The Mystery Behind Your Credit Score Calculation

Three credit cards
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

If you’ve come this far, you probably realize how important it is to have a good credit score. A bad credit score can prevent you from borrowing loans you may need to purchase a home or vehicle, cause you to have high interest rates, or even keep you from getting a job or an apartment.

Most lenders or companies that inquire about credit scores use the FICO score. But what goes into it? You may not realize everything that does or how each factor is weighed. If you don’t know, how are you supposed to better your score?

How To Choose The Right Private Student Loan For You

Older man in cowboy hat
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

With many fall semester bills due on August 1, you may currently be looking for ways to cover your remaining tuition balance. And you may be considering private student loans for the job.

Unfortunately, when it comes to borrowing private student loans, things are as unruly as the Wild West—except there’s no John Wayne to make the tough decisions for you. So, before you sign the dotted line, here are some tips to help you choose the right option for you, pilgrim.

The Graceful Way To Handle Your Student Loan Grace Period

Grace_Kelly_MGM_photo
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

Congratulations, class of 2014! Graduation came a lot faster than you expected, right?

I’m sure it already feels like the clock is ticking on a few things, like finding a job or getting your own apartment. However, don’t forget one more: If you took out federal student loans, your grace period has begun too.

Loans may not seem like a priority right now if your payments haven’t started. But, just like graduation, they’ll be here before you know it. Prepare accordingly by handling your grace period, well, gracefully. Here’s how.

What’s Going On With Sallie Mae And The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act?

Old Glory in Iraq
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

Last week, the Department of Justice found Sallie Mae in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), ordering them to pay $96.6 million in restitution and penalties for unfair and deceptive practices while servicing private student loans. Sallie Mae admits no wrongdoing.

$60 million of that money is to compensate an estimated 60,000 borrowers whose SCRA benefits Sallie Mae may have improperly denied. So, what is SCRA, who does it affect, and why is violating it such a big deal?

Undocumented Students Can Get Aid, Too

These seats aren’t just for U.S. citizens.
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

You applied to college and you got in. Congratulations! Why so blue? You’re an undocumented student and you can’t afford college on your own? I get it. The first eligibility qualification for federal student aid is “you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.” The second qualification for most (but not all) state aid—right after the one that says “you must be a resident of that state”—is “you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen”. Don’t throw in the towel just yet! Sure, your options are limited—but you do have options.

Why Getting Financial Aid Is A Lot Like Playing “Monopoly”

1583467_191d886988
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

It’s still cold outside, and I’ve been trying to find entertaining things to do inside since this winter seems like it will never end. (Are we in Westeros?) So, I rediscovered board games. Oh, the hours of mindless play you can have with Monopoly—especially if you play the wrong way.

During a recent visit to the Community Chest, I started thinking about paying for college (because who doesn’t ponder such issues while holding this stuff and wishing it was real?). I noticed similarities between financial aid misconceptions and the game; however, unlike that bank error, making either of these mistakes is definitely not in your favor.

2 Surprising Things That Won’t (Always) Keep You From Getting Financial Aid

4152932669_150e44e708
Share on FacebookShare on Twitter+1Pin it on PinterestSubmit to redditShare on TumblrShare via email

Financial aid season is upon us—and it can be a lot to keep track of and understand.

To receive financial aid, you have to file your taxes, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), submit other financial aid documents, and potentially, do even more. (Anything else colleges can add to your plate before you even enroll??)

It’s no wonder things fall through the cracks during this process. However, if you miss something important, that doesn’t mean you should give up. In fact, here are a couple surprising things you can do and still (usually) receive aid.