5 Secrets To Refinance Your Student Loans – Zack Friedman

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With interest rates rising, there’s no better time to refinance student loans.

Student loan refinancing enables to you combine your existing federal and private student loans into a new, single student loan with a lower interest rate. As a result, you can lower your monthly payment and save significantly on interest costs, which can help you pay off your student loans faster.

(You can see how much you can save through refinancing with this free student loan refinancing calculator).

Here are 5 secrets to get approved to refinance your student loans:

1. Have a strong credit score

Lenders want to refinance student loans for borrowers with a history of financial responsibility.

One way they measure financial responsibility is through your credit score (or its underlying components). To increase your credit score, make sure that you meet your financial obligations and have a history of on-time payments. Don’t skip any payments and minimize your total debt as well as your credit card utilization.

If you don’t have a strong credit score, the good news is you can apply with a qualified co-signer, which can increase your chances for approval.

Insider Tip: Aim for a credit score of 700 or higher. However, lenders will refinance student loans for borrowers with credit scores starting at about 680.

2. Have a strong income

In addition to a strong credit score, student loan lenders want to ensure that you have stable and recurring income to repay your student loans.

How do you know if you have enough income to get approved?

Review your monthly after-tax income. When you subtract your monthly student loan and other debt payments, does a sufficient amount of income remain for other essential living expenses?

Insider Tip: If you do not have sufficient income after making student loan payments, you can increase your chances for approval with a qualified co-signer who has a strong monthly income.

3. Have no or limited other debt

Student loan lenders will evaluate all your debt – not just your student loan debt.

If you have credit card debt, mortgage debt or auto debt, lenders will sum all your debt payments together to understand your total debt obligations each month. The lower your monthly debt payments relative to your income, the better.

Insider Tip: This free lump-sum extra payment calculator can show you how much money can save by paying off some of your debt with a one-time payment. Pay off some of your debt obligations before applying to refinance student loans.

4. Have a relatively small debt-to-income ratio

Student loan lenders are interested in the relationship between your monthly income and your monthly debt obligations, which is known as your debt-to-income ratio.

For example, if you have $10,000 of monthly income and $3,000 of monthly debt expenses, then your debt-to-income ratio is 30%.

Insider Tip: The lower your debt-to-income ratio, the better. You can improve your debt-to-income ratio by increasing income or decreasing debt (or both).

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5. Be employed

It’s best to be employed with 1-2 years of work experience to maximize your chances of being approved for student loan refinance.

However, if you have a written job offer when you apply to refinance student loans (even if you are in graduate school or residency, for example), you can still get approved for student loan refinancing.

If you are unemployed or do not have stable, recurring income, it will be difficult to be approved for student loan refinancing.

Insider Tip: If you are unemployed or underemployed, your best option is to apply with a qualified co-signer with a strong credit profile.

Here’s a bonus tip: Apply to refinance your student loans with multiple lenders at once, not just one. First, it will only count as a single credit inquiry, and second, you will also maximize your changes for approval.

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The 5 Best Tips From ‘The LinkedIn Guide To Getting Hired In 2018’

It is commencement season, and graduates all over the country and cramming for finals, packing their bags and preparing to embark on an exciting new chapter of their lives. As graduates consider their next step, they have a lot of questions they need to answer: What job do they want? Where do they want to live? What job is a good fit for their major? What are their salary expectations?

LinkedIn, a top recruitment and networking website, compiled a report on the 2016-2017 graduates researching where they landed professionally, geographically and fiscally. With more graduates than ever before, the job market is increasingly competitive and graduates need to be as knowledgable and prepared as possible. There are over one million entry-level jobs posted on Linkedin at this moment, so here are a few tips to help graduates land their dream job this summer:

1. Apply Now

The highest entry-level hire rate is April through June, so start polishing your resume and cover letters now, then apply! If you already have a summer internship lined up, August is also a good time to apply.

2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is one of the leading job search and recruitment websites in the world, it is a resume that also gives users room to show some of their personality. If you haven’t created a profile, it’s another avenue to put yourself out there, and makes it incredibly easy to apply to jobs posted on the site. Here are some good tips for making your profile stand out.

3. Make Sure To Include Soft Skills And Digital Literary On Your Resume And LinkedIn Profile

Many of the graduates that got hired last year listed soft skills and their digital literacy in their LinkedIn profile and resume. These are the top 10 skills of grads that got hired last year accordin

4.  Where Companies Are Hiring

The top 10 cities hiring graduates in 2018

According to the guide, the 10 cities hiring the most entry-level professionals are: New York City, NY, San Francisco, CA, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, CA, Chicago, IL, Boston, MA, Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, Atlanta, GA, Austin, TX and Seattle, WA. If you are unsure what career path you want to take, or do not know the best place to apply for jobs in your desired industry, read the rest of the guide here.

5. Small Businesses Create The Most Jobs

Many large firms dominate metropolitan areas in recruitment, but small businesses post more entry-level roles than any other size company. So if you’re looking to work for a smaller company, you are in luck. They may not always be the easiest job postings to find, but if you keep looking you will find the job and company size you are looking for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’m a twenty something freelance journalist, writer and blogger in New York City. I write about everything I’ve done wrong as a twenty something woman here in the trenches. Take my advice at your own risk.