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So, you are starting to think about college. Good for you! Only, going to college means paying for college and this can present a problem.
Obviously, if you have the cash or the time to save up it is best to pay directly for your education. Even student loans have interest and every dollar you save now is a dollar you will not have to pay interest on. That said, a good education is one of the best investments you can make and you should not let money stand between you and your degree when there are so many great student loan programs.
So, how does one go about getting a student loan you ask? Here are a few simple steps to getting your student loan lined up.
Step 1. Get into school
In order to qualify for a student loan you have to be accepted to (or enrolled in) a college. Duh. So, hit the books junior and make sure you get in!
Step 2. Fill out your FAFSA
You will need to download your “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” off the FAFSA web site. This needs to be filled out before you can start the process for any federal aid. This will take some time and at moments you may feel yourself falling into a deep, deep sleep but snap out of it! Get that thing filled out and get moving.
Step 3. Find the Right Lender:
Here at i[x] we are obviously in favor of Georgia’s Own Credit Union for your student loan needs. You need to find the right lender for yourself but we think low rates and great customer service are a good combination. You’re smart, check them out and decide for yourself.
Step 4. Decide what type of loan to get
When it comes to student loans you have a number of choices. You can get a federal loan (Stafford, Perkins), your parents can get the loan (PLUS) or you can get a private loan. The two most common types of student loans are Stafford and PLUS loans. Here is a little more info on these two loan types:
Stafford Loans: These are low-cost loans from the federal government designed for undergraduate or graduate students. There are several different types of Stafford loans so be sure to talk to your Georgia’s Own loan representative to learn about which one is the best fit for you. The options vary on how much of a loan you need, how soon you have to pay it back and how the loan handles interest.
PLUS Loans: A PLUS loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students) is designed for parents who want to pay the school costs for their child instead of the student borrowing the money directly. PLUS loans are arranged directly by your parents and have a number of different options and features depending on your financial status, your class load and payback options.
This is just an overview on a very complicated topic but dive in and take action. Stay tuned to the i[x] blog as well because we will be putting together more info on student loans in the future.No Comments »
I bet you have a good read on the unemployment situation out there. It stinks. As bad as that is, if you are looking for part-time work to make extra cash the picture is worse. We’re not here to stress you out but let’s look at the facts and then do something about it!
How bad is it you ask? Try 27.6% bad. That is more than double the rate of our parents and it’s the highest rate that has EVER been recorded since they started keeping records in 1948. Yikes. Things might not get better for teens until this time next year which means if you do want to get a job you need to be creative and persistent.
So here, at absolutely no charge, are some job hunting ideas from your friends at i[x] and Georgia’s Own
Search Smarter: Have you visited Snagajob.com? Sure beats going door-to-door at the mall asking if they are hiring. There hundreds of part time jobs on this site so get clicking.
Make Something: Are you artistic, crafty or have a keen eye for sweet vintage gear? Head over to etsy.com and set-up your own shop up in less than five clicks. Listings only cost $.20 and you can sell your works all over the world.
Go Local: Ever thought about doing work right in your neighborhood? With the downturn in full effect many families cut back on professional yard work, house cleaning, chores and even dog walking. Simply putting out some flyers could land you a new gig.
Get Some Guidance: It may not seem like the first place to look but have you talked to the guidance counselor at school? They are trained professionals and believe or not they really do care about you. It’s their job to be connected, so talk to them for advice on where to look locally.
Remember that every problem can be an opportunity. Turn this churn into a sweet job for yourself. You can do it!
So, now it’s your turn. Are you stressed out about finding a job? Are your parents worried about their jobs? Were you able to land a job and if so what sort of money are you making? Share! The i[x] team wants to know what is going on in your life so we can help you and others get ahead with your money.No Comments »
10. Don’t Believe the Hype
Companies spend billions of dollars marketing to teens. Billions. It’s hard to go against what everyone is doing but you can do it! Just because something is on TV does not mean you need it. If you can afford it great, but if not save up and make it yours!
9. Don’t Overspend
If you spend less than you make you will always have money. That sounds so simple but very few people follow that advice. Want to be rich? Listen to this advice.
8. Prepare For the Unexpected
Things happen when you least expect them – right? When your car breaks down or something wears out it’s easy to justify borrowing to solve the problem but the best thing to do is plan ahead. Save a little bit at a time and you will never have to worry about what’s around the corner.
7. Be Careful With Credit
Establishing a credit score is important and by starting early you can build a strong credit rating. The key with credit is to not get in over your head. Purchase what you can afford, pay your balances off and don’t run up high balances.
6. Go To College
We know that everyone is probably on you to go to college but it’s one of the best things you can do for your bank account. College grads earn thousands more on average and the investment will pay off.
5. Get Out of Debt
The best way you can start earning money is to pay off your debt. And if you are not in debt yet – STAY OUT! There is nothing wrong with credit cards but you need to pay your purchases off and avoid high interest rates.
4. A Shoebox Won’t Cut It
Saving money means more than stashing cash under your bed. If you want to get serious you need to think about opening a savings account, CD or IRA. The folks at Georgia’s Own have everything you need to save the smart way.
3. Forget Minimum Payments
Just because you can afford something based on the minimum payment does not mean you should buy it. Companies often lower the payments to disguise the fact that the real price is more than you can afford.
2. There is No Free Lunch
Be smart when it comes to your money and offers you hear. If something sounds too good to be true than it probably is.
1. Start Saving Early
The sooner you start saving the more you will have. You see, there’s this little thing called compound interest and starting early can earn you thousands over time. Even a little bit will make a big difference.