Money Monday - Student Loan Debt

Mon, Aug 13th, 2018

Money Monday – Student Loan Debt
Almost 44 million people carried more than $1.4 trillion in Federal student loan debt in 2017, and 4.2 million of them were in default. Student loan debt has become a crisis for many individuals and families. 

While it is important to maintain regular contact with your student loan servicer, many times they don’t present all your options, or even the best option for your current financial situation. Two of the most common options for dealing with student loan debt postpone payment with either deferment or forbearance. These options provide short-term fixes but often do not address other financial issues that may demand budget counseling. Additionally, when loans are postponed, you may still be responsible for paying interest that accumulates during the period of postponement.

Although dealing with student loan debt can seem overwhelming, help is available to walk you through the process. Center For Siouxland’s Consumer Credit Counselors can assist with understanding your options and choosing the option(s) that work best for you, including the Standard Repayment Plan which will have your loans paid off in 10 years, income-driven repayment plans, and even deferment or forbearance.  Don’t know who your student loan servicer is?  We can provide the contact information for your student loan servicer so that you can make the necessary changes and initiate your repayment plan. Finally, Center For Siouxland’s Consumer Credit Counselors can help you create a budget that includes your loan payment to get your loans paid off.

For more information about student loan counseling and repayment plans contact Center For Siouxland’s Consumer Credit Counselors at 712-252-1861 x 47. To learn more about student loan repayment plan options, visit www.studentaid.ed.gov/sa/

   

Tickets On Sale Now for Homeless to Home Sweet Home Fundraiser

Wed, Aug 8th, 2018

Tickets are now on sale for Center For Siouxland's Annual Homeless to Home Sweet Home fundraiser! To purchase your tickets, call 712-252-1861 or stop by our office at 715 Douglas Street. Center For Siouxland’s signature event features Anna Taylor and Evan Kaler of 35th and Taylor, Tastings, a Slider Burger Bar, a Silent Auction, Mystery Wine and Emcee, Bruce Miller! Center For Siouxland is celebrating 43 years of providing services that promote self-sufficiency and financial stability to the people in our area. Money raised will go to our programs: Consumer Credit Counseling, HUD-Certified Housing Counseling, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), Client Trust/Representative Payee Program, Bridges West Transitional Housing, and Prescription Medication Assistance. Please plan to attend on October 12, 2018!

Bruce Miller to Emcee Homeless to Home Sweet Home Whiskey, Wine & Brew Fundraiser

Tue, Aug 7th, 2018

Center For Siouxland is pleased to announce that Bruce Miller, a well-known local personality, will be the emcee at our Homeless to Home Sweet Home Whiskey, Wine & Brew Fundraiser!  Just another reason you'll want to attend Center For Siouxland's event.  Bruce has more than 30 years of reporting experience in Sioux City, and is the Editor and Entertainment Writer/Critic at the Sioux City Journal.  Watch our Facebook page and website for more information about our fundraiser!

Money Monday - It's Back-to-School Time!

Mon, Aug 6th, 2018

Money Monday - It's Back-To-School Time!

Many parents are scrambling to buy classroom supplies and updated wardrobes for growing kids along with paying registration and sports fees.  At big-box retail stores, backpacks, pencils and notebooks with colorful designs sit stacked on shelves, waiting for back-to-school shoppers. It can be both an exciting and daunting time for parents and children.  For those on a tight budget, fulfilling school supply lists can be a challenge.

The back-to-school shopping market is worth more than $80 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. On average, families with children in grades K-12 spend $684.79 on clothing and shoes, supplies and electronics.  At Center For Siouxland, helping you save money is one of our top priorities.

Here are some tips to stay within a back-to-school budget:

Create an estimated cost list. Look at your student’s school supplies list, estimate the total costs of basic purchases, and set aside funds for your shopping trip. Determine how many of each item your student will need so that you do not end up overbuying items and stocking up on supplies that will never get used.

Know all your options. Not every deal is found at a big box store. Thrift stores are priced low, and many offer additional discounts. Auction websites are another platform that often offers lower prices on new and used items. If your child wears a uniform, check with your school to see if they re-sell previously worn uniforms.

Look online first. Shopping online can be convenient for the busy parent or college student who does not want to make a few extra trips to the store, and it is a great way to compare prices and find coupon codes. Consider the cost of shipping and taxes when making higher-priced purchases. Also check the return policy in case you do not really need something or end up having to buy a different style, brand or item. Look for the option of buying online and picking up at your local store to avoid shipping fees.

Shop with a gift card. A major benefit to using a gift card is that it can be used online and in the store. Perhaps even more important is that it forces you to stick to a set budget based on the allotted dollar figure on the card.

Watch for sales and coupons.  When adding coupons on top of sale prices there are great deals to be had. Websites like Retail Me Not are great for finding coupon codes. Keep an eye on mailers and newspaper circulars for in-store savings.

Contact a non-profit organization like Center For Siouxland If you need help with your budgeting or are struggling with debt call our Consumer Credit Counselors at 712-252-1861 ext. 47.  WE CAN HELP!

 

Money Monday - Iowa's Tax-Free Holiday is Coming Soon!

Mon, Jul 30th, 2018

Money Monday - Iowa's Tax-Free Holiday is Coming Soon!  Iowa's tax holiday promises two days of shopping without sales tax on clothing and shoes.  This year, the tax-free holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 3 through midnight on Saturday, Aug. 4. Sunday is not included. Iowans will not pay 6 percent sales tax plus any local option sales tax on qualifying items.

Here is a link to information from the Iowa Department of Revenue, that has a flyer with the Iowa Sales Tax Holiday Rules & Explanations and a list of Taxable and Exempt Items.

Remember to shop carefully, even with no sales tax, purchases still add up.  If you need help with your finances or budgeting our Consumer Credit Counselors are available by calling Center For Siouxland at 712-252-1861 ext. 47.

Happy Shopping!

 

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