Budgeting: How do I set up a personal budget?
The key to effective budgeting is being organized and staying on track. Separate all your bills, bank statements, and student loan statements into individual folders and place them in a fire-safe security box. Visit this website for tips on how to set up a personal budget, control your finances, and save for the future: http://mappingyourfuture.org/money/budget.htm
Credit Cards: What are the ins and outs of credit cards?
Credits cards can be easy to get, but you need to know the best steps for managing them. Click here: http://mappingyourfuture.org/money/creditcards.htm. A credit check is done before any credit card can be approved.
Credit Report: Not sure if you have a credit report or what is on it?
Everyone has a credit report, and you can access your free credit report online at www.annualcreditreport.com. This website will not give your FICO® score unless you pay extra for it. To find out more about FICO® scores, go to: www.myfico.com/crediteducation/brochures.aspx and click on “Download Now - Understanding your FICO® Score”.
Here is some more information to help you understand your credit report: http://mappingyourfuture.org/money/creditreport.htm. If you prefer, you can contact each of the credit bureaus directly:
Equifax = www.equifax.com
Experian = www.experian.com
TransUnion = www.transunion.com.
Identity Theft: How to prevent Identity Theft, and what to do if it happens to you.
Information to guard against identity theft: http://mappingyourfuture.org/money/identity.htm.
Here is another website for comprehensive information on Identity Theft: http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/brochures.aspx
If you realize your identity has been stolen, contact at least one of these credit bureaus:
Equifax at 1.800.525.6285
Experian at 1.888.397.3742
TransUnion at 1.800.680.7289
You should also contact your local police to have the Identity Theft on file. Start contacting all your credit cards and your bank. For a list of all your credit card companies and phone numbers, go to www.annualcreditreport.com to print out your credit report.
Planning for your Future: Online Tool for Students, Graduates/Alumni.
A comprehensive interactive online tool that includes federally required loan exit counseling, paying off student loan debt, finding a job, and planning for your future. You will receive a customized financial profile based on the information you enter. There are links to help you find an apartment and a job. Go to www.myigrad.com.
Student Loan Debt: How much in federal student loans do I have, and where do I go to find this information?
You can view a list of all your federal student loans at www.nslds.ed.gov . After entering your biographical information and your federal PIN (the FAFSA PIN), you can view a summary of all your federal loans, including the lender and servicer of those loans. If you forgot your PIN number, you can request a duplicate PIN at www.pin.ed.gov.
Student Loan Debt: What will my monthly payment be, and what are the repayment options?
For a comprehensive booklet written by the U.S. Department of Education called “Your Federal Student Loans: Learn the Basics and Manage Your Debt”, download at: http://publications.usa.gov/USAPubs.php?PubID=509
To calculate the amount of interest you owe on your unsubsidized Stafford or private loans, go to http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/repaying.jsp#irf
For an explanation of Direct Loan repayment plans, please click: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/RepayCalc/dlindex2.html
If you know the balance on your student loans and their interest rates, you can find out your monthly payment for each of the different repayment options at: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/calc.html
If you have a low income with high student loan debt and are interested in careers in public service, you may be eligible for Income-Based Repayment (IBR). Only Federal Stafford, Grad PLUS, and consolidation loans have an IBR option. For more information, please visit this website: http://www.finaid.org/loans/ibr.phtml.
Student Loan Debt: How much can I afford to borrow in student loans – what will this look like if I only earn $__,___ per year?
If you know the balance on all your student loans, this tool will help you figure out the salary needed in order to make your student loan payments: http://mappingyourfuture.org/paying/debtwizard/index.cfm
Student Loan Debt: Loan Forgiveness Programs
For a comprehensive list of loan forgiveness programs, go to: http://www.finaid.org/loans/forgiveness.phtml
Student Loan Debt: Defaulting on your student loans.
If you are having difficulty repaying any student loans, you may need to request a forbearance or deferment. DO NOT default on your loans, because you will not be eligible for any forbearance or deferment. Click here for more information: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DirectLoan/postpone.html
Student Loan Debt: Discharge/Cancellation
For more information, click on: www.StudentAid.gov/discharges
Tax Credits and Deductions:
Information on tax credits and tax deductions is available at: http://mappingyourfuture.org/paying/taxcredit.htm
Upromise: Paying for Student Loans with Upromise.
Earn college rewards on everyday purchases like groceries, gas, online shopping, travel, dining out, etc. The rewards can be put against your student loans. For more information visit upromise.com/payforcollege