These Three Investment Strategies Are September 2023’s Best Bets.

Federal student loan holders, on the other hand, are probably not as enthusiastic about the start of sweater season this year. After a more than 40-month hiatus, interest on student loans resumes in September, and the first monthly payments are just around the horizon. Many borrowers will most certainly struggle to adapt, particularly given that record high interest rates are making other forms of debt (looking at you, credit cards) more difficult to repay.

We’re not going to sugarcoat anything: The final quarter of 2023 is shaping up to be financially challenging for many individuals. Fortunately, we’re here to help you prepare for the next weeks by bracing yourself and your pocketbook. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Prepare to pay off your college loans once again.

Payments and interest on federal student loans have been suspended for so long (since March 2020, to be precise) that it may have seemed they would never resume. Unfortunately, over 40 million debtors must restart monthly payments.

The interest remission on student loans expires on September 1 (today! ), which means student loan balances will resume incurring interest. The first student loan payments are due in October, but the exact date varies. According to the US Department of Education, student loan servicers are required to provide borrowers with 21 days’ notice before the first due date, so keep an eye out for that notification.

If you haven’t done, you should go through your repayment alternatives to ensure you’re in the ideal one for your budget. The Biden administration just established the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan, a new, more generous income-driven repayment plan that may reduce your monthly debt. SAVE is one of many programs being implemented as part of a significant overhaul of the student loan system. It is intended to preserve more of a borrower’s income and cover unpaid interest so that their amount does not rise as long as monthly payments are made on time.

2. If you have credit card debt, look for lower interest rates.

Since mid-2021, inflation has been kicking everyone in the budget (get it? ), and although prices are dropping, many individuals have had to depend on credit cards to pay bills. Indeed, according to the most recent New York Federal Reserve statistics, U.S. household debt reached new highs in the second quarter of the year, with auto loans and credit card debt accounting for the majority of the increase.

Credit card balances now account for over $1.03 trillion of total household debt, a record high. The central bank’s interest rate rises have increased the average credit card annual percentage rate (APR) to more than 20%, according to a research from consumer credit scoring system VantageScore, and credit card delinquencies have increased throughout the summer months. Needless to say, with the highest interest rates in over 20 years, Americans are struggling to keep up with their mounting debt.

While it is preferable to avoid incurring additional debt, if you are one of the many individuals who carry a credit card balance, you may profit by moving your debt to another card or product with a reduced APR. Personal loans, for example, often have lower interest rates than credit cards, which is why they’re such a popular alternative for debt consolidation.

3. Begin making plans for Thanksgiving travel.

The autumn travel season in the United States begins on Labor Day weekend, so although Thanksgiving may seem far away, individuals who need to go anywhere for the holiday should make their reservations as soon as possible. App for booking flights and hotels Hopper anticipated that the average airfare will surge at $283 per ticket in late November and early December as consumers rush to book last-minute flights and prices climb in response to demand.

Going.com, previously Scott’s Cheap Flights, advises in its 2023 Thanksgiving travel guide that the ideal time to seek for flights is two to six months in advance for foreign travels and one to three months in advance for domestic excursions. In a normal year, the best Thanksgiving airline discounts are usually gone by early September. However, since demand has lagged on many routes and airlines have added capacity, passengers this year may have more time to nab a discount.

“Though travel demand has recovered, it remains below pre-pandemic levels,” Keyes writes in the guide. “That leaves a lot of empty seats on planes, and airlines are scrambling to fill them.”

Going.com predicts that the best days to book cheaper Thanksgiving flights this year will be the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, with return flights on early Thursday morning or late Thursday night. You may attempt to prevent price spikes by booking before the 21-, 14-, and 7-day periods before the holiday, when rates often climb. Meanwhile, experiment with sites like Google Flights or Momondo to get an idea of how much you’ll have to spend.

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