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Graduating college is one of the most exciting moments in life, a milestone that opens the door to your future.

All the late night study sessions, painstaking papers, and student loans have paid off as you proudly receive your diploma.

As you walk across the stage and into the real world, you’ll be faced with the task of paying for your hard-earned education.

Student loan repayment can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. 

With an understanding of how the student loan repayment process works and a strategy in place, you can pay your student loans off with ease. Ready to get started?

The Student Loan Process

To effectively pay off your loans, you need to understand how student loans work. Here are a few key parts of the process to get you started.

The Grace Period

If you’re frantically scrambling to figure out how to make payments on your federal student loans as you search for jobs, relax. Lenders understand that it might take you a little time to get on your feet after graduation. 

Federal student loans, barring PLUS loans, come with the advantage of a six-month grace period from the day you graduate or fall below half-time status onward.

That means you don’t have to start making payments until your 6 months are up. During that time, interest will accumulate on any unsubsidized loans.

The grace period can be extended if you enter active duty in the military or decide to go back to school full-time.

Private loans function differently, with some lenders offering grace periods comparable to federal student loans. Others might require you to make payments while you’re in school or as soon as you graduate, so be sure you understand the terms of your agreement.

Contacting Your Loan Servicer

While you may have obtained your federal student loans through a government website, you don’t repay them there.

The government utilizes a handful of loan servicers to process your payments and manage your repayment plans. 

The loan servicer, an institution like Nelnet, Great Lakes, or Navient, will contact you about setting up your account with your Federal Aid Student ID, which you can find or set up with the National Student Loan Data System.

You can also find the name of your servicer there if you’d like to get the ball rolling and address any questions. They’ll be able to help you land on the best repayment plan for your needs.

Setting Up Payments

Making payments on your student loans is a simple process.

You’ll have the option to make manual electronic payments each month or enroll in autopay, which helps to guarantee you never make a late payment that could damage your credit score.

Federal services and banks and credit unions should offer automatic payments as an option.

Another way to ensure your payments are made on time is to schedule the payment for a week prior to the due date to allow any delays or issues with payment processing to be resolved.

How Payments Work

If you’ve taken a look at your loans, you’ll notice they’re broken down into two amounts: principal and interest.

Each of your payments, likewise, are applied to both principal and interest. When you’re making your payments on time on a standard repayment plan, most of your payment will be applied to the principal.

If you’re behind on your payments, however, more of your monthly payment will go towards interest and fees and less to paying down the principal. 

With a basic understanding of how student loan repayment works, let’s take a look at some alternate repayment options and tips to pay down your student loans quickly.

Student Loan Repayment Alternatives

Sadly, you can’t wish away your student debt. Most likely, you’ll have to repay your student loans in full over time.

There are, however, a number of repayment plans. And in some cases, your student loans can be forgiven altogether. 

If you’re struggling to stay on top of your payments, you may be able to make them more manageable with the strategies below.

Change Your Repayment Plan

If the amount due on your student loan payment each month exceeds your budget, you could benefit from an income-driven repayment plan.

This plan uses your income as the basis for setting more manageable payments. You can apply for an income-driven repayment plan through your servicer, and you’ll need to submit your tax records or a recent pay stub along with the application.

Refinance Your Student Loans

If you have a private student loan, you won’t be able to use an income-driven repayment plan. You can, however, benefit from refinancing your student loans.

College Ave can help you refinance your loans quickly and easily, lowering the amount you pay each month. They can even lower your interest rates if you enroll in autopay. 

You can apply for free on their website and get instant access to the rates you’re eligible for, with low fixed and variable interest rates.

Consolidate Your Federal Loans

Likewise, the federal government offers a Direct Consolidation Loan to help make your loan repayments more bearable. This particular loan reduces rates by merging all of your federal student loans into one.

It can also work to simplify your repayments if you have more than one servicer. By making one singular payment each month, you avoid the risk of letting any individual payments slip through the cracks. 

Request a Deferment

If you plan to be able to make your payments but need a breather due to a job loss or other unexpected event, you can request a deferment or a forbearance on your federal student loan.

You may incur interest during the deferment, but it can provide you with a few months’ time to get your finances on track.

Adjust Your Due Date

While student loan repayment dates are set to accommodate common payroll schedules, many individuals get paid on different timelines.

If your student loan payment is always due before you get paid, you may be able to change the monthly due date to fit your schedule. 

Once again, you should contact your student loan servicer to see if adjusting your due date is a possibility.

Seek Out Student Loan Forgiveness

There are a handful of circumstances that can lead to the discharge, forgiveness, or cancellation of your federal student loans. Here’s a brief overview of each type of loan dismissal.

  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness: After teaching for 5 years at a school or institution serving low-income families, you could be eligible for forgiveness of your federal student loans up to $17,500.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you are a full-time employee of a nonprofit or the government, your student loans could be forgiven after you complete 120 monthly payments.
  • Perkins Loan Cancellation: If you are a teacher or work in a number of public service-related positions, your Perkins Loans could be forgiven. The longer you serve, the larger the portion of your loan that is forgiven.
  • Bankruptcy Discharge: In some cases, when you declare chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to have your loan discharged in an adversary proceeding.
  • Closed School Discharge: If your college or university closes its doors while you’re in school or within 120 days of your withdrawal, your Direct Loans and FEEL Loans may be forgiven.
  • Death Discharge: If you pass away, your student loans will be discharged completely. Likewise, if your parents pass away, their PLUS Loan will be dismissed as well. 
  • TPD Discharge: If you become permanently disabled, your federal student loans may be forgiven with proof from the VA, SSA, or a doctor.

You may also be able to get an unpaid refund discharge if you withdrew from school early, or a false certification discharge in cases of identity theft or unauthorized signatures and payments.

Check with your servicers to see if you’re eligible for any of the options above.

Tips for Paying Off Your Student Loans

While student loan forgiveness is an option for some people, most individuals will have to pay back their student loans.

In addition to consolidating your student loans or enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan, consider some of the following tips to pay off your student loans faster.

  • Use your grace period: If you’re able to, take advantage of the grace period by paying down the interest on your loan for a few months. Your future self will appreciate it.
  • Pay in school: If you’re serious about getting out of student debt quickly, start making payments before graduation, whether it’s a private or federal loan.
  • Pay more than the minimum: If you have the means to pay above the minimum due, go for it. The more aggressively you attack your student debt, the better.
  • Make bi-weekly payments: Split your monthly payment in half, paying twice a month. You’ll make one extra payment a year (hardly noticeable) and shave time off your repayment.
  • Set aside money for payments: Whether it’s an unexpected inheritance, a raise, or a birthday gift, put that windfall of money towards your student loans.
  • Automate payments: This one can’t be emphasized enough. Autopay streamlines your repayment and keeps you on track, taking the stress out of student loans.
Bottom Line

Paying off your student loans is only stressful if you let it be. It’s easy to let yourself get overwhelmed by the total amount of your student loans, but there’s no reason to.

Instead, think of the relief you’ll feel when your loans are paid off and set out to accomplish that goal.

By getting ahead of your student loans, understanding all of your options, and planning payments strategically, you can pay off your loans as painlessly as possible.

The post How to Pay Off Student Loans appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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Your job impacts your everyday life in a profound way. If you work in a dangerous field, your job impacts your life even more. 

When your job puts you at a heightened risk of serious injury or untimely death, it impacts your access to life insurance.

In this post, we’ll cover the most dangerous jobs that affect life insurance premiums and share advice for getting coverage with a high-risk job.

How Life Insurance Companies View High Risk Jobs

When you apply for life insurance, you’ll answer a lot of questions: questions about your health, age, family health history, hobbies, and career.

These questions about your genetics, lifestyle, and profession all share one agenda: assessing risk.

Life is fragile, so insurance companies automatically take on a risk when they offer coverage to applicants.

Whether you have a heart disease or like to get your heart racing with a high risk hobby, you can expect your life insurance company to take notice.

The Underwriting Process

Upon applying for life insurance coverage, you undergo what’s known as the underwriting process.

At this time, the life insurance company inquires about your risk factors, verifies the answers you provide them, and makes a decision about covering you.

Barring a denial of coverage, the life insurance company will place you in a rating class based on the amount of risk you pose to them. The rating class corresponds to the amount of money you’ll pay in premiums to keep your policy in place.

That means the healthier, younger, and safer you are, the better life insurance rates you’ll be eligible for.

When your job frequently puts you in peril, from hazardous circumstances to dangerous locations, your life insurance company will take notice.

With a high risk job, you may be denied coverage, given higher premiums, or get coverage with the provision of a waiver of exclusion.

Take a look at the jobs that concern life insurance companies and see how you can find the best coverage with a dangerous job.

Top 7 High Risk Jobs that Affect Life Insurance Police Officers

Police officers lay their lives on the line every day to protect society, walking into perilous situations regularly.

Based on those factors and statistics, members of the police force poses a higher risk to life insurance companies than many other types of professionals.

How much your police work impacts life insurance is dependent on the nature of your job.

If you’re a standard municipal officer, for instance, you may see little to no effect. If, however, you are a state trooper or work for a sherrif’s office, you’re more likely to be rated high risk.

If you work on a bomb squad or other highly hazardous unit, you can expect to be considered high risk.

Firefighters

Firemen and women face blazing perils every day. Fortunately, firefighters are well-trained and approach burning buildings tactically, with safety gear and precautions in place.

For those reasons, municipal firefighters who fight standard fires in cities and rural communities are unlikely to be labeled high risk.

Those who work in perilous places, though, like oil rigs or mines, are considered to be high-risk applicants.

Extraction Workers

Firefighters aren’t the only ones on oil rigs who are considered to be high risk.

You may hear the term miscellaneous extraction worker floating around in the life insurance world.

This name encompasses workers on oil rigs, mines, platforms, construction demo cleanup, and other industries that involve extracting or cleaning up natural resources.

If you specialize in one of these fields and work around heavy duty hazardous equipment, finding life insurance will be challenging, but not impossible.

Loggers

Logging is often deemed the nation’s most dangerous job. The logging industry exposes workers to a number of safety hazards, like falling out of trees.

Logging is even more dangerous because many times, there isn’t a hospital in sight when loggers are injured, making a risky situation even worse.

Along those lines, in some regions deemed to be extra hazardous, ranchers and farmers are considered to be high-risk applicants.

Fishermen

Another profession in the great outdoors that sets off red flags for life insurance companies is offshore fishing. Turn on Deadliest Catch and you’ll see why.

If you’re an offshore commercial fisherman, your life insurance will be impacted, whether you’re on a small private boat or a potentially large commercial boat.

In some instances, individuals who work in fish farming or processing can be flagged as well.

An agent can help you determine whether or not your fishing job will be classified as high risk and what effects it will have on your policy options.

Construction Workers

Construction workers are often labeled as high-risk applicants for life insurance.

If you work on a construction site, you could fall, get injured working with equipment, and be exposed to a higher risk of fire or electrocution.

How much your job in the construction field impacts your life insurance will depend on a number of factors like:

  • your daily job responsibilities
  • the machines you work with
  • the settings in which you operate
  • the safety levels, which are assessed by training and precautional procedures instituted on job sites
Pilots

Flying planes and helicopters as a hobby or profession could land you in trouble with life insurance companies.

Whether privately or commercially, being a pilot places you in the high-risk category.

But that doesn’t mean all pilots are treated as equally risky.

Commercial pilots who work for airlines are unlikely to be expected to pay a flat extra fee.

How to Get Life Insurance with a High-Risk Job

The heightened risk associated with your job should be all the more motivation to seek protection. 

The life insurance company is taking on a risk by insuring you, but you take on a far greater risk by avoiding life insurance. 

Shop Around

Depending on the extent of the perils of your job, you may be declined automatically or quoted astronomically high premiums if you apply for a traditional life insurance policy. 

Another route is to pursue a no exam policy with minimal questions on the application. These policies tend to be more expensive that medically underwritten exams, but they may be the best solution with your high-risk job,

Get quotes on a number of policy options to decide which option you select.

Be Honest

It is imperative that you answer the questions in your application as truthfully as possible. If you don’t, and you pass away during the policy’s contestability period, your claim could be denied altogether,

Clearly stating the nature of your work will help to ensure you get the best insurance available.

Leaving out details about your position to save on premiums just won’t be worth it when your family is left without the financial security they need.

Bottom Line

Finding life insurance with a high-risk job might seem daunting if not impossible, but in most cases, you can find coverage.

The key is to be honest, shop for quotes, and carefully consider all of your options.

Whether you have a high risk hobby, career, or health condition, there are companies which offer high-risk life insurance, weighing the perils of your job differently.

If you work with an independent insurance broker, you should be able to find a policy to meet your family’s needs and budget.

Start by getting a quote today.

The post Most Dangerous Jobs appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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Most people are aware that your profession can impact your access to affordable life insurance, but not everyone knows that hobbies can do the same.

If you’re a stamp collector or painter, chances are you’re safe.

On the other hand, if your hobbies take you to the edges of cliffs, the depths of the sea, or the open skies, your life insurance will likely be affected.

Read on to understand how high-risk hobbies play into your life insurance and which adrenaline-pumping extracurriculars have the biggest effect.

How High Risk Activities Influence Life Insurance Rates

Life insurance companies have one concern when it comes to insuring you: risk.

As a life insurance company decides whether or not to grant you coverage and at what cost, they’re assessing the risk of having to pay out your policy.

This process, known as underwriting, involves the life insurance company taking an in-depth look at factors such as:

  • age
  • health
  • weight
  • family health history
  • career
  • hobbies

They then use that information to place you in a rating class which determines the price you pay in premiums.

When you participate in hobbies that make you more susceptible to the dangerous forces of nature, your odds of dying by unnatural causes increase.

Without further ado, let’s dive into some of the most dangerous hobbies that impact life insurance.

Riskiest Activities for Life Insurance Skydiving

Aviation sports like paragliding, base jumping, and skydiving rank pretty highly among hobbies life insurance companies dislike.

When you jump out of a plane, you run the risk of an airplane malfunction, parachute failure, collisions, and botched landings.

The rates and coverage available to you will depend on your experience level, how often you make jumps, whether or not you skydive professionally, the areas where you make jumps, and the safety level of your jumps. 

Aviation

Jumping out of planes isn’t the only airborne hobby life insurance companies are generally concerned about. Professional pilots are at risk of higher life insurance rates, but also pilots who fly for fun.

The good news is that not all pilots are treated equally by underwriters.

When you apply for life insurance, you’ll complete an avocation questionnaire, which will ask questions about the type of aircraft you fly, the conditions of your flights, your certification, and more.

You may also have a hard time finding coverage if you hang glide or frequent the skies in a hot air balloon. Basically, if your hobby takes you to the open skies, you can expect it to be considered high-risk by the insurance company.

Scuba Diving

While scuba diving may seem less deadly than skydiving, it still comes with its own set of risks.  Equipment malfunctions, drowning, and decompression sickness all contribute to heightening the risk of this hobby. Another factor that increases risks is frequency.

Whereas more frequent dives imply that pilots or skydivers are more experienced, they make you a riskier client with scuba diving. So if you decide to do a dive as an excursion on your family’s vacation cruise, you can relax.

If, however, you do deep sea diving frequently, you go alone, or you haven’t attended proper lessons, you could pay higher rates or get denied altogether.

Water Sports

If you love the thrill of racing boats or frequently go on extreme white water rafting trips, your life insurance provider probably won’t cover these hazardous activities. They also may exclude surfing.

These activities increase the likelihood of drowning.

The more frequently you engage in these activities and the more dangerous the circumstances, the likelier they are to impact your access to premium life insurance.

Mountain Climbing

If your enthusiasm for rock climbing takes you to your local indoor climbing wall, your life insurance is unlikely to be affected. When your climbing hobby takes you to rough terrains and puts you at an increased risk of falling off the side of a mountain, insurers get concerned.

Much like the other hobbies n this list, you’ll be asked a series of questions to gauge just how risky your climbing is.

In addition to inquiring about your experience level, frequency of climbing, safety measures, and the areas in which you climb, you’ll also be asked about your YDS grade and the length of rope you use.

Back Country Skiing

Much like scuba diving, taking a family vacation to a ski resort or hitting the slopes on a marked trail with your friends won’t hurt your access to life insurance. Back country and heli-skiing will, though.

If you participate in these particularly dangerous forms of skiing more than 7 days out the year, you can expect to pay more for life insurance.

Life insurance companies also take precautions into account. If you go with a trained professional, you’re far more likely to be accepted for coverage.

Racing

Racing is another high-risk hobby which life insurance companies frown upon. 

While racing cars may not be the most dangerous hobby on the list with ever-increasing safety measures, it can still pose a threat to your safety. Even more dangerous is motorcycle racing. 

Companies will look at your age, level of experience, frequency of racing, and driving record. They’ll also assess the car’s speed, structure, and engine capacity.

If you participate in an activity like stock car racing from time to time, you may not even see an effect on your rates.

If you actively participate in any of the high-risk hobbies above, read on for a few tips on getting coverage.

Tips for Life Insurance with High Risk Hobbies
  • Be honest: Tell the truth about your hobbies in your application. If you fail to disclose your hobby and die doing that activity, the life insurance company likely will not pay out on your policy.
  • Get quotes: Each company favors your hobbies and other risk factors differently. Just because one company quotes you high premiums or denies coverage doesn’t mean every company will. Shopping for multiple quotes is the best way to ensure you get the best rates.
  • Understand the numbers: The life insurance company’s quote consists of two parts: the base premium and the flat extra premium. The base premium is strictly the amount that corresponds to your rating class. The flat extra is a fee, usually per thousand dollars of coverage, added to your base.
  • Weigh the cost: If your hobby seriously limits your access to affordable life insurance, you might want to consider whether or not it’s worth it. If you’re ready to hang up your snorkel and retire your rock climbing gear, you may be able to eliminate the flat extra fee from your policy after a certain amount of time.
  • Look for high-risk coverage: A number of life insurance companies specialize in offering policies to high-risk applicants. If you work with an independent agent, you can find companies who are more likely to offer you an affordable life insurance policy.
Bottom Line

Life insurance is a critical component of protecting your family financially. While you may be fond of taking risks in your hobbies, you shouldn’t risk leaving your family in financial distress after you pass away.

By shopping for life insurance quotes from multiple companies, being honest on your application, and reevaluating the safety precautions you take when you engage in your hobbies, you have the best chance of getting the life insurance you need.

Don’t assume you won’t qualify for life insurance just because you participate in one of the hobbies in the list. Start shopping for life insurance today.

The post High Risk Activities appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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Graduating college is one of the most exciting moments in life, a milestone that opens the door to your future.

All the late night study sessions, painstaking papers, and student loans have paid off as you proudly receive your diploma.

As you walk across the stage and into the real world, you’ll be faced with the task of paying for your hard-earned education.

According to a recent survey of 1,019 undergraduate students by College Ave Student Loans conducted by Barnes & Noble College Insights, 69% of students do not know what their monthly student loan payment will be when they graduate.

Student loan repayment can seem daunting – but it doesn’t have to be. With an understanding of how the student loan repayment process works and a strategy in place, you can pay your student loans off with ease. Ready to get started?

The Student Loan Process

To effectively pay off your loans, you need to understand how student loans work. Here are a few key parts of the process to get you started.

The Grace Period

If you’re frantically scrambling to figure out how to make payments on your federal student loans as you search for jobs, relax. Lenders understand that it might take you a little time to get on your feet after graduation.

Federal student loans, barring PLUS loans, come with the advantage of a six-month grace period from the day you graduate or fall below half-time status onward.

That means you don’t have to start making payments until your 6 months are up. During that time, interest will continue to accumulate on any unsubsidized loans.

The grace period can be extended if you enter active duty in the military or decide to go back to school full-time.

Private loans function differently, with some lenders offering grace periods comparable to federal student loans. Others might require you to make payments while you’re in school or as soon as you graduate, so be sure you understand the terms of your agreement.

Contacting Your Loan Servicer

While you may have obtained your federal student loans through a government website, you don’t repay them there.

The government utilizes a handful of loan servicers to process your payments and manage your repayment plans.

The loan servicer, an institution like Nelnet, Great Lakes, or Navient, will contact you about setting up your account with your Federal Aid Student ID, which you can find or set up with the National Student Loan Data System.

You can also find the name of your servicer there if you’d like to get the ball rolling and address any questions. They’ll be able to help you land on the best repayment plan for your needs.

Setting Up Payments

Making payments on your student loans is a simple process.

You’ll have the option to make manual electronic payments each month or enroll in autopay, which helps to guarantee you never make a late payment that could damage your credit score.

Another benefit of autopay from certain companies, such as College Ave – when you set up autopay, you may receive an interest rate reduction, helping you save money in the long run.

Other federal servicers , banks, and credit unions should offer automatic payments as a way to pay.

Another way to ensure your payments are made on time is to schedule the payment for a week prior to the due date to allow any delays or issues with payment processing to be resolved.

How Payments Work

If you’ve taken a look at your loans, you’ll notice they’re broken down into two amounts: principal and interest.

Each of your payments, likewise, are applied to both principal and interest. When you’re making your payments on time on a standard repayment plan, most of your payment will be applied to the principal.

If you’re behind on your payments, however, more of your monthly payment will go towards interest and fees and less to paying down the principal.

With a basic understanding of how student loan repayment works, let’s take a look at some alternate repayment options and tips to pay down your student loans quickly.

Student Loan Repayment Alternatives

Sadly, you can’t wish away your student debt. Most likely, you’ll have to repay your student loans in full over time.

There are, however, a number of repayment plans. And in some cases, your student loans can be forgiven altogether.

If you’re struggling to stay on top of your payments, you may be able to make them more manageable with the strategies below.

Change Your Repayment Plan

If the amount due on your student loan payment each month exceeds your budget, you could benefit from an income-driven repayment plan.

This plan uses your income as the basis for setting more manageable payments. You can apply for an income-driven repayment plan through your servicer, and you’ll need to submit your tax records or a recent pay stub along with the application.

Refinance Your Student Loans

If you have a private student loan, you won’t be able to use an income-driven repayment plan. You can, however, benefit from refinancing your student loans.

College Ave can help you refinance your loans quickly and easily, lowering the amount you pay each month. They can even receive an interest rate discount if you enroll in autopay.

You can apply for free on their website and get instant access to the rates you’re eligible for, with low fixed and variable interest rates.

Consolidate Your Federal Loans

Likewise, the federal government offers a Direct Consolidation Loan to help make your loan repayments more bearable. This particular loan reduces rates by merging all of your federal student loans into one.

It can also work to simplify your repayments if you have more than one servicer. By making one singular payment each month, you avoid the risk of letting any individual payments slip through the cracks.

Request a Deferment

If you plan to be able to make your payments but need a breather due to a job loss or other unexpected event, you can request a deferment or a forbearance on your federal student loan.

You may incur interest during the deferment, but it can provide you with a few months’ time to get your finances on track.

Adjust Your Due Date

While student loan repayment dates are set to accommodate common payroll schedules, many individuals get paid on different timelines.

If your student loan payment is always due before you get paid, you may be able to change the monthly due date to fit your schedule.

Once again, you should contact your student loan servicer to see if adjusting your due date is a possibility.

Seek Out Student Loan Forgiveness

There are a handful of circumstances that can lead to the discharge, forgiveness, or cancellation of your federal student loans. Here’s a brief overview of each type of loan dismissal.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness: After teaching for 5 years at a school or institution serving low-income families, you could be eligible for forgiveness of your federal student loans up to $17,500.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness: If you are a full-time employee of a nonprofit or the government, your student loans could be forgiven after you complete 120 monthly payments.

Perkins Loan Cancellation: If you are a teacher or work in a number of public service-related positions, your Perkins Loans could be forgiven. The longer you serve, the larger the portion of your loan that is forgiven.

Understand Student Loan Discharges

Bankruptcy Discharge: In some cases, when you declare chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to have your loan discharged in an adversary proceeding.

Closed School Discharge: If your college or university closes its doors while you’re in school or within 120 days of your withdrawal, your Direct Loans and FEEL Loans may be forgiven.

Death Discharge: If you pass away, your student loans will be discharged completely. Likewise, if your parents pass away, their PLUS Loan will be dismissed as well.

TPD Discharge: If you become permanently disabled, your federal student loans may be forgiven with proof from the VA, SSA, or a doctor.

You may also be able to get an unpaid refund discharge if you withdrew from school early, or a false certification discharge in cases of identity theft or unauthorized signatures and payments.

Check with your servicers to see if you’re eligible for any of the options above.

Tips for Paying Off Your Student Loans

While student loan forgiveness is an option for some people, most individuals will have to pay back their student loans.

In addition to consolidating your student loans or enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan, consider some of the following tips to pay off your student loans faster.

  • Use your grace period: If you’re able to, take advantage of the grace period by paying down the interest on your loan for a few months. Your future self will appreciate it.
  • Pay in school: If you’re serious about getting out of student debt quickly, start making payments before graduation, whether it’s a private or federal loan.
  • Pay more than the minimum: If you have the means to pay above the minimum due, go for it. The more aggressively you attack your student debt, the better.
  • Make bi-weekly payments: Split your monthly payment in half, paying twice a month. You’ll make one extra payment a year (hardly noticeable) and shave time off your repayment.
  • Set aside money for payments: Whether it’s an unexpected inheritance, a raise, or a birthday gift, put that windfall of money towards your student loans.
  • Automate payments: This one can’t be emphasized enough. Autopay streamlines your repayment and keeps you on track, taking the stress out of student loans.
Bottom Line

Paying off your student loans is only stressful if you let it be. It’s easy to let yourself get overwhelmed by the total amount of your student loans, but there’s no reason to.

Instead, think of the relief you’ll feel when your loans are paid off and set out to accomplish that goal.

By getting ahead of your student loans, understanding all of your options, and planning payments strategically, you can pay off your loans as painlessly as possible.

The post How to Pay Off Your Student Loans appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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Home Warranty of America prioritizes environmentally friendly solutions and provide coverage for every home, individual, and state.

While Home Warranty of America is headquartered in Illinois, the company provides coverage for all fifty states in the US.

They have more than 20 years of experience with delivering affordable coverage solutions to homeowners with great energy efficient upgrade options.

Home Warranty of America started in 1996 and is now one of the leading providers of home warranties. Below is a review of their coverage, plans, pros and cons, to help you make an informed decision.

Coverage Features

Home Warranty of America provides comprehensive coverage for all of your home repair needs, putting them among our top picks for home warranties.

If you encounter problems with anything covered under your home warranty, they’ll send someone out to help right away. Some of the common coverages they offer are listed below.

Ductwork

Your ductwork circulates hot and cold air throughout your house. It keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Without it, your house would feel stuffy with stale air.

If something is wrong with your ductwork, you can file a claim with Home Warranty of America to have it inspected and fixed so you can get back to your normal life.

Water Heater

When it comes to doing dishes or taking a bath, you need hot water. Your water heater provides your home with the water you need to go about daily living.

When your water heater is on the fritz, Home Warranty of America can send someone out to inspect and fix it quickly so you can go back to showering every day.

Electrical System

Whether you like to make a light breakfast every morning in your toaster or read with a lamp by your bed at night, you need electricity. Electricity flows through your electrical system just like air flows through your ducts.

You need it every day to enjoy most of your home’s features. When the lights go out, Home Warranty of America will be there to turn them back on.

Doorbells, Burglar Alarms, and Fire Alarms

One unique coverage feature from Home Warranty of America is doorbell, burglar alarm, and fire alarm options. Most home warranty providers don’t cover these systems, but Home Warranty of America does.

For your safety and the safety of your home, this coverage goes above and beyond other home warranty solutions.

Home Appliances

Your home appliances do all sorts of things for you. Your refrigerator keeps your food cold, your microwave heats up leftovers, and your dishwasher gets everything clean when you’re done.

Other covered appliances include your garbage disposal, range, cooktop, oven, and trash compactor.

To make life easier for you, Home Warranty of America covers all these items.

Warranty Plans

Home Warranty of America provides comprehensive plans at low prices so you can have the peace of mind you need. Their choice of $75 or $100 service fee saves you money over hiring your own contractor to diagnose and fix the issue outside of a home warranty plan. Pricing varies by state.

Premier Plan

 The Premier Plan includes coverage for the following:

  • heating system and furnace
  • ductwork
  • plumbing system and stoppage
  • toilet
  • permanent sump pump
  • water heater including tankless water heaters
  • instant hot water dispenser
  • whirlpool bathtub
  • electrical system
  • ceiling fans and exhaust fans
  • doorbells, burglar alarms, fire alarms
  • central vacuum
  • dishwasher and garbage disposal
  • built-in microwave, range, cooktop, and oven
  • trash compactor, garage door system, kitchen refrigerator with ice maker, and clothes washer and dryer.
Premier Plus Plan

 The Premier Plus Plan includes everything in the Premier Plan, plus the following:

  • air conditioning system
  • increased toilet replacement
  • plumbing fixtures
  • faucets
  • showerheads
The Good

Home Warranty of America not only provides excellent coverage options, but they have several additional benefits that customers will enjoy if they sign up.

Nationwide Coverage

With a name like Home Warranty of America, you would expect them to cover every state in the US, and they do. They even cover the District of Columbia.

Anyone in the United States can rest assured that as long as they find a plan and pricing they like, they’ll qualify for coverage.

Easy Quotes

While price varies based on state, it’s easy to find, and they provide an easy-to-read format for anyone interested in a home warranty plan.

They offer coverage for homeowners, real estate professionals, buyers, and sellers. You’ll see a list of your covered services and your payment options so you can make an educated decision.

Online Tips

Home Warranty of America offers an extensive list of home maintenance tips as well as information about home warranties and how they work.

This provides a great benefit for any homeowner who might want to troubleshoot the problem themselves before paying the service fee. For a do-it-yourself approach to home ownership, Home Warranty of America can help.

GreenPlus

Home Warranty of America provides GreenPlus to customers who choose to add it to their plan.

It can help cover the cost of appliances that should be replaced with Energy Star appliances including refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and more.

Home Warranty of America’s membership with the Ethical Directory and United States Green Products makes this benefit possible.

Online Claims

Home Warranty of America makes it easy to submit a claim anytime. Their easy online claims section allows you to request a repair or replacement whenever it’s convenient for you.

Just fill out the form and send it for review, and you’ll be met with a quick response from the company.

No Inspections

No matter what your house looks like, how big it is, or the age, you will qualify for coverage with Home Warranty of America.

They won’t require an inspection to cover your home or the appliances within, so you get the peace of mind you need when buying a home or trying to protect your home from normal wear and tear.

The Bad

As with any company, there are some downsides to what Home Warranty of America offers.

Customer Service

They don’t have great customer service options. The only way to submit a claim is online, so while it’s easy to do, some customers may feel that the lack of a mobile option prevents it from being convenient.

When contacting customer service, you have live chat, phone, and email options, which seems fine until you realize that it’s not 24 hours a day like some other providers offer. However, when they are available, it’s easy to hop on a chat session when you need help.

Contractual Obligation

Home Warranty of America requires that all customers sign a one-year contract. Other providers will let you go quarterly or even month-to-month.

With Home Warranty of America, you’re locked in for a year whether you like the services or not.

If you don’t want to sign a long-term contract, it’s not a great option for you.

Alternatives to Home Warranty of America

As you shop for the perfect home warranty company, take a look at some of Home Warranty of America’s top alternatives.

The Bottom Line

Home Warranty of America provides extensive warranty plans with add-on options to help you customize your offering.

The prices are low, but they do require you to sign a one-year contract. Their GreenPlus plan is an excellent choice for the economically-minded individual and a fantastic way to get a discount on new appliances.

If you’re in the market for a home warranty, Home Warranty of America is available to all individuals in all fifty states including the District of Columbia.

They also have options for real estate professionals, buyers, sellers, and existing homeowners.

The post Home Warranty of America Review appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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AmericanHomeWarranty.org aggregates home warranty companies and quotes into one dashboard based on a customer’s needs.

With AmericanHomeWarranty.org you can select your location and your coverage preferences, and the site will return the best options for you.

It allows you to compare prices and coverage at your leisure before contacting a sales representative.

Let’s take a look at what the platform, and home warranties in general, have to offer you.

How AmericanHomeWarranty.org Works

AmericanHomeWarranty.org can personalize offers from home warranty companies like Choice Home Warranty, Total Home Protection, Select Home Warranty, and more.

They also provide options for real estate professionals, buyers, sellers, and current homeowners.

With AmericanHomeWarranty.org, you can reap the benefits of each home warranty website without all of the annoying sales calls.

Assessing the options and making a decision is easy to do and once you’re done, you can still take advantage of all of the same tools as other customers.

Best of all, you can do this without all of the hassles up front.

Coverage Features

Every home warranty company offers different features included in their most common plans, but below are some of the options you have to choose from when searching for the right plan on AmericanHomeWarranty.org.

Plumbing System

You bought a house because you’d rather not live in the woods or make use of something so primitive as an outhouse for your bathroom breaks.

However, when your plumbing system encounters issues or backs up, you may not have a choice. That is unless you have a home warranty.

A home warranty provider can make sure someone comes out to inspect and fix your problem right away.

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning keeps you cool in the summer, and if you live in a climate that gets hot, it’s a necessity.

You certainly can’t get along without it when the temperature reaches triple digits.

That’s when a home warranty company steps in with a certified technician who can help get you back on track so you won’t swelter in the heat.

Electrical System

Your electrical system gets you through the day when it comes to cooking, reading, or watching TV.

Without electricity, many of your favorite hobbies wouldn’t be possible.

With electrical system coverage, especially on an older home, you can rest assured that someone will be there to help if it’s on the fritz.

Ductwork 

To keep air circulating through your home, you need to make sure your ductwork is in proper working order.

If you suspect you may have a problem with your ductwork, a home warranty company can diagnose and fix the issue so you can continue to enjoy modern conveniences like hot and cold air when the weather changes.

Home Appliances

Many home warranty companies provide appliance coverage in their basic plan, so when your refrigerator stops cooling or your dishwasher stops cleaning, you can call for help.

By covering essential appliances like built-in microwaves, trash compactors, clothes washers and dryers, ovens, cooktops, and ranges, you can keep your kitchen in proper working order for your family.

The Good

Having a home warranty plan can be an excellent thing in most cases. It covers the critical systems in your home in case something goes wrong.

They are generally affordable, allow flexible payment options, and have cheaper service fees for on-site visits than hiring a contractor yourself. Some of the benefits of home warranty plans are below.

Nationwide Coverage

With all of the home warranty providers on the market now, you’ll find one that covers your area.

In many cases, you can find a home warranty provider that specializes in your area, which can provide you with excellent service because they’re more familiar with common home issues in that region.

Easy Quotes

Most home warranty companies make it easy to find quotes, but even if they don’t, AmericanHomeWarranty.org takes care of that for you.

You can choose the coverage features that are most important to you, add your location, and AmericanHomeWarranty.org will return the best options in your area.

You’ll be able to compare pricing and coverage on one dashboard and make an educated decision on how to move forward.

Online Tips

Most home warranty companies provide extensive online tools. You can find FAQs on their websites to answer the most common questions regarding home warranties and their specific coverage.

They often have home maintenance tips, blogs, and reviews providing first-hand accounts of other customers’ experiences.

These tools can help you troubleshoot on your own before paying a service fee, they can guide you through fun home improvement projects, and they can tell you what to do when something goes wrong.

Online Claims

Home warranty companies make it easy to submit claims online. Most have a secure login allowing you to view your account, your contract, and your coverage.

Sometimes you can even update your personal information and make changes without having to reach out. They provide an easy process for submitting claims, guiding you through all of the information they need to review your claim and approve it.

They’ll communicate with you at every step, and once your claim is approved, they’ll send someone out to fix your problem.

Mobile Apps

In cases where the home warranty company has a mobile app, you can also perform most of the same functions on the app that you can online.

This means that even when you’re on the go, you can submit claims and view your information when it’s convenient for you.

No Inspections

Most home warranty companies don’t require a home inspection before providing coverage.

This gives you peace of mind when purchasing a home warranty for an older home or buying a brand-new home that you want to protect from wear and tear.

Without a home inspection, you can skip all of the red tape and sign up for the plan you want.

Also, with AmericanHomeWarranty.org, it’s easy to find the perfect plan for you, which means you can skip even more hurdles like sales calls and pesky upsells.

The Bad

While home warranties are good most of the time, there are times when they’re not helpful. Not all home warranty companies provide the same coverage, so reading the fine print thoroughly will save you from a lot of hassle later.

AmericanHomeWarranty.org makes it easy for you to review exactly what your home warranty plan will cover and what it will cost before you sign up.

Home warranties sometimes will reject a claim. This goes along with understanding what your warranty covers before signing up so you won’t be surprised by a rejection.

However, when your home warranty does reject your claim, you may feel like you purchased it for nothing, which can be discouraging.

The good typically outweighs the bad, and when you have a costly repair that your home warranty provider does cover, you’ll be glad you have it.

Best Home Warranty Companies

AmericanHomeWarranty.org can help you compare home warranty quotes. You can also get started here, with the best home warranty companies.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a home warranty, give AmericanHomeWarranty.org a try.

This service will save you the hassle of searching for the perfect home warranty by going from site to site and trying to compare plans.

AmericanHomeWarranty.org will list the coverage and prices side by side, making it easy for you to make the right decision.

Don’t waste another second researching home warranties on your own. Use AmericanHomeWarranty.org and take the frustration out of your search.

The post AmericanHomeWarranty.org Review appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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Liberty Home Guard aims to provide its customers with a smart and convenient way to protect their homes.

The home warranty company takes its customers seriously, doing everything it can to resolve their problems.

Liberty Home Guard empowers its clientele by giving them the ability to make decisions regarding their home warranty.

For example, Liberty Home Guard gives its customers the choice to decide whether they want to repair an item or simply have it replaced.

They want to provide you with the necessary tools to keep your home safe. As a result, no matter what the problem, Liberty Home Guard is always available to help you.

Liberty Home Guard Review: Top Features

Liberty Home Guard protects your home in many ways. With its comprehensive plans and helpful tools, Liberty Home Guard makes our list of the best home warranty companies.

Here are just a few of our favorite features you’ll get with a Liberty Home Guard home warranty.

No-Hassle Contractor Locator

With Liberty Home Guard, you don’t have to spend time online trying to find the right professional for help.

Reading reviews and getting quotes is tedious and wastes your time.

Let Liberty Home Guard do the research for you, and you’ll have a qualified contractor at your home in no time.

60-Day Promise

Sometimes problems aren’t thoroughly fixed the first go around.

As a result, Liberty Home Guard promises that if your issue arises again with 60 days, they’ll send out another professional to take care of the problem. They do this at no charge to you.

No Limits on Coverage

Liberty Home Guard knows that there’s a bit of truth to the old cliché “when it rains, it pours.” That’s why they don’t limit the number of claims you can make each year.

If everything goes south at the same time, Liberty Home Guard wants you to know they’ve got your back.

Automatic Renewal

If you sign up for automatic payments with Liberty Home Guard, you’ll get a renewal notice 30 days prior to the end of your contract.

Signing up for automatic payments means you don’t have to worry about your coverage lapsing or your home not having the protection it needs in the event of an emergency.

Warranty Plans

Liberty Home Guard provides several home warranty plans for its customers.

If you need help determining which plan makes the most sense for you, Liberty Home Guard will provide you with a free quote.

No matter which plan you choose, you can be sure you’ll get the coverage you need with Liberty Home Guard.

Appliance Warranty

The Appliance Warranty plan will cost you $39.99 a month or $399.99 each year. This plan protects the appliances in your home.

While it’s not a comprehensive plan, it does provide coverage for important things like your dishwasher, washer and dryer, refrigerator, oven, and more.

Systems Guard

You’ll pay $49.99 a month or $499.99 annually for the Systems Guard plan.

This plan covers all the major systems in your home. So if your heating, air conditioning, plumbing, or electrical systems go haywire, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that Liberty Home Guard has them covered.

Total Home Guard

The Total Home Guard offers you the best of both worlds. You’ll get the coverage of both the Appliance Warranty and the Systems Guard all in one plan.

Total Home Guard costs $59.99 each month or $599.99 every year. Everything listed in the previous plans is covered under the Total Home Guard plan.

Add-Ons

Liberty Home Guard customers also have add-on options they can include in their home warranty plan.

This includes items like the following:

  • Pool and Spa coverage
  • Sump Pump coverage
  • Septic System coverage
  • Second refrigerator or a stand-alone freezer

Additionally, keep in mind that Liberty Home Guard does not provide national coverage, so rates may change based on your location.

The Good

Liberty Home Guard has plenty of great benefits. Here are some of the ones we like most.

Customer Support

Liberty Home Guard has a courteous and knowledgeable customer support team waiting to help you anytime you have a problem.

The team will go above and beyond to assist you when you run into an issue, even if it’s not covered in your current plan. This is what sets Liberty Home Guard apart from other home warranty companies.

No-Risk Contract

When choosing to use Liberty Home Guard for your home warranty needs, you’re under no obligation to sign a contract.

If you just want to try out one of the plans, you’re free to cancel at any time.

Even if you’re in the middle of a claim, Liberty Home Guard will refund your money excluding any services you’ve already received.

Multiple Contract Options

If you decide to pay for your home warranty coverage a year at a time, Liberty Home Guard gives you two months free.

However, customers also have the option to go month to month if that’s the option that works best for them.

Additionally, Liberty Home Guard offers a multi-year alternative that saves customers the most money on their plans.

No Inspection Necessary

Some home warranty companies require a home inspection before accepting a customer. That’s not the case with Liberty Home Guard.

It doesn’t matter how old or what condition your systems or appliances are. Liberty Home Guard does not require an inspection or maintenance information in order to provide coverage for your home.

Change Plans Easily

If you’re within the first month of your contract, Liberty Home Guard will let you change your plan.

If you discover that you need more coverage, or the coverage you chose is simply too much, Liberty Home Guard will allow you to adjust your plan as needed.

Painless Claims Process

If you need to file a claim with Liberty Home Guard, all you must do is hop online or grab your phone. They’ll help you find the right professional to take care of your problem.

When everything is taken care of, Liberty will reach back out to you to ensure that you’re satisfied with your experience.

The Bad

Unfortunately, Liberty Home Guard is only available in certain states.

While the home warranty company does cover a large portion of the United States, it should be stated that it doesn’t cover everyone.

However, Liberty Home Guard can focus on those areas in which it does provide service, which makes them the experts for those locations.

Liberty Home Guard does require that they send out one of their professionals for every claim you make. Most of the time, this won’t be a problem and is actually a good thing.

However, there may be an instance when you already have an established relationship with a contractor or service professional and would rather use them as opposed to the person Liberty Home Guard sends out.

Alternatives to Liberty Home Guard Review

Be sure to consider some of the top alternatives to Liberty Home Guard as you shop for your home warranty.

The Bottom Line

Even though Liberty Home Guard doesn’t provide nationwide service, it still offers comprehensive home warranty coverage to its customers.

It provides great features and benefits to its customers and does so with a professional and courteous staff.

Liberty Home Guard users have several plan options from which they can choose and have the flexibility to change their plan within the first 30 days of their contract.

If you’re looking for a home warranty, Liberty Home Guard is a great way to go.

The post Liberty Home Guard Home Warranty Review appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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College is far from cheap these days, and that’s true even when you go to an in-state school.

The College Board says that, on a national level, students paid an average of $10,230 for tuition and fees for four-year, in-state schools, and that doesn’t even include room and board.

If you include housing and meals in your planning, expect to fork over an average of $21,370 per year for public, in-state education.

With these figures in mind, it’s no wonder many students need to take out loans for college. It’s not feasible for most people to pay in cash — especially since college kids can’t always work while they go to school.

What is a Student Loan?

A student loan is a type of debt students take on in order to finance college tuition, fees, and living expenses while they finish college.

Just like any other type of loan, student loans charge interest on your balance that you’ll have to repay. However, with loans that are subsidized, the government takes care of the interest on your loans while you’re in school. With unsubsidized loans, interest starts accruing as soon as you take out the loan.

Some student loans — including Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans— grant you a grace period.

A grace period is an amount of time after you graduate or leave school before you must begin repaying your loans. Not all student loans come with a grace period, meaning some require you to make payments while you’re still in school.

Types of Student Loans Federal Student Loans

In almost every situation, students should take advantage of any Federal student loans they qualify for first. Not only do Federal loans come with low fixed interest rates, but they also carry special benefits.

Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans for undergraduate students come with a fixed rate of 5.05% as of early 2019, while Direct Unsubsidized Loans come with a slightly higher APR of 6.6%. Direct PLUS loans come with an APR of 7.6%.

If you have trouble making payments on your Federal student loans, you may be able to qualify for deferment or forbearance.

Both programs that let you suspend your payments for a limited time. You can also consolidate your Federal loans with a Direct Consolidation Loan and/or extend your repayment timeline.

Another benefit of Federal student loans is the fact that they can help you qualify for income-driven repayment plans that let you pay a percentage of your discretionary income for 20-25 years before having your loans forgiven.

Federal student loans also come with the potential of having your student loans forgiven. If you work for a nonprofit or the government, you could qualify for Public Service Forgiveness, a major advantage of this funding source.

Private Student Loans

While Federal student loans are preferable in most cases, there are times when it makes sense to apply for a private student loan. Private student loans are offered by independent lenders who can set their own terms and rates, and they are often very competitive.

Keep in mind that it’s possible to find student loans with a private lender with rates as low as 3.25% APR.

That’s part of the reason many borrowers wind up refinancing their Federal student loans with a private lender. When the goal is paying off loans as quickly as possible, scoring a lower interest rate can help the process along.

Of course, some borrowers apply for private loans outright and not during a refinance. Private student loans can be a good option when you’ve borrowed up to Federal loan limits but still need money to finish your degree.

How Much Can You Borrow?

When it comes to borrowing money for college, your goal should be borrowing as little as you can. Remember you’ll have to pay back every dollar you borrow plus interest and fees.

Even borrowing a few extra thousand dollars per year can make your payments considerably higher, so you should strive to only borrow what you need.

With that being said, Federal student loans do come with limits that dictate how much you can borrow while you earn your degree.

For example, first-year undergraduate students that are dependent on parents can only borrow up to $5,500, and only $3,500 can be in subsidized loans.

Second-year dependent undergraduate students can borrow up to $6,500, and third-year dependent undergrads and beyond can borrow up to $7,500.

Borrowing limits for independent students and graduate students are significantly higher. For example, graduate or professional students can only borrow up to $20,500 per year in unsubsidized loans.

How Do You Apply for Student Loans? Federal Student Loans

If you plan to apply for Federal student loans, the first thing you need to do is fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid — or FAFSA form. The FAFSA form can help you determine whether you qualify for any Federal aid, and if so, how much.

If you plan to apply for private student loans, you should really do your research to see which lender might work best for your needs. Fortunately, this is easy to do online and from the comfort of your own home.

Private Student Loans

College Ave Student Loans offers fixed and variable rate student loans with low rates and flexible repayment terms.

They also let you repay your new loan over 5 to 15 years, which gives you the opportunity to pay more or less each month depending on when you want your loans paid off.

College Ave also offers the most loan options and terms to choose from when compared to competitors like Sallie Mae and CommonBond.  You can use the College Ave Student Loans calculator to find out ways to compare loan options and find ways to save.

The prequalification tool allows you to see what rates you may qualify for (without a hard check on your credit score). Either way, applying for private student loans is easy since you can complete the entire application process online.

What Happens If You Don’t Repay Your Loan?

One of the biggest downsides of student loans is the fact it is nearly impossible to discharge them in bankruptcy. This is true of both Federal and private student loans too, so there’s really no way around it.

If you stop paying on your loans, they will go into eventual default and continue accruing interest and fees.

You may also be responsible for repaying collections charges and court fees.

Loans go into default at different rates once they become late — 360 days on federal student loans and it can vary for private student loans.

The government may also be able to seize a percentage of your wages if you stop repaying your Federal student loans.

The Bottom Line

Borrowing money for college may be essential, but you should still have a plan in place before you take out loans for school.

Make sure you borrow as little as possible and have a plan to pay it back, or else you could live to regret it for decades to come.

Also make sure you take out the right type of student loan for the right reason. Both Federal and private student loans have their own set of pros and cons, but it’s up to you to do the research and decide.

The post How Student Loans Work | Understanding the Basics appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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Total Home Protection has only been around since 2016, but their reputation for great coverage and prices has grown quickly.

They are committed to excellent service and comprehensive warranties. They contract with pre-screened technicians to provide their customers with trusted professionals in any situation.

Total Home Protection prides themselves on customer service, and even in situations where your problem falls outside the scope of your contract, they’re dedicated to helping make it right.

They have a high standard of ethics and great ratings anywhere you look online. Employees at Total Home Protection are dedicated to upholding the company’s standards, which is what makes them unique.

They offer exceptional customer service with a desire to build relationships with every warranty holder.

Coverage Features

If you’re looking for comprehensive coverage for your home, Total Home Protection has what you need, even in the most basic plan. Their comprehensive coverage and quality customer experience make them one of the best home warranty companies you can find.

Their pricing varies by location, but many of their coverage items can be added on as extras to any plan, giving you more comprehensive and customizable coverage.

Ductwork

 Your ductwork flows throughout your house, delivering air and circulation when you need it. It’s a critical component to the operation of your home even though you cannot see it.

When something goes wrong with your ductwork, you’ll want to get it fixed right away.Total Home Protection can send a service agent to your house to assess the problem and fix it in no time.

Water Heater

If you like hot showers as most people do, you won’t want to live without a working water heater. Your water heater also ensures your dishwasher, your clothes washer, and any other faucet in the house has access to hot water when needed.

If you notice a problem with the water temperature in your home, file a claim with Total Home Protection, and they’ll have it figured out in no time.

Electrical System

Your electrical system is another internal system you can’t see, but it ensures you can plug in your appliances and turn on your lights.

Without it, you’d be in the dark, literally. With coverage from Total Home Protection, you can rest assured that your electrical system won’t have problems, and if it does, they’ll be easy to fix.

Plumbing System and Stoppage

If you have leaks or breaks in your gas, water, waste, vent, or drain lines, Total Home Protection can cover you up to $500 for diagnosis and repair.

They’ll also replace the broken part if it can’t be fixed. You’ll enjoy toilet tank, bowl, and joint part replacement as well.

Also, if your contractor has to cut into a wall to fix your issues, Total Home Protection will cover a rough finish of the site up to $500.

Home Appliances 

When critical appliances like your washer and dryer, built-in microwave, refrigerator, stove, oven, cooktop, garbage disposal, or dishwasher stop working, Total Home Protection’s coverage kicks in.

Your home warranty plan will cover all mechanical components that are necessary for these devices to function.

Warranty Plans

Total Home Protection offers a variety of plans including some optional items you can add if you need to customize your plan further.

While pricing varies based on location, every plan comes with a 30-day cancellation policy. If you pay for the entire year up front, you’ll receive one month free.

Gold Plan

 The gold plan provides basic coverage for the following:

  • plumbing system and stoppage
  • whirlpool bathtub
  • water heater
  • electrical system
  • range, oven, stove, cooktop, and built-in microwave
  • sump pump
  • dishwasher
  • trash compactor and garbage disposal
  • ductwork
  • garage door opener
  • ceiling and exhaust fans.
Platinum Plan

The platinum plan includes everything in the gold plan plus the following add-ons:

  • two air conditioning units
  • two heating systems
  • refrigerator
  • clothes washer and dryer.
Optional Coverage

With Total Home Protection, you can choose to cover optional items like the following: 

  • pools and spas
  • limited roof leaks
  • central vacuums
  • well pumps and septic systems
  • a second refrigerator, stand-alone freezers, water softeners, refrigerator ice makers, and free-standing ice makers
  • additional air conditioning systems, additional heating systems, other water heaters
  • several garage door openers.
The Good

Along with this exceptional service, Total Home Protection also provides additional benefits that add extra convenience to their customers including great customer service, average pricing, and reliable technicians.

Competitive Prices

Total Home Protection offers average prices for their coverage.

Since their pricing is on par with other services, you can focus on which coverage features you need rather than worrying about whether you’re getting a fair price.

24/7 Customer Service

Total Home Protection offers customer service that rivals most competitors in this arena. Their representatives are available 24/7 to help answer your questions, file your claims, and make the buying process easier.

You can rest assured you’ll always be able to reach someone if you have problems with any items covered under your home warranty.

This 24/7 availability includes an online chat feature, making it even easier for you to find someone to talk to quickly.

No Home Inspection

While other providers require a home inspection before they’ll cover your home, Total Home Protection doesn’t.

You can cover any home, no matter the age without needing a home inspection first. This is great news for people who live in older homes or people who are thinking of buying an older home.

It gives you the peace of mind you need no matter what condition your home is in.

Pre-Screened Local Technicians

The great thing about a home warranty plan is that you don’t have to search the yellow pages for an experienced contractor to fix your problem.

Total Home Protection already knows the best in the business, so no matter why you’re filing a claim, they’ll send the expert that’s right for you and your project.

You can trust the service technicians they send your way because they’re guaranteed to be licensed and insured.

Online Community

Total Home Protection offers a blog, maintenances tips, FAQ, and testimonials for your convenience. You can use these online resources to get additional information on anything you might want to know.

If you have questions, need advice, or want to hear more about someone else’s first-hand experience, you’ll find it all here.

You can search for articles on your own time instead of relying on someone else to provide you with the answers you need.

The Bad

There’s only one major downfall to Total Home Protection’s coverage, and it’s their limited coverage areas.

Unfortunately, Total Home Protection only covers 33 of the 50 United States. That means you can’t get their great service everywhere.

If you live in a state that’s not covered, you’ll need to shop around for a different home warranty company.

However, if your state is covered, that means the services they provide are dedicated to you and your needs, the technicians are licensed and insured, and you have access to one of the best providers of home warranties in the business.

Alternatives to Total Home Protection

As you shop around for a home warranty plan, take a look at the top home warranty companies below to see what each alternative has to offer.

The Bottom Line

While Total Home Protection isn’t available everywhere, they offer competitive pricing and coverage in 33 states.

The optional items can be added to any plan, making their plans more customizable than some competitors. This ensures you only pay for what you need.

They clearly list all inclusions and exclusions, making it easy for you to know exactly what you’re getting up front.

Terms and conditions are easy to understand, and customer service is available 24/7 for your convenience.

The post Total Home Protection Review appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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HSA was established in 1984 and since that time has been a force in the home warranty industry.

From first-class service to excellent home warranty choices, HSA is a company customers associate with quality.

Since its inception, HSA has strived to make itself synonymous with the best service in the home warranty industry including hiring reliable technicians and knowledgeable customer representatives.

Located in Madison, Wisconsin, HSA believes its people make all the difference when it comes to customer satisfaction. This is evident if you call into HSA’s customer service team.

The chances are good you’ll speak to a knowledgeable and courteous agent who will go out of their way to get your problem addressed.

Below, we’ll review all of HSA’s key features and weigh the pros and cons of protecting your home with HSA.

Coverage Features

HSA offers a wide range of features for all its customers, putting it on our list of the best home warranty companies

Here are a few of the benefits you can expect with your HSA home warranty.

Home Protection

There are always potential disasters lurking when it comes to home ownership. No one wants to be unprepared or unprotected when the worst happens.

Thankfully, HSA home warranties have a one-year contract which helps offset the cost of unexpected repairs. This coverage also helps with appliance replacements and wear and tear on your mechanical systems.

Convenient Service

If the worse does happen, you can reach out to HSA to get help with locating a professional to help you.

Instead of scouring the internet and hoping you find a reputable company, call HSA and ask for their support. Their fantastic customer service team will connect you with a qualified service company.

Annual Renewal

You can renew your HSA home warranty every year, which means you always have the protection you need.

Be prepared for unexpected incidents by ensuring that your HSA warranty automatically renews. That way, you don’t have to worry about coverage lapsing or not being available when you need it most.

Warranty Plans

HSA provides its home warranty to customers who are either buying and selling a home or those who are already existing homeowners in need of coverage.

No matter what type of customer you are, HSA gives you access to its array of plans. However, those who are in the process of buying or selling a home will only have temporary coverage.

Basic

This plan will run you $58 each month or $699 on an annual basis if you prefer to pay once a year.

Keep in mind that the price could change depending on what state you live in.

You can also reduce the cost if you’re willing to pay a higher deductible if you need that option.

You’ll receive great coverage from HSA if you select the basic plan. Some of the items covered in this plan are plumbing, heating, ductwork, faucets, fans, lighting, ovens, microwaves, refrigerators, bathtubs, alarms, and ovens.

HSA also covers any failures that occur in your septic system as a result of corrosion or rust.

Upgrade Plan

With the Upgrade Plan, you’ll pay $71 a month, or $850 every year for the Upgrade Plan.

Not only does the Upgrade Plan cover everything the Basic Plan covers, but it also includes protection for the individual parts of your appliances.

Additionally, the Upgrade Plan will cover the cost of disposing of your old appliances and equipment. Again, bear in mind the amount you pay for this plan may vary based on where you reside.

The Good

It’s tough to know which home warranty plans are worth giving a try, which is why we want to point out some of the positives of the HSA home warranty. Let’s take a moment to review some of the benefits of purchasing an HSA home warranty.

Excellent Reputation in the Home Warranty Industry

HSA has an excellent reputation in its market for providing fantastic home warranties. The company offers excellent services and coverage, some of which you won’t find with other home warranty options.

Choosing HSA for your home warranty needs means you’re getting a well-known company in the industry.

Excellent Customer Support

If you rank customer service above everything else, then HSA is the company for you.

HSA takes great pride in offering knowledgeable, reliable, and courteous customer support representatives.

Whether you’re calling in to check on a claim or just need to find out what type of coverage you have, HSA goes above and beyond with its superb customer support.

Real Estate Coverage

If you’re a homeowner, this coverage won’t apply to you. However, real estate coverage does impact those who are considering purchasing a home of their own.

These types of plans give real estate agents the ability to provide coverage for their buyers. That way, while their clients are shopping for their new home, they’ll have the peace of mind they need

With 35 years in the home warranty market, HSA knows enough about the industry to create comprehensive plans for real estate agents, homeowners, or contractors. They understand how unique your needs may be and can help you find a way to protect your home.

No Inspection Required

Some home warranty companies require homeowners to submit to an inspection if they want coverage. HSA does not ask for this.

If you want to enroll for a home warranty with HSA, just fill out the form and pay the monthly premium.

However, HSA does require the items they cover are properly installed, maintained, and in good working order. If they are not, they will not qualify for coverage. Additionally, HSA does not cover pre-existing conditions under their home warranty plans.

The Bad

No home warranty company is perfect, and HSA is no exception. While the company offers plenty of benefits and features, it does have a couple of drawbacks as well.

  • Location: HSA is not available in every state. That means there is limited availability for their plans, and not all plans will work for everyone. It’s not clear whether HSA plans on expanding to other states; however, a smaller service area means that the company can focus on specific locations. HSA can specialize in particular markets, which makes them the experts in the areas in which they do provide coverage.
  • Reviews: HSA comes with its mix of positive and negative reviews, a common occurrence with home warranty companies. Taking those reviews with a grain of salt is key. 

While HSA hasn’t been in business for as long as some of the more prolific home warranty businesses out there, three and a half decades of service is nothing to scoff at.

However, HSA does have an excellent reputation which makes it one of the best in the business. For the time they have been in business, they’ve been at the top of their industry and continue to be a successful and growing firm.

Alternatives to HSA

As you shop for a home warranty provider, take a look at some of the top alternatives to HSA.

The Bottom Line

HSA gives its customers comprehensive home warranty coverage with fantastic features and benefits.

They’ve been around for 35 years, which makes them a veritable veteran in the home warranty industry. While they don’t provide their services to a large area, they are the experts in locations that they serve.

Their monthly premiums are reasonable, especially considering the amount of coverage their customers receive.

HSA provides coverage in areas where other companies don’t, so if you live in an area they service, they’re a great home warranty option.

The post HSA Home Warranty Review | High-Quality Home Protection appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

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