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Free College Education For Anyone Who Wants It – The Secret Is Out

In October 2010, The New York Times carried a very interesting article on student loans. According to findings, there was a 6 percent increase in student loan debt in 2009 when compared to that of 2008. The study covered debt levels of students across the 50 states of the USA, which includes more than one thousand US colleges and universities.

College education debt is a huge financial burden in the USA. In fact, parents often start saving for their children's college educations right from the time of their birth. Even so, only a few have the privilege of going to college without a heavy future burden on their finances. Knowing this future financial expense, would you take advantage of a college education abroad? The fact is that there are colleges and universities in Europe where you can get any kind of degree for free. This is in fact a true scenario– in many countries in Europe you can receive a high quality, free education even if you are not a citizen of the European Union.

The Pros

1. Free degree – It is in your best interest to seek a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree regardless of the expense but when this education can be attained for free, the joy is immeasurable. It is true that anyone can benefit from the social services offered in continental Europe, that is to say any person of any nationality. A Master’s degree on average can cost about $40,000 – money that is usually borrowed or saved up.

2. Overseas exposure – While education in the USA is counted among the best, the overseas exposure will always add an important edge to your education that will take you a little further than a regular degree earned at home. The learning of a different culture and language are both beneficial to life and career goals and help to separate you from the competition when you venture out to look for employment.

3. Learn a new language – Most Westerners are discouraged from seeking admission in the colleges and universities of Europe because of the language barriers. This should no longer discourage you. Many of these educational institutions offer their courses in English, but enforce a condition that you should learn the language within the period the course is taught. This is a great way to get a degree and learn a new language as well.

4. No divide between State & Private universities – ALL European universities are public and hence the divide that is so glaring in the USA between the State and Private Universities is non-existent. If you like the course and want to pursue the educational opportunity, nothing stops you.

The Cons

1. Not advertised enough – Why should they be? Most people in the USA are under the impression that to avail social benefits in Europe you need to be European. It is not so. Anyone can avail of free education whether or not you are an EU citizen. The catch is you need to find these colleges and universities, first. Check out MstersPortal.com for leads and very soon you can be on your way to an international degree that costs nothing or just next-to-nothing.

2. Language is a barrier – Living in a non-English environment can be a challenge initially. However, look on the brighter side – the lack of alternative would speed up your effort to learn the language and very soon you will feel at home among the new friends you make. Also remember that there are subtle similarities between European languages (French, Spanish etc...) and English as they are all considered Romance languages which have their roots in Latin.

As you can see, the pros which can motivate a college student to pursue a higher education abroad can far outweigh the con's which may deter the student. Learning a new culture, language and pursuing a college education in Europe is a very real possibility for any student now.

CREDIT CARDS WITH GREAT REWARDS – SAVE MORE, ENJOY MORE

Credit cards are double edged swords– If used carefully consumers can find themselves on top of the world reaping credit worthy benefits; abuse them and they can find themselves potentially fighting bankruptcy in no time. Here are some very interesting facts about credit cards in the USA :

1. There were 176.8 million credit card holders in 2008
2. By the end of 2009, there were 270 million Visa credit cards and 382 million Visa debit cards in circulation in the United States ; Master Card had 203 million credit cards and 125 million debit cards ; American Express had 48.9 million credit cards ; and Discover had 54.4 million credit cards .
3. Approximately 51 percent of the U.S. population has at least two credit cards .

Looking at the figures above it is clear that credit cards are here to stay. This also means that consumers need to learn how to utilize credit cards in their best interest. Consumers can immediately see the huge potential of savings if they choose credit cards that offer the best rewards for their usage. Here are 7 of the top reward offering credit cards. These cards when used correctly have the potential to save consumers a bundle or offer rewards which have cash equivalents while performing regular tasks such as paying monthly expenses.

For the frequent traveler

1. American Express Premier Rewards Gold Charge Card (AmericanExpress.com) offers 3 reward points for every dollar you spend on airline tickets. Consumers also get 2 points per dollar spent on gas and grocery bills. One point is equivalent to one flying mile offered by frequent flier programs. The bonus is that these points never expire so you do not have to force yourself into a deal just to redeem the point before the expiration date. The downside is that it charges a $175 annual fee (which is waived for the first year) and you cannot roll over a balance to be paid next month since this is a charge card.

2. Penfed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Credit Card (Penfed.org). This credit card offers a whooping 5 points for every dollar spent on airline tickets. You also earn 3 points per dollar on your hotel and dining bills and 1 point on all other purchases. The annual fee is very low – just $50– and it is waived the first year. The downside is that you need to be a member of Penfed in order to be eligible for this card and the membership comes with a fee of $20 per year. However, the airline points accrued can be used on any airline you choose. The points have an expiration date of 5 years.

For The Avid Shopper – Cash Back

3. American Express Blue Cash Card (AmericanExpress.com)– Many consumers prefer plain hard cash rewards. For those who love cash back on purchases, this credit card is the perfect solution. Consumers receive 1% cash back as soon as they sign up on every purchase for gas, drugstore items and groceries; all other purchases entitle the consumer to 0.5% cash back as well. The downside is you cannot carry over the balance to the next month or the 17+% interest will eat up your rewards.

4. Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards Credit Card (CapitalOne.com) – Consumers get 2% cash back on every dollar they spend spend on gas and groceries and 1% on all other purchases. This card comes with an all time low annual fee of $39. The downside is it offers 0% interest rate until March 2011, after which the variable interest rate shoots up to 19.8%.

For the heavy commuter

5. Discover Open Road No Fee Credit Card (DiscoverCard.com)– Consumers get a 2% discount every time they purchase gas for the first $250 they spend every month. They are also eligible to receive 1% on all other purchases. The downside is that it offers a variable interest rate according to the consumers credit history; this variable rate fluctuates between 11.99% to 19.99%.

6. Diamond Preferred Rewards No Fee Credit Card (citicards.com)– This card offers 5 points for every dollar consumers spend on gas, groceries and drugstore items. This offer lasts for one year after which the reward is 1 point per dollar. You are offered 6,000 bonus points (equivalent to $50) if you spend $300 within the first 3 months of usage. The points can be redeemed for travel expenses and various merchandise purchases. The downside is the variable interest rate is determined according to your credit history (12.99% - 20.99%) and the points expire after 5 years.

Customized credit card

7. ZYNC Charge Card (AmericaExpress.com) – This card allows consumers to choose their own rewards packages. Consumers can choose (they will be charged a small fee) to earn double-points to be redeemed later on travel, payment of restaurant bills, phone, and Internet bills. It comes with a low annual fee of $25 and is designed to cater to young adults. The downside is that you cannot carry a balance to the next month since this is a charge card.

Resources

The Credit Repair Organizations Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Consumer Credit Protection Act
The Fair Credit Billing Act
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

 

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