Using In-School Deferment as a Student

Undergraduate and graduate students in school at least half-time can put off making federal student loan payments, and possibly private student loan payments, with in-school deferment. The catch? Interest usually accrues.

Loans are a fact of life for many students. In fact, a majority of them — about 70% — graduate with student loan debt.

While some students choose to start paying off their loans while they’re still in college, many take advantage of in-school deferment.

What Is In-School Deferment?

In-school deferment allows an undergraduate or graduate student, or parent borrower, to postpone making payments on:

•   Direct Loans, which include PLUS loans for graduate and professional students, or parents of dependent undergrads; subsidized and unsubsidized loans; and consolidation loans.

•   Perkins Loans

•   Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans.

Parents with PLUS loans may qualify for deferment if their student is enrolled at least half-time at an eligible college or career school.

What about private student loans? Many lenders allow students to defer payments while they’re in school and for six months after graduation. Sallie Mae lets you defer payments for 48 months as long as you are enrolled at least half-time.

But each private lender has its own rules.

Recommended: How Does Student Loan Deferment in Grad School Work?

How In-School Deferment Works

Federal student loan borrowers in school at least half-time are to be automatically placed into in-school deferment. You should receive a notice from your loan servicer.

If your loans don’t go into automatic in-school deferment or you don’t receive a notice, get in touch with the financial aid office at your school. You may need to fill out an In-School Deferment Request .

If you have private student loans, it’s a good idea to reach out to your loan servicer to request in-school deferment. If you’re seeking a new private student loan, you can review the lender’s deferment rules.

Most federal student loans also have a six-month grace period after a student graduates, drops below half-time enrollment, or leaves school before payments must begin. This applies to graduate students with PLUS loans as well.

Parent borrowers who took out a PLUS loan can request a six-month deferment after their student graduates, leaves school, or drops below half-time enrollment.

Requirements for In-School Deferment

Students with federal student loans must be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible school, defined by the Federal Student Aid office as one that has been approved by the Department of Education to participate in federal student aid programs, even if the school does not participate in those programs.

That includes most accredited American colleges and universities and some institutions outside the United States.

In-school deferment is primarily for students with existing loans or those who are returning to school after time away.

The definition of “half-time” can be tricky. Make sure you understand the definition your school uses, as not all schools define half-time status the same way. It’s usually based on a certain number of hours and/or credits.

Do I Need to Pay Interest During In-School Deferment?

For federal student loans and many private student loans, no.

If you have a federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, interest will accrue during the deferment and be added to the principal loan balance.

If you have a Direct Subsidized Loan or a Perkins Loan, the government pays the interest while you’re in school and during grace periods. That’s also true of the subsidized portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan.

Interest will almost always accrue on deferred private student loans.

Although postponement of payments takes the pressure off, the interest that you’re responsible for that accrues on any loan will be capitalized, or added to your balance, after deferments and grace periods. You’ll then be charged interest on the increased principal balance. Capitalization of the unpaid interest may also increase your monthly payment, depending on your repayment plan.

If you’re able to pay the interest before it capitalizes, that can help keep your total loan cost down.

Alternatives to In-School Deferment

There are different types of deferment aside from in-school deferment.

•   Economic Hardship Deferment. You may receive an economic hardship deferment for up to three years if you receive a means-tested benefit, such as welfare, you are serving in the Peace Corps, or you work full time but your earnings are below 150% of the poverty guideline for your state and family size.

•   Graduate Fellowship Deferment. If you are in an approved graduate fellowship program, you could be eligible for this deferment.

•   Military Service and Post-Active Duty Student Deferment. You could qualify for this deferment if you are on active duty military service in connection with a military operation, war, or a national emergency, or you have completed active duty service and any applicable grace period. The deferment will end once you are enrolled in school at least half-time, or 13 months after completion of active duty service and any grace period, whichever comes first.

•   Rehabilitation Training Deferment. This deferment is for students who are in an approved program that offers drug or alcohol, vocational, or mental health rehabilitation.

•   Unemployment Deferment. You can receive this deferment for up to three years if you receive unemployment benefits or you’re unable to find full-time employment.

For most deferments, you’ll need to provide your student loan servicer with documentation to show that you’re eligible.

Then there’s federal student loan forbearance, which temporarily suspends or reduces your principal monthly payments, but interest always continues to accrue.

Some private student loan lenders offer forbearance as well.

If your federal student loan type does not charge interest during deferment, that’s probably the way to go. If you’ve reached the maximum time for a deferment or your situation doesn’t fit the eligibility criteria, applying for forbearance is an option.

If your ability to afford your federal student loan payments is unlikely to change any time soon, you may want to consider an income-based repayment plan or student loan refinancing.

The goal of refinancing with a private lender is to change your rate or term. If you qualify, all loans can be refinanced into one new private loan. Playing with the numbers can be helpful.

Just know that if you refinance federal student loans, they will no longer be eligible for federal deferment or forbearance, loan forgiveness programs, or income-driven repayment.

Recommended: Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

The Takeaway

What is in-school deferment? It allows undergraduates and graduate students to buy time before student loan payments begin, but interest usually accrues and is added to the balance.

If trying to lower your student loan rates is something that’s of interest, look into refinancing with SoFi.

Students are eligible to refinance a parent’s PLUS loan along with their own student loans.

There are absolutely no fees.

It’s easy to check your rate.

We’ve Got You Covered

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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.


These Healthcare Stocks Should Thrive in 2022

As the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, routine doctor and hospital visits, along with deferred medical procedures such as cataract surgery and heart valve replacements, are returning to normal.

The pandemic has been a global tragedy, but if there is one silver lining it is that the miraculous development of effective COVID-19 vaccines in less than a year is helping to usher in a golden age for the pharmaceutical and health sciences industries.

“We’re seeing a revolution today in vaccine development,” says Andy Acker, manager of Janus Henderson Global Life Sciences.

Before COVID arrived, the fastest vaccine approval had been four years, and the average was 10 years; with COVID, two vaccines were approved in about 10 months. Validation of the mRNA technology used by Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA) in their vaccines means that it will now be adopted to treat other medical indications. (The mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response.)

In truth, the COVID-19 medical challenge and the dramatic success of the vaccines have only served to accelerate a powerful trend of innovation in medicine. For instance, the sharply declining cost of gene sequencing is pushing forward the growing field of precision medicine, which aims to tailor treatments to specific diseases, such as cancer.

“The science is exponentially improving for better outcomes,” says Neal Kaufman, manager of Baron Health Care fund.

Of course, the healthcare sector is also riding the (global) demographic wave of aging populations. At CVS Health drugstores, the number of prescription medicines purchased by people age 65 or older is three to four times that of 20- to 40-year-old people, says Jason Kritzer, co­manager of Eaton Vance Worldwide Health Sciences.

In rapidly developing countries with expanding middle classes, such as China, quality healthcare is likely to be one of the first things people rising out of poverty will spend money on.

With innovation and some of these secular trends in mind, we identified six intriguing healthcare stocks that literally span the alphabet, from letter A to letter Z. We particularly like companies that address large and growing end markets, especially global ones. We give extra points to businesses that have less exposure to pricing pressure from insurance com­panies or the government. Returns and other data are through Nov. 5.

healthcare stockshealthcare stocks

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Align Technology

Share price: $687

Market cap: $54 billion

Price-earnings ratio: 50

Maker of the Invisalign brand of clear, plastic braces for teeth, Align Technology (symbol ALGN) is a disruptive force in the global teeth-correction market, rapidly gobbling market share from traditional wires and brackets. Jeff Mueller, comanager of Polen Global Growth, credits the “Zoom effect” for accelerating the adoption of the aesthetically pleasing aligners: Workers stuck at home during the pandemic were staring at their own teeth every day on Zoom. “Vanity is increasing around the world,” Mueller says, adding that, due to the rise of smartphones, the internet and social media, “more people are taking pictures of themselves than ever before in the history of mankind.”

A lot of technology is used in the Invisalign process. It employs intra-oral scanners and modeling software, plus mass-customization manufacturing using 3D printing at several plants around the globe (each set of teeth is unique, and individuals change their aligners every two weeks). Because braces are generally for cosmetic purposes, they are not subject to pricing pressure from insurance companies or the government.

Align Technology’s revenues are currently growing by 25% to 30% a year as its market penetration rises, and Mueller expects earnings to continue to compound at double digits for quite a while.

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Share price: $82

Market cap: $206 billion

Price-earnings ratio: 11

Dividend yield: 3.2%

CFRA analyst Sel Hardy thinks that Merck’s (MRK) COVID-19 antiviral pill, molnupiravir, is “a game changer.” The drug maker has applied for emergency-authorization use from the government; approval was expected before the end of 2021. Merck projects that global sales of the oral medication, which has demonstrated strong efficacy against multiple variants of COVID, could be $5 billion to $7 billion by the end of 2022.

Apart from this breakthrough drug, Hardy likes the way Merck is positioned. Sales of Keytruda, its versatile oncology drug, topped $14 billion in 2020 and continue to grow; its animal health division is expanding; and the firm’s $12 billion acquisition of Acceleron Pharma, a biotech firm with strengths in blood and cardiovascular treatments, will augment Merck’s product pipeline.

Hardy thinks Merck, which yields 3.2%, can compound earnings by at least 10% a year for the next three years.

3 of 7

Novo Nordisk

Share price: $113

Market cap: $259 billion

Price-earnings ratio: 31

Dividend yield: 1.3%

Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk (NVO) focuses on two global pandemics: diabetes and obesity. The World Health Organization projects that the number of diabetics will expand from 460 million to 580 million by 2030, and it estimates that there are nearly 800 million obese people around the world. Novo pioneered insulin injections a century ago and has remained a global leader in diabetes care ever since. Multibillion-dollar drugs include Ozempic, a once-weekly prescription for adults with Type 2 diabetes to lower blood sugar, and NovoRapid, a fast-acting insulin treatment. Novo’s sales are evenly split between North America and the rest of the world.

Investors such as Samantha Pandolfi, comanager of Eaton Vance Worldwide Health Sciences, are also excited about rapid growth in Novo’s newer weight-management business. Wegovy, prescribed for obese people with another disease, such as diabetes, was approved by the FDA in June 2021. Tests show Wegovy typically delivers a weight loss of 15% to 17%, and Pandolfi says sales are off to a blazing start. The century-old firm plows an impressive 12% of sales back into research and development, which helps it stay ahead of the competition and generate earnings growth in the low double digits.

4 of 7

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Share price: $617

Market cap: $243 billion

Price-earnings ratio: 29

Dividend yield: 0.2%

Eddie Yoon, manager of Fidelity Select Health Care Portfolio, calls Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) “the Walmart of life sciences.” Whether it’s a big pharma, biotech or university lab, customers come to this health sciences supermarket for analytical tools, lab equipment and services, and diagnostic kits and consumables. “They are the partner of choice for any pharma or biotech company of any size,” says Jeff Jonas, a portfolio manager at Gabelli Funds. Thermo has benefited from increased demand for its products and services due to COVID-19, and now the firm is poised to benefit from the rise in research and development spending among drug companies around the world.

One thing that distinguishes Thermo, according to health care stock analysts, is the quality of its management. The firm has successfully integrated several strategic acquisitions that helped broaden its menu of products and services. Tommy Sternberg, an analyst at William Blair, notes that Thermo is particularly adroit at staying close to customers and understanding what their scientists are working on. “They do a fantastic job of getting to know customers and their needs, and learning from customers to come up with more solutions more quickly,” says Sternberg.

5 of 7

UnitedHealth Group

Share price: $456

Market cap: $429 billion

Price-earnings ratio: 21

Dividend yield: 1.3%

The U.S. spends a staggering $4 trillion a year on health care. UnitedHealth (UNH)—with annual revenues of nearly $300 billion, a market value of $430 billion and 330,000 employees—is the industry’s largest player. As the top private health care insurance provider, it leads in managed care. Its OptumHealth unit offers pharmacy benefits and owns physician’s practices and surgical centers. Eaton Vance’s Kritzer calls Optum, an industry leader in the digitization of services, “a very large health IT company inside an insurance giant.” United helps the federal government manage costs through its Medicare Advantage plan (the most popular private plan). Plus, it enjoys high customer satisfaction, and it is counting a growing number of seniors as customers (about 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day). Despite United’s massive size, William Blair’s Sternberg thinks it can sustain earnings-per-share growth of about 15% annually.

6 of 7


Share price: $217

Market cap: $103 billion

Price-earnings ratio: 42

Dividend yield: 0.5%

Like Align Tech­nology’s Invisalign, Zoetis’s (ZTS) main business—companion-animal health—was already riding a tailwind that picked up force thanks to lifestyle changes during the pandemic. Pet-ownership rates spiked as people grew more isolated and sought the companionship of dogs and cats, according to David Kalis, comanager of The Future Fund Active ETF. Zoetis markets vaccines, prescription drugs and diagnostic equipment directly to veterinarians. The industry is regulated, with FDA approval required for the drugs, but Zoetis benefits from the lack of insurance company price pressures and the fragmented nature of the firm’s customer base, notes Eaton Vance’s Pandolfi.

In fact, companion-animal ownership is growing globally, driven by aging populations and shrinking family sizes. Pet owners are treating their pets better, addressing ailments such as skin irritation and arthritis, and visiting the vet more frequently, says Pandolfi. Zoetis books about half of sales overseas; roughly 60% of revenues come from the companion-animal business and 40% from the less-profitable and slower-growing livestock animal division.

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Invest in a Fund

Given the complexity and diversity of the health care sector, investing in a fund makes a lot of sense for many investors. Here are our favorites (returns and other data are through November 5).

Baron Health Care (symbol BHCFX, expense ratio 1.10%) is a young fund off to a sizzling start. Over the past three years, it returned 29.2% annualized, or nearly twice the return of the S&P 1500 Health Care index. Manager Neal Kaufman and assistant manager Joshua Riegelhaupt look for innovative, fast-growing companies. The largest holding is Natera, a clinical genetic-testing outfit.

Fidelity Select Health Care (FSPHX, 0.69%) is a member of the Kiplinger 25, the list of our favorite no-load funds. The fund has a 19.8% three-year annualized return, ahead of the 17.0% average annual gain of its peers. Eddie Yoon, who has piloted the fund since 2008, says he’s light on large pharmaceutical companies in the portfolio, preferring makers of devices used to help manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart ailments. The fund’s top three holdings are UnitedHealth, Boston Scientific and Danaher.

Ziad Bakri, a former physician, runs T. Rowe Price Health Sciences (PRHSX, 0.76%), which has returned 21% annualized over the past three years. Nearly one-third of assets are invested in biotechnology, a high-risk, high-return segment of health care. Top positions include Thermo Fisher Scientific and Intuitive Surgical.

If you prefer investing through exchange-traded funds, Simplify Health Care (PINK, $26, 0.50%) is an intriguing, actively managed ETF that launched on October 7. Through November 5, just shy of one month, it returned 5.9%. Manager Michael Taylor, a virologist by training who spent 20 years investing in health care stocks at some prominent hedge funds, expresses his views by increasing or decreasing the fund’s weighting of stocks in relation to the MSCI US Health Care Index.


How to Become a Mortician and Other Jobs in the Funeral Industry

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There are a lot of reasons for thinking about becoming a funeral director, the funeral industry’s preferred term for mortician.

For one, the unemployment rate is low. For another, there’s always a need.

And, it is one of the careers that does not require a bachelor’s degree that still pays well. Funeral directors make an average of $55,000 a year. That’s the average and some directors with more experience bring in more than $70,000. As far as school, most states require an associate’s degree, an apprenticeship/internship, and passing a licensing exam.

If working with bereaved families and preparing bodies for burial or cremation seem like something you would be good at, consider this well-paying career path. The funeral industry is estimated to be worth $16 billion in the United States in 2021.

Read on to find out how to become a mortician.

The Difference Between a Mortician and Funeral Director

First, let’s clarify some terms. What are the differences between mortician, funeral director, embalmer and undertaker? They have similar roles but slightly different duties.

In 1895, an American publication called The Embalmer’s Monthly put out a call for a new term for undertakers. The winner was mortician, a made-up word and thank goodness for Morticia Addams, right? Now, the industry uses funeral director for the person arranging the funeral service.

Most funeral directors are licensed morticians and embalmers. They have studied mortuary science and prepare bodies, but they also arrange the other aspects of funeral services. Funeral directors help the bereaved plan the memorial service (and might conduct it if there is no clergy) and arrange for cremation and burial. Funeral directors deal directly with the clients.

An embalmer can work for a funeral home, but also elsewhere — medical schools, hospitals, and morgues. They mainly prepare bodies, and don’t work with clients. The term undertaker is the British term for funeral director and is seldom used in the U.S. except when referring to the popular professional wrestler, The Undertaker.

What Does a Funeral Director Do?

Funeral directors deal with both the living and the dead. Funeral directors arrange for moving the body to the funeral home. They file the paperwork for death certificates, obituaries, and other legal matters.

Preparing a body for the funeral service may or may not include embalming (cremation doesn’t require embalming), but it needs to be dressed, cosseted (put in the best and most natural appearance), and casketed (placed in the coffin).

Funeral services are difficult times for people. The funeral director needs to have compassion for people navigating their pain and sorrow. While an interest in science is necessary, an important quality for someone who wants to become a mortician or funeral director is empathy.

The funeral director guides the grieving through the decisions that have to be made for the funeral service. This not only includes choosing the coffin, but placing the obituary, arranging the wake and service and creating a program for it, shipping remains, and more.

The Changing Funeral Business

Most funeral homes are independently owned. While often smaller businesses don’t have the deeper pockets of corporations, their size allows them to be more nimble in evolving their business. Funeral services have transformed from somber and sorrowful times to celebrations of life with some funeral homes even providing spaces for outdoor gathering complete with grills.

In recent years, more women are graduating in mortuary science. Some people might become funeral service workers as a second career instead of inheriting the business, which has been a traditional entry into the industry. The National Funeral Directors Association encourages its members to seek out, hire, and train more women and non-binary people.

You can find mortuary science stars on social media, including the popular YouTube channel, Ask a Mortician. There are funeral directors’ TikTok videos, and mortician AMAs (ask me anything) on Reddit.

Get Started in the Funeral Business

Most states require a two-year associate’s degree in mortuary science or related areas, an apprenticeship or internship, and passing the national or state’s license exam. Ohio and Minnesota are the only two states that require a bachelor’s degree to be a funeral home director. Colorado does not have any education requirements, but licenses funeral homes instead. Kentucky doesn’t license funeral directors but does license embalmers.

The National Funeral Directors Association is your go-to source for state-by-state details of working in the funeral industry.

If you were also thinking about joining the military, the Navy is the only service branch with its own morticians. For that you need a high school diploma or GED, and then you would get training through the Navy as a hospital corpsman-mortician.


You usually have to be at least 21 years old to take the exams, though you can start an internship or apprenticeship before that age. There may also be a criminal background check. Having a criminal record doesn’t mean you can’t become a mortician. You also have to submit proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.

You can also study for and take the national funeral service education board exam. The pathways to these two types of exams can be different. It is important to note that not all mortuary science programs are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE).

You can only take the National Board Exam if you have a degree from an accredited program. Some states allow you to take the state exam even if your program is not accredited. The exams are the same. It is just more difficult to practice in a different state if you haven’t attended an accredited program.

State Licenses

Most states have information about how to become a mortician through their occupational license, public health, or funeral board sections on their website. It is important that you clarify whether the mortuary science programs are accredited for just the state license exam, or for both state and national exams. Some schools also offer Funeral Arts Certificates, which can be used for other jobs in the funeral service industry.

National License

The American Board of Funeral Service Education is the national academic accreditation agency for college and university programs in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Education. Most states have easier reciprocity requirements to transfer your practice if you have taken the national board exam. If you have taken the state exam only, you may have to meet all of the requirements again if you move to another state.

Classwork for the License

Coursework can be broken down into roughly three categories: art, business, and science. Art? That is for the restorative arts, or visually preparing the body for a funeral service, which includes hair and makeup. There are courses which cover death traditions from many cultures and the history of funerals.

Science classes may cover embalming theory and labs, anatomy, physiology, public health, and pathology. There are chemistry and biology courses, and also usually psychology courses on grief and bereavement training.

Business classes will cover funeral home administration, accounting, requirements for a funeral service license, and some business law. There are usually classes covering legal and ethical issues that a certified funeral service practitioner will face.

Cost of Getting a License

The cost of getting a two-year mortuary science degree varies by state but your best bet will be an in-state community college. Then there will be costs associated with taking exams and getting a license.


There is a huge difference in how much you can pay for a mortuary science associate’s degree. In-state public schools may cost between $5,000-$8,500. Private, out of state tuition might be almost $20,000. There are the normal student loans and grants available, but there are also specific grants for students studying mortuary science (even as a second career). It seems like a great investment, since unemployment for funeral directors is extremely low.


The National Board Exam has two sections, arts and sciences. Each one costs $285. There are practice exams that you can take, which are free. In Florida, the state funeral service examining boards charge $132 for exams. Maine charges $75 plus $21 for a criminal background check. Texas charges $89. Some states have two separate exams — one for funeral services and the other for embalming.


This is another area with variation. Using the same three states as above, Florida’s license for a funeral director costs $430 with all the fees. Maine’s is $230, and Texas costs $175 plus $93 for the application. Apparently not everything is bigger in Texas! Licenses need to be renewed periodically, which also requires continuing education credits.

Funeral Director as Entrepreneur

The funeral industry has been changing rapidly over the last few years. Cremations have increased and burials decreased. Funeral homes make less money on cremations, and have responded to this shift by finding new sources of income and new ways to help people.

Green Funerals

There are more environmentally conscious choices that funeral homes can offer, including rental coffins for services (and a plain one after), biodegradable coffins, and natural burials. Green funeral services include sourcing flowers locally, using funeral invitations and programs made of recycled paper embedded with seeds, and biodegradable water urns, which sink and dissipate for at sea services..

Pet Funerals

An estimated 67% of households in the U.S. own pets, and many of them are using funeral home services for their animals. That includes memorials, services, and burials. Despite pet cremation being infinitely (well, 90 vs.10%) more popular than burial, there are over 200 pet cemeteries in the U.S., with Florida having the most.

Other Jobs in the Funeral Industry

Besides being an intern or apprentice, you can work in the funeral industry in many other ways. Florida lists 16 separate individual and business licenses for funeral home-related activities.

Here are the common jobs in the funeral or mortician industry though keep in mind in a smaller business, the funeral director may do some of them:

  • Administrative assistants handle office work.
  • Burial rights brokers arrange for third parties to sell or transfer burial rights.
  • Cemeterians maintain cemetery grounds (think groundskeeper).
  • Ceremonialists conduct the funeral service.
  • Crematory operators/technicians assist in cremation remains.
  • Direct disposers handle cremation when there is no service or embalming.
  • Embalmers prepare the body after death.
  • Funeral arrangers work with clients to set up the funeral.
  • Funeral home manager is the best paying job in the field, the median salary for this position is more than $74,000. The manager oversees all funeral home operations.
  • Funeral service managers are similar to funeral arrangers.
  • Funeral supply sales personnel work for the funeral home-sourcing supplies.
  • Monument agents sell tombstones and other markers for the cemetery.
  • Mortuary transport drivers prepare and transport human remains.
  • Pathology technicians work in hospitals, morgues, or universities with cadavers.
  • Pre-need sales agents help clients plan their services and burials before they die.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Funeral Business Jobs

We’ve rounded up the answers to the most common questions about working in the funeral industry.

What Jobs Can You Do at a Funeral Home?

negotiate supplies, transport bodies, conduct funeral services, and work with clients to place obituaries and arrange the service. They also have sales people working on pre-need arrangements. Some funeral homes feature pet burials and have special jobs related to that.

How Much Do You Make Working at a Funeral Home?

Funeral directors average $55,000 annually. Managing a funeral home pays a median salary of $74,000. Mortuary transport drivers average over $35,000. It is a field with very low unemployment.

How Do I Get a Job in the Funeral Industry?

Most states require two years of school, a (paid) internship, and passing the appropriate license exams to become a funeral director. Other jobs may require less.The mortuary transport driver has to be able to lift 100 pounds or more and have a clean driving record.

What is a Funeral Home Job Called?

There are many. There are funeral directors, embalmers, mortuary transport drivers, and funeral service arrangers. There are also typical office jobs, such as administrative assistant and bookkeepers. There are also related jobs at crematoriums, hospitals, and mortuaries.

The Penny Hoarder contributor JoEllen Schilke writes on lifestyle and culture topics. She is the former owner of a coffee shop in St.Petersburg, Florida, and has hosted an arts show on WMNF community radio for nearly 30 years.




Do Part-Time Students Have to Pay Back Student Loans?

An estimated 7.9 million part-time college students are hard at work this year. They may be a part-time student because of financial reasons, caregiver or parental duties, medical issues, or other reasons, but for all scenarios, balancing college with other duties and needs can be a struggle.

One question that can come up for part-time students is whether they need to pay back student loans if they’re not attending classes full time. In short, if a student meets their school’s requirements for half-time enrollment, they are generally not required to make payments on federal student loans. Private student loans have their own terms and depending on the lender, students may be required to make payments on their loan while they are enrolled in school. Read on for some clarification.

What Is a Part-Time College Student?

A part-time college student is someone who is not taking a full course load during any given academic quarter or semester. Individual schools set the standards for what counts as a full- or part-time student, but in general, full-time students may take about 12 credits or four classes at a time.

Part-time students may take anywhere from six to 11 credits or two to three classes per academic period.

Students may choose to attend college part time in order to take care of family obligations, work a day job, or because of other circumstances that don’t allow them to take four classes at one time.

Repaying Student Loans as a Part-Time Student

In general, part-time students may not need to pay back their federal student loans while they are attending school as long as they don’t drop below half-time enrollment — or as long as they haven’t graduated.

What does this mean in practicality? If you’re a part-time student and you are taking at least half of the full-load credit hours, you generally won’t need to start paying off your federal student loans until you graduate.

For example, if a full course load at your school is 12 credits, and you’re taking six credits this semester, you are still enrolled at least half time, and wouldn’t normally be required to start paying back your federal student loans.

If, however, you drop down below half time enrollment by taking only one three-credit class, you would no longer be attending school at least half time and may be required to start paying off your federal student loans.

When Do I Have to Start Paying Back My Student Loans?

If you are a part-time student who graduates or drops below half-time enrollment, you may not need to start paying back your federal student loans right away. Many new grads, or those entering a repayment period for the first time, are given a six-month grace period before they have to start paying federal student loans back.

The exact length of any grace period depends on the type of loan you have and your specific circumstances. For example, Federal Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans all have a standard six-month grace period before payments are due.

Factors That May Influence The Grace Period

There is good news if you’re a member of the armed forces — and are called to active duty 30 days or more before your grace period ends, you could delay the six month grace period until after you return from active duty.

One important thing to remember is that if you enter a grace period because you dropped below half-time enrollment but then you re-enroll in school at least half time before the end of the grace period, you will receive the full six month grace period on your federal student loans when you stop attending school or drop below half time enrollment (other conditions can apply here).

This is because, in general, once you start attending school at least half-time again, you’re no longer obligated to start making payments on federal student loans. In this situation, you would still get a grace period after you graduate, even though you may have used part of a grace period while you were attending school less than half time. Note that most loan types will still accrue interest during the grace period.

You may lose out on any grace period if you consolidate your federal student loans with the federal government during your grace period. In that scenario, you’ll typically need to start paying back your loan once the consolidation is disbursed (paid out).

Repayments for Federal Student Loans

If you have private student loans, don’t count on getting a grace period before you start paying back your loans. Student loans taken out from private lenders don’t have the same terms and benefits as federal student loans, which means that private student loans may not offer a grace period at all, or it may be a different length than the federal grace period.

Some lenders may require students make payments on private student loans while they are enrolled in school. If you have a private loan, or are considering a private loan, check with the lender directly to understand the terms for repayment and whether or not there is a grace period.

How Do I Pay Back My Student Loans?

There are things you can do to make paying back your loans as painless as possible. When you enter loan repayment on a federal student loan, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the Standard Repayment Plan , which requires you to pay off your loan within 10 years.

However, there are other types of federal student loan repayment plans available, including income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs for public service, and it is always worth learning about the different plans so you can make an educated choice.

As mentioned, private student loans have different requirements than federal student loans. Individual lenders will determine the repayment plans available to borrowers.

Take a Look at Refinancing

One option you may want to consider is refinancing your student loans with a private lender. Refinancing your student loans allows you to combine all your federal and private student loans into one new, private loan.

This new loan might come with better terms, meaning if you qualify you may end up with a lower monthly payment or a shorter loan repayment term.

It’s important to remember, however, that student loan refinancing isn’t right for everyone. If you refinance your federal loans they will no longer be eligible for any federal repayment assistance, like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program or income-driven repayment plans.

The Takeaway

Part-time student loans who are enrolled at least half-time, based on the definition at their school, are generally not required to make payments on their federal student loans. Private student loans have terms and conditions that are set by the individual lender, and may require students make payments on their loans while they are enrolled in school.

Graduated or dropped below half-time? Learn more about refinancing your loans with SoFi to help with repayment.

SoFi Loan Products
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SoFi Student Loan Refinance
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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Biden Tax Plan Passed by House: How the Build Back Better Act Could Affect Your Tax Bill

President Biden’s “Build Back Better” social spending and tax bill is slowly working its way through Congress. It was just passed by the House of Representatives and is now on its way to the Senate. While there’s still plenty of political wrangling to come, and additional changes are expected in the Senate, we now have a better sense of where the Democrats are headed with this budget reconciliation bill. The president’s plan calls for sharp spending increases for a wide variety of social programs that would impact childcare, health care, higher education, climate change, and more. The package also contains a number of tax law changes that would boost taxes for some people and cut them for others.

How might these changes affect your future income tax bills if the Build Back Better Act ultimately becomes law? First, the proposed legislation calls for higher taxes and fewer tax breaks for the wealthy. That’s no surprise, because Biden and Congressional Democrats have said for months that they want to make the rich pay their “fair share” of taxes and use the additional revenue to strengthen the social safety net. The bill would also extend enhancements to certain tax credits for lower- and middle-income families. These enhancements were designed to help ordinary Americans pay for some of the day-to-day expenses they incur. There are also new or improved tax breaks for higher education costs, clean energy initiatives, and expenses paid by certain workers.

At this point, it’s impossible to say which (if any) of the proposed tax law changes will survive and be enacted into law. Additional tax provisions could be added later, too. Nothing is set in stone yet. However, smart taxpayers will get up-to-speed on the Build Back Better bill’s tax proposals now, so they’re prepared if/when they make it through the legislative process. To get you started, we’ve identified some of the most common ways the Build Back Better plan could either raise or lower your taxes. After all, what you know now could save you big bucks down the road.

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Imposing a Surtax on Wealthy Americans

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Negotiations over how to pay for the planned social spending provisions were contentious at times. There always seemed to be general agreement among the president and most Congressional Democrats that higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans should be part of the plan. But nailing down exactly how to tax them proved to be difficult. The Democrats bounced back and forth between a laundry list of proposals, including raising the top income tax rate, taxing capital gains at ordinary rates, eliminating stepped-up basis on inherited property, and a “billionaires tax” on the value of unsold assets.

The Build Back Better plan passed by the House settles on a “surtax” on millionaires and billionaires starting in 2022. The extra tax would equal 5% of modified adjusted gross income from $10 million to $25 million ($5 million to $12.5 million for married taxpayers filing a separate return). It would then jump to 8% for modified AGI above $25 million ($12.5 million for married taxpayers filing separately). Modified AGI would mean regular AGI reduced by any deduction allowed for investment interest.

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Expanding the Surtax on Net Investment Income

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In addition to the capital gains tax, wealthier Americans may also be hit with an additional 3.8% surtax on net investment income (NII includes, among other things, taxable interest, dividends, gains, passive rents, annuities, and royalties.) This surtax only applies if you’re a single or head-of-household filer with a modified AGI over $200,000, a joint filer with a modified AGI over $250,000, or a married person filing a separate return with a modified AGI over $125,000.

Starting in 2022, the Build Back Better Act would expand the surtax to cover net investment income derived in the ordinary course of a trade or business for single or head-of-household filer with a modified AGI over $400,000, a joint filer with a modified AGI over $500,000, or a married person filing a separate return with a modified AGI over $250,000.

The legislation also clarifies that the surtax doesn’t apply to wages on which Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes (i.e., FICA taxes) are already imposed.

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Permanently Disallowing Excess Business Loss Deduction

picture of worried businessman looking at negative charts and graphspicture of worried businessman looking at negative charts and graphs

Another provision in the Build Back Better Act to limit business loss deductions would heap more taxes (mostly) on the rich. Under current law, non-corporate business owners can’t deduct losses exceeding $250,000 ($500,000 for joint filers) on Schedule C. Any excess losses can be treated as a net operating loss in later tax years, though.

This business loss limitation rule is currently set to expire in 2027. However, under the Build Back Better Act, the rule would be made permanent retroactively beginning with the 2021 tax year. In addition, the legislation would only allow excess losses to be treated as a deduction for the next tax year and repeal the limit on excess farm losses by farmers who received certain subsidies.

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Denying Tax Break for Sale of Small Business Stock by Wealthy Taxpayers

picture of upset rich manpicture of upset rich man

President Biden’s proposal would also choke off a tax break for higher-income Americans who invest in small businesses. Currently, there’s no tax on any gain from the sale or exchange of certain small business stock if you acquired the stock after September 27, 2010, and held it for more than five years. (For qualifying stock acquired from February 18, 2009, to September 27, 2010, 75% of the gain is tax-free.)

The Build Back Better Act would deny wealthier investors this tax break. Under the bill, the exclusion from gross income generally wouldn’t be allowed for gains from the sale or exchange of qualified small business stock after September 13, 2021, if your modified AGI is $400,000 or more. There would be one exception, though. The new rule wouldn’t apply to any sale or exchange made pursuant to a written binding contract that was in effect on September 13, 2021, and not modified in any material respect after that date.

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Curbing Mega-IRAs, Backdoor Roths and Other Retirement Savings for the Rich

picture of three eggs with IRA, Roth and 401k written on thempicture of three eggs with IRA, Roth and 401k written on them

If enacted, the Build Back Better package would curb a wealth person’s ability to stuff money in tax-advantage retirement savings accounts in a few ways. First, beginning in 2029, a new limit on IRA contributions would kick in if the total value of your IRA and defined contribution plans (e.g., 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans) hits $10 million and your modified AGI exceeds:

  • $400,000 for single filers;
  • $425,000 for head-of-household filers; or
  • $450,000 for joint filers.

A new “required minimum distribution” (RMD) rule would be put in place for mega-IRAs and 401(k) plans starting in 2029, too. Under the proposal, a retirement plan distribution would be required if the combined total of your IRAs and defined contribution plans reached $10 million and your income exceeded the applicable threshold listed above ($400,000, $425,000, or $450,000). Generally, the distribution would equal 50% of the retirement savings over $10 million, but larger distributions could be required if savings surpass $20 million.

The Build Back Better plan would also restrict Roth conversions for wealthier Americans. First, beginning in 2022, it would put a stop to “backdoor” Roth IRA conversions. This popular tactic allows wealthier people avoid the Roth IRA contribution limits by making nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA and then transferring those contributions to a Roth IRA later. However, under the proposed legislation, you won’t be able to convert after-tax contributions in an IRA or qualified retirement plan to a Roth account, regardless of your income. Then, starting in 2032, the proposed plan would eliminate all Roth conversions if your income exceeded the applicable threshold provided above ($400,000, $425,000, or $450,000).

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Modifying the SALT Deduction Cap

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Here’s a proposed change that goes against the grain – rolling back the state and local tax (SALT) deduction limit. It’s odd because the change would, for the most part, provide a tax cut for wealthy people.

The 2017 tax reform law placed a temporary $10,000 cap on the itemized deduction for state and local taxes until 2026. By limiting the deduction, the cap tends to increase taxes paid by wealthier people, who typically pay more state and local taxes and tend to itemize instead of claiming the standard deduction. Under the Build Back Better Act, the cap would be extended through 2031. It would also be increased from $10,000 to $80,000 for 2021 to 2030 (it would go back down to $10,000 for 2031).

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Extending the Earned Income Tax Credit Enhancements

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The Build Back Better plan doesn’t just focus on rich people. Jumping to the other end of the income spectrum, the enhancements made to the 2021 earned income tax credit (EITC) that benefit childless workers would be extended for one more year under the plan. The EITC is only available to low- to middle-income workers and families, and the enhancements that would stretch into 2022 were part of the American Rescue Plan, which was enacted in March 2021.

In a nutshell, the EITC improvements for workers with no qualifying children that would be extended to 2022 include:

  • Lowering the minimum age from 25 to 19 (except for certain full-time students);
  • Eliminating the maximum age limit (65), so older people without qualifying children can also claim the credit;
  • Increasing the maximum credit from $543 to $1,502 for the 2021 tax year (the maximum would be adjusted for inflation for the 2022 tax year); and
  • Expanding eligibility rules for former foster youth and homeless youth.

You would also be allowed to base your 2022 EITC on your 2021 income (instead of your 2022 income) if that would increase your credit amount. That’s similar to the rules applicable to the 2020 and 2021 EITC that permitted use of a person’s 2019 income to calculate the credit. This would help people who are laid off, furloughed, or otherwise experienced a loss of income in 2022.

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Extending Child Tax Credit Enhancements and Monthly Payments

picture of truck driver with his familypicture of truck driver with his family

President Biden also wants to extend enhancements to another popular tax credit for American families – the child tax credit. That would mean monthly advance payments in 2022, too. The credit would also be made fully refundable on a permanent basis. It’s fully refundable for 2021, but normally only up to $1,400-per-child is refundable, and you must have at least $2,500 of earned income. (With refundable credits, the IRS will send you a refund check if the credit is worth more than your income tax liability.) The president wants to repeal the requirement that each qualifying child have a Social Security number, too.

The American Rescue Plan pushed the amount of the child tax credit for the 2021 tax year from $2,000 to $3,000-per-child for most kids – and to $3,600 for children 5 years old and younger. Those higher credit amounts would continue through 2022 under the president’s plan. However, as with the 2021 credit, the extra $1,000 or $1,600 for 2022 would be phased-out for families with higher incomes. For people filing their tax return as a single person, the additional amount would be reduced if their AGI is above $75,000. The phase-out would start at $112,500 of AGI for head-of-household filers and $150,000 of AGI for married couples filing a joint return. The 2022 credit amount would be reduced further using the pre-2021 phase-out rules if AGI exceeds $400,000 on joint tax returns or $200,000 on single and head-of-household returns. Your 2021 AGI (rather than your 2022 income) would be used for phase-out rule purposes if you so elected.

Under the Biden plan, monthly child tax credit payments during 2022 would max out at $250-per-month for each child between six and 17 years of age, and $300-per-month for each child five years old or younger. However, unlike payments in 2021, monthly payments generally wouldn’t be sent to families in 2022 if their AGI exceeds $75,000 (single filers), $112,500 (head-of-household filers), or $150,000 (joint filers).

With regard to the “safe harbor” rules that let lower-income families keep any excess advance payments, the president’s plan calls for an exception if a child is taken into account for purposes of the advance payments through fraud or the intentional disregard of rules and regulations. The safe harbor amount would also increase from $2,000 to $3,000 ($3,600 for a child five years old or younger).

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Extending Premium Tax Credit Enhancements

picture of doctor taking a cash paymentpicture of doctor taking a cash payment

The American Rescue Plan made temporary improvements to the premiums tax credit, too. This credit helps people pay premiums for health insurance purchased through an Obamacare exchange (e.g., The current Build Back Better Act aims to extend the current enhancements from one to four years.

Provisions that are up for extension under the plan would:

  • Lower the percentage of annual income that eligible Americans must contribute toward their premium (extend through 2025);
  • Permit people with an income above 400% of the federal poverty line to claim the credit (extend through 2025); and
  • Disregard household income exceeding 150% of the federal poverty line for people receiving unemployment benefits (extend through 2022; income exceeding 133% of the federal poverty line is disregarded for the 2021 tax year).

There are new enhancements for the 2022 to 2025 tax years in the president’s plan, too. For instance, there are various provisions in the plan that would temporarily modifies certain eligibility rules and requirements to help lower-income people qualify for the credit. The president also wants to lower the threshold used to determine whether a taxpayer has access to affordable insurance through an employer-sponsored plan or a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement. Under Biden’s plan, an employee’s required contribution with respect to such a plan or arrangement couldn’t exceeds 8.5% of his or her household income from 2022 to 2025 (instead of 9.5%). Other provisions would exclude certain lump-sum Social Security benefit payments and the modified AGI of certain dependents 23 years old or younger from the calculation of household income.

In a related move, the Build Back Better plan would also make the health coverage tax credit permanent (the credit currently doesn’t apply after 2021). This credit is only available if you’re (1) eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance allowances because of a qualifying job loss, or (2) between 55 and 64 years of age with a defined-benefit pension plans that was taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The Biden plan would also increase the amount of the credit from 72.5% to 80% of the amount paid for qualified health insurance coverage.

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Adding Tax Breaks for Education

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College students would get a few additional tax breaks under President Biden’s plan. First, it would exclude federal Pell grants from gross income.

In addition, tuition and related expenses wouldn’t be reduced by the amount of any Pell grant for purposes of calculating the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit.

And, finally, students convicted of a state or felony drug offense would be allowed to claim the American Opportunity Credit. These changes would apply beginning in 2022.

11 of 14

Adding or Improving Tax Breaks for Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency

picture of solar panels on the roof of a housepicture of solar panels on the roof of a house

One of the main goals of the president’s Build Back Better plan is to address climate change. This clearly shows up in the many tax provisions in the plan designed to encourage clean energy and energy efficiency. For instance, the credit for nonbusiness energy property added to your home would be extended through 2031 (it’s currently set to expire at the end of this year). In addition, the credit amount would jump from 10% to 30% of the cost of installing qualified energy efficiency improvements, the $500 lifetime cap would be replaced by a $1,200 annual credit limit, a $600-per-item limit would be placed on credits for qualified energy property, the credit would apply to the costs of home energy audits, and more.

The credit for residential energy efficiency property would also be extended under the current Build Back Better Act – this time through 2033 (it’s current set to expire after 2023).This credit applies to the cost of solar, wind, geothermal or fuel cell technology used to generate power in your home. The president’s plan would extend the credit to cover battery storage technology. The full 30% credit would also apply through the end of 2031, then the credit would drop to 26% in 2032 and 22% in 2033. It would also be made refundable beginning in 2024.

Other green energy or conservation tax proposals that would help individuals (as opposed to businesses) include:

  • Excluding water conservation, storm water management, and wastewater management subsidies provided by public utilities, state or local governments, or storm water management providers from gross income;
  • Creating a 30% tax credit for qualified wildfire mitigation expenditures;
  • Establishing a tax credit of up to $12,500 (but not more than the cost of the car) for the purchase of a new plug-in electric motor vehicle;
  • Creating a tax credit of up to $4,000 (but not more than the cost of the car) for the purchase of a used plug-in electric motor vehicle;
  • Extending the tax credit for the purchase of a qualified fuel cell motor vehicle through 2031, but only with respect to vehicles not subject to depreciation;
  • Reinstating the exclusion from gross income for bicycle commuting benefits (they are currently suspended until 2026), and increasing the maximum benefit from $20 to $81 per month (based on 2021 inflation adjusted amounts); and
  • Establishing a tax credit of up to $900 for the purchase of an electric bicycle.

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Adding Deductions for Union Dues and Work Uniforms

picture of nurses in uniformpicture of nurses in uniform

Workers would get two temporary above-the-line deductions if the Build Back Better Act is signed into law. The first would be for up to $250 of union dues. This deduction would be available from 2022 to 2025.

The second deduction would be for up to $250 uniforms or other work clothes that are required as a condition of employment and not suitable for everyday wear. This write-off would be available from 2022 to 2024.

13 of 14

Subjecting Cryptocurrency and Other Assets to Wash Sale Rules

picture of a bitcoin smashing through a dollar billpicture of a bitcoin smashing through a dollar bill

People investing in commodities, currencies, and digital assets such as cryptocurrency would be subject to the “wash sale” rule if the Build Back Better Act becomes law. Currently, trading in those types of assets isn’t covered by the rule.

Basically, the rule states that you can’t deduct a loss from the sale or other disposition of stock or securities if you buy the same asset within 30 days before or after you sell it. Fortunately, though, if a deduction is denied because of the rule, the loss is added to the cost basis of the newly purchased stock. So, when you sell the new stock later, the tax on any gains will be lower.

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Extending Time for Same-Sex Couples to File Amended Tax Returns

picture of same-sex couple working on taxespicture of same-sex couple working on taxes

In 2013, the IRS began allowing same-sex couples who were legally married under state law to file joint tax returns. The tax agency also allowed same sex-couples to amend their tax returns to change their filing status to married filing jointly if they were married before 2013. However, they were generally only allowed to file amended returns going back to 2010.

Under the Build Back Better Act, same-sex couples who were lawfully married prior to 2010 would be able to change their filing status on pre-2010 returns if they were married during the tax year at issue. This would enable many couples, who were legally married as far back as 2004, to claim or increase credits, deductions, and other tax breaks that were not fully available to them on previous tax returns because they couldn’t file a joint return.


[Extended] American Express Personal Platinum Cards Will Get $200 AmexTravel Credit

Update 11/16/21: Those who have not yet used this credit are getting an email noting that they’ve extended the expiration of the credit through June 30, 2022. Hat tip to reader Donerly

Update 8/5/20: This $200 AmexTravel credit offer has now been extended for those who renew through March 2021.

Update 5/5/20: This has now been confirmed:

Beginning in August 2020 through December 31, 2021, select  Consumer Platinum Card can earn a travel statement credit after they make eligible travel purchases through American Express Travel. The travel credit amount will be for $200.00. Platinum Card Members who renew their Card between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 are eligible for this credit.

Original post:

A reader called into Amex asking for a retention offer on their personal Platinum card. The representative told him that it will be announced tomorrow – but he thought it okay to let it be known – that personal Platinum cards will get a $200 credit to be used on Amextravel. The credit will be valid from August 1 and will be good for 18 months.

Given that we’ve seen most Amex business cards with fees, outside the Business Platinum, get an ‘appreciation credit’, I’d hazard a guess that other personal Amex cards will also get smaller AmexTravel credits or perhaps credits of another form.

From the way this was presented it sounds pretty believable to me. We’ll find out tomorrow.

And it also would point in the direction of my hunch that these ‘appreciation’ credits are valid for all users whose annual fees post during 2020. This isn’t confirmed, but it’s my guess that they just haven’t sent out all the email or that they’ll send out email to some people when it gets closer to their annual fee. We’ll see.


New: Get $10 per eligible Chase card in monthly food and alcohol delivery credits – The Points Guy

More cards, more statement credits: Chase adds up to $120 annual Gopuff credits for cardholders – The Points Guy

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Jackson Hewitt Filling 25,000 Tax Jobs Ahead of 2022 Tax Season

A tax preparer from Jackson Hewitt smiles at two customers in this photo provided by Jackson Hewitt. The company plans to fill 22,000 tax jobs ahead of the 2021 tax filing season.

Jackson Hewitt, a major tax-preparation franchise, plans to fill 25,000 jobs ahead of the 2022 tax filing season. Photo courtesy of Jackson Hewitt

Tax Day may seem a long way off, but one of the nation’s largest tax-preparation franchises is already hiring for the 2022 filing season.

Jackson Hewitt announced plans to hire up to 25,000 employees at nearly 6,000 locations nationwide in preparation for tax time.

That’s 3,000 more seasonal positions than last year.

To make headway on its ambitious recruitment goal, the company is holding two different week-long hiring events in November and December. These public job fairs run from Nov. 8-14 and from Dec. 6-12.

You can walk into any participating Jackson Hewitt location for more information about seasonal openings, an on-the-spot interview and — if all goes well — a job offer.

“We’re searching for people across the nation in an array of positions who want to help their neighbors in their own communities,” Greg Macfarlane, CEO and president of Jackson Hewitt Tax Services, said in a press release.

Seasonal Tax Jobs at Jackson Hewitt

You don’t need to be a tax pro or have years of experience to apply.

The hiring initiative includes thousands of part- and full-time openings in the following roles:

  • Tax preparation.
  • Client support.
  • Customer service agents.

Client support associates greet customers, verify and enter W-2 information into a database and field calls about basic tax and appointment information.

To qualify, you should have a high school diploma or GED and the ability to carry up to 55 pounds. Previous customer service or sales experience is a plus. Your state may also require a certification to handle confidential tax information.

Tax preparers conduct in-person and phone interviews with customers to help them fill out and file their tax forms. They reference company materials and government regulations to answer complex tax questions.

Preparer positions are more selective than client support roles. Basic qualifications include a high school diploma, some related experience in retail, sales or customer support, and a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) issued by the IRS.

Call center and tax preparation experience and/or an Enrolled Agent certification are preferred.

Pro Tip

You can apply for seasonal tax jobs using Jackson Hewitt’s online career board or through your local franchise.

Job listings don’t include starting pay, and wages vary by location and position.

But according to self-reported salary information on Glassdoor, seasonal wages typically pay between $11 and $13 an hour.

Mandatory training is paid. However, additional credentials or tax education training may be required to qualify, and not all locations will cover those expenses.

Earn Tax Career Credentials at Jackson Hewitt

Jackson Hewitt offers a variety of entry-level income tax courses to help people interested in starting a career as a tax preparer.

The Jackson Hewitt Fundamentals of Tax Preparation Course teaches students tax fundamentals, including mandatory tax filing information, IRS and state requirements, tax credits, deductions and more.

Courses are available in-person or virtually.

According to the company’s press release, course graduates will receive a certificate of completion and may earn IRS continuing education credit as well.

Jackson Hewitt also offers intermediate and advanced courses for enrolled agents and experienced tax preparers.

Courses are open to current employees and the general public. Prices vary by course and format.

Completing a course may help your application but does not guarantee you a job in the current hiring push.

How to Prepare for an On-the-Spot Hiring Event

Walking into a store alongside dozens of other candidates can be daunting.

We’ve compiled tips from hiring event recruiters to help you feel confident.

  • Check if you need to apply online. Each on-site hiring event is unique. Some may have application stations for you to apply to a position on-site. Some may not. Always double check beforehand. And having an extra resume on-hand never hurts.
  • Dress business casual. Business casual is a safe way to go for most entry-level positions. If you’re unsure, drop by the store before the day of the event and scout out what employees are wearing. Then match your outfit to the job you want.
  • Be ready to interview. During an event, it’s common for a hiring manager to ask a few screener questions, and if all goes well, interview you on-the-spot. Come prepared to answer behavioral-based questions, which try to gauge how you react under certain circumstances.

For additional tips, read our guide to preparing for an in-store hiring event. Then go get yourself a new gig.

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.