Penn State Scholarships

Any student finds attending college a very costly investment. College education is very important, no doubt, but arranging for finances becomes very overwhelming for students. Penn state offers Penn state scholarships like any other universities. There are other financial assistances available through this university and depending on the student, his ability and financial condition, the option is determined. Scholarships are performance based while other financial aids are need based. Where loan have to be repaid, there are financial aids like scholarships, fellowships, grants and assistantships that are free and need not be repaid.

In order to be eligible to apply for this scholarship, you have to fill out the FAFSA form. There are different types of federal programs that are there to help students and encourage them to carry on their studies and accomplish their educational goals. If you are a student studying in Penn State University, you can avail lots of opportunities that are available for its students. Apart from the university as the sponsor, there are government and non-government agencies that sponsor different types of scholarships for students in different educational fields.

Penn state scholarships include athletic scholarships and departmental scholarships also. Departments differ on points of requirements and application procedure. Some of the most popular scholarship programs are trustee scholarship program, renaissance scholarship program, donor scholarship program, Bunton-Waller scholarship and Bunton-Waller Fellows program. If you are facing any kind of financial problem, you need to find one of the scholarship programs that fit in your criteria. You can contact the financial aid office of your college and find out the details regarding all scholarships and select the one for which you qualify.

Many scholarship programs take up the students of Penn States immediately as they qualify. The award money will differ from one scholarship program to another. Once you select the program, you can find out the award money and other facilities that you can get if you win the scholarship money. Penn state scholarships are not difficult to achieve. You simply need to have a specific GPA and have a financial problem that has a genuine reason.



When we talk about student, a lot of things come in mind. Students are not only associated with studies today, they have to arrange and manage their finances also. This is the reason why students are offered a number of forms of financial aids. The form of financial aid that the student applies depends on the student and the field of education that he acquires. There are free financial aids like scholarships and grants that can be attained by following a particular application procedure and fulfilling the requirements set for that particular scholarship or grants.

There are student loans that are easy to get and the student has to repay the amount with added interest and other charges levied on the loan amount. However, if you apply and win scholarship or grants money, you do not have to repay it. Although the application procedure is a bit complicated and confusing for some students, it is worth the benefits you get. Students who want to apply for scholarships need to maintain their GPA as asked by the sponsor and have some or the other additional qualifications. He should also show his interest towards serving the community in one form or another.

If you are a student and you are facing financial crisis, you need not worry about the accomplishment of your studies. Apply for some financial aids for which you qualify and that fits in your requirements. There are various financial aid programs and you need to spend some time and find out the one that is the most suitable one for you. There are different types of scholarships, grants, work-study programs and loans that you can look for.

Today, Internet is the best resource to look for anything and here you will also be able to collect all information regarding the sponsor and foundation. There are scholarships and grants that provide sufficient money to the student and if the student is able to manage it properly, he can even pay the accommodation and food expenses with it. Apart from performance based, there are need-based scholarships and grants that a student can apply and win.

The Financial Impact of a Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency can have a powerful impact on not only your physical health but also your mental health. For many vitamin D deficient adults, the complications with deficiency are not readily recognized as such, but the side effects of this deficiency are all too noticeable.

If you are living with mental health complications, complications with instability, complications with metabolic disorder, or simple a sense of fatigue and lethargy, you are probably suffering from some form of vitamin D deficiency. With this deficiency being untreated, there are potential financial implications that can arise as well.

When we think of vitamin deficiencies, we often do not relate the condition to a financial detriment. However, with a vitamin D deficiency, there can be significant financial tolls taken. For example, because a vitamin D deficiency plays a marked role in the onset of physical and mental health complications, there are significant amounts of healthcare dollars spent each year treating disease and illnesses that would otherwise dissipate if vitamin D were in balance.

Vitamin D deficiency may play a role in depression and bipolar disorders which, ultimately, can lead to addiction behaviors including addictions to gambling, alcohol, or other vices. With these adverse effects of bipolar disorder and mania, there is a financial risk as well.

And, finally, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to instability, problems with balance, and complications associated with poor gait. While a fall can lead to healthcare expenses, there is a risk for lack of mobility, and inability to work, and an inability to perform essential activities of daily living. When these complications arise, there are financial implications.

So, the next time you visit your doctor, ask about the aspects of vitamin D deficiency and what role it plays in your health. By treating your vitamin D deficiency, not only will you feel physically and mentally better, you will most likely find that you are avoiding many financial risks that come along when living with this health risk. The key to your optimal health lies in asking your doctor to run this non-routine blood test and then to prescribe vitamin D supplements as needed for your healthcare deficiency.

Canadian Lease Financing – Equipment Leasing Options Canada

Canadian Lease equipment financing continues to be one of the most successful means for a company to acquire assets of all types.

Unfortunately most clients we talk to are always focused on rate, which in many cases is only one small piece of the Canadian asset, based lending puzzle, and solution.

In Canada equipment of all types can be leased – that includes capital expenditure items from 5k to 50M dollars.

What should Canadian business owners focus on and seek guidance on when acquiring assets via the leasing option. We think three things are important –

– Who to lease from

– What are the key elements of a successful lease structure?

– What is required for an approval that meets your firms needs Vis a Vis rate, term, and structure.

In Canada the leasing industry is very fragmented. Like all other parts of the financial services industry the business has gone through major tumult in the last couple years, particularly the 2008-2009 global financial meltdowns.

So who are the players and why is it important to know who you are leasing with, as long as you are approved? Good question?! Let’s explore the answer.

In Canada the leasing industry is self regulated via a national association called the CFLA. The companies that make up the industry are:

– Major international conglomerates and their Canadian subsidiaries

– Canadian owned private independent finance firms

-Captive finance Companies

– Independent lease originators, also known as intermediaries

So why is it important to understand who you are dealing with? Time is money, and a significant amount of time can be spent with a lessor who you think might be able to do the transaction for you, but ultimately your firm might not fit the asset and credit criteria required .

We referenced the major international conglomerates; a well known example might be GE. The reality is that these firms predominately focus on very high ticket value transactions with commensurately high credit quality criteria. We have spoken to many customers who have invested time, commitment fees, etc only to find they were in effect dealing with a firm that was unable to satisfy the size of their transaction.

Private independent lease firms in Canada tend to have niches – in the industry the term is ‘ credit box ‘. That simply means they only solicit a certain type of asset and credit quality – any transaction falling outside the box becomes not doable. Again, you may have totally wasted your time.

We are the first to advise clients that if they can get lease financing via a captive finance company or a vendor program via the manufacturer there is only one recommendation – ‘ Take the Deal!” Vendor and Captive programs are highly incented to finance assets at competitive rates and sometimes overlook the rational credit quality that is required to get a deal approved.

Recall that our final lessor category is independent finance originators, aka intermediaries – we hate the term broker by the way. The key benefit of working with a trusted, credible, and experienced advisor in lease financing in Canada is simply a time/ money scenario. You can spend hours, days, and weeks negotiating with firms who ultimately can’t do your transaction. Along the way you may have laid out commitment fees as well as having your firms financials viewed by a number of different parties with whom you may never do business .

Our experience is that people prefer to deal with experts. Why wouldn’t you want to work with an expert that can assist you in achieving the optimal rate, term, structure, etc? Simply things such as a recommendation on the type of lease you choose (capital or operating) can save you firms either thousands in interest, or have a significant effect on monthly payments. That is a solid acquisition financing strategy!

Avoiding Predatory Lenders in Mortgage Finance

It is safe to say that with any form of business, there are going to be scams and scam artists alike and the mortgage business is no difference. It is not your fault that there are scam artists out there but it is your responsibility to be more informed and protect yourself from these types of predators so that you do not fall victim to the scam.

First you must know exactly what you are looking for in order to identify it when you see it, so what is a predatory type lender. These are the companies that look for the naïve, desperate or both. They take you for a ride of un-kept promises and paint a picture of this great deal and then before you know it, they have not only taken off with your money, but have stolen whatever hope you had for the purchase of your home. There is little repercussion with this because they have covered all of their basis legally and how they take advantage of you is by putting everything that they do not want you to know in fine print because they know most people do not read each and everything they sign and if they do take the time to read it, they word it so that most people have a hard time deciphering what it all means.

The first thing that you should always remember when searching for the perfect lender for your needs is that, typically, the only one who has your best interests at heart is you. Not to say that there are not lenders out there that are good, reputable lenders but they are in the business of making money and that is the bottom line.

The best place to start is by looking for places that have a reputation that surpasses any short comings and also, look for a lender that has been in business for many years. The more you investigate a lenders history, the more you will discover whether or not you feel as though you can trust them.

Lastly, just make sure that before you sign anything, you completely are aware of every aspect of what the loan entails and if you do not feel comfortable ask questions. A lender worth their weight is going to be able to answer your question honestly and to your satisfaction. If they give you the run around, run away, literally. Do not argue, do not keep probing because they have been taught the fine art of manipulation and swindling and they actually take internal classes on how to weasel their way through just about any question that is thrown at them.

Financial Planning After Retirement

Once we enter middle age none of us likes too much change or upheaval – especially when it comes to finances. Retired people are often afraid to invest because they do not understand their options or they have had bad experiences. If we do invest, we tend to do so conservatively. In this article, we will explain some of your options. Bear in mind, however, that we cannot outline entire money management programs in such a brief space. Our main intent is to make you see that financial planning can be very rewarding.

Financial planning: A few easy steps

Times have changed and life has become more complicated. It’s hard to believe that in the early 1970s, a new Chevy cost $2,800 and a new house cost $26,900. Nowadays, each of us struggles to understand an embattled economy, rampant inflation, a rolling stock market and an indecipherable tax system.

To those of us who can afford to, hire a professional consultant. Even if you can afford that, you need to understand the basics of finance in order to make your assets grow. If you don’t know the rules, you can’t play the game.

Write down your goals

The most complicated of problems are easy to understand if reduced to basics. Having a hard time understanding your own and your spouse’s financial status? Make a list of your goals – both immediate and distant.

First, you will need to decide what your most important priorities are. Chances are they are among the following: savings, insurance, retirement fund, tax structure, estate planning, investments, legacy to heirs, charitable donations, personal financial security and children’s tuition.

The second step is to gather the insurance policies, tax returns, canceled checks, papers, savings book, etc that have to do with your finances. You cannot make plans for the future if you don’t know what you have.

The third step is to make a budget. A practical, realistic budget takes into account all members of the family and their various needs. The best budget encompass the following: house payments, automobile payments, upkeep and gas, food, tuition, childcare, utilities, clothing, doctors and dentists, entertainment and travel, charitable donations, savings and investments.

Most people’s budgets omit two important parts of life: whim and emergency. As you and your family draw up a plan, be sure to add money for fun (a new boat? a trip?) and a savings account. The best planners save for emergencies. Good planning seems so wise. Yet, incredibly, many people don’t bother to take the time or they only do so after they’ve made expensive mistakes. This is the best way to plan your budget:

* Determine your monthly and annual income

* Fixate your spending

* Decide what you and your family want to spend on in the future

We cannot emphasize enough the need to understand your own finances. With an investment of time on your part, you will be able to pay off debts more easily, build up your nest egg and take full advantage of tax breaks.

SR ED Financing -Canadian SRED Financing

The only thing worse , we think than not knowing about Canada’s SR ED grant program is probably the fact that Canadian business owners and financial manager don’t know that their claims can be financed immediately to access cash flow and working capital now .

Yes, SR ED claims in Canada can be financed. Clients are always asking us how these claims are financed, what amount can they receive, and how can a SR ED claim be financed when it fact it could be challenged by a SR ED reviewer. Let’s cover off some of those issues.

First of all your Sr Ed claim is generally financeable a 70% loan to value. That technical jargon of course for simply meaning that if you can receive, as an interim cash flow and working capital loan approximately 70 cents on the dollar now for your claim. You of course are fully entitled to the other 30% – we are simply saying that portion is not financed – It essentially works as a buffer for any reduction in the claim by Ottawa. Those reductions in your claim might be a simply temporary clarification that is needed by CRA in Ottawa to approve that claim in its entirety.

Clients ask us if there is a sure fire way of allowing their claim to be approved in full. Probably the best answer we can provide is simply to say that by working with a good SR ED claim preparation consultant you are of course ensured more integrity in your claim. Your accounts can in fact submit a claim on your behalf, but we caution Canadian business owners and financial managers to ensure that they have a solid understanding of their accountant’s specialization in this very boutique area of accounting and business.

Quite often if a claim is temporarily clawed back and credible and experienced SR ED advisor can submit additional proper back up on your behalf to help ensure FULL approval of the claim!

All Sr Ed claims can be financed – however it is a bit easier to obtain full financing of your claim if you have successfully filed in the past. That’s just simple logic which indicates that your firm has a higher ability of being approved. However the bottom line is that a first time SR ED claim can be financed – if properly documented and prepared it is fully eligible for the 70% loan to value – in some cases the first time claim might be financed at a lower loan to value ratio . The bottom line, cash flow and working capital are still accessible for that claim!

The total advantage of financing your SR ED claim is very simple. You have the choice of waiting for your cheque from Ottawa. (That might also involve delays in the final adjudication of the technical aspects of your claim). Alternatively, you can access cash flow and working capital now for your Sr Ed claim.

The process for financing your claim is simple. We strongly recommend you work with a trusted, credible, and experienced financing advisor. The overall process simply involves a standard business financing application, proper documentation of your claim and its filing, and then standard legal doc’s surrounding collateralization of the claim being financed.

In summary, if you are filing SR ED claims take advantage of financing those claims. Cash and working capital are available now. Monetize your claim and use that cash flow to further increase your sales and reduce business liabilities. That is a solid financial strategy!

Mortgage Rates May Be Moving to Stimulate a New Refinance Wave

The stock market turmoil of May 6 and the Greek bailout may have a positive side effect for US home buyers and homeowners … that side effect is lower mortgage rates. The upheaval in the markets led investors on a “flight to quality” as dollars flowed into Treasury bonds forcing yields higher and corresponding rates lower. The question becomes whether the market’s moves will be sustained, leading mortgage rates to remain lower or whether time settles investors’ nerves and mortgage lenders are reluctant to drop rates.

Historically, bond market rallies have led borrowers to flood the financial institutions looking to refinance their mortgages. This time, it appears that lenders are reluctant to move quickly to drop mortgage rates ( It also appears that another quarter-point or more of rate reduction is needed to push a large number of borrowers into the refinancing pool.

Those already looking to refinance – me among them – are facing tighter underwriting and appraisal guidelines. In addition, the massive reduction in home values most of us have experienced over the past 2-3 years have left little equity in the home making refinancing an existing mortgage difficult at best.

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or “Freddie Mac” announced that the average rate on a conforming 30-year mortgage stood at 5% on May 7, 2010. This is down 6 basis points (0.06) from a week earlier. The rate, however, is still higher than the 4.84% average a year ago.

Typically, borrowers must save at least 75-100 basis points (0.75-1.0) on their mortgage rate to have an incentive to refinance. In other words, the rate reduction and corresponding payment reduction must offset the costs of refinancing that typically include points and processing fees. That means that the rate needs to fall to somewhere around 4.75% to stimulate refinancing activity.

Mortgage lenders have reaped great benefits since the year 2000 from cycles of refinancing activity. Rates at their current level are still lower than they were in 2003 when mortgage volume hit a record $3.39 trillion ( While refinance activity has been light in the past year, the recent extension of the homebuyer tax credit (purchases had to be in contract by 4/30/10 to qualify) has brought volumes back to the mortgage lenders. Rate reduction might be particularly attractive to lenders who want to keep mortgage staffs busy.

There is also risk that mortgage rates rise. The Federal Reserve announced last September that it would start selling off its $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities beginning in March of this year. Bringing more mortgage product to the market might force rates higher, but so far, that has not happened.

Finally, lenders are facing much higher costs in mortgage lending, including refinance business. Increasing paperwork and contingencies burden lenders and brokers alike. Lenders are reluctant to take any “short-cuts” or chances when it comes to underwriting and appraisals in this economic environment, particularly due to falling home values that continue in many markets. Due diligence requirements are stringent. I know in my personal experience, verifications of student loans I have co-signed for my college-age daughter were requested for the first time. The student loans are in deferment (she is a rising college senior), but the mortgage lender wanted to know what the monthly payment will be more than a year from now when the loan payments potentially commence. The student loan lender balked at the request and, after three tries, finally met the paperwork requirements of my lender.

If you are interested in refinancing your current mortgage, go to your current mortgage lender first. I have a 7/23 mortgage loan where my interest rate was fixed for the first 7 years. I am into my 6th year, and there is a strong prospect that my current mortgage rate will adjust 2% higher. With falling mortgage rates right now, a rate increase was not one that I welcomed.

My mortgage broker (who I had worked with on my original loan) found my current mortgage lender most receptive. My current lender already has my mortgage loan and knows my immaculate payment history. The lender already has me as a credit risk and lowering my monthly payments is in their best interest. I am looking at a 5/25 loan where my mortgage rate for the first 5 years is going to be less than 4% and that rate will remain fixed for the first 60 payments. I expect, as I will be an empty nester in less than 5 years, to downsize and move. If that happens, I will not experience the risk of higher rates on my current home in year 6. I expect some upward movement in home values to return in my locality over the next 3-5 years, as well. In other words, I should be able to profit more from a sale of my home 3 years out than I would now … but, that also means my next house will be more expensive too. I also hope that the tax laws will retain the one-time exclusion from tax for profits from the sale of a primary residence as I downsize. That, too, is a risk.

One prospective hurdle was the appraisal on my home. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the value and the value held up even when my lender took it to their special review committee. The recent homebuyer tax credit has opened up the housing market in my area and the appraiser was able to get strong comparable sales to support the value. A year ago, this would not have been possible.

I hope to close on my refinance in the next couple of weeks. It has been a long process, but one that is worthwhile for my personal financial picture. Refinancing your mortgage might be a good option to consider with rates pressured lower by the recent Greek bailout and financial market turmoil.

No Financial Crisis Among Lending MFIs – Lessons from the East

At at time when large and credible financial institutions valued at multi-billion dollars in assets and turnover who have lent to AAA rated creditworthy companies backed by collateral, have disappeared without a whimper owing to bad mortgages in the US, there is a contrasting story in the Indian hinterland where MFIs (Micro Finance Institutions) have been lending micro loans (not exceeding $500 per family) to ladies in rural families who were not considered creditworthy at any time in past history, have managed to record virtually zero defaults  amp; healthy credit growth at healthy interest rates !

What are the reasons for such a stark contrast ? Is there a fundamental flaw in the lending mechanism ?

* The MFI model of lending is solely based on the repaying capacity of an individual or the immediate family. Ladies of the family are considered more reliable borrowers. Hence, they are the target customers, mostly.

The contrasting model of the capital-rich billion dollar investment banks and large lending institutions has been to grow credit-offtake, thereby multiplying the credit in the system in turn increasing the risk of default which can bring an economy down to it’s knees.

* Borrowers from an MFI are divided into SHGs (Self-Help Groups) consisting of groups of borrowers belonging to a village. Any defaulting member of an SHG, automatically causes forfeiture of borrowing rights of all members of the group. Thus, there is a social mechanism of credibility built into the system which forces every individual to repay their loans.

Big lenders on the other hand, focus on creditworthy borrowers who can offer a collateral against the loan. It is this collateral, which can blind the lender against verification of cash-flow and repaying capacity of the borrower. In cases where the collateral for home loans was the home itself, the loans were waiting to be defaulted when the real-estate prices fell in a northward interest-rate regime ! Many such home mortgages were 100% of the home value. This concept is extremely fickle because assets such as real-estate and stock-market exhibit a concept called Negative Equity – wherein, the original purchase price of the asset could be significantly higher than it’s resale value at a later point in time. Collateral is not the only means of judging the viability of a loan. The borrower’s repaying power needs to be assessed thoroughly. There is no social stigma against defaulters of home loans.

* Initial loan amounts of MFIs are extremely paltry called micro loans and are subsequently increased in slabs (not exceeding $500-$600) only after the previous loan has been repaid. The interest rates of all such loans are fixed. MFI agents are trained in assessing the repaying capacity of the individuals so that loans do not exceed repaying power. High inflation in India has not caused MFI defaults.

On the other hand, the excessive exposure of global lending institutions to the real-estate market without an appropriate risk-rating for such a loan portfolio meant that the banks were incentivising home brokers based on the size and interest-rate of loans. This led to excessive lending at excessive interest rates leading to a higher probability of default risk. Instead, there are safeguards to protect such borrowers through the political system. The assumption of most home loan borrowers was the ever-increasing price of real-estate. A high interest-rate regime burst this bubble.

The MFI model is small and sound. It’s model can probably not be emulated fully on a larger scale. But, the most important safeguards of fiscal discipline and cash-flow verification by lenders are basic steps that can not be condoned for a collateral.

Single Parents Must Control Debt

At a time when the economy is in turmoil and there is constant talk of the role of debt in the finances of most Americans, single parents may be particularly vulnerable. Without the benefit of two wage-earners and the particular financial stresses of single parenting, it is imperative that single parents keep debt low and control their budgets. With an unpredictable economy, it is even more important for single parents to take control and eliminate debt.

Credit cards, loans and other high interest debts can be dangerous for single parents. It can also be tough for single parents to stay out of debt since budgets can be tight, income precarious and family needs high. Living on a tight budget can be challenging and it may seem that using credit for basic needs like groceries, bills, etc. is a way to keep things afloat. Carrying the debt, however, can be especially damaging.

So, when is debt “not debt” for a single parent? A mortgage or student loans can be viewed as investment and not debt. This doesn’t mean that you should take out abundant amounts in student loans in order to finish your education, but with low interest and long-term payment options, these can be one way of investing in your education and improving your earning potential as a single parent. It is still important to keep in mind your capacity for debt and to have a long term repayment plan.

As for credit cards, auto payments, loans and other typical debt, it is best for single parents to minimize these for the overall health and well-being of the family. Even if you have a good-paying job now, in a precarious economic climate this could change without warning and the debt could become unmanageable. Opting to live well within your means and keep the budget in control can be the best financial survival strategy for a single parent. Make a goal to eliminate debt and refrain from taking on new debt. This may mean changing holiday plans, taking a second job, or making payment arrangements with your creditors. The longer that you carry the debt, the more inhibiting it can be for your single parent family finances.

Even though it may seem like incurring debt is the only way to provide for your family as a single parent and that “everyone is doing it,” it is important to remember that circumstances change and as single parents, we need to be more conservative and consider how debt can limit our flexibility and resources.