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´╗┐Pre-paid legal plans? You can get them for free!

They say the best things in life are free. In the case of pre-paid legal plans, this may just hold true.

Pre-paid legal plans offer a range of legal services on-call for a fixed monthly charge of up to $25 per month. With such a low monthly payment, most people are only too happy to get a legal coverage they wouldn't have otherwise dreamt of in the stultifying, money-grabbing world of lawyers... But did you know, you could get all of that coverage free of charge?

In a bid to cut on administration costs, employers, labor unions and universities are now providing legal services at discounted or no cost altogether to their members. Employers are increasingly sponsoring legal plans to their employees as a fringe benefit, as part of their Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Labor unions fund plans offered as member benefit, or under a collective bargaining scheme, in which case new members are eligible to huge discounts. Universities are equally as involved with legal plans offered to students and staff.

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´╗┐Sallie mae loan consolidation When your student loans get the best of you and you're wondering how you're ever going to get out from under all that debt, take a look at loan consolidation. It may be the answer to a number of your problems. Turn to Sallie Mae loan consolidation for a way to pay off your federal student loans, improve your finances, and put a little extra money in your pocket every month. A Sallie Mae loan consolidation replaces your existing multiple student loans with one loan, usually with a dramatically lower interest rate ' as low as 4.75%. The difference a few percentage points can make in monthly payment amounts can mean the difference between scraping to pay bills and actually having a little extra pocket money. It is not uncommon for a borrower to get a fixed interest rate that is up to 0.6% lower than their current rates. According to federal regulations, calculating the interest rate on a consolidated loan disbursed on or after July 1, 1994 involves the weighted average of the interest rates of the old school loans you are consolidating under the new one, rounded up to the nearest one-eight of one percent. Fixed interest rates on a consolidated loan cannot exceed 8.25 percent. Every July 1, the interest rates on federal student loans are subject to change according to the annual fluctuations of short-term federal securities, and with them your monthly payment. One of the benefits of a Sallie Mae loan consolidation is that the interest rate is locked in for the length of the loan. While interest rates may be lower some years, when you are locked into an interest rate at least your payments will be predicable and will not rise in the years when the interest rates do. A Sallie Mae loan consolidation also offers the opportunity to increase the length of the loan. The longer you have to pay it off, the smaller the monthly payments will be. Remember though, lengthening the life of your loan may mean paying out a larger total amount over time. Applying on-line for a Sallie Mae loan consolidation is free, there are no fees, and there are no credit checks. A few minutes of your time can get you smaller monthly payments and better credit scores; when your Sallie Mae loan pays off your old student loans, your credit report reflects those paid off debts. Things happen in life and in a crisis sometimes, those student loan payments don't get made on time, or at all. If you have used up your deferment and forbearance options on current loans, consolidating your debt under one Sallie Mae loan may mean a fresh start and a clean slate. If you are facing a situation where defaulting on one or more of your current loans is a very real possibility, acting now to take advantage of a Sallie Mae loan consolidation may save you a lot of problems and help you out of an overwhelming situation. If you decide that a Sallie Mae loan consolidation is what you want, there are four options for repayment plans, the Standard Repayment Plan, the Extended Repayment Plan, the Graduated Repayment Plan, and the Income Contingent Repayment Plan. The Standard Repayment Plan offers fixed monthly payments, but the life of the loan is limited to 10 years. The Extended Repayment Plan also offers fixed monthly payments, but spreads them over 12 to 30 years, depending on the total amount borrowed, which lowers the amount of the monthly payments. The Graduated Repayment Plan also spreads payments over 12 to 30 years, but the monthly payments increase every two years. The Income Contingent sets a payment plan that is calculated on your annual gross income, family size, and total consolidated loan debt, figured into a period of 25 years to pay it off. A Sallie Mae loan consolidation may be the best option for you, but be sure to explore your options thoroughly to make sure you get the best loan for your situation.