Financial Wellness

Helping you manage your money, for school and for life!

January 28, 2013
by Carissa
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The scary truth: viewing your credit report

Checking your credit report can be an intimidating proposition if you have not looked at it in a while – kind of like stepping on the scale after the holidays!  But taking that first look is a critical step in assessing your financial well-being.  Your credit report will show you a summary of all accounts out there in your name, from loans, to credit cards, to mortgages, and their balances.  It can help you identify any inaccuracies that may be doing damage to your credit score, and it’s also a great way to reveal identity theft.

Check out the credit section of this blog to learn more, including how to obtain your free annual credit report from each of the three major bureaus.  TIP: don’t get all three reports at once!  Space them out so you can view a different credit report every few months, keeping you informed all year long.  Continuous inspection of your credit report is a great way to improve and maintain its health!

January 22, 2013
by Carissa
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How ’bout those resolutions?

Are you having trouble sticking to those New Year’s resolutions?  Still not sure how to tackle them?  Well, if you made a resolution to take control of your finances this year, here’s a great way to jumpstart your goal.  Money Management International has a thirty day program to get you started down the path to financial control.  This free site gives you  thirty separate tips for mastering your money, making what seems like a huge goal much more manageable.  Try a different one each day for a month, or try them at your own pace. 

Did you commit to be financially fit in 2013?  Leave us a comment and let us know how you’re doing!

January 18, 2013
by Carissa
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Complete your FAFSA with ease

Good news —  the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is now even easier to complete!  Head on over to the Connections blog to read about how your IRS tax information can be easily imported into your FAFSA application, saving you a few steps in the process.

Remember that you must complete a FAFSA each year to determine your aid eligibility for the upcoming financial aid award year.  The 2013-14 FAFSA is available now.  Click here to learn more.

January 11, 2013
by Carissa
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Tax Breaks for College Students

If you are not taking advantage of the tax benefits offered to you as a college student, you could be missing out on an average of $466!  Head over to Yahoo Finance to read this article on the four tax breaks that you should be aware of as we head in to tax season.

Also related: see the post on the Graduate Advising Blog regarding electronic 1098-T forms.

January 10, 2013
by Carissa
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Understanding the Fiscal Cliff

Are you still trying to understand what the fiscal cliff deal means, and how it pertains to your personal finances?  Mint.com has some good blogs that explain in plain language the major parts of the deal, and how those changes could affect your credit if you don’t plan for those smaller paychecks.

The Tax Policy Center also has a personal calculator to help you see how your finances will change under the new laws.

January 2, 2013
by Carissa
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Pay As you Earn Plan Now Available!

 

As of December 21st, a new repayment option has been introduced for those with Direct Federal Student Loans.  The Pay as You Earn plan offers a monthly payment that is never more than 10% of your discretionary income, with the potential for any remaining balance to be forgiven after 20 years in repayment.  This plan will also qualify eligible participants to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Click on the following links to learn more:

  • How the Pay As You Earn Plan works
  • Do you qualify for Pay As You Earn?
  • How the Pay As you Earn Plan compares to other repayment options
  • Consolidation options for older and/or FFEL (non-Direct) student loans

January 1, 2013
by Carissa
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Happy 2013!

Happy New Year!  If you’re making a list of resolutions or even if you only choose one, make a resolution to improve your financial health in 2013.  Here are some great ways to get started that anyone can follow.