Author Archive: Secured Options

Tips on Building Good Credit

Credit Cards

Building a credit might seem like a mystic and obscure ritual that only a few of us are capable of performing through tremendous sacrifice. Of course, that’s misconception stems partly from ignorance and partly from laziness. Maybe you simply haven’t seen the necessary information written in everyday language and you don’t feel motivated enough to do the proper research while you’re occupied with your student life.

Here are different variables that are used when credit bureaus calculate credit scores and let you know what you can do to work on all of them as a laymen. To say it the simplest way, your credit score is a numerical representation of your financial history and the measure of your trustworthiness for potential lenders. We can debate whether it’s appropriate to use a single number to determine someone’s life and future, but that’s simply what happens every day.

First thing that is measured in your credit score is how diligent are you in paying your bills for the credit lines you have. The keyword here is, not surprisingly, credit. This means that having debit cards or paying your utility bills won’t help you, because you’re making payments using your own money not credit that some third party extended for you. A good way around this is deciding that you’ll pay for certain purchases, that you’d make anyway, such as gas or groceries, with your credit card, and then setting up automatic payments on your debit card to make sure you make credit card payments for the items you bought on time.

Length of credit history is something you can’t work on overnight. First credit card you open will usually have low limit and not too many perks, but ideally you should never cancel it. Having one card will increase your credit score a bit, which will allow you to acquire another one, preferably with better terms. The average age of all your open credit lines is taken into consideration, so it doesn’t make sense to keep applying for and then cancelling your … [Read the rest]

Why Credit Cards are Important

Many people never discover all options that are available with the right credit cards and they consider them to be unnecessary in their daily lives. Managing credit cards requires a certain level of financial responsibility and attention to detail, which might seem too difficult for many people. Some think that they have a debit card, so they don’t need a credit card.

First of all, having a credit card is one of the first requirements for building and maintaining a credit score. Of course, it’s not enough to simply possess a credit card; you need to use it regularly. The bank will notify credit bureaus of your credit card activity which will gradually build you a credit score. Insufficient credit score can stop you from getting loans or mortgages approved so you might not be able to make big purchases that you want. Most of us simply aren’t fortunate enough afford to make the most important purchases, such as a new house, in cash. It’s hard to raise such big amounts in such a short time. That’s why we must rely on loans, which are unattainable without a decent credit score. You should avoid applying for different credit cards and cancelling old ones every couple of months, because having your accounts open longer positively affects your credit score. The first credit card you’re able to get might not offer you many rewards or benefits, but you should keep it open as long as possible nevertheless.

Credit card allows you to go over your current budget. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should spend like there’s no tomorrow, but if you know your finances well you can make responsible purchases that will be repaid during your grace period in order to avoid paying interest. Use credit cards for moderate expenses, like gas, some piece of furniture or a kitchen appliance.

One of the major benefits of credit cards is that they’re universally acceptable. It’s not uncommon that you’re unable to book a hotel room or rent a car if … [Read the rest]

Landing a Scholarship: The Ideal Solution to Funding Higher Education


Most students know that scholarships are a great way to pay at least a part of the costs of higher education. We’ve created this list to remind you of many advantages that come with getting scholarships and to remind you why they’re superior to student loans. We hope you’ll stay motivated in your search for a great scholarship.

You’re Responsible for Making It Happen

Scholarships are extremely valuable for young students because they can be earned only through personal effort and hard work. You can use scholarships for assistance with educational expenses if you’re talented, driven and motivated. People and organizations that award scholarships provide incentive for young people to improve their work constantly.

When a scholarship is awarded to you, you see that the effort you’ve invested in bettering yourself was recognized and validated. It’s a great accomplishment for a young person to be successful enough to be chosen for a scholarship among many applicants. A sense of personal achievement can give you a great boost when you’ve just began with college.

If you receive a scholarship, you’ll want to renew it if it’s possible. Some scholarships are valid for all four years at the university; for instance, the Jackie Robinson Scholarship is offered over four years. At the end of the day, you’ll see that scholarships are a great way of relieving some of your financial troubles, and you’ll stay motivated to apply for new scholarships.

Receiving one scholarship will make you consider applying for many more, because you’ll see how useful they are. You’ll spend some time looking for new scholarships periodically in order to find some more you’re eligible for.

You won’t Have to Return the Money

Most of the scholarships come with no strings attached. While you might be asked to return the scholarship money in case you drop out of school, in general you’re free from any debts once you graduate. You’ll be able to start looking for a job debt-free if you’ve used scholarships instead of student loans. Even if you combined scholarships … [Read the rest]

The Difference between Student Loan Consolidation and Refinancing

Student Loan Refinance

The talk about student loan consolidation and refinancing has been confusing. Many newly graduated students want to know about options for the student loans they took. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably but we’ll define and explain them precisely here. Then you can decide are you going to consider one or the other and why.

Student loan consolidation Explained

The majority of students have already taken more than five separate student loans before they graduated, federal and/or private. They must keep track of multiple monthly payments with different interest rates for all of them. They might benefit from student loan consolidation, incorporating all these individual loans into a new one. The interest rate is usually calculated as the weighted average of interest rates of all your old loans. You can choose to consolidate all or just several of your loans.

Federal consolidation is possible only for federal loans, and private companies can consolidate both federal and private loans. It’s important to note that you lose certain privileges, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans, if you deal with federal loans through a private company. You mustn’t let go of them if you think you’re likely to need them.

Loan consolidation doesn’t help you save money on the long term, because your interest rates stay high. You might consider loan refinancing, where you’ll arrange different interest rate for a new loan. Consolidation is useful to help you never miss your payments and to simplify dealing with loans.

Is Student Loan Refinancing Different?

If you decide to refinance your student loans they will also be combined into a new loan, but with a different interest rate. This option is great for people who have stable jobs after graduation and a steady income, because their credit scores are better. If your credit score is better now, you present lower risk for refinancing companies and they can offer you better interest rates.

You can also choose to change your loan period, but if you prolong it too much, you’ll pay … [Read the rest]

Securing a Weird Scholarship

weird scholarships

If you’ve found an uncommon, non-standard or simply weird scholarship or grant that really captured your attention, you need to have a proper approach to the whole situation. If your desired scholarship seems weird to the general population, the last thing you want to do is to submit boring and generic application. We offer you some practical tips to keep in mind while you apply for weird scholarships.

Look for the Right Fit

Weird scholarships are awarded to smaller pool of students that possess a certain rare talent, share some uncommon passions or causes, or simply fit some other random criteria. If you want to apply for one of the weird scholarships, make sure you’re not mistaken about what they want. If you consider yourself to truly fulfill all of the requests for a weird scholarship and you’ve carefully studied all terms and conditions, proceed with your application. If you can’t comfortably say that you fit all criteria, wishful thinking won’t help you too much. It’s better to look for a better fit and save your energy for it.

Make Sure You Have a Strong Case

Anyone who decides to award a weird scholarship usually has a reason to do that, so you need to think how to use that to your advantage. Do some research about that organization and its previous winners, that can help you prepare yourself or even detect some potential suspicious activity. If a scholarship is awarded to students that have a specific hobby or interest, you’ll need to persuade the selection committee that you’ve been truly dedicated to it for as long as you can remember. If you need to write an essay for a scholarship related to animal welfare, for example, it’s better to write about how eye-opening working in an asylum was, than to write how you like puppies. It’s important that they understand that you are a worthy winner for their scholarship and not just someone who submits applications everywhere. The scholarship givers usually want to award people already interested in the … [Read the rest]