Borrowize Lending and Finance Blog Original articles, opinion pieces, industry news, and product information to help you make wise borrowing decisions and improve your credit. Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0800 en-US weekly 1 Borrowize Lending and Finance Blog 142 94 Avant Personal Loan Review <p>Avant personal loans are a good alternative for borrowers with limited options</p> <h2>Borrowize's Take:  Good alternative for borrowers with limited options</h2> <p>Avant loans can be a good option for borrowers with poor to average credit that find themselves in a cash crunch or facing an emergency expense.  However, if you have a credit score of 700 or higher and/or have a high earning job, you're likely to find a cheaper rate with another online personal lender or credit union.    </p> <p>Similarly, if you want to build credit or improve your current score, a secured credit card can be a cheaper alternative than an Avant loan with an APR on the high range, which can be as high as 35.99%.  But keep in mind that a secured card will require an upfront deposit that's usually equal to the credit limit you'll receive, which can seem counter-intuitive if you're applying for a loan because you need the cash right away.     </p> <p>On the flip side, Avant is a no-brainer when compared to payday loans.  Avant offers true installment loans with fixed rate, equal and finite monthly payments, and no prepayment penalties, which means you can be debt free within a couple of years.  </p> <p> </p> <h2>Avant personal loans at a glance: </h2> <p>Avant is one of the original and largest lending platforms in the online lending industry.  Their mission is to take advantage of technology to serve non-prime borrowers that cannot qualify for credit at traditional banks or other prime online lenders.  </p> <ul><li> <strong>Loan Amounts &amp; APRs:  </strong> Avant offers loans of <strong>$2,000 - $35,000</strong> with fixed APRs between <strong>9.95% and 35.99%</strong> that charge equal monthly payments over a <strong>2</strong> to <strong>5</strong> years  </li> <li> <strong>Loan Uses: </strong>Pay off credit card debt, home improvement project, or major life event (wedding, travel, etc.)</li> <li> <strong>Fees &amp; Fine Print:  </strong>A 4.75% origination fee is tacked on to every loan that's made, which means the borrower receives only 95.25% of the amount she requested, but has to pay the full 100% back.  Avant also charges an average late fee of $25, though it varies by state.  The late fee is excessive, considering that the average sized loan will have a monthly payment of $80 - $150, so $25 amounts to 15% to 30% of your payment.  </li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><a class="borrowizeBtnYellow" href=";PID=7928939" target="_blank">Apply for an Avant Loan</a> </p> <p> </p> <h2>Avant is a good fit for: </h2> <p>Avant loans are good for people with poor-to-average credit <strong>(580 – 700 FICO)</strong> making more than $40,000 and living in any U.S.. state except Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, or Vermont. </p> <p>Paying above 25% APR is only recommended if you need the money for emergency expenses and have no other options.  If you do take out a loan with a high APR, we recommend that you try to pay it off before the end of the term, or refinance it with a lower interest rate loan if your situation improves.  </p> <p><em><strong>Avant is NOT a good fit </strong></em>if you have good to excellent credit and can qualify for a low interest rate loan.  Avant's APRs can be as high as 35.99%, so even an average credit card is cheaper than half the loans Avant offers, as long as you stick to a strict repayment plan and don't just pay the minimum monthly payment.   </p> <p> </p> <h2>Avant offers quick funding and reliable customer service</h2> <p><span style="color:rgb(85, 85, 85); font-family:arial,helvetica,verdana,tahoma,sans-serif; font-size:14px">Their platform is easy to navigate, the application is straightforward, and the customer service consistently receives high marks. The online application process can takes a few minutes and borrowers can receive funds as quickly as the next business day if all documents are provided on time.</span> </p> <p> </p> <h2>How to apply for an Avant loan: </h2> <p>The Avant personal loan application process is quick, straightforward, and <a href=";PID=7928939" target="_blank">can be done entirely online</a>.  You can check your loan options without impacting your credit score by using their online application.  To do so, you will need to create a user profile and provide some basic personal information, such as: </p> <ul><li>  Home address and </li> <li>  Monthly rent or mortgage payment</li> <li>  Date of birth</li> <li>  Social security number</li> <li>  Monthly income type and amount</li> <li>  Loan purpose </li> </ul> <p>Once your application has been verified, you can review and sign the final loan agreement electronically, and your funds can be deposited as quickly as the next business day.  </p> <p><a class="borrowizeBtnYellow" href=";PID=7928939" target="_blank">Apply for an Avant Loan</a></p> Personal Loans Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:00:00 -0800 SoFi Personal Loan Review <p>SoFi offers top of the line loans for those lucky enough to qualify</p> <h2>Borrowize's Take:  SoFi offers top-notch personal loans for those lucky enough to qualify</h2> <p>Social Finance Inc., also known as SoFi, is a high quality, affordable credit alternative for borrowers with excellent credit.  Our only complaint is that they don't offer a mainstream loan for borrowers with good credit, especially since so many people could benefit from their personalized client perks. </p> <p>That being said, we understand they're focused on a specific market niche, and believe there are enough borrowers within it to continue growing rapidly while also keeping default risk low. </p> <p>If you've been approved for a SoFi loan, it means you'll likely qualify for most of the other top quality credit offers, such as 0% credit cards and private banking products at a major bank. </p> <p>Before choosing a product, you should keep in mind that a SoFi personal loan is a term loan and not a line of credit, which means you'll pay equal monthly principal and interest payments on the total loan balance even if you don’t use the money.  Therefore, if you just want to have immediate access to credit in the event of an unforeseen expense, or if you pay your credit card balance in full each month, then a premium credit card with rewards or a bank line of credit might be a better fit.   </p> <p>However, if you have a major expense coming up such as a home improvement project, a personal business expense, or a major life event like a wedding, or vacation, then SoFi is your best option. </p> <p>SoFi offers lower interest rates than most banks and credit card companies, and will lend you up to $100,000, which is more than most online lenders.  In addition, you will have a set repayment schedule and a wealth of personalized benefits at your disposal.  </p> <p> </p> <h2>SoFi personal loans at a glance: </h2> <ul><li> <strong>Loan Amounts &amp; APRs:  </strong> SoFi offers loans of <strong>$5,000 - $100,000</strong> with fixed APRs between <strong>5.49% and 14.24%</strong> that charge equal monthly payments over a <strong>3</strong> to <strong>7</strong> years  </li> <li> <strong>Loan Uses: </strong>Pay off credit card debt, home improvement project, or major life event (wedding, moving, medical, etc.)</li> <li> <strong>Fees &amp; Fine Print:  </strong>Follows through on transparency and common-sense pricing by not charging any origination fees, payment processing fees, or most importantly, prepayment fees.  Charge a late payment fee equal to the greater of $5 or 4% of missed monthly payment.  </li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><a class="borrowizeBtnYellow" href=";h=WYzYTViYzl" target="_blank">Apply for a SoFi Loan</a> </p> <p> </p> <h2>SoFi is a good fit for: </h2> <p>SoFi personal loans are a good fit for established borrowers with excellent credit, high earnings and limited debt obligations, or those with considerable liquid assets.</p> <p>The company also targets "HENRYs" (High Earners who are Not Rich Yet).  HENRYs tend to be recent graduates with an education from a top notch school with high salaries or who have strong future earning potential and solid job security.  </p> <p>While SoFi does not place a big emphasis on traditional credit scores, their average borrowers typically have FICOs of 750 or above and annual salaries greater than $100,000.  </p> <p><em><strong>SoFi is NOT a good fit for</strong></em> almost everyone else.  We want to emphasize that most people will NOT qualify for a SoFi loan.  If you saw their Super Bowl ad, you may recall the ending line: “Find out if you’re great at… <strong><em>you’re probably not</em></strong>.”    </p> <p> </p> <h2>SoFi Company Snapshot:  Not your typical financial institution... in a good way</h2> <p>SoFi, has big plans to shake up the personal finance sector and compete with large banks for coveted life-long clients.  Judging by their Super Bowl ad a few years ago, rapid growth, and continued run of success, they seem to have to the long-term game plan and resources to take on the challenge. </p> <p>SoFi got its start as a student loan refinance company catering to young, up-and-coming high-earners with post-graduate degrees.  Over the last couple of years, they expanded beyond student refinance loans to personal loans, mortgages, wealth management, and insurance products. </p> <p>In an effort to offer more traditional bank products, they recently acquired Zenbanx, which will add deposits, online savings accounts, and ATM cards to their suite of products.   Their vision is to become the anti-bank alternative.  </p> <p> </p> <h2>SoFi is unique because it makes clients feel like they're part of an elite club</h2> <p>SoFi claims to be much more than a lender, and in fact, it is.  They realize that to attract their target customers – most of whom are millennials with a negative opinion of financial services companies – they have to offer additional, long-lasting value.   As such, SoFi not only emphasizes affordable products but also positions itself as a financial partner.  </p> <p>SoFi’s customers have access to unique perks such as networking events, career training, wealth management advice, entrepreneurial programs, and other benefits.  If you happen to lose your job, SoFi’s unemployment protection will pause your monthly payments, and the career strategy team will help you get back on your feet.  </p> <p> </p> <h2>How to Apply for a SoFi Loan: </h2> <p>Start your application process with SoFi by first <a href=";h=WYzYTViYzl" target="_blank">checking to see if you qualify using their online rate checker</a>.  Doing this will only take you a couple of minutes and require you to create a user profile and enter a few personal details such as education, employment status and income.  SoFi performs a "soft" credit check, which means that getting a pre-qualified rate NOT affect your credit score.  </p> <p>If you're approved, then congratulations!  From there, the SoFi application process is straightforward and can be done entirely online in about 15-30 minutes.  First, SoFi will present you with one or more loan offers depending on your financial background, and typically include a fixed and variable rate option, as well as different repayment terms.  </p> <p>After you select the best loan option for you, you will be asked to complete the application process and verify certain personal information, at which point they will also perform a "hard" pull, which can negatively impact your credit score.  To do so, you will need the following:</p> <ul><li>  Drivers license</li> <li> ​ Recent pay stubs</li> <li>  Bank account information </li> <li>  List of assets and liabilities</li> </ul> <p>Once your application has been verified, you can review and sign the final loan agreement electronically, and your funds should be deposited between 4 and 7 business days.    </p> <p><a class="borrowizeBtnYellow" href=";h=WYzYTViYzl" target="_blank">Apply for a SoFi Loan</a></p> <p> </p> Personal Loans Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:00:00 -0800 How to Be Prepared for An Emergency Life Expense - 1 in 4 Americans Are Not <p>One-in-four Americans are not prepared for an emergency life expense...</p> <p>Earlier this year, I had one of those dreaded unexpected life events that threw my finances out of whack. I got into a minor fender bender and let’s just say that my Prius didn’t fair as well against the SUV/tank that I collided with. While insurance was there to help, I still had to pay my hefty deducible. </p> <p>A recent survey, released by <a href=""></a>, found that 1 in 4 Americans are not prepared for a similar unplanned life expense because they don’t have any emergency funds saved. Additionally, more than two-thirds are short on savings.</p> <p>Experts recommend having enough savings to cover expenses for three to six months to act as a cushion to cover anything from a hospital bill, home repair, emergency travel, to car repair or replacement.</p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:1000px; width:1091px"></p> <ol><li> <strong><span style="font-size:16px">The best and most obvious way to prepare for unexpected expenses is to <u>save more money</u>.</span></strong> <p>A good way to start is by setting up a direct deposit to your savings account every month. You can start with a small amount and increase the amount over time. Make sure you take a look at your budget first and set a realistic goal for what you can manage to direct to your savings each month, after all your monthly expenses are accounted for.</p> </li> <li> <strong><span style="font-size:16px">Make and stick to a <u>budget</u>.</span></strong> <p>You can try to create your own budget with an excel sheet or by using the old "cash-in-envelope method," or you can use other third party tools like <a href="">Mint</a> to help manage and budget your spending. </p> </li> <li> <strong><span style="font-size:16px">You could also look into a <u>Roth IRA</u> or a <u>Health Savings Account (HSA)</u>.</span></strong> <p>A Roth IRA is a type of retirement account where you set aside post-tax income, which can also be deducted on your income tax return. The Roth IRA allows early withdrawls (before your reach 59 and a half), income tax and penalty free, for specified financial needs.</p> <p>An HSA is a medical savings account available to taxpayers who are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). The funds contributed to an account are not subject to federal income tax at the time of deposit and can be withdrawn without tax liability or penalty to pay for certain medical expenses. </p> </li> <li> <strong><span style="font-size:16px">Another way to build savings fast is to <u>increase your income</u>.</span></strong> <p>Aside from the obvious - get a new, higher paying job, there are plenty of alternative ways you can <a href="">make extra money</a><a href=""> </a>to help build your safety net.</p> </li> </ol> <p>The reality is that many people will end up putting this expense on a credit card, many of which charge extremely high interest rates (15-22%) each month, if you are unable to pay the balance down at the end of the month.</p> <p>Instead of using a credit card, you may want to look into taking out a small <a href="">personal loan</a>, to either pay for the expense directly or to pay off the credit card debt that you already accrued. The right <a href="">personal loan</a> can often offer a much more favorable interest rate than a credit card. For some useful tips, read: <a href="">Four Tips that Will Help You Find the Right Personal Loan</a>.</p> <p>Many people, young adults in particular, have a “worry about it later” type attitude about personal finances and financial security. However, every financial decision can have a lasting impact, so knowing your options is essential to your long-term financial success.</p> Personal Loans Thu, 09 Nov 2017 12:00:00 -0800 Payoff Personal Loan Review <p>Payoff is a great loan option for people who want to get rid of credit card debt</p> <h2>Borrowize's Take:  Payoff is a perfect loan if you're serious about becoming debt free​</h2> <p>We recommend Payoff if your goal is to eliminate or consolidate your existing high interest loans or credit card debt.  While their APRs are not the lowest in the industry, their loans are a still a smart and cost-effective alternative to expensive credit card debt.   </p> <p>Payoff also offers unique tools and proprietary financial education resources to help you manage your debt and develop the right habits to make smart financial decisions. </p> <p>There are plenty of online lenders that claim to be different, but Payoff actually delivers.  Payoff is committed to taking a consumer-advocacy approach to lending, starting with their aversion to further indebting borrowers, to their affordable loan APRs, to their flexible qualifying criteria and payment options, and finally to their Payoff® Life community.</p> <p> </p> <h2>Payoff Personal Loans at a Glance: </h2> <ul><li> <strong>Loan Amounts &amp; APRs:  </strong> Payoff offers loans of <strong>$5,000 - $35,000</strong> with fixed APRs between <strong>8.00% and 22.00%</strong> that charge equal monthly payments over a 2 to 5 year period.  </li> <li> <strong>Loan Uses: </strong>Strictly for debt consolidation</li> <li> <strong>Fees &amp; Fine Print:  </strong>Payoff charges all borrowers an origination fee between <strong>2.00% and 5.00%</strong>, which tends to be higher as the loan amount increases.  For example, if you borrow $10,000 with a 5% origination fee you will only receive $9,500 but you will still be charged interest and have to repay the full amount of $10,000.  Charging an origination fee is uncharacteristic for a lender that markets itself as a financial partner, particularly since there are other lenders such as SoFi and Lightstream that do not charge origination fees.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><a class="borrowizeBtnYellow" href=";utm_medium=p3&amp;=utm_campaign=1703_pac" target="_blank">Apply for a Payoff Loan</a></p> <p> </p> <h2>Payoff is a Good Fit For: </h2> <p>Payoff wants to help borrowers who have accumulated too much debt, yet have demonstrated an ability to make on-time payments.  Payoff does not place a big emphasis on traditional FICO scores, though their average borrowers generally have credit scores of 660 or higher.  </p> <p>While this means they are more accommodating than some of the prime or near-prime lenders, Payoff does require that the borrowers have at least 3 years of credit history and less than a 50% debt-to-income ratio, </p> <p><em><strong>Payoff is NOT a good fit for</strong></em> borrowers with limited to no credit history, which may end up excluding millennial borrowers who are new to the workforce and are more likely to carry credit card and/or student debt.  Additionally, Payoff will not approve borrowers with recent credit delinquencies, bankruptcies, or those that demonstrate a pattern of late or missed payments.  </p> <div> </div> <h2>Payoff Company Snapshot:  An Anti-Debt Lender... If There is Such a Thing</h2> <p>A lender that wants to eliminate debt sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, right?  Payoff’s singular focus is to help its customers become debt-free sooner (hence the name Payoff).  If you need money to go on vacation, pay for your wedding, or cover unforeseen expenses, you should apply elsewhere.  </p> <p>Payoff understands the tremendous long-term costs of being in a never-ending cycle of debt, which occurs when most of a borrower’s monthly payments go towards covering the interest while the principle owed barely decreases. </p> <p>In 2016, the average American family carried $8,377 in credit debt at an average APR of 15.99%.  Assuming they only make the minimum monthly payment, each family will end up paying $10,434 in interest and take more than 24 years to pay it off.  </p> <p>That’s why Payoff does not issue any new debt.  Any dollar you borrow from Payoff must be used to pay a dollar of existing debt.  In addition, their set loan terms mean that you will become debt free within two to five years as long as you make your monthly payments.</p> <h2> </h2> <h2>Payoff is Unique Because it is Invested in Your Financial Well-Being: </h2> <p>The Payoff Member Community offers borrowers unique perks such as free FICO score updates, job loss support, and “Member Advocates” that offer ongoing support and guidance on how to improve your financial outlook and achieve long-term financial goals. </p> <p>If you miss a payment, a Payoff Member Advocate will work out a plan that may allow you to either defer, skip, or rescheduling your payment. </p> <p>Payoff’s innovative model extends beyond its unwillingness to further indebt borrowers.  In addition to lending industry veterans, Payoff’s founding group includes research and clinical psychologists, data scientists, neuroscientists, and technology experts.    They offer financial literacy, financial personality quizzes, a user community, and other free resources to help change the way people spend, save, and think about money.  </p> <p> </p> <h2>How to Apply for a Payoff Loan: </h2> <p>The Payoff application process is <strong><a href=";utm_medium=p3&amp;=utm_campaign=1703_pac" target="_blank">simple, highly transparent, and can be completed online in only a few minutes</a></strong>.  If you’re undecided and want to first estimate your rate, you can do so by answering a few questions.  Payoff conducts a soft-credit pull for rate estimates, which means that your credit score will not be impacted.</p> <p>If you decide to move forward, the detailed application process, or a company representative if you prefer, will walk you through the loan options, contract information, and any additional information required to verify that you qualify for the loan.   Funds are generally deposited directly into your bank account within 1 to 7 days, at which point you will be set up on their platform to manage your loan going forward.  </p> <p><a class="borrowizeBtnYellow" href=";utm_medium=p3&amp;=utm_campaign=1703_pac" target="_blank">Apply for a Payoff Loan</a></p> Personal Loans Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0800 From the Founders - Welcome to Borrowize! <p>Borrowize eliminates the stress and confusion that comes with finding the right loan - Quickly find, compare, and apply for top quality loans in minutes...</p> <blockquote> <h2><strong>“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin</strong></h2> </blockquote> <p>Borrowize is a consumer finance platform dedicated to helping people save money by making educated borrowing decisions.   We are a husband and wife team, Federico and Brianna Douzoglou, who used our years of experience in finance and law to create a more common-sense approach to borrowing, after spending countless hours researching lenders and working through our own repayment schedule and options. </p> <p>We understand that finding the right loan can be a stressful process, oftentimes leaving you with more questions than answers. How do I make sure the lender is reputable? How much should I ask for? How do I know there isn’t a better deal out there? Will I be able to pay this back? Etc.</p> <p>Borrowize connects borrowers to a vetted network of trustworthy, innovative, and non-predatory personal and student lending partners to help users borrow wisely. At your fingertips is our loan comparison feature, suite of free personal and student loan calculators, our proprietary “WizeScore” lender rating system, educational guides, as well as our expert tips and reviews.</p> <p>“When I graduated law school, I realized that I was not prepared to tackle the complexity of understanding and managing my student debt, and that a majority of my friends felt the same way,” says Brianna Douzoglou, who refinanced her own student debt through the website, saving her almost $15,000 in interest.</p> <p>“Millions of Americans rely on personal loans each year to cover unforeseen expenses, or on student loans to pursue a higher education,” says Federico Douzoglou.  “Unfortunately, too many of those borrowers end up with harmful, predatory, high-cost loans, often because they simply don’t know their options or because the recent recession’s lingering impact has made it increasingly difficult for regular, hard-working, middle-class American consumers to qualify for traditional bank loans.”  Borrowize aims to be the go-to resource for trustworthy loan alternatives and hopes that by also offering practical financial education and resources, borrowers will be able to make smarter borrowing decisions, with peace of mind.</p> <p>We are very proud of what we created and can’t wait to make a positive impact on people’s financial well-being. If you would like to receive information directly, please sign up for our newsletter and/or follow us on Twitter <a href="">@borrowizeDOTcom</a>.</p> <p>We are always looking for additional voices, so please reach out if you’d like to share your insight via one of our personal blog posts. We are excited to meet and work with you as we strive to build a network of responsible and knowledgeable borrowers.</p> Announcements Fri, 03 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Where do the Top 5 Presidential Candidates Stand on Student Debt? <p>Our comprehensive guide to the different student debt plans of the top 2016 presidential candidates...</p> <p>The 2016 Presidential elections are getting into full swing, with the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries only a couple of weeks away.  So we thought, why not join the election coverage party?  </p> <p>Over the next two weeks, we are publishing a 3 part guide to the top 5 presidential candidates' (based on RealClearPolitics polling) stance on issues we care about deeply on the Borrowize blog: student debt, online lending and consumer protection, and small business growth.  </p> <p>Borrowize is not politically affiliated, so none of our coverage should be interpreted as endorsing or supporting any of the candidates.   Think of this as the cliff notes to the various policies and opinions of each of the candidates.  </p> <p>Part 1 of 3 covers student debt and the cost of higher education.  As of right now, there is an estimated $1.3 trillion in student debt outstanding, which is more than all American credit card debt combined.  Not only that, but the problem will continue to get worse as the cost of higher education sky-rockets and graduates continue to struggle to find employment.  </p> <p>This is a major issue for millions of Americans and a topic that will likely get a lot of attention.  Here are the top 5 candidates' plans on combating student debt (in order of general election polling):</p> <h2>Hillary Clinton:   </h2> <p>Last fall, Hillary Clinton unveiled a plan called the New College Compact, which would allocate $350 billion over the next 10 years to make college affordable for all Americans.  The plan is highly ambitious, but can be summarized into three sections:</p> <ul><li>Make public colleges debt-free</li> <li>Cut interest rates for people struggling with student debt</li> <li>Expand existing financial aids to cover more people</li> </ul> <p>The plan borrows a lot of the ideas from Elizabeth Warren’s <a href="" target="_blank">Student Emergency Loan Refinancing Act</a>, which was shot down by the Senate, but instead of funding it through a tax increase on the wealthy, it would rely on capping tax deductions. </p> <p>Mrs. Clinton’s proposal combines cost cutting measures that would impact tuition costs for future generations with relief programs for recent graduates with existing debt. </p> <p>To address the sky-rocketing cost of higher education, Mrs. Clinton would provide states with a total of $175 billion in grants to lower the cost of education and increase oversight of public university spending. </p> <p>As for the $1.3 trillion of existing debt, Mrs. Clinton’s plan would make it easier for students to refinance loans at a lower rate, eliminate the for-profit model of federal loans, and create a flexible income-based repayment program.</p> <h3 style="color:#aaa; font-style:italic"><span style="font-size:18px"><a href="">Have Student Debt?  10 Ways to Pay it Off and Save Money</a></span></h3> <h2>Donald Trump:</h2> <p>Donald Trump has promised to make a “big announcement” on how to tackle student loans, but until now has not given many specifics.  As such, we are forced to rely on conversations with reporters and comments during campaign rallies to get a better idea of his plan to tackle the student debt crisis.  </p> <p>During an interview with <a href="" target="_blank"></a> last year, Mr. Trump signaled that he might take a more liberal approach to the student debt crisis, insinuating that he would continue to promote the loan forgiveness programs.  </p> <p>Mr. Trump pointed to the bigger issue that is tuition costs, acknowledging that the reason college costs are out of control is because students can borrow money from the federal government.  He does not think the government should be making money off of student loans, and said “student loans are probably one of the only things the government shouldn't make money off – I think it’s terrible that one of the only profit centers we have is student loans”</p> <p>However, most of his implied solutions come back to job growth, arguing that his focus and ability to improve the employment prospects of graduating students will go a long way in solving the student debt crisis. </p> <h3 style="color:#aaa; font-style:italic"><span style="font-size:18px"><a href="" target="_blank">Find Out How Refinancing Your Student Loans Can Save You Thousands in Interest</a></span></h3> <h2>Bernie Sanders:</h2> <p>Free public college tuition for all!  No, really, that’s what Bernie Sanders proposes in his plan.  Under Mr. Sanders’ College for All Act, the federal government would cover 67 percent of the costs, while states would account for the remaining 33 percent. </p> <p>While that is the most headline-grabbing part of his plan, there are other features that are equally ambitious and beneficial for graduates with existing debt.  For example, student loan rates (presumably those for non-tuition related expenses) would be reduced to 2.32 percent, and existing borrowers would have the ability to refinance their loans based on current interest rates (though those are set to increase).</p> <p>How would the government pay for the roughly $70 billion in public tuition a year? </p> <p>Mr. Sanders would put in place a Robin Hood tax on Wall Street, which would place a 0.5 percent tax on most stock transactions, and a lesser one on bond and derivative trades.  This is not as radical as most thing.  In fact, a similar tax is already in effect in more than 40 countries, including Britain, Germany, Switzerland and China, and is estimated to raise about $300 billion per year. </p> <h3 style="color:rgb(170, 170, 170); font-style:italic"><span style="font-size:18px"><a href="" target="_blank">Do You Trust Your Federal Student Loan Provider?</a></span></h3> <h2>Ted Cruz:</h2> <p>Ted Cruz recently told a crowd of Liberty University students that he took $100k in student loans, and that he only just recently paid it off.  I’m sure this means he can relate to the pain that more than 43 million Americans are facing, but does it mean that he will make it easier for students to pay their loans off?  Let’s examine. </p> <p>In general, there has been little specifics disclosed on how Mr. Cruz would address the $1T+ student debt issue, but his broader stance on government involvement and spending suggests he would aim to cut some of the existing programs that benefit student borrowers.  For example, he wants to shut down the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Education.</p> <p>In the absence of a dedicated student debt plan, or any substantial comments on the issue, we took a look at his history in the Senate on policies tied to the student debt crisis.  </p> <p>Mr. Cruz voted in favor of Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which capped student loan interest rates and fixed them for life.  He also voted against Elizabeth Warren’s Student Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow 25 millions of student borrowers to refinance existing loans at lower rates by raising taxes on people earning between $1 million and $2 million a year. However, that bill never gained much traction and has since been abandoned.  </p> <h2>Marco Rubio:</h2> <p>Marco Rubio’s plan to fix the student debt crisis focuses on addressing the high cost of education.  Mr. Rubio unveiled his plan for reforming higher education on September of 2015, and it is highlighted by a few key reform ideas. </p> <p>First, transform the accreditation process.  Granting access to low-cost, innovative higher education providers will increase competition and drive down the cost of obtaining a high-class degree. </p> <p>In addition, the plan calls for career and vocational education to be more widespread, allowing high school students to graduate with a certification to instantly enter a good-paying career.</p> <p>With regards to paying for the education, Mr. Rubio’s plan calls for financial aid programs for working students to attend school at night, on weekends, or online. </p> <p>For those paying off sizeable student loans, his plan calls for loan repayment to be tied to each graduate’s income, enabling those who earn more to pay back their loans faster, and those with lower incomes to make smaller payments over a longer period.</p> <p>------------------</p> <h2>Other articles that may interest you: </h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><span style="font-size:18px">Does Being Young Make You a Risky Borrower?</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-size:18px"><a href="" target="_blank">3 Scenarios Where it Makes Sense to Refinance</a></span></p> Student Loans & Debt Thu, 21 Jan 2016 00:00:00 -0800 Six Tips to Get the Financial Stress of the Holidays Under Control <p>Holidays are meant for celebrating with family, not stressing over shopping debt</p> <p>This time of year can be so much fun, as we celebrate the holidays with family members and reflect on the year that was. </p> <p>For many, it can also be a stressful time, as they try to manage the extra expenses that come with all of the celebrations.  </p> <p>A recent survey conducted by <a href="" target="_blank">LendingTree</a> discovered that 25% of Americans struggled to pay off subsequent debt from holiday shopping. The problem might result from the fact that more than 50% of Americans don't plan on creating a budget this year.</p> <p>Last year, 41% of Americans admitted they had some financial regret related to spending after the holiday season.  Though it's easy to get wrapped up in the giving mood of the holiday season, it is important to think about your finances ahead of time so that you won’t have regrets or end up in any unwanted financial trouble.</p> <p>As the Holiday season approaches, we wanted to share our tips on how to keep the financial stress to a minimum so that you can focus on the celebrating with loved ones.  </p> <h2>1.  Make a Budget &amp; Stick to It</h2> <p>Be realistic and think about what your obligations are over the holiday season. Also, know who you plan on buying gifts for, set a number that you feel comfortable spending, and then stick to it.</p> <p>This means cutting down on the number of people you buy gifts for. For example, not every person at your office needs a gift, nor do they expect it.  Secret Santa exchanges are great not only for offices but also for big families.  </p> <p>For the friends and family who were naughty this year, a little bit of coal will cost you a couple of dollars at most <img alt="wink" src="" style="height:23px; width:23px" title="wink"></p> <p><img alt="" src="" style="height:75%; width:75%"></p> <h2>2.  Don't Procrastinate</h2> <p>Do you have to travel? If so, plan early and ensure you get better pricing on flights and other travel related expenses.</p> <p>Planning early goes for shopping expenses as well. Not only can you get better deals by starting your search earlier, but you will have time to price compare.</p> <p>According to the LendingTree Survey, of those with holiday spending regrets, the most significant was shopping procrastination  (38.3%), followed by not comparison shopping (27.0%)</p> <h2>3.  Find Ways to Save Over the Next Few Months</h2> <p>Can you manage without your fancy morning latte and instead make a cup at home before work? The little things can really add up!</p> <p>The more you can lower your normal monthly spending between November and January, the better off you'll be when those added holiday costs hit you.</p> <h2>4.  Become a Coupon Collector</h2> <h2><img alt="" src="" style="height:100%; width:100%"> </h2> <p>We all do it – we toss out hundreds of coupons every month that come through our mailbox, whether that be your physical mailbox or your virtual one.</p> <p>Take a closer look at the coupons you receive over the next few weeks, and see how they can help lower your holiday expenses.  If you're an avid online shopper, take advantage of <a href=";utm_expid=66866090-67.e9PWeE2DSnKObFD7vNEoqg.2&amp;" target="_blank">websites</a> that offer great deals.  </p> <h2>5.  Personalized Over Pricey</h2> <p>Spend some time thinking about what your friends and family really want or need this holiday season. Sometimes a thoughtful and personalized gift that tells your loved one that you’ve been paying attention is much more appreciated than that fancy and pricey gift.</p> <p>For example, if your sister recently got into cooking, buy her your favorite kitchen must-have, with a little box of your favorite recipes typed out or copied from your collection.</p> <h2>6. If You Need to Borrow Money, Borrow Wisely</h2> <p>Are you racking up credit card debt to pay for your shopping list? Average credit cards can carry APRs of 18% to as high as 25%.  Some of the most expensive cards are the ones offered by the stores themselves, which come with high fees and APRs.  </p> <p>Be careful not to get drawn in by the side deals the stores offer you in exchange for opening up a card with them, such as 10% off your purchase or the promise of future rewards.  </p> <p>Instead, think about refinancing your credit card debt with a lower interest <strong><a href="">personal loan</a></strong> or looking into a new credit card that offers 0% APR for the first year that you can use for new purchase or for a balance transfer.  A low interest rate loan will cut your interest payments and put you on the path to eliminating your debt quickly.  </p> <p>In the end, just remember to relax and enjoy the holiday season.  You don't have to let your finances rule you. </p> Miscellaneous Mon, 23 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Surprise: Study Funded by Payday Lenders Claims Payday Loans Aren’t Bad <p>Payday lending industry pushes biased research to claim payday lenders aren't bad for consumers...</p> <p>The payday lending industry is under significant pressure from regulators and consumer advocacy groups for pushing predatory loans to financially vulnerable consumers.  Payday loans have interest rates from 350% - 600% and only 15% of all payday loan borrowers repay on time. </p> <p>Since the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the push to bring meaningful change to the industry has gained a lot of momentum. </p> <p>With their backs against the wall, the payday lending industry lobby have cited “academic studies” that attempt to prove that payday lending is a viable and responsible form of lending and that it does not in fact create a cycle of debt for its borrowers. </p> <p>One of the more cited reports is called <a href="" target="_blank">“Do Payday Loans Trap Consumers in a Cycle of Debt?”</a> and was conducted by a business professor at Arkansas Tech University.  While the report discloses that it was funded by pro-industry groups, it assures readers that the industry “exercised no control over the research or the editorial content of this paper.” </p> <h2>Not true.</h2> <p>According to the watchdog group Campaign for Accountability and the Huffington Post, the payday lending industry had tremendous influence over the message and conclusion of the entire report. </p> <p>To start, the industry paid the author at least $39,912 dollars to write the paper, as well as an undisclosed amount to his research partner. </p> <p>Their involvement didn’t stop there.  Emails show Hilary Miller, the president of the Payday Loan Bar Association, a lawyers’ group for the industry, as well as president of the pro-industry group Consumer Credit Research Foundation, requesting multiple wording changes to sections of the report and omissions of findings that were not favorable to the industry. </p> <p>However, the most shocking part of the investigation came in the form of a quote from Mr. Miller himself, writing in an email that “In practice, consumers mostly either roll over or default; very few actually repay their loans in cash on the due date (which you know).” </p> <p>This quote perfectly sums up the horrible nature of payday loans, and the fact that it came from one of the industry’s top representatives makes it that much worse.  </p> <p>It goes to show you that payday lenders are well aware of the negative impact their loans have on consumers, and their only way to cover it up is to fund biased academic studies.</p> <p>----------------------</p> <p><strong>For great alternatives to payday loans, visit our <a href="">personal loan search</a> to get connected to our network of responsible and transparent lenders</strong>.  </p> <h2>Other Borrowize articles you might be interested in: </h2> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Could Lawmakers be Doing More to Protect you From Online Predatory Lenders?</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Our Go-To Checklist When Applying for an Online Loan</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Does Being Young Make You a Risky Borrower</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="">Four Tips that Will Help You Find the Right Personal Loan</a></strong></p> <p> </p> Alternative Loans Mon, 02 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0800