Friday, January 18, 2008


HWFL is moving! I've been exploring other platforms and settled on Squarespace. This Blogger/Blogspot version will no longer be updated.

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Check out the new version at HWFL - Hell With Fluorescent Lights. Read more...

Monday, January 14, 2008

$20 RIGHT NOW or $100 A Year From Now

This question popped up on Steve Pavlina's forum and it really caught me off guard. The original question "$20 Now or $50 a year from now" and for me, $20 right now is better than $50 a year from now. But what if it was $100? $100 is substantially more than $20, and the patience of a year for $100 could be worth it. So readers and visitors, which would YOU rather have: $20 right now or $100 a year from now, and why? Read more...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Do You Have A Rich Uncle?

Paying for college is hard. A weak credit score and no cosigner can make it even harder when you need a private loan. Not all of us have rich relatives to help fork over some hard-earned cash. Don’t you wish you had a rich uncle?

Well now you do! At, students who need additional private loans can now get one without a cosigner, and a weak credit score. So far, they are the only lending company that doesn’t base its decision entirely on your credit report and score. They also look at your grades. So if you’ve got a decent grade point average but lack credit, you still have a good chance of getting a private loan even without a creditworthy cosigner.

That was my situation. I needed about $2500 more for the tuition, plus the cost of books. I applied for private loans (without a cosigner – I don’t have a creditworthy cosigner to let me borrow their credit) at 5 different lending companies. I got denied 4 times because I don’t have enough credit. I’m a student; the only things on my credit report are two credits with low limits (but high balances), a Target charge card (my oldest account at 2 years old), a private non-educational loan (that was taken out in October), and two Stafford loans that were in repayment period. I had never missed a payment, never maxed out a card, and always paid at least the minimum amount. What credit I do have is good; it’s just not old enough and I don’t have a lot of it. helped me out a lot! I got approved for $3000, and I’m even paying the interest on it while I’m in school. My old Stafford loans are deferred again and my new Stafford loan is interest only by choice. I’m a student who took a year off and “forfeited” $11,500 worth of scholarships (still fighting it though!), but my grades are excellent, and I’m slowly building credit. If you’re in a similar situation, or just need a private loan, you have a rich uncle to back you up at

Note: This is NOT a paid review. I have NOT received any compensation for this highly positive review of this lending company. This is 100% editorial; I actually just got approved for my loan today from and I nearly cried because I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to pay for college or my books on $8/hr and work study.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Go To College For FREE!

Yes, it is possible, and you don’t have to be the smartest or the best student in the world to qualify. Tuition-free, or full-scholarship, colleges are one of the nation’s biggest hidden treasures. Business Week did a full article on the topic back in November 2007. According to Business Week, the way these tuition-free colleges work is through endowments from the community and a mandatory work-study for all students. You work for the college, you get a free education.

Too bad other colleges don’t take advantage of this opportunity, but it is becoming increasingly popular.

Business Week also lists colleges across the country where students can attend for free, paying only room and board and cost of textbooks (click on the pictures provided on the link to see the schools). It is the first step in providing free education in America.

I have noticed a trend in these types of schools, mostly from the ones provided on the list. A majority of them are rurally located, meaning the work study opportunities are typically farm-based. Others are based on aptitude tests for engineering and auditions for music related majors. And then there’s the mother of all free college – the military academies with the agreement that students service in the Armed Forces for at least 5 years upon graduation.

More colleges definitely to look into this. Sure, there is already a work-study program, but it doesn’t pay enough to cover the cost of tuition most of the time, not to mention the competition between students to secure a work-study job. If all colleges in the United States offered a work-study program where if you have an out-of-pocket balance by the time all financial aid clears, working for the college or participating businesses in the area will cover the complete difference. And instead of paying the student, why don’t they send it right to the college? Colleges and universities also need to be able to provide a job for every work-study student. The competition is ridiculous.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Free Stuff!

Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Between job stuff and registering for classes and fighting with the financial aid at my college, I had been too wiped to pen out a decent article.

Recently in the mail, I received an offer from my bank (Bank of America) for a free 1 GB Video MP3 player. Reading the fine print very clearly and thoroughly, it says that I’ll be subscribed to CompleteHome for free for the first 30 days, and then after the first 30 days, my Bank of America credit card will be charged $139.99 for the yearly subscription. If I don’t want to be charged after my 30 days, just cancel the free trial before the 30 days is up (30 days starting from when you receive your membership kit), and the MP3 player is still mine to keep.

Free Mp3 player, guys! Woo hoo! That has sparked this post on other cool free stuff that YOU can get too!

Start Sampling

Start Sampling is a website with plenty of free samples and offers. It is completely free to sign up, and you’ll take a moment to do this little profile quiz thingy to see which samples you can take advantage of. I haven’t gotten around to doing any offers yet, but have already requested my free samples.

Just Free Stuff

Oh, how I love Just Free Stuff. I check back at the website regularly to see what’s been added, and I also signed up for the newsletter to get their dailies. Most of the free stuff they offer on the site doesn’t require you to participate in completing offers. Its just a simple easy form on the company’s website, wait about 4-8 weeks for delivery, and voila – free stuff in your mailbox! If you sign up for stuff almost every day like I do, in about two months time, expect to be getting free samples and goodies in your mailbox every day!

Fab Free

Fab Free is a website like Just Free Stuff. It’s a directory of free offers and samples, and they tend to link to the same offers and samples, but there’s also offers that only JFS has and offers that only Fab Free has (or so I have seen). You can also sign up for their newsletter as well to get a daily newsletter of new free stuff that you can request.

Free Stuff Times

I found this one over at Frugal For Life under the Free Stuff section. It has links to free stuff that these other sites don't have and they even post pictures of the stuff they have received. Plenty of t-shirts and stickers and samples. This is quickly becoming one of my free stuff favorites.

If I come across any other free offers or websites, I’ll post about them too. If you can any recommendations, please feel free to share them.
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