Discover Offers Employees Help With College Tuition

Discover employees have just received a new benefit: a free college degree. The financial services company recently announced its new program, The Discover College Commitment, enabling full-time and part-time U.S. employees (minimum 30 hours per week) to obtain a college degree by helping them pay for college.

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Discover will help with college tuition by covering full employee costs for books, fees, supplies, and tuition for the program. Workers are eligible for it beginning on the first day of employment and can complete their degrees on their own timeline.

Around 99 percent of Discover’s 16,500 employees will qualify with some potential appeal coming from its 7,000-plus U.S. call center workers: 70 percent don’t have a college degree, CBS News reported.

Workers can pick one of seven business or computer science degrees from three selected online universities. The degrees will include four business majors or a computer science, cybersecurity and organizational management emphasis through Brandman University, the University of Florida (via UF Online), or Wilmington University.

But there’s more to the benefit as it is also about Discover’s employee retention. The company said it has a two-fold motivation behind this perk: helping to recruit and retain good employees and “doing the right thing” by preparing workers for a broad spectrum of internal or external career opportunities.

To administer the program, Discover is partnering with Guild Education, an online education and tuition reimbursement platform that assists large employers with education benefits. Guild will offer coaching to Discover workers by assisting them through the application process and helping them determine a suitable degree.

If Guild sounds familiar, it might be from Walmart’s May employee education announcement. Guild is undertaking a similar role for the large retailer. This comes as offering education benefits to employees has been rising as the competition to obtain good workers is increasing.

More Companies Offering Education Benefits

In 2018, numerous companies have expanded tuition benefits. Besides Walmart, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and some hotel chains have joined the party, reported CNN. Also this year, Lowe’s announced a contribution of up to $2,500 for employees to receive skilled trade education while Lyft began offering education discounts to its drivers last December.

This trend comes as a recent Harvard Business School study found that tuition assistance benefits rank high on workers’ desired benefits, surpassing child-care assistance and parental leave. Many companies offer up to $5,250 annually; anything higher can be taxed as income.

Sourced from Debbie Baratz originally published at https://lendedu.com/news/discover-offers-employees-help-with-college-tuition/

Four Reasons To Focus On Paying Off Student Debt

It’s an unfortunate but inescapable fact of life that most who choose further education are now graduating and beginning life with debts. Often, they won’t be the only debts that are quickly amassed when you’re starting out in a career, trying to find an independent living situation and all the other expenses that come in this period of time. But should there be a focus on paying off tuition fee debts early, even during challenging Financial Times when you’re learning to budget? Well, the answer is yes, for these reasons…

Lower Your Debt Risk

If you already have significant amounts of student debt from tuition fees, you’ll find it harder to get lenders to give you additional money that you may desperately need for housing or setting yourself up in a job. Your debt to income ratio is an important factor in being able to access lower-cost borrowing and also frees up more of your disposable income every month, the less you have. This means that you’re more able to work towards other financial goals you may have, such as saving for a home deposit or a car.

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Minimise Inescapable Debt

If you encounter some truly unfortunate circumstances – serious illness or loss of a job – early on in life, your financial situation can quickly spiral out of control. But even declaring bankruptcy doesn’t spare your student loans – they still need to be paid back. This makes it a smart idea to pay back those loans, because you’ll still have to keep on top of them even under dire circumstances which is extremely difficult. Paying them down means you’ll be better able to deal with other money challenges in your life.

Escape Servicing Charges

It isn’t just the amount you owe on your student loans, it’s the money you lose out on over the long-term servicing that debt. Money that you spend on paying down a loan is essentially dead money – it’s not working for you. Whereas that same money invested into funds is generating a return for your future. And time compounds that situation, so as long as you’re making repayments, you’re missing out on that money working for you. Speak to a specialist service like RefinanceStudent.Loan to make sure your repayment schedule is optimised against your other financial needs and commitments. The sooner student debt is paid off the sooner you can concentrate on making your money work for you in other ways.

Live a Less Stressful Life

If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that living with debt is toxic for our stress levels. As life can be quite stressful enough when you’re just staring out trying to build a career, you want to try and minimise other sources of it. Getting focused on a debt repayment plan can help in itself – if you know there’s a way out, it can help to ease any anxieties and you know that you’re more in control of the situation and able to handle other curveballs.

Educate Yourself On The Impacts Of A Student Loan

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While we would love the opportunity to go back in time and use what we know now, we’re not jealous of Millennials in the slightest. Why? Because they are the most indebted generation of college students in history. Part of the reason they are so indebted is because students are naturally inexperienced with money, meaning they take out more loans than they perhaps have to.

This simple form of mismanaging money can have a substantial impact on a person’s life. That is why it so important you know exactly what the minimum amount money you need to borrow is, as well as understand how a student loan can negatively impact your life.

No Grad School

A student loan can massively affect your chances of going to grad school because the average accumulation of student debt is $30,000, which can see them seriously struggle to get their hands on another loan after their undergraduate program or, worse, seriously struggle with repayments.

No Home Buying

Having debts already in place can seriously affect a person’s chances of getting a mortgage. There are numerous reasons for this. Firstly, having substantial debts already can affect your credit score and thus your eligibility for a mortgage, although this can be helped by experts like those at https://www.bestdebtconsolidationloans.com/national-debt-relief-review.php who specialize in debt consolidation. Secondly, you may not be able to afford the monthly payments due to your current repayment plans. And thirdly, having to put money aside to pay back your student loans may see you struggle to save up for the required down-payment.

No Dream Job

When someone applies for a job, a company more often than not will undergo a background check. This will include a person’s criminal record, professional history, and credit checks. In fact, almost 40% of companies will perform a credit check. This may not be a problem if you have a flawless repayment history, but if you have made late payments it will show up and this could be held against you. It could be the determining factor between you and another candidate.

No Good Credit

Most major banks and financial establishments treat a student loan just like any other form of a loan. They call it an instalment loan, which affects your FICO score, something you can read more about here http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/ficoscore.asp. As such, if you fail to make your repayments on time as set out in your agreement you will see your credit score get affected, and a low credit score can prohibit you greatly. You see, the lower your credit score is the more a lender will consider you to be high risk, and thus it will be harder to extend other lines of credit. This could affect home buying, as we mentioned above, as well as other purchases like a vehicle or a business. It will also affect your insurance premiums.

The world we live in now means that the majority of students have to take out student loans if they want to go to college; it is their only means of affording it. We are not trying to warn you off college. What we want you to understand is the consequences of borrowing money and the importance of being disciplined when it comes to how much you borrow. Less is best.

Get Your Money Ready To Go Back To School

It’s not uncommon to have a few false starts on your way to getting a degree and giving yourself some serious career prospects. Not all of us get a degree straight after high school even if we want to. Life gets in the way. But if you want to go back to school, it’s far from impossible. Even with more responsibilities, you should never be afraid to focus on taking paths that develop you even further. But you need to make sure your finances are as ready to go back to school as you are.

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Budget for student life

There’s no doubt that you’re going to have to deal with additional costs as a result of getting yourself back in education. Scholarships, loans and the like are options we’re going to cover further, but there are plenty of financial surprises that can pop up as a result of going to school. Extra childcare costs, supplies costs, and the like will add up. It’s a good idea to create a budget with the express aim of leaving more money aside as part of a college emergency fund. This might mean taking a look at the daily expenditures that you could better reduce. Now’s the time to audit your subscriptions and get rid of those that aren’t giving you your money’s worth and to start making energy efficient house rules.

See what scholarships are out there

Naturally, the biggest cost you’re going to be concerned with when it comes to going back to school is the cost of tuition and perhaps accommodation. To that end, you should take a look to see what scholarships you might be applicable for, first and foremost. Databases like the StudentScholarshipSearch are some of the first searches you must look up. Older and nontraditional students can have as many opportunities at getting a scholarship as the dependent student would. There are scholarships dependent on age, in fact, just as there are some for race, background, and more. Don’t count yourself out of getting one, get yourself matched.

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See what benefits are on offer

Besides scholarships, there might other ways to access benefits that could reduce your tuition costs. Like scholarships, grants don’t need to be repaid in the vast majority of cases. There are age-based programs like the Plus 50 Initiative from the Association of Community Colleges, for instance.  You could also consider going to your employer if you’re currently in work. Many larger companies offer reimbursement for tuition costs if you’re learning skills in education that can help in the workplace. Even if they’re not related to your current job, education policies in the workplace can cut thousands from the cost of tuition. If you’ve served in the military, then there are also programs run through funding from the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill worth looking into. Don’t leave any stone unturned. There are local, state, and federal level benefits and finding the right ones can help you avoid the next step.

Prepare for student debt

In the event that you can’t get a scholarship, grant, or reimbursement of any kind, then you are going to be dealing with a lot more student debt. But you don’t have to leave yourself resigned to having an oversized rock hung about your neck. You can take steps now to chip away at student debt so it’s much more manageable in future. For one, as with all debt, it’s dependent on your credit score. With help from places like CreditRepairCompanies you can ensure you’re not being taken for a ride by student debt. Make sure that your student debt is less than your expected annual starting salary or your current annual salary. That way, you can formulate a ten-year plan that you can reasonably stick to.

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Rent books, don’t buy

What about all the other expenses that chip away at your finances while you’re there? One that many new students will find a surprise is the sometimes-overwhelming cost of college textbooks. A small number of publishers control the market, meaning they can hike the prices up however they like. With professors choosing what product you have to buy; these companies are free to charge what they like because they know you have to pay. So, don’t play their game. Instead, rent your textbooks from places like BookRenter or take your time to shop around and find used copies.

Make use of your student discount

If you want to make sure you’re balancing the budget and spending your money wisely, then it’s a smart move to get an idea of all the different businesses that take part in the student discounts program. A student discount can help you save in all kinds of businesses. You can get clothes, tech (including any computers you might need to study), even entertainment at a reduced rate. There are also travel discounts and insurance deals offered specifically to students that can help you cut down the more regular costs in your day. Before you buy something or sign into a new deal, see if the provider offers a student discount. If they don’t, you can be sure there’s an alternative that does.

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Sell those notes

You can even make use of the money-smart college economy to earn a little more on the side. A whole new marketplace has started to sprout in the last few years. Thanks to the internet, it’s a lot easier for students to keep up with their studies when they might otherwise be struggling. For those willing to pay, they can simply buy their notes from someone else. That’s where you can come in. If you’re good at taking detailed notes, you could make some money. You just have to make sure that the college you’re attending doesn’t have any rules on it. In some, it could result in expulsion. Just check their policies before you start selling your work.

There are a lot of ways to make further education have a much more reasonable place in your finances. Many of the options simply don’t get considered by the majority of students. Hopefully, we’ve outlined a few options worth exploring.

Supporting Your Children When They Move Out

Moving out of your parent’s home seems like a hip thing to do now for young adults, but there are also some good reasons for doing so besides having independence. Learning to live on your own and be self-sufficient is one of life’s great trials. Most people don’t want to be forever dependent on others and throwing yourself into the deep end by getting a home or moving out is a great way to learn how to take care of yourself.

Many children get used to their homes and, as a result, they don’t always feel like moving out until they start to demand privacy. There might also be other factors, such as schooling or job opportunities that are further away from your home. Whatever the reason your child decides to move out, you can help them pick out the right home and also give advice on how to take care of themselves. Here are a couple of tips to help them settle in and ways to support them in their move.

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Discuss Their Options

When your child expresses interest in moving out, you have to discuss their options with them. A young adult probably doesn’t have the money to get a mortgage or the income to sustain renting a place for a long period of time, and unless you have the money to pay the rent for them, you probably won’t be able to assist financially. There are plenty of benefits and welfare money that you can collect depending on your location, but they might not be enough. The first hurdle is finding a property on real estate websites. Take a note of how much a home costs or how much rent is needed, and teach them about how to calculate mortgage repayments and what it means to have a job.

The alternative option is when they move out for university or college. Student loans should be able to help pay for things such as rent and food while your child studies away from you. However, remind your child that student loans need to be paid off, and any additional money they get will most likely have to be paid back.

Supporting Their Move

There are many ways to help your child settle into their new location once they have moved in. If it’s not too far away from you, then consider making regular visits, such as once every few days and then dialling it back to once a week, and then once every two weeks and so on. If you feel like you’re intruding on your child’s privacy, then don’t worry too much about visiting. Instead, send them messages and ask them how they’re doing.

If you are used to cooking for your child, then consider cooking up some meals and storing them in tupperware boxes to give to your child. Don’t make them rely on your home cooking, however. Help them sort out their grocery shopping and teach them a few cooking basics so that they don’t always rely on fast food and takeout deliveries. You want to teach them the value of good cooking and you can ideally do this before they move out so you can share a kitchen together and teach them how to make their own meals and how to do the shopping.