Refinancing Student Loans

🔑 = If you have student loan debt, you should see if you can get a lower interest rate 💯

Student loans are crazy: more than $1.2 trillion in the U.S.

If you have student loans, you should absolutely do some research and see if you could pay less in interest.

Warning: be sure to figure out what your existing loans are like. Some federal student loans come with special features, like the ability to push pause on payments if you lose your job, go back to school, or serve in the Peace Corps (this is called deferment or forbearance).

Another major tip: Pre-paying your student loans is probably the highest risk-adjusted return you can get with any extra money. Instead of putting all your nickels in a savings account or even an investment account, pre-paying student loans can lead to some huge optimization over time.

Here are two more things to remember.

  • You’re not alone! 40 million Americans have student loan debt.
  • Don’t wait to re-finance or pre-pay. We have seen so many of our friends delay…and procrastinate…and say they’re doing it “next weekend”…. No! Do it NOW! Your future self will thank you 😃

Questions? Ask us at help@asktrim.com.

Getting A Personal Loan

🔑 = If you have credit card debt and want to pay it off over 3 to 5 years, a personal loan might be a good fit.

You should also look into balance transfer credit cards.

Other reasons to get a personal loan: to cover medical expenses or other large expenses you don’t want to put on a credit card.

Be aware that a personal loan is something that you have to pay back in a limited period of time. It’s not like a credit card or a “revolving” line of credit, which you can pay off over a longer period of time (albeit at a higher interest rate).

If you do take out a personal loan, then research your options to find the best interest rate.

Here are three more things to remember.

  • Getting a personal loan will require a hard credit pull during the application process. This isn’t a huge deal, but it may decrease your credit score by a few points temporarily.
  • Don’t get sucked into a debt trap. Make a plan to pay it off!
  • Make sure that the personal loan providers you consider are trustworthy and don’t have any hidden fees.

Questions? Ask us at help@asktrim.com.

Getting A Mortgage 🏡

🔑 Rules of thumb:

If you’re getting a mortgage, shop around to find the best interest rate.

If you’re thinking of refinancing your mortgage — especially if you’ve lived in your house for a while — then do the same thing!

To be honest with you, the founders at Trim are scrappy entrepreneurs who don’t own a home yet. So we have yet to learn about mortgages firsthand. Send us your tips here: help@asktrim.com.

Shop On Amazon Lately? This Awesome Hack Will Get Money Back

Prices on Amazon change millions of times per day.

When you buy something, odds are you’re not getting the lowest price.

Fortunately, if you use the right credit card, an amazing hack called “price protection” can get you a refund if you overpaid.

Here’s how it works:

If you buy an item using a credit card with price protection, and the price drops in the next 90 days, Trim will file a claim with your credit card company. Once it’s approved, you’ll get a check in the mail for the difference in price. Trim takes 25% of whatever we save you.

Yes, it’s actually just free money.

Remember, you need to have a credit card that offers the price protection benefit. Click here to see a list of eligible cards.

Check out this example of an Amazon price change.

One of our engineers, Will, recently bought some nice new Steve Madden Chukka Boots on Amazon. (Trust me, they look great.) He bought them for $48.

A few days later, the price dropped to $29.46. But then it skyrocketed, spiking to $73.05 a few days later.

Amazon_com___Steve_Madden_Men_s_Helman-A_Chukka_Boot___Chukka

Fortunately, Trim is able to file a claim when the price is at the lowest point.

How does “filing a claim” actually work?

It used to be a huge pain. You would need to collect all your receipts and proof of purchase with an eligible credit card. Next, you would have to call (and enjoy some hold music) in order to initiate a claim. Then you would have to mail or even fax all the necessary paperwork.

What we’ve done at Trim is to automate the entire process, so everything happens electronically. Once you sign up and connect your account with Trim, your only job is to cash the refund checks when they arrive at your door.

As with everything,”terms and restrictions apply!” Price protection policies usually don’t cover auto parts or accessories, food, clothing, rare collectibles, live animals (yes, they sell those on Amazon), travel, or digital downloads. But most everything else is covered.

If you don’t have a credit card with price protection already, you can get one here.

Cracking the Code for Credit Cards

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Some high-end credit cards give back a percentage of what you spend. They call this “rewards,” “cashback,” or “points.” Credit card companies do this because they want you to spend more on that card.

If you travel a lot, then you should get a 2x rewards card with the lowest possible annual fee. 

See 2x Rewards Cards

If you don’t travel much, then you should get a 2% cashback card with no annual fee. 

See 2x Cashback Cards

In general, you want to get a card with 2% or 2x rewards on all purchases. 1% or 1x rewards is a lame deal. FYI, debit cards almost always give 0% rewards.

Still confused? “Rewards” is like getting 1 or 2% off all of your purchases.

Here are three more things to remember.

  • You need a good credit score to get a good credit card.
  • You shouldn’t run a balance on these cards, because they have super-high interest rates.
  • Finally, don’t be fooled by special rewards rates on different categories, e.g. “5x” on groceries. While it might be possible to get a slightly better deal, having a bunch of different cards is more likely to be confusing.


Questions? Ask us: help@asktrim.com.

Introducing: New Daily Update

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Welcome to the Daily 💸, our new once-a-day update in Facebook Messenger.

Each day we’ll have a financial tip to improve your 💰. Let us know what you think by replying 👍 or 👎 each day.

GET SMART: The Dow rose about 20,000, an all-time high, as investors continued to pile into stocks with big expectations for the Trump presidency. But some commentators warned that the market is becoming overvalued.