Helpful Financial Information
Finding the right repayment plan to successfully pay off your student loan(s) is a big decision. With all the technical language used, even understanding the terms of your loan can lead to confusion. GCU's Financial Literacy Program is here to offer you support from the time you graduate through the life of the loan.
TG™ Learning Center
GCU has partnered with TGTM Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation where you can create an account and complete financial literacy modules including:
Setting Goals, Credit Basics and Monitoring Spending.
Click here to learn more
Financial Tip of the Month
Ask these questions before paying off a mortgage early
Making extra principal payments to retire a mortgage before the end of a 15- or 30-year term may seem like a no-brainer. After all, who wouldn't want to extinguish that substantial debt and those monthly principal and interest payments? But paying off a mortgage early may not be the best choice for every household. Here are five questions to consider:
- Do you have high-interest credit card or loan debt? If your credit card company is charging 15% on your outstanding balance, you can earn a guaranteed 15% by liquidating that debt. It makes sense to pay off high-interest accounts first, before putting extra funds toward your low-cost mortgage. That's especially important if you're in a higher tax bracket. Home mortgage interest is tax deductible-consumer debt is not.
- Have you established an emergency fund? Life happens. If you haven't set aside funds in an easy-to-access "rainy day" account, you may be forced to acquire additional debt when life's inevitable troubles come along. Build up that emergency account to cover at least a few months of living expenses before supplementing your mortgage payments.
- Are you contributing to a retirement plan at work? Many companies will match a certain percentage of funds contributed to a 401(k) retirement account. For example, your firm might match 50% of the money you contribute, up to a maximum of 6% of your salary. Don't pass up that offer. It's easy money and certainly earns a better return than dollars paid toward your mortgage principal.
- Can you get a better return elsewhere? The stock market is notoriously volatile so paying off your mortgage may help you sleep at night. However, if you can handle the risks of stock-based mutual funds or similar accounts, it may be prudent to invest at least a portion of your extra money there, especially if you won't need the money soon.
- How's your cash flow? Before you retire from full-time employment and paychecks are replaced by social security payments, pensions and/or retirement account withdrawals, run the numbers. Retiring without mortgage debt may be a wise financial goal for your family, but it's prudent to base your decisions on hard facts, not wishful thinking or uninformed advice.
Source: J.P. Spillane, CPA, PA
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