Responsive Ad Slot

Popular Posts

Latest Posts

Resources

What to Know about Owning a Home While in College

Posted on Mar 23, 2017 with No comments
As most young adults head off to college, they assume that they will need to stay in an on-campus dormitory or, at best, in an off-campus apartment or college housing. For some, however, buying a house while in college can be a great use of money.

It may prove to be a real investment that will set you up for financial success for the rest of your life. Be sure to make these four considerations before making payments on a house while you are in college.

Consider Your Credit Score


In order to be approved for a loan, you will need at least a good credit score if not an excellent one. The way to build a credit score is to have a credit card account or loan account open that has a low balance and that shows on-time payments. 

You will also need to prove income and have an excellent debt-to-income ratio. If you do not qualify for a loan on these terms alone, you may need to have help getting a loan by finding a co-signer.

Be Sure to Get Title Insurance


If you buy a home, be sure that the deed comes with title insurance. This is indemnity insurance in case foreclosures or other problems come up in the future with the title to your property. 

This could happen if the authorities discover that previous owners did not have full ownership of the home. If you are getting a mortgage through a lender, the lender will most likely insist that title insurance be on the home.

Consider Maintenance Costs


While owning your own home during college can help you save money on rent, you must consider the other costs of having a home. You will be paying for all the utilities yourself and will need to have the time and money to maintain the home both inside and out. 

If anything breaks down, leaks or quits working, you will be the one to have to foot the bill rather than a landlord. Be sure you have the money to cover these unforeseen costs should they arise, and the time it may take to fix these problems between classes and homework.

Earn Equity and Save Money


One of the biggest benefits of owning a home is the chance to build equity. As you pay down your mortgage and the longer you live in a home, you will build more equity. 


In addition, as a homeowner, you can find many ways to save money, such as by renting out a portion of the house if it is a multi-family dwelling, or by renting out bedrooms to other college students. In some cases, the rent you receive each month could cover your monthly mortgage payments.

Buying a house while in college is not right for everyone because many lenders insist that you have 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment. 

However, if you are able to get a loan with a good interest rate, you will find that the house will generally pay you back as you gain equity and consider using it as a rental even after you have graduated. With property in the right location, you may even find that you can make money off your college home as you live in it.


READ MORE

Classroom Vs. Computer: The Pros and Cons Of Online Learning

Posted on Jan 30, 2017 with No comments
The impact of the internet on education was one that revolutionized learning forever. With the development of the internet, information became widely accessible, and available at the drop of a hat, for nearly free. It allowed anyone with a computer and an internet connection to educate themselves on pretty much any topic imaginable, as well as create information networks which led to the development of online classes. Read on the see the pros and cons of online learning.

Pro - Flexibility


The ease of access of information on the internet make online learning extremely flexible. It means that students with variable or difficult schedules, such as those that work during normal school hours, might still be able to fit in some education in during the evenings and weekends - or whenever they have a block of time. In addition, students may also conduct all their research online without having to go to the library like in old times. The technology of the computer and the internet has allowed us an unbelievable amount of freedom in this way.


Pro - Learning Style


Online learning may fit the learning style of some students better than a classroom setting, depending on the individual. Some people prefer being able to focus on their computer with no distractions from other people that are around them. Those dealing with social anxiety also benefit from this ability to learn remotely, and in the comfort of their own home.

Con - Learning Style


The flip side of the coin of freedom and accessibility is that it may be a challenge for those who struggle with motivation and focus. The wide realm of possible distractions that computers provide - games, friends, social media, online content and videos - can be a huge temptation that actually gets in the way of studying and learning, if they lack the self-discipline and responsibility to focus on schoolwork. Places like UC Clermont College offer online time management resources to help distance/remote learning students gain these crucial skills.

Con - Time Management


The benefit of attending a class is that time is managed in large part by the professor or teacher. They can lead the classroom through activities, and set reasonable deadlines. Some students need this kind of guided time management. Those who lack the skills to manage their time wisely might see the consequences of the freedom of taking a course online.

In summary, committing to taking a class, whether that be online or in person, requires intention, motivation, and focus coming internally from the student. If they cannot do well online or in a class then they should reevaluate their abilities and character. Those who seek interaction with peers would do better in a classroom setting, while those who need the flexibility of online classes would benefit from internet learning.

READ MORE

5 Ways to Pay off Debt and Help Others at the Same Time

Posted on Jan 18, 2017 with No comments
If you're struggling with debt, it can seem like a dark climb out of a deep hole. But what if you could set your finances straight and give back to others in your community at the same time? Here are just a few ways to help yourself while also helping others.

1. Plasma Donation


You always hear about blood drives after an accident or natural disaster, but did you know that many people also need plasma? It's used in everything from transplants to transfusions, and it's just as easy to take from willing donors as blood. 




It doesn't get the same amount of media attention, however, so many people are unaware that it's even a possibility. You can donate your plasma twice a week and get paid each time.

2. Charity Work


Charities always need labor, and you can use skills that you already have for various causes and campaigns. For example, if you're experienced in clerical work, you might answer phones for a homeless shelter or animal advocacy group. 

If you're a medical student, you might do your rotations at a free clinic instead of a big-name hospital. Not only will you earn a paycheck, but you'll also help the neediest people in your neighborhood at the same time.

3. Egg Donation


If you're a healthy young woman, you can help someone become the parent that they've always wanted to be. Egg donation involves cultivating and then extracting eggs from your ovaries to be transplanted in another woman's uterus. 

While there are some physical and psychological hoops that you'll have to jump through to become an egg donor, the process will pay off with anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. Visit a center like the Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine for more information.

4. Blogging


You may not think of blogging as a life-changing venture, but if you're working for the right organization, it absolutely can be. 




Charity groups need advertising just like any other company, and through blogs, tweets and social media activity, you can bring attention to everything from fundraising marathons to breast cancer facts. You can even start your own charitable blog and earn income from affiliate linking.

5. Clinical Trials


Every medication needs testers. Every research study needs participants. If you're willing to loan your body to science, you can make money through clinical trials that will have a big impact on tomorrow's pharmaceutical industry. 

The most expensive paydays come from specialized tests for particular medical conditions, but there are also clinical trials for healthy adults acting as baselines.

These are just a few ways to pay off your debts while also helping others in a meaningful way. They might be unconventional money-makers, but they'll help you grow both financially and emotionally. Good luck!

READ MORE

School Stocks: What to Know before Setting Up an ESA

Posted on Jan 16, 2017 with No comments
You have likely heard it countless times before, but get ready to hear it one more time: failure to plan is tantamount to planning to fail. Not many costs associated with a quality education for your children, if any, will actually shrink by the time they finish high school.

A Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) allows up to 18 years of $2,000 maximum annual deposits dedicated to covering a sizable range of schooling costs. Any interest, dividends, appreciation, and other earnings generated by deposits remain absolutely tax-free as long as they are withdrawn to fund educational expenses no later than 30 days after the beneficiary turns 30. You can open a Coverdell ESA anytime before your child's 18th birthday, but the sooner you can establish one, the more rewarding it ultimately will be.

Timing Is Everything


Opening an ESA too late and trying to make up for lost time after your child's last year of high school may actually work to your detriment. For one thing, deposits made after your child turns 18 are subject to a 6-percent excise tax. After that, the earnings portion of any funds remaining in the account when the student turns 30 becomes subject to both a 10-percent penalty tax and federal income tax. More importantly, though, a ESA is no different from any other investment product: time is your best friend.

Suppose you open an account as soon as possible after your child is born. Assuming you max out contributions every single year, the principal alone will total $36,000 by the time your beneficiary turns 18. Assuming an 8.00% before-tax return and a 25% marginal tax bracket, your child's trust would eventually accumulate roughly $80,893, compared to the approximately (still impressive) $65,520 a taxable savings account would earn over the same period.

For some perspective, the total deposits alone would rival several states' median household incomes and even eclipse those of several U.S. commonwealths and territories. After taking interest into account, the balance would far outstrip Maryland's top-ranking median income totaling just barely over $70,000.

That kind of savings demands consistent deposits and the discipline not to touch them, but cementing fiscal resources such as those for your child first requires some prudent planning.

Contributing


We established that 18 years of age is the cutoff for both setting up and paying into a Coverdell ESA. Nothing stipulates that the beneficiary must be your own child or even related to you at all. Meanwhile, depositors must earn modified adjusted gross income under $190,000 to make a full $2,000 yearly contribution - $95,000, if you happen to be a single filer. Households that earn between $190,000 and $220,000 and single filers who claim between $95,000 and $110,000 can gradually phase out the $2,000 yearly deposit limit entirely. Since 2002, amended regulations have also allowed for contributions to both an ESA and 529 plan naming the same beneficiary.

Get this: if your own income is above the allowable maximum, your child can even make a Coverdell ESA contribution instead, provided his or her own earnings fall within the above-stated limits. Unlike a traditional or Roth IRA, nothing stipulates that a contributor has to have any earned income. Just gift the money to your child first. Your child can be named the beneficiary of limitless Coverdell ESAs, provided total contributions remain below the $2,000 limit, but most scenarios won't make the combination of minimums imposed by sponsors and various annual fees worth the trouble.

Starting a Coverdell ESA


Any financial institution that can serve as a traditional IRA's custodian, such as this credit union savings account, can get you started. Your trust's caretaker will invest contributions through the sponsoring institution's available qualifying investments, including mutual funds, certificates of deposit, stocks, and bonds. Life insurance is exempt from ESA investment. Once you complete the sponsor's enrollment paperwork naming the trust's beneficiary and a "responsible individual" trustee, it's time to make your first contribution and plant the seeds of your child's future.


Financial Aid Consequences


All of that being said, keep in mind that our Coverdell ESA comes with financial aid eligibility ramifications if you intend on using the full balance strictly to pay for college. Granted, it's a negligible dent in overall eligibility, but you cannot afford to entirely discount the impact.

Like a 529 plan, your student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) includes up to 5.64 percent of a Coverdell ESA's value if a parent or student owns the account. You only report the funds of an account owned by another relative once you or your student withdraws funds.

It pays to be judicious when tapping into your balance, even for the expenses the trust is structured to cover. Your federal income tax return will ordinarily exclude withdrawals from Coverdell ESAs owned by a parent or student, but withdrawals from accounts owned by anyone else will be "added back" at up to 50 percent as student income on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid the next year. In more concrete terms, an aunt or grandparent pulling out $15,000 to cover a university bill means a $7,500 increase to the next FAFSA's EFC.

Use as Directed


It should go without saying, but in addition to taking the general long-term ramifications of every withdrawal into account, never forget what the "E" in your Coverdell ESA's name: education.

To maintain tax-free withdrawals and earnings, Coverdell ESA funds must strictly be used for qualified elementary and secondary education expenses (QESEE) or qualified higher education expenses (QHEE).

Let's run those down:


QESEE


  • Fees, tuition, tutoring, special needs services when required by the beneficiary, books, supplies, and other equipment incurred by enrollment and attendance.
  • Transportation, uniforms, supplementary items and services (including extended day programs), and room and board required or provided by the school.
  • Fees associated with any computer equipment or technology, internet access, and related services used by the beneficiary and family during school years.

Fortunately, the QHEE is much more cut-and-dried:

QHEE


  • Tuition and fees.
  • Room and broad, as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time (6-8 credit hours per semester, ordinarily).
  • If living off-campus, you can withdraw the amount of room and board costs the school includes in its cost-of-attendance figures.
  • Books and supplies as needed.
  • As of 2015, purchases of computers, software, internet access, and other related equipment are all qualified expenses.
  • Equipment and services addressing the beneficiary's special needs for enrollment or attendance

Remember, a 10-percent penalty tax and federal income tax will apply to all non-qualified withdrawals.

A Word on Credit Unions


We'll close by circling back to one of our earlier points. Yes, you can open a ESA with virtually any financial institution that routinely manages investment products such as IRAs. That doesn't mean some institutions won't provide notable advantages others can't or won't.

If you can, choose a credit union for your Coverdell ESA. Generally speaking, these alternatives to bigger banks offer vastly more personal customer service. Who wouldn't want a locally oriented account custodian that takes the time to get to know your family's education needs as closely as a trusted friend? Just as importantly, credit unions often offer interest rates that banks can't touch, along with minimal transfer and maintenance fees, and deposit insurance up to $250,000. Your ESA is one of the most valuable investments you will ever make, after all. Why not trust it to the most dedicated, personable partners you can?
READ MORE

5 Unique Tips For Financially Preparing For College

Posted on Dec 24, 2016 with No comments
A common goal that many parents have is to save enough money to put their kids through college. However, since the cost of college is rising so fast, this can seem like a big challenge to many people.

For those that are looking to send their kids to college, here are five unique tips to follow that can help you save money and better prepare for your child’s future education.

Estimate The Cost


The first tip for financially preparing for college is to properly estimate the costs of the education. Many studies today believe that college will cost significantly more in the future. By the year 2030, college could cost over $100,000 at private schools every year and state colleges could cost over $40,000. 

When estimating the budget, you will also need to factor in other expenses such as commuting, living expenses, and spending money. Make sure that you really take the time to sit down and really figure out how much college is going to cost you.

Set Goals


Another tip for saving for college is to set a goal for what you would like to provide your kids. While paying for the entire education may be a goal, it can be impossible in some cases.



However, you should set a goal for a certain percentage of the education that you want to cover. Based on this, you will be able to figure out how much you have to have saved before your kids go to college.

Start Early


The most important tip that many parents should follow is to start saving as early as possible. While 18 years may seem very far away, the years will go by very quickly and you can miss out on a lot of compound interest if you do not start right away. 

Ideally, you should start funding the college savings account right after they are born.

Investment Strategy


How you invest the money is just as important as how much you save. Many experts agree that your investment allocations should change as the child approaches their college years. 

When the kids are young, you should focus on investing largely in stocks and mutual funds. However, when they are approaching the college age, you should re-allocate into a more conservative mix.

Other Financing Options


As your child approaches college, you should start looking more into scholarships and student loans. Many colleges, local communities, and private ventures have scholarship programs that could help reduce your cost. 

Furthermore, most schools, including UC Clermont College, have financial aid offices that can help you receive grants and loans.

In conclusion, paying for college for a child can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, you can just take your time and save over the years. Just be sure to follow these five unique tips to help make sure that you are as financially prepared as possible.

READ MORE

5 Foolproof Ideas to Choose the Right English Tutor in Melbourne

Posted on Dec 16, 2016 with No comments
Are you worried about the weak performance of your kid in English subject? If yes, then you must hire a good English tutor for him. If you live in Melbourne, then you must know that many people in this city hire home tutor for improving the performance of their kids. 

But hiring the great English tutor in Melbourne is a very challenging job and lack of information prevents people to do this job successfully. If you want to know 5 foolproof ideas that will help you to choose the right English tutor, then you must read this article.

An English tutor who has lots of knowledge about this topic can help their student to learn this topic properly. But before choosing the right one, people should also check that whether the tutor has teaching ability or not. 

Person who has enough knowledge but don’t know how to teach, then he or she cannot teach his or her students. At this present time, a number of online sources help people to find the good home tutor. 



Some people don’t want to hire tutor through the online since they think this kind of source doesn’t provide authentic people. If you also think same matter, then you must visit the reliable online source. 

Reputable online sources help people to find the good English tutor. Furthermore, you should apply some ideas that will help you to handle this project successfully.

5 Foolproof Ideas That Will Help you to Select the Rright English Tutor


1. Check the authenticity of the source: You should check the authenticity of the source since authentic online sources offer the best service. In fact, you should visit the web pages of the source since through this way you will get lots of information about this source.

2. Check the qualification and ability of the tutor: before choosing the home tutor, people should check their qualification and ability. Remember, people should hire tutor who has sufficient knowledge and ability.

3. Visit their references: Before finalizing the deal, people should ask them about their references. Thus, people can get a concept about the service of the source and also about the ability and honesty of the tutor.

4. Visit their terms and policies: Before finalizing the deal, people should visit the terms and policies of the source.

5. Service charges: Before availing the home tutorial service, people should check their service charges.

If you follow these above tips, then you will choose the right English tutor in Melbourne for your kids. Now you must be thinking that where to avail this service? Well, in this case, you must contact with any reputable source.

Reputable online sources have a number of efficient and qualified tutors and they help their students to learn the subject properly. 

Along with being qualified and eligible, they are also very honest. Many people in Melbourne have availed service from these reliable sources and they are very pleased. If you also want to hire a good home tutor for improving the performance of your kids in English, then you must follow this article. 

Hope, it will help you to find the right English tutor for your kids.


READ MORE

Six Financial Tricks for Getting Out of College Debt-Free

Posted on Dec 1, 2016 with No comments
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get through college with no debt. That means no student loans, no credit cards, and no signature loans. 

Most people opt for the easy way out and get student loans. However, if you utilize the following tips, you can get through your undergrad and get your graduate degree with no debt. Be smart and do your research before jumping into any future financial decisions.

Grants and Scholarships


Pell grants, scholarships, and other types of grants are out there for the taking. Pell grants are easy to get and you can apply to get these when you go through the traditional student aid process and file your FAFSA. 

Scholarships and other grants take a lot of hard work. You have to complete applications, write essays, and pay attention to deadlines. If you are willing to put in the work, you can get a lot of money from these sources. 



Even your school might offer academic scholarships, so see what you can do to improve your grades and application process.

Work Part-Time


Most full-time students choose not to work full-time so they can concentrate on their studies. This is great, but you aren't going to be able to get through school with no debt unless you pick up some kind of part-time employment. 

Just keep a close watch on your schedule so you don't miss a shift at work or blow off an exam or paper. Work-study opportunities are available at most universities as well. These mean you work for the university and instead of getting a paycheck that work goes toward your tuition in some way.

Online Classes


Online classes are a great option if you need a flexible schedule so you can work. You can work on your online coursework at night, on your lunch break, or on the weekends. Plus, you don't have to buy gas for the commute or coffee at the cafeteria to wake you up, so you save money there.

Evening Classes


If you have to work full-time, pick up a few evening classes so you can finish your degree faster without interfering with your work schedule. 

You can go straight from work to school, and use any extra time before class starts to study in a quiet area. It can be tiring, but it will be totally worth it once you have that degree in hand.

Military ROTC


If you are a good fit for the structure and rigors of military life, talk to the ROTC recruiter at your school. ROTC will give you a full scholarship to pay your tuition, plus you get a monthly stipend to help cover some living expenses. 



All you have to do is commit to a few years of active military service after you graduate. Plus, a military career as an officer has options for you to finish a Master's in a military history degree, business administration, or other disciplines with no debt.

National Guard


Interested in the military but want to fulfill your military service obligation while you are in school? The Army National Guard or Air National Guard is your best bet. 

You are given free tuition in most states at select schools, plus a Montgomery GI Bill monthly stipend so you graduate debt-free. In addition, you earn a monthly paycheck for attending monthly Unit Training Assemblies and an even bigger check in the summer for attending annual training. 

You can also take advantage of extremely low cost medical and dental insurance options through Tricare Reserve Select and the Tricare Dental Program. And your enlistment will end when you graduate school in many cases. Contact your local Army or Air National Guard recruiter for more details.

Getting a degree can be done without going into debt. Just use a few of these ideas to help you make a smarter financial decision as you prepare for college. With the right tools and experience, you can get through your schooling without a cloud of debt following you.

READ MORE

More Resources

Our Sponsors