Money tips for students
How to make it, use it and save it

Once you start paying bills, you start building a credit score. If you have a history of paying bills late, it will be reported to credit rating agencies and affect the interest rate you pay on credit cards and loans. It may also affect how much you pay for insurance and whether you are approved for renting an apartment.

A credit score is based on your payment history. Credit scores are used by lenders to help determine if applicants qualify for a credit card, loan, insurance or other services. Most credit scores estimate the risk a company incurs by lending money or providing a person with a service — specifically, the likelihood that the person will make payments on time in the next two to three years. Generally, the higher your credit score, the less risk you represent.

Some people think you need a credit card to build a credit score. But if you open your utility accounts in your name instead of your parent’s name, you can work toward building a credit score in six months.

A late or missed payment stays on your credit report for seven years, even if the creditor has been paid in full. It is better to start off on the right foot by establishing checking and savings accounts, using your credit cards sparingly and paying all of your bills on time. KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. KHEAA partners with Overture Technologies to provide the Alabama Student Loan Marketplace at www.alabamamarketplace.com to help students and parents find the private college loan that best suits their needs. KHEAA also provides the ThinkAhead Net Price Calculator to universities and colleges. The calculator, available on a school’s website, lets students and parents determine their out-of-pocket costs for attending that school. For more information about financial aid and college planning, visit www.alstudentaid.com.

Dorm Room Checklist
Helping you pack an essential supply for your first year of college dorm life

Before running out to the nearest store to purchase the items for your dorm room, it’s a great idea to check out your college’s Web site.

Frequently there will be a list of items that are not permitted on campus, sometimes including air conditioners, space heaters, pets, toasters, etc.

Also, be sure to contact your college roommate to decide who is bringing which items from your dorm room checklist.

This lowers the possibility of a duplicate supply of items that may not fit in the small space of dorm room storage.

Here’s a college dorm room checklist of essential items that you will want to bring:

Bedroom:
Bed Sheets
Duvet Pillow
Pillow Cases
Alarm Clock
Lamp
Clothing
Hangers

Kitchen:
Kettle
Coffee Machine
Knives
Spoons
Forks
Plates
Bowls
Mugs
Glasses
Microwave
Dish Soap
Dish Rags
Garbage Bags
Food Containers
Water Flask
Fire Extinguisher

Study Area:
Desk Chair
Lamp
Bookcase
Telephone
Recycle Can
Extension Cord

Laundry:
Laundry Detergent
Clothing Basket
Drying Rack
Coins
Iron
Ironing Board

Odds and Ends:
Sports Equipment
Set of Tools
List of Emergency Numbers

Make college more affordable by saving money on non-billable expenses

When it comes to comparing the costs of various colleges, remember that on the broadest level, costs are divided into billable and non-billable costs. To save money, follow these tips from KHEAA–Alabama.

Billable costs are what you have to pay to start college. At a minimum, these costs include tuition and fees. If you’re going to live in school-provided housing, billable costs will also include room and board. These costs are called billable because the school will bill you for them.

Non-billable costs include textbooks; supplies, such as pens and notebooks; transportation; and personal items, such as shampoo, clothes, entertainment, laundry, and other expenses.

Shopping around can help save money, sometimes a lot of money, in room and board and the non-billable costs. Textbooks are expensive, but you can save money by buying used books if possible. Renting textbooks is now an option at many schools. Buying notebooks, pens and other supplies in bulk can also help you save money.

If you’re attending a school nearby, you can save room and board by commuting from home. It’s also possible to cut room and board costs by sharing an apartment with friends.
However, some colleges require freshmen to live on campus their first year. If you are planning to go to college, it’s a good idea to compare billable and non-billable costs at the schools you’re considering. Once you’ve done that, you and your parents can discuss ways to save.

KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. KHEAA partners with Overture Technologies to provide the Alabama Student Loan Marketplace at www.alabamamarketplace.com.

KHEAA also provides the ThinkAhead Net Price Calculator to universities and colleges. The calculator, available on a school’s website, lets students and parents determine their out-of-pocket costs for attending that school. For more information about financial aid and college planning, visit www.alstudentaid.com.

Compare award letters to find best college deal

By now, most high school seniors should have completed the college application process and will begin receiving financial aid award letters.

Seniors and their parents should compare those letters to find the one that offers the best financial aid package, KHEAA–Alabama advises.

The letter will usually show the total cost of attendance — what it costs to go to that school for one school year, including tuition, fees, room, meals, books, supplies, transportation and personal expenses.

It may also show how much the student’s family is expected to pay toward those costs, the expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is subtracted from the total cost of attendance to get a student’s financial need. The letter will then list various sources of financial aid offered to pay for the costs not covered by the EFC. Students can accept or reject any or all of those proposed sources.

Students should consider how much of the financial aid will have to be paid back after finishing school, especially if the financial aid package includes federal student loans. If the package is not enough to pay all expenses, students may apply for a private education loan. Students and parents may visit www.kheaamarketplace.com to compare loan terms and interest rates to find the best private loan for their needs.
Often more expensive schools will offer scholarships that may help bring the cost of attendance in line with other, less expensive schools.

Students should consider all of their options and compare costs before selecting a college or university.
KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college.

It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. KHEAA partners with Overture Technologies to provide the Alabama Student Loan Marketplace at www.alabamamarketplace.com.
KHEAA also provides the ThinkAhead Net Price Calculator to universities and colleges. The calculator, available on a school’s website, lets students and parents determine their out-of-pocket costs for attending that school.
For more information about financial aid and college planning, visit www.alstudentaid.com.

Now is the time to start planning for retirement Graduates

Retirement may be the farthest thing from your mind when you’re still in school, but now is the time to start thinking about it. In fact, the farther away it is, the better off you may be, according to KHEAA–Alabama.

For decades, U.S. citizens have depended on Social Security for much of their retirement income. However, Social Security benefits for younger workers are not guaranteed.
Another source of retirement income for many people has been pensions. But many companies are scaling back or ending their pension plans.

When it comes to retirement, you should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Every time you get paid, set something aside for retirement. A little can go a long way. For example, if you save $200 per month for 40 years without earning any interest, you will have saved $96,000.
If you can invest that money at 2.5 percent, you will have more than $164,000 saved.

Develop and maintain a budget that includes saving as much as you can, then invest those savings wisely.
When you begin your career, work with an investment professional to pick the plan that is best for you. Even if you don’t have Social Security or a pension upon retiring, you will still have something to help get you through your retirement years.

KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
For more information about financial aid and college planning, visit www.alstudentaid.com.

Veterans, members of armed forces have student aid options

Veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces may be able to take advantage of numerous student financial aid programs, according to KHEAA-Alabama. They include the:
Montgomery GI Bill (Active Duty), available to armed forces members and some National Guard members who served on active duty. For more information, visit www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/mgib_ad.asp.

Post-9/11 GI Bill, available to those who served at least 90 days of active duty after September 10, 2001. Those who were honorably discharged after serving 30 continuous days of active duty after that day are also eligible. For more information, visit www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/.

Federal Tuition Assistance, for active duty members of all branches of the armed forces, including the Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves. For more information, contact the college financial aid office or the unit education officer.
Montgomery GI Bill (Selected Reserve), available to members of the Reserves or the National Guard who have a six-year service obligation. For more information, visit www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/mgib_sr.asp.

KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the FAFSA. For more information about those services, visit www.kheaa.com.

In addition, KHEAA disburses private Advantage Education Loans on behalf of its sister agency, KHESLC. For more information, visit www.advantageeducationloan.com.
For more information about financial aid and college planning, visit www.alstudentaid.com.

 

Follow these tips to find student financial aid

If you’re thinking about college or technical school, these tips from KHEAA–Alabama may help you get more money to pay for your education

If you haven’t already filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), submit it now.

Visit www.alstudentaid.com and click on Students and Parents.

Look for local scholarships provided by community organizations and businesses .

Talk with a financial aid officer at the school you plan to attend to learn about any aid the school has available.

Take out student loans only after you have received all the free aid — grants, scholarships and work-study — for which you qualify. If you need loans, only borrow as much as you really need.

Apply, apply, apply. The more financial aid for which you apply, the better your chances of getting enough aid to pay for college. Make sure you meet all deadlines.

KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the FAFSA. For more information about those services, visit www.kheaa.com.

In addition, KHEAA disburses private Advantage Education Loans on behalf of its sister agency, KHESLC. For more information, visit www.advantageeducationloan.com.

For more information about financial aid and college planning, visit www.alstudentaid.com.

Federal student loans offer deferments

If you’re having trouble repaying your federal student loans, you may be able to apply for a deferment, according to KHEAA–Alabama.

A deferment lets you postpone paying your loans if you meet certain guidelines. You may qualify for a deferment if you are:

Enrolled in college at least half time.

In a rehabilitation training program.

Unemployed or can’t find a full-time job.

Having economic hardship.

On active duty service in the military.

If you’ve defaulted on your federal loans, you may not be able to get a deferment. Talk with the agency that services your loans to see how you can get out of default.

If you qualify for a deferment, you will have to submit an application. You must make your monthly payments until the agency tells you that your loans are in deferment.

KHEAA is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students’ access to college. It provides information about financial aid and financial literacy at no cost to students and parents. KHEAA also helps colleges manage their student loan default rates and verify information submitted on the FAFSA. For more information about those services, visit www.kheaa.com.