How to Get a Job in Finance

How to Get a Job in Finance

Sure, the financial world is in disarray. Yes, there is a recession. Of course, loads of banks have failed. But…what else can you do with your finance/business degree?

I’m in the same boat as you. I spent the past 5 years of my life studying finance/math, and now I’m faced with the problem of trying to get a job in this field during one of the worst recessions in the past 20 years. It’s incredibly unlucky, but you have to roll with the punches. What I want to get through to you, dear reader, is that it is still possible to get a great job in finance.

Personal motivation aside, you also need incredible perseverance, organization, and confidence. Got all those? Good, let’s get started.

  1. Figure out what kind of job you want.

Finance is a ridiculously wide field. There’s jobs for all types of personalities, people, and career goals. If you don’t like being in the pressure and spotlight too much, look towards a backoffice job. If you like excitement, try trading. Like being a dealmaker? Corporate banking is the place for you. My point is, there’s something for everyone here.

You should determine what kind of role best fits your personality. Do research into what that job involves, and read about other people’s experiences. Incidentally, you can read about my experience in Corporate Investment Banking here. The key is, if it doesn’t fit your personality, chances are you’re going to hate it, and you’ll have wasted all that effort to get the job for nothing.

  1. Find out what companies offer those types of jobs.

In most cases, the bulge bracket banks will have something for you. These include major companies such as Bank of America, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and Citigroup. Look on these companies’ websites in the Careers section to see if they offer any open positions. Don’t be afraid to look at postings that aren’t exactly what you want, because who knows, they might actually interest you.

The key here is to expand your findings as much as possible. Don’t limit yourself to just the well known companies. As you continue your research, you’ll turn up lots of smaller boutique firms that offer the same positions. Add these to your list. Also helpful are job websites. A search on Google for “finance jobs” will turn up a whole retinue of sites advertising jobs. I also like to read the financial newspapers to see what companies get mentioned so I can do more research on them.

Info sessions and career fairs will also be massively helpful. Dress nicely, have plenty of resumes handy, and chat with the people there. Who knows, you might be the one lucky person they call back.

One caveat is that you must also realize your own limitations. If certain jobs require specific and advanced knowledge/experience, you may not have enough time to acquire it. In that case, look towards another avenue, or start a notch “below” that job.

  1. Prepare for applications.

At this point, you should have a very large list of places to apply for. Most of these companies will have websites or email addresses where you can submit your resume, and most likely, you’ll have to register your profile on their websites. I recommend that you start an Excel sheet to keep track of things. Your (very necessary) Excel skills should come in handy here.

On my sheet, I have the following headings:

Company name    Website: hyperlink to the URL for quick access    Account information: for the companies that require a registration. It’s much easier to keep track of your login info and passwords like this    Application deadline    Application submitted: a Yes/No checkbox    Cover Letter: hyperlink to the cover letter I submitted for that specific job    Resume: hyperlink to the resume I submitted for that specific job    Comments: any special notes I have about that job

It may seem like a lot of work, but keeping organized will help you in the long run as applications begin overflowing. Doing this will also allow you to sort by application deadlines, so you always know which ones to prioritize.

  1. Start applying for jobs.

Obviously, this is the hardest step. I say it’s harder than the interviews and all of the prep, because there’s just so much of it, and most of it leads nowhere. Don’t let this get you down. Prepare for the worst, you may get no responses. Understand that there are thousands of others competing for the same jobs, and no matter how much of a superstar you were in college, there are hundreds of other superstars out there too. However, you have to want this more badly. You have to persevere. You have to wade through the crap, and come out clean on the other side!

Hopefully, you’re now adequately gung-ho. Good.

I won’t get into the specifics of resume writing. There’s thousands of websites outside for that. I will make a few points about finance resumes though:

Do not make your resume longer than 2 pages. 1 page is preferable.    Write things in finance language, try to use keywords you know are applicable in that field. However, don’t overdo it to the point where it’s obvious you’re just keywording    Don’t add in jobs that are irrelevant. A lot of resume websites I’ve been to say to add in any experience you have, but I don’t agree with this. I feel that if you add “Waitress” to your resume for a trading job, it will detract from your chances    If you have no work experience, play up your school knowledge. Talk about financial techniques you know and have applied in classes, talk about personal experience in your trading account, talk about how you frequently analyze companies in your spare time.    Tailor your resume to each job!

  1. Going to an interview.

Wow, great job! You’ve got a response! At this stage, you’ve got your foot in the door, and all you need now is to nudge it open. Again, plenty of specific finance interview advice is out there. For example, for banking interviews, you need to brush up your accounting and valuation knowledge. Google is your friend.

All I can say now is that it’s entirely up to you. How much you prepare, your actual knowledge, and your confidence will be what gets you the job. In finance interviews, your interviewers will have pretty much decided whether they want to give you the job within the first 10 minutes. If you make a bad first impression, it is incredibly difficult to overcome.

Some general tips:

Dress the part: Very neat, professional    Prepare extensively. Study up on your resume, memorize that thing! Study the company (I recommend reading their most recent annual report – doing so will put you above 95% of the applicants), study the industry, read the news (you should have been doing this all along). Also prepare some stock answers for stock questions, like “Tell us about yourself” or “Why have you chosen this field?” I personally think there’s no point going too creative in these answers. Sure it might be sort of interesting, but your time is better spent impressing them with your knowledge.    Be confident. You want to be enthusiastic, but keep cool at the same time. Act as if you belong there already. Be like one of them, match the level of your interviewers but watch out. If they’re serious and subdued, don’t go overboard with the laughing. If they’re laughing a lot, laugh too, but not too much. All in all, you want them to feel comfortable and feel like they’d want to work with you. These interviews are all about “fit”.    Send a short thank you note after the interview. Chances are they’ll have talked about it already and have chosen or rejected you, but being polite never hurts.    Do not hound the people afterwards, nobody likes a stalker.

And that’s it. The steps are simple, but can become incredibly grueling. The process is hard, but can be extremely rewarding. Whatever motivates you, whether it be the fame, respect, or money, keep it in mind and let it drive you to keep going. With enough perseverance, you too can find a job in finance!

$11.5 Million Budget Plan Proposed

Million Budget Plan Proposed

CHESTER – About twenty residents attended a public hearing where Board of Finance and Board of Education officials discussed details of a proposed $11.5 million budget.

Town government expenditures made up $3.61 million or 31.39 percent while capital expenditures cost $118,500, or 1.03 percent.

Town expenditures are $125,557, or 3.36 percent, less than last year while capital expenditures are $30,688, or 20.57 percent, less than last year.

Over half of the 2007/08 budget is allocated for education with Chester Elementary School receiving $3.91 million or 34 percent of the budget while the town’s share of the Region 4 budget is $3.86 million, which is 33.58 percent of the budget.

Chester Elementary School spending increased by $185,930, or 4.99 percent, over last year while Region 4 spending increased by $350,460, or 9.98 percent, over last year.

“The increase in participation in Region 4 hit us 10 percent even though Region 4 spending only increased by five percent. We expected the increase,” Chester First Selectman Tom Marsh said.

Expenses of the Region 4 budget is divided among the three participating towns, which include Chester, Deep River, and Essex, based on average daily enrollment.

Kim Caron, Superintendent of Region 4 Schools, said the biggest increases that occurred in the Region 4 budget came as the result of a new sixth grade teacher, teacher and administration salaries, and a new union contract.

Despite increased spending in education, Board of Finance member Kim Just said Chester benefited from a 1.9 percent increase in the grand list over the past year which generated $215,000 of revenue.

The board allocated $253,837 from the unallocated fund balance; Just said, meaning the mill rate would only need to be increased by 0.75 mills.

Currently, Chester’s mill rate is 22.37 mills and the increase of 0.75 mills would mean a total of 23.12 mills, or $23.12 in taxes for each $1,000 of assessed property value.

For a resident who has a home assessed at $100,000, the mill rate increase would mean an additional $75 in annual taxes.

This would still allow the fund balance to have $1.33 million on June 30, 2008, which is the last day of the 2007-08 fiscal year.

Borrowing money from that fund to offset tax increases is a “practice we are trying to move away from,” Just said.

One year that the town relied heavily on using savings to offset tax increases was the 2004/05 fiscal year when approximately $875,000 was allocated.

Marsh warned residents that proposed state budgets from both Governor Rell and the Connecticut State Legislature call for less state aid to towns like Chester.

The reduction in state aid comes at a time when the state expects to receive additional revenue if specific proposals are approved such as creating a sales tax on all clothing items and items bought by Connecticut residents over the Internet, Marsh said.

 

How to Get Started in Owning a Franchise

Get Started in Owning a Franchise

There’s lots of advantages to owning a franchise. You can operate under an established name, sell products people already want, have a pre-determined pricing structure, and it can be a valuable opportunity. Some may be more beneficial than others, and you’ll have to do your homework though! Is a franchise investment for you?

While it’s still no walk in the park; a franchise could be saving grace for anybody who wants some of the ‘work’ that owning a business involves done for them. This bonus comes at a heft cost, and there are lots of pros, and cons to the situation. Let’s examine each of them.

The number one pro to owning a franchise is of course operating under an established name. Let’s say somebody is driving down the road, and they see two resturants – Burger King, and Joe’s burger shack. People are more likely to stop at the place that they are familiar with (Unless of course they’re an avid BK hater).

There’s always the one extremist who’s totally against Mc Donalds, KFC, or any other chain. Whether it’s because they’re funded by the Church of Satan, they way they supposedly treat employees, ect. The people who appreciate a chain store more than outweighs those that do not; else this model would not exist.

You also can take into account that all your product sourcing, pricing, and materials are through the company. This means that you won’t have to barter with dealers, and go through the hassle of making sure you can turn a profit for the price you charge. The only problem with that is that the corporation can charge you anything that they want. You’re only allowed to by cups from them, buy computers from them, buy fries from them, ect.

There’s also a certain code of ethics you’re not allowed to change. Typically regarding wages, benefits, practices, how employees are handled, ect. For example somebody I know used to be a manager of Papa John’s. Per their chain’s rules they are not allowed to hire any drivers with traffic violations – No exceptions. Things like this will be beyond your control with a franchise; wherein if you owned your own business the law is made by you.

There can be other rules involved with you even purchasing a franchise though too. For example Chik Fil-a manually approves buyers, and if they deem that where you wish to put the franchise is unacceptable they’ll deny your claim. The fees for operating different entities varies a lot as well. It can be anywhere from $70k to upwards of $1 million dollars. The price tag is not for the faint of heart, but if you’ve got the cash it can be worthwhile to you.

Some people own several franchises whether they be the same store or different businesses, and make a pretty penny doing it. A franchise owner does not always manage the franchise either; meaning they don’t come to the store everyday, and do the dirty work. Many simply bank roll the operation, and collect the rewards – opting to pay somebody else to over see operations for them.

You also will not have to deal with the hassle of supplying benefits to your employees. Since you are owning a franchise any of that goes through the actual corporation, and they can take part directly. This goes for training as well – Your store will most likely recieve pre-made materials for your future employees.

If you decide you want out of this particular franchise you’re free to sell it at anytime most cases to another individual. Our local Dominoes pizza store trades owners probably a couple times a year – Mostly because they find out that particular chain has a very low profit margin, and expensive equipment.

Enterpeneur.com recently released their list of the top franchise opportunities for 2009! Start up costs in parenthesis.

  1. Subway ($78k -$238k)

Subway is a very popular sub chain. Growing in name for value, and health reasons. Personally I detest their food, but considering the low start up costs, and big profit potential I’d probably still own one of those if I were to go a franchise route.

  1. Mc Donalds ($950k – $1.8M)

The biggest burger chain in the world of course commands a high price. No doubt you’re paying for their big name, and not equipment charges. While this is pretty much guaranteed to turn a profit – It might be a while before you recoup your expenses on this one.

  1. Liberty Tax Service ( $53k – $66k)

Very cheap start up costs, but low profit potential in my opinion. More, and more people are getting their taxes done online, and with software these days (including me). It’s not hard to do them yourself, and I don’t think it will be much longer before people refuse to pay $70 to pay money to the government. There’s also a limited time frame to do business so the earnings seem small to me – Not something people would want every week like fast food.

  1. Sonic Drive-Thru ($1.2M – $3.2 M)

This franchise seems rather expensive considering their popularity, and their equipment costs. This resturant pretty much consists of a kitchen, and outside dining room!

  1. Intercontinental Hotels Groups (Varies)

In the right area a hotel could be a very good investment. I live in what may be the vacation capital of the United States – Everyone wants to come to sunny Florida, and they need a place to stay! The pricing is unlisted, and probably varies by location, and building size.

  1. Ace Hardware ($243k – $1m)

Ace Hardware is of course a hardware store – which again looks overpriced to me. They pale in comparison to competitiors like Home Depot, and Lowes who have a much bigger selection. The store layouts are basic, and unimpressive. I don’t see the huge profit potential from something so pricey, and yet so small.

  1. Pizza Hut ($638k – 2.9 M)

A popular pizza chain. The have the advantage sometimes of being both a sit down resturant, and a delivery service. Similar stores like dominoes, Hungry Howies, and Papa John’s do not offer a dining room. Again, a tad pricey for their offering I think. Perhaps to be more exclusive, but they may offer better profit margins than competitors.

  1. UPS Store ($171k – $280k)

This one looks like an opportunity to me – Owning an internationally recognized postal carrier outlet. Especially in a busy shopping center where people could do their shopping, and mail their packages all in one go. While I use USPS myself; I know somebody who mails packages at UPS about every week. The start up costs are much lower than some of the other options as well. Could be very busy during holidays too.

  1. Circle K ( $161k – $1.4m)

Circle K is a quickie mart type of store, but can also have gas pumps. Any place convienient to the main road that sells gas can make a pretty penny. I’m surprised this one is so cheap considering the prices to install pumps, maintain gas containers, ect. Though that will probably all come out of your pocket – Something to watch out for.

  1. Papa John’s Pizza ( $135k – $431k)

Cheaper than the other pizza place on the list, but probably not quite as popular. This one seems like a better value to own, but you’d have to do your market research before buying. Some of those marked as more expensive may be that way, because of their desirability. The profit margins they turn, the desire for their product, ect. Investing in a business peddling pricey products at this time may not be wise, but a company like Mc Donalds with it’s dollar menu should be seeing pricing booms.

Even if a family can’t afford to drop a good $100 at Outback for dinner they can afford to spend a few dollars at McDonalds instead. A recession puts a strain on every business, but some are doing better than others. You might look into lower cost resturants, or discount stores such as Dollar Tree too.

If you don’t have a load of cash sitting around it is possible to get financing for a franchise purchase – though this will be no easy feat. If you have less than perfect credit then you will have quite a time doing it. Below 700 probably will not net you a loan for an expensive business venture.

How to Finance a Business Purchase in Today’s Economy

Finance a Business Purchase in Today's Economy

You’ve come to the right place if you want to understand how to finance a business. Getting your business financed can be a piece of cake if you get a complete evaluation on all potential lenders, choose the right loan for you and discover how to structure your financing. Stay tuned to learn how you can make getting your business financed a breeze.

Our current economic situation leaves many people reluctant to spend any money. Many banks are hesitant to lend money in fear they will lose their investment or gain a business in foreclosure. Protect yourself and your business by requesting a background check before you decide on one particular lender. With many banks dropping like flies from day to day, it is important that you get the protection you need for your investment. Once you’ve mastered securing a stable and reliable lender for your new business, finding the right loan for you will be the icing on the cake.

Once I’ve made a list and checked it thoroughly to find a good lender, then what? How do I know what type of loan would be best for me and my business? Your loan should fit you like a well fitted glove. It’s important to choose a loan that won’t cause you to “live beyond your means”, your business will only last if you can afford it. Choosing the right loan is important, but a proper financing structure is the key part to the purchasing process.

I found the right lender and a loan that fits my requirements, what else do I need? What else would I need to do to make my business purchase? It is important to fully analyze your finances. You need to make sure that your finances are structured for success now and in the future. Understand that the research and planning you put in now will create the foundation for success for your business.

Did you realize all the thought and planning that goes into purchasing a business in today’s economy? Getting your business financed can be a piece of cake if you get a complete evaluation on all potential lenders, choose the right loan for you, and discover how to structure your financing. Now show the world that you aren’t going to let the current economic recession crush your dreams of owning your own business today.

 

Eliminate Debt by Going on a Spending Fast

Eliminate Debt by Going on a Spending Fast

Consumer debt is at a all-time high. Families are living above their means and using credit to cover the expenses they can not afford. If you are reading this article, I will assume you are at a point where you are tired of debt running your life and ready to eliminate it.

Fasting is traditionally known as a time without food. People in the Bible used a Fast as a time with no food to seek direction through prayer from God. A spending fast can help your family seek direction on your finances by eliminating your current spending habits.

Here are 5 steps to complete a spending or financial fast to eliminate debt

  1. Pick an upcoming month to do the spending fast. Make sure you pick a month that you are able to complete it. Do not pick a month that you know you are going to have some issues with. If you make an exception for one item or event it will be too easy for you to slip off of the spending fast.
  2. Make a list of the expenditures that you truly need for a month and make a vow to not spend over this amount. For example you need gas for your car to get back and forth to work but you do not need gas for your car to travel for entertainment or other events. You need groceries but try to make a vow to only spend a certain amount per week. Attempt to make as many meals as you can out of your pantry. By separating your needs from wants before the month starts you have set the rules and groundwork for your spending fast.
  3. During your month long financial fast make some tough decisions. If a friend calls and asks you to go out to dinner, explain to them what you are doing and that you are attempting eliminate some debt. Ask the friends to come over after dinner to play cards. Cutting entertainment like going out to eat, movies, and even cable can save you lots of money that can be used at the end of the month to pay debt. If something in your house breaks that is not an emergency, try to find a solution to fixing it that is inexpensive. Be creative, look on line for some solutions to different household problems.
  4. Keep a journal. Write down those things that you did not miss and those that you did during the month. Maybe you did not miss going out to lunch at work but did miss taking your kids to a movie. These journals and note entries can be used later to reset your budget. If your spending fast can identify some areas that you spend money carelessly with no real gain then it will prove to be a life changing event.
  5. Track your savings each week and write a check to pay a debt at the end of each week. By using your surplus to eliminate debt weekly you will encourage yourself to continue and get the money out of your checkbook to not be tempted to spend more when the spending fast is completed.

A spending fast to eliminate debt can help a family to pay down debt during their spending fast month and also encourage new habits to be formed that can help them permanently change how they save money. A website with Christian roots that you can sign up for a 30 day spending fast is www.financialfast.com This Christian ministry will pray for you during the fast and send you some encouraging materials to help you along the way.

Good luck on your plans to eliminate debt and I hope a spending fast can get you their faster!

How to Use a Commercial Factoring Company to Finance a Business

Finance a Business

Factoring is designed to increase cash flow when funds are limited and accounts receivable are high. It is short-term financing to solve short-term cash flow bottlenecks. The cash-poor company sells its accounts receivable at a discount to a commercial finance company known as a factor. Cash is made available to the entrepreneur as soon as proof of shipment is provided or on the average due date of the invoice. Most factoring arrangements are made for one year.

Factors make their money by acquiring a company’s invoices and collecting on them, charging the business a fee. Unlike banks, factors buy, pay for, and own the receivables outright. If your creditors don’t pay, the factor may incur a loss. Some factors require that the entrepreneur establish a reserve for bad debt of approximately 5% of the account. If the account is not collected within 120 days, the factor will draw against the reserve. If the receivables eventually are collected, the factor’s return on investment exceeds that of conventional lenders.

Many business owners use factoring when their banker turns down a loan request that they had tried to guarantee with their accounts receivable as collateral. Under factoring, accounts receivable are not used as collateral against a loan but instead are sold directly, at a discounted value, to a factoring company. For example, if the factoring company uses a one-time charge and discounts 6%, then for every $1,000 in receivables, the seller receives $940.

Some factors discount according to a schedule, paying a smaller percentage up front and then paying an additional percentage depending on whether the receivables are collected within 30, 60, or 90 days.

The factor takes over the entire collection procedure, including mailing the invoices and doing the bookkeeping. Each of your customers is notified that the account is owned by and payable to the factor.

If you are a new business and your accounts receivable are evaluated as marginal credit risks, you may not be able to find a factor that will accept your accounts receivable. Let’s face it: although they take greater risks and are more liberal lenders than commercial banks, factors need to be assured that your customers will pay their bills. They will execute substantial credit checks on each debtor and carefully analyze the quality and value of the invoice before buying it; they look to the strengtMof the receivables and creditworthiness of the invoices that you are selling them. Factors will also establish credit limits for each customer.

Factoring is not the cheapest way to obtain money, but it does quickly turn receivables into cash. The advantages of factoring are receiving a cash injection quickly, paying bills in a more timely manner, obtaining more credit, and fostering better growth than traditional borrowing. Also, the fee is an expense and offsets taxable income. Essentially, the entrepreneur is buying insurance against bad debt.

The chief disadvantage of factoring is the high cost of money relative to traditional borrowing. Also, to many entrepreneurs, factors receive outrageously high returns. A business concerned with cash flow but not with collection might want to pursue the less costly route of using accounts receivable as collateral for a commercial bank loan.

Overall, factoring can be compared with using a credit card for your business. Factors work best with businesses that have cash flow problems because of long delays between making and selling goods and then collecting cash. Start-up ventures, emerging businesses, and service companies are prime candidates for factoring. For recommendations and references about which factoring companies to use, talk to your trade associations, to members of the infrastructure, and to other entrepreneurs in your industry.

 

Instant Loans – Funds by Applying Online and Gaining Quick Sanction

Funds by Applying Online

When you need to go to office everyday, you have very little time for other things in your life. This thing may also happen when you are facing the problem of credit scarcity. What can be done in such a situation? Such a person can apply for instant loans without any apprehensions. With the help of this fiscal service, the borrower would get hold of funds by applying online and would be gaining quick sanction.

The mode of financial transfer that is followed here is electronic wiring, this would make the documentation completely nil. One would not waste his time in any undesirable filling and faxing of papers in this process of money lending.

If you want to apply for instant loans, you can put into use the free of cost and no obligation application form that would be given on the website of the money lenders. You should fill this form with your authentic personal information. The borrower would get a rapid approval, as and when the process of verification would be over. In as quick as 24 hours, the money would get transferred into your bank account.

Depending on your settlement ability as well as monetary ability, you can grab small cash advance that falls in the range of £80 to £1500. You have to pay this credit aid back in the comfortable repayment tenure of 1 to 30 days. One can do a number tasks that hold importance for him. You can pay the credit card installments, can pay the household and utility bills, can get small house modifications done, can send the car for a repair job and so on.

There is no need for you to give credit confirmation. IVA, arrears, insolvency, bankruptcy, foreclosures, CCJs and so on are no-issues at all for the lenders.

Student Finances Need Not Be a Minefield

Students are increasingly finding it expensive to get a college or university education with increased tuition fees and living expenses. Thinking about student financing can also be time consuming and requiring extensive research to get the best deal and finance package to suit the student’s needs. For those students who feel they can put off thinking about financing for “later,” they may just find they make decisions which can be costly for them.

Being a student can be a very memorable period of an individual’s life, but it can also be a time when the student is constantly thinking about student financing and mounting student loan debts. A student need not be broke all the time, and carefree student days also need not be relegated to history. Instead, with a bit of financial planning, a student can have a good time without worrying about incurring large student debt.

There are institutions that are ready to help a student look at his/her financial requirements and compile an appropriate finance plan. Students who are fortunate to have financial support from parents could also benefit from obtaining additional information. However, for the majority of students heading off to college and university, the issue of student finance and student loans becomes a looming reality.

Student Debt

Going to college or university may well be getting more expensive, but it is also becoming a requisite for many students. Many believe that getting a degree or vocational qualifications will enhance their prospects in a competitive and increasingly global job market. However, this desire to undertake studies comes at a price which increases each academic year.

According to Changeboard, more than 50% of all graduates in the USA will have student loans totaling $20,000 by the time they graduate. This statistic is reaffirmed by The National Centre for Education Statistics, who reports that two thirds of all College students have student loans after graduation with an average of $19,237. Additionally, a quarter of undergraduates borrow more than $25,000 and one tenth borrow more than $35,000

In the UK, the picture is reflective of the changing times in the UK education system. According to university research organisation Push, the average student graduating in July 2017 will find themselves with nearly £22,000 in debt. Many will be paying student loans well into their 30s and in some cases, even into their 40s.

Planning student financing can help to manage student debt better. Many students are now coming out of colleges and universities with increased levels of debt and are starting their working lives saddled with debt they incurred as students.

For many students, working part time and studying full time has become the norm, despite protestations from professors and other teaching staff. Teaching staff believe that holding down working commitments impacts the grades and overall learning experience for students.

Sources for Student Funding

The following highlights potential sources of funding for students

  • Private student loans (account for nearly 25% of all student loans in the USA)
  • Federal Student loans
  • College scholarships
  • Parents and friends
  • Personal savings
  • Working during studies
  • Charities
  • Religious institutions
  • Bursaries
  • Employer sponsorship for vocational and further degree qualifications
  • Global institutions like the Soros Foundation, World Health Organisation, AMIDEAST, and the United Nations

Where scholarships are concerned, the student may find that s/he may need to submit and an essay or other written pieces of work. Each institution awarding a scholarship will have the necessary details and background and qualifying requirements.

The onus falls upon the student to get the best student financing information and deals. Therefore, planning and preparation is imperative, even though the student may be tempted to leave this to the last minute. The downside of leaving financial planning for studies to the last minute will mean decisions will be made in haste and may not serve the student in the long run.

College Loans

Further information for students in the USA and UK can be found below:

  • Student Federal Loans
  • The Student Aid website also contains a checklist for prospective students and their parents
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

Information on student financing in the UK can be found from the following sources:

  • Student Loans Company
  • Direct Gov

There are many financial companies offering cheap student loans, but as a word of caution, students pursuing this option may be best advised to read the small print before signing on the dotted line.

As the student population continues to explode globally, so will the number of financial and non financial, reputable and non reputable companies offering an array of financial services and products to the student market. A student who engages in financial planning, research and preparation will be the one who succeeds in the long run.

Student Finance England Loan Deadlines 2016/17: When Students Should Apply for Non-Means Tested & Income Based Loans

Students planning to start or resume full-time courses at colleges and universities for the 2016/11 academic year may find it useful to apply for Student Finance England loans earlier rather than later. Those that hit government deadlines will stand a far better chance of being paid their loan on time for the start of term. What are the deadlines for student finance this year?

Student Finance England Deadlines for Non-Means Tested Loan Applications

If a student is making an application for finance that doesn’t need to be means tested then they are being asked to apply by the 23rd of April 2016. These applications are based on circumstances where the parental/household income will not need to be checked during the loans process.

Student Loans Applications That Will be Based on Income Assessment

If a student is making an application that will be means tested then their application date is the 21st of May 2016. The finance given here may be based on the income of the household.

What do the Student Finance Application Deadlines Mean?

The recommended deadlines are based on giving a better chance that a loan will be paid in time for the start of the student’s academic year. There may be, as was evidenced in recent years, no guarantee that finance will be processed on time but hitting the deadline may give the best chance of this happening. Applying later may delay the payment process.

Should Student Loan Applications be Made Through Student Finance England, Student Finance Direct or DirectGov?

Online applications are now initially made via the government’s DirectGov website. Students can also download a paper-based application from the site’s student areas if they prefer not to apply via the Internet.

The official name of the UK’s student loans company has now changed from Student Finance Direct to Student Finance England. The base organisation remains the same and any student that has applied for a loan previously can use the same details for new applications.

What if the Student Hasn’t Been Offered a Place Yet?

The DirectGov website recommends that students try to meet the application deadlines even if they haven’t got a firm offer of a university or college place yet. Students can simply enter their first choice on the form and change it later if necessary.

Using a Student Finance Calculator May be Useful

Those that are unsure how much finance they may be qualified to be given can use the DirectGov student finance calculator. This gives an estimate (but not a guarantee) of options including student loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries. This may be worth doing to help assess income before starting college.

General Money Management Tips for Students

Those about to leave home to study for the first time may need to set up financial accounts and to think about budgeting their money. Choosing the best student bank accounts and other financial products such as credit cards can help with this process. Thinking about how they will manage their money at university may also give them a good start.

Student Finance: Setting up a Student Account with an Overdraft

On deciding to undertake further study at University, many students will be offered a wide range of financing options from banks and other financial institutions. Products include student loans, credit cards and overdraft facilities. The student overdraft can be a useful tool. However, it is also one which can lead to significant long term financial problems, if not used right.

What is an Overdraft Loan Facility

Simply put, an overdraft is a form of short term loan between the bank and an account holder. The overdraft facility allows the account holder to run a negative bank balance to a pre-agreed level, without incurring penalties. Overdrafts typically do not have repayment dates, as with standard long term loans, and may be seen as an “ongoing” source of finance. Many student overdrafts however, are required to be paid back within a specified period of time after graduation.

Setting up a Student Account with an Overdraft Loans Facility

Generally most banks offer an overdraft facility as a standard feature of a student account. In order to obtain the feature a student usually needs only to “opt in” when setting up the account in the normal way. In order to qualify for a student bank account, most banks will require proof of either current attendance on a full time course. Alternatively, proof of an upcoming placement may be accepted.

In choosing an overdraft there are a wide range of limits and options available, in the first case one should ensure that the overdraft is interest free and has no associated charges. Secondary conditions worth bearing in mind are, “can the overdraft be increased after the first year?” and “how soon does the overdraft have to be paid back after graduation?” Banks often offer a variety of incentives to sign students up to accounts with overdraft facilities, whilst one should take advantage of these offers, they should not be used as the basis for serious financial decisions. In making a decision, the terms and conditions of an account and its features are much more important.

The Pros and Cons of an Overdraft Facility

The major advantage of a student overdraft facility is that they are usually provided at a 0% interest rate, with no additional charges. As such the student overdraft is one of the cheapest forms of finance available, even when compared to an SLC student loan. As such, even if the extra finance is not required it may be worth considering the profit which can be made from using the overdraft limit to invest in an interest bearing investment, such as a cash ISA.

The overdraft facility does however, have its negative points. Like all overdrafts, the facility is a short term credit agreement. Technically a bank can call in an overdraft with very little notice, although this is unusual with a student overdraft.

Additionally one should also consider the penalties associated with an overdraft. Whilst regulators have taken a keen interest recently, penalties for exceeding overdraft limits can still be extremely high. Dependent on the terms and conditions, penalties may be applied on daily basis, leading to significant financial problems for those who misuse the facility.

Whilst an interest free overdraft represents a good cheap source of finance, many students often taking out multiple overdrafts, find themselves in the position of having to take out a student consolidation loan. A student consolidation loan is essentially a loan taken out, which consolidates the overdraft into a regular loan with repayments. Here, interest rates will apply and the prospect can become an unattractive one as personal debt it increased.