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Will the New Federal Tax Laws Effect College Education Loans?

Posted on Dec 23, 2017 with No comments

Dec 23, 2017

The other day, both Houses of Congress passed the brand-new tax costs, which is the very first significant modification to the tax code in 30 years. The brand-new Tax Cut and Job Act will have a substantial effect on education financing. The primary goal is to decrease taxes and streamline the procedure.

Over the past couple of months, various propositions were altered or contributed to the bill. All these modifications will impact different areas of student loan financing. Listed below are the actually details of the bill. A few of the items have a direct or indirect effect on college financing and student loan repayment.

College Funding Items

- 529 Plans-- They can now be utilized for K-12 education cost approximately $10,000 per kid. This could be extremely useful for individuals who reside in states that use a tax deduction for a contribution to a 529 Plan. It likewise consists of an arrangement for home schooling.

- American Opportunity Credit-- This tax credit stays at $2,500 per kid each year with certified college expenses. There are earnings limitations based upon the tax filing status.

- College Tuition Benefit will stay untaxed.-- Initial changes was to make it taxable. It is still thought about an outside resource for need-based financial assistance.

- Company Tuition Reimbursement will still be tax-free as much as $5,250. It was going to be revoked however was included back in.

- Coverdell Saving Plans-- Initially noted to be gotten rid of specifically after the 529 expansion. The Coverdell will stay the exact same.

- Graduate School Scholarships-- There is no change in the final bill.. This too was noted as a modification in the preliminary bill however it will stay in the law.

- Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Credit-- The initial costs prepared to get rid of both of these income tax credits however they will stay the same. The objective was to have only one educational tax credit. This credit helps tax filers who were part-time students and graduate students.

- Student Loan Deduction-- This is still a permitted deduction in the bill. The original bill removed this deduction. There are limitations based upon how you file your taxes.

- Student Loan Discharge due to Death and Disability will be tax exempt-- Prior to this bill student loan forgiveness was taxable. This will stay in place however and will sunset in 2025. Other Income Drive Repayment Loan forgiveness such as IBR, PAYE, REPAY are still taxable forgiveness. Public Service Loan Forgiveness is tax-free. Modifications in these plans will be addressed in the Higher Education Act being examined now.

Indirect Tax Items Affect Educational Funding

- Elimination of Exemptions-- With the removal of the exemption reduction and a boost in the basic reduction, more analysis will be needed to optimize the American Opportunity Credit and other instructional tax credits.

- Home Equity Loan interest is not deductible. A typical borrowing scheme was to use the house equity credit lines or loans as a source for college financing. Under the brand-new bill, just your main home loan interest will be deductible.

- Kiddie Tax Rule Change-- Under the present law, unearned earnings over $2,100 for certain dependent kids are taxed at the moms and dad rates. Under the brand-new Kiddie Tax Rules, these earnings will be taxed at the trust level earnings tax rate, which are typically higher than theparents rates.

- Lower Tax Rates and Federal Income Tax paid might impact your Expected Family Contribution number.-- The brand-new tax bill has several modifications to the amount of federal tax paid. The quantity of federal tax paid belongs to the Expected Family Contribution or EFC computation.

- Minimum Tax (AMT) Remains-- A preliminary objective was to streamline the tax code and the AMT is a huge aspect of it. The earnings limitations were raised however is still part of the brand-new tax bill. The AMT is an issue particularly for couples who remain in Income Drive Loan Repayment methods.

- Other Varies Tax Changes might impact state educational financing and highly endowed colleges. These decreases might raise expenses at some schools.


In 2018, the college funding and student loan payment procedure will be changing. This short article addresses just the preliminary modifications in the tax code. Extra modifications are being attended to in the Higher Education Act, which is called Prosper Act. Once both are passed and signed, we will be able see the complete effect on college financing and student loan payment.


Got A Car for College? Here Are 5 Tips on How to Save Money on Repairs

Posted on Nov 25, 2017 with No comments

Nov 25, 2017

As a student, you are fully aware of how much the studies and all that comes along with studying costs, especially if you are studying abroad. If you have a car, it is a great solution for you to have transportation to college and around the campus, but it can also be an expensive one if you know nothing about car repairs, and end up needing one. In this article, we are going to discuss 5 tips on how to save money on repairs.

Use the advantage of warranties

In the case that you didn’t know, most of the parts of your car have a warranty, be it limited or lifetime. This is something that you should get to know when buying the car, and it should be printed on the receipt.

Your auto store will also have this information stored in its system. So, start a file for this information and you will save greatly on car repairs. When an option for a one-time or a lifetime purchase offer is an option, you should spend money on the warranty. Someday you will be grateful that you did.

Ask for referrals

The same way that you certainly wouldn’t choose a doctor or a lawyer by browsing the Yellow Pages, you shouldn’t look for a car mechanic that way. The best solution to finding a great mechanic that you can afford is getting a referral.

Ask your friends about which car repair shop they prefer using. It’s one of the best ways to find a quality mechanic that you can put your trust in. It would also be smart to look for reviews of repair shops on a website such as Yelp. Otherwise, ask around on Facebook or Twitter.

Be prepared to do it yourself

Maybe running to the mechanic every time your car has issues isn’t necessary. Not every car repair needs a mechanic to do it, and there is a lot of simple repairs that you can do it yourself. Therefore, logically, one of the best ways to save money on repairs is to do some of the basic maintenance yourself.

It’s actually not at all hard to replace brake lights, change the car battery, replace wiper blades, change filters and oil, and so on. It may be a challenge at first, but it gets easier with practice. You can check YouTube and other websites for how do fix certain problems.

Get your own code reader

You have probably asked yourself countless times what the error code that is displayed in your car is trying to tell you. Well, if you get an error code reader of your own, you will know exactly what the cause behind your check engine light going on is.

When you take your car to the mechanic, and are already knowledgeable about what is wrong with your car, you can prevent any unnecessary repairs.

Build a relationship with a mechanic

People tend to trust their mechanics a bit too easily. The fact is that there is a number of them out there who don’t actually have your best interests in mind. You might be even ending up charged for services that you don’t even need.

According to Epping auto service, it is essential that you find the right mechanic and build a good relationship with them. That way you will know that you can trust them when you’re in trouble.

In summation

Studying today is expensive on its own. So, if you have a car for college, you should do your best so that you don’t spend more money on repairs than necessary. You can learn how to do some of the simpler repairs yourself. Otherwise, it is important that you find a good mechanic that you can trust, so that you don’t get ripped off.


5 Savvy Ways to Save Money in College

Posted on Nov 22, 2017 with No comments

Nov 22, 2017

The high cost of tuition means you probably have less money left for the rest of your college expenses. Finding ways to save some money can make your life a little less stressful. Here are five savvy ways to save money in college.

Leave the Car Home

You will save a lot of money by not having your car on campus. You will not have the expense of parking, gas, insurance or unexpected car repairs if you are not driving. If you do need to take a trip off campus, check out the public transit system.

As a student, you may qualify for lower fares or even free transportation. If public transit is not an option, you can always rely on Lyft or Uber. Save even more by teaming up with a friend and sharing the cost.

Rent Textbooks

Most college bookstores sell used textbooks and might buy the books back at the end of the semester, for far less than what you paid. You may be able to slash your textbook expenses even further by renting your textbooks online.

An internet search will show you several options. All you need is the ISBN’s to be sure you are getting the books you need. Many textbooks are available in digital format.

Split the Cost of Storage

Having to haul all of your belongings back home at the end of the term, only to bring them back at the beginning of the next term is a lot of hauling. Save time and money by renting a month-to-month storage unit from a company like Wheaton World Wide Moving.

Moving back on campus will be much easier. Save money on your storage unit by splitting the cost with your roommate.

Resist Using Your Credit Card

Save money while you are in college by only buying what you can reasonably afford. While it may be necessary to have a credit card for unplanned expenses, you can save money by not racking up credit card debt and paying interest.

Not having a high monthly payment will leave more cash for necessities.

Socialize for Free

Keep your entertainment costs down by taking advantage of on-campus activities. Many campuses offer free movie nights, concerts and social activities that won’t break your budget. Get your friends together for a night out that won’t gouge your wallet.

Cutting your college expenses will leave a little more money for other necessities. Everything you don’t have to spend will add up over time. Try to give yourself a weekly budget and put away anything you don’t spend. Knowing how to save money can make college life more affordable.


Financial Fallout: How to Deal with Unexpected Medical Bills

Posted on Nov 21, 2017 with No comments

Nov 21, 2017

Your health should be one of your top priorities. However, it may not make it any easier to pay for exams, medicine or other medical needs. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can deal with an unexpected medical bill without completely ruining your finances.

Ask about Sliding Scale Fees

Some doctors or other medical providers will charge you on a sliding scale. That means that you may pay less than full price based on your income. It may also mean that a portion of your treatment will be taken care of for free.

This may reduce your bill from thousands of dollars to $500 or less depending on what you need done. Working with a training hospital or free clinic may also help you reduce the cost of getting needed treatment.

Your Insurance May Cover Some of the Cost

Just because you have been billed for services rendered doesn’t mean that you are actually responsible for paying. In some cases, your insurance company may actually cover the cost of a prescription drug or for being seen by a doctor.

If you have reached your maximum out-of-pocket limit for the year, charges that you have received may be reversed.

Work with an Attorney

If you have been hurt through no fault of your own, it may be possible to seek compensation for your medical costs. An attorney like Bellotti Law Group, P.C. or someone similar may work with you to get compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. 

It may also be possible for an attorney to get your doctor or other provider to hold off on demanding payment until after your case is resolved.

Consider Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is something that should be considered a last resort if you can’t pay your medical costs. However, if you truly can’t pay what you owe, it may be possible to have medical debt discharged while retaining some or all of your property. 

While it may cause a hit to your credit score, an unpaid bill sent to collections may hurt your credit even more. Bankruptcy may also put an end to creditor or debt collector phone calls, letters or other attempts to contact you.

If you have an unexpected medial bill, it may feel like your financial world is collapsing around you. The good news is that you have many options to help handle this expense. Working with an attorney, negotiating with care providers or filing for bankruptcy may all offer ways out of your debt dilemma.


6 Scholarship Myths That Just Aren't True

Posted on Oct 20, 2017 with No comments

Oct 20, 2017

It's that time of year again when high school seniors are applying for college and Mom and Dad are finding ways to pay for it. If you were smart the last 18 years you have been saving for college in a good 529 plan. Even though you have the money set aside for your childs college it's still a good idea to apply for FASFA money, every source of financing for college will be necesary.

Still there is one final thing many parents just do not do, and that is apply for scholarships. You are thinking that your child just doesn't have the grades to receive a scholarship but you may be suprised to know there are other qualifications a student posesses that will get them a scholarship.

There is a lot of bad information out there that says that scholarships are just to hard to get. Some students lose out on thousands of dollars just because of bad information. Let's break down some common scholarship myths and get more young people the money they need.

Scholarship Myths

Myth 1. Millions of Dollars of Scholarship Money Goes Unclaimed

Employer paid education benefits are included in the millions of unclaimed scholarship money and account for 85% of it. So in reality the number of unclaimed dollars is much less.

Myth 2. Competition for Scholarships is too Stiff

If you look hard enough you can find a scholarship requiring your specific talents or ideas. Not all are aimed at the student with the highest GPA or the the most community service hours.

Myth 3. Only the Best Students Receive Undergraduate Scholarships

Scholarships tend to honor those of specific majors and interests, as many universities offer full rides to students who have performed well in high school.

Myth 4. Scholarship Offers will Come to Me

This one is simple. If you do not put forth the effort, you won't reap the benefits. Scholarship agencies do not search for students. They only look at applicants.

Myth 5. Applying for a loan will Hurt My Chances for Getting a Scholarship

Every school is different, but most offer scholarships before loans can be taken out. And even if they do not necessary loans should not effect scholarship amounts.

Myth 6. Scholarships Require Exceptional Talent

This just isn't true. Many scholarships are random and based on luck, while others require simple essays about why you deserve the money.

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Ramen Risks: 3 Reasons A Student Food Budget Should Be Part of Your 529 Plan

Posted on Oct 12, 2017 with No comments

Oct 12, 2017

A 529 plan is one of the best ways to help save for college. It helps you to put money away for your child’s higher education, giving them a leg up when it comes to the expensive world of college. Unfortunately, too many family members fund their 529 plans with only tuition in mind. Below are three reasons why you should make sure that a food budget is part of the plan.

Students Need to Eat

It should come as no surprise that eating is one of the major priorities for students. It might seem a bit facetious to bring that up, but it’s easy to forget that your student is going to need to eat as well as pay tuition when he or she gets to college.

If he or she doesn’t have the money to eat, there will be options—but they definitely aren’t great. If you don’t want your student to spend his college years subsisting on ramen and cheap coffee, it may be a good idea to work food into your college savings plan.

Food is Expensive

As an adult, it’s a bit difficult to remember how hard it can sometimes be to get a solid meal. If you’ve got a steady job, you are aware that you spend money on food—but it’s just another part of your budget.

As a student who has just gone to school, though, the cost of food can seem astronomical. If a student doesn’t have help paying for his or her meals initially, you can expect him or her to struggle financially. If you don’t want to bail a student out later, make sure to fund his or her food budget early on.

Removing Stress

Adding a food budget to your 529 plan is also a good way to help remove some stress from the student in your life. While he or she will always be busy studying and adapting to a much more adult lifestyle, he or she doesn’t necessarily need the added stress of worrying about where his or her next meal will come from.

This kind of stress can contribute to issues like substance abuse or even to eating disorders, and treatment for these problems can cause more financial issues in the future. It’s also worth mentioning that severe problems require inpatient services at facilities like Center For Change and can take valuable time away from classes.

Make a food budget part of your 529 plan. Failure to do so simply puts too much of a burden on a student who is already trying to adapt to a new environment. While the budget doesn’t have to be excessive, it should be enough to help him or her survive. This small change can make a big difference in a college career.


College Car: 3 Ways You Can Save Money By Driving Yourself to School

Posted on Oct 4, 2017 with No comments

Oct 4, 2017

College Car

Going to college is an expensive prospect. It’s harder than ever to find ways to afford tuition these days and most students are looking for ways to stay out of debt when possible. What few realize, though, is that driving a car to college can actually make a huge difference in their finances. Below are three ways you can save money by driving yourself to school.

More School Options

If you’ve got a car, you’ve got better options when it comes to finding a school nearby. If you think about it, one of the worst limitations you can place on yourself is transportation. If you are counting on working while at school, you’d have to find a school that’s close enough to your job to attend if you want to make money.

With a car, though, you can greatly expand your radius. This means giving yourself more work options, more school options, and a better chance to shop for a tuition that you can afford.

More Housing Options

If you’ve ever looked at housing near a school, you know it’s expensive. Why? Because many would-be landlords know that their potential renters have to stay near school due to a lack of transportation. If you have a car, though, you don’t have to stay within walking distance of the campus.

You might find that rent drops quite a bit as soon as you get out of walking distance, which might end up saving you thousands of dollars every year. Even better, you’ll get a chance to live outside of the craziness of the university world—definitely a worthwhile goal itself!

Getting Out of the School Zone

A car also gives you the chance to shop outside of the school area. The businesses that are near universities operate on the same principles as movie theater concession stands and airport shops—they know the customer doesn’t have a choice, so they raise prices as much as they can.

If you’ve got a car, though, you can go shop where the locals shop and save a great deal of money during the school year. Don’t fall into the trap of university stores—drive to where you can find the deals.

Take your time to shop around at dealerships like Young Automotive Group for a great deal on a car. Once you’ve got a vehicle, you can start saving money. While you might spend a bit on your car payment and your gas, those payments should still be far less than what you would be spending without a car of your own.


Saving for College You May Be Doing It Wrong

Posted on Oct 2, 2017 with No comments

Oct 2, 2017

There's an explanation the typical class of 2016 graduate turned up with $36,162 in student debt. Granted the outrageous expense of college nowadays, countless students and their loved ones simply cannot pay for those substantial tuition costs, so they're compelled to get loans to fund their schooling.

Staying clear of huge levels of debt typically comes down to having ample savings-- an obligation that has the tendency to fall on parents more so than college students themselves. And in that respect, Americans appear to be doing a rather decent job. As of 2015, actually, 73% of U.S. households were actively saving for college, which illustrates a 15% rise from 2008, baseding upon a report by Vanguard.

However there's some unpleasant news to toss into the mix too: Although more people are setting funds aside for college, just 42% are saving through a 529 plan. And those who aren't could be making a massive blunder.

Turbo charge your savings

Even though 529 plans aren't the only choice for saving for college, there are many benefits to going this path. First, the cash you commit to a 529 gets to grow tax-free provided you apply it for college uses. With a standard brokerage account, any money you make from financial investments is subject to capital gains taxes, which implies you'll lose a part of your gains to the Internal Revenue Service and have less money accessible to pay for those tuition costs. You'll additionally be accountable for those taxes every year, which will leave you with less funds to reinvest during the course of your college savings window.

Along with tax-free financial investment growth, several states provide tax deductions for taking part in a 529. A couple of states even give tax credits, which are more beneficial than deductions on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Naturally, the one significant disadvantage with a 529 is that if you do not make use of the cash in your account for qualified college purposes, you'll be susceptible to a 10% penalty. That penalty, nevertheless, is just pertinent to your gains, and not your principal contribution. Say you fund a 529 with $40,000 of your own cash, which over time, your balance grows to $50,000. If your kid chooses not to go to college, you'll just be penalized on the $10,000 you made but didn't contribute directly.

Regardless of this one drawback, it pays to check out saving with a 529, particularly if your other option is to stick that cash in a traditional savings account. Imagine you're saving $500 a month for school over a 10-year time frame, however you put that money into a savings account paying 1% interest. After a decade, you'll have about $62,800, which isn't much more than the amount of your principal contributions.

Now see what occurs when we stick that very same cash into a 529. If your investments yield a reasonably conservative 6% average annual return, after 10 years, you'll has more than $79,000. That's a huge difference. Moreover, that $79,000 will be yours to withdraw tax-free given you're really utilizing it for college.

Save efficiently

Naturally, 529 plans aren't for everybody, however it still pays to save for college in the most tax-advantaged way possible. In this regard, Roth IRAs are even a fantastic bet for satisfying your objectives. Like 529 plans, Roth IRAs get to grow tax-free, and although they're designed for retirement, since you do not get a tax break for contributing, you're permitted to withdraw your money at any time to pay for other costs, like college.

Even though you're not eligible for a Roth IRA (namely, due to the fact that you make way too much cash), you can rather fund a traditional IRA for college savings purposes. Traditional IRAs provide the instant advantage of tax-free contributions, and while you'll generally deal with a 10% charge for withdrawing funds prior to age 59 1/2, an exception is made when the cash is used for qualified college costs.

Regardless of how you decide to save for college, the secret is to not just begin doing so early but also effectively. If a 529 plan does not interest you, consider saving in a traditional or Roth IRA instead. In this way, if you do not wind up requiring that cash for college, you'll have the ability to set it aside for retirement. Simply do not make the error of saving in a regular savings account, or maybe a traditional brokerage account, which could resemble the returns of a 529 or IRA yet provide no tax benefits to mention.

An estimated 49% of households state that regardless of their efforts, they're not on course to reach their latest college savings goals. The more strategic you are about saving, the higher your odds of covering your expenses, or at least coming fairly close.


Finding Finance: 4 Tips to Help You Pay for Unexpected Car Repairs

Posted on Sep 27, 2017 with No comments

Sep 27, 2017

car repair
Car accidents can be expensive, especially when you’re in college and you’re already on a limited income. You may need to pay a deductible, and if you only have liability insurance, you could be on the hook for all your repair costs. If you’re short on cash, here’s four tips that can help you pay those repairs.

Work a Few Odd Jobs

You may need to give up your weekends and even some free time during the week to do this, but if you’re willing to work, there are often plenty of odd jobs that pay cash. Ask around to see if anyone knows of any work opportunities. One good place to check is the Gigs section on Craigslist, specifically the Crew, Event and Labor categories.

Sell Items You Don’t Need

Look through your current possessions to see if there’s anything of value that you don’t need anymore. Start with anything you don’t use, such as textbooks from the previous semester and old cell phone. 

If you don’t find much, then it may be time to consider parting with items you’d still like to have but don’t really need, such as video game systems and designer clothes. None of these are as important as having transportation.

Consult with an Auto Accident Attorney

If you were in an accident and the other driver was at fault, then you’re entitled to compensation for your damages. That’s easier said than done, though, as insurance companies will often fight tooth and nail to minimize what they need to pay. If that’s what you’re dealing with, you should consult with an attorney like the Alexander Law Group or someone similar and ask if you can file an auto accident claim. This will put more pressure on the insurance company to provide you with the compensation you deserve to avoid a lawsuit.

Use a Credit Card

It’s best to have an emergency fund so that you can avoid using credit cards in these situations. But if you’re confident you can pay off the balance quickly, a credit card can be an effective short-term solution. There are also 0-percent annual percentage rate (APR) credit cards where you’ll pay no interest if you pay off the balance during the introductory period. You may have trouble qualifying for one on your own, but that can change if a parent is willing to co-sign for you.

When you have consistent income, you should save some of it every month to build up your emergency fund for situations like these. Until that happens, all these methods can work well if you need to pay for car repairs immediately.


Balancing Your Scholarships and 529 Plans

Posted on Sep 22, 2017 with No comments

Sep 22, 2017

For 18 years, you have diligently saved for your kid's education employing a 529 plan, building up a substantial amount, and yet your kid has gotten a scholarship, so now what? First, congratulations, both you and your kid have much to celebrate! Now what should you use the excess 529 funds for to lessen penalties and tax?

529 Plans Pay for More Than Just Tuition

To start with, note that section 529 funds may be employed for more than only tuition and charges-- other expenses qualify as well. This incorporates schoolbooks, online cost, a laptop and any computer software utilized mainly for schooling. Then there is the big one, room and board for your college student if enrolling in a minimum of half time.

Not residing on campus? Not a problem! Schools yearly release a "cost of attendance" estimate for each academic year, which features the approximate cost of room and board. You can make tax-free distributions from a 529 plan as high as this cost for a college student not residing on campus. For college students actually living on campus, if this cost goes beyond the quote in the expense of attendance, the true cost invested can be dispersed.

529 Plan Money Still Left Over? 

Still going to have money left? There are a couple of other possibilities. Initially, if there is another kid you want to select as the recipient, the accounts can be moved between brother or sisters, and even to a significant other or first cousin, however make certain that the recipient has changed prior to making distributions for the newly selected student, or this can trigger you tax headaches in the future.

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If there is no other prospective recipient, any excess amounts as much as the amount of scholarships earned can be withdrawn without cost; nevertheless, any earnings on the withdrawal would be vulnerable to tax. See the following example:

Tom has a scholarship that takes care of all tuition yearly, which is presumed to be $10,000. Sam's parents have saved carefully and, even after making withdrawals for room and board, they are anticipating to have $40,000 left over in the account, as it was the amount anticipated for university tuition ($10,000 x 4 Years = $40,000).

In year 1, $10,000 above the amount for room board and other costs is withdrawn. The 10% penalty does not apply, as Tom has scholarships of $10,000, which is what created the overfunding in the 529 plan. At the moment of withdrawal, 60% of the account is contributions, 40% is profits. As the beneficiary of the account, Sam will pay income tax on the $4,000 in gains that are withdrawn.

In year 2, $11,000 (55% contributions, 45% gains) above the amount for room and board and other costs is withdrawn. Tom has $10,000 in tuition and fees, all which is paid for by a scholarship. For this case, the gains portion of $1,000 ($1,000 x 45%=$450) of the $11,000 is subject to a 10% penalty for being a distribution surplus of the amount of scholarship covered expenses, which in this case would be $45 ($450 x 10%). $4,950 ($11,000 x 45%), the amount of gains from the distribution, is likewise subject to income tax.

Get Expert Help

Thankfully, college students are typically in a lower tax bracket, which minimizes the tax sting a bit. If you will make 529 plan distributions, talk to your tax expert to set the most effective course to lessen the tax ramifications of distributions, together with taking full advantage of any academic credits for which you may qualify.


3 Ways You Are Making 529 Plan Mistakes

Posted on Aug 27, 2017 with No comments

Aug 27, 2017

Throughout America, some 20 million university students are going back to school. Some get ready for their future; others mean to alter it. And a fascinating pattern is emerging: Tuition expenses are growing at a slower rate. In accordance with the College Board, tuition grew approximately about 6 percent yearly from 1990 through in 2015. That's double the rate of inflation. Nevertheless, this year the Labor Department approximates tuition expenses have actually increased merely just under 2 percent.

The reasons, supply (more colleges), need (less trainees returning to school because of a poor job market) and decreasing birth rates. And more independent schools are discounting their price tag-- NACUBO reports that freshmen are getting greater cost breaks on tuition through scholarships and grants.

529 Plan Mistakes

However, paying for education expenses is the problem. The typical expense for a four-year personal college is $27,500. You're either cutting huge checks-- $66,000 each year 18 years from now if you have a newborn and 5 percent inflation-- or have large student loans that mess up future monetary objectives like purchasing a house and saving for retirement. Or the smarter ones begin saving early for that newborn, presuming a 5 percent return.

You have choices on ways to save and invest that money. Each has its problems. One popular method is by means of 529 plans. This short article will attend to a few of the errors to watch out for with 529 plans.

Exactly what are 529 plans? They save money for college and other postsecondary training on a tax-advantaged basis. There are 2 primary types-- pre-paid tuition plans and savings plans-- and my focus will be on savings plans. The special benefit is that withdrawals of money (that is, you invested a particular quantity, and the account has actually grown in worth) might be tax-free if funds are utilized for certified education costs, or QEEs.

Just using pre-paid plans

Pre-paid plans are losing appeal. Initially, tuition might be just a 3rd of the overall college cost. Exactly what are you doing to save money for other expenses like room and board, car and other expenditures? Second, they have their constraints. What if you purchase prepaid for University A, however your kid chooses University B? What if B's tuition goes beyond A's? Will you support his/her registration in B, and how will you comprise the expense distinction?

Withdrawing more than you need

You can not utilize 529 plans like an ATM. Withdrawals should be for QEEs. Disqualified withdrawals undergo tax repercussions; profits might be taxable and sustain an extra 10 percent charge. QEEs are typically for the school's approximated expenses like tuition and costs, room and board, books, products and devices. Problems emerge when students live off-campus (and expenses go beyond school rent and meal plans), or they forget to adjust for scholarships and tax credits and cannot report school refunds. Students are told to keep records of their costs and purchases-- simply put, keep the lunchmeat and PBR on different lists!


What if there's left over cash because you are thy under budget (for instance, the student was saving for 4 years of school and only need money for 2)? The owner of the 529 plan typically does not lose the cash; nevertheless, she or he might lose the tax benefits. You might reassign the recipient (you call a grandchild after your kid graduates), or you utilize the funds for your own secondary education costs. And if you don't have anyone, you can make a withdrawal and pay the taxes and penalties.

You have many choices with college financing, and each might have special rules. Know the rules , and consult your advisors and specifically your CPA. Tax problems can be made complex, and like you, I don't want to recieve a letter from the IRS. Best of luck!


Top 10 Gift ideas for Graduates

Posted on Aug 21, 2017 with No comments

Aug 21, 2017

Finding the right gift for your university graduate can be hard. The challenge lies in finding something that’s special enough to mark the occasion that’s also something that you can get real use out of. Whether your recent graduate is going on to further their studies or enter the world of work, here are ten useful graduation gift ideas that truly keep on giving.

1. A tablet

From on-the-go assignments to job searches a portable tablet is a crucial tool in any post-grads itinerary. They are lightweight and often weigh about 1/3 the weight of a standard laptop, so they’re very easy to carry around when they’re out and about. 

2. Cash

If your post grads are work-bound then they will need some cold hard cash for rent, train/bus fares or petrol costs. They’ll also want to look their best so some money will be needed for a dapper suit of some sort. If your offspring are staying on for further study after recently graduating, then they’re likely to need to splash the cash on fees or study materials.

3. Jewellery

Nothing says congratulations or matches a special occasion such as a graduation more than a stunning piece of jewellery. For her, a show-stopping necklace will wow and impress all her friends, whilst for him some cufflinks will look extra smart and help him stand out from the crowd. 

4. Teddy

Who doesn’t like a graduation teddy bear? They’re cude, cuddly and a classic choice. Oh, and they’re probably cheaper than most gifts!

5. Cake

Graduation cakes come in all shapes and sizes, from traditional sheet cakes to colossal multi-tier cakes. When it comes to cake creations - the sky’s the limit! And of course their friends will love them even more if they have lots of cake to share around. Great work mum and dad!

6. Portable charger

If your recent grad is off on a year-long around the world sabbatical, then they will want to stay connected to call home or to check out what everyone’s doing on social media. Graduates who are moving on to further study will also find this useful when moving from library to coffee shop.

7. Subscription to NetFlix

Your pride and joy has worked their socks off so what better way to reward all that hard work than with a subscription to NetFlix. It’s just the thing they need to switch off and unwind. Just don’t let them enjoy it too much though!

8. Luggage

Another essential for when your recent grad decides to up sticks and see the world. For many post grad travellers who are off around the world for some amount of time, their suit case will be their new home on wheels!

9. Watch

Why should your precious one have to wait until marriage or retirement for a good timepiece? A good watch will ooze style, sophistication, add an extra layer of class to any smart dress or suit and even help toward them landing that dream job. 

10. Photo frame

Another option is to capture that special graduation day with a gorgeous frame. Often coming in a variety of finishes to suit your own individual tastes, you can treasure that special day for many years to come with this professional looking gift they’re sure to love.

Thanks to for supplying this article


What are Prepaid Tuition Plans?

Posted on Aug 18, 2017 with No comments

Aug 18, 2017

Used through state 529 plans and personal colleges, pre-paid tuition strategies are a method to pay beforehand for your kid's college education. You secure the present rate when you begin paying, so you can prevent the greater tuition rate that you 'd likely pay in the future.

For instance, moms and dads who save for one term's expense of tuition at today's rates for their 2-year-old would have the ability to pay at that locked-in rate for a term's worth of education when their young child is old enough to go off to college.

Prepaid tuition plans don't have all the benefits of a 529 Plan but they do have many good attributes that can fulfill your college funding needs.

It's Even Better

Usually, pre-paid tuition strategies just cover the expense of classes and do not cover room and board or other additional expenditures.

In most cases, you or your kid need to be a legal resident of that state, so you cannot purchase a pre-paid tuition strategy of another state.

In selecting your technique of payment, you can either save for the whole expense of tuition at the same time or make routine payments through a time payment plan. Pre-paid tuition plans normally are for community colleges along with four-year universities.

It's not all perfect concerning pre-paid tuition strategies. The problem is that just 11 states use them. The bright side is that private colleges have them, too.

How Does it work?

When you purchase a pre-paid tuition plan, you purchase an agreement that covers from one to 5 years of tuition. You can pick a community college, four-year university or a mix of both. If you want your kid to take their very first 2 years at a community college and complete their degree in a four year college, you can do that as well.

If your kid wishes to participate in a another school than the one you purchased the prepaid for, you can still utilize the cash even if that school isn't really covered by the strategy. That's due to the fact that you can use the money for tuition at another college or university.

However, while you can utilize the cash you invested, you do not get the rates that you secured when you purchased the strategy. Rather, you'll pay the rates charged by your kid's college of option.


Study Abroad with a Bajaj Finserv Personal Loan for Higher Education

Posted on Aug 12, 2017 with No comments

Aug 12, 2017

Every parent wants their child to get the best education, and studying at some of the best universities in the world is hardly a distant dream today. But an education abroad does not come cheap. Tuition fees, accommodation expenses, books, clothes, and other living costs all need to be taken into account when you’re planning to an educational program to study abroad.

And while an education loan may seem like the obvious choice to finance this dream, the loan does not cover living expenses or the cost of medical emergencies. A personal loan can therefore be more useful.

With loans up to Rs.25 lakh and attractive interest rates, personal loans offered by banks and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) are a good option to meet your education-related expenses.

However, there are certain factors that you must keep in mind when it comes to your Bajaj Finserv personal loan for education. If you are applying for one, here is a handy guide:

Loan Amount: This is the fund you request from your lender. This fund is also your principal amount and on which the interest will be charged. More the loan amount you apply for more will be the interest you have to pay.

Tenor: This is the amount of time you take to pay off the loan. The tenor is calculated in months i.e. 12, 24, 36 and 60. Hence, you have up to 5 years to pay off your personal loan. When the loan repayment starts, most of your EMI (Equated Monthly Instalment) is accumulated towards the interest and as the period progresses, the amount is used for the principal amount.

Interest Rate: Rate of interest depends on your lender. The rate of interest is the constant but is different for different financial institutions. Hence, you must compare all the rates of different lenders who are offering you a personal and choose the lender who is offering the lowest interest rate.

Credit Score: For getting a loan approved, you must have an ideal credit score of 750. A credit score is calculated on the basis of your regularity of repaying loan EMI. Your lender will cross check everything and then decide whether to sanction the loan or not.

A personal loan EMI calculator will show you the amount of instalment you will have to pay each month. This will decide whether your current income will be sufficient to pay off your EMIs. Also, a personal loan can be paid off within 1 to 5 years which gives you sufficient time to plan your future expenses. Hence, you must decide your loan tenor carefully.

If you are applying for a personal loan, then you must know that your interest amount depends on the loan amount you are applying for.

You must consider the factors involved and cost of the course and then decide accordingly the amount you can opt for in a personal loan.


Importance of the Assessment Tests in Interview

Posted on Jul 16, 2017 with No comments

Jul 16, 2017

Finding out a well eligible candidate is a difficult task. There are various factors that should be taken into account for the selection of a deserving applicant. The whole procedure is not an easy task. It requires a lot of effort and time for finding out a proper employee. Various numbers of candidates generally appear for a specific interview.

An interview is segmented into a number of rounds for the selection of the best aspirant and the rounds can be associated with a number of tests such as aptitude assessment test, technical knowledge assessment test, and soft skill assessment test and so on. Different interviews are associated with the different rounds such as cognitive ability assessment test can be a part of the assessment test in some interviews.

The assessments tests are an integral part of every interview. In general, a number of pre-employment aptitude test is taken for the selection of the best candidates. A range of examples can be taken such as numerical reasoning aptitude, verbal reasoning aptitude, diagrammatic tests, situation assessment tests, and cognitive ability aptitude and so on.

Many companies test the aptitude concepts at the initial rounds of the interview so that the eligible candidates can be selected for the next phases of the interview. There are various reliable websites that provide the online aptitude assessment facility in order to assess the aptitude knowledge level of the job applicants.

Advantages of Online-Mode Tests

  • These tests help to select the eligible candidates to the next level of the interview.
  • Online mode simplifies the overall exam structure.
  • Sometimes, the particular assessment tests can be taken virtually that means candidates can appear for the tests anywhere and not necessarily in the company’s headquarters. Of course, this totally depends on the decision of the company.
  • Online mode can reduce the interview cost of the company.

The employee assessment test is very crucial to assess the knowledge level of the job aspirants. Today, many companies arrange the initial assessment test through the internet. The aspirants can give these tests from anywhere of their comfort zones. 

Through this particular process, the companies can save some cost for an interview and the overall time frame. So, the assessment tests are very important for finding a deserving candidate. The importance of the assessment tests are as follows:

  • These assessments tests can helpin finding out the level of the strength and knowledge of the basic and fundamental concepts of the job applicants.
  • The assessment tests are used to assess the different aptitude skills (verbal, numerical etc) of the job applicants.
  • They help to examine the cognitive ability of a student along with his/her strength and weak areas.
  • Whether an aspirant can handle the job role properly and whether they can take the important decisions in various situations - all these answers can be found out by the assessment tests.
  • The knowledge ofrequiredsoftware and technical aspects can be assessed.
  • The English proficiency, the interpersonal skills, and the conversational style can be assessed.

The assessment tests help to simplify the tedious job of selecting appropriate candidates.


Car for College - Make Sure You Have a Clear or Lien-free Title?

Posted on Jul 14, 2017 with No comments

Jul 14, 2017

Many people end up purchasing vehicles through a loan method. When this happens, a lien is placed on the vehicle's title by the loan institution until the loan is paid off. During this time, the loan institution technically owns the vehicle. In order to clean up any gray area on the matter, here is a further look at a title loan if you have a clear and lien-free vehicle title.

Checking for Other Liens on the Vehicle Before it is Purchased

All loan institutions need to do some research on a vehicle's title before they issue a new loan on it. If there is a pre-existing lien against the vehicle, then that lien has to be cleared before a new lien can be placed on it. This situation can be problematic for instances where someone might be trying to sell a vehicle without going through an auto dealership. In order to have the right to sell that vehicle without going to a third party, the lien against the vehicle must be cleared first. Otherwise, a new lien might be denied on the vehicle until that previous lien is paid off. In short, multiple liens cannot be placed on one vehicle at any given time.

People looking to buy a car outright from another person without going to a dealership can check for liens against vehicles themselves. Services like those found at Car Fax usually provide this check for a relatively low price or completely free. The only information needed is the car's VIN.

Paying Off the Car Loan Sooner Rather than Later

The first step to gaining a lien-free vehicle title is to focus on paying off the loan for that vehicle promptly. All loans come with a set time frame of when the vehicle has to be paid off, which helps to determine what the monthly loan payments on the car have to be. It is important to note, however, that this time frame is the maximum length of time a person has to pay off that car loan. 

If larger payments can be made within that time frame, then the loan will be paid off sooner. Some people just pay their loans by rote habit for the sake of just meeting their minimum monthly payments. People need to understand this one fact, though: that monthly payment is just as stated above, a minimum due. The sooner a car loan is paid off, the sooner the lien on the title will be lifted. 

Having a Lien-Free Title Actually Means True Ownership

As eluded to previously, a person does not own their vehicle until the lien against it has been paid off. The only way to have a vehicle title that is clear and free means the loan institution releases the title to the vehicle owner without anything imposed against it. Usually, a new title is issued without the lien. Some institutions do not include the cost of generating this new title in the cost of the loan, so vehicle owners need to beware that there might be an extra cost involved.

If a person is in a tight situation where they need access to some money fast, they need to be aware that their vehicle cannot be used as collateral for a loan, no matter how small, until that original loan is paid off. Not any one loan institution of reputable standing will place a second lien against a car if one already exists. 

Once the loan is paid and the title is clear, a situation might arise where a second loan can be used with the vehicle as collateral. Not all loan institutions are willing to go this route, though. Paying off the loan is the only way to have the title loan if you have a clear and lien-free vehicle title.

Obtaining a lien-free vehicle is a logical process. The outstanding loan needs to be paid before the car is sold to someone else. A loan institution will only make the person with the loan a full owner if the title loan if you have a clear and lien-free vehicle title.


Free College? Great Scholarships On the Web

Posted on Jul 5, 2017 with No comments

Jul 5, 2017

Every year, millions of dollars of free money for college goes unclaimed because students aren't aware of it. The Internet is a storehouse of information on scholarships and grantsfor students of all ages—but you have to know the best ways to find it.

Most scholarships are for either $500 or $1,000, although some offer as much as $10,000 per year. Some students are awarded several different scholarships. Nearly every college
or university offers full scholarships that cover tuition and living expenses. 


  • Start your search at This popular search engine constantly updates its listings on scholarships, grants, paid fellowships and other awards.
  • Plug in money words. Start with "scholarship." Then search related money words, such as "grant".. ."fellowship".. ."assistantship," etc. These will lead you to more revenue sources. 
  • Search with word strings. When you type more than one word in the search field, the listings will be more specific to your particular needs. Just enter the search words with a space between each word—you don't need to include "and" or a plus sign. 

EXAMPLE: Scholarship graphic design New York 2010. The location you include can be either where you live or where you want to go to school. Change one word at a time after your initial search. In the example above, replace "scholarship" with "grant" or "graphic
design" with "art." 

HELPFUL : Make a list of key words and their synonyms to include in your scholarship search.

  • Bypass commercial sites. Typing "—.com" in the search field streamlines your search by eliminating paid-for scholarship search services. 
  • Search your interests. No matter what you like to do — play tennis, skydive, act, quilt— there are probably scholarships available. Pair your interests with the word "scholarship" in your search engine. 
  • Search the sites of major foundations, associations and companies. Many offer scholarships. 



4 Tax Tips for Students in Seasonal Jobs

Posted on Jun 29, 2017 with No comments

Jun 29, 2017

Working a seasonal job is a great way for students to pick up some additional spending money or to pay down that cell phone bill. Follow the four tax tips below to make sure your next seasonal job is headache-free when tax season rolls around.

Make a Resume

Okay, I know this isn't much of a tax tip, but you won't need any tax tips if you don't get the job, and having all your ducks in a row before you even apply for the job will help make sure you get it in the first place.

Even if you're a student without much of a work history, you're still going to need to gather together all your personal info and references to put down on your job application, so why not have them ready to go in resume form? You'll make a better first impression at your interview and will have a better chance of getting the job, compared to all those other kids who don't have resumes and show up unprepared.

Keep Your Own Records

Always track your own hours and pay. Employers sometimes make mistakes, so you don't want to lose out on any pay that you earned. Just keep a doc on your phone or write it all down in a little notebook every day. Record your start time and end time every day and the total hours worked per day and per pay period. Then go back when you get your paycheck and make sure that everything adds up. If you find a discrepancy, don't be shy—inform your employers so that they can make things right. A money management service might be able to help you do this more easily.

Don't Forget To Declare Your Tips

Tips count as income too, and you're required by law to report them to the IRS if you earn more than $20 in tips in any given month. Since you're keeping track of your hours and pay as recommended above, it's not hard to add in one more number to your notepad.

Hey, you want to be treated like an adult, right? Well, the flip side of that is acting like an adult, so follow the law and declare all your income.

Do Your Taxes For Free Using IRS Free File

Sure, you could go to your Dad's tax accountant and get your income taxes filed for 50 bucks or whatever, but why pay for tax services when you can get them done for free? The IRS offers students a service online called IRS Free File. It's easy to use and totally free.

Even if you don't end up earning enough at this job to owe federal taxes, you still need to declare that income and file a tax return. And if your employer withheld any earnings from your paychecks for taxes, then only way to get that money back is to file your taxes.

Okay, so you've got your resume, and you've got your notepad ready to track your hours, earnings and tips. You even know where to go to file your taxes for free. Looks like you're all set! Now get out there and make that money! And don't forget to toss Mom a few bucks for gas money.


5 Ways Students Can Save Money with a Staycation this Year

Posted on Jun 23, 2017 with No comments

Jun 23, 2017

Managing money and arranging a trip are 2 things that do not typically go together, however it is feasible to organize a trip without shelling out a lot of money.

In the last couple of years, staycations have actually ended up being more and more frequent with university student-- and it's simple to see why.

Still how can you save cash on your staycation? Is it likely to experience a few days away with your loved ones for $200? We've rounded up 5 ideas to do precisely that.

Find Alternatives to Hotels

Rather than opting for a chain resort for your vacation away, look at the advantages of bed and breakfast lodging.

Not just are B&B s typically more affordable than hotels, nevertheless they're homely, comfy and informal-- you're always assured a personalized service.

Travel When Prices are Low

Stay away from summertime vacations, national holiday and on-peak times if you wish to save money on your lodging and activities.

Typically speaking, the months of March-May and September-November are best for a staycation, as you'll still have the ability to see warm temperature without needing to pay a premium for your lodging.

Don't Eat Out

Depending upon the length of time you're going on vacation for, this idea will not consistently be ideal. Nevertheless, if you're deciding on a staycation, bring your own meals and treats so that you can steer clear of pricey room service, coffee shops and takeout costs.

One practical tip is having cereal bars to save money on breakfasts, and sodas to keep kids hydrated on their trips.

Try to find cost-free adventures

Another fantastic method to save money on your staycation is to watch out for cost-free activities that the entire household can appreciate.

Naturally, taking a walk along the beach or country must come at the top of your list.

Check out a gallery or tourist attraction, and save more by preparing a picnic to minimize splashing out on pricey sandwiches and beverages.

Only Use Your car

Rather than wasting money on buses or planes, think about taking your vehicle on your staycation.

Not just will it be easier, yet it'll be more affordable and will mean you will not have to depend on public transportation and taxis when driving around your trip location.

There you have it-- 5 ideas to save money on your next staycation.

Have a wonderful time, and keep in mind that by thinking before you buy, you'll have the opportunity to save money that you can use towards your next college break.


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