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Flexible Side Jobs to Help Pay Off Student Loans

December 26, 2018

College is one of the most unforgettable times of your life; you’re independent to earn, learn, and grow. However, this brings a bundle of responsibilities that include not only your daily expenses but also the college fees, living costs, food, and so much more.

Most students find themselves stuck as they are unable to manage money in the smartest way. The need to socialize and to pay bills and fees have to be kept in a balance.

Students often opt for student loans and try to get the best possible loan offers. In the case of international students, the choices are less. Sometimes they have to only opt for risky private loans. Yet, you can check out student loan offers that best suit you.

Money management is an art that you must learn before you head to college. It’ll save you from graduating with a heavy amount of debt that is still pending. That means you will be paying off student loans from the first few job salaries until it has all been repaid.

To avoid that, students are considering the options of online or offline side jobs that have flexible hours and flexible pay scale. Here are 4 flexible jobs that you can begin to pay off the student loans:

  1. SAT or ACT Tutor:

If you scored well on the SAT or ACT, why not share your experience with the college students who are in search of an expert? To ace exams, we only need to learn some tricks rather than simply remembering memorizing the information. Tutors show us the best way to learn all the material in a minimum time available.

Start tutoring the juniors by imparting your knowledge and experience to them. It will assist them in clearing the entrance exams. You can teach via Skype or other online portals to reach students from around the world.

  1. PowerPoint Presentations:

If you are good at making PowerPoint presentations and can come up with different variations in it, sell your services. In order to do this job, you can make an attractive portfolio and upload it on different freelancing websites such as Freelancer, Upwork, People Per Hour, etc. Many students, as well as companies, are looking for someone to make a good PowerPoint presentation for them. Thus, it can be a good source of income to help meet your other expenses.     

  1. Brand Ambassador

What is your favorite brand? Have the products been of any help to you? Then spread the word. If you get the chance to become a brand ambassador, share your experiences with the products and build potential client leads. It can later turn into a full-time career opportunity in the marketing field.

  1. Website Evaluator:

If you are an expert in discerning the areas of a website that need improvement, then become an evaluator for different websites. Help the website owners pace up their business. Along with being a website evaluator, you can evaluate search engine and social media platforms related to the website. This will help you establish a good user experience.

As life goes on, don’t let student loans run your life. Remember the tips from GradGuard and these side hustles help pay off those student loans a little sooner.

Taylor Hill works for a financial technology company Stilt located in San Francisco which is revolutionizing the way individuals with limited or zero credit history get loans in the U.S.

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Buying a Car in College

May 19, 2017

Buying a Car in College: What You Need to Know

Buying a new car is exciting, especially if you’ve had the same one since high school. Doing this by yourself in college, especially if you don’t have a lot of help from your parents or another adult, means you have a bit of work ahead of you. You’ll need to decide between new and used, dig into finances and much more to ensure you’re getting a fair and valuable deal.

Here’s what you need to know before diving into the car-buying process.

Consider the Difference Between Buying Used and New

There are benefits to buying both new and used, and knowing the differences between the two will help you decide which one is best for your situation. For example, a used car may be more affordable, but might also require more maintenance. That’s a cost to factor into the equation.

You should also consider the cost-to-own of any new car. Use the “Create Your Own” tool from Kelly Blue Book to compare what that would look like for the various cars you’re interested in buying new. In short: this helps you determine how much you’ll need to pay before owning the car—factoring in insurance fees, interest, and monthly payments.

With new cars, you should also consider leasing versus buying, which can be a smart option if finances are tight:

“When you are purchasing a car, the loan value is based on the entire cost of the vehicle, minus your down payment and trade-in value. When leasing, however, you’re only financing the depreciation that occurs during the lease term (most commonly three years), plus fees. At the end of the lease term, you simply return the car to the dealership,” according to U.S. News and World Report.

There are drawbacks to leasing as well, including restrictions on the number of miles you can drive during the lease term. Not to mention, leasing a car is like renting an apartment—in the end, you have no equity and the car isn’t yours to own and re-sell.

Double Check the Finances

 Finances are confusing for college students and adults alike, which is why it’s important that you feel confident with the information in front of you. From loan repayment to needing co-signer, here are the financial details to pay attention to:

  •  Know what you can and can’t afford, based on credit score and monthly income: “… Being unfamiliar with or in denial of your financial situation leads to two things: Higher-than-advertised interest rates and manipulation by the salesman due to your ignorance of your own financial status,” explains Karina Reddy, with HerCampus.
  • Know if you need a co-signer: If you haven’t built enough credit, you’ll need your parents or another adult to co-sign the car loan for you. Don’t let yourself get through the whole process just to find that you can’t walk away with the car that day. If you need a co-signer, bring them with you to go through the paperwork and sign on the dotted line.
  • Know the cost of auto insurance.  Just like each person has a driving history, it is important to realize that insurance may cost differently for each car you are considering.  According to Jean Marie Huff, President of MyLifeProtected, a national insurance technology platform that enables consumers to compare insurance quotes and secure discounts on coverage.
  • Take your time to get the whole story: “Read the entire financing agreement. Don’t let anyone pressure you to sign it immediately. Watch out for prepayment penalties, binding arbitration clauses, and adjustable rates. The printed terms supersede all verbal statements,” advise experts at Auto.Loan.


Know the Benefits of Working With a Dealership

 Just because you‘re working with a dealership, doesn’t mean you have to buy new. Most dealerships also sell used cars, and the benefits of buying used with a dealer, rather than a private used seller are many. Here are a few to consider:

  • Dealerships often sell their used cars as “Certified Pre-Owned,” which means the vehicle is less likely to have problems thanks to a rigorous inspection process.
  • Dealers let you trade in your old car, which will reduce the amount of money you have to put down. If you don’t have a lot of money to give up front, this is a helpful option.
  • Dealers are bound by state and federal laws that many private sellers are not required to follow, including implied warranty. Most private sellers don’t offer a warranty, and if they do, it’s likely minimal compared to a dealership option. (Get more information about warranties from the Federal Trade Commission)
  • The dealership handles all of the paperwork. With a private seller, you share the responsibility of handling bill of sale, transfer of registration and title, and tax paperwork.


With all of that being said, working with a private seller isn’t automatically a bad idea. It may simply require that you do more research to find a reputable seller.

Buying a new car is exciting. Don’t get wrapped up in the thrill of it all and forget to do your due diligence. Keep these details in mind as you start the car buying process to make sure you get a fair and valuable deal.

This post was contributed to GradGuard by Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time writer. She’s written for Reader’s Digest, Lifehack, SoFi and more.Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for health articles, new workouts and more.