Archive for June, 2011

Student Loans 101: Paying off Debt

Posted on June 28, 2011 by Saldutti

You’ve graduated. Congratulations! Now what about those student loans? The average graduate this year has $24,000 in loans – but many have nearly $75,000. Don’t even think of leaving campus until you’ve had a meeting at the financial aid office. This “exit counseling” for federal student loans is a requirement — and failure to go through the process could hold up your diploma or transcripts. So don’t procrastinate when it comes to dealing with your student loans. Remember, it is your responsibility to stay in contact with your student loan servicing agency or lending company. When you move, keep your…

Retirement at Age 80?

Posted on June 22, 2011 by Saldutti

Americans better get used to working longer, even until they are 80 years old, according to a study by the Employee Research Benefit Institute (via Robert Powell at MarketWatch).  Naturally, those with lower incomes will need to work longer. Here’s how it breaks down (via MarketWatch): • If you make around $11,700 a year – you have to work to age 84 to have a 50% chance of affording retirement. • If you make between $11,700-$31,200 a year – you have to work to age 76 to have a 50% chance affording retirement • If you make between $31,200-$72,500 a year – you have…

What's It Worth?

Posted on June 14, 2011 by Saldutti

The Monetary Value Of A Happy Marriage Economists David Blanchflower and Andrew Oswald calculated the “compensation value” of life events like employment and marriage by surveying 100,000 Americans and Britons from the 1970s to the 1990s.  In terms of happiness, they found that marriage was worth an impressive $100,000 annually.  Meanwhile the psychological value of employment is worth $60,000 annually.  New York Times columnist David Brooks mentioned this study in his new book, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement. But he went a step further: People vastly overvalue work, money, and real estate. They vastly…

5 Uncommon Ways to Raise Your Credit Score

Posted on June 07, 2011 by Saldutti

Most consumers know the drill when cultivating their credit score – pay on time, try to wipe out the balance every month and never close too many accounts at once.  But beyond the basics, many consumers are still in the dark about what makes their credit scores go up and down.  Consumers understand that the credit utilization ratio – the total amount of revolving credit someone uses in a month, compared to the amount of available credit they have – is a major factor in calculating a score.  But did you know that it’s often calculated from the total on…