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Friday, 23 January 2015

What Harvard Actually Costs

What Harvard Actually Costs

Harvard University
Even within the prestigious Ivy League, there’s something special about Harvard University. Founded in 1636, it’s the country’s oldest post-secondary school and the alma mater of many noteworthy figures, including numerous U.S. presidents and Nobel Laureates.

But for many top students, a degree from Harvard is about more than social cachet – often it’s also the ticket to a great-paying job. That’s good news because a stint at Harvard doesn’t always come cheap. For the 2014-2015 academic year, the standard tuition is $43,938. Room and board and other fees bring the total price tag to a hefty $58,607.

That’s pricey even by private school standards. Nationwide, the average cost of a private, non-profit, four-year institution will be $31,231 in 2014-2015, according to the College Board. The average for tuition and room and board combined is $42,419.

Plentiful Financial Aid

One of the benefits of a uniquely successful alumni pool is that many give back to the school and make it easier for low- and middle-income students to attend the institution. Today, the school’s endowment of $36 billion helps make it possible to offer generous financial aid packages to those in need.

For the 2012-2013 year, the university says that most students from families making less than $65,000 a year attended absolutely free. If you came from a family making between $65,000 and $150,000, you typically have to kick in 10% of your family income or less. Students with families making slightly more also receive considerable financial support from the school.

One statistic in particular illustrates the scope of the university’s aid program, which is entirely need-based. For roughly 90% percent of families, Harvard actually costs the same as, or less than, an education at a state school.

The university says that its admissions process is entirely need-blind. If you come from a lower-income family and are eligible to receive a sizable aid package, you theoretically have the same chance of admission as someone from a wealthier family.

While international students cannot receive federal financial aid awards, they are eligible for university funds, which can help alleviate the cost of attending the institution.

Big Dividends Down the Road

Even without taking into account financial aid, a Harvard education is by nearly any measure a terrific investment. For many employers – including some Wall Street banks and prominent consulting firms – having the school on one’s résumé offers an enormous leg up on the competition. According to a survey by the school newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, the average senior will earn between $50,000 and $69,999 right after graduation.

Perhaps more important, having attended Harvard gives graduates valuable connections to tap as their careers unfold, allowing them to sustain their success. The 2014-2015 College Salary Report by the research firm PayScale suggests Harvard graduates earn more than those of any other Ivy League school by the mid-point of their career. "Bachelor's degree only" graduates have median earnings of $57,700 in their early career and $118,200 in mid career; Harvard ranking 14th among schools (ranking based on mid-career salary). Adding in those who went on to get graduate degrees, the figures rise to median earnings of $59,600 for early career and $122,700 for mid, with a rank of 11. Obviously, it is important to note that these salaries are overall figures, not tied to a specific job or advanced degree; earnings will fluctuate substantially based on those factors.

In PayScale’s ranking of American universities based on their 20-year return on investment, Harvard comes out No. 23, even before factoring in financial aid. When you factor in getting financial aid and compare Harvard grads only to those from private colleges and those paying out-of-state tuition at public universities, it jumps to No. 10, with a median 20-year net payout of $821,90.

The Bottom Line

Harvard might have one of the country’s highest tuition rates, but many students pay far less thanks to a strong financial aid program. Either way, research suggests that an education at this illustrious school is a terrific long-term investment. For more information, see 5 Ways To Get Maximum Student Financial Aid.

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TAGS: Career Advancement Life Stage - Education Post-Secondary Education 


An Introduction To Perkins Loans

An Introduction To Perkins Loans

Perkins loans are accessed through what is called "campus-based aid." Together with the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Work-Study (FWS) programs, they provide students with funding based upon extreme financial need. Each of these programs is administered through a school's financial aid department. There are over 1,800 schools that are affiliated with these federally funded programs so be sure to check with your particular campus.
TUTORIAL: Student Loans

Your institution's financial aid administrators have wide jurisdiction in determining who receives funding and how much. In 2010 there was over $1 billion dollars distributed to just under 500,000 applicants in total. Most of this money comes from federal coffers, but your school will also contribute money to the fund. The Department of Education determines how much each school has access to, but it is the school that actually loans the money and is the one that must be repaid. You must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine your eligibility for a Perkins Loan.

Students who go into teaching, public service or the military can have part of (or their entire) loan forgiven (i.e. cancelled). The schools will be reimbursed for this shortfall by the Federal government with the provision that the replaced funds be put in the school's revolving loan program. The size of the school's fund (the amount available for them to loan out to prospective students) is determined by government contributions and loan cancellation payments, the individual schools one third matching contribution, and loan collections from existing performing student loans. (Learn more in Student Borrowing: University Payment Plans Vs. Federal Student Loans.)


The U.S. Department of Education uses the information from the FAFSA form in conjunction with a standard formula (determined by Congress) to evaluate each students financial status. The formula includes the following elements:

    the student's income
    the student's assets (if independent)
    the parents' income
    the parents' assets (if student is dependent)
    the household size
    The number of household members attending post-secondary schools. Your family is also expected to contribute to your education expenses. This is called the expected family contribution (EFC) and is the sum of:
        a percentage of net income (after subtracting a basic expense allowance)
        a percentage of net assets (after subtracting an asset protection allowance)

Depending upon the student's status (dependent, independent, independent with dependents) different assessment rates and allowances are used in the calculation of the EFC.

Maximum Funding Levels
The following chart shows the maximum Perkins Loan amounts that can be allocated to individual students. The maximum amount will differ depending upon the student's status (undergraduate, graduate or professional degree student). It is important to remember that your school will determine the amount of the loan and that there are limited funds available. It is possible that you may qualify, but will not receive any funding help through a Perkins Loan. Be sure to submit your FAFSA form as early as possible so that you maximize your chances of receiving funding.

As of 2011-12
Source: Funding Education beyond high school. The guide to Federal Student Aid

Disbursement of Funds

Since it is your school that is actually lending the money, the school will either credit your tuition account directly or deposit the money in your account of choice (via a cheque). In most cases your loan will be disbursed in two deposits (or cheques) throughout the year. (Learn more in College Loans: Private Vs. Federal.)
Since most academic terms have more up-front costs at the beginning of the year (like text books for example) your loan disbursements will be unequal to account for these varying costs. Perkins loans have no fees, administration or otherwise, attached to them, and they are eligible to be consolidated after graduation should that be required.

Repayment Options
Upon graduation or if you leave school (or fall below half-time registration), you will be given a nine-month grace period during which you will not have to make any loan repayments. After this period, however, you will be required to pay the loan back with 5% interest.

If you cannot pay your loan back, you may be eligible to change your repayment plan to one that is linked to your income level. Forbearance or deferment of your loan is also a possibility. You may even qualify for a total loan cancellation under certain circumstances. These options are explained below:

 *  Deferment means putting a temporary hold on payments (principal and interest) due to financial hardship or military service. There are other conditions that apply.
 *  Forbearance also means a temporary hold on loan payments, but unlike deferment your interest will still accrue and you are responsible for the added interest.
 * Your Federal student loans will be cancelled upon your death or total permanent disability. There are other conditions that may qualify for a total cancellation of your debt.
 *  If you are a teacher in a low income area you may be eligible for a loan cancellation.
 * Certain public service workers may also qualify to have their student loans cancelled. You can find additional information at

To find out all the information on your specific loan, you can visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) which is organized by the U.S. Department of Education. Here you will find your loan type, your outstanding principle, amount of interest owed, disbursed amounts and the total of all your federal education loans. (You can also read Student Financial Aid Changes Implemented in 2009.)

The Bottom Line
If you are still having difficulty repaying your student loans, you may consider consolidating all your loans into one reduced monthly payment. However, extending the term of the loan up to 30 years will mean far more interest will be paid over the length of the contract. You will also give up any chance of forbearance, deferment or cancellation, so be sure to consider your options carefully before you decide to consolidate your loans.

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TAGS:  FAFSA Post-Secondary Education Student Loan

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Different Needs, Different Loans

Different Needs, Different Loans

Different Loans For Your Different Needs

Different Needs, Different Loans insurance

Loan proceeds can be used for a variety of purposes, from funding a new business, to buying your fiancée an engagement ring. But with all of the different types of loans out there, which type is best? In this article, we\'ll take you through a list of some of the more popular types of loans, as well as their characteristics and their usefulness in meeting consumers\' financial needs.

1. Personal Loans
These loans are offered by most banks, and the proceeds may be used for virtually any expense (from buying a new stereo system to paying off a common bill). Typically, personal loans are unsecured, and range anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. As a general rule, lenders will typically require some form of income verification, and/or proof of other assets worth at least as much as the individual is borrowing. The application for this type of loan is typically only one or two pages in length. Approvals (or denials) are generally granted within a few days.

The downside is that the interest rates on these loans can be quite high. According to the Federal Reserve, they range from about 10-12%. The other negative is that these loans sometimes must be repaid within two years, making it impractical for individuals looking to finance large projects.

In short, personal loans (in spite of their high interest rates) are probably the best way to go for individuals looking to borrow relatively small amounts of money, and who are able to repay the loan within a couple of years.

2. Credit Cards
When consumers use credit cards, they are essentially taking out a loan with the understanding that it will be repaid at some later date. Credit cards are a particularly attractive source of funds for individuals (and companies) because they are accepted by many - if not most - merchants as a form of payment.

In addition, to obtain a card (and, by extension, $5,000 or $10,000 worth of credit), all that\'s required is a one-page application. The credit review process is also rather quick. Written applications are typically approved (or denied) within a week or two. Online / telephone applications are often reviewed within minutes. Also in terms of their use, credit cards are extremely flexible. The money can be used for virtually anything these days from paying college tuition to buying a drink at the local watering hole. (To find out more about this process, see The Importance of Your Credit Rating and How Credit Cards Affect Your Credit Rating.)

There are definitely pitfalls, however. The interest rates that most credit-card companies charge range as high as 20% per year. In addition, a consumer is more likely to rack up debt using a credit card (as opposed to other loans) because they are widely accepted as currency and because it\'s psychologically easier to hand someone a credit card than to fork over the same amount of cash. (To read more on this type of loan, see Take Control Of Your Credit Cards, Credit, Debit And Charge: Sizing Up The Cards In Your Wallet and Understanding Credit Card Interest.)

3. Home-Equity Loans
Homeowners may borrow against the equity they\'ve built up in their house using a home-equity loan. In other words, the homeowner is taking a loan out against the value of his or her home. A good method of determining the amount of home equity available for a loan would be to take the difference between the home\'s market value and the amount still owing on the mortgage.

The loan proceeds may be used for any number of reasons, but are typically used to build home additions, or for debt consolidation. The interest rates on home-equity loans are very reasonable as well. In addition, the terms of these loans typically range from 15 to 20 years, making them particularly attractive for those looking to borrow large amounts of money. But, perhaps the most attractive feature of the home-equity loan is that the interest is usually tax deductible.

The downside to these loans is that consumers can easily get in over their heads by mortgaging their homes to the hilt. Furthermore, home-equity loans are particularly dangerous in situations where only one family member is the breadwinner, and the family\'s ability to repay the loan might be hindered by that person\'s death or disability. Even a 1% increase in interest rates could mean the difference between losing and keeping your home if you rely too heavily on this style of loan.

Note: In situations like these, life/disability insurance is frequently used to help protect against the possibility of default. (To keep reading on this subject, see Home-Equity Loans: The Costs and The Home-Equity Loan: What It Is And How It Works.)

4. Home-Equity Line of Credit
This line of credit acts as a loan and is similar to home-equity loans in that the consumer is borrowing against his or her home\'s equity. However, unlike traditional home-equity loans, these lines of credit are revolving, meaning that the consumer may borrow a lump sum, repay a portion of the loan, and then borrow again. It\'s kind of like a credit card that has a credit limit based on your home\'s equity! These loans may be tax deductible and are typically repayable over a period of 10 to 20 years, making them attractive for larger projects.

Because specific amounts may be borrowed at different points in time, the interest rate charged is typically pegged to some underlying index such as the "prime rate". This is both good and bad in the sense that at some times, the interest rates being charged may be quite low. However, during period of rising rates, the interest charges on outstanding balances can be quite high.

There are other downsides as well. Because the amount that can be borrowed can be quite large (typically up to $500,000 depending upon a home\'s equity), consumers tend to get in over their heads. These consumers are often lured in by low interest rates, but when rates begin to rise, those interest charges begin racking up and the attractiveness of these loans starts to wane.

5. Cash Advances
Cash advances are typically offered by credit-card companies as short-term loans. Other entities, such as tax-preparation organizations, may offer advances against an expected IRS tax refund or against future income earned by the consumer.

While cash advances may be easy to obtain, there are many downsides to this type of loan. For example:

    They are not typically tax deductible.
    Loan amounts are typically in the hundreds of dollars, making them impractical for many purchases, particularly large ones.
    The effective interest rate charges and related fees can be very high.

In short, cash advances are a fast alternative for obtaining money (funds are typically available on the spot), but because of the numerous pitfalls, they should be considered only as a last resort. (Learn more about cash advances in Payday Loans Don\'t Pay.)

6. Small Business Loans
The Small Business Administration (SBA) or your local bank typically extend small business loans to would-be entrepreneurs, but only after they\'ve submitted (and received approval for) a formal business plan. The SBA and other financial institutions typically require that the individual personally guarantee the loan, which means that they will probably have to put up personal assets as collateral in case the business fails. Loan amounts can range from a few thousand to a few million dollars, depending on the venture.

While the term of the loan may vary from institution to institution, typically, consumers will have between five and 25 years to repay the loans. The amount of interest incurred from the loan depends on the lending institution in which the loan is made. Keep in mind that borrowers can negotiate with the lending institution with regard to the level of interest charged. However, there are some loans on the market that offer a variable rate.

Small business loans are the way to go for anyone looking to fund a new or existing business. However, be forewarned: getting a business plan approved by the lending institution may be difficult. In addition, many banks are unwilling to finance "cash businesses" because their books (ie. tax records) often do not accurately reflect the health of the underlying business.

Bottom Line
While there are many sources that individuals and businesses may tap for funds, all consumers should assess both the positive and negative aspects of any loan before signing on the dotted line.

To read more on this subject, see Getting A Loan Without Your Parents.

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Is Loan Protection Insurance Right For You?

Is Loan Protection Insurance Right For You?

loan protection insurance

Loan protection insurance or payment protection insurance (PPI) is designed to help policyholders by providing financial support in time of need. Whether the need is due to disability or unemployment, this insurance can help protect monthly loan payments and protect the insured from default. The loan protection policy has different terms depending on where it is offered. In Britain, it could be referred to as accident sickness insurance, unemployment insurance, redundancy insurance or premium protection insurance. These all provide very similar coverage. In the U.S. it is oftentimes referred to as payment protection insurance (PPI). The U.S. offers several forms of this insurance in conjunction with mortgages, personal or car loans. Read on to find out how these insurances work and if they could be right for you.

How Does Loan Protection Insurance Work?
Loan protection can help policyholders meet their monthly debts up to a predetermined amount. These policies offer short-term protection, providing coverage from generally 12 to 24 months depending on the insurance company and policy. The benefits of the policy can be used to pay off personal loans, car loans or credit cards. Policies are for usually people from age 18-65 who are working at the time the policy is purchased. In many cases to qualify, the purchaser has to be employed at least 16 hours a week on a long term contract, or be self-employed for a specified period of time.

The two different types of loan protection insurance policies are:

Standard Policy
This policy disregards the age, gender, occupation and smoking habits of the policyholder. The policyholder can decide what amount of coverage he or she wants. This type of policy is widely available through loan providers. It does not pay until after the initial 60-day exclusion period. Maximum coverage is 24 months.

Age-Related Policy
In this case, the cost is determined by the age and amount of coverage the policyholder wants to have. This type of policy is only offered in Britain. Maximum coverage is for 12 months. Quotes might be less expensive because according to insurance providers, younger policyholders tend to make fewer claims. Depending on the company you choose to provide your insurance, the loan protection policies sometimes includes a death benefit. For either type of policy, the policyholder pays a monthly premium in return for the security of knowing that the policy will pay when the policyholder is unable to meet loan payments.

Insurance providers have different starting dates for when to begin coverage. Generally, an insured policyholder can submit a claim 30 to 90 days after continuous unemployment or incapacity from the date the policy began. The amount the coverage pays will depend on the insurance policy.

What Are the Costs?
The cost of payment protection insurance depends on where you live, the type of policy you select, whether it is standard or age-related and how much coverage you would like to have. Loan protection insurance can be very expensive. If you have poor credit history, you might end up paying an even higher premium for coverage.

If you think this type of insurance is something you need, consider looking for a discount insurance group that offers this service. Premiums through large banks and lenders are generally higher than independent brokers, and the vast majority of policies are sold when a loan is taken out. You have the option of choosing whether to buy the insurance separately at a later date, which can save you hundreds of dollars. When buying a policy with a mortgage, credit card, or any other type of loan, a lender can add the cost of the insurance to the loan and then charge interest on both, which could potentially double the cost of borrowing. Get the policy that best applies to your needs and current situation; otherwise you could pay more than you have to.

Pros and Cons of Having Loan Protection
Depending on how well you research the different policies, having a loan protection policy can pay off when you select a policy that is inexpensive and will provide the coverage that is suitable for you.

In terms of credit score, having a loan protection insurance policy helps maintain your current credit score because the policy enables you to keep up-to-date with loan payments. By allowing you to continue paying your loans in times of financial crisis, your credit score is not affected.

Having this type of insurance does not necessarily help lower loan interest rates. When you shop for a policy, be leery of loan providers that try to make it seem like your loan interest will decrease if you also buy a payment protection insurance policy through them. What really happens in this case is that the loan interest rate difference from the now "lowered" rate is latched onto the loan protection policy, giving the illusion that your loan interest rate has decreased, when in fact the costs were just transferred to the loan protection insurance policy.

What to Look out for
It is important to point out that PPI coverage is not required in order to be approved for a loan. Some loan providers make you believe this, but you can definitely shop with an independent insurance provider rather than buy a payment protection plan from the company that originally provided the loan.

An insurance policy can contain many clauses and exclusions; you should review all of them before determining whether a particular policy is right for you. For those working full time with employer benefits you migh not even need this type of insurance because many employees are covered through their jobs, which offer disability and sick pay for an average of six months.

When reviewing the clauses and policy exclusions, be sure you qualify for submitting claims. The last thing you want to have happen when the unexpected occurs is to discover you aren't qualified to submit a claim. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous companies sell polices to clients who don't even qualify. Always be well informed before you sign a contract.

Make sure that you know all loan protection insurance terms, conditions and exclusions. If this information is on the insurer's website, print it out. If the information is not listed on the website, request that the provider fax, email, or mail it to you before you sign up. Any ethical company is more than willing to do this for a prospective client. If the company hesitates in any way, move on to another provider.

Policies differ, so check terms and conditions of the coverage to see what exclusions and clauses are stated in the policy and when they would start. Review the policy carefully. Some policies do not allow you to receive a payout under the following circumstances:

    If your job is part-time
    If you are self-employed
    If you can't work because of a pre-existing medical condition
    If you are only working on a short-term contract
    If you are incapable of working at any other job other than your current job

Understand which health-related issues are excluded from coverage. For example, because diseases are being diagnosed earlier, illnesses, such as cancer, heart attack and stroke might not serve as a claim for the policyholder because they are not considered as critical as they would've been years ago when medical technology wasn't as advanced.

The Bottom Line
When searching for a loan or PPI, always thoroughly read the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy before committing yourself. Look for a reputable company. One way is to contact the consumer advocacy facility where you live. A consumer advocacy group should be able to direct you to ethically responsible providers.

Review your particular financial situation in detail to make certain that getting a policy is the best approach for you. A loan protection policy does not necessarily fit everyone's situation. Determine why you might need it; see if you have other emergency sources of income through either savings from your job or other sources. Go through all exclusions and clauses. Will getting the insurance be cost-effective for you? Are you confident and comfortable with the company that is handling your policy? These are all issues that must be addressed carefully before making such an important decision.

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Monday, 12 January 2015

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Saturday, 3 January 2015

How to Transfer a Domain Name to New Registrar

How to Transfer a Domain Name to New Registrar

How to Transfer a Domain Name to New Registrar
How to Transfer a Domain Name to New Registrar

Do you want to transfer your domain name to a new registrar, but don’t know what to do?
Then you are on the right place. In this post, I will be sharing how to transfer your domain name from your current registrar to a new registrar.
There could be a lot of reason for transferring a domain name. Maybe you’re not happy with your current domain provider’s service. Maybe you find another domain registrar with cheap price. Maybe you need additional services that your existing registrar doesn’t provide.
However, transferring domain name is very easy. You needn’t to deal with any technical stuff while transferring your domain name. Here are some requirements before transfer.
  • Domain name should be registered for more than 60 days in your current registrar.
  • Domain name shouldn’t be set to expire within next 7 days.
  • Generally you can transfer only .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .us, .ca, .cc, .cn,,,, co,.uk,,, .mobi domain name.

How to Transfer Domain Name to New Registrar

Though this tutorial is based on how I moved my domain name from HostGator to Namecheap, it will work for other registrars like Godaddy, Registrer, Network Solutions, Bluehost, Dreamhost etc. (If you are looking for a reliable & cheap domain provider, I would suggest you to go with Namecheap)

Now let’s see how to transfer your domain name to another registrar. Just follow these simple steps…

1. Make Sure You have Valid Email Address in Who is Data
At first, you have to make sure that administrative contact of your domain name has a valid Email address in your whois database. Because the new registrar will send you a confirmation letter to your email.
To check your Email addess in Whois data, visit this site. Enter your domain name and check Registrant Email.
How to Transfer a Domain Name to New Registrar
If you have valid Email Address on your Whois data, you can skip this step. But if you haven’t, you need to make sure that your Privacy Protection is disabled. Privacy Protection is a service that hides your personal information from the public. You can contact with your registrar to cancel the privacy protection.
You can also do it manually from your Domain Management. Here’s how to do it on HostGator. Go to Domain Management > Manage Domains and click on ‘Shield Sign’. And disable Domain Privacy.

How to Transfer a Domain Name to New Registrar

2. Unlock Domain Address

You domain must be unlocked for transfer. Domain Locking is a security feature that protects against third parties trying to edit, transfer, or delete your domain without permission.
You can unlock your domain name from control panel. For HostGator, click on the ‘Lock Sign’ to unlock your domain name.

How to Transfer a Domain Name to New Registrar

3. Get Authorization Code 

Authorization Code is also known as EPP Code or Transfer Key. It’s a unique combination of letters, numbers or symbols. You can get authorization code from your Domain Overview. If you don’t find any authorization code on your account, contact with your domain registrar.
To get EPP Key on HostGator, just click on your Domain Name from ‘Manage Domains’ and a domian overview will be poped up.  Copy EPP Key from there.

How to Transfer a Domain Name to New Registrar

4. Purchase Domain Name Transfer

Now time to purchase the Domain Name Transfer from your desired domain registrar. Namecheap is my personal favorite. It offers cheap domain name transfer. Go to Namecheap domain transfer page and enter your domain name.
When you purchase a domain name transfer, some of the providers may let you keep all the remaining time on your current registration. Namecheap keeps all the remaining time.
After the payment, you’ll need to set your Autorization/EPP code on your new registrar. Once you’ve bought the transfer, you’ll get an Email about EPP required. Just follow the link and enter your EPP code.

5. Email Notifications from Current and New Registrar

Then you’ll get confirmation mail from both current and new registrar. You needn’t to do anything with your current registrar’s mail. But you’ll have to click on Confirmation link from your new registrar’s mail.
It will take 5-7 days to transfer your domain name. Once your domain transfer has been completed, you’ll get the confirmation Email from your new registrar.
I haven’t faced any downtime while transferring my domain name.  I would suggest you to contact with your new domain provider to know about downtime.
Hope it helps. Do let us know if face any difficulties on transferring your domain name to new registrar. Don’t forget to share your domain transfer experience with us.