Weekend reads: College, credit scores, and toilets
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This week, we ask: would you rather deal with your health insurance or a dirty toilet? And which answer puts you in the minority? Plus, what people know about their credit score, what Twitter knows about your salary, and how Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg want to put you through college.
How willing are you to avoid learning about your "boring" (read: "super important and financially relevant") health insurance? According to an Aflac survey, 26% of millennials would rather clean a toilet than do some research for Open Enrollment and other health benefits. Kids these days, right? The state of said toilet should have been clarified to improve the accuracy of this survey, but until then here’s a good primer on insurance terms and why it’s in your wallet’s best interest to know them.
It’s time for a video Daily Double Weekend Reads. Have you ever wanted financial tips if you’re in your 20s, or in your 30s, or in your 40s? You’re in luck, because Tonya Rapley walks you through every stage of your life. Whether you’re finding your financial footing, building good financial practices, or thinking of retirement, you’ll find valuable information in these short, easy-to-understand videos. Plus, she mentions the importance of life insurance for your family’s financial security, which we’re obviously big proponents of here at PolicyGenius.
Sometimes it seems like the process used to calculate your credit score is the same process used at Hogwarts to assign points to houses: partly magic and mostly random. Unfortunately your credit score is incredibly important and plays a huge role in things like getting a loan. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about what does and doesn’t affect your score. Demystify credit scores with this article about what factors can lower or raise your score (and what factors don't make a difference at all).
A lot of us post every facet of our lives on social media, from the foods we eat for breakfast to that one cute dog we saw to the foods we eat for dinner, but others are more careful about what they choose to share online. Or are they? With some clever data mining, scientists are able to discern things like political leanings and income by the seemingly-innocuous posts you make. They can then put this data together to create insights – rich people are grumpier, apparently – for use in social science studies or, of course, marketing. It’s incredibly interesting, in a vaguely Big Brother-ish sort of way.
The fact that higher education costs are a little out of control isn’t exactly a well-kept secret these days. But startups are helping to fix a lot of the world’s other problems, so why not this one, too? Raise.me lets institutions provide "microscholarships" to students while they’re in high school for achievements like good grades and joining extracurriculars. At the end of four years, students could have put a nice little dent into their future tuition. Will it work? It’s still early, but the company does have the backing of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Facebook (ironic side note: both Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college) but at the very least it’s furthering the conversation about making higher education affordable again.
Everyone loves pets. The Internet is approximately 85% funny/cute animal videos. It’s the reason we offer pet insurance: because we want the best for everyone’s furry friends. But do they deserve their own bill of rights? One town in Spain thinks so. Trigueros del Valle unanimously passed a pet bill of rights to legally protect animals from being exploited and thought of as "things." There’s still some work to be done – so far it only covers cats and dogs – but now we have a template for when we’re forced to give rights to the machines.
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