Posts published in October, 2018
BY ALEX LAWSON
A student loan can be a real millstone around your neck. The monthly payments can feel crippling, and you don’t want to get into a position where you aren’t paying it off at all – but watching the interest build instead. The best course of action is to take care of it quickly and get it paid off, so you don’t spend most of your working life worrying about it. But how can you achieve that? Here’s what to do.
Work more than full-time
It goes without saying that you will need some income coming in to pay off your loan. But what most students don’t realise is that just getting a job usually isn’t enough. Unless you’re going straight in to a Wall Street position or taking over a successful company, your salary as a new graduate won’t be high enough to start making an impact. What you need to do is start working as hard as possible, using your spare time to earn even more money. A great way to do this is to join the sharing economy. You could become an Uber driver on weekends and evenings, for example.
Don’t start spending
There can be some temptation to start spending a little more when you do get that income coming in. You might want to move to a larger home, start a gym membership, buy more expensive groceries, and so on. instead, it’s better to keep living on as small a budget as possible. Don’t go for luxuries, and if you feel the need to treat yourself, just make sure it only happens once in a very long while. Keep your subscriptions down unless they are genuinely going to save you money. Living this frugal lifestyle will allow you to save most of what you earn, and use it to pay the loan off.
Increase your payments
Rather than allowing yourself extra money that could sit in your bank account and form a temptation, get the money going directly to the loan company. Increase your payments and you’ll quickly start to pay off more and more. This is something you can do easily so that you don’t have to think about how and when to pay back more of the loan, but can just watch it happening. A great thing about this tip is that you can also calculate how long it will take you to pay the loan off – and compared to how long it would take at the standard payment rate, you’ll see you are going much quicker.
Watch out for fees
Some student loan companies will use tricks to ensure they always get more money out of you, whether through interest on the loan or through fees that are charged on early payments. Read the terms of your loan carefully and see what kind of fees can be incurred, and try to create a system that avoids as much of the extra charges as possible. If you are going to pay it all off in a lump sum, you may find that the fees become negligible compared to the interest that would have been charged over the monthly payments for a longer period of time, so it can still be worthwhile.
Working as much as possible, keeping yourself in a frugal lifestyle, and paying back as much as you can on a regular basis are the real keys to paying off your student loan early. If you follow these tips, there will be a big bonus waiting at the end – once the payments are done, you can live in a more luxurious way immediately!
Alex Lawson is a Financial Team Leader and a blogger, working together with other experts at Brighter Finance. Whenever not working on another project or helping customers with their financial issues, Alex may usually be found online, reading money-related blogs and sharing his tips with other experts.
BY DAVID GUTIERREZ
Your admission essay plays a deciding role in defining whether you get accepted to the college of your choice or not. However, with all the importance attached to this task, it is amazing how little consideration would-be students put into writing it and especially into choosing what they intend to write about. Many of them make a grave mistake by merely choosing a particular topic – in this article, we will teach you how to avoid some of the worst of them.
1. How awesome a person you are
Writing an essay summarizing your accomplishments is a bad idea for two reasons. Firstly, it breaks one of the most important rules of storytelling, which is just as functional in an admission essay as it is in a movie: show, don’t tell. Reading for a few thousand words about your diverse accomplishments may summarize your achievements, but it is also just plain boring. If, however, you choose a particular example and demonstrate what kind of person you are through it, it is another matter entirely.
Secondly, people bragging about their achievements are annoying, even if these achievements are genuine and laudable.
2. Tragic experiences
Tragic experiences are invariably extremely personal and require very careful handling to write about well and effectively without making it look as if you beg for sympathy. You may find a free essay or two to learn the ropes from, but even so, you are rather unlikely to get any bonus points for your choice of subject matter.
3. Highly divisive topics
No matter how passionate you are about such matters or how sure you are about your being right, avoid highly divisive topics like the plague. Their very nature means that it is very hard to be neutral about anything written on them, and you never know who is going to read your essay and what their views are.
4. Funny topics
Here is the thing: you are not nearly as funny as you think you are. And there is nothing more pathetic than a person trying to be funny and show off his wit while failing drastically to do so. Some applicants believe that by adopting an overly familiar, humoristic tone of voice can win points with the admission board, but nine times out of ten they greatly overestimate both their sense of humor and the board’s readiness to perceive it. So make this a rule of a thumb – a funny episode or a joke are okay as long as you are sure they work. Trying to be funny for the funniness sake – not so much.
Many students naturally drift towards describing their experience during volunteering missions. However, you should understand two things: firstly, if you do so, you probably do it for the lack of something better and more interesting to write about, which is by definition a not very promising sign. Secondly, it is one of the most boring, clichéd and overused admission essay topics going around. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the majority of essays the admission board gets to deal with consists of samey descriptions of samey volunteering experiences and forced exhortations of how much it influenced the life and views of the applicant. Give them a break, choose something else, anything else.
It is surprising what a huge percentage of admission essays are written exactly on these topics – applicants just keep on making the same mistakes over and over again. This, however, means that you can win yourself quite a few bonus points just by steering away from some of the worst choices.
David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.