Refinancing your student loans can make good financial sense, and thatâs especially true if your current loans are stuck at a high-interest rate. With a new loan at a lower APR, you could save a bundle of money on interest each month and ultimately pay your student debt off faster. Consolidating several loans into one new one can also simplify your financial life and make keeping up with bills a lot easier.
College Ave and Earnest topped our list, but since student loan refinancing is an incredibly competitive space, youâll also want to spend time comparing student loan companies to see who offers the best deal. Many lenders in this space offer incredibly low APRs, flexible payment options, borrower incentives, and more. This means itâs more important than ever to shop around so you wind up with the best student loan for your needs.
Compare rates from dozens of loan providers with Credible
What You Should Know About Refinancing Federal Student Loans with a Private Lender
The lenders on this list can help you consolidate and refinance both federal student loans and private student loans. However, there are a few details to be aware of before you refinance federal loans with a private lender.
Switching federal loans to private means giving up federal protections like deferment and forbearance. You also give up your chance to qualify for income-driven repayment plans like Pay As You Earn (PAYE) or Income Based Repayment (IBR). Income-driven repayment plans let you pay a percentage of your discretionary income for 20 to 25 years before ultimately forgiving your remaining loan balances, so this perk isnât one you should give up without careful thought and consideration.
Best Student Loan Refinancing Companies of 2021
As you start your search to find the best student loan for your lifestyle, take the time to compare lenders and all they offer their customers. While there are a ton of reputable companies offering high-quality student loan refinancing products on the market today, there are also companies you should probably steer clear of.
To make your search easier, we took the time to compare most of the top lenders in this space in terms of interest rates offered, fees, borrower benefits, and more. The following student loan companies are the cream of the crop, so you should start your search here.
Our Top Picks:
PenFed Credit Union
Student Loan Refinancing Company Reviews
1. Splash Financial
Splash Financial may be a newer company in the student loan refinancing space, but their offerings are competitive. This company lets you check your rate online without a hard inquiry on your credit report, and their variable rates currently start at just 2.25% APR.
Not only are interest rates offered by Splash Financial industry-leading, but the company has a 95% customer satisfaction rate so far. Their cutting-edge technology also lets you apply for your loan and complete the loan process online, meaning less hassle and stress for you as the borrower.
Check Out Splash Financialâs Low Rates
2. College Ave
College Ave offers student loan refinancing products that can be tailored to your needs. They offer low fixed and variable interest rates, for example, and youâll never pay an application fee or an origination fee. You can even qualify for a discount if you set your loan up on autopay, and a wide range of repayment schedules are available.
College Ave also offers a wide range of online calculators and tools that can help you figure out how much student loan refinancing could help you save and whether the move would be worth it in the end. Considering their low variable rates start at just 2.74% APR, thereâs a good chance you could save money by refinancing if you have excellent credit or a cosigner with great credit.
Get Started with College Ave
Earnest is another online lender that focuses most of its efforts on offering high-quality student loans. This company lets you consolidate debt at a lower interest rate than you might find elsewhere, and you get the option to pick a monthly payment and repayment period that works with your budget and your lifestyle.
While youâll need excellent credit to qualify for the lowest interest rates, loans from Earnest come with variable APRs starting at 1.81% and low fixed rates starting at just 3.45%. To qualify for student loan refinancing with Earnest, youâll need a minimum credit score of 650 and a strong employment and income history. You also need to be current on all your bills and cannot have a bankruptcy on your credit profile.
Refinance and Save with Earnest
Also make sure to check out student loan refinancing company SoFi as you continue your search. This online lender offers some of the best student loan refinancing products available today, including loans with no application fee, origination fee, or hidden fees.
SoFi lets you apply for and complete the entire loan process online, and they offer live customer support 7 days a week. You can also check your rate online without a hard inquiry on your credit report, which makes it easier to see how much you could save before you commit.
Get Pre-Approved with SoFi in Less than 2 Minutes
Commonbond is another online student lender who lets you check your rate online without a hard inquiry on your credit report. With student loan refinancing from Commonbond, you could easily save thousands of dollars on interest with a new fixed interest rate as low as 3.21%. Repayment terms are offered for 5 to 20 years as well, letting you choose a new monthly payment and repayment timeline that works for your needs.
You can apply for your new loan online and note that these loans donât come with an origination fee or any prepayment penalties. Your loan could also qualify for forbearance, which means having up to 24 months without payments during times of financial hardship.
Apply Online with Commonbond
LendKey offers private student loans and flexible student loan refinancing options to serve a variety of needs. You can repay your loan between 5 and 20 years, and their refinance loans donât charge an origination fee.
You can use this companyâs online interface to check your rate without a hard inquiry on your credit report, and variable APRs start at just 2.01% for graduates with excellent credit. LendKey loans also receive 9.3 out of 10 possible stars in recent reviews, meaning their customers are mostly happy with their decision to go with this company.
Save Thousands by Refinancing with LendKey
7. Wells Fargo
While Wells Fargo is mostly popular for their banking products, home mortgage products, and personal loans, this bank also offers student loan refinancing products. These loans let you consolidate student debts into a new loan with a low variable or fixed interest rate, and you can even score a discount for setting your loan up on autopay.
Terms for Wells Fargo loans are available anywhere from 5 to 20 years, meaning you can choose a repayment schedule and monthly payment that suits your needs. Wells Fargo also lets you check your rate online without a hard inquiry on your credit report.
Get Started with Wells Fargo
8. PenFed Credit Union
PenFed Credit Union offers unique student loan products powered by Purefy. You might be able to qualify for a lower interest rate that could lead to enormous interest savings over time, and PenFed lets you choose a repayment term and monthly payment that fits with your budget and lifestyle.
You can apply for student loan refinancing on your own, but PenFed Credit Union also allows cosigners. Low fixed interest rates start at just 3.48% APR, and you can check your rate online without a hard inquiry on your credit report.
Learn More about PenFed Credit Union
What To Look For When Refinancing
If you decide you want to refinance your student loans, youâll be happy to know the refinancing market is more robust than ever. A variety of lenders offer insanely attractive loan options for those who can qualify, although you should know that student loan companies tend to be very finicky about your credit score. Some also wonât let you refinance if you didnât graduate from college, or even if you graduated from an âunapprovedâ school.
While you should be aware of any lender-specific eligibility requirements before you apply with any student loan company, there are plenty of other factors to look out for. Hereâs everything you should look for in a student loan refinancing company before you decide to trust them with your loans.
Low Interest Rate
Obviously, the main reason youâre probably thinking of refinancing your loans is the potential to save money on interest. Lenders who offer the lowest rates available today can potentially help you save more, although itâs important to consider that you may not qualify for the lowest rates available if you donât have excellent credit.
Also consider that most lenders will offer better rates and loan terms if you have a cosigner with better credit than you have. This is especially true if your credit isnât great, so make sure to ask family members if theyâre willing to cosign on your new student loan if you hope to get the best rate. Just remember that your cosigner will be jointly liable for repayment, meaning you could quickly damage your relationship if you default on your loan and leave them holding the bag.
Low Fees or No Fees
Student loans are like any other loan in the fact that some charge higher fees or more fees than others. Since many student loans come with an application fee or an origination fee, youâll want to look for lenders that donât charge these fees. Also check for hidden fees like prepayment penalties.
Some student loan companies let you qualify for discounts, the most popular of which is a discount for using autopay. If youâre able and willing to set up automatic payments on your credit card, you could save .25% or .50% off your interest rate depending on the lender you go with.
Rate Check Option
Many of the top student loan refinancing companies on this list make it possible to check your interest rate online without a hard inquiry on your credit report. This is a huge benefit since knowing your rate can help you figure out if refinancing is even worth it before you take the time to fill out a full loan application.
Flexible Repayment Plan
Also make sure any lender you go with offers some flexibility in your repayment plan and your monthly payment. Youâll want to make sure refinancing aligns with your long-term financial goals and your monthly budget, and itâs crucial to choose a new loan with a monthly payment you can live with.
Most lenders in this space offer repayment timelines of up to 20 years, which means you could spread your payments over several decades to get a monthly payment that makes sense with your income. Keep in mind, however, that youâll pay more interest over the life of your loan when you take a long time to pay it off, so you may want to consider prioritizing a faster payment plan.
The Bottom Line
Student loan refinancing may not sound like a lot of fun. However, taking the time to consider all your loan options could easily save you thousands of dollars. This is especially true if you have a lot of debt at a high interest rate. By consolidating all your student loans into a new one with a lower APR, you could make loan repayment easier with a single payment and save a ton of money that would otherwise go to straight to interest without helping you pay off your loans.
The first step of the loan process is the hardest, however, and thatâs choosing a student loan refinancing company that you trust. The lenders on this list are highly rated, but they also offer some of the best loan products on the market today.
Work with College Ave, our top pick, to refinance your student loan.
Start your search here and youâre bound to wind up with a student loan you can live with. At the very least, you’ll have a better idea of the loans that are available and how much you might save if you decide to refinance later on.
The post The Best Student Loan Companies For Refinancing appeared first on Good Financial CentsÂ®.
Weâve had many readers write in after a divorce and ask how to split their assets with an ex-spouse. One of the most common questions is how to remove an ex or another cosigner from a car loan and title. Hereâs how to go about it.
Whatâs the Role of a Cosigner?
It can be challenging to remove a cosigner from a loan. To gain a better understanding of why, letâs look at why a cosigner is used at all. Essentially, a cosigner is needed when the borrowers own credit and/or income isnât enough to qualify for the loan by himself or herself. The cosigner, presumably, has stronger credit and income, and is required by the lender or creditor to help guarantee that the loan will be repaid.
Loans involving a cosigner include a cosigners notice. The notice asks that the cosigner guarantee the debt. This means that if the original borrower fails to make payments on the debt, then the cosigner becomes responsible for the balance. The cosigner then is obligated to make payments until the debt is paid when the borrower canât.
Co-signing a loan is risky for the cosigner, because it can affect the cosignerâs credit if the borrower doesnât satisfy the debt and the cosigner has to take over. The debt can ultimately affect the cosignerâs credit scores and access to revolving credit, such as credit cards.
Before co-signing a loan, a cosigner should be sure that he/she is able to comfortably take on the monthly payments if it comes to that. The cosigner should also make sure he/she doesnât need to get a loan of his/her own over the course of the cosigned loans terms.Â Cosigning on the borrowerâs debt will affect the cosignerâs overall credit utilization and ability to secure other credit opportunities in the meantime.
Now that you know the role of a co-signer letâs look at what you can do to remove them from a car loan if needed.
Refinance the Car Loan to Get the Cosigner Off
You may be able to refinance a car loanÂ in your own name to get your cosigner off the loan. In essence, youâll buy the car from your ex-spouse and go through the car buying process again.
The spouse who is responsible for the car loan payments, the primary signer, should ideally assume credit liability for the loan. Itâs a also good idea to go through this process right away, regardless of what your divorce decree states.
Removing your ex from the carâs title, if the car already paid for, is similar and requires working with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Youâll both need to sign a change of title/vehicle ownership form and return it for processing. You can check online or call your stateâs DMV for details and forms.
In some states you can file a transfer of title between family members, if the divorce has not been finalized yet. A transfer of title lets you avoid getting any needed inspections or certifications and paying taxes on the vehicle based on the purchase price. (If you live in the state of California, for example, research changing vehicle ownership versus transferring a car title.)
See if You Have a Cosigner Release Option
Some car loans include conditions that remove the cosignerâs obligation after a specified number of on-time payments are made by the primary borrower.
If youâre unsure if this is an option, talk to the lender and check any loan documents you have. The cosigner release option is probably one of the easiest methods of taking a co-signers name off a car loan.
Pay Off the Loan
Another option to get a cosigner off a car loan is to pay off the loan either directly or by selling the car. If you sell the car, you can use the money to pay off the loan. With luck, the sale value of the car will be sufficient to cover the remainder of the loan.
Be aware that if you are the cosigner, and the primary borrower fails to make payments, you can likely seize the asset and sell it.
This article was originally published February 20, 2013, and has since been updated by another author.
Your apartment comes with precautions like smoke and carbon dioxide detectors and alarm systems. But what about extreme weather events and natural disasters?
Your landlord’s insurance may only cover the building structure. But you’ve done your due diligence and signed up for renters insurance, insurance coverage that protects you and your belongings inside your rental.
But depending on the natural disaster, your policy could not be exhaustive enough and provide you with enough coverage. Sure, a tornado may be included, but not a big flood or landslide.
According to esurance, the average renter owns about $20,000 in personal property. That’s a lot of valuables, many of which are unable to be replaced.
Learn more about what kind of storm damage renters insurance covers â and what it doesn’t â and how to make sure you’re covered. If you’re not sure about your coverage, don’t hesitate to reach out to your insurance agent.
You’re covered for these
Most renters insurance policies cover damage from hail, lighting, windstorms, wildfires and the weight (think ceiling/roof) of ice, snow and sleet.
These perils, as they’re called by the insurance company, are often covered and you may receive a reimbursement to replace your damaged items.
If the wind breaks a window and your living room furniture gets ruined from the hurricane-force winds, you may be covered under your policy.
When speaking to your agent, depending on how bad the storm damage is, make sure that your policy covers alternative housing while repairs are ongoing. Your renters insurance may pay for you to stay at a hotel in the meantime.
You’re not covered for flood damage
Nearly 41 million Americans currently live in flood zones. But renters insurance does not cover flood damage, just water damage caused by appliances.
If there’s a high risk of floods in your area, consider an umbrella flood policy to protect yourself and your belongings. First, use the FEMA Flood Map to identify your area and its risk of flood.
If you need protection, the National Flood Insurance Program, a community program insurance policy, offers access to participating flood insurance providers. Before signing, ask how soon until the policy goes into effect â 30 days is the standard.
The flood policy will help you return your property to pre-flood conditions, according to FEMA.
Or earth movement
Half of U.S. residents are at risk for damage from an earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS). Most people think of California and the Pacific Northwest. But there are many spots around the country that exhibit earthquakes with enough magnitude to cause damage. Just last December, scientists recorded a 4.4 earthquake in Tennessee.
Earth movement doesn’t only include earthquakes, but also landslides and volcanic eruption. None of these events are included in your renters insurance coverage.
Depending on your home’s location, you may consider buying an additional policy for earthquake, landslide or earth movement protection. According to USAA, there are grants available in California to discount the price of earthquake insurance.
For landslides, an additional policy is required. It’s based on the property’s slope, house value, closeness to nearby mountains and hills and frequency of landslides. It’s expensive so be sure that your home needs it before pulling the trigger.
The main issue will be replacing your valuables after the storm damage. When looking for the best policy for you, talk to your agent about the benefit of replacement cost coverage vs. actual cash value coverage.
Depending on your items, one may be better than the other. Replacement reimbursement gives you the value amount for the item as if it was purchased today. The actual cash value is the depreciated value of it before the damage occurred.
How can your property manager help?
After the incident, follow up with your landlord or property manager to confirm the timeline of repairs. If the storm damaged the outside of the structure and deemed your home less than optimal for living, inquire about reimbursement for alternative living costs.
Inventory all damaged belongings once it’s safe to do so after the storm. Let your landlord know that you’re coordinating as well with your renter’s insurance. You’ll be glad that you have an up-to-date policy to help you get back on your feet during this scary time.
The post Does Renters Insurance Cover Storm Damage? appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.
So, it’s happened. You’re in the shower and you spot it â mold. What do you do now? It’s tricky to know how to kill mold in a safe way and make sure it doesn’t come back. Luckily, there are several ways to ensure your apartment is clean and mold-free. Here are multiple ways you can kill mold.
Understanding what causes mold
Before you can kill the mold in your apartment, you have to know what caused it. Mold can occur in a couple of different ways:
Lack of or poor ventilation that causes moisture to linger in the air
Faulty plumbing like leaking sinks, faucets or drains
Damp materials like rugs, towels, wallpaper, grout or drywall that never completely dry
These are the most common ways mold forms in your apartment. Now that you understand the different ways mold can grow, you can identify what caused the mold in your apartment and choose the best tip to prevent and kill it.
How to kill mold in your apartment
It’s recommended that if the affected, moldy area is larger than 10 feet or if you notice mold is growing in your apartment’s insulation, you should call a professional. However, if it’s a small area and the mold is already there, you need to get rid of it.
Here are some mold-prevention tips to make sure mold never inhabits your apartment and living space again.
1. Use or install a bathroom fan
Use the bathroom’s ventilation fan while you bathe and leave it on for 30 minutes after you get out. If you don’t have a ventilation fan, think about installing one. The fan can help suck the moisture out of the air so it doesn’t linger and lead to a mold infestation.
Another tip on how to kill mold is to keep down the humidity in your home. Fans and dehumidifiers can help improve ventilation in the space, therefore reducing moisture that can cause mold.
2. Organize your bathroom products
Yes, organization can actually help keep your space safe and mold-free.
When you leave things like shampoo, body soap and bath toys on the side of the shower without ever removing them, water gets stuck underneath allowing mold to grow. By frequently adjusting their placement and cleaning underneath them weekly, you can reduce the risk of mold growth in your bathroom.
3. Apply tea tree oil
Not only does tea tree oil have a nice smell, but it’s also a great way to get rid of and kill bathroom mold. Simply mix one teaspoon of oil and one cup of water. You can either pour the mixed solution into a spray bottle or pour it into a bowl and dip your scrubber into it. Scrub the moldy area with the mix to remove the mold.
Once the area has been cleaned don’t rinse it with water as it’s best to let the mixture sit to prevent future mold from growing. Note, when buying tea tree oil for mold removal, make sure it contains melaleuca alternifolia in the ingredients.
4. Clean with vinegar
Vinegar is an effective, non-toxic way to get rid of mold. If you go with this method, here’s how to use it. Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and make sure to not dilute it with water. Spray the affected area with the vinegar and let it sit for one hour.
If you have windows in the area you’re cleaning, it’s best to leave them open for ventilation. After an hour, use hot water to wipe the area clean. Finally, dry it off completely as mold thrives in damp places.
5. Use baking soda
Baking soda is another option if vinegar isn’t for you. Not only does it kill mold but it absorbs moisture. This is a great option if you have pets as it isn’t harmful to animals.
Mix a quarter of a tablespoon into the water and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the area and scrub the mold away, then rinse the area with hot water. Finally, you can spray the area again and let it dry to prevent future mold.
6. Sanitize with bleach
Bleach is a good way to get rid of mold on nonporous surfaces, however, it’s not recommended to use bleach on surfaces such as wood. Make sure when using bleach that you take all the safety precautions, such as wearing gloves and having proper ventilation. Remember to never mix bleach with any other cleaning solution as it can cause toxic fumes.
The most effective way to use bleach to kill mold is to mix one cup of bleach with a gallon of water. Spray it onto the affected area, let it soak and scrub that nasty mold away. When you’re done, rinse the area down and dry it completely.
7. Scrub with borax
Borax can be found at most grocery stores in the laundry detergent aisle and is a great option to get rid of and kill most molds in your bathroom. Mold Help for You has a great recipe for a borax solution to kill mold that’s easy-to-make and effective.
8. Clean using hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is easy to find and easy to use to kill mold. All you have to do is spray the area with it and let it sit for 10 minutes, then scrub the area and rinse with hot water.
Getting rid of mold for good
Mold is never a welcome guest in your home or bathroom. But with these cleaning solutions and tips on how to kill bathroom mold, you’ll be prepared and ready to attack and kill next time it strikes.
The post How to Kill Bathroom Mold: 8 Methods to Try appeared first on Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.com.
Buying a home, especially if youâre a first-time home buyer, can be daunting and nerve racking.
But it does not have to be. LendingTree’s online loan marketplace has got you covered – at least when it comes to getting a mortgage.
A 2016 study by the Office of Research of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection reveals that prospective buyers who shop for a mortgage when buying a home for the first time report âincreases consumersâ knowledge of the mortgage market and increases consumersâ self confidence in their ability to deal with mortgage related issues.â
The importance of shopping for a mortgage as a first-time home buyer is that it saves you money in the long term and âreduces the cost of consumersâ mortgages,â the study found.
The home-buying process can be intimidating. So being aware of these mistakes when buying a home for the first time can help you save thousands and thousands of dollars in the long term.
Tips for Buying a Home
To guide you through a major financial decision like the purchase of a home, you may want to talk to a financial advisor.
Luckily, SmartAsset’s advisor matching tool can help you find a suitable financial advisor in your area to work with.
Get started now.
10 Mistakes to avoid when buying ahome for the first time.
1. Not knowing your credit score.
We are all aware that the higher your credit score, the better.
Yet, despite this fact, many people fail to check their credit score before
buying their first home.
And a low credit score can lead to a high interest mortgage loan, or even worse, a loan rejection. Given the fact that your credit score is the number 1 item mortgage lender looks at, it pays off to know where you stand.
Credit Sesame will let you know what your credit score is for free and monitor it for you. It will also offer tips on how to raise your credit score and reduce your debt.
Just sign up for a free account â it only takes 90 seconds.
2. Not shopping and comparing mortgage rates.
Mortgage rates and fees vary across lenders. In other words, two applicants with the identical credentials can get different mortgage rates. Despite this, however, many fist-time homebuyers fail to shop and compare mortgage rates before buying their first home.
The study reveals that 30 percent first time homebuyers do not
compare and shop for their mortgages, and more than 75 percent reported
applying for a mortgage with only one mortgage lender.
The study further reveals that âfailing to comparison shop for a
mortgage costs the average homebuyer approximately $300 per year and many thousands
of dollars over the life of the loan.â
An easy way to shop and compare for a mortgage is with LendingTree. Their simple and straightforward platform can help you find and apply for the right loan all in one place.
3. Sticking with the first mortgage lender you meet.
While itâs tempting to work with your local mortgage lender whoâs
only a few blocks away from your home, this decision requires more time. Take
time to meet with at least three mortgage lenders before picking the best match
Fortunately, LendingTree free online platform, allows you to quickly browse several mortgage rates with several mortgage lenders without visiting a dozen bank branches.
4. Not knowing what loans are available to you.
If you’re buying a home for the first time, one thing you need to address is what types of loans are available to me. Sometimes the answer to this can be quite simple: conventional loan. This is because most people know about this type of loan.
But conventional loan requires at least 20% down payment. And the credit score needs to be in the 700. *Note: You can put less than 20% down payment, but you will have to pay for a private insurance mortgage (PMI).
Sometimes it’s not feasible to come up with that type of money as a first time home buyer. So knowing if other loans are available to you is very important.
One type of loan that is popular among first time home buyers is FHA loan. It is so popular because it’s easier to get qualified for it. And the down payment is very little comparing to that of a conventional loan.
For example, FHA loans require a 580 credit score and a down payment as low as 3.5% of the home purchase price. This makes it easier to qualify for a home loan when you’re on a low income.
VA loans are another great option for first-time homebuyers. However, you have to be a veteran. Unlike a FHA or a conventional loan, VA loans require no down payment and no mortgage insurance. This can save you thousands of dollars per year.
So if you’re in market for a loan to buy your first home, you need to educate yourself about the different available loans.
Not All Mortgage Lenders Are Created Equally
When it comes to getting a mortgage, rates and fees vary. LendingTree allows you to view and compare multiple mortgage rates from multiple mortgage lenders all in one place and at the same time, so you can choose the best rates for your needs. LendingTree makes getting a loan faster, simpler, and better. Get started today >>>
5. Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage
One of the first time home buying mistakes you should avoid making is not getting a pre-approval letter. You can simply contact a lender and request it. The mortgage lender will pull your credit report to make sure you have the minimum credit score requirement.
They will also need your bank statements, W2s, recent income tax returns, pay-stubs to verify your employment and ability to afford the loan.
Why this is important? A pre-approval letter means that you’re a serious buyer. It signals that you’re able to commit to the house once an offer has been accepted. It also makes you more desirable than the other potential buyers.
Get a Pre-Approval for a Mortgage Today
6. Not knowing how much you can afford
Buying a home is probably going to be the biggest expenses you’ve ever made. But buying a house you cannot afford can lead to financial trouble along the road. Paying an expensive mortgage for 15 to 30 years on a low income can be hard.
So it pays to know how much house you can afford before you start searching for your home.
The best way to know how much house you can afford is to look at your budget. Take into account your expenses and income and other costs associated with owning a home.
7. Not knowing other upfront costs
If you think that the only cost to buying a home is a down payment, then think again. There are several upfront costs associated with owning a house. These upfront costs include private mortgage insurance, inspection costs, loan application fees, repair costs, moving costs, appraisal costs, earnest money, home association dues.
As a first time home buyer, this may come to you as a surprise. So, be ready to have enough money to cover these costs.
8. Failure to inspect your home.
Although some banks would prefer you inspect your home before they offer you a loan, it’s not mandatory. But that does not mean you shouldn’t do it. Not inspecting your home can cost you a lot. Inspection discovers defects that you may not know about. Inspection costs can be anywhere from $300 to $700.
Don’t be stingy with these costs. It’s better to find out about any hidden defects , like a faulty wiring and plumbing, than finding about them later. To avoid regretting your decision or having to spend thousand of dollars on repairs down the road, consider an inspector.
9. Failure to check out the neighborhood.
Just because the street or the neighborhood your potential house is located is quiet or is not run down doesn’t mean crime is not a problem. So before buying your home, you should check out the neighborhood. Take a trip at night to get a feeling of the environment. Talk to residents. Most importantly, check with the local police station – they can be a great resource when it comes to crime rates in a particular location. This is simply one of the first time home buying tips you shouldn’t ignore.
10. Searching for a mortgage on your own.
There are several mortgage lenders available to you. But choosing one that is right for you can be tough.
The LendingTree online platform makes it easy and simple for you to find the right home loan for you. Now you can get matched up to several mortgage lenders all in one place and at the same time. And the whole process just takes a few minutes.
Follow these steps to get matched with the right mortgage:
Go to www.lendingtree.com;
Answer a few questions regarding the type pf loan yo need and you’ll use it. Within a few seconds, you’ll see multiple, competing offers from several lenders;
You then shop and compare offers side by side.
Ready to get started? Find your best loan!
The bottom line is when it comes to buying a home for the first time, you should not take any shortcut. Doing so can cost a lot of money down the road. So before buying your first home, make sure you get the right mortgage loan, inspect the home, and have enough money to cover some of the upfront and ongoing costs associated with owning a house.
Speak with the Right Financial Advisor
Still looking for first time home buying tips? You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAssetâs free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.
The post Buying a Home for the First Time? Avoid These Mistakes appeared first on GrowthRapidly.
The competition for your apartment rental dollars is HOT! To get renters’ business, property management companies try to “wow” prospective tenants. Many rental properties try doing this by designing apartment complexes with the top amenities in the industry! Apartments with an in-unit washer and dryer? Increasingly common nowadays. Apartments with yards? You can find them […]
The post Hottest Apartment Amenities to Look for in 2020 appeared first on Apartment Life.
Sometimes you need to borrow money to bridge a financial gap, and bad credit can happen to the best of us after hard financial times or unexpected life events. Before applying for an online personal loan for bad credit, explore all other options available. For instance, you can try borrowing from friends or relatives, using […]
The post The Best Bad Credit Loans of January 2021 appeared first on The Simple Dollar.
The best student loans can help you earn a college degree that will lead to higher earnings later in life. They also come with low interest rates and reasonable fees (or no fees), which will make it easier to keep costs down while youâre in school and once youâre in repayment mode.
For most people, federal student loans are the best deal. With federal student loans, you can qualify for low fixed interest rates and federal protections like deferment, forbearance, and income-driven repayment plans. To find out how much you can borrow with federal student loans, you should fill out a FAFSA form. Doing so can also help you determine if you qualify for any additional student aid, and if so, how much.
While federal student loans are usually the best deal for borrowers, many students need to turn to private student loans at some point during their college careers. This is often the case when federal student loan limits have been exhausted, or when federal student loans are no longer an option due to other circumstances. We’re providing the top 8 options, at least according to us, as well as a guide to help you get the best rate.
Apply now with our top pick: College Ave
Most Important Factors When Applying for Student Loans
Start with a federal loan. Fill out a FAFSA form prior to applying for a private loan to make sure youâre getting all the benefits you can.
Compare loans across multiple lenders. Consider using a comparison company like Credible to do so.
Always read the fine print. Fees arenât always boasted on the front of a lenderâs website, so take time to learn about what youâre getting into.
Start paying as soon as you can to avoid getting crushed by compound interest.
Best Private Student Loans of 2021
Fortunately, there are many private student loan options that come with low interest rates and fair terms. The best student loans of 2021 come from the following private lenders and loan comparison companies:
Best for Flexibility
Best Loan Comparison
Best for Low Rates and Fees
Best for No Fees
Best Student Loans from a Major Bank
Best Student Loans with No Cosigner Required
Best for Fair Credit
Best for Comprehensive Comparisons
#1: College Ave â Best for Flexibility
College Ave offers private student loans for undergraduate and graduate students as well as parents who want to take out loans to help their kids get through college. Variable APRs as low as 3.70% are available for undergraduate students, but you can also opt for a fixed rate as low as 4.72% if you have excellent credit. College Ave offers some of the most flexible repayment options available today, letting you choose from interest-only payments, flat payments, and deferred payments depending on your needs. College Ave even lets you fill out your entire student loan application online, and they offer an array of helpful tools that can help you figure out how much you can afford to borrow, what your monthly payment will be, and more.
Qualify in Just 3 Minutes with College Ave
#2: Credible â Best Loan Comparison
Credible doesnât offer its own student loans; instead, it serves as a loan aggregator and comparison site. This means that, when you check out student loans on Credible, you have the benefit of comparing multiple loan options in one place. Not only is this convenient, but comparing rates and terms is the best way to ensure you get a good deal. Credible even lets you get prequalified without a hard inquiry on your credit report, and you can see loan offers from up to nine student lenders at a time. Fixed interest rates start as low as 4.40% for borrowers with excellent credit, and variable rates start at 3.17% APR with autopay.
Compare Dozens of Rates at Once with Credible
#3: Sallie Mae â Best for Low Rates and Fees
Sallie Mae offers its own selection of private student loans for undergraduate students, graduate students, and parents. Interest rates offered can be surprisingly low, starting at 2.87% APR for variable rate loans and 4.74% for fixed-rate loans. Sallie Mae student loans also come without an origination fee or prepayment fees, as well as rate reductions for students who set up autopay. You can choose to start repaying your student loans while youâre in school or wait until you graduate as well. Overall, Sallie Mae offers some of the best âdealsâ for private student loans, and you can even complete the entire loan process online.
Get Access to Chegg Study FREE with Sallie Mae
#4: Discover â Best for No Fees
While Discover is well known for their excellent rewards credit cards and personal loan offerings, they also offer high-quality student loans with low rates and fees. Not only do Discover student loans come with low variable rates that start at 3.75%, but you wonât pay an application fee, an origination fee, or late fees. Discover student loans are available for undergraduate students, graduate students, professional students, and other lifelong learners. You can even earn rewards for having a 3.0 GPA or better when you apply for your loan, and Discover offers access to U.S. based student loan specialists who can answer all your questions before you apply.
Apply for a Loan with Discover
#5: Citizens Bank â Best Student Loans from a Major Bank
Citizens Bank offers their own flexible student loans for undergraduate students, graduate students, and parent borrowers. Students can borrow with or without a cosigner and multi-year approval is available. With multi-year approval you can apply for student funding one time and secure several years of college funding at once. This saves you from additional paperwork and subsequent hard inquiries on your credit report. Citizens Bank student loans come with variable rates as low as 2.83% APR for students with excellent credit, and you can make full payments or interest-only payments while youâre in school or wait until you graduate to begin repaying your loan. Also keep in mind that, like others on this list, Citizens Bank lets you apply for their student loans online and from the comfort of your home.
#6: Ascent â Best Student Loans with No Cosigner Required
Ascent is another popular lender that offers private student loans to undergraduate and graduate students. Variable interest rates start at 3.31% whether you have a cosigner or not, and there are no application fees required to apply for a student loan either way. Terms are available for 5 to 15 years, and Ascent even offers cash rewards for student borrowers who graduate and meet certain terms. Also note that Ascent lets you earn money for each friend you refer who takes out a new student loan or refinances an existing loan.
Get a Loan in Minutes with Ascent
#7: Earnest â Best for Fair Credit
Earnest is another online lender that offers reasonable student loans for undergraduate and graduate students who need to borrow money for school. They also offer a free application process, a 9-month grace period after graduation, no origination fees or prepayment fees, and a .25% rate discount when you set up autopay. Earnest even lets you skip a payment once per year without a penalty, and there are no late payment fees. Variable rates start as low as 3.35%, and you may be able to qualify for a loan from Earnest with only âfairâ credit. For their student loan refinancing products, for example, you need a minimum credit score of 650 to apply.
Learn Your Rate in Minutes with Earnest
#8: LendKey â Best for Comprehensive Comparisons
LendKey is an online lending marketplace that lets you compare student loan options across a broad range of loan providers, including credit unions. LendKey loans come with no application fees and variable APRs as low as 4.05%. They also have excellent reviews on Trustpilot and an easy application process that makes applying for a student loan online a breeze. You can apply for a loan from LendKey as an individual, but itâs possible youâll get better rates with a cosigner on board. Either way, LendKey lets you see and compare a wide range of loan offers in one place and with only one application submitted.
Pay Zero Application Fees with LendKey!
How to Get the Best Student Loans
The lenders above offer some of the best student loans available today, but thereâs more to getting a good loan than just choosing the right student loan company. The following tips can ensure you save money on your education and escape college with the smallest student loan burden possible.
Consider Federal Student Loans First
Like we mentioned already, federal student loans are almost always the best deal for borrowers who can qualify. Not only do federal loans come with low fixed interest rates, but they come with borrower protections like deferment and forbearance. Federal student loans also let you qualify for income-driven repayment plans like Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Income Based Repayment (IBR) as well as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Compare Multiple Lenders
If you have exhausted federal student loans and need to take out a private student loan, the best step you can take is comparing loans across multiple lenders. Some may be able to offer you a lower interest rate based on your credit score or available cosigner, and some lenders may offer payment plans that meet your needs better. If you only want to fill out a loan application once, it can make sense to compare multiple loan offers with a service like Credible.
Improve Your Credit Score
Private student loans are notoriously difficult to qualify for when your credit score is less than stellar or you donât have a cosigner. With that in mind, you may want to spend some time improving your credit score before you apply. Since your payment history and the amounts you owe in relation to your credit limits are the two most important factors that make up your FICO score, make sure youâre paying all your bills early or on time and try to pay down debt to improve your credit utilization. Most experts say a utilization rate of 30% or less will help you achieve the highest credit score possible with other factors considered.
Check Your Credit Score for Free with Experian
Get a Quality Cosigner
If your credit score isnât at least âvery good,â or 740 or higher, you may want to see about getting a cosigner for your private student loan. A parent, family member, or close family friend who has excellent credit can help you qualify for a student loan with the best rates and terms available today. Just remember that your cosigner will be liable for your loan just as you are, meaning they will have to repay your loan if you default. With that in mind, you should only lean on a cosignerâs help if you plan to repay your loan amount in full.
Consider Variable and Fixed Interest Rates
While private student loans offer insanely low rates for borrowers with good credit, their variable rates tend to be lower. This is why you should always take the time to compare variable and fixed rates across multiple lenders to find the best deal. If you believe you can pay your student loans off in a few short years, a variable interest rate may help you save money. If you need a decade or longer to pay your student loans off, on the other hand, a low fixed interest rate may provide you with more peace of mind.
Check for Discounts
As you compare student loan providers, make sure to check for discounts that might apply to your situation. Many private student loan companies offer discounts if you set your loan up on automatic payments, for example. Some also offer discounts or rewards for good grades or for referring friends. It’s possible you could qualify for other discounts as well depending on the provider, but you’ll never know unless you check.
Beware of Fees
While the interest rate on your student loan plays a huge role in your long-term loan costs, donât forget to check for additional fees. Some student loan companies charge application fees or prepayment penalties if you pay your loan off early, for example. Others charge origination fees that tack on a few additional percentage points to your loan amount right off the bat. If you can find a student loan with a low interest rate and no additional fees, youâll be much better off. Since loan fees may not be prominently advertised on student loan provider websites, however, keep in mind that you may need to dig into their fine print to find them.
Make Payments While Youâre in School
Finally, no matter which loan you end up with, it makes a lot of sense to make payments while youâre still in school if you’re earning any kind of income. Even if you make interest-only payments while you attend college part-time or full-time, you can save yourself from paying thousands of dollars in additional interest payments later in life. Remember that compound interest can be a blessing or a curse. If you can keep interest at bay by making payments while youâre in school, you can squash compound interest and keep your loan balances from growing. If you let compound interest run its course, on the other hand, you may wind up owing more than you borrowed in the first place by the time you graduate school and start repayment.
What to Watch Out For
A private student loan may be exactly what you need in order to finish your degree and move up to the working world, but there are plenty of âgotchasâ to be aware of. Consider all these factors as you apply for a new private student loan or refinance existing loans you have with a private lender.
Interest that accrues while youâre in school: Remember that subsidized loans may not accrue interest until you graduate from college and enter repayment mode, but that unsubsidized loans typically start accruing interest right away. Since private student loans are unsubsidized, youâll need to be especially careful about ballooning interest and long-term loan costs.
Getting a cosigner: Make sure you only apply for a private student loan with a cosigner if youâre entirely sure you can repay your loan over the long haul. If you fail to keep up with your end of the bargain, you could destroy trust with that person and their credit score in one fell swoop.
Youâll lose out on some protections: Also remember that private student loans come with fewer protections than federal student loans. You wonât have the option for income-driven repayment plans with private loans, nor will you be able to qualify for federal deferment or forbearance. For this reason, private student loans are best for students who are confident in their ability to repay their loans on their chosen timeline.
In Summary: The Best Student Loans
Best for Flexibility
Best for Loan Comparison
Best for Low Rates and Fees
Best for No Fees
Best Student Loans from a Major Bank
Best Student Loans with No Cosigner Required
Best for Fair Credit
Best for Comprehensive Comparisons
The post Here Are The Best Student Loans of 2021 appeared first on Good Financial CentsÂ®.
College graduates saddled with student loans may find this hard to believe, but there is one upside to having to pay back all that debt: It helps you build credit.
That may seem like a small consolation â particularly if the balances you owe areÂ even averageÂ âÂ but credit can be hard to come by. Of course, all hope isn’t lost for those who don’t have student loans.
Here are some ways to build credit without that kind of debt.
1. Get a Secured Credit Card
The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act prohibits lenders from givingÂ credit cards to anyone under 21 who doesn’t have a willing co-signer orÂ a demonstrated ability to repay, but if you’re over that age or you have a source of income, you can apply for some entry-level plastic.
Secured credit cards â which require you to put down a deposit that serves as your credit line â are specifically designed to help people repair or build credit. These cards generally require a deposit to “secure” the limit of the credit card. (You can go here to learn more about the best secured credit cards in America.)
There are also student credit cardsÂ geared to young borrowers thatÂ could be worth considering. The better ones have low credit limits that can keep new borrowers out of trouble and tout rewards or alerts designed to build smart-spending habits.
2. Become an Authorized User
If you can’t qualify for a credit card, you may want to see if a parent, guardian or family friend is willing to add you as an authorized user to one of their credit cards. Authorized users aren’t responsible for paying off an account, but will get credit (pun intended) for any good activity associated with it. Just be sure to have the primary cardholder check if the issuer reports authorized users to the major credit bureaus,Â since not all of them do so.
3. Take Out a Credit-Builder Loan
An alternative to starter credit cards, credit-builder loans, offered by some credit unions and banks to help people improve their credit, allow you to borrow a nominal amount (often $1,000 or less) and make payments for 12Â toÂ 24 months. The payments are deposited in an interest-bearing CD or savings account. These loans typically have relatively low interest rates and can help people with a thin credit history develop a more solid credit profile as long as on-time payments are reported to the three major credit reporting agencies. (Again, you may want to check this ahead of time.)
4. Apply forÂ a Personal Loan
You may be able to qualify for a personal loan. These installment loans do not require collateral and typically have slightly higher interest rates than secured loans. A bank or credit union that you have a relationship with may be willing to extend financing, thoughÂ you mayÂ beÂ asked to getÂ a co-signer.
5. Establish Good Habits
Of course, you’ll only build good credit if you use any financing you are able to obtain wisely. You can establish a good credit score over the long term by making all your payments on time, keeping debt levels lower thanÂ 30%Â (ideally 10%) of your total available credit limit(s), and adding a mix of credit accounts (revolving lines, like credit cards, and installment loans, like an auto loan) as your score and wallet can handle them.
You can trackÂ your progress by viewing your two free credit scores each month on Credit.com. If you make a misstep, you may be able to fix your credit by disputing errors on your credit report, identifying your particular credit score killers and coming up with a game plan to address them.
More on Credit Reports & Credit Scores:
The Credit.com Credit Reports Learning Center
Whatâs a Good Credit Score?
How to Get Your Free Annual Credit Report
The post How to Build Credit Without Student Loans appeared first on Credit.com.