Posted In:Education Archives - Pligg

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5 Student Loan Repayment Pitfalls You’ll Want to Avoid

April 7, 2017 - By 
student loans

The Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Program is an option that many former students are looking into.

Student loans are now a trillion-dollar issue in the United States. Don’t become a statistic!

Here are five pitfalls to avoid when faced with repayment of your student loans:

Pitfall 1. Waiting to repay

Certain types of student loans do not begin accruing interest until the day payments are set to begin. Typically this is at the end of a 6-month grace period following graduation.

Other loans (“unsubsidized” is the word you need to know) start accruing interest immediately after the funds are disbursed.

To avoid all of that interest build-up, if it’s where you can, start paying the monthly interest before you graduate. This can go a long way in getting you out of debt more quickly after you finish school.

2. Not paying at all

If there’s anything that will affect you more negatively than waiting to repay your student loans, it’s not paying at all.

Just like with any other type of debt, defaulting on payments only hurts you. It can take years to rebuild credit scores negatively impacted by late or non-payment of any type of debt.

Even if you think you might be eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness Obama, make your payments in the meantime. Your credit (and your future self!) will thank you.

3. Not paying extra

You might be surprised at how quickly you can get out of debt. Even the slightest bit of extra money tacked on to your monthly payment can make a huge difference.

By repaying your student loans in shorter period of time, you will ultimately save money. The shorter period of repayment time, the less interest you will owe. It’s simple math and lots of motivation!

4. Not knowing your options

By majoring in specific fields of study, you could qualify for certain types of loan forgiveness. Going to work for a particular type of government or non-profit agency could cancel your debt entirely.

A few of these fields include:

  • Law
  • Education
  • Law Enforcement
  • Medicine
  • Social Work

If you don’t qualify for cancellation of your debt, there are other options you can consider.

Income-based repayment options can be a lifesaver and give you some breathing room if you are having trouble finding employment following graduation.

Graduated repayment plans are also available to keep your payments small and manageable and increasing every few years until you handle a larger payment.

Pitfall #5: Failing to understand student loans when they are made

Not knowing what you’re getting yourself into is perhaps the biggest pitfall to avoid. Student loans are not to be taken lightly.

Even with possibilities like the Obama Student Loan Forgiveness Program available, make sure you qualify for such programs before signing on the dotted line.

Student loans are not necessarily something to be afraid of. After all, your education is an investment in your future. Take the time to understand the choices you have and then get out there and discover your purpose!


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What are the Health Qualifications for CDL Truck Drivers?

February 27, 2017 - By 
Health Qualifications for CDL Truck Drivers

Driving trucks may not be for everyone. But you, after months, or perhaps years, of saving for truck driving school, are sure that driving trucks is what you want to do with your life right now.

Unfortunately, however, your desire to drive trucks won’t be enough to guarantee that you’ll land a job as a truck driver. As it turns out, there is a whole host of health qualifications that you must meet before you are allowed to get behind the wheel of a truck, and for good reason.

So what are these health qualifications?

Follow along as we briefly cover the basics.

Physical Capabilities

There is nothing unexpected about the physical requirements for being a truck driver. Simply put, you need to have a full set of fully functional limbs, no impairments that affect your ability to grip objects, the ability to see well enough to drive, and good hearing.

Keep in mind that you will be tested for most of these things.

Diseases & Disorders

Unsurprisingly enough, most jobs require that you are not too ill to perform the duties that are expected of you on the job, and this job is no exception. Though some of the following requirements may not seem entirely reasonable or fair, there are, in fact, good reasons for imposing such rules on aspiring truck drivers:

Though some of the following requirements may not seem entirely reasonable or fair, there are, in fact, good reasons for imposing such rules on aspiring truck drivers:

  • If you are diabetic and rely on insulin to manage your condition, you are not currently eligible to become a truck driver, primarily because insulin can have serious side effects that affect people’s ability to operate vehicles.
  • If you have a respiratory problem that could possibly impair your driving, you are not allowed to become a truck driver. Your medical examiner will determine whether or not your respiratory issues are too serious to take on the work.
  • People with high blood pressure are also weeded out of the pool of candidates.
  • Joint or muscular problems such as arthritis are not acceptable since they can affect your ability to drive.
  • Candidates with some form of heart disease are perceived to be dangerous on the road due to the fact that their heart conditions could lead to crashes.
  • If you have a psychiatric disorder or anxiety, you’re not permitted to become a truck driver. There are also other mental conditions that will disqualify you.
  • You can’t have epilepsy or any similar condition which might affect your driving.

Drug Use

The expectations for drug use are standard, so you probably already have some idea about the substances that will affect your ability to become a truck driver. That said, we’ll quickly touch on what those substances are and how you are permitted to use them.

As you no doubt know, you are not allowed, under any circumstances, to use illegal substances, and this stipulation holds for any job that you apply for.

The rules surrounding the use of legal substances such as prescription drugs, however, are a bit more complicated. While you may use legal substances, the catch is that those drugs cannot affect your mental and physical capabilities. You are usually required to get the opinion of a medical examiner before you are cleared to work while you are taking certain drugs.

You are also allowed to consume alcohol during your free time, but you cannot currently be an alcoholic.

Conclusion

You should be aware of the fact that driving trucks can bring on certain health problems. Common concerns are bodily aches (especially back pain), sleep deprivation, and weight gain as a result of leading a sedentary lifestyle.

If you’re willing to take those risks, take a look at what CDL Truck Driver Training School has to offer aspiring truck drivers. After all, there is no reason to delay your dreams.


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3 Great Industries to Get Learnerships In

February 2, 2017 - By 
learnerships

Recently, President Jacob Zuma has signed seven new finance bills into law including The Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act.

Under this legislation, unemployment insurance benefits will be extended to learners who are undergoing learnership training, as well as civil servants. The said law also covers the process of application for maternity benefits.

There’s no doubt about it. Now would be a great time to apply for a learnership. And if you’re wondering which one you should choose, consider these three latest learnerships.

Department of Labour Learnerships

Your first stop when applying for a learnership is the Department of Labour (DOL) since you need to register first before you can begin your learnership journey.

To apply, have your South African citizen or ID card ready. Attach a copy to your curriculum vitae (CV) and submit with a filled-out Application for Employment form (Z83 form).

You can download a copy of the Z83 form here or you can request one from the Public Service department.

The last step is to send your application via post or personally deliver it to the office that advertised the position. You can view the list of DOL vacancies here.

BMW Learnerships

BMW, one of the most popular luxury automakers in the world, has a three-year learnership programme conducted by the BMW Technical Training Department.

It is geared towards technologically-inclined learners who are eager to study Autotronics and Mechatronics. The yearly programme starts every 1st of March and will offer participants the chance to develop skills and gain BMW-specific experience, as well as formal Artisan qualification.

BMW accepts applications as early as October and will only consider applicants who have a Standard 10/Grade 12 Certificate or a Further Education and training Certificate NQF level 4, which can only be completed with a 50% or higher rate in Science and Mathematics.

Other requirements/qualifications include: a driver’s license, computer skills (Office Suite), and completed BMW SA Apprentice 1st level training course. Tertiary technical qualification and/or technical motor industry experience are a plus, but not required.

You can directly apply by emailing your application to careers.bmwza@bmw.co.za.

Nursing Learnerships

Nursing learnerships take 12 to 24 months to complete, after which you can also take additional classes to earn your diploma in nursing.

If you are interested in government nursing learnerships, the Department of Health has open positions in different provinces including Kwazulu Natal, Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Free State, North West, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo.

To apply, you must be 18 to 35 years old, know English, as well as life sciences, biology, and related subjects, and have completed Matric. Include your ID, detailed CV, as well as copies of any relevant certificates you have.

You can also visit your local health department to know if they are currently offering nursing learnerships.

Get the most out of the latest learnerships

Knowing the latest learnerships isn’t enough. If you’re lucky enough to get a learnership interview, you need to remember the following:

  • Dress for success
  • Do your research
  • Ask the right questions; and
  • Present the best version of yourself.

Then once you’re in, you have to stay the course and be proactive. Work hard and learn as much as you can.

Don’t forget to network and make sure you’re leaving the right impression with the people you’ve worked for and worked with. The larger your network, the more opportunities will be open to you in the future.

Good luck!