Student loans, credit without credit, retirement and rejecting norms.

1. Opting for Student Loans? Here’s How to Make the Most of the Transaction

PT Money – Taking out a student loan has become risky business. A recent report by the Education Department found that 43% of the nearly 22 million Americans with federal student loans weren’t making payments. And the student loan debt has surpassed the trillion dollar mark.

That’s scary. But there is hope for those who are thinking about their loan options. Phillip’s post provides insight on loan rates, paying back the loan and more. If you’re thinking about college read this and also check out this post on financial aid programs for students.

2. How Can I Get Credit Without Credit

Money Talks News – Stacey says this is like “the old chicken/egg story.” Which came first? But it’s not as difficult to solve. He says that a great credit score is important, but before you can earn the credit score, you must earn an income.

This is a great case study. You’ll learn about obtaining credit through a few different channels. If you’re worried about building a great credit score, avoid these common mistakes that can destroy your score.

3. Top Ten Ways to Prepare for Retirement

Frugal Farmer – Recent surveys indicate that retirement is the biggest source of financial stress. If that’s the case, let’s find more ways we can make retirement planning easier for everyone. This post by Laurie provides 10 stress-reducing tips.

Her seventh tip is: “Start investing in your health.” Health-related problems can drain your savings. You can avoid that dilemma by eating better and exercising regularly. Exercise also reduces stress. Check out her other tips.

4. How to Successfully Negotiate Better Terms with Your Credit Card Company

Money Funk – This blogger thinks credit card companies “walk all over” their customers. And now it’s time to strike back. But it may “take a significant time commitment.” If you don’t mind the “time commitment” part, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t negotiate better terms.

The first negotiating tip is: “Show them a competing offer.” If you can get better rates, rewards or other benefits from another company, let the customer service rep know. After you finish reading this post, read about credit card fees and what you can do about them.

5. Millennials: Rejecting Conventional Norms

Young and Thrifty – Young says millennials receive grief because “they are not following the social norms of buying a house and attaching yourself to a lifelong commitment such as 25 or even 35 year mortgage debt.” Maybe that’s one reason.

Maybe it’s also because studies found that millennials care more about happiness than money – which may not seem normal. Young discusses these issues and more, such as how millennials view retirement. This is an interesting post for all generations.

Lifestyle