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.

Discover Offers Employees Help With College Tuition - student graduation image

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/

Back On Track: Reaching Your Financial Goals ASAP

It’s always a great time to reflect on your financial goals and choices to help decide what changes you’d like to make over the months ahead. So much in your life will be dictated by your financial situation, and your decisions will be significantly influenced by your income and expenses. Therefore, it’s always a smart idea to take charge of your money and get a thorough understanding of how you can improve them from month to month. Whether your financial goals are to do with owning property, cutting your interest rates, or finding a better deal on your monthly outgoings; there’s no time like the present to begin making necessary changes and improvements.

Sorting out your money, and having a clear idea of what your future holds will also give you peace of mind throughout the year, meaning that you’ll have a successful and productive time ahead to look forward to. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice for those who what to manage their income better and give their finances a boost so that they have more freedom and choice, and will enjoy a fruitful future where they can make their dreams a reality.

Back On Track: Reaching Your Financial Goals ASAP - strategy box image

Image source: 

It’s time To Start Saving

There are always excuses you can find not to save some money each day, week, or month. However, getting into good saving habits now will be something that you appreciate in the future. There is always a way to put a little (or a lot) aside and cut back on your expenses, so figure out how to do so as soon as possible. Open up a separate savings accounts, and begin making wise financial choices each month so that a portion of your income can automatically end up in your savings pot. If you’re unsure if you really need to buy something, don’t; utilise that cash in the future and put it away so that it can earn some money back for you in the months and years ahead. It’s always worth discussing your situation with your bank or a financial advisor so that you have a clear understanding of what you can achieve, and by when. You’ll have a stash of cash for that rainy day or an important deposit in the future which will be a great way to feel when you’re putting the money aside.

A Better Score

A good credit score can lead to all sorts of opportunities; it can affect your ability to successfully apply for a loan for something vital like a car, to being able to lease a variety of accommodation and rental properties. Therefore, it’s crucial to a happy and straightforward life that you check your credit score regularly. If you haven’t ever taken out any form of credit; this can be just as detrimental to your ability to apply for things as having a poor credit score. If you’re keen to increase your assets, improve your surroundings, or purchase something major; a great credit score could be the key to getting what you need and want, so don’t ignore it, or push it to one side for a later date. Check out ways to improve and better your score so that you’ll have less to worry about and more to look forward to.

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.

Four Reasons To Focus On Paying Off Student Debt - graduating student image

Photo credit

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.

Online or In-Person: Which Loan Access Best Suits Your Needs?

Millions of people are faced with financial circumstances that they are not ready for, causing them to seek outside sources for help paying for their obligations or needs.  With the number of people in need of financial help increasing by the day, businesses specializing in different types of loans have been becoming more readily available as well.

Online or In-Person: Which Loan Access Best Suits Your Needs - lending image

Today someone in need of a loan can choose from a multitude of different options, from unsecured small personal loans to larger, secured loans for big purchases.  In addition to this abundance of selections, potential borrowers can also apply in person or online at their convenience, 24 hours a day.

Before you decide that you are ready to apply for a loan, however, you need to decide which type is the best one for your financial needs.  Look over all of your options before signing on the dotted line: there may be a better route to fix your current situation than the one you are currently in process with or thinking about getting.

The Ease – and Dangers – of Online Loans

Mobile apps and online stores have gotten us used to convenient shopping at the click of a button.  We rarely have to interact with anyone, choosing instead to complete the buying process impersonally without pushy sales people or outside opinions.

Online loan shopping is similar.  You can apply for a personal loan through your phone, laptop, or tablet any time of day or night, any day of the year.  Many people prefer this route because they don’t have to fear rejection – if you are not approved for one loan, you can move on to the next, but this constant checking of your credit can silently impact your score without you even realizing it.

On the other hand, using online loan review sites like https://loanreviewhq.com/lender/net-credit-review/ can give you immediate access to loan calculators to help you estimate your monthly payments based on the amount you want to borrow before you go any further in the process.

These online sites also are transparent about their loan criteria and repayment terms, helping you to get all of the information you need before you make a decision about which type of loan you want to take out and how much you should borrow.

Customer service for online sites varies depending on the company.  Some places have direct contact through customer service center chats, while others require you to make a phone call if you have any questions, often at specific times of the day when their office has their working hours.  Many of these loan specialists are located outside of the United States, so when you are online shopping for a loan you may not receive customized service that is individualized based on your needs.

Applying for a Loan in Person

This may seem inconvenient to those consumers who are used to immediate service, but there are definitely benefits to applying physically at a bank or consumer loan business.  Sitting down one-on-one with a customer service specialist can help you understand your options and seek out a loan that is tailored to your needs.

However, loan shopping in person has drawbacks to it as well.  While online loan applications can be done at your convenience, using an in-person service means that you are limited to when you can apply.  You may have to set an appointment, travel to the location, take time off of work, and consider a number of inconvenient factors that make applying in person more cumbersome than looking online.

In addition to the scheduling inconveniences, sitting down in person to complete the paperwork necessary for your loan to be approved may require documents that you forgot or did not realize that you needed.  Before your loan can be processed, you would have to return home, retrieve the missing papers, and return to the bank.

Another downside of in-person loans is that you only have access to the information that your loan specialist gives you.  That means you have to take at face value the interest rates and repayment terms that you will be responsible for.  Searching online allows you to compare rates and terms, giving you the opportunity to get the best possible deal on your loan.

Types of Personal Loan Options

There are two main types of loans:  secured and unsecured.  However, underneath that umbrella of terms there are more specific types that you should understand before you decide which one is right for you.

To start, unsecured loans are the most common for smaller purchases.  These loans do not require you to put any of your personal property up for collateral and simply rely on your financial information and your credit score to determine whether or not you qualify and what your interest rate will be.

Secured loans are more common with large purchases, such as opening a business.  These loans do require collateral, often in the form of your home, your car, CDs or savings accounts, or other valuable items that you own.

Personal loans are often unsecured.  These can be obtained in a variety of ways.  Fixed rate personal loans have interest rates that are the same throughout the terms of the loan.  Variable rate loans have interest rates that may fluctuate up or down based on a predetermined schedule.  They may have a cap of how much each adjustment can change, but it’s usually not in the consumer’s favor.  Installment loans are generally fixed-rates, while credit cards or lines of credit tend to be variable rates.

Installment loans are small loans obtained for a specific amount, at which time terms are agreed upon for a specific monthly payment to be made to repay the debt over a scheduled period.  These can be secured or unsecured and often include such purchases as mortgages, automobile financing, and basic personal loans.

Line of credit loans are often used for large expenses such as home repairs, medical expenses, or college tuition.  In a line of credit, you are allotted a certain fund amount, which you can use, repay, and use again until the time period of the loan has run out, by which time you should have paid the entire amount in full.

Another option for borrowing money is a short term loan.  These tend to have higher interest rates, more fees, and more stringent repayment terms.  They are often called payday loans and are used by people who need access to immediate cash without a lot of credit checking and paperwork.  Other short terms loans can be secured by property, such as the title of your vehicle.  While there are fewer fees involved, failure to repay these loans can result in the loss of your personal property.

A very common way to borrow money is through credit cards.  With a credit card you have immediate access to the credit limit, as long as you are paying your monthly payment regularly.  Your interest rates are based on your credit score and can be fixed or variable.  Your monthly payment is usually based on a percentage of your balance versus your maximum credit limit.  Keeping your balances high can impact your credit score negatively, however, and having multiple credit cards with high balance to limit ratios will often cause your interest rates to rise.

In addition to making immediate purchases of goods and services, credit cards are also used for cash advances.  In these, you have access to cash up to a certain amount depending on your maximum benefits, but cash advances tend to have higher interest rates attached to them.

People also use credit cards to transfer their balances from one loan with high interest rates to another card that may have lower rates or better repayment terms.  Some credit cards also offer rewards for balance transfers or purchases.  However, before you choose a balance transfer, be sure to compare the options available, fees that may be incurred, and introductory rates versus long-term rates in case you are not able to pay off your balance within the initial period of time.

Watch for These Features in Your Loan

No matter what type of loan you are borrowing, you need to know that your lender is reputable and your terms are reasonable.  Your rates should be competitive and your repayment terms should be flexible.  Check for fixed-rate interests, which stay the same throughout the life of the loan, versus adjustable-rates, which may start out low but then balloon up if you have not paid your balance by a preset date.

Be careful of hidden terms, as well.  Some companies will charge you a hefty fee if you pay off your loan early.  They also may charge processing fees and other hidden numbers, adding them onto the balance that you owe and charging you interest on the already high fees.

Regardless of the loan you choose or how you go about applying – either online or in-person – there are pros and cons to each of them.  Do your research and analyze each type of loan before deciding on the one that is right for you, and comparison shop for the best repayment terms and interest rates that you can be approved for.

 

 

You Could Be Entitled To These…

People often think that they’re entitled to a lot more than they actually are. It’s a common issue that the wider public seems to have, and it’s an issue that doesn’t seem to be dying out. However, for all of the things that we’re really not entitled to in this world, there are some that we just might be. We’re talking about money here, and there are plenty of opportunities that you might be missing out on, just because you don’t think you’re eligible. Now, when money is such a rare thing to have it would seem, you’re obviously going to want to know all of the things that you might actually be entitled to. So, we’ve cut out a bit of the hard work for you, and we’ve picked out some ways that some of you are going to be entitled to getting a bit of extra money, without you necessarily having to do much about it!

You Could Be Entitled To These... - money growing in your hands image

Image Source

Management Rights

If you haven’t explored the revenue that management rights could give you, then we really think you should start looking into them now. They’re the perfect way for you to make more money, without having to go far, or even do too much work. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s where you buy the rights to the management and maintenance of a building, usually a block of apartments or a business offices. You then have the right to maintain the building, and make a profit from it. Whether it’s you that’s maintaining the building or not, you’re still going to be making a profit from it, think of it as a mini business investment. There are plenty of buildings dotted around, some are probably in your local area. But they will all differ in the revenue that it’ll allow you to make, so make sure that you’re picking the one that’s best going to suit you. Management rights for sale isn’t a common venture to most of you, so you know you won’t have competition. It’s not like a business, where you do have to compete to get your revenue, it’s just your own little way of making money, but you do obviously have to put a lot of time and attention into maintaining the building. All complaints would come to you as well, so it’s wise that you develop some of your customer service skills, as well as your knowledge as to what goes into maintaining a business.

Salary Increases

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. That’s one of the main mottos you should live by in life. With work, some places of work are going to support you, increase pay, increase opportunities etc. Some places of work are going to be the exact opposite. It’s very much a world of favouritism, business, so you need to learn to ask for what you want in some circumstances. If you know that someone who is doing the same role as you, and has worked there for a similar amount of time, is getting paid more than you, it’s likely that you’re due a pay rise! However, you need to make sure you’re being smart about this. If you go to your manager and say that you know how much someone else is on, you could get the both of you in trouble for speaking about your wages. It should tell you in your contract whether this is forbidden or not. Rather than walking up to them and saying you know how much this person is on, tell them that you feel you deserve a pay rise due to your hard work, and your commitment to the company. You also might be due a salary increase if your contract says that you’re allowed an increase every so often. It’s often overlooked, because we’re sure that there aren’t many of you that have actually read the fine print of their contract. But if you look, a lot of them will say that you’re entitled to yearly increases, or even just a bonus. It might be something that’s worth checking out, if you still have a contract.

Money Back

Think about the purchases that you’ve made over the years. We’re not just talking about the ones that you’ve made during your weekly shop, we’re talking about the big spenders, such as your bills. Each time you take out a contract with a new bill, you’ll be given a quote for the amount of money that you’ll need to pay each month. If this is fixed, there could be a chance that you’re actually overspending, meaning the company you’re with should be giving you some money back. But as much as companies like taking your money, they don’t like giving it back, so this might be something that you’re going to have to dig deeper about. Some companies however, will give you a refund when the end of your agreement runs out, but it’s always good to chase things up to make sure that you’re getting what your entitled to.

Car Insurance Reductions

If your car insurance premium is about to expire, then we know you’re going to have either had a renewal letter or email, stating what price that company is prepared to give you. This price should not be listened to. Half of the time, you’ll find that the quote they’ll send you will be even higher than the price you’re paying at the minute, even though you’ve done nothing to suggest that the price should go up! It makes no sense to us, but we do know that you shouldn’t listen to your renewal price. Always make sure you’re using different comparison websites to make sure that you’re getting the best deal that you possibly can. It might also be worth ringing up the company you’re currently with, and asking them why your renewal price is so high. You can also say you’ve had quotes for a certain amount, and they might be inclined to reduce their offer to match the others that you’ve received

So, you’re entitled to more than you think you are, aren’t you! Make sure that you always chase down money opportunities that’ll benefit you!