How I Graduated Debt-Free from College

by Andrew Schreiber 10. July 2012

Student LoansOur college years can be some of the best years of our lives, and of course we all know the educational benefits, but many of us do not think about the long term financial effects. That future bill left to be paid can be extremely alarming. According to Consumer Reports, the average debt outstanding for 2011 graduates is almost $23,000; however, we’ve all heard horror stories about people who have accrued well over $100,000 of debt by the time they’ve graduated. This is a scary amount of money. In another perspective, the next time any of us will borrow that kind of money will likely be to buy a house, which can take 30 years to repay.

As a soon-to-be graduate, one of my personal goals for college was to graduate debt-free, which I'm happy to say I am about to accomplish. Following through with this goal has put me in a better position for future financial success. Here are some tips to help avoid or minimize debt:

Look for Scholarships and Grants

Many students never attempt to apply for grant or scholarship money because they believe that they will never be chosen. Never assume that you do not fit the correct criteria or demographic to obtain a grant or scholarship. Apply to any opportunities available.

Work Through School

Working while attending school is not the most popular idea, but it will dramatically help in the long run. Working will help pay for those expenses that you would otherwise be dependent on loans to pay. Some complain they are too busy, but it's possible to find a job that is compatible with your school schedule. Many colleges offer job opportunities that have flexible hours and are on campus.

Pick a School Close to Home

Remaining at home after high school is not always the most enjoyable choice, but it will help minimize your future debt. Consider attending an undergraduate and/or graduate program that is close by so you can continue living at home. If living on your own is the only option, look for off campus living arrangements further away from school, where cheaper rent can be readily available.

Do Not Be Afraid to Go to Community College

I, like many other students, did not know what I wanted to study in college, so I transferred to a less expensive school. I completed all of my general requirements and received an Associate’s Degree before I finally transferred to a four year university. Doing this gave me time to decide what degree path I wanted to pursue without running up large amounts of debt.

If You Take Out Loans, Be Smart

Sometimes taking out loans is inevitable. If you do have to take out loans, be sure not to borrow more than you absolutely need. Do not borrow money to buy unnecessary things such as entertainment expenses or new tech toys. Also, try to acquire Federal loans because they are typically less expensive than private loans. A good rule to follow is avoid borrowing more than you reasonably expect to earn in your first full year of working.

To help manage your finances in college, check out our 1st Access Checking account, designed with students in mind.

If you found this article helpful, check out these related articles:

Debt to Income Ratio: What it is and how it helps (or hurts) your chances of getting a loan

Mom, You Want Me to Put My Money WHERE?

The Imaginary Mortgage - Fake It Til You Make It

I do, I do, I do...believe in my business

by Elizabeth Sherman 5. July 2012

Lending There have been many articles written on the topic of the “Personal Guarantee” as it relates to commercial loans.  Traditionally, when a business owner comes to a bank requesting a commercial loan, one of the requirements is the owner’s Personal Guarantee.  In a nutshell, the bank wants the owner’s promise that if the business fails to generate enough income to repay the loan, the owner(s) will step up and make sure the obligation is satisfied. 

This requirement is often a sticking point in the negotiation process.  Business owners are reluctant to put their personal assets on the line and banks are reluctant to provide financing when it appears the business owner doesn’t fully stand behind his/her business. 

In some cases, the Personal Guarantee may not be required.  If the business has been around for a long time with documented financial strength or if there is a significant banking relationship already established, the bank may forgo the Personal Guarantee.  For small businesses that have only been around for a short period of time or have a history of financial ups and downs, banks will, in all likelihood, require the business owner(s) to sign a Personal Guarantee.  

This document is a promise to repay the company’s debt and to insure the bank’s interests are protected.  There are no liens filed and no collateral pledged. 

However, if the business income cannot support the debt, or the business goes under, the owner(s) need to be prepared to utilize personal assets to repay the loan.    

Banks want to help you.  We want to see your business succeed.  We also want the same commitment from you that you expect from us.  We believe in you and your business. 

Do you?

If you found this article helpful, check out these related articles:

How to Prevent Check Fraud Scams

The Wonder That Is ACH

It's 11:00 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Money Is?

A Photographic Tour of Baltimore's Star-Spangled Sailabration

by Stacy Tharp 2. July 2012

The Star-Spangled Sailabration celebrated the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner. From 1st Mariner Bank's Canton branch and headquarters, we had a fantastic view of the tall ships and naval vessels sailing into the Inner Harbor, as well as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels practicing their aviation acts. Here are some shots taken by a few of our talented employees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the first naval ships sails its way into the harbor. Hello, Sailors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tall ships from all around the world graced us with their presence during the Sailbration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uh oh...are we under attack?!

 

 

 

Nope, that's just the Urban Pirates Family Adventure Cruise...whew!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautifully lit tall ships at night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passing by Fort McHenry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The American flag of 1812.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello, Canada!

 

 

 

 

Zipcars only? We may have a problem...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels zoom around the harbor in impressive formations...and they are only practicing here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The U.S. Navy's "Leap Frogs" parachute team in action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Leap Frogs come to a graceful landing in Patterson Park.

 

The 1st Mariner Bank team wishes you a safe and happy Independence Day! Be sure to read Tricks to Throwing a Budget-friendly Barbeque if you are planning a cookout!



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