Young adults nationwide and beyond are headed off to campus for the start of a new school season. For many of these college-age students, this will be a time for financial independence, which means learning to budget and save as well as making smart choices when it comes to selecting credit cards and establishing checking accounts.
With so many options available, the decision can be daunting for a student, particularly if this is their first experience with establishing credit and creating a checking account on their own. That's why a recent study put forth by the personal finance site, WalletHub, is a useful resource for parents and students seeking 2017's best student credit cards and checking accounts.
By reviewing and assessing more than 1,750 accounts, WalletHub chose their top picks for credit card companies and banks to determine which were best suited for students to leave them with the least financial burden as they launch into adulthood.
When it comes to credit cards, WalletHub compared and contrasted fees, rewards, and interest rates of hundreds of cards. The top two were Journey Student Rewards from Capital One and BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students. Capital One's card offers 1% cash back for all purchases and an additional .25% when bills are payed on time. Plus, there is no annual fee. BankAmericard was a favorite thanks to their $150 sign-up bonus, 3% cash back on gas, 2% on groceries, and 1% on all other purchases. This card has no annual fee as well. For more of WalletHub's top credit card selections, see the full report.
In the arena of checking, WalletHub dug deep into rates, fees, and other features and ultimately named Northpointe Bank UltimateAccount and Bank of Internet USA X Checking as the standouts. Northpointe has no monthly fee and offers $10 in ATM fees reimbursed monthly. Bank of Internet USA also has no monthly or overdraft fee and all U.S. ATM fees are fully reimbursed. Learn more about these checking accounts and some other recommended picks from WalletHub.
Along with their picks for the best cards and checking accounts, WalletHub offers important advice when it comes to picking the right credit card(s) and bank accounts as well as money-saving tips from a general perspective. From ruling out cards with annual fees to making a budget to taking advantage of on-campus financial resources, WalletHub gives a broad picture of what it takes to be financially sound as a student.
Parents can help their children become money-savvy as well, and starting early is imperative. Teaching teens about money management should be a parental duty. Here are 4 tips that parents can use to help their kids learn about money and how to save and spend wisely.
For those who are off to college… good luck! Use WalletHub's insight to help you become financially intelligent and keep on top of the rest of your studies too!
It's easy to forget that the presidency of the United States is a government job just like any other–in that it comes with a stipulated salary and benefits.
But regardless of their bombastic rhetoric or self-serious public image, politicians are like all other government employees. The president, vice president, and legislators earn an annual income from the government in exchange for their duties, which include: executing/circumventing the law, upholding/withholding the civil liberties of American citizens, and legislating/sabotaging how societal institutions meet the needs of citizens, from healthcare to education.
If you've ever wondered what American politicians earn for all their hard work arguing across the aisle and starting Twitter feuds, look no further:
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Maybe you've had a high stress occupation before, like social work or stock trading, and fell victim to the high burnout rate of these kinds of jobs.
Or maybe you're just starting your career, and looking for something that won't take over your life but will still provide you with a good living. Whatever reason you have for looking for a high paying, low-stress job, you've come to the right place. We've compiled a list of the top 5 jobs that promise a solid paycheck without taking too much out of you.
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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.
When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.
Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.
Federally backed mortgages include:
- Fannie Mae
- Freddie Mac
- The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
- The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
- The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.
Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.
Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.
Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.
At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.
Possible Repayment Options:
You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.
Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.
Regular payment: $1000 per month
Reduced payment: $500 per month
Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)
Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.
Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.
The Next Steps:
Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.
Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:
- What fees are associated with the forbearance?
- What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
- Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?
If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.
For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.