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Five Reasons Students Might Consider Using Credit

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Five Reasons Students Might Consider Using Credit

    In North America, students can apply for credit when they attend a post-secondary institution, even without verifiable income. The credit available to them ranges from low limit credit cards to education loans that can reach into the tens of thousands.

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    A person can use this to their advantage, credit decisions made as a student can make a considerable contribution towards the amount of capital and assets they can obtain after graduation.

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    1. You can leverage the benefits of a credit card without succumbing to high interest rates.The high interest rates charged by credit card companies are a result of a multitude of factors, but the greatest factor is the high default rate on these types of products.Be smart when using credit cards, use the interest free grace period after a purchase to enhance cash flow. An individual may not have the funds now, but as long as the balance is paid in full no interest will be charged.In addition, many cards carry a set of free insurances that may include a 90-day replacement warranty for retail items that are stolen, lost or damaged and an additional year of manufactures warranty on certain electronics and appliances.

      Please note that anything considered a cash advance on a credit card will incur interest from the day the transaction occurred. Also, people need to read the credit card disclosure for their particular card before making any purchases.

    2. See a credit card as an opportunity to build a relationship with a financial institutionApplying for a lending product is a chance to discuss future needs and see what other valuable services the company offers.Companies want your business, so remember to ask if they have any special banking offers or discounts for purchasing multiple products.Furthermore, your loyalty to a company can lead to better lending and interest rates when buying a house or planning for retirement.
    3. A long credit history can make you a more appealing credit customer

      Credit worthiness includes many variables, including repayment habits; the number of open credit facilities a person currently has, debt to income ratio and credit history.Even if a person never carries a balance from one month to the next, regular use of a credit card will contribute towards a positive credit score. In particular, lenders like to see credit cards that have been active over an extended period of time and show no late payments.Sadly, as a person gets older the lack of a credit history makes lenders see them as a risk and therefore applying for credit becomes harder once a person is no longer a student.Remember, a secondary user on a credit card gets no credit history benefit because the application is under the primary cardholder’s name.
    4. Using credit facilities can prepare you for a more secure financial future after graduation.At some point, people will consider home and vehicle ownership. A decent credit history will offer more options when it comes to low interest rates and how much debt a credit company will allow someone to carry.Besides financial concerns, having an excellent credit history can affect a person’s ability to get a job or rent an apartment. Employers and landlords are now using credit checks to filter out candidates and unsavory tenants.As the job’s and renter’s market becomes more competitive a great credit rating might give a person a competitive advantage.
    5. The use of credit products develops a sense of independence and responsibilityOptimally, it is wise to have one of three things before applying for a credit card. These include some savings, a job, or parents willing to cover debt expenses.Although, making minimum payments might be convenient, it makes paying off the card almost impossible. Minimum payments in the long run do not make economic sense, but it will keep a credit score clean.Over time, students need to transition financial responsibilities over from their parents. Paying for a credit card might be someone’s first reoccurring bill. It is an opportunity to develop good repayment habits and budgeting skills.

    Although, using credit is not for everyone, applying for credit as a student can be an important milestone. Used wisely, even a student credit card can alleviate many future hurdles involved in asset acquisition and give a person a sense of responsibility before taking full control of their lives.

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    Last Updated on January 5, 2022

    33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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    33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

    In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

    Some easy ways to save money:

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    1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
    2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
    3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
    4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
    5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
    6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
    7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
    8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
    9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
    10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
    11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
    12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
    13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
        a reusable water bottle and refill it.
      • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
      • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
      • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
      • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
      • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
      • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
      • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
      • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
      • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
      • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
      • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
      • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
      • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
      • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
      • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
      • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
      • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
      • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
      • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
      • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

      Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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      Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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