR: 15.92%
  • Fees: $9 (administrative fee)

Best Credit Union Credit Builder Loans

1.  Metro Credit Union

This credit union also has an A+ BBB rating and is the highest-rated credit builder loan by us. Funds are directly deposited into a Metro Savings account where the money will earn divided during the repayment term.

  • Loan Amount: $500 – $3,000
  • Term Length: Up to 24 months
  • Lowest APR: 4.10%
  • Fees: None

2.  Digital Federal Credit Union

This financial institution won an ABBB rating. Customers can earn dividends via a DCU Savings account during the repayment of loans. The credit builder loan has a rating of 3/5 on their website.

  • Loan Amount: $500 – $3,000
  • Term Length: 12 – 24 months
  • Lowest APR: 5.00%
  • Fees: None

Best Student Loans for New Students in 2020

University education opens many doors to work and is an invaluable tool for professional and personal growth. When a family does not have enough assets to cope with such a large expense, the best student loans come into play. Loans are granted by the federal government or by private institutions. On the other hand, these sums of money that at first seem easy to pay increase over time due to the high interest they have.

In most countries, university education is paid, and even those universities that call themselves public charge excessive fees to their students, who can do little to pay for them. This is why student loans are part of a reality for many of us.

They have seen as a “good debt” that thousands of students acquire each year with the aim of paying for their studies without taking into account that loans can be lent to scams and are difficult to pay, thus sinking the economy of a whole family.

If you are on the home stretch, your college life is ready to come to an end, and you will soon be facing “the real world.” It is exciting and scary, all at the same time. It is the moment to put that knowledge that you have acquired to use and, unfortunately, to pay all that debt that you have accumulated.

When you apply for a loan, you have two options to turn to, a public body, the Federal Department of Education, or a private institution such as a bank or other financial institution. Avoid loans from financial or short-term lenders. The interest these companies charge is high, and late payment penalties may keep you in debt longer than expected. Instead, the federal government is best, as it offers a variety of payment plan alternatives, debt forgiveness benefits, and loan consolidation and rehabilitation programs, which are covered by federal law.

Limit The Amounts Of Money

The specialists in the subject advise being measured in the sums of money that are requested, so you will have to take into account several factors to determine the amount. These are: the cost of the school you will attend, the price of the books and supplies you will need for classes, how much money your family can help you with and if you can count on financial aid or some type of scholarship.

Beyond these factors, it is recommended not to request an amount greater than $10,000 per year, since entering the workforce with a cumulative debt of $40,000 is a recipe for disaster.

It is possible that starting a university career will be complicated due to its high cost, but there are numerous entities that offer us the best student loans that try to make access to these studies for all people. In the US, we not only find banks that offer this type of loan but due to their high demand, there are companies specialized only in offering loans for the University. Throughout the following article, we will see some of the best loans for University students, so you know how student loans work.

Best Student Loans for 2020

Following are the best private student loans available in the United States

Citizens Bank Student Loan

 Maximum amount

  • Undergraduate: $ 90,000
  • Graduate: $ 110,000
  • Consolidate: $ 170,000

Interest rates

  • Variable Rate: From 2.43% APR
  • Fixed-rate: From 5.43% APR

Deadlines

  • Five years
  • Ten years
  • 15 years

Discount: the interest rate may be reduced up to 0.50%

Wells Fargo Student Loans

Maximum amount

  • Undergraduate: 100% cost
  • Graduate: 100% cost

Interest rates

  • Type Variable: 3.17% to 8.60% APR
  • Type Fixed: 5.94% to 10.51% APR
  • Maximum term: 15 years

Discount: the interest rate may be reduced up to 0.50%

Discover Student Loans

Maximum amount

  • Undergraduate: 100% cost
  • Graduate: 100% cost

Interest rates

  • Undergraduate
    • Variable Rate of 3.24% to 9.37% APR
    • Fixed-Rate 6.14% to 11.99% APR
  • Graduate
    • Variable Rate 3.25% – 8.87% APR
    • Fixed-Rate: 6.15% to 11.24% APR
  • Consolidate
    • Variable Rate of 3.25% to 7.87% APR
    • Fixed-Rate 6.15% to 9.99% APR

Discount: the interest rate can be decreased up to 0.25%

Maximum term: 15 years

SallieMae Student Loans

Maximum amount

  • Undergraduate: 100% cost
  • Graduate: 100% cost

Interest rates

  • Undergraduate
  • Variable Rate 2.50% to 9.59% APR
  • Fixed-Rate 5.74% to 11.85% APR
  • Graduate
  • Variable Rate 2.50% – 7.51% APR
  • Fixed-Rate: 5.74% to 8.56% APR

Discount: the interest rate can be reduced up to 0.25%

Maximum term:  15 years

Help Student Loans

Maximum amount

  • Undergraduate: $ 100,000
  • Graduate: $ 150,000

Interest rates

  • Type Variable: 2.87% to 7.87% APR
  • Type Fixed: 6.24% to 9.45% APR
  • Discount: no
  • Maximum term: 20 years

PNComcampus Student Loans

Limit

  • Undergraduate: 100% cost
  • Graduate: 100% cost

Interest rates

  • Type Variable: 3.51% to 10.46% APR
  • Type Fixed: -12.99% 6.49% APR
  • Maximum term: 15 years

How Do Student Loans Work – A 2020 Guide

Student loans are an alternative way of financing studies for those who do not have enough cash to pay them widely used in countries around us. Recently the education minister Wert has opened the debate on student loans versus the current scholarship system. As usual, that has generated debate.

The problem with these types of measures is that the debate is usually raised with few good arguments both on one side and the other. To say that they want to give us “mortgages instead of scholarships” or to say that the university pays you that I don’t have to do it (both ends) is probably staying on the surface. Let’s see how the university loan system works in our environment.

How do student loans work? Oregon vs. Georgia

We think it is better to start with the operation of university financing in Georgia and Oregon. In Georgia, a system was chosen in which students with better grades are rewarded, financing part of their university education. Students who get a certain grade in the institute and on the SAT (university entrance exam) receive a scholarship. To finance, it is done through a lottery created expressly for that purpose.

In practice, what happens is that not depending on income, those who get better grades usually come from the middle and upper classes (university students usually come mainly from middle classes, and the best measure to see if a child will graduate or not in college is to see if his parents did it before). In addition, the scholarship does not finance full tuition, so it is not a strong enough stimulus for a young person with few resources to enroll in the university and obtain a university degree (which is still the main social lift).

As if that were not enough when financed through a lottery, it is a transfer of income from the lower classes to the middle and upper classes, since the former tend more to participate in games of chance and devote a greater part of their income.

In Oregon, a loan system was chosen through which students will return their tuition by paying a percentage of their salary in the years after graduation. Oregon students will pay 3% of their salary in the 24 years following the completion of their university studies. The percentage is lower if the student does not graduate. It takes 24 years thinking about twenty to return the capital and four for interest. The objective is to return to the state the money they have invested in us so that university education would be paid only by those who have received it.

How do student loans work in the United Kingdom?

In 2012, university rates in the United Kingdom were increased extraordinarily. It went from paying 3,000 pounds to universities that could set a fork between 6,000 and 9,000 pounds (most of the universities chose 9,000). The alternative offered to students was to offer even larger loans to those they were taking, which generated strong protests, even though the financing system changed.

With the new system, students borrow to pay high university fees on the one hand and can also ask for something more for their current expenses while they study (housing, food). The loan has an interest, but the repayment is interesting since only those with higher salaries return the money.

If the university graduate earns less than 21,000 pounds annually, he will not return the money borrowed, which will continue to generate interest. It will return at a rate of 9% of the part of your salary that exceeds 21,000 pounds. That is, if he earns 22,000, he will return about 7.50 per month and if he earns 25,000 about 30. If his salary falls below 21,000 pounds, he stops paying his loan. Be aware of making payments.

The loan has interests, but it will not haunt you for life

It is possible that the best private student loans are not the best ways to pay off student loans. We all want to go to Harvard, that it is free and that it does not cost us any effort to do so. But in real life, it is a way for those who have enjoyed an income driven payment method, to be in charge of it.

Here are the Best Private Student Loans of 2020

To continue studying after high school, it is essential to have a financial plan . Attending college or taking a graduate degree can be very expensive. This is where student loans come into play. Although they can be a great tool to continue your studies, it is also important that you choose carefully. Check out four excellent options!

 

Being financially stable during college is sometimes not easy. Many university students need to obtain private loans to pay the high cost of tuition for US universities. If you are looking for a private university loan, but of many, you do not know which one is best for you.

Best Private Student Loans

The best private student loans can be granted by a bank or other financial services company. You do not need to have a good credit profile. You could get lower interest rates than those offered in the loans typically offered by financial institutions.

Here is a list of the best private student loans to make your decision easier.

 1. Citizens Bank Student Loan

The student loan offered by Citizens Bank is one of the most competitive in the market. There are no application fees, and there are no fines for advanced charges. Besides, it allows students to make payments while they are in college to pay off the interest. The maximum time to pay the loan is 15 years.

Interests: 

The annual percentage rate (APR) starts at 2.50% variable rate and fixed-rate at 5.25%.

The maximum amount that can be obtained is:

You can pay the total cost of the university every year.

Discount :

You can lower the interest rate by up to 0.50% by enrolling in the automatic debit service for your monthly payments or by enrolling in other rewards programs.

2.  Discover Student Loan

The Discover Student Loan loan has no fees to apply, and you can earn lower interest if you have a co-signer. The maximum term to pay the loan is 15 years, and you can decide to defer the loan payment if you are studying. On the other hand, you can decide which interest rate you prefer, variable or fixed.

Interests

The Discover Loan loan has interest of 4.49% at 12.49% (variable) and 5.99% at 13.49% (fixed) for undergraduates.

While the interests for graduate students are from 4.49% to 13.49% (variable) and 5.99% to 13.99% (fixed).

The maximum amount that can be obtained is:

Each year, you can get all the money you need to cover college expenses, including books and residency. On the other hand, the minimum is $ 1,000 per loan.

Discount:

You can reduce the interest rate by up to 0.25% by enrolling in the automatic debit service for your monthly payments.

3.  Sallie Mae

Sallie Mae is one of the largest student loan providers in the country. This provides rewards and reductions in interest rates up to 0.25%, and the maximum term to pay the loan is 20 years.

Interests

The loans provided by Sallie Mae have a variable interest rate of 4.62% to 11.47% for sub graded loans and between 4.87% to 10.23% for graduate loans.

On the other hand, fixed interest can vary from 5.74% to 11.85% for sub graded loans and between 6.25% to 10.23% for graduates.

The maximum amount that can be obtained is:

Up to 100% of the tuition costs that are certified by the university.

Discount:

You can receive a 0.25% discount on the interest rate when you sign up for the automatic debit service for your monthly payments.

4. Wells Fargo

The Wells Fargo university loan has no issuance fees or penalties for prepayment. After graduation, you will have six months to pay the debt, and the maximum time to pay the loan is 15 years.

Interests

Variable interests can range from 5.04% to 10.93% and fixed from 5.94% to 11.26% for undergraduates.

On the other hand, depending on the type of master’s or doctorate, the variable interest could be 5.07% to 10.39% and the fixed one from 5.52% to 10.82%.

The maximum amount that can be obtained is:

You can cover 100% of the university costs per year.

Discount:

You can receive a discount of up to 0.50% on the interest rate when you enroll in the automatic debit service for your monthly payments or other programs offered by Wells Fargo to your customers.

Conclusion: Best Private Student Loans of the Year

The private loan is one of the best ways to pay off a student loan faster.

How to Choose a Credit Card: 7 Prime Pointers

Credit cards have somewhat of a tumultuous reputation, and so knowing how to choose a credit card can be difficult.

On one hand, there’s a risk of paying a large amount in just fees and interest, not to mention that you might also get into a lot of debt if you don’t use your card responsibly. But on the other hand, you build credit, earn and save money, benefit from reward programs, and even gain some choice offers like frequent flier miles.

So despite the many warnings, you trust your instincts that you won’t rack up a huge debt. But, before you choose a credit card, what should you know? Let’s find out!

What to Know When Choosing a Credit Card

Here are some pointers on choosing a credit card.

What Your Spending Habits Are

If you have a pre-existing bank account, you can get a credit card. But the question is, how to choose a credit card to suit your spending and payment style?

Are you someone who—without fail—pays their credit card bill each month? Or will you be carrying a balance per month? Will you be using it to support your basic lifestyle or is just for emergencies? Here are your options:

  • Pay Bill in Full: For responsible payers, the interest rate will not interest you. So, finding a card that has no annual fee and a grace period that’s longer than normal will benefit you in the long run.
  • Carry a Balance: You’ll want a card that has a low introductory rate and a low interest rate, the lowest you can find.
  • Used Daily: Find a card with a good, useful rewards program, as well as a substantial credit limit.
  • For Emergencies: Choose a basic card with low fees and a very low interest rate.

The Interest Rate Offered by the Issuer

If you’re new to the world of banking, interest rate will appear on your credit card offer as annual percentage rate or APR. A variable or fixed rate tied to the prime rate, this rate fluctuates if you have a card with a variable rate, whereas with a fixed rate, it will be the same each month. However, for the latter options, some factors such as paying your bill late or going over the limit will change the fixed interest rate. Or if the credit card company chooses to change it.

Credit Limit

A set amount that the bank will allow you to borrow from them, this credit limit can either be in the few hundreds, or thousands of dollars, depending on your credit history.

Maxing out this limit is an issue, since it hurts your score. Your bank can also choose to cut the limit if there’s suspicious or excessive activity, something which you’ll get a penalty for. So be very careful when choosing a credit card if you have a patchy credit history.

All Fees and Penalties on the Card

Starting with fees, there are small fees for almost every action. Cash advances, balance transfers, payments by phone, a request to increase in your credit score. Credit card issuers look for all ways to milk money off their client.

All these fees might seem small. But consider how many customers each company has. You can be sure that the total sum from all charges amounts to millions.

As for penalties, actions such as paying your bills late, or going over the credit limit do carry hefty penalties, so you might want to curb your spending habits early on.

Incentives Offered by the Issuer

From gas and fuel and groceries to rewards for spending at various restaurants, credit card issuers offer a number of reward programs to tempt their customers into using their cards.

If those rewards and incentives are something that match your spending habits, it might be a good choice to opt for the program, since you’ll benefit from it. But, some programs and specific incentives come with expiration dates and limits. Others offer flexibility and easily redeemable and earned rewards. Do your research thoroughly and choose the best one.

Computing Method for Balance

If you know you’re going to carry a balance after you get a credit card, you might want to find out how this charge will be calculated. Typically, the average daily balance is taken, which is the daily balance added together, then divided by the exact number of days in your billing cycle.

But with some companies, be warned. Issuers compute this balance by using 2 billing cycles instead of the regular one. So, you do lose a lot of money by just paying the fees. Choose credit cards that don’t use such a system and you should be fine.

Other Financial Necessities

Do your other financial benefits necessitate getting a card? Do you have student loans that make extra spending a daily pain? If yes, then you may need a credit card. While some student loans types can be forgiven (check out this student loan forgiveness directory by FutureFuel for guidance), others need to be paid in full, thereby resulting in you needing a regular credit card for daily spending.

Ready to Choose?

The above information should inform you well enough on how to choose a credit card. So, follow the advice wisely, and be careful with your finances. A credit card will always be beneficial for your financial circumstances if you handle it responsibly.

Tips to Create More Discretionary Income In 2020

You’re grateful for everything you have and all that you’ve earned in the past year. Yet, even with those extra numbers at the bottom of your annual bank statement, you still like it’s not enough. You need discretionary income!

What with the way the economy is, not to mention mounting responsibilities (especially if you support a family); it seems that what you have will not be satisfactory, whether you try hard enough or not.

Yet, short of robbing a bank, you can’t think of any other way that would help you sustain your income, after all taxes, social security charges and cost of basic living necessities are deducted!

But what if we told you that by making small changes in your spending habits, you can save a lot more than you thought?

Improving Your Discretionary Income – Important Tips to Follow

Here are some tips on improving discretionary income.

Increase Your Overall Income

It’s easier said than done, sure. But do you really think that with all your hard work, you’re getting the salary you deserve?

If yes, then talk yourself into asking for a raise. It will be an awkward conversation, but what’ll help is if you make your case when speaking with your boss. Showcase your achievements, the benefits of your positive influence, how the company shows its faith in you as a valuable employee. Be gracious about having been given the opportunity to work for them, then ask for a raise in pay.

If need be, talk to the HR department or someone else who might’ve been successful in getting a pay raise before. Ask for tips on how you should state your case.

Think Sustainability

It’s not just for the good of the environment. With a sustainable lifestyle, you get better quality, reusable products, and items that help you save money in the long run.

For example, instead of using plastic cling film to pack your lunches, use reusable beeswax wraps. Don’t waste money on plastic straws, or Tupperware. Cook food at home, instead of eating out. Grow your own vegetables. Buy organic ingredients.

Swap iridescent light bulbs in your home for energy savers. Throw out any candles, detergents, cleaning products that use dangerous chemicals and opt for eco-friendly mixes, or make them at home. You’ll notice the difference once the bills start going down.

Contribute to Your 401 (K)

401 (K) saving is the most feasible option.

Putting some money away before getting taxed not only lowers your tax liability, you get a lot more than what you put in, considering that the company matches the amount you contribute.

And if in future, you ever leave the company, all you have to do is have your account transferred to your new employer, and you get to continue putting a set amount toward your little nest egg!

Adjust Your Lifestyle

The average American spends about $1,100 a year on coffee alone. But do you really need that $3 cup of coffee each day when you can make a Cuppa Joe at the office or home anyway?

Your basic lifestyle habits can put quite a burden on your wallet. Instead of spending money willy-nilly when you know there are good alternatives available, make the effort to save some cash. Get a flask and make coffee at home. Pack your own lunch for work. Cut down on booze. Switch to a better phone deal. If need be, go shopping once every 2–3 months and before buying anything, ask yourself thrice, “do I really need this? Will this make a difference in my life?”

Re-evaluate your choices and get the best deals.

Bring in Cash through Your Hobby

There are plenty of freelancing opportunities to be had. All you have to do is dip your toe in the waters!

Sign up on websites such as Etsy.com or Fiverr.com and put up your talent for sale. If you’re good at label designing, copywriting, any software, add that to the mix and show your portfolio so people can take an interest. Find survey sites and spend your free time taking surveys. If you’re a good driver, sign up for Lyft or Uber for a few hours.

If not, think about taking up a second job. But dial down your efforts. You can work in a store on weekends. But pushing yourself to work the evening shift each night after your basic 9–to–5 is just going to push you to the brink of your sanity.

Conclusion: Creating More Discretionary Income

As you can see there are plenty of ways through which you can increase your discretionary income. Just take the first step. Eliminate any unnecessary expenses, keep track of your spending habits and be ruthless with wasteful spending. In addition, use a repaye calculator to find out how much you can pay off each month from your student loans, to have more money left over. Analyze your budget and try your best to incorporate the above tips into your lifestyle.

Having more discretionary income gives you ways to pay off student loans faster. Learning how to pay off student loans faster can also help your overall credit situation, thereby assisting with discretionary income.

 

Major Factors to Consider When Taking Out a Credit Builder Loan

Credit builder loans are designed to help people with bad credit or with no previous credit history. With a credit builder loan, the amount you borrow is stored in a bank account. You make payments on that amount while building credit.

When you’ve paid the entirety of the amount, you get the money. Credit builder loans ensure that a person pays for the loan they’ve applied for. Hence, there is practically no defaulting with credit builder loans.

It allows people a chance to get a loan easily, despite their credit history. More importantly, it makes sure no one is a victim of a bad credit event. In addition, credit builder loans lean heavily towards what their name suggests (building up a good credit score).

On the other hand, credit builder loans are the least risky loans that lenders can give out. Therefore, according to lenders, it’s one of the best and safest products they can provide.

How Do Credit Builder Loans Work?

Usually, commercial banks don’t bother with credit builder loans because they work with volume. Credit builder loans are given by community banks or credit unions.

When you apply for a credit builder loan, the lender deposits the money in one of their bank accounts. You then start to make your monthly payments for both the principal and interest amount. The term period ranges between 6 and 24 months.

When you pay the amount in its entirety, you can get the total loan amount. You can consider it as a savings account where you put in a certain amount to save, while also building credit.

Improving Credit Scores with a Credit Builder Loan

While credit builder loans help build your credit, the success of it depends on the borrower. Like any loan, credit builder loans are also subject to late payments.

The lender has to report all payments made to credit bureaus, which means any late payment is recorded. Generally, good payment history makes up as much as 35% of your FICO credit scores. This means that missing out on a payment can have a serious impact on your credit history.

If the only reason you opted for a credit builder loan was that you wanted to build a credit history, then missing a payment would be a massive setback. Your FICO scores could drop by 60 to 110 points, which is massive considering the typical scores are between 300 and 850.

How to Get a Credit Builder Loan

You can follow these steps to apply for and get a credit builder loan.

  1. Find an Institution – You need to find the right financial institution that caters to your needs. You can check local banks, microfinance banks, credit unions, and online lenders in your vicinity. You should also make sure that the lender reports your payments to the 3 major credit bureaus.
  2. Pick an Amount – Decide on the value of the loan you want. Typically, credit builder loans range between $300 and $1,000.
  3. Compare Lenders – You will find that there are vastly different interest rates, monthly payments, fees, loan origination costs, and repayment periods for different lenders. That is because these small loans tend to be more expensive.
  4. Apply for the Loan – When you’ve decided on a lender, give them your basic information including your name, address, bank details, and contact information, among other things.

Because the approval of credit builder loans isn’t based on credit scores, you can definitely expect approval. Once it is approved, you’ll need to make timely monthly payments in full.

Cost of a Credit Builder Loan

How much a credit builder loan costs depend mainly on the lender. When looking for the right lender, you should keep these things in mind.

  • Annual Percentage Rate – The APR is the amount charged by the lender on the funds you borrow. Usually, the APR for credit builder loans is less than 10%, but it can go beyond, in some cases.
  • Interest Payments – Each lender has different rules for interest payments. Some only give you the principal amount when you’ve made all the payments. Others may even give you some of the interest you’ve paid.
  • Other Costs and Fees – There are loan origination fees, application fees, and late fees involved in different situations. However, not all lenders impose such fees.
  • Loan Repayment Term – Each lender has different loan terms, but the general rule is that the longer loan term you have, the more interest you’ll pay.
  • Minimum and Maximum Loan Limit – Check the loan limits and borrow accordingly as you don’t want to borrow too little. Meanwhile, you can’t borrow too large an amount because that means more time to pay it back, which means more interest.

You need to find a lender that gives you the terms you want. Find the best possible fit, and apply for your loan.

Final Thoughts

All in all, credit builder loans are extremely useful in building credit, while also giving you a singular amount in the end, to improve personal finances. Incidentally, they are god for people looking to pay off student loans faster.

All you need to make sure is to get the loan terms you want from the right lender.

6 Ways to Pay Off Student Loans Faster

The student loan crisis in the US is at its worse, with over $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, distributed among some 44 million students. With the average student loan debt ranging around $39,400, every graduate is trying to find unique ways to pay off their student loans faster.

People tend to opt for all sorts of different ways to put an end to their student loan debt. From odd jobs to extra/side jobs, to freelancing – people have tried all sorts of ways to pay off student loans faster.

However, most people don’t know that there are some ways to make debt life easier. Going in blind never works out, it’s always good to know your options and plan accordingly.

The following are some ways to pay off student loans faster.

Organize Your Repayment Strategy

You need to get a complete outlook on your debt situation. This means you should go and check your federal student loan amounts at the National Student Loan Data System. If you have private student loans, you can check them by going through your credit report.

It also helps to keep track of any other debt you have, such as vehicle debt, credit card debt, or mortgages. It will help you strategize your payments.

You should also note down all your balances and the interest rates on your loans. Calculating the interest payments will help you understand your situation. Maybe you can postpone some payments or maybe they’re more affordable than you thought.

Pay Above the Minimum Payments

Most people don’t realize this but paying just above the monthly minimum can tremendously reduce your interest payments and debt period. Even if you end up paying a little more, it ends up saving you a lot in the long-term.

You can save up a little more for this by not spending much money on eating out, or personal expenditures such as video games. Spending money strategically can help you pay that extra amount.

According to Business Insider, paying only $100 more in monthly payments can reduce the loan period by 32 months, and help you save up to $5,000.

Refinance and Consolidate

Loan consolidation helps you combine your loans into one big loan payment per month. It helps you organize your loan payments and gives you a clear idea about your payments and interest rates. This lets your loan’s interest rate with the current market rate.

If the current rate is lower, you can negotiate for that lower rate which would mean you now have to give lower interest payments. This means that a bigger chunk of your payments goes towards paying off the principal amount.

You can refinance your loans after consolidation to get that lower interest rate, and even, lower monthly payments.

Try a Side Hustle Out

Side hustles are practically any legal business practice that helps you earn extra money on the side. This can also help you follow your passion by trying something that interests you. You have fun, learn new skills, and supplement your income, all at once.

You can try to sell clothes, set up a food stand, or freelance on online sites.

Leverage Tax Deductions and Credits

If you have student loans, you can go for an interest deduction on your federal taxes. You might need to properly apply for it by providing details of your loans.

If you succeed, you can shave off up to $2,500 in your taxable income to pay for the interest on your student loans. The good thing is that it’s not a one-time thing, and you can do it every year.

The money you save can go to a little extra on your payments. As previously mentioned, even $100 can make a huge difference. Hence, saving $2,500 means you can pay up to $200 extra every month, while still saving $100 by the end of the year.

Saving is Key

While you shouldn’t compromise on your living standards, it doesn’t mean spending money on unnecessary things. It’s essential to save some money over the years, or you can end up in even more debt. You can take out a credit builder loan to improve your overall financial condition for the future.

While you set up a way to make your monthly payments, you should also set up a way to save a certain amount of money each month. You can set up a savings fund or set up automatic savings.

If you work for a company like Cisco that provides benefits like tuition reimbursement, you can use that to pay for any current fees. This would let you save additional money for any future needs.

All in all, you can use some, if not all of these ways to either reduce your monthly payments, reduce your loan period, or just improve personal finances. Out of all these ways to pay off student loans faster, the common thing is that you need to properly plan and strategize it all.

5 Compensation Management Tips to Improve Employee Finances

Compensation management entails how companies view and manage employee benefits and pay. Companies tend to make up a compensation strategy that serves as a guideline on how to manage and articulate employee compensation on all fronts.

If your compensation management is noteworthy, you are likely to retain current employees, while also attracting new ones. There is a common misconception that compensation management is all about salaries. However, it also includes all of the employee benefits and any extra appreciation gifts/rewards.

The following compensation management tips are just parts of a larger compensation strategy. Not all companies will have the same strategy. This is why you should focus on the tips that may work best for your organization.

Develop Salary Brackets

You need to make sure that you develop your salary range according to the industry standards, in order to make your offers competitive (as per current demand) if not better. To do this, you need to benchmark similar jobs in the industry which will help you create an effective pay structure.

You can also develop salary brackets by checking out the pays for similar jobs online on websites such as PayScale. This also helps realize the differences in salaries and benefits across different areas and industries.

You can also pay third-party vendors to develop your salary payments, but if you have a big enough HR presence, you can do it in-house.

Allocation of Budgets

During your annual budget allocation, you need to set aside a good sum for compensation management. You should have a sum in mind (having gone through historical records) about how much money you need, to move forward. You should always try to increase that amount for the next year and develop a more comprehensive compensation budget, provided you have the resources for it.

Developing a budget that lets you spend on your employees’ pay and benefits freely will always mean good compensation management. As long as you’re fair with your compensations, you can be sure that your employees will be satisfied with that.

Proper allocation can be done more specifically, by distributing the compensation budget into different categories of salaries and benefits. For example, you can allocate different amounts to monthly salaries, overtime, and bonuses. Similarly, you can allocate different amounts to health benefits, PTO, tuition assistance, and 401K’s.

Develop a Flexible Benefits Package

Nowadays, instead of the salary, employee benefits are usually the number one factor people look towards (when evaluating a potential employer). This means that organizations can and do use attractive benefits packages to attract and retain employees.

Developing a flexible benefits package is all about offering choices to your employees. For example, if you are providing medical insurance, give your employees the choice of choosing where their insurance can be used. For example, if they want to spend more on dental, they should be able to do so.

You have to make sure that your benefits package is competitive and even better than others provided in the industry. There is a good chance that someone may choose you even if you’re offering a lower salary, but better benefits. Plus, if you offer to help people pay off student loans faster, it’s another plus point.

Use Performance Management Systems

Performance management systems are now a compensation management must. These systems track, record, and analyze employee performance over certain periods. They are then compared to not only historical records, but also current and future objectives and goals so that you can see whether the employee is performing up to the mark or not.

To use performance management systems properly, you will need to update your annual goals and objectives, develop performance appraisals, and a system for helping underperforming employees.

Structured Administration

Compensation management is a tedious task, and unless you have a properly structured system to deal with it, you may experience redundancies, lag, and drag. This is why you need to assess and modify your annual review process, raise process timeline, and salary audits, to keep your administration up to date.

You also need to develop a process for each aspect of salaries and employee benefits. For example, you may need to update how you offer your benefits, like if you want to offer full medical insurance to all new employees or have a one-year minimum employment condition.

The Bottom Line

The following compensation management tips can be used to create a well-planned compensation strategy. Once you do that, there is a high possibility that your employees will be satisfied with the salaries and benefits they are receiving.

This then helps improve your employees’ personal finances, which can be one of the biggest motivators and the most effective retention technique. All in all, compensation management is one of the most important parts of your business process because your employees are the most important part of your organization. Therefore, it’s important to make sure they are satisfied.

How to Pay Off Student Loans to Improve Personal Finances

The need for a college education has been increasing over the years, which has led to more students enrolling in college, despite rising fees. This has resulted in most, if not all of the students, incurring some kind of student loan debt. While colleges and loan offering companies are very forward with offering student loans, not many of them tell you how to pay off student loans.

A number of students try and pay off student loans during their studies. However, the average loan amount can go up to $30,000 to $40,000. For post-graduate and higher studies, it may even reach over $1 million. Working to pay all that amount back can be difficult, but it can be done smoothly if you know your options.

The following are four ways on how to pay off student loans so you can focus more on your financial standing and improve your personal finances in the process.

Consolidation of Student Loans

Loan consolidation means that you combine all your current loans into one. In technical terms, you combine all of your current federal student loans into one Direct Consolidation Loan. An important factor to note is that loan consolidation only works with federal student loans and not private student loans.

Loan consolidation has no reduction effect on the interest rates or your monthly payments. Consolidating your student loans just removes any redundancies in repayments, so you don’t have to repeat the process for different repayments. Combining all your federal loans into one consolidated loan ensures that you only make one single payment.

However, your interest rate is reassessed and calculated according to the weighted average of all your current student loans, which is then rounded up to the nearest 0.125%. This means that your interest rate may even increase, to some extent.

Refinancing Your Student Loans

Refinancing student loans is one of the most popular ways to pay back your student debt. This is done by combining all of your existing private and federal loans into one single loan, which has a lower interest rate compared to the individual interest rates.

For a refinanced loan, you can choose a repayment time of between 5 to 20 years and can opt for either a fixed or variable interest rate. If you have plans to pay the loan back in the long-term, you should go for the fixed interest rate, as it will remain the same even if interest rates shoot up five to ten years later.

With refinanced loans, you will only have one student loan servicer and will have to make a single payment per month. However, to get approved for refinancing, you need to have a job, or proof of employment, work experience, a history of financial responsibility, a good income, and a strong credit score. When you do refinance your student loans, you give up your right to benefits such as deferrals and forbearance.

Make One Lump Sum Payment

If you want to get rid of your student loans quicker, and have the financial means to safely do so, you can make additional payments, on top of your regular monthly payments. Similarly, if you aren’t able to pay the monthly amount, you can choose to pay a lump sum at a later point.

You will need to contact your student loan servicer and develop a plan. You will also need to explain what your extra payments are for, and for which monthly payment.

Keep in mind that you need to improve your personal finances. Therefore, if you have any other kind of debt, such as a mortgage or credit card payments, with a higher interest rate and balance, you should focus on paying those loans back first. Or, you can contribute the funds to a retirement plan and invest it for good returns.

Increase Your Monthly Payments

Increasing your monthly payments may seem like an antithetical decision, but if you break down the pros and cons of it, you will find out that it’s one of the best decisions you can make. You can understand this better by imagining increasing your monthly payments by just $100. You will find that in the long run, this will reduce years of repayment.

The Bottom Line

Anyone in debt needs to develop a proper repayment strategy to pay back their loans effectively. Student loans are one of the most common loans today since an increasing number of people are going to college. That’s why companies are also developing employee benefits to help employees pay back their student loans.

Having a proper loan repayment strategy ensures that you have your personal finances in control. And if you understand how to pay off student loans, you can further improve not just your personal finances, but your overall quality of life.