Once students and their families have their loans set up and classes have started, they need to track their spending, keep records of their monthly expenses and try to keep their costs down whenever possible. Excluding increases for inflation, the costs for clothing, gasoline and other non-tuition and fee related expenses can be managed and projected for the next two, four or even more years if graduate school is expected. The following apps and websites are very good for helping students and parents record their expenses, save money and ensure they have the funds they will need for the coming semesters.
Nearly every major bank in the U.S. now has an app to allow account holders sign for expenditures with a finger signature, deposit checks, pay bills and transfer money between accounts both within and between banks. Before sending a student off to college, parents need to decide if this is an option they want to provide their child since it gives them total access to whatever funds are in their account at any given moment.
The most expensive cost for college after tuition are the books. With Chegg, students can find many of their textbooks used for up to 90% off the original price which is still over half off the usual price for even used books. Chegg also has many textbooks available for rent as e-books. Their app is free and can be downloaded from their website at www.chegg.com.
The Find allows users to scan the barcode of an item anywhere and find the best price available in their area by using either their address or just their zip code. It will also let them know if there is a coupon available for that item. This program app can be used by Android or Apple products and is also available at www.thefind.com if users want to print off coupons at their dorm room.
With Gas Buddy, students can find the cheapest gas prices nearby using their address or zip code and then follow directions or a map to the location. Users can go to www.gasbuddy.com or download the app for Apple or Android products.
Once users create a free account at www.groceryiq.com, they can print coupons or download them directly to their smartphone. They can also download the app for Apple or Android products to take advantage of the bar code scanning option which allows users to create a list of scanned products in the store, find out which items have a coupon available and allow them to buy only those if they choose. Users can share these lists with friends and family.
Mint is a financial organizing program that is available as an app for Android and Apple products. It can also be downloaded to a laptop from www.mint.com. Students can easily add their various bank accounts and credit cards to show on one screen. Spending records can be quickly built that show spending from week-to-week, month-to-month or year-to-year. Using these, budgets can be developed that are easily followed and maintained.
Turbo Tax is one of the most popular Tax Assistant software programs is now available as an app for Apple and Android products as well as traditional home computers and laptops. The TaxCaster Mobile app allows students to see what their expected refund will be and how various deductions or getting a new part-time or full-time job will affect it. The app is available free at www.turbotax.intuit.com.
FlexScore – Asses your financial health and always know where you stand.
Groupon – Find daily deals and huge savings in cities through the USA.
WhatsApp – Don’t spend more on your cellphone bill than you need to. Use WhatsApp to send FREE text messages.
Viggle – Earn points to get free stuff by simply watching TV.
Hotel Tonight – Save big bucks by bokoing a hotel the same day you plan on staying
Compare the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates
Here are our top student loan refinance picks for 2019
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Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
College Ave: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.
1 – The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
2 – $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 04/26/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 – This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
Earnest: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed-rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.