Here’s How to Boost Your Credit after a Big Purchase Impacts Your Score

Before you make a major purchase, like a home or car, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into the process. You might have worked to make sure your credit is in the best shape possible before you apply for a loan. Perhaps you’ve shopped around and compared interest rates to make sure you’re getting the best deal available on financing. 

Yet there’s one factor that many borrowers forget to consider before taking out a large loan–the impact it will have on your credit score.

Why a Big Purchase Might Harm Your Credit Score

A recent study found that in the six months after getting a mortgage, credit scores may fall by about 20 points on average across the nation’s 50 largest metros. However, most borrowers also saw their credit scores rebound to their pre-loan starting points in less than a year.

According to Jacob Channel, senior economic analyst for LendingTree, the credit score change occurs because adding a new account with a large balance to your credit report increases your credit risk.

“Taking out a new mortgage usually causes a person’s score to decrease as it adds a large new balance to their credit report that they haven’t yet proven their ability to pay off,” says Channel. He adds that the combination of a larger debt and lack of evidence that the consumer can manage the new account may lead to more risk in the eyes of lenders and, in turn, lower credit scores as a result.

According to credit scoring firm FICO®, even refinancing a large loan could potentially impact your credit score in a negative way (though that’s not always the case).

Additional Credit Score Factors

Credit reporting agency Experian explains two additional reasons why a new mortgage might lower your credit score:

  • A new loan will decrease your average age of credit (a factor, among others, that influences 15% of your FICO® Score). 
  • The new hard credit inquiry from the mortgage might have a negative credit score impact as well, though this typically isn’t significant. 

Credit Score Recovery Can Take Time

Seeing your credit score drop after a major purchase can be frustrating, especially if you have plans to apply for other financing. Unfortunately, the credit score recovery cycle takes around 339 days on average.

Channel says that borrowers need time to prove to lenders that they’re able to handle their new debt, noting that “one of the main ways to do this is to make multiple, one-time payments, which is a time-consuming process.” 

It’s also important to consider the fact that there are delays between when a borrower makes a payment and when that payment actually shows up on their credit report. Because of this phenomenon, credit scores might remain low for a while even after the borrower has made several on-time loan payments.

As Experian points out, your credit score will only change when information on your credit report updates. 

How to Rebuild Your Credit Score after a Decline

Smart credit moves after taking out a new mortgage have the potential to help you rebuild your credit score–perhaps even faster than average. 

Channel notes that the best step you can take toward better credit after a mortgage is to pay your credit obligations on time. That advice applies not just to your new mortgage loan, but to your other debts as well. 

“The more payments a borrower makes on time, the less risky they’ll appear to lenders and the higher their score will be,” he says. 

In addition to on-time payments, you might consider paying down any outstanding credit card balances you owe. Credit utilization–the connection between your credit card limits and balances–can have a significant impact on your credit score.

As you pay down your credit card debt, your utilization rate should go down. That reduction can have a positive impact on your credit score.

Debt consolidation is one strategy that some people use to lower their credit utilization levels when they can’t pay off all of their credit card debt at once. The approach can be helpful in many situations, as long as you can avoid running up new balances on your original credit cards after you pay them off with a consolidation loan or balance transfer.

Bottom Line

If you’re planning to make a major purchase, it’s in your best interest to make sure your credit is in good shape. The higher your credit score, the better your approval odds may be, and you could even secure better interest rates and terms, too. 

Channel adds that good credit can also work in your favor after you close on a new loan. 

“The stronger a borrower’s initial credit score, the less damage something like a new mortgage is likely to do,” he says. “As a result, borrowers who work hard to boost their scores before they get a mortgage can usually better avoid some of the drawbacks a drop in their credit score could bring.” 

Source: credit.com

How to File an Apartment Noise Complaint

Living next to, under or above the second coming of “Animal House?” Or, do you share a wall with a very Cujo-like dog? There’s no need to put up with that mess. File an apartment noise complaint and get your home back to something that at least resembles peace and quiet.

Apartment living is going to come with some reasonable amounts of noise. Unless your walls are ultra-insulated, you’ll hear your neighbors from time to time as they go about their business and they’ll hear you.

That said, there’s reasonable noise and then there’s the noise that makes you want to break your lease and move to the country. You know, the type of noise that accompanies stomping work boots, all-night ragers or endlessly howling pups. Whether this happens during your work-from-home shift or the overnight hours really doesn’t matter. If the noise is keeping you from sleeping, working or simply enjoying life to the fullest, you need to make it stop. Pronto.

Common reasons to file an apartment noise complaint

When you have that many people living in close proximity, someone is bound to file a noise complaint from time to time. Here are some of the most common reasons that people file an apartment noise complaint:

  • Too much noise after 10 p.m.
  • Pet-related noise
  • Loud music or television
  • Excessively loud parties
  • Excessive child-related noise
  • Fighting/yelling (if you suspect domestic violence call the police immediately)
  • Stomping or excessively heavy walking

Maybe you’ve tried a friendly conversation with the neighbor in question, only to have it fall flat. Or, maybe you don’t have time or interest in that type of personal engagement. No matter! The next step to take is to file an apartment noise complaint.

Too much noise upstairs

Too much noise upstairs

How to file an apartment noise complaint

The process to file an apartment noise complaint varies slightly from one property to the next. The bones of the process, however, are generally the same. Here are some helpful tips to get it done the right way.

Check the lease

Remember that document that you and everyone else in the community signed before moving in? The lease contains everything you need to know about what types of noise are normal and what types are excessive. When in doubt, refer to the lease for answers.

Almost all leases include something called the right of “quiet enjoyment.” This right holds that a tenant can reasonably and peacefully enjoy their home, without undue interference from either neighbors or the landlord.

So, the right of quiet enjoyment protects tenants from excessive disturbances, like a landlord that harasses the tenant on the regular or a neighbor who continually plays their music at top volume. It does not protect from standard noise, like quiet footsteps or the occasional bit of muffled laughter.

The terms of normal vs. excessive noise are out in the lease. Many landlords also include “quiet hours” in the lease. Often, those are from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., give or take.

Check your local laws

In some states, a breach of quiet enjoyment with no correction is grounds for a tenant to either withhold rent or break the lease without warning or penalty. Make sure to check your city/state’s specific laws on this matter before you do anything drastic.

Keep a noise record

The minute you hear excessive noise, start keeping a journal. Hopefully, it’ll just be a one-off incident, but if it isn’t, you’ll be prepared. Make sure to include all pertinent details, including:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Type of noise
  • Length of the disturbance
  • Where the noise is coming from
  • The decibel level of the noise. Try an app like Decibel X or Sound Meter PRO to document how loud the noise actually is.
  • Comments and contact information from other neighbors affected by the noise

A detailed log of noise violations makes a stronger argument than just a vague “they’re keeping me awake” complaint. It’s always helpful to show a pattern in the case of repeat offenders. Also, landlords hear a lot of complaints, so the more specific you are, the better.

File the complaint

If you’re not sure how to file an apartment noise complaint, simply ask! Email or call the property manager’s office to find out the best way to document the issue in writing. Sometimes, there’s a tab on the community’s website for filing a noise complaint. Or, they might have you email a specific person.

Follow the given directions and be sure to include all of the details found in your log. Make sure to screenshot the complaint or print a copy for your records. In this case, a paper trail is a good thing! If you need help, use a sample complaint letter to format the grievances.

Follow up on the complaint

Now is not the time to back down. You pay a lot of money for that space, and it should be an enjoyable retreat from the outside world! If your initial apartment noise complaint didn’t solve the problem, file another one. If you get stonewalled by management or feel that the offending renters just don’t care that they’re overly noisy, it’s time to call in the big guns — the police.

Cities have their own local noise ordinances. Look up your city’s rules specifically, then file a complaint with the police department if the offense falls within the parameters. Obviously, call the police immediately for fighting or another noisy issue that affects public safety. Often, a warning from the powers-that-be is enough to cause rowdy neighbors to straighten up, already.

Practice what you preach

Save your apartment noise complaint for those truly bothersome, repeat-offender neighbors. Whatever you do, set an example and abide by the “quiet enjoyment” rule, yourself. In other words, be the kind of neighbor you want to have, and hopefully, everything will settle down.

Comments

comments

The 15 Best Neighborhoods in New Orleans for Renters in 2022

Jazz, St. Louis Cathedral, Mardi Gras, jambalaya, gumbo, crawdad pie, blues, beignets and cemeteries are all words you might associate with the Big Easy.

If you’re not sure how to find the best neighborhoods in New Orleans, you’ve come to the right place. We’re all about helping you find that sweet spot — whether that means living next door to the best pralines or cozying up on your own balcony for the best jazz in town.

Here are 15 New Orleans neighborhoods that will give you the best that The Big Easy has to offer. Which one will you call home?

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,537
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,032
  • Walk Score: 72/100

A quiet suburban neighborhood on the west bank of the Mississippi River is the perfect spot for folks looking for great views of the skyline and loads of history. Algiers Point is just that neighborhood, complete with attractive Creole cottages, local bars, ornate architecture, art studios (like the Rosetree Blown Glass Studio and Gallery) and live-music joints. Don’t forget to enjoy the local fare, loads of seafood and tasty local booze.

  • Median 1-BR rent: N/A
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,500
  • Walk Score: 82/100

No matter your housing needs, Bayou St. John can accommodate and meet the needs of practically any kind of renter. Besides the abundant offerings of activities and advantages you’ll get by living right next to the bayou, there are plenty of ways this neighborhood is an excellent place for children. You can find many parks, museums and high-ranking schools.

This district doesn’t forget that adults also need to have the stuff to do for fun. This area is known for its live music along with a wide variety of local shops and restaurants. In addition, you can easily find vegan-friendly food or any number of more traditional foods offered in Spanish or Louisiana style.

Bywater, new orleans

Bywater, new orleans

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,195
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,195
  • Walk Score: 86/100

Bywater is another super walkable part of town. The vibrant food offering, live music venues and Bohemian vibe don’t hurt the neighborhood, either!

Here you’ll find even more late-night dive bars, artsy joints with unique moods and full-scale production companies. The art studios and music venues are just a part of the happening hood that is Bywater. It’s also one of the more affordable neighborhoods in the city for one-bedroom apartments.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,537
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,032
  • Walk Score: 72/100

For renters looking for an up-and-coming area that offers great qualities, Central City is the place for you. The neighborhood is constantly growing and that shows in the steady stream of newly available dining establishments, bars and entertainment venues. You’ll find that Central City is on the lakeside of St. Charles Avenue and has some importance to the city’s brass band history and Mardi Gras Indian traditions.

  • Median 1-BR rent: N/A
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,600
  • Walk Score: 76/100

East Carrollton has a reputation for being a great neighborhood for families because the area is only 15 minutes to the east of Downtown, so it has convenient walking access to many great locations.

In addition, it’s right by many parks, festivals and other community events. Besides entertainment, this location provides easy access to education of any level. This neighborhood also has a plethora of bars, restaurants and shops, so you can find everything you might need in a convenient space.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,537
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,032
  • Walk Score: 72/100

Fillmore may meet your needs for those looking to rent in an area that’s both affordable and safe. You won’t have to worry about older properties because this neighborhood is up and coming and has plenty of recently constructed homes that guarantee you’ll have a home with everything you and your family might need.

This area’s reputation is of a smaller neighborhood that still boasts many parks, shops and family-friendly restaurants. Another great thing about this neighborhood is easy access to several high schools known for their quality.

French Quarter, one of the best neighborhoods in New Orleans

French Quarter, one of the best neighborhoods in New Orleans

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,750
  • Median 2-BR rent: $3,157
  • Walk Score: 94/100

Of all the best neighborhoods in New Orleans, none are probably more well known than the French Quarter. Most tourists wouldn’t dream that living here is possible, but locals know the area is one of the liveliest and most interesting spots in the whole city, though it’s probably the noisiest — thanks to those tourists.

While the tourists run to Bourbon Street, locals enjoy the architecture, historic spots, antiques, boutiques, live music and views of the Mississippi off the beaten paths elsewhere in the neighborhood. The museums and family-friendly vibes don’t hurt, either, but the walkability score is one of the top-rated reasons to live here, too — everything is accessible by foot.

Moving into the French Quarter means having incredible eats, amazing bars, Mardi Gras access, art galleries, fine jewelry, street performers and, of course, those amazing beignets right there any time you want, day or night.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $2,009
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,411
  • Walk Score: 92/100

The Garden District is a great place to consider settling into, thanks to its many upscale boutiques, an abundance of beautiful greenery and great local restaurants.

The Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is perfect for walking with its expanse of lush vines, Spanish moss and creepy tales to relish as you make your way through. Overall, the neighborhood has a young vibe with plenty of affordable dining and delicious fare.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,500
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,600
  • Walk Score: 89/100

Irish Channel is another walkable part of town near the French Quarter. The borders on this neighborhood sometimes overlap with the Lower Garden District — depending on who’s drawing the map — with architecture distinctly different from the rest of town.

A number of 19th-century mansions and cottages fill Magazine Street, St. Charles Avenue and others, with a window shopper’s paradise to explore. Live here, dine here, shop here, enjoy life here. And, of course, don’t forget to belly up to the bar in some of the best Irish pubs in town.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,537
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,032
  • Walk Score: 72/100

Lakeview, as the name indicates, is on the lakefront in New Orleans. The neighborhood is home to amazing marinas and seafood restaurants, tucked in beside City Park. If you love walking and the outdoors, this neighborhood is a fantastic choice for you.

Wander the paths of the Besthoff Sculpture Garden (part of the New Orleans Museum of Art), visit the Storyland amusement park with the kids, shop in style, grab burritos with friends or nosh on burgers with homemade ice cream. Overall, the neighborhood gives off a casual, fun, free-spirited vibe.

Marigny, LA

Marigny, LA

Source: Rent.com/Royal St.
  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,100
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,550
  • Walk Score: 96/100

Marigny is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in the country, ranking at 96 out of 100 from folks who live and move here. In Marigny, you’ll find the best of the best New Orleans has to offer in all aspects. The housing is cozy and quaint in the best ways, while you’re right on the edge of the French Quarter, so everything’s uber convenient.

Marigny is best known for the busy Frenchmen Street, a local hot spot for bars, tattoo parlors, music clubs, restaurants and more. Snag drinks with friends for cheap at the local bars or catch the local live music at any of the many clubs. Then, tuck in for the night in your affordable apartment.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,501
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,990
  • Walk Score: 80/100

Mid City is only a little way away from the French Quarter and all the entertainment that has made it famous. A prominent feature of Mid City is having easy access to public transportation, such as taxis, rideshare services or the streetcar. For those who love to walk where they’re going, a paved path leads directly to the French Quarter.

If you want to explore Mid City, then you’ll find plenty to do. There are annual festivals, famous landmarks and a commercial district that has plenty to offer.

  • Median 1-BR rent: N/A
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,200
  • Walk Score: 65/100

History, food and art your thing? Then, St. Roch might just be the neighborhood for you. The neighborhood is moderately walkable and loaded with intriguing options for dining — like local seafood and oysters, Mexican fare and award-winning cocktail bars — and local independent art galleries.

It’s the perfect spot for low-key life for folks looking for a moderately active neighborhood where you can still find some peace and quiet in the off hours.

Uptown, one of the best neighborhoods in New Orleans

Uptown, one of the best neighborhoods in New Orleans

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,537
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,032
  • Walk Score: 72/100

It seems like every city has a neighborhood called Uptown. But New Orleans’ Uptown is pretty unique with the St. Charles Avenue streetcars running, the beautiful historic mansions, Tulane and Loyola Universities and the stunning Audubon Park and Zoo, along with tons of local shops and restaurants you won’t find anywhere else.

This neighborhood is perfect for Mardi Gras fans — with exceptional views and easy access to the carnival. Off-season, it’s perfect for shoppers and diners, with lovely locally-owned boutiques and small cafés, po-boy shops and seafood spots. Plus, you’ll have plenty of gorgeous walking paths and amazing brews all along the way.

  • Median 1-BR rent: $2,500
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,900
  • Walk Score: 72/100

The Warehouse District in New Orleans is a fabulous neighborhood with more art, culture and dining than you could hope for. The old warehouses were transformed from smelly old pits to amazing restaurants, bars, seafood joints, boutique shops, museums and more. It’s the perfect place to settle in for the trendiest lifestyle in the city and the best Creole cuisine along with seafood from the local waters.

In the neighborhood, you’ll find the Ogden Museum of South Art, the National WWII Museum, loads of galleries on Julia Street, local art events and some of the best gumbo in the city.

Find the best New Orleans neighborhood for you

From the French Quarter to Mid City, you know that New Orleans has intriguing, distinct neighborhoods. Now, to find the best apartments for rent in New Orleans! Check the listings we’ve got for you — you’ll be amazed at what you find.

The rent information included in this article is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of November 2021 and is for illustrative purposes only. This information does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.

Source: rent.com

Chase Sapphire Reserve 70,000 Points Bonus – Online Offer

The Offer

Direct Link to offer (login required)

  • Signup for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and get 70,000 points after $4,000 in spend within the first three months.

Card Details

  • $550 annual fee
  • Card earns at the following standard rates per $1 spent:
    • 3x points on travel & restaurants
    • 1x points on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Visa infinite benefits

Full review on Chase Sapphire Reserve can be found here.

Our Verdict

The standard bonus for Sapphire Reserve is 50,000, though we recently saw 60,000 or even 70,000 in-branch. Nice to see here a public 70,000 online offer. I’m not sure where the link originated. It does require a Chase login so it won’t work for someone with no Chase login.

We’ve seen Sapphire Preferred as high as 100,000, but I don’t think any of those offers are currently available. See these 26 Things Everybody Should Know About Chase Credit Cards before applying for a Chase card.

Hat tip again to JonLuca

Source: doctorofcredit.com

What is Altcoin Season? Why Does It Happen?

2021 has been a heady time for cryptocurrency. Led by Bitcoin, the whole sector has seen huge rises in prices and tremendous volatility along the way. There’s been a massive development of decentralized finance (DeFi) technology applications and cryptocurrency ecosystems that allow people to trade and lend their tokens without the support of a traditional financial institution.

With all this activity and volatility, some have wondered what it will mean for the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Will Bitcoin continue to dominate and soar? Will other coins rise up to take the top spot in the field? Insiders have already coined a phrase for the possibility of Bitcoin stalling out and other cryptocurrency products and token rising in value. It’s known as “altcoin season.”

Altcoins: What Are They?

Basically, altcoins are cryptocurrencies that aren’t Bitcoin or Ethereum. In fact, Bitcoin is so dominant in the field that even Ethereum is sometimes referred to as an altcoin.

Bitcoin is the big kahuna of cryptocurrency, the one that started it all, the one that’s traded the most every day, the one that’s gotten the most backing from mainstream financial institutions, and, of course, the one that’s worth the most ($885,497,080,149 as of December 17, 2021). Ethereum is similar: a long track record, a variety of projects and systems built on top of it, substantial trading volume, and a high overall value (worth $459,827,737,310 as of December 17, 2021).

Altcoins are just about everything else. Sometimes they’re tokens built on top of Ethereum for DeFi projects, sometimes they’re offered in an “initial coin offering” for use with a specific product, sometimes they’re spun up by developers because they think there’s something wrong or missing in the current crypto ecosystem. This could be variants or forks of mainstream coins (like Litecoin (LTC) or Bitcoin Cash), or a whole new type of coin with a specific usage (stablecoins like Tether or USDC), or tokens for use in a specific ecosystem, like XRP for use in Ripple.

When Does “Altcoin Season” Happen?

Altcoin season happens when there’s steady outperformance of tokens and coins that aren’t Bitcoin.

There’s no promise or guarantee that every runup in Bitcoin will turn into a downturn later or that altcoins will start outperforming the original crypto. In fact, it’s not uncommon for all cryptos to rise together, as excitement about the sector grows and new money goes into all sorts of coins looking for profits.

There are a number of theories for why altcoin season could potentially happen. One popular one is that Bitcoin investors will pocket their gains from a surging Bitcoin, maybe by selling some of it, and then move those gains into other cryptocurrencies.

They might do this for one of two reasons:

1.    To realize gains. This might happen if the value of Bitcoin owned by an investor has gone up relative to the dollar or other fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies, and they want to spend some of those gains on things that can’t be bought with crypto itself.

2.    Expectations of future growth change. After a large runup of Bitcoin, an investor’s projected future growth or value of an asset might change compared to the price of investing. So, with inflated Bitcoin values, it’s possible that altcoins could be a better investment going forward. And if enough investors and traders make that decision, they will be.

How Do You Know If It’s Altcoin Season?

You can’t determine altcoin season just by looking at the price of altcoins or Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency in isolation.

Looking at their “market cap”, or the total value of all the circulating tokens, can be a better indicator of what’s going on with investor valuation of cryptocurrencies. This is because price isn’t just determined by investor interest or disinterest, but also by the number of outstanding coins.

How Are Altcoins Doing Relative to Bitcoin?

To tell if we are in altcoin season, we have to look at two things. The first is Bitcoin’s “dominance” vis a vis the rest of the crypto market as well as the performance of altcoins relative to Bitcoin.

At the time of writing in December 2021, according to CoinMarketCap, Bitcoin’s dominance is 41% of the total market. Near the beginning of this year, it stood at 70%. Bitcoin’s highest dominance was 96% in late 2013, Bitcoin’s lowest dominance was early 2018, when it stood at around 33%. Its lowest this year is around 40%, which it hit in May of this year.

Bitcoin has fallen in value by almost 40%, giving a chance for altcoins to gain value in comparison. But we can also compare Bitcoin market value to that of altcoins:

•   Bitcoin’s market value has grown from $176 billion to $885 billion.

•   XRP, the cryptocurrency associated with Ripple, has had its market cap grow from $9 billion to just under $38 billion.

•   Cardano (ADA), whose token is called ADA, has grown from about $3 billion to $41 billion.

•   Litecoin, a Bitcoin alternative founded in 2011 and thus one of the oldest altcoins, has grown from around $3 billion to $10 billion.

•   Ethereum (ETH), the least alt of the altcoins, the most well established of all non-Bitcoin tokens, has grown from $29 billion to $459 billion.

Whether altcoin season is happening at all — and if so, whether it will continue — still remains to be seen.

The Takeaway

Altcoin season describes a time period when altcoins steadily outperform Bitcoin. There are a few ways to try to determine altcoin season, but it remains impossible to predict. Basically, you’ll know it when you’re in it.

Interested in crypto? With SoFi Invest®, you can trade cryptocurrency online from a selection of more than two dozen coins – from Bitcoin and Ethereum to altcoins like Chainlink, Dogecoin, Solana, Litecoin, Cardano, and Enjin Coin.

Find out how to get started with SoFi Invest.

Photo credit: iStock/Prostock-Studio


SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).

2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.

3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.

For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
SOIN0721290

Source: sofi.com

18 Student Loan Mistakes to Avoid

@media (max-width: 1200px) body .novashare-buttons.novashare-inline .novashare-button-icon width: 100%; .novashare-inline .novashare-button .novashare-button-block background: #000000; .novashare-inline .novashare-button .novashare-border border-color: #000000; .novashare-inline .novashare-button .novashare-inverse color: #000000;


Additional Resources

Most students have to borrow student loans to go to college. But very few know anything about them. That’s pretty scary considering you’re likely to take on several tens of thousands of dollars in debt. And making mistakes with that much money could cost you just as much. 

Take it from me. I borrowed six figures to get a doctorate to work in a notoriously low-paying field. And thanks to taking advantage of years of deferments, forbearances, and an income-based plan designed to help borrowers with high debt and low income, I now owe twice what I originally borrowed. 

Don’t make my mistakes. Instead, learn about the most common student loan borrowing and repayment errors. That way, you can avoid an overwhelming amount of student loans and get out of debt faster.

Student Loan Mistakes to Avoid

Most student loan borrowing and repayment mistakes deal with misunderstanding what you’re borrowing, how interest works, how to pay off debt quickly, and how to avoid default. Steer clear of these top mistakes to ensure you borrow smartly and don’t end up in over your head. 

Mistake 1: Applying for Aid at the Last Minute

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the gateway to qualifying for all financial aid of any kind. That includes federal grants and student loans as well as state grants and most institutional aid — the grants, scholarships, or loans offered by your school. 

The FAFSA opens for applications every Oct. 1, and you must complete it by June 30 before the academic year you need aid for. You must complete a new FAFSA every year you plan to enroll in school.

Many colleges and universities also require additional forms, such as the CSS profile (short for the College Scholarship Service profile), which dives even deeper into your family’s financial situation. So check with the financial aid office to find out what they are, and stay on top of deadlines. 

But note that states and colleges have limited grant resources. And those resources tend to go to the students who apply early. In other words, they’re first come, first served. So the earlier you get your applications in, the better.

And while the federal government is unlikely to run out of education loan funds, if you miss the FAFSA deadline, you’ll have to resort to private loans, which are costlier and feature less favorable repayment options.

Apply as early as possible to ensure you get as much grant and scholarship aid as you can qualify for. The more grants you can get, the fewer loans you’ll need to borrow.

Mistake 2: Borrowing Too Much

It’s possible to borrow every cent you need to finance your education anywhere you want to go to school. But it’s crucial to ask whether you should. Getting in over your head with student loan debt can have catastrophic consequences. I’m living proof.

I needed a doctorate for my original career plan of teaching college. But few college professors earn enough income to manage the types of monthly payments I had along with other living expenses. That’s how I ended up in the deferment-forbearance cycle.

And it’s not easy to get out of. 

Thanks to a loophole in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program I was counting on and how colleges operate, my teaching position doesn’t qualify me for forgiveness. Additionally, discharging student loans in bankruptcy is currently so difficult it’s nearly impossible. And settling federal student loans isn’t any easier. 

The first step to reducing overwhelming student loan debt is to exhaust every other means of paying for college, including scholarships, grants, and work-study. Search online for scholarship aid using a national scholarship database like Fastweb.

And never count on options like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Historically, the government’s made it nearly impossible to get. Do your homework to increase your chances of getting it and apply for it if you qualify. But don’t base your student loan repayment strategy on it.

Additionally, consider less expensive colleges. State schools tend to give most students the best value. It only matters where you go to college for a select few graduates, such as those looking to build connections with specific financial or law firms. 

Finally, do a cost-benefit analysis. I found out the hard way all degrees don’t pay off, so as much as you want to pursue your passion, it might not be worth it financially.

Search sites like Glassdoor or PayScale to find out how much you can reasonably expect to make in your chosen field and compare that to the cost of school. As a rule, don’t borrow more than you can expect to earn as your annual salary your first year out of school. That ensures you can pay it off in 10 years or less. 

Mistake 3: Not Understanding How Loan Forgiveness Works

Historically, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program has been notoriously difficult to qualify for. The program was overhauled in the fall of 2021. But until then, only 2% of applicants who believed they qualified had their loans forgiven.

Much of that is likely due to bureaucratic mismanagement, hence the overhaul. However, the mismanagement led tens of thousands of borrowers into making payments under the wrong repayment programs. 

On Oct. 6, 2021, the government announced Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which allows previously nonqualifying payments to be counted toward loan forgiveness as long as those payments are certified before Oct. 31, 2022.

But moving forward, it’s crucial that borrowers are clear about the rules of loan forgiveness. You don’t want to find out after 10 years that your application is ineligible and you have to start all over.

To qualify for loan forgiveness, you must:

  • Have Federal Direct Loans. Private loans don’t qualify for forgiveness, nor do other types of federal loans, such as Perkins loans. If your federal loans aren’t direct loans, you can consolidate them into a direct loan to qualify. 
  • Work Full-Time for the Government or a Nonprofit. Payments only qualify while you’re employed full-time for an American federal, state, local, or tribal government or qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. That includes military service, Peace Corps, and AmeriCorps but excludes labor unions and partisan political organizations.
  • Enroll in an Income-Driven Repayment Program. No other repayment options qualify. But even if your income is so low your calculated payment under the plan is $0, being enrolled qualifies you. 
  • Make 120 Qualifying Payments. They don’t have to be consecutive, but they must qualify, meaning you have to make them under an income-based plan.
  • Submit the Forgiveness Certification Form Regularly. You must fill out and submit a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program certification form yearly and each time you switch employers. While not required, doing so ensures the payments you’re making qualify for forgiveness and allows you to make any changes you need to before you’ve made too many nonqualifying payments.

See all the rules at StudentAid.gov. 

Mistake 4: Taking Out the Wrong Type of Loan

There’s more than one type of student loan. But it’s generally best to exhaust your resources for federal aid before turning to alternatives. 

That said, while rare, some students may find the caps on how much you can borrow in federal direct loans don’t cover the total cost of attendance. 

Fortunately, graduate students and parents of undergrads can borrow PLUS loans up to the total cost of attendance. So there’s no need for many students to resort to other sources. If that’s not an option for you, students can sometimes borrow from their state government or the school they plan to attend. 

But the primary source of alternative loans for student borrowers is private student loans from banks or credit unions.

Federal student loans almost always win out over private student loans because of their lower fixed interest rates, flexible repayment options, borrower protections, and the potential for forgiveness.

But if you’re planning to borrow PLUS loans and definitely won’t qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, it’s worth it to find out whether you could get a better deal on a private loan if you have excellent credit. 

Mistake 5: Not Shopping Around for the Best Interest Rate & Terms

If you decide to borrow private student loans, always shop around for the best loan you can qualify for.

Private lenders compete for your business. So going with the first lender you find could mean leaving a better rate on the table.

Use a comparison site like Credible, which matches you with prequalified rates from up to eight lenders with only a soft inquiry on your credit report, which doesn’t affect your credit score. That way, you can compare all your student loan options in one place. 

But it’s not only interest rates that should matter to your bottom line. The best private student loan companies offer various borrower perks in addition to low rates.   

For example, most lenders reduce your interest rate when you enroll in autopay. And some reduce your rate even further with loyalty discounts for doing other business with them, such as opening bank accounts or taking out personal loans. 

Some lenders also offer perks for specific borrowers, such as special payment plans for medical and dental students during their residencies. And some even offer unique perks like free financial coaching or career planning services.  

Just remember to read all the fine print so you know exactly what loan terms you’re agreeing to before you sign. For example, it may lack options for deferment if you fall on hard times or a co-signer release option. Don’t be lured by a shiny interest rate on its own.  

Mistake 6: Not Understanding How Variable & Fixed Interest Rates Work

The rate is only one piece of the interest puzzle. How that rate works also affects how much accrues over time. 

For example, all federal student loans come with fixed interest rates set each year by law. That means the rate stays the same for the life of the loan, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on the interest rate during the year you borrowed. 

But some private student loans have variable interest rates. These fluctuate with market conditions. Although the variable rates are generally the lowest offered rates, it’s because the borrower is assuming the risk that the rate won’t go up, which is likely if you take 10 or more years to repay your student loans.

If you already have a variable-rate private loan, look into refinancing to a fixed-rate loan while rates are low. 

And once you start making payments, contact the student loan company to find out if there are any ways to lower the interest rate, like signing up for an autopay discount.

Mistake 7: Not Understanding Interest Accrual & Capitalization

Another factor to consider is when the interest begins to accrue (accumulate). On subsidized federal loans, that doesn’t happen until after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. Thus, whatever you borrowed is what you owe up until the day you’re no longer enrolled full time. 

But interest on unsubsidized federal and private loans starts the moment you get the money. So on graduation day, you owe a higher balance than you originally borrowed.

Worse, that interest is capitalized (added to the principal balance as though it were part of what you borrowed) once you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. Since interest accrues according to the principal, that means you’ll then be earning interest on the interest.

Fortunately, you can reduce or even eliminate the burden interest can cause. Make small monthly interest payments while you’re still in school. That ensures none accrues and capitalizes on graduation. 

If you have to, take on a part-time job. As long as you keep it to part-time hours, it shouldn’t interfere with your studies, and a well-chosen college job comes with numerous benefits, like teaching you the money management skills you need to pay off those loans after college. 

Mistake 8: Co-Signing a Loan Without Understanding the Consequences

In some cases, a co-signer can help a student qualify for a loan or get a lower interest rate. 

But co-signing their loan comes with a great deal of risk. You’re taking on equal responsibility for the loan. That means if they make a late payment or miss one entirely, it could impact your credit score. And if they default on the loan, the loan company will come after you for the balance.

And it doesn’t matter how responsible or well-intentioned the borrower is. No one can predict the future, and they could fall on hard times. 

There are several programs designed to help people who have trouble paying back federal loans — if they enroll in them. But private lenders are especially hard to work with. Either way, there are risks associated with co-signing for a student loan. 

If you do agree to co-sign, ask them to look for a company with a co-signer release option, which absolves you of responsibility for the debt after the student makes a certain number of on-time monthly payments.

If not getting help means they can’t attend college, a parent PLUS loan gives you more control than co-signing a private loan. You can borrow up to the total cost of their attendance, but the loan will be in your name. 

If you want, you can still agree that they’re responsible for paying you back (though that agreement isn’t legally enforceable). Plus, if you experience financial hardship, you have access to federal repayment plans and borrower protections.

However, don’t sacrifice retirement savings or go into debt paying for your kids’ college. It could leave you unprepared, potentially placing a financial burden on them later.

Mistake 9: Putting Off Making a Repayment Plan

Many borrowers get lulled into thinking they can wait until after they graduate and their six-month grace period ends before they have to start worrying about their student loans. But you need to prepare your budget long before then.

A student loan payment could easily be $400 per month (maybe more). That’s a hefty chunk of anyone’s take-home pay. But recent grads won’t make as much as established professionals in any field. 

And if you don’t think about it for the first six months post-graduation, it’s easy to establish a post-college life that doesn’t leave room for it, such as upgrading your apartment or buying a new car.

Before you graduate, find out what your monthly payment will be. You can check your student loan balance by creating a student account at StudentAid.gov.

Then, build the rest of your post-college budget around your monthly student loan payment. That ensures you won’t take on more financial obligations than you can afford. Unfortunately, that may mean living that ramen-eating college lifestyle for the first couple of years after you graduate. 

Mistake 10: Choosing the Wrong Repayment Plan

The automatic student loan repayment schedule is 10 years of fixed payments, but it’s not the best option for all borrowers.

You don’t want to string out payments for decades unless it’s necessary. But income-driven repayment plans, which forgive any remaining balance after you make 240 to 300 (20 to 25 years) of qualifying payments, may be a saving grace for borrowers with high debt and low income. 

And for those entering public service fields, an income-driven repayment plan is the gateway to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives any remaining balance in as few as 120 qualifying payments. 

But even if you stick to the standard 10-year plan, you still have options. 

For example, you can repay your loans on a graduated plan, which lets you make smaller payments at the beginning. Your payments then gradually rise every two years. This plan is ideal for those who must start in a lower-paying job but expect their income to increase substantially as they gain work experience.

Use the loan simulator at StudentAid.gov to see how much you can expect to repay under different repayment plans. It shows your monthly payments, total amount owed, and any potential balance you could have forgiven under an income-driven repayment plan as well as the date you can expect to have your loans paid off.

Use this information to weigh your options. Ask yourself: 

  • Is it better to pay off your loans as quickly as possible by sticking to the standard 10-year plan? Is that realistic at your current income? 
  • How big will your payments be 10 years down the line if you opt for graduated repayment? Are you likely to make enough money for that to be practical? 
  • Is it better to make your current situation more manageable through an income-driven or extended repayment plan? 

Lowering your monthly payment will have consequences since it means more interest will accrue. But the loan simulator can give you an accurate picture of what those consequences will look like. 

Mistake 11: Only Making the Minimum Payment

The longer you sit on debt, the more it costs you thanks to the interest. So if you have any wiggle room in your budget, put whatever money you can toward your student loans to pay them off as quickly as possible. 

Even small amounts can make a big difference.

For example, if you borrowed $40,000 in student loans at 6% interest, your monthly payment would be $444. But if you paid $500 a month instead — a difference of only $56 — you’d save $1,957 in interest and have them repaid a year sooner.

If you can, opt for a side gig or cut your expenses. Additionally, put any windfalls — like tax refunds, gifts, or inheritances — toward your loans.  

But this is key: When you make any extra payments toward your loans, ensure you indicate the company should apply it to the principal. The more you pay down the principal, the less interest accumulates.

Mistake 12: Refinancing Without Considering the Pros & Cons

Refinancing is a common strategy for lowering the cost of debt, whether it’s a mortgage refinance or a student loan. But while refinancing can score you a lower interest rate, interest rates aren’t the only consideration.

When you refinance a student loan, you can only do so through a private refinance lender. That means you lose access to all the benefits of federal student loans, including federal repayment plans, borrower protections, generous deferment and forbearance options, and federal loan forgiveness. 

It may still be worth it to you, depending on the rate you can get. But it’s crucial to weigh that against all you’d be giving up.

Even if the private interest rate is lower, the future is unpredictable, and you never know if you could need those federal benefits. And you’ll lose all access to federal loan forgiveness with a refinance.

On the other hand, if you have private student loans, there’s no reason not to refinance. 

Mistake 13: Postponing Payments Unnecessarily

Both federal and private student loans have multiple options for deferment and forbearance. These allow you to temporarily suspend payments for various reasons, including full-time enrollment in school, economic hardship, military deployment, and serving in AmeriCorps. 

Sometimes, deferment or forbearance makes sense, such as while you’re enrolled in school. But prolonged use of these options just increases your overall balance because interest keeps piling up. 

Interest accrues on all but subsidized federal loans during deferments. And it accrues on all loans during forbearance. Additionally, that interest is capitalized (added to the principal balance) at the end of the deferment or forbearance. 

Only use these options when absolutely necessary. And if possible, make interest payments during periods of deferment or forbearance to prevent its accrual. 

If you’re deferring or forbearing for economic hardship and anticipate the hardship will last longer than a month or two, apply for an income-driven plan instead. 

Depending on the severity of your situation, your monthly payments could be calculated as low as $0. And some plans don’t capitalize interest and even have interest subsidies, which means the government covers the interest on your loans for a specified period.  

Additionally, those $0 “payments” count toward potential student loan forgiveness. But only periods of economic hardship deferment count toward the forgiveness clock. No other form of deferment or forbearance qualifies. And there’s a cap on how long you can defer for economic hardship.

Plus, if your financial situation changes, you can always change your repayment plan. 

Mistake 14: Missing Payments

Missing payments can result in late fees. The student loan company tacks these onto your next month’s minimum payment. So if you had a hard time paying this month, it won’t be easier next month. 

Plus, when you make your next payment, your money covers fees and interest before going toward the principal. So multiple fees could mean paying your principal down slower. And interest accrues according to the principal balance, so the higher you keep that balance, the more interest you pay.

Worse, if you miss enough payments, it can result in a default of your loans, which comes with severe consequences, such as damaged credit or wage garnishment or seizure of your tax refunds, Social Security benefits, or property. 

There’s never a reason to miss a payment on a federal student loan if you’re facing financial hardship. Simply call the company and let them know. Depending on what you qualify for, you can choose from multiple options, including deferment, forbearance, or an income-driven repayment plan.

Private lenders are tougher to work with, as fewer repayment options are available. But many are still willing to work with you if you explain the situation. Most of the top lenders have limited programs for deferment or forbearance in times of economic hardship. 

Mistake 15: Keeping Your Assigned Payment Due Date

Student loan companies allow you to adjust your monthly due date. That can be helpful if you’re having trouble stretching your dollars from one paycheck to the next.

Plus, if your bills are anything like mine, most of them are due at the same time of month. Thus, if you get paid biweekly, adjusting your due date to a different time of the month can make things easier.  

If you want a different due date, contact the company handling your student loans and ask if you can adjust your due date to one more beneficial for you. You may even be able to change it through your online account.

Ensure you get confirmation of the new date in writing. That protects you if you get hit with any late fees in error. Additionally, ask when the new date takes effect. It could take a billing cycle or two, depending on the lender. 

Mistake 16: Falling for Student Loan Scams

Many borrowers have reported receiving phone calls, emails, letters, and texts offering them relief from their student loans or warning them federal forgiveness programs will end soon if they don’t act now.

But the services these scam debt relief companies offer usually steal borrowers’ money or private information rather than grant any actual relief. 

Other student loan scams take fees for helping students apply for income-driven repayment plans or consolidate their loans. However, borrowers never have to pay to sign up for any federal repayment programs. They only need to contact the company in charge of their loan.

In general, if someone contacts you, avoid giving them any personal information. No matter who they claim to be, either tell them to send their request in writing or say you’ll call them back. Then verify their story by contacting your student loan company at their listed phone number or through their website.

Additionally, never pay an upfront fee for student loan services. The government doesn’t charge application fees for any of their loan programs. They also won’t claim an offer is only available for a limited time since all the terms are set by law every year and are available to all students.

For more red flags to watch for, check out the Department of Education’s tips on avoiding student loan scams. 

Mistake 17: Forgetting to Update Your Contact Information

You are responsible for making all your loan payments whether you received the bill or not. Additionally, the lender in charge of your loan can change, and you need to ensure you’re able to receive that information so you always know who to contact about paying and managing your loans.

Thus, it’s on borrowers to ensure the company in charge of their student loans has all their current contact information, including mailing address, email address, and phone number. That’s especially the case if you moved after you graduated or listed a parent’s address on your application forms.

Log into your student loan account to ensure your contact information is current. 

If you don’t know who services your student loans, check with your school’s financial aid office. For federal loans, you can always create an account on StudentAid.gov.

Then, each time you move, get a new email address or change your number, update that info with the company handling your student loans.

Mistake 18: Not Asking for Help

Paying off student loans can be overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with low income or a large amount of debt. Depending on your circumstance, it could feel like you’re drowning and may never escape.

Trust me, I know how it feels. And I’m hardly alone. A simple online search reveals dozens of stories of borrowers who’ve consistently paid on their loans yet owe more than ever thanks to the compounding effects of interest, which often feels like quicksand. 

But paying late or not at all only makes the situation worse. Damage to your credit report can make it difficult for you to rent an apartment, buy a car, or even get a job. And default can leave you subject to wage garnishment, steep collection penalties, and even lawsuits.  

But hope isn’t lost. There is help. Resources exist for borrowers who need an extra hand.

The first step is to reach out to the student loan company. See if there’s a payment plan that’s manageable for you. Even if there isn’t, let them know what payment you can afford, and go from there. 

If the company is uncooperative, contact the federal student loan ombudsman. 

Borrowers can also reach out to nonprofit student loan counselors, such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or The Institute of Student Loan Advisors. These organizations work with borrowers to help them figure out the best strategies for dealing with their loans and overall financial health. 

Alternatively, if you’ve reached the point of needing to settle your student loans or file for bankruptcy, seek an attorney who specializes in student loans. For private student loan help, try The National Association of Consumer Advocates. For federal student loans, search the American Bar Association.


Final Word

The United States is currently experiencing a student loan crisis because of how the debt has impacted American lives.

It’s affected borrowers’ ability to save for retirement and buy a home. It’s also impacted people’s ability to start a family or even choose a job for passion over a paycheck.

And it can do so for decades. Many millennials who’ve entered middle age continue to face debt repayment. And many feel college wasn’t worth it as a result.

But you don’t have to be one of these statistics. I write about student loans precisely to help others avoid my mistakes. Learn from this list so you can borrow wisely and avoid overwhelming student loan debt.  

.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-table-of-content-wrappadding:30px 30px 30px 30px;background-color:#f9fafa;border-color:#cacaca;border-width:1px 1px 1px 1px;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-table-of-contents-titlefont-size:14px;line-height:18px;letter-spacing:0.06px;font-family:-apple-system,BlinkMacSystemFont,”Segoe UI”,Roboto,Oxygen-Sans,Ubuntu,Cantarell,”Helvetica Neue”,sans-serif, “Apple Color Emoji”, “Segoe UI Emoji”, “Segoe UI Symbol”;font-weight:inherit;text-transform:uppercase;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-table-of-content-wrap .kb-table-of-content-listcolor:#001c29;font-size:14px;line-height:21px;letter-spacing:0.01px;font-family:-apple-system,BlinkMacSystemFont,”Segoe UI”,Roboto,Oxygen-Sans,Ubuntu,Cantarell,”Helvetica Neue”,sans-serif, “Apple Color Emoji”, “Segoe UI Emoji”, “Segoe UI Symbol”;font-weight:inherit;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-table-of-content-wrap .kb-table-of-content-list .kb-table-of-contents__entry:hovercolor:#16928d;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-table-of-content-list limargin-bottom:7px;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-table-of-content-list li .kb-table-of-contents-list-submargin-top:7px;.kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-toggle-icon-style-basiccircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:after, .kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-toggle-icon-style-basiccircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:before, .kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-toggle-icon-style-arrowcircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:after, .kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-toggle-icon-style-arrowcircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:before, .kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-toggle-icon-style-xclosecircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:after, .kb-table-of-content-nav.kb-table-of-content-id_9bf7f1-5e .kb-toggle-icon-style-xclosecircle .kb-table-of-contents-icon-trigger:beforebackground-color:#f9fafa;

Stock Advisor

Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations have an average return of 618%. For $79 (or just $1.52 per week), join more than 1 million members and don’t miss their upcoming stock picks. 30 day money-back guarantee.

Sarah Graves, Ph.D. is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, parenting, education, and creative entrepreneurship. She’s also a college instructor of English and humanities. When not busy writing or teaching her students the proper use of a semicolon, you can find her hanging out with her awesome husband and adorable son watching way too many superhero movies.

Source: moneycrashers.com

Chase United Business 150,000 Miles Offer ($20,000 Spend)

Update 1/13/22: Offer is back. Hat tip to reader cxr

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Chase is offering up to 150,000 miles on the United Business card. Bonus is broken down as follows:
    • 75,000 miles after $5,000 in purchases within the first three months
    • An additional 75,000 miles after $20,000 in total spend within the first six months

Card Details

  • Annual fee of $99 not waived first year
  • $100 annual United travel after 7 United flight purchases over $100
  • 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Card earns at the following rates:
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores.
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including taxicabs, mass transit, tolls, and ride share services
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United.
    • Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 5,000 bonus miles each card anniversary when you have both the United Business card and a personal United credit card
  • Last seat availability
  • Miles don’t expire
  • Free checked bag when you pay with card (for 2 people)
  • Priority boarding
  • 2 Club passes per year
  • No FX fees
  • 5/24 rule applies to this card

Our Verdict

We’ve seen two bonuses on this card since it launched:

This is basically the same as the previous 75k offer but with the option of earning an additional 75k miles as well and the AF not waived. If you can hit the $20,000 spend requirement and have a use of the United miles then this is a great offer and we will add it to the best credit card bonuses. As always read these things everybody should know about Chase cards before applying.

Source: doctorofcredit.com

The Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania in 2022

  • Pennsylvania is known as the Keystone State for its role in U.S. history
  • The state’s roots are deep in manufacturing, including industries such as coal and steel
  • Living in Pennsylvania gives you access to all the riches of the state, no matter what city you call home

Pennsylvania holds a notable place in the history of this country. Not only did it help shape our formation into the United States, but its roots are deep in the coal, steel and railroad industries. Living in the Keystone State puts you among historic locations that paved the way for the development of so much of this country.

It’s a lofty reputation to hold up, but staying grounded in industry and opportunity has enabled the state to maintain itself as an attractive spot for those looking for employment. With affordable housing across the state, plenty of colleges and universities and a slew of historic landmarks, why wouldn’t you want to call this northern state home?

For all these reasons, the best places to live in Pennsylvania stretch from one side of the state to other. Some cities are easily recognizable, while others you may hear about for the very first time. Regardless, you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to finding the perfect home in Pennsylvania.

Allentown, PA

Allentown, PA

  • Population: 125,845
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,885
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,027
  • Median home price: $187.750
  • Median household income: $41,167
  • Walk score: 59/100

A rich Dutch history gives Allentown a unique look and feel. Situated on the Lehigh River, this busy city is full of beautiful parks and gardens. It offers up a diverse collection of inhabitants with plenty to do to accommodate any lifestyle. There are plenty of job opportunities and thriving districts for the arts, theater and culture.

A day out and about in Allentown isn’t complete without a walk through the Allentown Art Museum, The Liberty Bell Museum, America On Wheels Museum and more. If the season is right, grab tickets to see the infamous Lehigh Valley IronPigs AAA baseball team go a few innings as well.

Bethel Park, PA

Bethel Park, PA

  • Population: 33,577
  • 1-BR median rent: $975
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,099
  • Median home price: $240,000
  • Median household income: $79,894
  • Walk score: 46/100

A Pittsburgh suburb, Bethel Park combines affordable housing with excellent schools and an abundance of green space. The city’s population is a combination of retirees and young professionals, but it’s also a great place for families. In addition to the parks, you’ll find plenty of bars, coffee shops and retail outlets.

With less than 30 minutes between Pittsburgh and Bethel Park, the town draws in those still commuting in for work, but who are looking for a quieter place to end each day. On weekends, locals will stay put and enjoy everything from the Montour Trail to the Hundred Acres Manor.

Camp Hill, PA

Camp Hill, PA

Source: ApartmentGuide.com/Society Hill
  • Population: 8,130
  • 1-BR median rent: $890
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,422
  • Median home price: $225,900
  • Median household income: $87,008
  • Walk score: 34/100

One of the best places to live in Pennsylvania is a small city along the banks of the Susquehanna River. Camp Hill gives you a nice amount of waterfront to explore. The town is also home to the northernmost engagement of the Gettysburg campaign during the Civil War. To honor this piece of history, you can follow the West Shore. There you’ll find historic buildings and battle sites.

For outdoor lovers, Camp Hill is a perfect home base to access hiking, biking, skiing and water activities. There are also plenty of local parks for a simple stroll.

Collegeville, PA

Collegeville, PA

  • Population: 5,043
  • 1-BR median rent: $2,060
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,655
  • Median home price: $380,000
  • Median household income: $112,500
  • Walk score: 44/100

As a suburb of Philadelphia, Collegeville got its straightforward name from Ursinus College. Academic life still plays an important role here, although the city is also a popular destination for a variety of businesses.

While there’s plenty of shopping and plenty for college students, the area’s top feature is the Perkiomen Trail. This 20-mile path follows the river, connecting many parks and historical sites. You can walk, bike and even ride horseback along the path.

Harrisburg, PA

Harrisburg, PA

  • Population: 50,099
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,137
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,407
  • Median home price: $199,025
  • Median household income: $39,685
  • Walk score: 55/100

As the state capital, Harrisburg is one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania as much for its location within the state as for its history. Living here puts you near the Susquehanna River, Appalachian Trail and the cities of Hershey and Gettysburg. You can easily sample a little nature and history with so much close by.

Within Harrisburg itself, you have access to the city’s own island. Here you’ll find a beach, riverboat, arcade and more. It’s a great stop during the day. When the sun goes down, keep yourself occupied with the upscale bars and restaurants downtown.

Hershey, PA

Hershey, PA

  • Population: 13,858
  • 1-BR median rent: $915
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,075
  • Median home price: $339,900
  • Median household income: $69,688
  • Walk score: 57/100

Yes, it’s named after that chocolate bar. Hershey is often referred to as one of the sweetest places on earth because, to this day, Hershey’s still calls the city home. This not only means a variety of job opportunities working with chocolate but plenty to lure in tourists. The city also boasts Hersheypark, which has rides and a zoo, Hersey Gardens and Hersheypark Stadium.

Although the city grew up around a single company, today, it contains all the attractive elements of a smaller town one could want. Step away from the more touristy areas to find scenic hiking trails, museums, restaurants and shops.

Lancaster, PA

Lancaster, PA

  • Population: 58,039
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,269
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,453
  • Median home price: $225,625
  • Median household income: $45,514
  • Walk score: 56/100

Situated alongside Amish Country, Lancaster is home to the Pennsylvania Dutch. While you can tour Amish attractions and even immerse yourself into the lifestyle for a special experience, locals have plenty of other activities to occupy their time.

As one of the best places to live near Philadelphia, the downtown area is full of shops, theaters, restaurants and art galleries. Underground caverns provide a little adventure for those seeking something different. You can also take a ride on the country’s oldest operating railroad or see a different side of the city’s history with a ghost tour.

Perkasie, PA

Perkasie, PA

  • Population: 9,120
  • 1-BR median rent: $995
  • 2-BR median rent: $995
  • Median home price: $425,000
  • Median household income: $77,420
  • Walk score: 38/100

Another commuter town, Perkasie is one of the best places to live in Pennsylvania because it’s a great small town that’s only about an hour away from downtown Philadelphia. Once known for its factory that made baseballs for the major leagues, Perkasie today has managed to grow while holding onto its rural appeal.

A fantastic park system and revitalized downtown area provide the perfect combination of hometown activities for residents. There’s no shortage of restaurants, shops, music venues and more.

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

  • Population: 1,603,797
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,872
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,102
  • Median home price: $260,000
  • Median household income: $45,927
  • Walk score: 84/100

The most populated and well-known city in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia definitely has one of the rooms where it happened. Not only is it the original home of the Liberty Bell but it also housed our Founding Fathers as they signed the Declaration of Independence into being.

Popular in its own right, Philadelphia offers additional appeal for its proximity to New York City. Hop a train into the city for work or a weekend of fun. You can also stay close to home and snack on an authentic Philly cheesesteak as you enjoy the art and history of downtown. There’s no shortage of 300-year-old buildings, cultural attractions, quaint parks, bars, restaurants and shops.

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

  • Population: 302,971
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,435
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,890
  • Median home price: $217,000
  • Median household income: $48,711
  • Walk score: 69/100

Bookending the state, Pittsburgh is the most populated city on the opposite end from Philly. Known as the City of Bridges, Pittsburgh has long shared a connection with steel, however, the industry is only part of what makes this area so special. As a highly walkable city, you can easily explore on foot but wear comfortable shoes. With over 712 sets of city-maintained steps, you’re going to get a great workout.

If walking isn’t your thing, don’t worry, Pittsburgh has you covered. For sports fans, this affordable town is home to professional baseball, football and hockey teams. For those looking toward higher education, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are the notable tip of Pittsburgh’s collegiate iceberg.

Reading, PA

Reading, PA

  • Population: 95,112
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,475
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,540
  • Median home price: $160,000
  • Median household income: $32,176
  • Walk score: 69/100

Named after the Reading Railroad, which all you Monopoly players should know well, the town of Reading sits in the southeastern part of the state. Today, it’s uniquely known for the variety of pretzel companies that call the area home. Reading is also a combination of culture and history. It’s easy to divide your day between looking at an Egyptian mummy in the Reading Public Museum and hiking through the Nolde Forest. You can also check out Daniel Boone’s birthplace for some real American history.

With plenty of affordable, suburban housing, residents get drawn into Reading for the charms of the city itself, as well as its proximity to Philadelphia. These two cities on the list of best places to live in Pennsylvania are only about 60 miles apart.

Scranton, PA

Scranton, PA

  • Population: 76,328
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,184
  • 2-BR median rent: $1,095
  • Median home price: $149,000
  • Median household income: $40,608
  • Walk score: 58/100

Laid out more like a traditional small town, Scranton has tight-knit neighborhoods clustered around a thriving downtown. You’ll find trendy restaurants, boutiques and art galleries nestled among the historic Lackawanna County Courthouse building.

Taking into account its high population of young professionals and families, Scranton caters to its residents with plenty of special activities, including cultural festivals and monthly art walks. Scranton also pays homage to its nickname, the Electric City, with The Electric City Trolley Station and Museum. The first streetcars, successfully powered by electricity, ran here in the 1880s.

Willow Grove, PA

Willow Grove, PA

Source: ApartmentGuide.com/Willow Pointe
  • Population: 13,730
  • 1-BR median rent: $1,907
  • 2-BR median rent: $2,230
  • Median home price: $300,000
  • Median household income: $79,162
  • Walk score: 57/100

A small town with big fun, Willow Grove offers residents a quiet, laidback community that doesn’t lack the amenities you’d want close by. There are plenty of shopping and dining options that you’d expect to find in bigger cities.

As a Philadelphia suburb, Willow Grove has the nearby city going for it as far as activity goes, but it’s not without its own set of museums and historic sites to occupy residents. Visit the 42-acre grounds and home at Graeme Park or check out the indoor playground at Urban Air Adventure Park for something really different.

Find an apartment for rent in Pennsylvania

The best places to live in Pennsylvania spread to all four corners of the state. Each city has its own charm, beauty and history to explore, not to mention job opportunities and affordable housing.

Once you decide what area is right for you, begin the hunt. Look for apartments for rent in Pennsylvania to see all your options. Then, start narrowing things down by location, amenities and more. You’ll find the perfect place to call home in no time.

The rent information included in this summary is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of December 2021.
Median home prices are from Redfin as of December 2021.
Population and median household income are from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The information in this article is for illustrative purposes only. This data herein does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.

Comments

comments