New Part-Time and Work From Home Gigs

Do you need some extra cash to pay your monthly bills? Are you looking to pay down debt without working around the clock? Here are three “under the radar” ways to accomplish those goals.

DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Stop! If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources are available to help you today.


DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Stop! If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources are available to help you today.

Make Great Tips with PostMates 

If your full-time job can’t cover your bills, some side income can save the day. Working for PostMates will give you just that, as you can earn excellent tips making deliveries via your car, scooter, bike, or even on foot.

Working for PostMates is rather simple. You sign up, and if accepted, you complete deliveries as they appear on your smartphone.

What type of income can you make with PostMates? That depends on the schedule you choose, where you live, and other factors. Some people, however, can average out to around $15-20 per hour. Work a few hours at that rate, and you can accumulate a substantial amount of extra cash each week.

As a side note, an excellent way to make the most money working for PostMates is to be available during high demand hours. Doing so can earn you twice the standard payout per delivery.

If you make a couple of hundred extra dollars per week, or per month, you can put that towards debt, use it to cover bills, or save it for a rainy day. To get started with PostMates, clickere.


Get Paid for Giving Your Opinion

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter let you voice your opinion on various topics. Unfortunately, you don’t get paid for those. MyPoints, on the other hand, is willing to pay for your views, making it an excellent way to score extra cash.

MyPoints works by inviting you to new surveys. As you take them, you earn points. Once you earn enough points, you get gift cards from your favorite brands that can keep cash in your wallet.

Is MyPoints legit? Since they’ve awarded over $236 million in gift cards and PayPal Cash since 1996, the answer to that question is yes.

Are surveys the only way to earn MyPoints rewards? No, as you can also play games online, read emails, shop, and watch fun videos to rack up rewards too.

Watch Videos, Answer Questions, Make Money

Imagine if Netflix and chill was Netflix and earn? While Netflix won’t pay you to watch its shows and movies, InboxDollars will pay you to do something similar.

It’s a solid alternative to MyPoints if you prefer to be paid in cash instead of gift cards. All you have to do is choose which videos you’ll watch, answer a few questions, and earn some money for your time.

Why does InboxDollars pay you? Because major brands want consumer input. By watching videos and giving that input, you become a valuable resource to help brands craft content people crave.

Just like MyPoints, InboxDollars is no stranger to payouts. To date, they’ve paid out more than $56 million to their users, and it’ll only take you a few clicks to become one of them.

It’s Like A Grant To Buy Your First Home

Owning a house is part of the American Dream. It’s possible to piece together an affordable home plan through a mix of subsidized programs.

Hey, are you ready to apply for a home already? The Freddie Mac New Mortgage Program is now available and you may be shocked when you see how much you can save!

You’ve heard some of the talk about home prices and the economy. Fact of the matter is that Governments want to see home sales rise. Along with home sales comes citizens with equity and wealth. The United States government supports  several civic programs through agencies like the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to help spur widespread homeownership.

DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Stop! If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources are available to help you today.

DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Stop! If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources are available to help you today.

Housing is such a fundamental precursor to building individual and national wealth that there are even several assistance programs to cover apartments for low income renters. Below, are resources supported by both private and taxpayer dollars that all go towards supporting your American dream of owning a home. Especially for those facing financial hardship, this resource is intended for you

Home Possible Mortgage Assistance Program

For first time home buyers, the Home Possible mortgage offered by Freddie Mac is one of the best solutions to purchase a home. Designed to benefit very low and low income families, this loan doesn’t require the borrower to have a credit score. It also offers comfortable interest rates, flexible refinancing options, and a down payment of only 3%.

This means that a family looking to buy a house valued at $50,000 will only have to put down $1,500 as down payment before being approved to borrow the balance of the purchase price. Freddie Mac often gives their borrowers up to 20 years to pay the money back, with options to refinance the mortgage if more beneficial terms become available. 

Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)

The Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) provides special benefits to borrowers who plan to buy a house that is energy efficient, or that can be made energy efficient by performing improvements that will reduce energy consumption. This relatively new mortgage is a powerful tool that households have at their disposal when purchasing a more comfortable home with lower energy bills. To qualify for this unique mortgage loan, the borrower must obtain a home energy assessment to certify that the home they plan to buy meets the required criteria.

Ready to apply for a home already? The Freddie Mac New Mortgage Program is now available and you may be shocked when you see how much you can save!

 HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME)

The HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) is a federal assistance program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with the purpose of providing affordable housing to low and very low income families across the country. It is one of the largest federal block grants given to states, covering an extensive list of programs and services that help families going through financial hardship.

One key program is the home purchase or rehabilitation financing assistance. HOME can make a contribution towards a  down payment to help buyers qualify for a mortgage. Although not officially a grant, money awarded through this program doesn’t have to be paid back. Instead, the family has to handle the monthly payments of the loan.

Eligibility to this program is determined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). Families must fall within the federal poverty level to be considered financially needy and qualify for this benefit. As of 2018, the poverty level is set around $12,000 a year in most states.

203(k) Mortgage & HomeStyle Renovation

The 203(k) Mortgage Rehab Insurance is a special type of loan sponsored by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) that assist people and families when buying a home that is not habitable and which needs to be repaired before it becomes so. This loan is useful for parties that are interested in purchasing a home that needs improvements but don’t have the money to cover both the required down payment and the renovation.

A similar option would be Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle Renovation mortgage. Like the 203(k) mortgage, families can finance the purchase and renovation of a home with this loan. However, it also includes the option to refinance the mortgage for up to 75% of the value of the home after repairs are made so that the family can perform the improvements they want. 

203(k) and HomeStyle loans have strict requirements and guidelines that families must meet to become eligible. They require a contractor’s bid to be made to estimate the repair costs, as well as a down payment that oscillates between 3.5% and 5%. Also, unlike traditional mortgages, families are required to complete the renovations to access the part of the funds that were destined to pay the contractors.

Both loans are beneficial for low income families. They provide a way for families to improve their homes without having to face the high interest rates of a home equity line of credit or a second mortgage.

Rental Assistance

An increasing number of low income families across the country are unable to buy a house, preferring to rent instead. The federal government operates a variety of assistance programs designed to make it easier for households to address their monthly rent payments without it becoming an economic burden. These housing programs are managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and they provide financial assistance to families who need it most and are eligible to receive the benefits.

According to their needs, low-income families can apply for programs such as Section 8’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), which gives them a housing voucher that can be used to rent the house or apartment they desire, or the Project Based Section 8 Rental Assistance, which offers subsidies to landlords so that they can lower the monthly payments of tenants.

You’re Accepted, Here Are Your Scholarships to Finish School

Getting accepted is just the start. We don’t need to tell you that education can be expensive. You want to access higher-paying jobs and opportunities not currently available? A degree will get you there, but be aware the cost has stopped many aspiring students from afechieving their dreams. To get your financing together, here is everything you can apply for right now.

If you need help right away, this relief program will direct deposit a short term loan into your bank account. Review the terms of this funding closely before accepting these funds.

In this article, we explore the different methods that low-income families and individuals can take advantage of to obtain the degree they desire. We provide information about grants, scholarships and other resources that is easy to understand and that can prove consequential in the road out of financial hardship.

DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Stop! If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources are available to help you today.

DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Stop! If you need financial assistance such as money to pay bills, a personal loan, or debt relief. See what resources are available to help you today.

Education Grants

Educational grants are usually given by academic institutions and non-profit organizations to individuals with high qualifications that require financial assistance to continue their studies. Along with scholarships, educational grants are one of the most popular resources that many pre-graduate students rely on to go through college.

Educational grants don’t have to be repaid, but most institutions have a long list of requirements that applicants must meet before they are awarded the money they need to cover their college and living expenses. For example, they must have high grades and a clean record, and some organizations also request recommendations from academic institutions.

Pell Grants

The Pell Grant is a subsidy provided by the United States government to students who are in financial need and cannot afford to pay for college. It was created in 1965 and since then has become one of the most popular educational grants in the world, helping more than 5.5 million college and vocational school students across the country.

Pell Grants are considered as the bedrock above which a student’s financial aid is established. Most Pell recipients enjoy the benefits of other forms of aid that are attached to their grant as a single customized package that is adjusted to their needs. This money is then awarded to each recipient on a yearly basis so that they can pay for any expenses.

The Department of Education maintains a standard formula that it uses to determine which students qualify to receive a Pell grant. The formula produces a number called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which determines eligibility. In addition to that, applicants must also be undergraduate students who have yet to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Both U.S. citizens and permanent residents can apply.

To receive the Pell grant, families must submit an application using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, commonly known as FAFSA. The form has to be submitted before the student starts their freshman undergraduate year and then each year as they progress through college. Each year, the government will review their application and determine how much money will be granted as a result. As of 2017, eligible students are given no more than $5,900 each year to cover their expenses. 

FSEOG Grants

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is another alternative that students can explore if they find themselves in a position where they cannot afford to pay for college. Similar to Pell Grants, FSEOG Grants are awarded to college undergraduate students and do not have to be repaid. A recipient of this grant receives between $100 and $4,000 each year to help them cover their college-related expenses.

To be eligible for a FSEOG grant, a student must meet certain requirements. First, their family must fill the FAFSA form to allow the government to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). This will determine if the student is in financial need, as well as how much money will be awarded by the grant. Second, the student must be a U.S. citizen. Permanent residents of the United States are not eligible for a FSEOG grant.

FSEOG Grants can also be awarded directly to schools, which then choose which students are in financial need and how much money they require to successfully complete their school year. In this case, the federal government covers up to 75% of the grant, while the school is responsible for the remaining 25%. The amount of FSEOG money given to a school varies each year, depending on a variety of factors.

Scholarships

Scholarships are one of the most popular options for students all around the world. Many organizations and educational institutions award thousands of scholarships every year as students look for ways to reduce the costs to obtain their degrees. Like grants, scholarships award students with money to cover college expenses. 

Some educational institutions make it so that scholarship recipients don’t have to pay to enroll and attend their schools. This is an invaluable resource for qualified students, paving the way for them to become successful professionals, and most importantly, achieve it debt-free.

Unlike grants, however, scholarships are given based on high grades or previous academic achievements. Some institutions also award scholarships based on individual talent. A big chunk of them are also handed out to individuals who focus on specific areas that the awarding institution is interested in pursuing, such as scientific research. 

Student Loans

Student loans are a last-resort option for many individuals that desire to obtain a college degree but for a variety of reasons are unable to qualify for either a grant or a scholarship. Most of these loans come from banks, and can become a significant economic burden for students as they go through college due to lack of significant income or rising interest rates.

To alleviate this concern, the federal government offers students the option to apply for a stafford loan. These special government-sponsored loans are made available to students that enroll in accredited institutions across the country and offer significantly lower interest rates. They are divided into subsidized and unsubsidized versions, with the former being approved only to students with financial need as demonstrated through their FAFSA application and Expected Family Contribution.

Our Favorite Ten Survey Sites For Making Money

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If you are struggling with debt, there are advocates who are waiting to help. Debt consolidation options and services available.

This is the golden age to make money online. That’s why lately you may have seen ads on social media where agencies are investing big bucks to have authentic reviews of products. 

Not everyone can be accepted, but if you are an opinionated consumer and like to shop popular brands, this job offer is on the table for you.

Sponsored

If debt collectors are calling already, that could mean trouble is coming But it could mean they are ready to negotiate with you.

Don’t go at it by yourself. Your next step could mean the difference between getting out of debt or getting further into it from fees and deferred payments.

Let the professionals negotiate on your behalf.


It’s a good deal for companies too, online surveys are tools used by companies to understand the appeal of their products and services. People can take advantage of their spending routines to make some money by giving their opinion on the products they buy or the services they use. 

In this article, we provide basic information about online surveys, things to consider when filling them, and a list of sites actively hiring for survey responders.

What are online surveys?

Online surveys are digital questionnaires promoted by companies. Their purpose is to gather valuable information from people in order to improve their product, service or brand. 

Participants are often paid in return for such information. Some companies pay participants in cash, while others prefer to offer cash equivalents such as coupons and gift cards.

Most online surveys can be completed in twenty minutes. In general, they ask participants if they use one or more specific products, as well as their personal opinion on their quality and price. However, not everyone can participate in an online survey. 

Companies create criteria that potential participants must match before they are allowed to participate in any given survey. Some companies establish these criteria by asking participants to create an account and provide basic information about them.

Sponsored Benefit

If you don’t have time to browse the list of survey providers, jump right in and get started, you could get paid by the end of today!


What is required to complete online surveys

Homeowners and renters who are thinking about doing online surveys on their spare time must prepare beforehand. First, they should make a list of brands whose services or products they purchase to measure how many online surveys they could realistically complete. However, most homeowners qualify for surveys that seek information about things almost everyone pays for, such as utility bills or groceries.

Second, people should be aware that most online survey platforms pay through Paypal. As a result, participants will have to create a Paypal account and link it to their bank accounts. 

Setting up a Paypal account is not complicated. A valid email account and identification number is all that is required to start receiving money. However, participants who prefer to cash out their rewards in gift cards may skip this step.

Third, some survey sites award points after each survey is complete. Rewards can be claimed once a certain number of points have been earned. In other cases, participants are given a flat amount of money per survey. However, sites who award money right away may impose minimum withdrawal limits, which can be between $50 and $100.

Finally, participants should be willing to provide personal information. Online surveys often ask questions that some people might be uncomfortable answering. 

It is recommended to read the fine print before signing up and understanding the nature of each survey before agreeing to participate in them. Most websites allow participants to abandon the survey if they do not agree with any of the questions.

Things to consider when doing online surveys

Regardless of which site they choose, participants must always read the fine print and be fully aware of all the terms and conditions. Despite their simplicity, online surveys can take a significant amount of time when added up. As a result, it is important to focus on a single survey website until enough points have been earned and a reward can be claimed. 

Jumping between survey sites is not recommended. Participants who do so often end up spreading their points across multiple platforms, claiming fewer rewards and thus making less money. However, participants are encouraged to test different alternatives after claiming a reward if the chosen survey site failed to meet expectations.

Sponsored Benefit

Now that you know what online surveys are all about, you can get started right now earning money with surveys.


Best online survey sites

Online surveys are one of many possibilities struggling families can exploit to help cover monthly expenses. Although $2 for a single survey may seem like a drop in a bucket, after a month of casual work, diligent people can add $200 to their pocket. In this section, we offer a list of ten online survey sites that offer reliable rewards.

  1. PaidViewPoint

PaidViewPoint is one of the best survey sites on the Internet. It has a long list of comprehensive surveys which take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. Participants can withdraw their earnings starting from $15, either as cash to a Paypal account or as an Amazon or Walmart gift card. 

PaidViewPoint has become one of the best places for people looking to make extra money with online surveys. This is because of its simple interface and easy registration process.

  1. VIP Voice

VIP Voice is an online research community that belongs to the NPD Group. With more than 3 million users, VIP Voice is one of the largest survey sites on the Internet. 

Homeowners and renters who decide to join this community will get about 3 to 5 surveys each week, with the potential to make around $30 each month with little effort. VIP Voice does not give direct cash rewards. Instead, members receive points which can be used to enter sweepstakes and auctions. 

Winning a sweepstake may award cash, vacations and more. Auctions allow members to bid on products and services. Students may find VIP Voice an attractive proposition due to the $5,000 scholarship opportunity it provides to its members.

  1. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a well-known online money making website, offering many alternatives to make quick cash beyond surveys. However, online surveys are one of its most popular features. Swagbucks is very newcomer-friendly, awarding free points to its members. 

It also awards $5 to new members who complete one survey right after they sign up. Users of this website can withdraw their earnings to a Paypal account or through gift cards from known retailers like Amazon.

  1. Toluna 

Toluna is another popular survey panel used by a large number of marketing companies around the world. Although it offers other products and services, the survey panel remains its most popular membership program. 

Each completed survey grants a number of points which can be exchanged for a voucher after enough points have been earned. Most surveys take 15 minutes to complete. In general, it takes about 4 hours to gather 80,000 points and turn them into a $15 voucher.

  1. MyPoints

MyPoints was established in 1996 as a rewards program website. Registered members can collect points by completing purchases from selected retailers. To collect points faster, members can complete daily online surveys. Unlike other survey panels, MyPoints rewards its members even if they are disqualified from a survey. 

Online surveys are not the only way to collect points on this website. Inviting friends, playing select games and printing coupons also give a considerable amount of points. Money earned can be exchanged for gift cards or sent to a Paypal account.

  1. Opinion Outpost 

Opinion Outpost is an online market research pioneer. This decade-old free community offers rewards for sharing opinions on certain products and services. 

The website is one of the most reliable in terms of fast payments, as it often takes less than several hours to deposit earnings. Those who decide to join can claim rewards as cash to a Paypal account or as iTunes and Amazon gift cards.

  1. One Opinion

One Opinion is similar to other free online communities mentioned above. Members are asked to share their opinions on selected products and services in return for points which can be traded for cash through Paypal or Visa prepaid cards. 

People can make hundreds of points per day by completing surveys, including those in which they were disqualified. The minimum amount that can be redeemed is 25,000 points which is equal to $25.

  1. Survey Junkie 

Survey Junkie is a popular alternative for people who already tested other paid survey websites. The company does not have a mobile app, which means that most of its surveys are meant to be completed on a computer. 

However, its constant stream of quality surveys and flexible payment methods make up for the lack of mobile options. Also, earnings are available for withdrawal as soon as $10 or 1,000 points are reached, a lower amount than most other survey sites.

  1. PointClub

PointClub offers much more variety than its competitors. Like many other popular survey sites, PointClub rewards points even if the member gets disqualified. However, it stands out due to its extensive reward options, which include Visa prepaid cards, Walmart and Amazon gift cards, and movie vouchers. 

The downside of PointClub is its high requirements for withdrawal. The only options are 25,000 points for a $25 gift card or 50,000 points for $50 sent to a Paypal account.

  1. Harris Poll 

Harris Poll is not as popular as other alternatives, mostly due to its focus on packaged food products. However, the companies looking to perform market research through this website tend to offer much higher pay than other online survey platforms. 

For example, a standard survey on Harris Poll pays between $3 and $4 and can be completed in less than 20 minutes. There are more comprehensive surveys called local panels that can take two to four hours to complete but pay as much as $75. Harris Poll is a potential gold mine for food enthusiasts.

Jumping From Minimum Wage to $65k a Year With an Online Degree

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Recent graduates with online degrees are earning $65,000 a year now and they have less debt compared to traditional students. Combine affordability, flexibility, and real career options and it becomes clear why online programs are creating real value.

If you’re stuck at a dead-end job or just ready to get started, use this shortcut to find schools offering incentives to start today.

Online programs are recruiting non-traditional students who demonstrate drive and ambition. 

Combine ambitious students with online programs and what do you get? Awards and recognition is the answer because these programs consistently rank among the best online colleges nationwide year after year. 

We narrowed it down to a handful of online programs as a case study. Where students who came in making close to minimum wage, within a few years after graduation they are all averaging $69,000 in salary. This article explores their online programs and how they are able to help non-traditional students while keeping tuition affordable.


First, a degree from one of these schools leads to real jobs. If you want the corner office, you will have to work for it, but these programs will get you in the door. In recent years the median earnings of a college graduate have been about $27,000 a year. However, recent graduates with a focused education from an online program are averaging $39,000 instead. Take a moment to let that sink in. Graduates with an online degree can earn more than graduates from traditional 4-year universities.

After six years, graduates of these programs can expect to earn around $46,000. Some career paths are more lucrative with one in four graduates earning more than $65,000 after completing their degree. 

To understand why online education is so important for this generation, consider working parents. Attending college remains out of reach for many working parents who might not have time or money to invest in continuing education. Moving courses to the internet has been something like an evolution for single parents. With flexible schedules, parents have demonstrated they can succeed in continuing education.

One particularly moving story comes from Elisa Magagna of Pocatello, Idaho. She was a single parent, age 31 earning $9.50 an hour. But she saw the opportunities a college degree could create. Elisa had to think of a way to get there. “I wasn’t making very much money at all, just above minimum wage.” A single mom of four kids, her goal was “to better myself and my life.” Magagna completed a bachelor’s degree online in business administration in just over three years. She kept working full time while raising her family. Guess what, she graduated in June 2017 and had only $3,000 in student loans. After graduating, her salary almost doubled to just under $20 an hour.

If Elisa’s story resonates with you these programs are looking for students like you.

Working parents who have no time to study on-campus can enroll in one of the more than 200 online degree programs. Online students gain access to some unique perks, such as a dedicated academic advisor, online library, advanced tutoring and 24/7 tech support.


How long does it take to finish an online program?

On campus students can choose to study full-time or part-time, whereas online students can select how many subjects they want to attend each academic period. Full-time students often take two courses per eight week period. Whereas part-time students might take one course.

Under normal circumstances, students can finish their courses in the corresponding time. This is two years for associate’s degrees and four years for a bachelor’s degree. For online students, the time it takes to graduate will depend on how many courses they sign up for every academic period.

Join the evolution of adult education and get funding to get started.

Financial Aid Alert: Beloved Program Is Refunding Everyone Their Bank Fees

Trying to move up in a career requires some financial help so here it is. Complete this form and you’ll be exempt from ATM fees, monthly bank maintenance fees, or even overdraft fees. If you are like most people, that will add up to somewhere between $300 and $1000 in just one year.

Get more than just a refund. Open an Aspiration Save and Spend account and receive a $100 welcome bonus. Continue reading to learn exactly how Aspiration is giving everyone who applies back their bank fees.

Growing your savings with a traditional bank account is difficult due to low interest rates and expensive fees. Switching to an Aspiration Spend and Save account can deal with both problems at once.  This online account offers interest rates up to 25 times higher than traditional banks, helping families get the most out of their savings.

Aspiration is an online bank based in California. It is best known for its savings and checking account named Spend and Save, which comes with no fees. Instead, the bank gives customers the option to pay monthly maintenance or get their accounts for free. In this article, we explain why you should switch to Aspiration and how their Spend and Save account works.

Benefits of an Aspiration account

Aspiration has loaded its popular Spend and Save account with some attractive perks. For example, the company gives customers access to ATms with no fees. People who have tried online banks before know this perk is hard to come by. The reason is that online institutions must pay traditional backs for ATM access.

With Aspiration, customers will not have to worry about which ATM they can use. Also, if they get charged a fee, the bank promises to reimburse the money as soon as possible. Customers who are not be convinced by this benefit alone may find other benefits enough to switch. Aspiration Spend and Save accounts also come with cash back rewards on debit card purchases, identity theft protection, access to fossil fuel free investment funds and retirement savings accounts.

With Aspiration, people can invest their money in a range of actively managed funds. The minimum investment is $10, although some paperwork must be submitted beforehand. Those who are thinking about retirement can open a tax deferred individual retirement account with as little as $10.

Contributing to a charity is also possible with Aspiration. Customers who like their tax deductions can access a long list of charities directly from their Spend and Save accounts. Account holders can contribute to environmental causes, education, healthcare and poverty. Also, Aspiration chips in an extra $25 to charity when account holders refer a friend.

Why choose Aspiration

Choosing Aspiration will help  people save hundreds of dollars in fees each year. Aspiration gives customers the freedom to choose how much they want to pay for its services. If customers want to pay, they can select a monthly fee of up to $10. Otherwise, they will receive their account for free.

But how much can people save with Aspiration?

According to a Bank Finder Report from 2017, consumers can pay up to $330 each year in bank fees. Those who move their savings to Aspiration will get to keep that money.

However, Aspiration is more than just about avoiding expensive fees. The company also offers customers several ways to get the most out of their savings with cash back rewards for purchases made with their debit cards. In general, traditional banks tie cash bash rewards to credit cards.

Aspiration offers this benefit with their debit cards instead. The company offers 0.5 percent cash back on all purchases. Customers who complete purchases at selected merchants receive one percent cash back instead. In total, account holders can expect to receive up to $54 per year in cash back rewards.

Another good reason why people should switch to an Aspiration account is high annual interest rates. Traditional financial institutions offer a very low 0.1 percent annual interest rate on their savings accounts. SOme even go as low as 0.01 percent. To attract customers, some banks offer special rates that can go up to 2.5 percent. What most customers do not know is that these rates are only for customers with lots of money in their bank accounts.

For example, Wells Fargo advertises their “premium” savings account as having 2.15 percent annual interest rates. However, such rates are only valid for the first twelve months and customers must keep at least $25,000 in the account. Otherwise, they get downgraded to 0.1 percent.

According to Maurie Backman from The Motley Fool, almost half of all households do not have $500 in cash stored in their bank accounts. Also, the Survey of Consumer Finances released by the Federal Reserve confirms that the median savings account balance is $8,100. This means most families do not have enough cash to enjoy these promotional rates.

In contrast, Aspiration offers a permanent 2 percent annual interest rate on savings accounts. As a result, people can get the most out of their savings with a Spend and Save account than what they would do with a traditional one.

A family who has $10,000 saved would gain around $10 in interest after one year. However, they would most likely lose money due to all sorts of fees. With Aspiration, the same family would make $200 instead, with no money lost to fees. Also, money deposited in an Aspiration account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, for up to $1 million, which means families are not at risk of losing their money.

How to Open an Aspiration account

Opening an Aspiration Spend and Save account does not require too much paperwork. In general, people can complete the process in less than twenty minutes. Customers must create a user account with the institution. Then, they can start the process to create their Spend and Save account.

To create their user account, customers will need a valid email address. Next, the bank will ask for personal details such as first and last name, address and social security number. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents can open an Aspiration bank account. Because this is an online account, customers will have to provide the details of a traditional bank account. This is required in order to move money to and from the Aspiration account.

Providing personal information is not enough to complete the process. To protect customers from identity theft, Aspiration has some extra steps customers may have to complete. These steps involve several questions that will determine whether the person creating the account is who they say they are. If the system is unable to verify their identity, an additional step must be completed.

This additional step often involves providing a picture of several government identification documents, such as a driver’s license and a bank statement. Once these documents are submitted, the bank will take up to three days to verify the information and activate the account.

Five Two-Year Degrees That Pay Off

Many Americans pursue an education as a way to improve their finances. An associate’s degree from a community college or technical institution is often the quickest path towards a better paying job, but some choices yield better financial results than others.

The average salary of an associate’s degree holder in the United States stands at $33,000 with up to four years of experience. Workers with ten or more years earn an average of $46,000 annually. The degrees we talk about next significantly outperform those numbers, providing above average income across the board.

We have chosen five modern and easy to access career paths that require no more than a two-year degree and pay off considerably well. In most cases, an associate’s degree is all that’s required to become eligible for one of these jobs, while others rely on experience and technical expertise.

Read our article on which jobs can make you earn $100,000 per year with nothing more than a two-year degree.

Radiation Therapist

A radiation therapist is a professional who works within a radiation oncology team. Their job is to administer radiation treatment to cancer patients, although they often serve as liaisons with physicians and care providers in general.

As part of their daily routine, radiation therapists are tasked with preparing equipment and maintaining the records and reports about cancer patients. Most healthcare facilities which offer cancer treatment have at least a few radiation therapists on board to make sure operations run as smoothly as possible.

Working as a radiation therapist requires a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy. However, people with a two-year degree in Radiography are often hired as long as they are certified in radiation therapy. This certificate takes a year to obtain.

According to data from PayScale.com, a radiation therapist with two to four years of experience can expect a salary of at least $60,000 a year. With ten years of experience or more, the median annual salary goes up to almost $76,000. However, some healthcare facilities will not pay the highest annual salary until employees obtain their bachelor’s degree.

Read our article on how to start a career in medical coding and billing to learn more about this and other similar healthcare positions.

Ultrasound Technician

An Ultrasound Technician is a healthcare professional who handles ultrasonic imaging devices to diagnose a wide array of medical conditions. Most people often associate sonography with viewing babies in the womb, but ultrasound technicians rely on this technology to diagnose hundreds of conditions, such as cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

The required degree to become an ultrasound technician is called sonography. It takes about two years to complete and is divided in several specialties, such as cardiac, obstetrical, vascular and general sonography. People pursuing this career path should be ready to learn about anatomy, physiology and instrumentation.

Ultrasound technicians with four years of experience or less make around $54,000 annually. After ten years of service, annual benefits grow to almost $69,000. However, most sonographers continue their studies, which often increase annual income to as much as $300,000. Those who stick with a two-year degree can expect to remain within $70,000 annually after several years of service.

Wind Turbine Technician

Renewable energy sources are a popular industry at the moment, as wind and solar energy businesses get set up nationwide. This has created a surging need for so-called green-collar workers, who have expertise to install, supervise and maintain the equipment needed to harvest alternative energy resources.

Wind turbine technicians are among the most popular and best paid positions in green energy industries. The average annual salary of a wind turbine technician with no more than four years of experience is $48,000. Workers with more than ten years of experience are paid around $53,000.

Unlike solar panels, wind turbines require constant maintenance to make sure they operate at maximum efficiency. The responsibility to maintain entire wind farm infrastructures falls on the shoulders of wind turbine technicians. People who accept this job should expect to handle a wide array of tasks. They will repair and maintain most wind turbine components, including circuit boards, motors, blades and generators. As such, some knowledge about engineering and electric equipment is required.

So far, there are no specific degrees designed to teach this profession. Most utility companies operating green energy installations have designed training programs to help newcomers get up to speed in a couple of weeks. However, keep in mind that companies often look for workers with knowledge in engineering, or associate’s degrees relevant to the industry.

Railroad Conductor

Railroads are one of the backbones of trade, with millions of products being shipped each year across the country. Working as a railroad conductor has more benefits than people usually think. For example, data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that most railroad workers belong to unions, which means their salaries are often relatively high.

Railroad Conductors are responsible for the coordination of all freight and passenger activities carried out by train crews. On a daily basis, conductors review schedules, shipping records, waybills, switching orders and other relevant paperwork. In general, an associate’s degree is not required to work as a Railroad Conductor. Railroad companies often ask for no more than a high school diploma or GED. The real challenge is to pass formal training programs and perform above expectations during on-the-job training.

On average, a railroad conductor with two to four years of experience makes around $45,000 a year. This number increases significantly for workers with ten or more years of experience, who earn around $80,000 annually. The low academic requirements needed to join this side of the railroad industry means experience plays a major role in employee selection. However, knowledge in mathematics, engineering and management are positive qualities often sought after by railroad companies.

HVAC Controls Technician

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, commonly known as HVAC, is one of the largest maintenance fields in America. The vast majority of personal homes, commercial buildings and industrial complexes rely on HVAC systems to control temperatures both indoors and outdoors. As a result, it is no wonder that HVAC technicians are always in demand.

In general, an HVAC technician has the required expertise to perform installations, diagnostics and repairs of heating and conditioning equipment. This includes troubleshooting, system updates, controls maintenance, software checking and update, system calibrations, and more.

The HVAC controls technician should not be confused with the HVAC controls programmer, which handles different aspects of the HVAC system, particularly writing and debugging programs used to operate installations. However, HVAC controls technicians and programmers often work together within the company.

HVAC technicians usually specialize in either repair or maintenance. They must have good skills in mathematics, mechanical drawing, computer science, and other relevant topics. There are many training programs nationwide designed to give newcomers toolsets to get started in the HVAC business. During their first few years, HVAC technicians can expect to earn around $43,000 annually. After a decade in service, their salary usually rises to around $57,000.

 

What You Need To Know About Boards of Nursing

There are more than 4.5 million licensed nursing professionals across the country. Before being allowed to work, they needed the approval of local government agencies known as Board of Nursing. These institutions regulate the industry and guarantee the safety of patients.

Boards of Nursing were established around one hundred years ago when the healthcare industry began its expansion. Their purpose is to make sure all nursing professionals have the required qualifications to perform their duties without harming customers. In this article, we explain what role Boards of Nursing play in healthcare, and how to contact them.

What is a State Board of Nursing?

A Board of Nursing, also known as BoN, is a local government institution that oversees the practice of nursing in a state. The responsibilities of a Board of Nursing includes regulating what nurses can do, what is required for them to work, and what qualifications they must have. To accomplish these goals, Boards of Nursing design and issue licenses to qualified nursing candidates, and approve training programs. Nationwide, all Boards of Nursing collaborate to administer examinations.

Each state has its own Board of Nursing. Other territories, such as the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and Virgin Islands, also have a Board of Nursing. Some states have more than one Board of Nursing. California, Georgia, Louisiana and West Virginia have separate Boards of Nursing for Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). Nebraska has a separate Board of Nursing that oversees Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN).

Most Boards of Nursing were established at the beginning of the twentieth century with the purpose to standardize the practice of nursing. Nursing licenses were created to protect the public from harm, establishing minimal qualifications for anyone who wished to become a nurse. In 1978, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) was created to help standardize the nursing practice across the country. This institution is made up of all state Boards of Nursing, and its main job is to administer the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a computerized test that all newly-trained nurses must pass before being allowed to work. There are two versions of the test. The first one is called NCLEX-RN and must be taken by registered and advanced practice nurses. The second one is called NCLEX-PN and must be taken by licensed practical and vocational nurses. Some entry-level positions, such as certified nursing assistant (CNA) and home health aide (HHA), do not require this test. However, they must pass other examinations before being allowed to work.

The importance of Boards of Nursing

Boards of Nursing play a critical role in the industry. They design and implement regulations that ensure safe nursing care to patients, avoiding malpractice and harm. Before Boards of Nursing were created, the general public did not have sufficient tools to determine which healthcare providers were qualified to provide safe care. Nowadays, nurses and healthcare providers must comply with strict local and federal regulations that guarantee a minimum level of safety for patients. State Boards of Nursing enforce those regulations, and expand them if necessary.

Boards of Nursing are also important because they issue licenses most nursing professionals require to work. This includes licenses for registered, licenced practical and advance practice nurses, as well as certificates for nursing assistants, occupational therapy aides and home health aides. As of 2018, more than 4.5 million healthcare professionals hold a licensed issued by a Board of Nursing, with more than one million expected to receive one in the next few years.

Another important role played by Boards of Nursing is approving training programs. To receive a license or certificate from the Board, aspiring nurses must complete a state-approved training program. These programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools and some hospitals. The name “state-approved” means that the program meets the training guidelines set by the local Board of Nursing. The list of requirements set by the Board may include specific content in lessons and mandatory practices in a hospital or healthcare facility.

How Boards of Nursing Operate

Boards of Nursing operate based on regulations approved by state legislatures. These regulations were first approved as part of Nursing Practice Acts, which defined the practice of nursing within the state and laid out local requirements for licensure. The main job of a Board of Nursing is to enforce these regulations through administrative rules and proceedings.

To carry out these tasks, the board has a group of members elected by the governor, as well as full-time staff tasked with keeping records, updating procedures and providing assistance and information to newly-trained nursing professionals. The functions of the board are funded by fees paid by licensees. In most cases, those fees are enough to cover operational costs, although some states offer additional funding when needed.

How to contact a Board of Nursing

Boards of Nursing usually have one or more local offices. However, in some cases, these offices may not be available to the public. Florida’s Board of Nursing, for example, has a customer contact center interested parties can only reach by phone. For applications and fee payments, applicants are offered instead a P.O. Box. New York’s Board of Nursing, in contrast, is part of the state’s Education Department and can only be reached by phone.

As a result, contacting a Board of Nursing often requires calling a phone number or sending an email. New York’s Board of Nursing also receives written statements from applicants through the state’s Office of the Professions. Each board has its own contact protocols, so interested parties may find it useful to visit their local nursing board’s website to find out which methods are available.

Start Your Nursing Career As A Certified Nursing Assistant

The nation’s aging population is causing increased demand for healthcare professionals. This includes demand for entry-level positions such as Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA. These professionals, also known as nurse aides, provide basic care to patients and handle certain medical procedures.

To be hired as a certified nursing assistant, prospective workers do not need an expensive college degree. Instead, they must complete a state-approved training program, pass a rigorous test and receive their state licence. In this article, we explain in detail what CNAs do and which steps must be taken to become one.


What Are Certified Nursing Assistants?

Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, are healthcare professionals that work in hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, home health centers, and other facilities. This position is also known as Nurse Aide, or NA. The responsibilities of a certified nursing assistant will vary depending on where they work. However, most certified nursing assistants help licensed practical nurses and registered nurses carry out basic health care tasks. For example, certified nursing assistants help patients eat, bathe, dress up and move around.

Certified nursing assistants are also trained to perform some medical procedures. For example, they know how to measure and interpret vital signs, administer medication, and provide catheter care. In certain facilities, certified nursing assistants will also be in charge of other tasks, such as greeting new patients, preparing empty rooms and filing paperwork. Also, they are usually required to maintain detailed patient records and prepare reports to help avoid issues between shifts.

Certified nursing assistants can work in both part-time and full-time positions. However, some healthcare facilities require more flexibility, as patients often need assistance during nights or weekends. In general, certified nursing assistants share shifts with licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, who supervise their work and constantly provide instructions. Certified nursing assistants may share workspace instead with home health aides and occupational therapy assistants when working for private healthcare agencies such as home health centers.

How Much Do CNAs Make?

According to a study by PayScale.com, the average salary of an entry-level certified nursing assistant with less than five years of experience is around $23,000 per year. Workers with five to ten years of experience receive compensation of around $25,000. Certified nursing assistants with more than ten years of experience can earn up to $27,000 per year. Actual salary also varies according to location. PayScale.com estimates that certified nursing assistants working in places such as Denver, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada, can earn between 11 and 14 percent above the national average.


It is not unusual for certified nursing assistant to advance to better positions in their careers. The most immediate position would be as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), which earns up to $37,000, depending on previous experience and location. To become a licensed practical nurse, certified nursing assistants must complete a state-approved training program, which is offered at community colleges and vocational schools.

The salary of certified nursing assistants matches that of other entry-level positions in the industry. Home health aides, for example, receive on average $23,000 per year when working full time at a home health care agency. Their salary can be higher or lower if they work on their own. Occupational Therapy aide, another high-demand entry-level job position, has an average salary of $28,000 per year. Other positions with higher requirements, such as dialysis and hemodialysis technician, offer better initial salaries above $30,000.

As of 2016, more than 1.6 million nursing assistants were employed around the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job demand for nursing assistants is expected to grow at least 11 percent in the next few years. By 2026, the agency predicts that more than 100,000 new nursing assistant job positions will be created.

How To Become A CNA

To become a certified nursing assistant, aspiring workers must first complete a state-approved training program. Such programs are offered by community colleges and vocational schools. However, students must have a high school diploma or GED before being allowed to enroll. Some healthcare facilities also offer CNA training programs to people interested in starting a career in the industry. Aspiring nurses can find a list of state-approved programs by contacting their state’s Board of Nursing.

Most training programs last between six and twelve weeks. The American Red Cross offers a Nurse Assistant Training program, or NAT, which aspiring nurses can take. This program is available in 13 states and prepares students to pass the required CNA examination. Harper College, in contrast, offers a CNA certificate program that lasts for 6 credit hours and can be finished in several days.

Finishing a state-approved program is only the first step to become a certified nursing assistant. The second step is to register with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and pass the Certified Nursing Aide Competency Exam (CNACE), which is needed to obtain certified status. This exam is also known as Nurse Aide Assessment Examination (NAAE). Newly-trained nurse assistants usually become eligible for the test as soon as they complete their education.

The CNA examination is designed to measure the knowledge of newly-trained nurse assistants and is divided in two parts. The first part is a written examination with around 60 multiple-choice questions that must be answered correctly in less than 90 minutes. However, the actual number of questions and available time varies by state. The second part is a clinical test where newly-trained nurse assistants will be asked to perform several medical procedures. In general, the clinical part is composed of five skill tests, handwashing and indirect care. The amount of time available to complete these tasks is usually 30 to 40 minutes. Those who fail the test can retake it up to three times.

After passing the CNA examination, aspiring nurse assistants must obtain a state license. This is a mandatory requirement in every U.S. state and territory, including the District of Columbia. This license is issued by the state’s Board of Nursing, and all newly-trained nurse assistants must obtain it before they are allowed to work. When issuing a nurse assistants license, states take into account professional and legal history of applicants. Some states also perform a criminal background check to determine professional fitness. Most states require nurse assistants to renew their license every two years. In some cases, this might require retaking the examination.

During the process, newly-trained nurse assistants will be asked to pay a procedure fee, which varies by state. For example, the Florida Board of Nursing charges a $175 licensing and application fee. Additional fees may be charged for fingerprinting. In contrast, applicants living in Nevada must pay $290 for the same fees. The final step for a certified nurse assistant would be to find a job once they have obtained their license from a state Board of Nursing. There are currently more than 80,000 job openings for nurse assistants nationwide.

Most certified nursing assistants go back to school once they join the workforce. By completing a twelve-month program at a community college or vocational school, nurse assistants can become Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPN. After that, they can specialize in a particular medical field, such as IV therapy, pharmacology, long-term care, developmental disabilities and correctional health. Another option is to become a registered nurse (RN) by obtaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Registered nurses earn between $60,000 and $80,000 per year.

How Affordable Is A CNA Program?

To become a certified nursing assistant, people do not need to apply for a student loan or invest tens of thousands of dollars. The reason is that, as an entry-level position, nursing assistance does not require a college degree. Instead, aspiring nurse assistants only need to complete a certification or state-approved training program before being allowed to work.

On average, a CNA training program costs around $1,200. For example, the NAT program offered by the American Red Cross costs $1,300. The program offered by Harper College has a different price depending on where students come from. In-district students must pay $130 per credit, for a total of $780. Out-of-district students, in contrast, must pay almost $390 per credit, raising the program’s total cost to around $2,300.

Another option is to seek a nursing diploma, which are also offered by community colleges and vocational schools. Their cost is higher than a CNA training program, but workers who complete them will have an easier route towards becoming a registered nurse. A student attending Northeast Community College in Nebraska, for example, would have to pay around $4,000 to obtain a nursing diploma.

Finance Your College Degree With A Student Loan

Attending college requires spending thousands of dollars each year. Most families do not have the required financial strength to send their children to college. The federal government is aware of this, and has created several student loan programs to help individuals attend college and get an education.

Other financial institutions such as banks and credit unions also offer student loans for families who do not qualify for federal assistance. However, they do not carry the same benefits people might enjoy with federal student loans. In this article, we explain how student loan works and what it takes to submit an application.

The basics about student loans

Student loans are designed to help individuals fund college expenses. They are offered by the federal government, as well as private financial institutions. However, unlike other forms of unsecured funding, student loans must abide by certain regulations.

Student loans differ from other funding sources in several ways. First, they have lower fees and interest rates than other loans. Those interest rates are regulated by government policies and stay the same regardless of financial history. Most student loans have fixed interest rates, which can be subsidized or paid by the government under certain conditions.

Second, student loans have lower approval requirements. In general, most students do not enjoy a good salary or have extensive credit histories. This would make it difficult for them to receive funding. However, most student loans are guaranteed by the government, which reduces risk. This only applies to federal student loans, as private ones often come with less benefits and higher interest rates.

Finally, student loans often come with several borrower-friendly benefits to reduce the financial burden of monthly payments. Student loans obtained through the Department of Education have the most benefits, though some private lenders also provide them. The most common benefit of student loans is delayed payment. This means borrowers will not start paying back the loan until they finish their degree and get a job. In some cases, the federal government will cover interest payments during that period to make sure loan balances do not increase.

Another common benefit is known as deferment. This feature allows borrowers to halt loan payments while they are unemployed without facing a loss of credit score, late payment fees or penalties. However, there are some caveats to keep in mind. First, despite pausing payments, lenders might still charge interest during this period. Also, borrowers must apply and qualify for deferment before they stop making payments. The length of deferment is usually six months, although it can be renewed several times as long as borrowers still qualify for the benefit.

People who have taken out student loans may also qualify for certain tax breaks and deductions. For example, borrowers can deduct up to $2,500 each year from their loan interest. However, people who earn more than $65,000 each year will not qualify for the full deduction. Instead, the amount is determined by a tiered system according to annual income.

The difference between private and federal student loans

Student loans are offered by the federal government as well as private financial institutions. However, over 92 percent of borrowers have student loans issued by the federal government. This is because such loans have more generous benefits compared to those issued by private institutions.

The majority of students borrow from the federal government to cover most college expenses. If anything else arises during their college stay, they often turn to private lenders to cover the difference. Banks, credit unions and online lenders are among the list of institutions who are willing to help students fund their college studies.

The main difference between federal and private student loans is their terms and benefits. Federal student loans are designed to meet the needs of students. They also come with additional safeguards to protect their financial stability, such as deferment or loan forgiveness.

In contrast, private student loans are just unsecured loans offered to students. They often come with higher interest rates that match other funding sources and have less generous repayment options. Also, unlike the federal government, private lenders require good credit and sufficient income to meet monthly payments. Most students have no income until they graduate, which means they must rely on their parents or friends with good credit histories to co-sign the loan.

Private student loans often come with no deferment, loan forgiveness or delayed payment option. This makes them best suited for graduate students who already hold an undergraduate degree and have steady income. In general, the federal government offers less benefits to graduate and postgraduate students.

However, some federal loan programs are still preferable over private loans if the borrowing amount is sufficient to cover the cost. Federal direct unsubsidized loans, for example, offer up to $20,500 per year, which may not be enough to cover tuition for a graduate or postgraduate program. In such cases, students may need to complement federal funds with a private loan.

Types of student loans

Not all student loans offer the same perks and benefits. The federal government, as well as private institutions, have different loan offers that adapt to what students need. The federal government handles three major student loan programs designed to help undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students receive funding.

The first type is known as Perkins loans. They are the optimal choice for undergraduate students who do not have steady income. Perkins loans come with low, fixed interest rates and are made available to all qualifying students regardless of credit history. However, like Pell Grants, Perkins loans are awarded based on financial need. Funding is limited and only low-income families who cannot afford traditional loans are considered.

An undergraduate student who is awarded a Perkins loan can receive up to $5,500 each year, for a maximum of $27,500. Graduate students receive $8,000 each year, for a maximum of $60,000. However, the limit for undergraduate and graduate is shared, which means that an undergraduate student who borrowed $27,500 will only have $32,500 available to fund their graduate program.
The second type is known as Stafford loans. They provide more funding that Perkins loans, and students have access to a interest subsidy according to their financial need. Students who receive a subsidized Stafford loan do not pay interest while they attend school. Those who do not qualify must pay interest soon after disbursement. In general, only undergraduate students are eligible for a subsidized Stafford loan. Graduate and postgraduate students are only eligible for the unsubsidized version. In both cases, students will not have to repay the loan balance until they graduate.

Stafford loans award undergraduate students funding according to whether they are financially dependent from their parents, and their year in college. For example, a freshman undergraduate student living with their parents can receive up to $5,500, which matches a Perkins loan. However, if the student is independent, the annual limit is raised to $9,500. A sophomore student will receive $6,500 and $10,500, respectively. Graduate or professional students can borrow up to $20,500 each year. Stafford loans also have borrowing limits. Dependent students can borrow up to $31,000, while independent students are awarded $57,500. Graduate students are given significantly more funding, with a limit of $138,500.

The federal government also offers PLUS loans, which are similar to those offered by private lenders. They require a minimum credit score and students start paying soon after receiving the money. Private student loans and PLUS loans share many features, including higher interest rates than Perkins or Stafford funding, no delayed payments or subsidies. Also, PLUS loans are awarded directly to parents instead, as undergraduate students do not have the required credit score to qualify.

Finally, consolidation loans are also made available to help students streamline monthly payments. They combine multiple student loans into a single one, often with better repayment terms. However, consolidating several federal student loans into a single private loan may have its drawbacks. For example, students may lose access to deferment and subsidized interest payments. They may also be subjected to higher interest rates if their credit score is not robust.

How to apply for a student loan

Students who want to apply for a federal student loan must first complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, also known as FAFSA. This document is used by the government to determine how much assistance a current or prospective student qualifies for. The form must be submitted annually and includes financial information about students and their families.

According to the results of the FAFSA form, colleges and universities will send students a financial aid offer that best suits their financial position. This offer may include access to grants, scholarships or federal student loans. Some institutions award partial funds under certain circumstances.

The specific steps needed to complete the application process vary by institution. Students are advised to contact the financial aid office to receive details regarding the process. However, most students will be required to complete entrance counseling, which teaches students about their loan obligations. They must also sign a Master Promissory Note, in which they agree to the terms of the specific student loan they will be awarded.