If you’re saddled with too much credit card debt, you’re not alone—far from it. A recent study based on Federal Reserve and Census data found that 38% of households carry a credit card balance, and that their average balance is $16,048. When you consider that the median household income is $55,775, it’s pretty clear that credit card debt is a problem for many people.
Since the amount you owe determines 30% of your FICO score, reducing your debt can improve your credit. Here are a few tips on how to be a smart credit card user.Read more
A good education will help you achieve your career goals, but your degree comes with a staggering price tag—one that’ll definitely hit you with sticker shock. Consider this: In 2015, the average college debt at graduation ranged from $3,000 to $53,000.
While there are plenty of scholarship, grant, loan, and refinancing options available to college students, they’re not all easy to get. In some cases, you’ll simply be able to sign on the dotted line once your applications are approved. But in other cases, such as with private student loans, you might need a co-signer—a creditworthy individual who will be legally responsible for repayment should you default, become disabled, or die.
If you’re just starting school and lack the steady income and solid credit history required for approval, a co-signer will help you clear the approval hurdle. And if you already have a student loan and that debt (and the interest that comes with it) is weighing you down, a co-signer can be your refinancing angel. In either situation, you’ll be in good company: In 2015-2016, about 94% of undergraduate private student loans included a co-signer, as did 61% of graduate private student loans.
Before you jump in, though, make sure you understand the dos and don’ts of choosing—and removing—a student loan co-signer.
(And while you’re at it, check out SoFi’s new Student Loan Debt Navigator tool to asses your student loan repayment options.)
Having a good credit score is one of the most essential steps to financial success. With a good credit score, you can get better rates on your mortgage, you can find better places to rent, and you’ll save thousands of dollars in interest on future loans.
Many people understand the importance of establishing a good credit score but are not sure how to start building their credit. Below are a few important factors that can impact credit score, tips on how to manage your score, and reasons why securing a personal loan can be a great way to improve those key inputs to building your credit.Read more
Got student loans? We’ve got you covered with our Student Loan Smarts blog series. Our expert tips and hacks will help you save money, pay off loans sooner, and stress less about student loan debt. Read the other posts in the series to get all the info you need to make intelligent decisions about your student loans.
Student loans are the ultimate double-edged swords. Invest wisely in your education, and those loans should pay off in the form of higher income over time. But if you mismanage student loan debt, your credit score could suffer—and that could have a big impact on your financial future.
As a student loan lender, we get a lot of great questions about how student loans affect credit score. Here are the top seven.Read more