Connect with us

News

3 Signs Your Emergency Fund Is Too Small

Published

on

If you want to be financially stable, you need an emergency fund. An emergency fund is money you keep in a high-yield savings account where it is accessible when you need it. The money is supposed to be used to cover your bills in case of a loss of income or to pay for other essential and unavoidable expenses that catch you by surprise.

Many people have no emergency funds at all, so if you have any emergency savings, then you’re on the right track and hopefully will have better long-term financial prospects because of it.

But just because you’ve got some cash in a savings account for emergencies doesn’t necessarily mean you’re always in great financial shape to deal with unpleasant surprises. In fact, you should watch for these three potential signs that your emergency fund is just too small.

One email a day could help you save thousands

Tips and tricks from the experts delivered straight to your inbox that could help you save thousands of dollars. Sign up now for free access to our Personal Finance Boot Camp.

By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.

1. You couldn’t cope with a loss of income that lasts several months

A health issue or a job loss could easily take several months to resolve — potentially leaving you with less income or even no income as you work to get back on track. You need to make sure you’re prepared for an extended income cut without risking paying bills late and ending up in debt.

That’s why it’s so important to have an emergency fund with enough money in it to cover essential costs through at least three months of hardship. And, ideally, most emergency funds will be even bigger and will provide enough money to cover six to eight months of expenditures.

This may seem like a lot of money. But the reality is that it could easily take months before you start getting a paycheck again if you’re left unemployed, once you factor in a job search and the fact most people aren’t paid immediately the first day they start work. If you can’t cover at least a few months of costs with your savings, you could be in real trouble.

2. You’re still constantly worried about money

Emergency funds should provide you with peace of mind. They should alleviate your financial worries because you’ll be well aware that the money is there for you when you need it.

Unfortunately, this only works if your emergency fund is large enough that you genuinely don’t need to worry about covering the bills for a few months if something bad happens.

If you still find yourself lying awake wondering how you’d pay your expenses if you lost your job or how you’d cover medical costs if you or your spouse got sick, then you need to bulk up your emergency account balance.

3. You frequently end up in debt because of unexpected financial costs

One of the key benefits of emergency funds is that they protect you from ending up in debt. The idea is that when a surprise expense creeps up or an unexpected income cut happens, you won’t need to turn to credit cards to cover the costs.

But if you repeatedly end up with emergencies that cost more than the amount in your emergency fund, then it’s clear you don’t have enough saved and you need to prioritize bulking up your account quickly.

Ultimately, for most people, having three to six months of living expenses will be plenty of money to cover most things that go wrong. Aiming for this goal is a good place to start. But you need to be on the lookout for these signs that the amount you have simply isn’t enough for you. If that’s the case, you’ll need to think carefully about your lifestyle and the level of financial risk you’re willing to take on so you can decide how much is best for you to personally save for a rainy day.

Source link

Continue Reading

News

Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?

Published

on

When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

Learn more:

Source link

Continue Reading

News

Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances

Published

on

Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

Source link

Continue Reading

News

How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit

Published

on

Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.

 

 

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending