Monday, May 19, 2008 Student credit and student loans

A typical college curriculum is loaded coursework dedicated to history, math, english, science, and whatever classes that support your actual major. The one thing that colleges lack in teaching is basic financial education, most notably how to handle debt; including credit cards, student loans, and finances beyond the college experience. I imagine some college students have no concept of balancing a checkbook and the word "budget" what is that? Sad but true.

Many websites offer good information about credit card information and definitions. If you want to learn more about student credit or information about student loans, visit the student credit page here or the student loan page here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Knowledge Is Not Always Power: Credit Cards, College Debt

Since graduating from college (5 1/2 years to complete thank you very much), I have reflected on some things that I could of done a little better as well as some things that I could have avoided, like CREDIT CARD DEBT!

Some of my credit card debt has unfortunately spilled over into post college life and along with my innevitable college debt payments, I am going to be paying off debt for awhile.

This is what I would have done, hindsight is always 20/20 as they say.

Ok first, I would have USED SCHOLARSHIPS! Take the Just do it approach. Take the time out and fill out the information. Every college offers some sort of scholarship program, obviously the bigger the college the more grants, scholarships, etc. At my school alone there were thousands and thousands of scholarship dollars not utilized every semester. Boy I wish I would have taken the time out. I won't tell you how much I have in school debt.

Second, avoid excessive spending on credit cards. This seems pretty obvious, but college campuses are preying grounds for credit card reps soliciting 0% APR credit cards for a free sandwich or some sort of other tantalizing offer. Be smart about it.
If you have to use your credit card for short term expenses like books, partial tuition payments, or whatever, then so be it. Sometimes I would use my credit card to pay for books and such until my grant and loan money came in through FAFSA

Ok finally, if applicable, use your company's tuition reimbursement plan. A lot of students work while in college to support themselves and pay for college. Some companies offer as much as $3,000 per year or more. You will have to check with your company's HR rep for more info.

Anyway there you have it, these are just a few things I would have done.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Is Money The Most Important Thing? Hot Jobs For College Graduates.

Below you will a find an article my that reveals some information relating to college students and what they value in a job.

For college grads, money isn't everything

Survey shows students would rather have good health plan than high salary; Disney seen as top potential employer.

NEW YORK ( - College students would rather have a good health plan than make a lot of money, and many of them want to work at the magical world of Disney, according to a survey released Monday.

Walt Disney (Research) was voted the No 1 potential employer, after coming in 17th last year, among college students, according to the Undergraduate Ideal Employer Ranking Survey conducted by Universum Communications.

Google (Research) leaped 150 positions to second place in the overall survey and was the top employer among information technology students.

Engineering students chose Lockheed Martin Corporation, which knocked aerospace giant Boeing down from the top spot for the first time ever. General Electric came in third, followed by BMW, Walt Disney, Intel, Google and IBM.

Besides Walt Disney, business students also chose PricewaterhouseCoopers, followed by Ernst&Young, Google and Deloitte & Touche.

Health care was the top ranked industry, with Mayo Clinic, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Glaxosmithkline and Merck in the top five amongst science majors.

Government and public services ranked No. 2, with the Department of State, FBI and CIA ranking high among liberal arts majors.

Liberal arts majors expected to make $39,237 straight out of school while IT majors expected to make $52,229. But more important than base salary, at 74 percent preference, was a strong health plan, at 84 percent, according to the survey. Other important compensation elements included a good retirement plan - such as 401K or 403B, followed by sick/personal and vacation day allowance.

The industries with the highest salary expectations were electronics, engineering consulting, chemical/petroleum, investment banking and venture capital, all in the $52,000s. Five years after graduation, venture capital, at $101,084, and investment banking, at $97,086, become the two industries that are expected to pay the most.

But this year the financial strength of a company was no longer the most important characteristic of an ideal employer. It slipped to 26 percent, compared with the 39 percent of respondents who chose high ethical standards as the one most significant factor when determining what company to work for, the survey said.

Most college students said their career goals are to balance their personal and professional life, pursue further education, build a sound financial base and contribute to society.

The study polled over 37,000 students from 207 schools in the U.S.

Health Care Jobs
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Big Business Helping Credit Card Fees?

I read an article by Mike from and he gave some interesting insight into how big biz is helping to lower credit card fees:

Big Business Leads the Drive for Lower Credit Card Fees

There are a lot of mixed messages floating around about credit cards.
We know that they're a vital part of building and improving credit, but
it's hard to tell exactly what you're paying in monthly fees and late
penalties. It seems so complicated! Fortunately, credit card companies
are beginning to lift the veil of secrecy so that it's easier than ever
to see exactly what you're paying and when.

Why the Change of Heart?

Thanks are due to two unlikely sources: Wall Street and retailers.
MasterCard just became a publicly traded stock in May, and Visa is going to
follow suit next year. This is great for cardholders everywhere,
because Wall Street bigwigs want to see the raw data before they invest
money in a company. There have long been rumors that credit card companies
work together to gouge consumers with excessive fees. No investor would
want to put money into a company that could go the way of Enron.
Lawsuits, scandals, and shifty business all add up to lost money for the
stockholders, so in order to make their stocks attractive to investors,
credit card companies are bending over backwards to show that they are on
the up-and-up. This doesn't only help Wall Street investors, it helps
all cardholders see exactly how much they are paying and when they are
paying it.

The other group that is responsible for this increased disclosure is
the merchants who take credit cards. If a cardholder is unhappy with his
service, he can always switch to another plan, or even another
provider. However, retailers who choose not to take credit cards end up losing
business to competitors who will. They've decided not to take it
anymore, and who can blame them? Merchants typically pay one or two percent
of each purchase to the card companies. There are about eighty types of
fees that merchants have to pay, depending on how a card is swiped,
whether they take a signature, how often each card is used, and much more.
Now that retailers are learning how much they are being charged, they
can put pressure on the card companies to give them better deals - and
a better deal for them means a better deal for you!

The Benefits For the Cardholder

So it's easy to see why investors and retailers want to see the details
of credit card companies' fees. But how does it help the average
person with a Visa or Mastercard in their wallet? The first way is that
comparison shopping is now easier than ever. In the past, most people based
their decisions on interest rate alone. However, that card with the
lower rate could be sticking you with excessive late fees, or even
raising your rate each time you're late - without even informing you!

As cardholders become more informed and comparison shop for the best
deal, companies will undoubtedly lower their fees and rates, especially
those tricky "hidden" ones. The competition will encourage the card
companies to try to win business, rather than just taking it for granted.
Having a credit card is vital in today's society, but it's been a
daunting prospect for some consumers. Soon there will be no excuse for living
without a credit card, and we'll have "Big Business" to thank it!