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9 of the Best Low Interest Student Loans for February 14 2020

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If you’re looking for a student loan to help pay for the cost of college, federal Direct Loans usually offer the lowest interest rates.

Those with excellent credit, however, might be able to find lower rates with private student loans. Your financial information, including your credit history, can help you qualify for low interest student loans.

If you’ve already used up your federal student loans, here’s how to find low interest student loans:

  1. Have good credit
  2. Focus on debt to income
  3. Get a cosigner
  4. Choose a shorter repayment term
  5. Look for discounts
  6. Compare lenders

1. Have good credit

Once you use up subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans, it’s a good idea to consider private student loans. There are several factors in the interest rate, but one of the biggest factors is your credit. A good credit score can be the difference between getting approved at all.

credit score range

Current rates for fixed-rate private student loans start at 3.82%+ for those with excellent credit. If you have a low credit score, you could pay multiple times that. If you don’t know your credit score, you can get access for free through several popular apps.

Learn More: Compare Credit Score Ranges

2. Focus on debt to income

In addition to looking at your credit, lenders also consider your existing debt. They’ll add up all of your minimum monthly payments for existing debts compared to your income. A higher debt load compared to your income shows a risk that you might not be able to repay the new loan. A lower debt-to-income ratio shows you’re in a strong position to make regular payments. Typically, lenders look for a DTI of 50% or lower — the lower the better.

If you’re able to pay off any credit card balances or other loans at least a month before applying for your student loans, it will lower your minimum monthly payments on your credit report and improve your debt-to-income. This could help you qualify for lower student loan rates. Make sure you’re not closing these accounts, though; that could actually hurt your credit score.

How to calculate your DTI

(Total monthly payments ÷ monthly income) x 100 = DTI

Keep Reading: Debt-to-Income Ratio

3. Get a cosigner

If you have bad credit or no credit, it could take more time than you have to turn around your credit or establish a good credit score. In that case, you might do better with a cosigner. Cosigners can share their good credit score with you to qualify for a lower rate. However, they also take on full responsibility for repaying the loan.

Many students usually look to their parents to cosign — in fact, over 90% of private student loans are cosigned. Grandparents and other relatives might also consider cosigning.

Credible allows you to compare different cosigners on your loan to help you see which cosigner will help get you the lowest rate.

Find Out: How to Get a Cosigner

4. Choose a shorter repayment term

If you’re able to afford a higher monthly payment, a shorter repayment term saves you money in a couple of ways:

  1. Save money with a lower interest rate: Longer term loans are considered riskier by lenders, so typically the longer the term, the higher the rate. With a shorter term, you can get a lower rate and pay less over the life of your loan.
  2. Paying interest for a shorter period of time: With a shorter term, you’ll be paying off your loan sooner. When your loan is paid off sooner, you stop paying interest.

Learn More: APR vs. Interest Rate: What’s the Difference?

5. Look for discounts

Some student lenders are willing to give you a discount for meeting certain criteria or requirements. For example, many popular lenders give a 0.25% discount when you enroll in automatic payments. But keep in mind that if you’re not paying your loan off when in school, this discount usually won’t apply and the higher interest rate will accrue.

For a 10-year, $10,000 loan with a 5% interest rate, you would pay a total of $2,728 in interest. With a 0.25% discount, you would pay $2,582 in total interest. That’s a savings of $146. Plug your own numbers into our student loan interest calculator to estimate how much you could save on your own loans.

Some lenders might have other unique discount programs to further lower your rate — like loyalty or good-grade discounts. If you qualify, definitely take advantage of these as they can really add up.

Read More: Student Loan Interest Rates

6. Compare lenders

Federal student loan rates are set by the government, but private lenders can set their own rates for student loans. Shopping around will help you find the best rate for your situation.

Credible helps you save time shopping around by letting you compare offers from multiple lenders by filling out just one simple form.

Lender Fixed rates from (APR) Variable rates from (APR)
ascent 4.21%+ 3.16%+
citizens 4.40%+1¹ 2.69%+1¹
collegeave 4.54%+2,32 2.84%+2,32
discover 5.09% – 12.49%6 3.15% – 11.37%6
edvestinu 4.52%+8 3.68%+8
invested 4.09%+ 3.12%+
mefa 3.95%+ N/A
4.74% – 11.85%9 2.75% – 10.65%9
3.82%7 2.52%7
Compare rates without affecting
your credit score. 100% free!

Compare Now

Lowest APRs reflect autopay, loyalty, and interest-only repayment discounts where available | 1Citizens Bank Disclosures | 2,3College Ave Disclosures | 6Discover Disclosures | 7SunTrust Bank Disclosures | 8EDvestinU Disclosures | 9Sallie Mae Disclosures

Citizens Bank Student Loan Rate Disclosure

Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of February 1, 2020, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.66%. Variable interest rates range from 2.69%-11.02% (2.69%-10.87% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 4.40%-12.19% (4.40% – 12.04% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown requires application with a co- signer, are for eligible applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, borrower making scheduled payments while in school and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of the loan.

Low interest student loans for parents

Parents looking to take on student loans to help finance their student’s education might consider Parent PLUS Loans first, but that isn’t your only loan option. Parents with good credit scores might be able to find cheaper loans through private lenders than the PLUS program.

Parents might also be able to save on existing PLUS loans by refinancing to a new loan with a lower interest rate. Be sure to note the origination fee on Parent PLUS loans that can significantly increase the loan’s APR, often by about a full percentage point.

Learn More: Parent PLUS Loans vs. Private Student Loans

Take charge of your student loan interest rates

It can feel like the government, banks, and other lenders are in charge of your student loan interest rates, but you have a lot of influence over whether you have low interest student loans or pay more.

With a focus on your credit and other aspects of your finances, you might be able to lower your existing loan rates or qualify for lower rates in the future.

Keep Reading: How to Take Out a Student Loan

Methodology: The private student loan companies in this article are Credible’s partner lenders. We have not included other lenders. Note that all of the lenders evaluated in the “best of” articles are lenders from whom Credible receives compensation in the event a person who uses the Credible platform closes a loan with the lender. Credible believes the best private student loans offer competitive interest rates, a wide selection of loan terms, inclusive eligibility requirements, cosigner release, and responsive customer service. Using the Credible marketplace, you can compare these loan features and more from our partner lenders. Because every lender has its own system for evaluating borrowers, the best loan or lender will depend on an individual’s unique circumstance.

About the author

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg is a Credible expert on personal finance. His work has been featured at Business Insider, Investopedia, The Balance, The Huffington Post, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Mint.com and more.

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What Does an Extended Car Warranty Cover?

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If you purchased a brand-new car, then you’re covered under the manufacturer’s warranty until a certain mileage point or age limit. What happens after you’ve met these limits? For those who want extra coverage on their vehicles, extended warranties can be an option for used cars.

Understanding Extended Warranties

What Does an Extended Car Warranty Actually Cover?If something happens to your vehicle that your insurance company doesn’t cover and the car’s manufacturer warranty is expired, you’re left to foot the cost of repairs. For this reason, many borrowers consider buying an extended warranty for their used vehicles.

An extended warranty, also called a vehicle service contract, is essentially additional coverage on your car, and the name is somewhat inaccurate. Extended warranties don’t “extend” the original warranty offered by the manufacturer. They’re actually third-party service contracts that cover certain vehicle repairs for a set amount of time and/or mileage.

For those who rely on their cars heavily day-to-day, service contracts can offer some peace of mind when you’re driving a used vehicle. Extended warranty coverage varies greatly, and no two offered by dealerships are likely to be the same.

To see what an extended warranty truly covers, ask for a list of the inclusions and exclusions from the finance and insurance (F&I) manager at the dealer where you’re purchasing your used car.

What Vehicle Service Contracts May Cover

Many service contracts can mimic the manufacturer’s original warranty. Some cover the transmission and engine, and associated parts of these two key systems like seals and gaskets. Some extended warranties can cover most parts of your vehicle, including the key components (like the engine and transmission) and things like air conditioning and maybe even the power seats.

As a good rule of thumb, these things typically aren’t covered under extended warranties:

  • Regular maintenance
  • Brakes, clutches, windshield wipers, and lights
  • Regular wear and tear (like interior damage)
  • Body damage (dents)
  • Modifications
  • Tires

Keep in mind that most extended warranty claims come with deductibles, and there tend to be rules and exclusions that don’t come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Often, the dealership where you purchased the car and service contract requires that you go to their service center to repair your vehicle under the warranty.

On top of that, some extended warranties require that you pay for the repairs up front and then file a claim to be reimbursed for the cost later. Be sure to read all the fine print of a service contract, and feel free to ask lots of questions. You’re the one spending the money on it, after all!

When to Buy an Extended Warranty

Manufacturer warranties can last for a number or years, or up to a certain mileage. New cars often come with bumper-to-bumper coverage for around three years or 36,000 miles, as well as a powertrain warranty that’s normally good for around 10 years or 100,00 miles.

If you’re purchasing a used vehicle, check to see if it’s still covered under its manufacturer warranty before you consider buying an extended warranty.

In most cases, if the car you’re purchasing is outside of the original new vehicle warranty, the F&I manager offers you a service contract when you’re wrapping up your contract. F&I managers typically have a whole menu of options that you can consider adding to your auto loan.

Before you decide on an extended warranty, or any of the dealer add-ons available, make sure to ask questions about the contracts offered and the details about what they cover. If you decide to take one, the costs are usually then rolled right into your car loan payment.

Ready to Start Car Shopping?

When you’re buying a used vehicle, there’s a higher risk of something going wrong with it down the line. This is always a possibility with any car you’re fixing to buy, but with a used one, it can be hard to tell what the vehicle has truly been through. It’s even harder to predict what could happen in the future.

Extended warranties and cars can be long-term commitments, and it can feel like a hassle to find the right dealership for your situation. When you have less than perfect credit, finding the dealer that’s signed up the right lenders can be even more difficult, but it doesn’t have to be!

Here at Auto Credit Express, we’ve cultivated a network of dealerships that work with bad credit borrowers. Instead of driving all over town and hoping to find a dealer for your credit, fill out our free auto loan request form, and we’ll do the looking for you. We’ll search for a dealership in your local area that has the lending resources you need.

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Cheapest car insurance in Colorado 2020

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Many drivers wonder how they can get the cheapest car insurance without sacrificing decent coverage. While car insurance rates in Colorado are slightly above the national average, drivers in the state still have plenty of options for affordable coverage.

The cheapest car insurance companies in Colorado

Colorado drivers pay an average of $1,050 per year for auto insurance. The three cheapest auto insurance carriers in Colorado are Geico, Progressive and State Farm.

Geico

Geico has a reputation for offering some of the lowest rates in the auto insurance industry while still providing decent customer service — the company tied for tenth place in claims satisfaction in a 2020 J.D. Power study.

Not only does Geico have some of the lowest rates on the market, but it also has one of the most extensive lists of discounts available. The company offers its customers 16 ways to save on their insurance premiums. Discounts include those for vehicle safety equipment, driver safety, driver education, customer loyalty and membership with certain organizations or employers.

Progressive

Progressive is one of the largest auto insurance carriers in Colorado, writing more than 10% of premiums in the state. Progressive is known for offering low-cost insurance policies. More specifically, the company has a reputation for offering affordable policies to high-risk drivers, such as those with poor driving histories or bad credit.

In addition to its low premiums, Progressive also offers a generous list of discounts. With 13 discounts available, most customers can likely find one that applies to them. Progressive has other tools that make it stand out from the crowd. The company’s price comparison tool allows prospective customers to pull quotes from multiple companies at once, not just from Progressive. The company also offers its famous Name Your Price Tool, which customizes a policy for drivers based on the premium they want to pay.

State Farm

State Farm is the top provider of car insurance in Colorado in terms of market share. Not only does the company write the most policies, but it also offers them at low prices. State Farm also offers 13 discounts customers can use to reduce their premiums even more. One of the company’s featured discounts is its Drive Safe & Save program, which reduces a driver’s premium based on their driving record.

Another advantage is that, according to a study by the Consumer Federation of America, State Farm is the only major insurance provider that doesn’t increase a customer’s premiums after a not-at-fault accident.

Affordable coverage for Colorado drivers

Colorado state law requires that drivers carry liability insurance, including bodily injury and property damage coverage. The state requires the following minimum coverages:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident
  • $15,000 for property damage in any one accident

These minimum coverages will compensate any other drivers in an accident where the insured is at fault. Purchasing only the minimum coverage will result in the lowest premium rates.

While sticking to the minimum coverages will save you the most money on your monthly premiums, drivers may opt to purchase more coverage to avoid bigger financial losses in case of an accident. Colorado’s minimum coverage requirements only include liability. In the event of an accident, your insurer will only cover the other driver’s losses. Your policy won’t cover any damage to your vehicle or person.

How to get cheap car insurance in Colorado

While it’s your insurance provider that sets your premiums, there are plenty of things you can do to find the cheapest car insurance available to you:

  • Shop around: Rates can vary significantly by individual and from one company to the next. Ultimately, each person should shop around for the company that offers the lowest rate for their unique situation.
  • Increase your deductibles: There’s typically a direct relationship between your insurance deductibles and your premiums. The higher the deductibles, the lower the premiums, and vice versa. If you’re comfortable with paying a higher cost in an accident, opting for higher deductibles can reduce your monthly expense.
  • Bundle your policies: Nearly every insurance company offers a multi-policy discount for customers with two or more policies with the same company. By bundling your auto insurance with your homeowners or renters insurance, you can save money on your premium.
  • Pay your full premium up-front: Insurance companies default to charging customers a monthly rate, but policies typically cover a period of six months. Most carriers offer a discount when you pay your full premium up-front. If you switch providers during your policy, insurers will usually refund the unused premium.
  • Take advantage of discounts: All of the largest insurance carriers offer discounts for their auto policies. Some of the most commonly available include good driver discounts, good student discounts, and discounts for vehicle safety features. Some discounts apply automatically to your policy if you qualify, while others you have to opt-in to.

Frequently asked questions

What determines someone’s car insurance premiums?

Many factors can impact the car insurance rates you’re eligible for. Factors that can increase or decrease your policy include:

  • Driving record: Those with accidents or violations on their driving record can expect to pay more for car insurance than if they had a clean driving record.
  • Age: Insurance rates tend to drop after someone turns 25, as older drivers tend to have fewer accidents.
  • Gender: Women tend to be safer drivers and have cleaner driving records. As a result, they may pay lower premiums.
  • Credit: Studies have linked credit to driving history — those with poor credit are more likely to file claims. As a result, poor credit tends to result in higher premiums.
  • Vehicle: Carriers may offer lower rates to those with safer cars and those that are more affordable to repair.
  • Coverage amount: You can expect your rates to increase in correlation with the amount of coverage you purchase.
  • Location: Living in an area with a high crime rate can increase your premiums.

How do Colorado’s car insurance premiums compare with the rest of the country?

According to 2017 data, Colorado ranks 15th in the nation for the most expensive car insurance. Insurance prices have been steadily increasing in the state for several years. Suspected causes of the spike include increased hailstorms and the legalization of recreational marijuana.

How quickly can I get car insurance in Colorado?

With most of the major insurance carriers, you can purchase an auto policy that is effective immediately, as long as you have the right documentation. It might be worth waiting, though — some companies offer a discount for drivers who sign up for their policy a certain number of days before it goes into effect.

What is the best car insurance in Colorado?

According to data from J.D. Power, American Family and Geico are the top-ranking car insurance companies in Colorado when it comes to customer satisfaction. Colorado drivers also have plenty of other excellent car insurance companies to choose from, depending on what factors are most important to them in a carrier.

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How Brooks Running overcame fraud and boosted customer experience| Tech Spotlight

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Rich Stuppy, chief customer experience officer at Kount, shares how running sneaker retailer Brooks Running dealt with fraud and improved the customer experience at the same time.

What began in a small factory in 1914 in Philadelphia, Brooks Running has grown to be a global enterprise. Now with customers in more than 50 countries, the running shoe innovator has evolved from a company specializing in ballet and bath shoes, at its inception, to a business with the prime focus is making the perfect running shoe — featuring options that are wildly popular among both elite and casual runners.

As Brooks puts it, running is its thing. Fraud, on the other hand, is not.

E-commerce growth brings chargebacks and fraud

As Brooks’ popularity grew, so did revenue channels, which included e-commerce.

With a rise in digital transactions came challenges the retailer was not prepared for — overwhelming fraud. In 2017, fraudulent websites were stealing credit card information from unsuspecting customers and using the Brooks website as part of a drop-shipping scheme.

The number of chargebacks Brooks began to experience became overwhelming. It eventually got so bad credit card companies were threatening to prohibit Brooks from accepting their credit cards. Brooks’ top priority went from perfecting the running shoe to reducing its chargeback rate to protecting its payment processing capabilities.

Hunting for proactive protection without customer friction

While the fraud prevention team reacted quickly to new evidence of fraud, “we just didn’t know how to deal with it,” said Chad Funk, Brooks’ fraud specialist. Like many other merchants, Brooks’ first defense against chargebacks was a “manual review” of transactions — a slow process with high operational costs.

Brooks knew it needed technology to detect and stop fraud and reduce manual reviews without sacrificing good orders. After a careful search, Brooks selected Kount’s platform given its AI-driven, all-in-one fraud detection built on a network of trust and risk data called the Identity Trust Global Network.

Linked by Kount’s adaptive AI, the Identity Trust Global Network analyzes trust and risk signals from 32 billion annual interactions to stop chargebacks and fraud in real time.

Relying on Kount’s data and automation, Brooks quickly slashed its chargeback rate by 92%, eliminating the threat of fraud monitoring programs while accepting more good orders.

Brooks is not only reducing false positives, but improving the customer experience by providing a seamless journey for VIP customers, like those involved in a special “Pro” program.

“When somebody’s in our Pro program and I can see the amount that the cart is worth and the amount that was paid, I know this person is part of a discount program — I know this order is just fine,” said Funk.

From fighting fraud to enhancing the customer experience

Using Kount’s networked data, from over 250 countries across the globe, Brooks’ next step in the fraud journey was to expand sales into new regions. This opened up a major new opportunity, as Brooks began to accept international credit cards which they had previously declined.

The results didn’t disappoint. Simply opening up the international revenue stream contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the bottom line.

With growing revenue streams, and a manual review rate below 2%, Brooks again shifted focus, fine-tuning policies to improve the customer experience in order to build long-term revenue.

Much like its running shoes, the Brooks’ fraud prevention strategy is focused on perfection: both in protection and in exceptional customer experiences.

Rich Stuppy is chief customer experience officer at Kount.

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