What Is Competitive Pay and How to Negotiate For It

What Competitive Pay Is and How to Negotiate for It

“Competitive pay” is a term commonly used among employers looking to attract qualified candidates to their business. Offering competitive pay means providing a compensation level that is equal to or above the market rate for a given position, geography, or industry.

Competitive pay typically includes base salary as well as additional employment benefits such as a signing bonus, health insurance, retirement benefits, or stock options offered to an employee.

Why Is Competitive Pay Important?

In highly-competitive job fields, or when there is a shortage of talent, offering competitive pay can be a powerful lever for employers to attract and retain highly qualified employees. At the same time, employees that are in high demand might choose to seek out competitive pay in order to earn more than their counterparts at other companies.

Competitive pay is ultimately a measure of an employee or job candidate’s value to the business, and is something that can be offered by an employer or negotiated by an employee or candidate.

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What Determines Competitive Pay?

Competitive pay rates can be determined by a variety of factors:

Location

Where you are physically located can greatly impact the competitiveness of the pay you are offered. For example, an employee in a high-cost metropolitan area like New York or San Francisco may be able to earn more than a counterpart in a more affordable geographical area. Certain states also have higher minimum wage standards, which can increase the average compensation for any job offered within that state.

Recommended: Cost of Living by State

Level of Education and Experience

Many jobs will offer competitive pay commensurate with a candidate’s education and experience. That means that a candidate with a college degree and 10 years of industry experience may be offered higher compensation than someone with no degree and fewer years of experience. Candidates with specialized degrees or certifications can sometimes use that to negotiate more-competitive pay.

Recommended: 15 Entry-Level Jobs for Antisocial People

Job Title and Industry

Most job titles and industries will have a baseline market pay rate that employers use to guide their job offerings and employee salaries. If you want to compare a job offer with the market, you can find market pay rates for most jobs on the Bureau of Labor of Statistics website or through websites like Indeed and Glassdoor.

Market Demand

One of the biggest drivers of competitive pay is the overall supply and demand for a job in the market. If a job is highly in demand, either due to a shortage of workers or a sudden increase in the number of available jobs, compensation for that role may become more competitive. Candidates can potentially use that to their advantage when applying to jobs and negotiating salaries with employers.

Competitor Salaries

Similarly, when multiple companies in the same or adjacent industries are competing for employees, they may offer more competitive compensation packages to try and win over prospective job candidates.

Minimum vs Competitive Wages: How They’re Different

While competitive wages are offered at the discretion of employers, minimum wage is the minimum hourly pay rate under federal law. States can also establish and enforce minimum wage requirements for certain jobs or industries.

Like competitive pay, minimum wage typically takes into consideration living costs, geography, and job titles or industries. However, it tends not to change as often or dramatically as competitive wages. In fact, the federal minimum wage has not changed since 2009.

Also, minimum wage only takes into consideration base salary, whereas competitive pay includes other benefits and forms of compensation, such as signing bonuses.

Recommended: What Trade Job Makes the Most Money

Examples of Competitive Paying Jobs

Competitive pay rates are constantly shifting, especially as the market for talent becomes increasingly competitive. However, here are the some of the most competitive paying jobs in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Cardiologists

•   Average annual salary: $353,970

Computer and Information Systems Managers

•   Average annual salary: $162,930

Financial Managers

•   Average annual salary: $153,460

Physicists

•   Average annual salary: $151,580

Lawyers

•   Average annual salary: $148,030

Recommended: The Highest Paying Jobs by State

How to Negotiate for More Competitive Pay

Whether you’re applying for a new job or reconsidering your current employment situation, negotiating competitive pay is an important part of getting paid what you believe you are worth. There isn’t an exact formula for negotiating higher pay, and it’s important to take a methodical approach that considers both your needs and the perspective of your employer. Here are five strategies that can help you in the course of negotiating competitive pay:

1. Establish your priorities

Going into a pay negotiation, you should think about what you would need financially to consider joining or staying with a company. You’ll want to budget out your needs (including any debt you may be paying off) and try as best as you can to identify a compensation package that meets your financial requirements.

Competitive pay can also mean different things to different employees. For some, it may mean a higher base salary, while others may want other perks like assistance in paying off college tuition or student loan debt, greater workplace benefits, or better health coverage. Identifying exactly what you need is important for deciding when it makes sense to push back or walk away from a negotiation.

2. Build Your Case

Even in competitive markets, an employer may not be willing to meet your salary or benefits requirements. However, going into that conversation with evidence and clear reasoning for why you are asking for more competitive pay can help support your case. You’ll want to clearly show why you believe your compensation isn’t as competitive as you’d like it to be, due to the fact that you’ve been working harder, delivering greater value to the business, or have incurred higher living costs.

3. Know Your Pay Rate in the Market

Before negotiating, it’s also important to research how the competitive rate for your specific job title or industry has changed. Or, if you’ve suddenly taken on additional responsibilities outside of your core job function, you may want to look at what similar employees in those roles are getting paid and factor that into your pay rate. All of that data will help you to know what you’re worth as an employee and be able to communicate it to your employer.

Recommended: Examples of Low Stress Jobs for Introverts Without a Degree

The Takeaway

“Competitive pay” is a term commonly used among employers to refer to a compensation level that is equal to or above the market rate for a given position, geography, or industry. Other factors that help determine competitive pay include a candidate’s education and experience, and market demand.

If you’re not sure whether your baseline salary requirement covers your cost of living, SoFi’s money tracker app, can help. Track your money and spending all in one place so that you have the tools and information you need to negotiate the pay you deserve.

Take control of your finances with SoFi.

FAQ

Is competitive pay a red flag?

“Competitive pay” has become an industry buzzword used by many employers on their job postings and websites. While seeing “competitive pay” on a job posting isn’t a red flag, it’s still important to conduct your own research to ensure pay rates are competitive with similar industries, geographies, and employers.

Does competitive pay come with good benefits?

Competitive pay does not necessarily come with good benefits like 401(k) matching, health insurance or paid time off. However, those benefits are becoming increasingly important for job seekers. When analyzing competitive pay, it’s important to look at an employer’s full compensation package (benefits and salary) to ensure it meets your needs.


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SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

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Things to Budget For After Buying a Home

Things to Budget for After Buying a Home

After you purchase a new home, there are many things to budget for, such as moving costs, new furniture, and of course, ongoing expenses such as your mortgage. Although it may seem like many of the significant expenditures are out of the way once you close on a property, there are a lot of additional costs that can add up.

To avoid financial surprises, it’s wise to jot down and budget for all of the extra expenses you will encounter when you move into your new place. To help you organize your finances, here are the things to budget for after buying a house.

Recommended: Should I Sell My House Now or Wait

Moving-Out Expenses to Budget for

Before you take up residence in your new home, you must move all of your things. Even if you pack and move all your belongings yourself, you’ll still have to spend on things like boxes, packing materials, and a truck. And if you use movers, it will cost you even more.

Recommended: The Ultimate Moving Checklist

Moving Your Belongings

There are three main options for moving your belongings:

•   Renting a truck and doing it yourself. It’s more cost efficient than using professional movers, but DIY moving yourself still adds up. You’ll have to pay for the truck rental fee, gas, and damage protection. If you’re moving across the country, you may also have to factor in the costs of shipping some of your items. Even though you can enlist your friends and family to help you do the heavy lifting, the cost of moving yourself can still be significant. And it’s a lot of work.

•   Hiring movers. If you decide to use professional movers, it’s wise to shop around to find the best price. Here’s why: For moves under 100 miles away, the national average cost is $1,400, and it ranges from $800 to $2,500. If you’re moving long distance, the average cost can be as high as $2,200 to $5,700. To cut costs, you can do your own packing, which may save you money.

•   Moving your things in a storage container. Another option is to use a hauling container — you load your things in it, and the container company moves it to your new location. This usually costs between $500 and $5,000, depending on the distance and how much stuff you’re moving. Long-distance moves will usually cost more than local ones.

Moving Supplies

If you decide to go the DIY moving route, you will need to buy boxes, bubble wrap, labels, and tape. And you likely have more items to wrap and box up than you think, which requires even more supplies.

Cleaning Supplies

You’ll probably want to clean your current property before you move out, and you’ll definitely want to clean the new place when you move in. That means buying mops, sponges, cleaning solutions, and paper towels. You may also want to get the carpets cleaned or hire a professional house cleaner if the place needs a deep cleaning.

10 Common Expenses After Buying a Home

Once the move is done, there are other expenses you’ll need to account for as you settle into your new abode. Here are a few things to budget for after buying a home.

Furniture and Appliances

You’ll likely bring some furniture and decor from your old place, but you’ll probably want to purchase some new things as well. For example, if the appliances are outdated, you might want to upgrade to new ones. And you may have more rooms to furnish, which requires additional furniture.

Consider opening a savings account for the new items you want to purchase. It can also help pay for any unexpected costs, such as having to replace a hot water heater that breaks.

Mortgage Payments

As a homeowner, every month you will making a mortgage payment that typically includes:

•   The principal portion of the payment. This is the percentage of your mortgage that reduces your payment over the life of the loan. The more you pay toward principal, the less you will have to pay in interest.

•   The interest. This is the amount you pay to borrow funds from the bank or lender to purchase your home.

If you are using an escrow account to pay your mortgage, other things may be included in your payment, such as your property taxes, insurance, and private mortgage insurance. This guide to reading your mortgage statement can help you understand all the costs involved in your mortgage payment.

Property Taxes

Property taxes are the taxes you pay on your home. In many cases, these taxes are the second most significant expense after your mortgage. Property taxes are based on the value of your home, which is typically governed by your state. The county you live in collects and calculates the sum due. Usually, property tax calculations are done every year, so the amount you owe may fluctuate annually.

Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance helps protect your home from damage or destruction caused by events like a fire, wind storm, or vandalism. It can also protect you from lawsuits or property damages you are liable for. If someone slips and falls on your sidewalk, for instance, homeowners insurance will pay for the injured person’s medical bills and the legal costs if they decide to sue you.

The cost you pay for this coverage will vary by the type and amount of coverage you select.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

For borrowers who can’t afford a down payment that’s 20% of the mortgage value, lenders usually require private mortgage insurance (PMI). This type of coverage is designed to protect the lender if you default on your mortgage payments.

PMI can cost as much as a few hundred dollars per month, depending on the sum you borrow.

HOA Dues

This is a Homeowner’s Association fee, which goes toward the upkeep of property in a planned community, co-op, or condo. The amount can range from a couple of hundred dollars a year to more than $2,000, depending on the amenities you’re paying for (like a pool and landscaping). You typically pay HOA fees monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Utilities

Your utility payments include water, gas, electric, trash, and sewer fees. Some bills like water and electricity are based on the amount you use every month, so monitoring your electric and water usage, like taking short showers and turning lights off, can help lower your cost. Other payments, such as your trash or recycling, might be a fixed amount.

Lawn Care

Maintaining the curb appeal of your home requires landscape services and lawn care. If you choose to mow your own lawn, you may need to factor in the purchase of a mower, which can cost about $1,068 on average. If you hire a lawn service to cut your grass, you may pay $25 to $50 a week.

Pest Control

Pests such as ants, ticks, rodents, or mice, can wreak havoc on your home and your family’s health. For these reasons, many homeowners hire a pest control company to prevent the infestation of pests around their homes. The company’s initial visit may cost between $150 to $300, then $45 to $75 for every follow-up.

Home Improvement Costs

As a homeowner, there are likely things you want to change about your house. From painting the walls to a complete kitchen renovation, transforming your property can add to the cost of owning a home. According to the HomeAdvisor 2021 State of Home Spending Report, interior painting was the number one project homeowners completed, costing an average of $2,007.

Additionally, as the features of your home age, you will need to replace and repair them accordingly.

Common Mistakes After Buying a Home

One of the most common mistakes people make when buying a home is spending more than they can afford. For instance, you may forget to factor in utilities, lawn care, HOA fees, costs of upkeep, and other hidden expenses that come with owning a home. It’s crucial to do your research to determine extra costs and add them up before you move forward with purchasing a property.

Another mistake new homeowners make is taking on too many DIY projects. TV shows can make home renovations look easy. However, many of these projects require professionals who know what they are doing. Attempting a home improvement project could cost you more to fix than hiring a pro in the first place. In fact, about 80% of homeowners that attempt their own renovation projects make mistakes — some of them serious.

Unless you can afford an expert, you may want to rethink purchasing a home that requires a lot of renovation.

The 50/30/20 Rule

For help planning your budget as a homeowner, you can use the 50/30/20 rule, which breaks your budget into three categories:

•   50% goes to to needs

•   30% goes to wants

•   20% goes to to savings

That means you’ll be budgeting 50% of your income to go toward necessities such as housing costs, grocery bills, and car payments. Then 30% will go toward things you want, such as entertainment (movies, concerts), vacations, new clothes, and dining out. The remaining 20% goes towards saving for the future or financial goals such as home improvement projects.

Using a 50/30/20 budget rule is simple and easy. It allows you to see where your money is going and helps you save.

Recommended: What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a Car

Lifestyle Tradeoffs in Order to Budget

With so many things to budget for after buying a home, you may need to cut back on spending. Start by looking at your discretionary spending and think about where you can trim back. For example, instead of eating out regularly, you can cook more meals at home. Or perhaps you can put your gym membership on hold and do at-home workouts for a while to stay in shape physically and financially.

Recommended: What is The Difference Between Transunion and Equifax

The Takeaway

After you buy a house, there are many expenses you may not have accounted for, such as the cost of hiring movers; buying furniture; and getting your new place painted, cleaned, and ready to move into. Making a budget is vital to keep you on track financially, so you can enjoy your new home.

SoFi’s money tracker app can help you organize your money all in one place. You can link your bank accounts, monitor spending and savings, and plan for future goals, like home renovations.

With SoFi, you’ll always know where your budget, and your finances, stand.

FAQ

How much money should you have leftover after buying a house?

After buying a home, the amount you have left will vary depending on your financial situation. However, it’s a good idea to have at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses in reserve. That way, in case of an emergency, you can stay afloat financially.

Is it worth putting more than 20% down?

Putting more than 20% down on your home can help lower your monthly mortgage payment and interest because you’ll be borrowing less money. It also gives you more equity in your home from the beginning. But make sure you can afford to pay more than 20% in order not to stretch beyond your budget.

What’s the 50-30-20 budget rule?

The 50/30/20 rule means that you budget 50% of your expenses for needs (housing, groceries, loan payments), 30% for wants (entertainment, eating out, shopping), and 20% toward savings goals (retirement, renovations, new furniture).


Photo credit: iStock/ArtMarie

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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How to Dispute a Credit Report and Win the Dispute Case

How to Dispute a Credit Report and Win the Dispute Case

One of the most important chores on any financial to-do list is to regularly review your credit reports for errors. If an error does appear, disputing it is a fairly simple process with a big potential payoff: It might improve your credit score.

Keep reading to learn how to dispute a credit report and win.

How to Get an Accurate Credit Report

Consumers can access their credit reports for free every 12 months from the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These credit reporting companies feature similar but not identical data, and any errors may appear on one or more reports.

There are three ways to request a report:

•  Online: AnnualCreditReport.com

•  Phone: (877) 322-8228

•  Mail: Download an Annual Credit Report Request form from the URL above, and mail it to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

You can request all three reports at once or each one at different times without paying a fee. Helpful hint: By ordering one at a time and spacing out requests every four months, you can be fairly confident about catching major issues while they’re fresh and easier to dispute. For example, you might order the Experian report in February, the TransUnion one in June, and Equifax in October – all for free.

After your free annual access has ended, you can pay to check your credit reports as often as you like. Credit reporting companies can’t legally charge a consumer more than $13.50 for a report. It’s also possible to access credit reports through specialty consumer reporting companies, some of which charge a fee.

Recommended: What is The Difference Between Transunion and Equifax

Why It’s Important to Correct Mistakes in Your Credit Report

Credit reports generally make it easy to spot negative financial information like missed payments. However, take care to review your credit report for other incorrect data, however minor, such as former addresses and employers. Common credit report errors include inaccurate bank balances, duplicate account info, and false late payments.

In case of an error, take steps to have the mistake removed as soon as possible. Credit report errors can lead to a bad credit score, impact loan applications, or raise your interest rate. Bad marks on a credit report can also affect your employment options, insurance premiums, and ability to rent an apartment.

Recommended: Developing Good Financial Habits

How to Dispute Errors on Your Credit Reports

To dispute an error on a credit report, you’ll need to contact each credit bureau that published the error. Mistakes can appear on one report only or all three. Each credit bureau has its own dispute process, so check the instructions on AnnualCreditReport.com or the individual credit bureau sites. You’ll likely need to fill out a dispute form and provide supporting documentation that helps prove an error was made.

If your dispute is accepted, follow up to make sure the credit bureau and the business that supplied the incorrect information update their records accordingly. If a mistake is easy to prove, start with the business that made the error. Be aware that credit bureaus and businesses cannot charge you to correct errors on your report.

In the case that a mistake on a credit report is due to identity theft, it’s important to report that to IdentityTheft.gov and get a personalized recovery plan.

Recommended: What Credit Score is Needed to Buy a Car

Example Letter for Disputing a Mistake on Your Credit Report

Usually, a dispute needs to be submitted in writing. If you submit a letter via the Post Office, send it certified mail with “return receipt requested.” That way you have proof that the credit bureau received the letter.

The following information should generally be included in a dispute letter:

Identifying Information

The date, consumer’s name, and their address all need to be included in the letter.

Each Item That Needs Disputing

Whether there is one error or many, each one should be outlined briefly and clearly. Identify each error, explain why the information is wrong, and supply the correct information if applicable. Then request to have the error corrected or removed.

Copy of the Credit Report

It can be helpful to enclose a copy of the credit report with the errors circled. Don’t send any original documentation with your letter. Make copies and keep the originals safe in case they are needed again.

Why Consider Credit Score Monitoring

To efficiently keep an eye on your credit reports, you may opt to use a credit monitoring service. These services will update account holders when certain credit updates appear, such as new accounts, hard inquiries, high credit card balances, or a missed payment.

Not only does credit monitoring make it easier for consumers to stay on top of their credit and work toward improving their credit score, but it can help catch fraud and identity theft early.

How to Report Credit Scams

If you suspect you’ve been the victim of a credit scam, report it to IdentityTheft.gov, a division of the Federal Trade Commission. They will provide a personalized recovery plan, walk you through the steps, track your progress, even pre-fill forms and letters for you. Then, you should dispute any false information on your credit report.

The Takeaway

Disputing and correcting errors on your credit report is usually straightforward, as long as the mistake can be proven. Whenever possible, reach out directly to the business that reported the mistaken info. Then follow the dispute instructions for each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Regularly review your credit reports annually to catch errors early, before they negatively affect your financial record – and your life.

For extra help monitoring your credit, turn to SoFi’s money tracker app. You can monitor your credit score at no cost, with weekly updates to help you stay on top of your financial wellbeing.

With SoFi, you’ll know where your finances stand — and knowledge, as is often said, is power.

FAQ:

Who always wins a credit dispute?

There is no one party or side that always “wins” a credit dispute. If the consumer can document that an error was made, they will likely win the dispute.

What reason should I put for disputing a credit report?

The reason for disputing an error on a credit report can be a typo, outdated information (more than seven years old), data that belongs to another consumer, or fraud, among other things. Include any supporting documentation you have to help strengthen your argument.

Does disputing a collection notice reset the clock?

No, but a dispute does pause the clock in regard to bill collectors. Once you dispute a debt in collections, the collections agency can’t contact you again until they have provided verification of the debt in writing to the consumer.


Photo credit: iStock/mediaphotos

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

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How to Pay for College Without Federal Loans

How to Pay for College Without Federal Loans

It’s not a secret that the cost of attending college is more expensive than most people can afford to pay for in cash. Many students turn to federal student loans to help pay for college. But what can someone do if they’ve already tapped out their federal student loan resources or don’t want to take on any federal loans?

Thankfully, there are a variety of resources available to help students pay for their education. From scholarships to savings — continue reading for 14 ways to make college tuition more affordable. It may even be possible to figure out how to pay for college without loans.

14 Ways to Make College Tuition More Affordable

The key to figuring out how to pay for college without loans or financial aid is to make the overall cost of college a lot less expensive. Here’s a few ways someone can make the cost of college more affordable.

1. Apply for FAFSA

It’s always a good idea to apply for federal financial aid — even if you don’t think you’ll qualify. That’s because the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), is absolutely free to fill out. This form helps determine the type and amounts of aid a student qualifies for. While it’s not a guarantee that students will get financial aid granted to them, it’s worth applying to try to lower the overall cost of pursuing higher education.

Federal financial aid includes both need-based aid like Direct Subsidized Loans or Pell Grants and non-need based aid like Direct Unsubsidized Loans. After submitting the FAFSA, schools will use the information to determine your financial aid package — which will detail the aid you qualify to receive for the school year. The FAFSA must be completed annually.

Sometimes, federal financial aid isn’t enough to allow a student to pay for the full cost of college. The following tips can help students find other ways to lower the costs of attending college in the event they didn’t receive enough financial aid to make it easy to pay for school.

2. Qualify for Merit Scholarships

Because scholarship funds don’t need to be paid back, they can be a valuable tool to help pay for school. While there are need-based scholarship opportunities there are also merit-based scholarships that focus on giving money to students that meet or exceed certain standards set by the person or organization issuing the scholarship — such as academic excellence or athletic ability.

Merit scholarships may be available from your college or university, from local companies or nonprofit organizations, and other institutions. Contact your school’s financial aid office for information on scholarships available at your academic institution.

3. Apply for Private Scholarships

While colleges often offer scholarship opportunities, so do private companies, nonprofits, and other organizations such as religious groups. Both school-based and private scholarship opportunities are worth looking into. You can find information on private scholarships from both your school’s financial aid office and by searching online databases, like Scholarships.com, that aggregate information on available scholarships.

4. Apply for ROTC Scholarships

If someone is considering joining the military they may be able to receive up to 100% in tuition assistance if they do so. College’s may have ROTC programs that make it possible to qualify for scholarships before joining the military — unlike the GI Bill which gives education money to those already enrolled in the military.

5. Attend a Community College

Attending a community college before transferring to a four-year university is another option to cut tuition costs. Some community colleges even offer tuition-free programs. Not to mention, when attending a local community college it may be easier to remain living at home with mom and dad which can cut down living expenses massively.

6. Earn College Credit in High School for Free

Some community colleges partner with local school districts to give high school students the opportunity to take college classes for free which allows them to earn college credits in high school. Taking advantage of free college classes while in high school can make the cost of attending college later cheaper — especially if the student can graduate early as a result.

7. Ask for Family Donations

While there’s no guarantee family will be able to or willing to help pay for someone to go to college, it can be worth asking parents, grandparents, and other close family members for assistance. Together, their contributions may help lighten the overall load of attending college.

8. Consider Private Student Loans

If someone wants to take out loans but didn’t receive enough federal student loans to fully cover their education and living expenses while in college, they can apply for private student loans to help make up the difference. Unlike federal student loans which are awarded based on the FAFSA, private student loans are awarded from individual lenders and require their own application. Because private student loans tend to be more expensive than federal loans, it’s a good idea to exhaust any potential federal options before applying for private student loans.

9. Choose an Affordable School

Usually, attending an in-state public school is more affordable than attending an out-of-state public school. Additionally, private universities tend to cost more to attend than public universities. If a student can go to an in-state public university, that is likely the most affordable route they can pursue. Especially if they attend community college first to get some general education classes out of the way.

While public schools are generally more affordable than private institutions, financial aid packages can potentially even the playing field. When evaluating colleges, be sure to factor in the actual costs after any scholarships or grants and other aid.

10. Work During School

It can be challenging, but if a student can work part time while enrolled in college, they can pay some if not all of their way as they go. If they took out loans, they may be able to use their earnings to start paying them down early so they can avoid paying interest after they graduate.

11. Budget for College With Parent’s 529 Plan

If a student’s parents set up a 529 plan (which is a tax-advantaged investment account that can be used to pay for qualifying educational costs) they can budget out those savings to see how much of their education they can pay for — a budgeting app could help.

Though some students may not have the benefit of supportive parents. Students figuring out how to pay for college without their parents’ help may want to focus on finding an affordable school, filling out the FAFSA, applying for private scholarships, working while in college, and wisely using student loans.

12. Complete College Earlier Than Four Years

If a student hustles, even shaving off one semester of college can save them a decent chunk of change in tuition, fees, and room and board. If they can take an extra class each semester, they may be able to graduate early and save a lot of money.

13. Live Off Campus and Commute

As convenient as living on a college campus is, it can also be expensive. The cheapest living option is to live at home with parents if that’s possible and commute to school. If a student does need to live on their own, renting an apartment or a room in a house off campus may still be more affordable than living on campus. Cost out the different options to see which is most affordable and in-line with your budget.

Recommended: Does Net Worth Include Home Equity

14. Negotiate With College Campus

Some colleges offer tuition payment plans that don’t necessarily reduce expenses but can make it easier to pay for tuition by spreading payments out over several months instead of expecting one lump sum payment up front. This can be an especially good option for students working to pay for school.

The Takeaways

Paying for college is a big endeavor, but one that can be made easier if a student takes certain steps to reduce the overall costs of college. Figuring out how to pay for college without loans is challenging, but starting by applying for scholarships and financial aid can help.

To make it easier to reach major financial goals like paying for college, SoFi can help. With SoFi’s money tracker app, it’s possible to connect all accounts on one mobile dashboard to get a bird’s-eye view of all account balances, to track spending and set monthly spending targets, and to work with a financial planner to set goals.

Learn more about how SoFi makes meeting financial goals easier.

FAQ

What can I do if my parents won’t pay for college?

Students can apply for financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), can take out federal or private student loans, or can work their way through school. It may be challenging, but students do have options outside of their parents for financing higher education.

How can I pay for college by myself?

If someone needs to pay for college on their own, they’ll want to fill out the FAFSA each year to see how much financial aid they qualify for and how much federal student loan coverage they can get. If they need more money to pay for school, they may consider applying for private student loans.

Is Sallie Mae a federal loan?

Sallie Mae student loans are not federal student loans. They offer private student loans.


Photo credit: iStock/AntonioSolano

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Best Entry Level Jobs For Antisocial People

15 Entry-Level Jobs for Antisocial People

Antisocial people tend not to like being around others, which can sometimes be a barrier to getting certain jobs. In reality there are plenty of jobs that do not require any social interaction, making them perfect for an antisocial person.

What Does It Mean to Be Antisocial?

The clinical definition of “antisocial” is someone that shows no regard for others and does not want to be in the company of other people. However, in common usage, antisocial can be used to describe someone that prefers to be alone most or all of the time.

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Why It Can Be Difficult for Antisocial People to Find Work

Most jobs require at least some form of interaction, either with customers or coworkers. This can be a struggle for an antisocial person, who would likely prefer to find work that requires limited or no interpersonal interaction.

Antisocial people may also experience anxiety about job interviews, which are typically a prerequisite in the hiring process for many jobs.

What Makes the Ideal Job for an Antisocial Person?

An antisocial person may want to find a job that requires no interaction and can be done from a quiet and isolated location at their leisure. Self-employment can be a career path for antisocial people to consider or jobs that only require interaction through virtual (email, text, etc.) correspondence.

What Kind of Work Does Not Suit an Antisocial Person?

Any job that requires a lot of engagement with others, such as customer service or retail, would likely not be a good fit for an antisocial person. At the same time, any job that requires a lot of on-the-job training or management would likely not be ideal.

15 Entry-Level Jobs for Antisocial People

Antisocial disorder is often diagnosed at a young age. For those looking to start an entry-level career, here are 15 jobs that are well-suited to an antisocial person (with salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics):

Computer Programmer

2021 median salary: $93,000
Primary Duties: Write and test code and scripts that enable computer software to function.

Farmer or Rancher

2021 median salary: $73,060
Primary Duties: Oversee the production of crops, livestock and dairy products.

Writer and Author

2021 median salary: $69,510
Primary Duties: Write original copy for personal or business websites.

Aircraft Mechanic

2021 median salary: $65,550
Primary duties: Repair, inspect and perform maintenance on various aircraft.

Craft Artist

2021 median salary: $49,960
Primary Duties: Create original works of art for sale and exhibition using a variety of materials.

Truck Driver

2021 median salary: $48,310
Primary Duties: Pick up, transport, and deliver packages or goods from one location to another.

Machinist

2021 median Salary: $47,940
Primary Duties: Operate mechanical- and computer-controlled equipment used to manipulate metal parts, instruments, and tools.

Embalmer

2021 median salary: $47,780
Primary duties: Prepare the bodies of the deceased for interment.

Medical Transcriptionist

2021 median salary: $30,100
Primary duties: Transfer voice recordings from physicians and other healthcare professionals into formal reports or other documents.

Proofreader

2021 median salary: $43,940
Primary duties: Read content and correct for spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.

Assembly Line Worker

2021 median salary: $37,170
Primary duties: Use hand tools or machinery to produce vehicles, electronic devices and other materials and goods.

Animal Trainer

2021 median salary: $31,280
Primary duties: Teach animals skills such as obedience, performance, riding, security, and assisting people.

Veterinary Assistant

2021 median salary: $29,780
Primary duties: Feed, bathe and take care of animals in need of treatment.

Janitor

2021 median salary: $29,760
Primary duties: Clear and sterilize buildings, schools, hospitals and other commercial businesses.

Crematory Operator

2021 average salary: $37,490
Primary Duties: Perform cremations, including the preparation and transfer of the body post-service.

Recommended: High Paying Trade Jobs in Demand

The Takeaway

Having antisocial tendencies doesn’t mean you can’t find a fulfilling career. In fact, many jobs offer solitude and limited people interaction, which can appeal to many antisocial and introverted individuals.

Regardless of your chosen career path, it’s important to exercise responsible spending and money habits and keep track of your financial goals.

SoFi can help you track your money like a champion, with tools for monitoring your credit score, setting financial goals and monitoring your spending.

FAQ

What jobs require no social interaction?

Computer programmers that work from home, janitors that work night shifts, and farmers and ranch-hands typically have little to no social interaction in their day-to-day work.

What is a good job for antisocial people with no experience?

Artisan jobs, online bloggers, and transcriptionists all provide strong starting salaries and require no formal degree or experience.


Photo credit: iStock/ferrantraite

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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