How can I purchase a stock?
There are two main ways to
purchase a stock, by using a stock brokerage firm and DRIPS
& DIPS. The most common method is to use a brokerage.
There are two types of brokerages—full service brokerages,
that offer you advice and can help manage your account, and
discount brokerages which are cheaper, but do not offer
consultation and management services. The internet offers
many discount brokers, making the costs lower and buying and
trading stocks simple.
Dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPS) and
direct plans (DIPS) are plans that individual companies use,
for a minimal cost, to allow shareholders to purchase stocks
directly from the company.
How do I choose
an equity (stock) mutual fund?
Choosing a mutual
fund can be overwhelming due to the large selection,
however, you should generally stick to these 4 simple rules
when choosing one:
charges (front loads, contingent deferred sales loads,
A low expense
ratio (below 1.00%)
portfolio, no higher than 50% a year, and preferably
closer to 20%
investment policy. Cash reserves of nearly 0%.
For more information on mutual funds,
please visit www.YourMoneyCounts.com
considered a good credit score?
Credit scores range from 300 to 850.
Vantage scores, 501 to 990. Vantage Scores:
credit scoring systems the higher the number, the better.
Generally, a score of 720 and above is a good one.
Are there any
colleges who have committed to providing free tuition or no
loans in the financial aid package?
What is the
difference between a Federal Stafford Loan and a Private
Refer to the
following link for the eligibility, interest rate, fee, loan
amount, and repayment differences between a Federal Stafford
Loan and a Private Loan.
What are the
different types of federal loans?
What is a campus
based financial aid program? How much money does a college
have for campus based programs?
Programs is aid that is administered directly by the
financial aid office at each participating school. Campus
based aid consist of Federal Supplemental Education
Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), and
Federal Perkins Loan programs. Not all schools participate
in all three programs. Check with your school’s financial
aid office to find out which programs they participate in.
The amount of aid
you receive depends on (1) your financial need, (2) the
amount of other aid you receive, and on (3) the availability
of funds at your college. When the money for a program is
gone, no more awards are made from that program for that
year. Make sure you apply for these campus based programs
as early as possible.
I am an older
student. Am I eligible to receive financial assistance?
Age is not a factor
in determining eligibility for the Federal Student Aid
What are the
types of programs that can provide me with loan forgiveness,
cancellation, and discharge?
Teacher Loan Forgiveness
Teacher Loan Cancellation
Total and Permanent
Disability Loan (TPD)
Federal Government Student
Loan Repayment Plan
Child Care Provider Loan
Other Loan Discharge
Will my student loans help me to establish credit?
Yes. As with any loans,
your student loans will be reported to a national credit
bureau. A good payment record will reflect a good credit
rating, and a bad payment record will reflect a bad credit
How much debt is
If your total monthly debt payments,
excluding rent and mortgage, exceeds 20 % of net take home
pay you have too much debt.
I am interested
in buying a home. How do I determine how much house can I
Monthly housing payment should not
exceed 28% of a borrower’s gross income. For example, with
a monthly income of $3,000, the 28% limit would allow a
monthly housing payment of $840.
What are steps that I can take to
reduce the risk of identity theft?
- Keep your Social Security card in a
secure place and give out the number only when necessary.
Ask to use other identifiers whenever possible.
- Guard your purse or wallet. Never put
either one down unless your hand is connected to it.
- Limit the number of checks and debit
/ credit cards you carry to only what you will actually
- Check credit card and bank statements
carefully for unauthorized charges.
- Close credit card accounts you don't
use on a regular basis.
- Shred all documents containing
personal information -- especially pre-approved credit card
offers -- with a cross-cut shredder.
- Before revealing any identifying
information, ask how it will be used and secured, and
whether it will be shared with others.
- Order copies of your free credit
reports from the three credit bureaus at least once a year
and check them carefully for accuracy. (See numbers on the
- Place passwords on credit card, bank
and phone accounts. Avoid using easily available information
such as mother's maiden name, birth date, phone number, etc.
Instead use an eight-character combination of letters and
- Use a locked mailbox or a post office
box to send/receive mail.
Source: Parker Associates: Business
& Career Coaching. Top 10 Ways to Avoid Identity
Theft. August 2004.