A Full FAFSA Loans Guide for 2020

Education Department of the U.S. is open for Free Applications of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 2020-21, from 1st October’ 19. Its submission is obligatory for enrolled college students in the U.S.

Following is a guideline before submitting the 2020-21 FAFSA form.

Why Should You Apply For 2020-21 FAFSA Loans

Any type of student aid could be easily obtained through FAFSA. If you want to receive Federal Student Loans for 2020-21 academic year, Federal Pell grants, or any additional federal need-based programs, all are possible through FAFSA.

However, FAFSA is not only limited to Student Loans or grants it can provide much more than that. FAFSA is a requirement if your state, college, or university has its grant or scholarship programs.

Another important factor to mention is that your previous application for the year 2019-20 will not be entertained for the year 2020-21. Hence, a fresh application needs to be filled for obtaining aid in the academic year 2020-21.

Above all, it is free of cost. Also, FAFSA is a prerequisite for several merit-based programs, so if you do not want any type of aid you can still submit the form for merit-based programs.

Required Documents Before Applying for FAFSA Loans

Enlisted below are few things needed before filling out FAFSA 2020-21:

Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID

It is the username and password required to login to the student aid websites regulated by the U.S. Education Department. You need to create your ID if you have not filled FAFSA in your previous academic years. The ID can be easily created from the Department’s Student Aid website. Parents’ FSA ID is needed along with the following information in case of being a dependent student.

Tax Return

Your 2018 tax return needs to be submitted for FAFSA 2020-21. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is incorporated in FAFSA for accessibility to your tax return report. Likely, any other income records which are not mentioned on tax return needs to be collected (for instance, child support).

Your Social Security Number and Driver’s License Number (If Any)

Information about your Assets: Includes the balance of your account (check, savings, and investment), additional assets apart from the primary home.

A list of Schools that you plan to attend: List all the possible schools you have planned to apply in.

How to access the 2020–21 FAFSA Loans

Several options are available to fill FAFSA 2020-21, including filling it electronically or manually.

A convenient method is to complete the form electronically on the website of Federal Student Aid. It allows several advantages, for instance, the tax return report can be retrieved directly through IRS. For the purpose, myStudentAid mobile app for Android and iOS is also available.

FAFSA is a well-described form; it cannot be filled in a hurry. So if you are filling it for the first time it will nearly take an hour to complete. However, a prior collection of documents and other requirements may accelerate the process. It is still suggested to take out almost an hour for filling out the form.

What To Expect After Submission Of The FAFSA

After submission of the FAFSA form, the information would be provided to the schools you have mentioned in your application. Similar will be shared with the Higher Education Agency of your state and Higher Education Agency of the listed schools’ states.

Subsequently, to submitting the FAFSA form, you will receive a Student Aid Report within three weeks. It has a summary of your FAFSA details. It does not carry the data of your financial eligibility for aid. Nevertheless, it makes it obvious that FAFSA is working towards the procedure by providing you a chance to recheck the given information.

Afterward, your school will offer you financial aid. All the listed schools, in your FAFSA loans form, which have accepted you would offer financial aids if you are beginning college in 2020.

The mentioned offers can be through electronic mail or manual letter. You have the option to either accept or refuse financial aid. The Financial aid office of your school is responsible for conveying you the details of how and when your financial aid would be granted.

Also, after waiting for 10 days, you may check the status of your FAFSA 2020-21 form online by signing in to your FSA portal.

What to Do If Grant Money Is Not Sufficient

If you do not find the granted award sufficient for your academic expenditure, you can have some other available options. One of the routes is Private Student Loan Business, it can be a substantial help to support your federal and state student aid, as in the present years this industry has far-reaching progress.

Another option could be Federal Student Loans, or the best student loans, but it is not appropriate for a large amount of money. And a part-time job can also work to fulfill your school and daily expenditures.

Advantages of an Employer Paying Student Loans of New Hires

Throughout the country, Human Resource Managers are occupied with constructing the benefits package 2020 for their employees. Amidst this activity, an important question arising to them is: How to facilitate the growth of the company and increase its worth by contributing to its value? The answer to it, for various employers, is to make it convenient for their employees to manage the debt of student loans.

Student loan debt has augmented immensely in recent years. The tuition fees of colleges have exceeded in 2008 by 439% as compared to 1982. Federal reserves had concluded the debt of student loans to be $1.5 trillion which is due on 44 million Americans in early 2018; this amount was beyond both auto loan and credit card debt. This massive amount of debt has been accompanied by emotional suffering. A survey conducted in 2018 by Laurel Road put forward the result that 54% of educated college adults hold the trauma that they would not be able to generate sufficient money to accomplish their financial desires.

In present times, debtors are looking for unique measures for managing their debts to save money. Lately, a national healthcare company named Abbott Laboratories received the chance, by IRS, of contributing to 401(k) plans of their employees which is based on the payment of employees’ student loans. In partnership with the corporate sector, student loan refinance companies have offered several refinancing possibilities, without any cost to the company, for students to save money.

It’s both challenging and essential to keep employees satisfied as job abandoning rate has grown rapidly since 2001. Keeping employees happy includes providing practical assistance. Nowadays, employees are pursuing to form a worthy relationship with employers. Employers can easily achieve such a relationship by providing benefits regarding student loan repayments.

Some topmost reasons for integrating the benefits of student loan repayment in the employees’ 2020 benefits packages include:

Incentivize, Employ and Sustain

In today’s challenging situation companies can encourage talented young individuals towards their team, by offering benefits of student loan debt. The value of student loan benefit could be understood through the survey carried out by Laurel Road on millennials which showed that 58% of individuals would prefer to repay the student loan benefit instead of going for a vacation. Thus, offering such financial relief could act as a decision making factor for individuals opting for jobs, also it can play a significant role in attracting valuable talent to the company’s asset.

Design Flexible and FreeBenefit Program

Employers can set up student loan benefit programs by keeping the track of firm’s bottom line and as per the needs of their employees; the selection of appropriate lenders and refinancers which can provide funds for employees is a crucial factor in this process. Lenders can modify the program according to the requirements and concerns of employees in such a way that it cost nothing to the company.

The Struggle of Paying off Student Loan Debt vs. Retirement Savings

The debt of student loans leaves the employees confused between the options of either having retirement savings or clear off their student loan debt. A study of Boston College’s Centre for Retirement Research has concluded that graduated individuals who are in debt of student loans managed to have 50% less savings, as compared to those without debt, in 401(k) plan, by the age of 30. Retirement savings and student debt both are financial necessities of employees; hence they should not be made to stand in a way where they have to choose one of these. Thus, the benefit of the student loan would contribute to decreasing the financial pressure of employees.

Facilitate Employees’ to Save Money

Employees are attracted to student loan benefits because they could have extensive savings through it. The option of refinancing provides decreased interest rate or lower monthly outlays; employees can easily have massive savings through refinancing. Eventually, employees could save thousands of dollars in the long run. Each financing company would offer differing saving amounts; some companies have exclusive proposals which could result in large-scale savings. Hence, it depends on the employer to select a suitable one.

Intangible Benefits

A firm, Willis Towers Watson, carried out a survey according to which the quality of work of 31% of employees is affected due to financial pressures. Likely, 74% of employees have constant stress, because they are debtors of student loan, which hinders their productivity level, they subconsciously think about their debt during job hours, damaging their efficiency.  So, along with tangible savings through benefit programs employees should also be given intangible benefits to lessen their mental pressures and anxiety.


In previous years, there was a record-breaking increase in debts of student loans. After seeing the statistics employers are well aware of the importance of providing their employees with benefits related to student loan debt, such as the option to refinance student loans or access to the best student loans, to lower employees’ burden. In such circumstances, the possibility of refinancing has a wider chance to gain popularity as it does not cost anything to the employer. The future can be expected to have an increased number of employers who would create ways of providing student loan benefits to employees.

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


  • 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


  • 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Funding Innovation: SR&ED and R&D

Both Canada’s Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit and the US Research & Experimentation (R&D) Tax Credit are useful incentive programs that encourage research and development. While both were introduced in the 1980s, the US R&D tax credit was introduced slightly earlier than Canada’s SR&ED. Apart from this, there are many other differences between the two programs that you need to know especially if you have offices across both locations. 

Here is a quick glance of a simple comparison between the two tax credit programs.

SR&ED vs R&D: Administration

Firstly, given that both tax credit programs are from different countries, the administration of each tax credit program is naturally different.. SR&ED is administered by Canada Revenue Agency while R&D is administered by US’s Internal Revenue Code. 

SR&ED vs R&D: Eligibility

The two tax credit programs have different systems to determine if your project is eligible for their tax credits. To determine eligibility for Canada’s SR&ED program, your business must fulfill the following three criteria – technological advancement,  technical content, and technological uncertainty. You can ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you involved in engineering, design, data collection, testing or other developmental work?
  • Have you designed or developed new software?
  • Have you changed a process to reduce costs or to improve your manufacturing?
  • Have you created a new product, made improvements or added new features to an existing product, or built a prototype?
  • Have you incurred costs related to a process, project or prototype that is incomplete because of unresolved technical problems?

On the other hand, the US R&D tax credit program determines eligibility via a 4-part test as follows:

  1.  Permitted Purpose: the work must be done to develop a new or improved product or process.
  2. Elimination of Uncertainty: the work must be done in order to resolve technological uncertainty. A technological uncertainty exists if publicly available information and knowledge cannot be applied to achieve the desired result. Some questions to ask yourself are:
  • What scientific or technological uncertainties did you attempt to overcome – uncertainties that could not be removed using standard practice?
  • What work did you perform in the tax year to overcome the scientific or technological uncertainties described above?
  • What scientific or technological advancements did you achieve as a result of the work described?
  1. Process of Experimentation: the work must be done in a systematic process to evaluate one or more alternatives to achieve the desired result.
  2. Technological in nature: the work must be within the physical or biological sciences, engineering or computer science.

When looking at real-world applications to put the R&D tax eligibility criteria into practice, you need to ask yourself if you have:

  • Created a new product, made improvements or added new features to an existing product?
  • Integrated various databases or applications that were not designed to communicate?
  • Improved response time of your software application?
  • Changed a process to reduce costs or to improve manufacturing capabilities/timing?
  • Incurred costs related to a process, project, or prototype that is incomplete because of unresolved technical problems?
  • Modified your product formulation?
  • Automated production?
  • Modified existing products or machines to new applications?
  • Machined/fabricated parts/dies using new materials or to meet higher tolerances?

As such, we see that even determining eligibility for the two tax credit programs are already so different. 

SR&ED vs R&D: Documentation

In terms of documentation, both tax credit programs are similar. The bigger the claim, the more documentation you would want to have.

Documentation required for both should be 

  • Contemporaneous:  Documented at the time the R&D was done. 
  • Dated: You need to prove that the work occurred in the fiscal year you are claiming.
  • Highlight technical challenges. 

What counts as proper documentation is also similar for both tax credit programs. In general, the following resources are all good documentation materials: timesheets, technical documents, prototypes including software and physical products, test documents, developer or engineering notebooks, meeting minutes, whiteboard photos, emails, invoices and receipts. 

SR&ED vs R&D: Tedious Process

While both tax credit programs benefit companies, the claiming processes might require time and effort. It might thus be best to engage professionals to help you and Boast.AI is definitely the perfect choice. Boast.AI helps innovative businesses automate the complicated process of claiming tax incentives. 

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.