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5 End of the Year Financial To-Dos

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

The end of each year is a time for wrapping up loose ends and preparing for a new year. Getting your finances in order should be a priority for college students and recent graduates. The following are five items that should be on your year-end financial to-do list. 1. Donate to Charity Making a charitable donation before the end of the year can easily boost your deductions on your 2014 tax return. You can donate anything from money or clothing to stocks or bonds. Make sure to get a written receipt from the organization for your records. 2. Consider Refinancing …

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How Soft & Hard Credit Inquiries Affect Credit Score

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

There are two kinds of inquiries into your credit report: hard inquiries and soft inquiries. Both involve someone viewing your credit report, but they don’t both affect your credit score. In today’s article, you’ll learn the difference between these two types of inquiries and the impact they have on your credit. What is a soft inquiry? A soft inquiry can happen without your permission and occurs when a person or company checks your credit report as part of a background check. Examples of soft inquiries include when: You check your own credit report. Lenders pre-approve you for credit cards and …

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3 Steps for Dealing with Student Debt if You Did Not Graduate

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

Life can get tough when you have student loan debt, but no degree. You don’t get any of the benefits or financial promise that comes with finishing college – but you still have debt that needs to be dealt with. What’s more, recent reports show that a whopping 62 percent of people who defaulted on their student loans in 2009 had no degree, which makes a lot of sense. People with college degrees earn substantially more than those without, so your bank account will probably take a hit if you invest money in a degree that you never earn. The …

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How The 3 Worst Money Mistakes Can Cost You Thousands

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

Everyone knows money mistakes can be costly, but there are some mistakes that can cost a lot more than others. For example, failing to fully save for your children’s education might make it more expensive for them, but it’s not really painful for you. However, being late on your own debt payments can really hurt. Here’s how some of the worst money mistakes can end up costing thousands, or even more. 1. Failing To Repay Student Loans The absolute worst money mistake anyone can make is failing to repay their student loan debt. If you don’t make car payments, the bank …

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Are Income-Driven Repayment Plans Right for Me?

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

Income-driven repayment plans exist to help borrowers who are having trouble making payments on their federal student loans. And while they come with a number of benefits – including loan forgiveness after 20 to 25 years and lower monthly payments – they aren’t right for everyone. There are some cases when income-driven repayment plans will be in your best interest, but there are also some cases when it’s better to stick with your existing plan. With that said, here are the three key benefits of income-driven repayment plans, along with a few tradeoffs to keep in mind when making your …

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Organizing and Maintaining Your Daily Finances

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

After high school, your personal finances become complex. Then, after college, they become even more complex. With each additional milestone in life, your personal finances become more challenging to deal with – simply because there is more and more “stuff” to keep track of. When you’re in high school, you might have a job and some spending money. This means a checking and savings account. Get to college; add in some student loan debt. After graduation, you get your first job, and now you likely start having investments, such as a 401k or 403b. Furthermore, you’re going to have more …

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4 Things You Must Know About Personal Finance Before Graduation

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

Many college graduates find that managing their money in the real world is more difficult than they anticipated. They live paycheck to paycheck, run up credit card debt, and take out large auto loans – all things that prevent them from achieving financial freedom. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are the four things you must know about personal finance before graduation, to make sure your financial future is protected: Preserve your credit score. Your credit score is key to a strong financial future. If you have bad credit, you may not be able to lease an …

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Is It More Important to Pay Off My Student Loans or Save For Retirement?

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

Choosing to prioritize paying off your student loans or saving for retirement is a personal decision, and there’s no “right” answer that works for everyone. On the one hand, saving for retirement now means you’ll reap the substantial benefits of compounding interest. On the other hand, paying off your student loans more quickly will get you out of debt and save you money because you’ll pay less in interest over the life of the loan. There are pros and cons to each choice, so here’s how to make the right decision for you: 1. Consider your financial situation. Your current …

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5 Things To Never Buy on Credit

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

Using a credit card is a little bit like playing with fire. Stick your hand too close to the flame and you will get burned. Credit cards can be a useful tool in your financial toolbox. If managed carefully, a credit card offers freedom to make necessary purchases when you lack sufficient cash on hand. Misusing a credit card can erase your financial freedom in a short time. Credit card debt is unsecured and carries a higher monthly interest rate than a typical auto or home loan. It is also not tax deductible. A few missed payments and reckless spending …

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7 Things You Should Do to Your LinkedIn Profile to Get a Better Job

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

For hiring managers, reviewing your LinkedIn profile is much like reviewing a resume. They’re looking for relevant experience and a reason to contact you – and they want it quickly. If you’re looking to get a better job, that means it’s your responsibility to capture the hiring manager’s attention, demonstrate your value, and inspire him or her to reach out about an open position. Here’s how to get started: 1. Update your photo. Updating your profile photo will get you more views – but not all photos are created equal. With that said, don’t use a grainy, cropped photo from …

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Why a College Budget Is So Important

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

Budget management, also known as “paying the bills”, is a practical and beneficial skill that can be used for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, while colleges offer classes ranging from astrophysics to medieval poetry, there are few classes available on personal financial management. The most effective way to learn good budgeting is by handling the costs of your life. While in college, students are given the time and place to learn budgeting skills so that when they graduate they can transition into independence. Some examples of college budget questions include: “Can I buy a new laptop and take a …

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5 Ways to Save for the Future as a Millennial

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In Managing MoneyLendKey

Millennials have a lot of things going for them – but a strong financial situation isn’t always one of them. According to a recent Experian analysis, their average credit score is 625 and their average debt excluding mortgages is $26,485. Meanwhile, Baby Boomers have an average credit score of 709 and their debt excluding mortgages is only around $19,217. This current financial picture leads many Millennials to prioritize getting out of debt, rather than saving for the future. Unfortunately, this is a trend that can prevent you from achieving true financial freedom down the road. In many cases, it can …