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Getting a Car

Blog December 7, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Used Buying a used car is appealing to many people. Used cars are less expensive up-front, and they have the added benefit of not depreciating instantly (more on that later). Because you're buying a used car and saving sometimes up to 25-30%, you can usually afford to buy a higher class of car than…

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Credit Scores

Blog November 30, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Sources of Data Credit scores are the result of a compilation of several different sources of data that are available in your credit report. That data falls into four distinct categories, which are listed in order of how much weight they usually have in informing your score: Payment historyAmounts…

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Blog November 23, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Rates When banks discuss interest rates for their savings accounts, they’ll tell you both the nominal rate and the annual percentage yield (APY). The nominal, or named rate, is the rate they pay. The APY is what you earn in a year expressed as a percentage of your principal. For example, if you dep…

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Using Credit

Blog November 16, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Paying it Back Let’s be clear right from the beginning: when you pay for something with credit, you’re still on the hook for that money. Often, you’ll have to pay back even more because of interest. The type of credit you use and the specifics of the agreement will determine how much interest you’l…

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Health Savings Accounts

Blog November 5, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

While an HSA resembles a flexible spending account (FSA), which your employer may offer as part of your benefits package, there are some major differences as well. For example, the money in your HSA can be rolled over from year to year, which isn't the case with an FSA. If you change jobs, you can…

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Repaying Student Loans

Blog November 1, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Amazing Grace The government does you one favor. You don't get your first bill along with your diploma. You've got a six-month grace period on Stafford loans and nine months with Perkins loans from the date you graduate or are no longer enrolled at least half-time until your first loan payment is…

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Debit Cards: A College Student's Best Bet

Blog October 25, 2021 by Rechelle Ringer

Debit Card Benefits For ease of use, debit cards can’t be beat. You don’t have to worry about keeping cash in your wallet, and there’s always a record of how much you spent, and where, on your bank statement. They’re accepted almost everywhere, in large part because most cards are part of either th…

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College Budget Breakdown

Blog October 18, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Breaking down college expenses is the first step in creating an accurate and successful budget. Each collegiate expense can be put into the category of either fixed or variable. After some practice, it’s easy enough to spot the difference: Fixed Expenses are recurring costs that can rarely be chang…

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Filling Out the FAFSA

Blog October 11, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Get Your Documents Together The FAFSA application requires you to prove your family’s financial situation, so make sure you have all of the documents you need before you start the application. That way, you won’t have to stop, start, and track down last year’s tax returns. Here’s what you should ha…

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The Cost of College Life

Blog October 4, 2021 by Idea Vault Blog

Starting Out Typical start-up costs include a lot of different things, but a good place to start is school supplies—consider the following: Laptop or tabletTextbooksClass, lab, and studio feesGeneral school supplies like notebooks and pencils. Consider these purchases if you're moving into a dorm…

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