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6 Ways to Keep Your Money Up Post-Grad

6 Ways to Keep Your Money Up Post-Grad

This past two months have been huge milestones for college students around the country. In the words of Elle Woods, congratulations class of 2018, we did it! It’s time to trade in the cap and gown for a suit and tie and make sure your post-grad life is off to a great start. Here are 6 tips to keep your money right after graduation.

1. Don’t be Afraid of the B-Word

After you score your first job and get used to receiving a paycheck for a few months, it’s important to sit down and figure out a budget. Take the money you get after taxes, add up all of your monthly expenses (i.e. student loan payment, car loan, cell phone), and violà, your weekly budget has been born. Always try and spend less than what you make so you can put away money for a rainy day. Shoot for having 3-6 months of living expenses in your savings so that you’re prepared for emergencies.

2. Start Breaking Down your Debt

Hopefully you were Scholly member and accessed that free money to graduate debt free. If not, no worries – we’ve still got you. It’s no secret debt is daunting, but it’s how you persevere through that debt that can put you in the right financial mindset for the future. A crucial first step is to make a clear and detailed plan. If you have college debt, research options to refinance your student loans. Refinancing allows you to consolidate your federal and private loans into one streamlined payment with a lower interest rate. Streamlined payments lower your monthly payments leaving you with more money to save or invest. Find other ways of curbing your spending like packing lunches, passing on happy hours, and most importantly living within your means. You’ll break down your debt even quicker.

3. Check and Establish your Credit

Your credit score is a benchmark of your financial responsibility. After you graduate, it’s important to check your credit score to make sure there aren’t any unnecessary marks against you. If there are, request to get them adjusted. There are free websites available for you to check your credit score so there are no excuses. Your credit score will affect major financial decisions like purchasing a car, refinancing your loans, and renting an apartment. You don’t want to have a measly number holding you back from achieving your goals.

4. Utilize Your Employer’s 401k or Retirement Plan

If your employer offers a 401k retirement plan or some type of equivalent, take advantage of it. Ideally, you would want to contribute enough to get the company match (usually 4-6%), because who doesn’t like free money? The younger you start contributing to your retirement savings, the more powerful the compounding interest will work in your favor. Don’t stop at the company match though; if your budget allows for it, increase the percentage every year or each time you get a raise.

5. Start Investing

Investing can seem like uncharted territory to a recent college grad. It’s a common misconception that you need to pay down all of your debt before you put a chunk of your money into an investment account. Time is your biggest advantage when it comes to investing so don’t wait until you are making more money. Check out this guide for beginner investing tips for college grads.

6. Splurge on Experiences

Focus on experiences rather than material things. You don’t want to look back on your twenties and regret not booking that trip or going to that concert. You’ll never be this free again, so take the opportunity to travel to new places, try new things, and meet new people!

 

Top 10 Student Loan Refinancing Questions of 2015

Top 10 Student Loan Refinancing Questions of 2015

We at Scholly pride ourselves in helping students find free money for college by finding Scholarships, but we know that loans are still often a necessity. That doesn’t mean the payments need to be a burden. One way to lower the amount you have to pay in total, and the amount you have to pay monthly, is to refinance your student loans. This is a relatively new concept, so it’s not surprisingly borrowers have questions about what student loan refinancing is and how it can help them save money. 

We have partnered with CommonBond to help our members through the process of refinancing their loans to make life more affordable. According to this Forbes article here are the 10 most frequent questions borrowers asked CommonBond this year, and their answers:

What is refinancing and what type of loans can be refinanced?

When you refinance, you take out a new loan to pay off your current student loans. People refinance student loans for a variety of reasons. Refinancing can lower a borrower’s interest rate, decrease monthly payments or let the borrower switch from a fixed-rate loan to a variable-rate loan or vice versa. Some private lenders, including CommonBond, can refinance federal and private student loans as well as previously consolidated loans.

How can private lenders offer lower rates than the federal government?

Private lenders can offer creditworthy borrowers better terms than the federal government because they customize the rate based on a borrower’s risk rather than a formula set by Congress.

What tradeoffs do I make when I refinance my federal loans to a private lender?

The federal government offers income-driven repayment plans and public service loan forgiveness. People who plan to use these extra borrower protections should keep their federal loans.

How is my interest rate determined when I refinance my student loan?

The interest rate for a refinancing loan depends on a variety of factors, including credit history, income, the choice of a variable or fixed rate for the loan, and the length of the loan term.

What’s the difference between a fixed-rate and a variable-rate loan?

The interest rate on a fixed-rate loan remains unchanged over time regardless of what happens with other interest rates. A variable-rate loan fluctuates based on a market benchmark rate. If that market benchmark rate increases, so too would the rate and vice versa. Most private student loans with variable rates use 1-month LIBOR, which is the estimated rate at which international banks lend to each other in a given month, as their market benchmark.

Who is eligible to refinance?

It depends on the lender. U.S. citizens and permanent residents who graduated from one of more than 2,000 universities or graduate programs are eligible to refinance with CommonBond.

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