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Airlines Canceling Thousands of Flights, Leaving Passengers Stranded



If your travel plans include flying, it could take longer than you think to reach your destination. More than one U.S. airline has been experiencing significant problems, resulting in a large number of canceled flights for travelers. Find out more so you can better plan your upcoming travel

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Spirit Airlines cancels thousands of flights over the past five days

Across the country, Spirit Airlines has left passengers stranded at airports. The airline blames various operational issues such as weather, staffing shortages, and technology problems for their struggles.

According to data from FlightAware, the Florida-based airline canceled at least 1,700 scheduled flights between Sunday, August 1, and Thursday, August 5, 2021. On Thursday alone, the airline canceled more than half of its scheduled flights for the day.

These cancellations are creating stress for many travelers. Since the airline has a smaller fleet and fewer flight options than many larger airlines, it’s a lot harder for travelers to get put on a different flight.

But Spirit Airlines isn’t the only airline that has been canceling flights. American Airlines is also having operational issues. The airline canceled hundreds of flights each day earlier this week. The company is contributing these cancellations to severe weather in Texas.

Despite receiving bailout funds from the CARES Act, many airlines have fewer employees working right now. That has forced stranded passengers to deal with canceled flights and long wait times when trying to contact their airline for customer service support.

Here’s what to do if you’re traveling soon

If you’re planning to get on a plane soon, be ready in case your travel plans get changed unexpectedly.

  • Remain as flexible as possible. Understand that you may need to adjust your travel plans. Having a backup plan is a great idea. For example, consider renting a car if you get stranded and won’t be able to get a new flight any time soon.
  • Prepare for long wait times. Many people are traveling right now, and airlines and airports may be short-staffed. So be prepared for long wait times when traveling at the airport and when contacting customer service.
  • Check your reservations often. If you have reservations already made, be sure to check them often. You may find that your plans are altered in advance or at the last moment. Catching a change before you arrive at the airport could allow you to avoid being stuck without a backup plan.

Here’s what to do if you’re about to make travel plans

  • Use a credit card with travel protection. When making your plans, it’s a smart idea to use a credit card that includes travel protection. The right travel card may be able to provide reimbursement if you’re delayed for a significant amount of time or if your travel plans are cancelled. This coverage varies by card and eligibility depends on the reasoning for your delay or cancellation. Be sure to look into the details of coverage.
  • Consider the airline’s customer service. Making travel plans with an airline with a poor customer service track record may be a bad choice. For example, a budget airline may be less likely to offer you food or hotel vouchers if you’re stranded and can’t get another flight anytime soon. Instead, you may be responsible for those costs. Booking with a different airline may be beneficial — even if the flight costs more money.
  • Allow for extra time in your schedule. It’s a good idea to allow for extra time when making plans. Consider taking additional days off of work if possible to account for potential delays and give you room for unplanned changes. You don’t want to stress out about getting back to work after experiencing a canceled flight.
  • Budget for extra travel costs. Travel often costs more in 2021, from extra pandemic-era costs, like required COVID-19 testing, to higher travel costs due to increased travel demand. When creating your travel budget, allow additional funds for unexpected expenses.

Hopefully, you won’t experience any flight delays while on your next trip. When making travel plans, book with a travel rewards credit card so you can earn rewards points on your purchases. Our list of best travel credit cards can make it easier to choose your next card.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?



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.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances



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

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit



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.



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