Financing 101

If you're spending your precious time and money, don't you deserve a great outcome?

HOT TOPICS - NOVEMBER 2018

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More than 44 million Americans have some form of student loan debt, and the national student loan debt toll is over $1.5 trillion — and climbing. With so many people in debt, it is perhaps unsurprising that a number of borrowers are faced with difficulty in paying off their student loans.

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Oftentimes, immigrants assume they are ineligible for student loans, but there are loan programs and options available specifically for international students and immigrants who are on student visas.

Immigrants may need to meet higher requirements or take extra steps to get a loan, though, so it’s important to understand the proper steps to take and what the best options are. This article has all the information you need on how to get a student loan as an immigrant.

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Whether you're in-between jobs, traveling, or still searching for the perfect career opportunity, continuing to make on-time student loan payments can seem like a burden. Thankfully there are many options available to help you manage your payments while you're not getting a paycheck.

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The Four Best Budgeting Apps of 2018

If I told you ten years ago that yesterday I was able to order my lunch, ride a scooter, refill a prescription, and schedule an oil change - ALL from my phone - would you believe me?

More and more people are joining the technology bandwagon, using apps for just about every day-to-day task you can think of. The power of financial health and responsibility is gaining momentum, and managing money and budgeting is easier than ever with programs available at your fingertips. Here are the top-rated apps that Skills Fund recommends.

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Top Student Loan Scams

You've done the hard work of getting enrolled into a program and taken the first steps towards changing your future. Financing should be the least of your worries - but unfortunately, there are people who want to profit off of you.

Recently, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued multiple warnings about student loan scams where students are being taken advantage of with the promise of having their student loans drastically reduced or forgiven altogether. If something seems like it's too good to be true - it probably is. We've created a guide to how you can...

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How to Budget While Paying Off Student Loans

You're trying to pay back your student loans, but you're still trying to live your life. We get it.

Let's face it: having a portion of your paycheck every month go towards your student loans can put a bit of a damper on your mood. But there are ways to make repayments on your student loan while still being able to enjoy things that cost money - as long as you budget responsibly. It's true - let us prove it to you with three simple ideas.

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Private versus Federal Student Loans

The decision between a private and public student loan should be a fully informed one. It's important for borrowers, no matter their age, educational background, or lending experience, to have full insight into where they are obtaining debt.

Public (Federal) and Private student loans are both a key element to affording school or college, but both options have different details that need to be understood before you click that "apply" button.

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Skills Fund stands out from the rest when it comes to our financing for a multitude of reasons, including our clear-cut financing (our loan calculator displays our rates for all to see), and our students-first mission (we won't partner with schools that don't offer a Return on Education).

Another way we've changed the game is with our unique offering of additional expense financing, to help...

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At Skills Fund, we're on a mission to connect as many students as possible with funding for an education that will help them change their life. Student lending can sometimes be smoke-and-mirrors - and that's not fair to any student. We want you to be completely informed during every step of the process, because this is about your future. We've created a step-by-step guide to exactly what happens when you apply for Skills Fund financing. Check it out!

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Knowing your credit score is important to maintaining financial health and awareness. It's recommended that you pull your credit score at least once per year to check for any changes or errors. But it's not as easy as it seems: it's a wealth of information on 5+ pages - and it can be difficult to digest unless you have a guide.

We're on a mission to empower students with financial clarity. Let us be your guide to understanding how to read your credit report.

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More and more students are changing their lives every day by skilling up at an accelerated learning program. Leaving your job (and your paycheck) behind is daunting, but it's also extremely rewarding. In those few months where money will be tight, it's a great idea to practice these five money-saving tips.

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How much is a transformative education worth? With an average tuition of $11,400, bootcamp courses are surely an investment. Those funds pay for all of the technology, curriculum and instructors who will guide you to a new career. But what exactly does that money go towards?

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If you've ever looked into borrowing money or applying for a credit card, one of the most confusing numbers that will pop up is the Annual Percentage Rate, or APR.

What does this number signify, and what is the calculation that goes into it?

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Historically, others have made student loans complicated. You're thrown into a whirlwind of paperwork, hazy statistics, and confusing words. After the dust settles, you're still not sure what you signed up for, who you're working with, or what extra fees will be involved with your financing. What's up with that?

As a student, you have a right to feel empowered about the steps you're taking towards your education and your career. Before taking out a student loan, take the time to familiarize yourself with the process and the terms you see most often.

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When it comes to money, it's hard to not live in a constant stressful state of mind. Where are you spending your money between paychecks? What happens if there's a sudden unexpected expense, and you have no backup plan?

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve, the average American household has $16,425 in credit card debt, and that number is growing rapidly each and every year.

Although you might feel underwater, you're in luck:...

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Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies in the USA, was hacked and over 140 million Americans had their entire credit history stolen, including Social Security Numbers, names, birth dates, addresses, drivers license numbers, any bankruptcies within the last seven years, and more.

So what happens next, and what do you need to do to protect yourself?

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For certain types of student loans, there is a phrase in which students are able to make interest-only payments (or no payments) after graduating and completing their program. This time is seen as a "grace period" where students can dedicate their time to securing a source of income prior to going into full repayment. This presents a great opportunity where financial commitment is somewhat postponed - but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be top-of-mind.

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If you're one of the 44.2 million Americans with student loan debt, you've probably thought about how you can better manage the amount you owe or the payments you need to make. Student loan refinancing gives students the ultimate weight-off-your-shoulders by lowering your interest rate and/or reducing your monthly payments.

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What's all the hype around ISAs?

Income Share Agreements (ISAs) have recently come to light as an alternative payment vehicle for various forms of higher ed (including coding and technology bootcamps). To put it simply, when you enter an Income Share Agreement with your school, you're agreeing to pay no or little tuition upfront, and in return, you're giving the school a big chunk of your paycheck after you've secured employment.

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"Money" and "Relax" never really show up together in the same sentence. Things can get tense, especially if you've taken out student loans. With the right combination of grit, organization, and prioritization, anyone can become relaxed about their money - just take these folks for example.

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You deserve to have your financial future in your hands - not someone else's. (After all - it's your future, and you should be empowered!) With that being said, often times lenders require borrowers with no credit or impaired credit scores to add a cosigner to their application. Why? Because lenders do not know whether or not you'll pay your debt if you have no history of on-time payments. Here are three tell-tale signs that might mean you need to add a cosigner to your loan application.

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Students who borrow money for their bootcamp tuition often times don't understand the pros and cons of their choices - because they're not fully informed about how to use their borrowed money efficiently. Skills Fund is all about making sure our borrowers are as financially literate and empowered as possible! We've gathered up a few tips: here's what you should avoid doing after you take out any type of loan.

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After you attend an immersive bootcamp, you're well on your way to a new job and career. That success might bring about a higher paycheck - but that doesn't mean you should spend it all in one place! Follow our after-bootcamp budgeting tips and discover the best way to manage your money - no matter how much you are making.

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Financial stability is one of the key factors to becoming a successful and career-minded individual. There is a multitude of options for personal financing, and it's important to weigh your options before you make any decision regarding taking out a loan or borrowing money. When you are applying for a loan, make sure you ask these questions. (Psst... if you're applying for a Skills Fund loan, we've answered these questions for you!)

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Determine a Budget When You're in a Bootcamp

When you're a student, you need to budget. Making minimal interest payments until after you've secured post-bootcamp employment is a great way of keeping your dollars in order, which is why Skills Fund loans for bootcamps are a student-friendly way to pay for your tuition. Jumping into an immersive education is exciting, but the prospect of moving to a student's budget might be a little scary. Balance your coding bootcamp budget and keep your finances in order with our tips & tricks.

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Building up your credit is one of the most important things you can do, regardless of your income or age. While you're in the search for your first credit card, be sure to ask these questions first.

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Five Surprising Things that Hurt Your Credit

Building and maintaining healthy credit opens up the door to many opportunities, including a lower cost of borrowing money, lower rental deposits, and smaller monthly payments when purchasing a car or home. While it takes awhile to build credit, it doesn't take long for your credit score to plummet. Here are five surprising things you could do to harm your...

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After you've made your decision to attend a training program and learn a new skill, you're well on your way to a new career. The only checkbox left unmarked is the part where you figure out how to pay the cost of tuition. Programs with a Skills Fund partnership have made it as easy as possible for students to pay the cost of their tuition through a loan with low monthly payments. We've outlined exactly what you need before moving forward and applying for a Skills Fund loan.

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You've taken an important stride towards altering your professional future; you have been accepted to a high-quality coding, data science, or entrepreneurial bootcamp. But what's the best way to pay for it?

Whether it’s your first time attending a coding, data science, UX/UI design, cybersecurity, or entrepreneurial bootcamp, or you’ve gone down this path before, leaving your job behind to dive into an immersive and intensive program takes financial gusto. Bootcamp tuition averages a ticket price of...

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the best budgeting apps of 2017

Sometimes, money stinks. You work hard to earn it, you can't seem to hold on to it, and you have to spend time keeping track of it. We're all on the same page. There are tons of mobile applications available to help you manage your budget and finances. We've narrowed down the best of the best.

Downloading the best budget app will help you save money, set aside money for upcoming rent and expenses, and ultimately avoid overdraft fees fines and late fees.

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The process of making on-time loan payments is one of the most important steps to becoming a knowledgeable and credit-worthy borrower. Everything we do at Skills Fund is students-first - so we've taken the extra step to outline how to make payments on your Skills Fund loan.

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So, you’ve gotten into a skills training program! Now you have to figure out how to pay for it. You’ve weighed the options – credit card? 401k? Payment plan? – and landed on Skills Fund. Congrats! Skills Fund is dedicated to enabling all students with clear-cut and easy financing, because money shouldn’t be an obstacle to keep you from getting a transformative education.

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The decision to attend a skills training program is a big one: what school should I go to? What languages or skills should I learn?...

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“How do I build my credit score?” is a question that we get asked all too often. Whether you’re looking to build credit for the first time, build your credit quickly, or fix your credit, there are a number of steps that you can take to get your score where it needs to be for the best financing terms.

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Before we get started on answering this question, let’s define what a credit score (a.k.a. FICO score) is. To put it simply, a credit score is a number that uses information from your credit report to indicate how likely you are to pay off your future debts.

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Skills Fund is committed to providing our partners with useful information about our lending programs. We've decided to provide our community with a collection of resources that will help bridge the gaps and eliminate complications.

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I’m ready to make a bet. At some point in your recent history, you and your credit score collided. Whether in applying for a credit card, seeking a federal student loan, purchasing a home, buying a car, or leasing an apartment, you’ve most likely had that sneaky little number influence your next step.

Anytime you seek out financing, someone will run...

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What's The Difference Between Interest Rate and APR?

APR vs. INTEREST RATE

What’s the difference? In a nutshell - transparency. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) provides you the full view of the total cost of your loan and includes your interest rate and relevant fees. The interest rate only includes the percentage you are charged to borrow money, and unlike APR, leaves out other finance charges incurred as part of the loan.

INTEREST RATE

Your interest rate is the base cost of borrowing money for the duration of your loan and is a percentage of the...

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