How to Manage Your Student Loans

Student loans are among the greatest financial obstacles for an individual to pay off. With student loan debt surpassing credit card debt for the first time in history, it’s a major concern for students and former students to address. As any college graduate will tell you, the six-month, payment-free grace period you are given following graduation will come sooner than you can imagine. Do you have a loan repayment plan in place yet?

Studnet Loans

In order to assist with your student loans, TopLine Federal Credit Union has partnered with LSS Financial Counseling to provide free Student Loan Repayment Counseling. With LSS Financial Counseling, you can learn how to start and make every payment, how to consolidate your loans, discover loan forgiveness programs, and find more tips on financial security. LSS can help you navigate through options and take the steps needed to pay off your student loans.

Take a peek at some quick tips to get you started on managing your student loans:

Determine What You Owe
Between federal and private student loans from various providers, it can be difficult to keep track of every loan you have. An efficient loan repayment plan will be dependent on the type of loans you have taken out throughout your college career. Fortunately, many schools have an online loan education class that is required of graduating seniors in order to inform students of the loan process. You can also find a list of federal loans at the Department of Education’s website—nslds.ed.gov— and private loans on free annual credit reports at Annualcreditreport.com.

Discover Repayment Plan Options
Federal student loans have various repayment options that help keep your loans affordable. Different options allow you to work with your budget by lowering your monthly payment and consolidating your loans. In repayment plan options, you can opt for a standard 10-year plan which stretches your payment over 25 years or request a payment based on your income. If you have multiple federal student loans, loan consolidation may be a good option to take care of your student debt. This can help streamline your loan payments because you only have one monthly payment to make. Check with your provider and research your options at studentaid.ed.gov.

Explore Loan Forgiveness
In certain circumstances, it could be possible for you to have your federal student loan forgiven, canceled, or discharged which mean that you are no longer expected to repay your loan. This option would alleviate much of the financial burden of student debt. If you work for a government agency on any level, a 501c3 non-profit, or another non-profit providing health or public safety services, you may qualify to have your federal student loans forgiven after 120 payments on those loans. Learn more about federal student loan forgiveness here.

Need further assistance in navigating student loans? As a TopLine Financial Credit Union member, you benefit from free, confidential, and professional help through LSS Financial Counseling. To schedule a visit, call LSS at 1-800-528-2926, or visit our partnership page.

 

The Many Benefits of Home Equity Loans

Are you facing a major lifestyle change, but are unsure of how to finance it? Obtaining a home equity loan might be the right answer for your finances. A home-equity loan, also known as a second mortgage, allows responsible homeowners to borrow money by leveraging the equity in their homes. Home equity loans are fixed-rate loans set at a lower interest rate than other lines of credit.

dollars-31085_640There are many benefits of a home equity loan that can help you secure financial assistance. Lower interest rates are an excellent draw for many homeowners. Home equity loans have lower interest rates compared to credit card annual percentage rates (APRs), and because a home equity loan is secured by the collateral of your home, lenders are more confident in a borrower’s ability to pay back debt. Borrowers benefit from this confidence with lower rates.

Borrowers can also benefit from a cash payment. Home equity loans, unlike other lines of credit, provide a lump sum of cash based on the amount of equity in your home, allowing you to pay off major expenses with one check.

Obtaining a home equity loan is an excellent option for certain and specific situations. If you are considering how to finance home improvement and renovations, a home equity loan can help you reinvest in your home and property value. Make the most of a smart investment by researching home property values in your area and making market-savvy options.

calculator-1276066_640An additional benefit of a home equity loan comes in the form of a potential tax deduction. With the consultation of a tax advisor, 100% of your home equity loan interest payments may be tax deductible. This can be a major advantage when comparing financial loan options, as 100% tax deduction may not be the case with credit card debt.

A home equity loan can simplify your finances and assist with debt consolidation. Home equity loans have fixed, lower interest rates and lower monthly payments. Additionally, a fixed rate will mean that you know exactly what you pay each month with no variation or surprises.

In the situation of a major life event or expense, such as a wedding or an unexpected medical expense, a home equity loan can help more than spreading such an expense over multiple credit cards or taking on private loans. While a home equity loan can be beneficial in certain situations, refrain from seeking a home equity loan on short-term expenses and property resales. In these situations, there will be better financing options at lower interest rates.

Twins Tickets Drawing

TopLine Federal Credit Union is sponsoring a sweepstakes in which you can enter for a chance to win a pair of Twins tickets valued at $191. Score a home equity loan or home equity line of credit and possibly a set of tickets to see the Twins in action! For more information, visit our website to see the Official Rules.

With so many options for financial assistance, let TopLine Federal Credit Union help pick an option that works best for your family to help you meet your financial goals, simplify your debt, and reach your ideal lifestyle. Apply online, or contact a friendly TopLine representative to get started!

 

Financing A New Vehicle With TopLine Federal Credit Union

 

S (1)Looking to get a new vehicle? Is your old one just about to kick the bucket? Lucky for you, spring is right around the corner and with that auto sales are on the horizon.

Along with our stunningly low rates, we also offer a number of other incredible services that include:

At TopLine, we want to make it easy for you to get the best deal without the stress or pressure of purchasing a new or new-to-you car. So before you come in, here are three simple steps to make this process quick and easy.

Check your credit report
Request your credit report from one of the three credit bureau reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.Equifax Credit Information Services: 1-800-685-1111

For more information about credit reports, see:

Tip: This is a really good time to correct any inaccuracies that may have been reported those reports of . This can save you from losing a lot of money in the future and further damaging your credit score.

Shop around for the best rate
Make sure you are getting the best rate for you and your budget. Eight out of 10 car buyers finance at the dealership, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending. Though this option may seem more convenient, it may come at a cost and a higher rate. Contact TopLine at 763-391-9494 to get pre-approved or apply online.

Tip: “Credit union rates tend to be about 1-1.5% lower than banks,” Jim Hanson, vice president at the Credit Union National Association in Madison, Wisconsin.

Choose the shortest loan you can afford
Car prices continue to rise and with that loans have gotten longer. However, the longer term you have on your loan — though it may reduce your monthly payment — the higher your total cost will be when all is said and done. That’s because as each month passes, interest continues to accumulate, which adds up and in the end you could be paying thousands of dollars more than you thought.

To calculate and compare auto loans, click here.

Tip: Know your budget and what you CAN afford before you start the application process.

Bonus Tip 1: Limit your loan shopping to a two-week period
Every time you apply for a loan — whether you are approved or use it — your credit score may decline slightly and each time you re-apply for financing, it gets a little harder to get the best rate you deserve. So make sure you process all your applications within a two-week period to prevent an unnecessary credit score dip.

Bonus Tip 2: You can be pre-approved before you walk on the lot
At TopLine, we work with a number of reputable independent franchised auto dealerships representing all brands throughout the Twin Cities area. With these participating dealerships, you are able to fill out a form that details what type of vehicle you are looking for and the TopLine financing can be done prior to visiting the dealership! This eliminates the hassle and stress of financing at the dealership and waiting for hours for it to finalize, thus making the whole auto purchasing process less time consuming and stress free.

We are here to help you through the auto buying and financing process. We look forward to making it easy for you to purchase, finance or refinance your dream car! Contact us at 763-391-9494 or email Ask@TopLinecu.com.