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Should I pay off my debt or save for emergencies first?

Should I pay off my debt or save for emergencies first?

Finance
Three simple ways to pay off credit card debt Why do financial experts recommend creating an emergency fund before paying off credit card debt?—Brandon You have some credit card debt and you're up for doing the hard work of paying it off. Then along come financial experts who tell you: Hold on! Emergency fund first! But why wouldn't you pay off debt as quickly as possible, especially when the average credit card charges a 16.73% interest rate? "Because life happens," says Rey Cruz, a certified financial planner with Cruz Investments and Wealth Management in Aurora, Illinois. And relying on a credit card in an emergency is incredibly expensive. In addition to the cost of borrowing, it isn't a safe fallback, says Cruz. "You can't extend your credit if the credit ...
Minimize your student debt by applying to these three colleges

Minimize your student debt by applying to these three colleges

Finance
When it comes to choosing a college and minimizing debt, forget prestige: Grant and merit aid are the way to go.A recent study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers showed that private non-profit schools are offering incoming freshmen an average tuition discount of 49.9 percent. These tuition and fee discounts — which are grant awards — allow colleges to retain or attract students who can't or won't pay the full sticker price for their education.For perspective, the average published tuition and fees at a private non-profit college was $ 37,040 during the 2017-2018 school year.The association looked at 404 private colleges and universities.Being a good student also pays.Three out of four undergraduate students received merit aid during their f...
First-come, first-served: Trump will let some student loan borrowers erase their debt

First-come, first-served: Trump will let some student loan borrowers erase their debt

Finance
As part of the new $ 1.3 trillion federal spending bill, Congress authorized a $ 350 million "fix" to fund a popular student loan forgiveness plan that many financial experts say is failing.If you thought or were told you didn't qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program because you were not enrolled in a qualifying repayment plan — typically an income-driven plan — the Department of Education might still let you erase your loans. Congress has allocated the DOE $ 350 million to offer forgiveness to student loan borrowers who meet all requirements for PSLF except that they were enrolled in graduated or extended repayment plans, which are ineligible for relief. To qualify, you'll still need to have a loan from the Direct program, have had made all of your payments in full and on
He can afford to pay off his student debt faster. But should he?

He can afford to pay off his student debt faster. But should he?

Finance
How to talk to your kid about paying for collegeI have a student loan with a balance of $ 95,000 that has an interest rate of 2.4% over 20 years. I save at least 18% of each paycheck for retirement and only pay the minimum on my student loan balance. If I have money left over at the end of a pay period should I invest it or pay more on my student loan? -- Joe At the core of Joe's question is a challenge a lot of us face: Where should my next dollar go? There are almost always competing priorities and it can be tricky to know which is the better bet. Joe is in a pretty solid financial position despite being in debt. The interest rate on his student loan is pretty low and he got a great jump on saving for retirement while making minimum payments on his debt. If he has money left over after...
Your 3-Point Guide to Paying Off Debt

Your 3-Point Guide to Paying Off Debt

Finance
If there's one thing Americans are unquestionably familiar with, it's debt. Consumer credit card debt is now at an all-time high , with the average household on the hook for about $ 16,000. Yikes.Of course, the problem with credit card debt is that it can be extremely difficult to shake, especially when you have high interest rates working against you. But there's some good news: If you employ the right tactics, you can eliminate that pesky debt and stop throwing money away on interest. Just take it from a bunch of folks who managed to do just that.IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.How to pay off debtIf you're convinced you'll never break free from your nagging debt, consider this: Last year, 64% of Americans who set a goal to pay down debt wound up succeeding. That's ...