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Get $mart!™ is a financial literacy program brought to you by the Suffolk University Law School Office of Financial Aid to help you manage your fiscal well-being during your student years and beyond. Your investment in a legal education goes beyond time invested in the classroom. The goal of Get $mart!™ is to provide students with a series of interactive presentations related to all things financial.

Check out these links for more resources:

Do you have a suggestion for Get $mart!?™ If so, contact us with your idea.

Upcoming Events:

All incoming students are strongly encourage to participate in a Wise Borrower on-line seminar.  We want you to be educated about your finances so you can make the most informed choices, and WiseBorrower will provide you with strategies for financing your education and managing your student loans. It will also provide you with information on how your loans may impact you---even after graduation.

Webinars will be held on June 25th and July 15th.  New students should watch their
e-mail for further information.

 

 

Protecting Your Identity/Privacy Rights

National Resource for Identity Theft - This is the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) home page for ID theft. Links include a course of action if your identity has been stolen, consumer information, and ID theft statistics.
Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft -The FTC has created this in-depth publication which covers all aspects of identity theft issues including your privacy rights, victim recourse, fraud, federal and state laws, and the ID theft affidavit.
Misused - The Department of Education has created this web site to help college students avoid credit card fraud and other forms of identity theft.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse - Find out about this nonprofit organization which fosters consumer education, research and advocacy for the enforcement of privacy rights.
Identity Theft Resource Center - This is a national non-profit organization which focuses exclusively on identity theft.
Opt Out Prescreen - Here is a site where you can opt out of pre-screened credit offers for five years or permanently. You can also call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688).

Websites for Frugal Living

Based on the Get $mart!™ session 'Tips for Frugal Living and Borrowing Less', take note of these web sites and resources to increase your ability to stretch student dollars and manage life on a budget.

Better Budgeting.com - This Ezine offers numerous links and articles all designed to help you save money across the consumer spectrum.
Fool.com - The Motley Fool site is dedicated to enhancing your financial acumen while amusing you at the same time. The information here will expand your knowledge of investments and the workings of Wall Street.
Thrifty Fun.com - Use this web page to access all topics concerned with running a thrifty and efficient household.

These additional links target savings in specific areas:

GasBuddy.com
GasPriceWatch.com
GrocerySavingTips.com
Commuter Cost Savings - This podcast is the second episode in Educational Credit Management Corporation's series on Financial Awareness Basics.
AAA.com - Cars, Travel, Insurance
Entertainment.com - Dining, Travel, Shopping, Attractions

 

Understanding Credit

Based on the Get $mart!™ workshop titled "Are You Credit-Wise & Credit-Safe?", explore the links below for more resources on understanding credit. The hand-outs and a video disc from this session can also be obtained from the Office of Financial Aid.

AnnualCreditReport.com - This is a centralized service for consumers to request free annual credit reports. It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only service authorized by these companies for this purpose. Please note that, as a security precaution, consumers should never provide their personal information to any other company or person in connection with requesting free annual credit reports under the FACT Act. AnnualCreditReport.com will not approach consumers via email, telemarketing or direct mail solicitations.
Financial Awareness Basics - This is the first episode in a series of podcasts from Educational Credit Management Corporation that targets the importance of reviewing your credit report and how to access this information.
The Importance of Good Credit Curriculum Credit Series - This Access Group web site provides you with tutorials on Credit Basics, Credit Reporting, Credit Scoring Basics, Maximize Your Credit Score, Good Credit, Credit Cards, and Credit Repair.
Credit Education Center - This section of the myfico.com web site provides information on credit scoring and credit reporting.
Understanding Credit Scoring - Learn about the five areas of credit scoring and what you can do to improve your credit score with this free booklet.
Credit Score Estimator - F.I.C.O. and bankrate.com jointly developed this credit score estimator. Your credit score range is estimated based on answers to ten questions about credit use and payment behavior.

Your credit report only (not your credit score) can be obtained once a year free of charge by residents of certain states (including Massachusetts) from the three credit bureaus:

Equifax
Experian
TransUnion
National Foundation for Credit Counseling - NFCC, through its Consumer Credit Counseling Service member agencies, provides credit counseling, debt reduction services, and education for financial wellness.

Budgeting

Follow the links below for resources on creating and managing a student budget as well as exploring real world ideas for a successful budgeting plan.

 

Good Financial Habits - This primer from the Access Group will guide you in establishing personal habits that will help you meet your financial goals.
Budgeting - Another tutorial from the Access Group's site designed to help you start making conscious decisions about how and on what you spend money. Planning and sticking to a monthly budget will help you avoid piling on more debt, help you save money, and make it easier to afford the lifestyle you want after graduation.

Money Management / Financial Planning

Based on the Get $mart!™ workshop titled "Real World Financial Planning Survival Strategies," explore the link below for more resources on financial well-being and education finances as well as setting financial goals after graduation.

National Financial Planning Support Center - The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has authored this web site offering insight into a variety of pertinent topics.

Loan Repayment and Consolidation

Based on the Get $mart!™ workshop "Loan Repayment and Consolidation: Options for Managing Student Loan Debt" explore the links below for helpful information on loan repayment and consolidation and strategies to best navigate your loan repayment period.

 

Repaying - This Department of Education web site tells you what you need to know about repaying federal student loans.
The Smart Student Guide: Repayment Plans - The four main repayment plans for federal education loans are explained here by FinAid.org. This site also includes a number of calculators designed to help you evaluate the merits of each type of repayment plan.
The Smart Student Guide: Loan Consolidation - This overview of loan consolidation includes the basic concept and benefits of combining student loans as well as potential drawbacks and alternatives to consolidation.
Direct Loan Consolidation - This is the official web site of the Department of Education's Direct Loan Consolidation program. Specific benefits may be available to graduates pursuing careers in a number of public-service jobs.

Ask a Tax Expert

Based on the Get $mart!™ session "Ask a Tax Expert," visit the links below to learn the ins and outs of education-related tax benefits for the 2005 tax year. The link will be updated for the 2006 tax year when this new information becomes available.

 

Parent and Student Guide to Federal Tax Benefits for Tuition and Fees - The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) publishes the Parent and Student Guide to Federal Tax Benefits for Tuition and Fees to provide students, parents, counselors, and others with general guidance to federal education-related tax benefits. The Guide includes basic information about the federal Hope Scholarship tax credit, the Lifetime Learning tax credit, and the Tuition and Fees Tax Deduction. More detailed information is available from the IRS links included at the end of the Guide.
www.irs.gov - This site is the official online resource for all federal tax information. You'll find a powerful internal search engine as well as all the forms issued by the IRS.

Get Car Buying $mart

Based on the Get $mart!™ session 'Get Car Buying $mart!', visit these links to take advantage of information provided by the Federal Trade Commission and other consumer agencies focused on illuminating your car buying experience.

The Federal Trade Commission - This portion of the web site offers advice on purchasing a new car including selecting, negotiating, and financing your vehicle.
Facts for Consumers - This FTC page addresses concerns associated with purchasing a used vehicle such as methods of payment, inspection checklists, and warranty coverage.
FTC Consumer Alert - This Federal Trade Commission page contains more information regarding the many costs of owning a used car.
Car Ads: Reading Between the Lines - This section of the Federal Trade Commission's web site helps buyers read between the lines of car ads targeting financing and other special promotions offered by dealers.

The following links contain tools for research and comparison of new and used car models:
Edmonds
AAA
Nada Guides
CarFax
Cars.com