Accepting less money than you’re worth has serious repercussions. As career coach Angela Copeland explains, “Being chronically underpaid is a serious problem. You may not think much about it now, but if you start out underpaid and then your company gives you just a two or three percent raise each year, you’re going to be way behind by the time you hit mid-career.” What’s more, because many companies base their salary offers not on their own pay scales but on what you were previously paid, “being underpaid now can very well mean being underpaid in the future,” Copeland says.
But there’s good news! With the warning signs below, it’s easier than ever to spot if you’re earning less than you’re worth—and if so, Copeland can help you negotiate a higher salary, stat. Here are seven signs you’re underpaid, and how you can earn the money you deserve right now.
1. Online salary data says so.
Glassdoor has a salary tool that allows you to search by job, company and location to find out what others Glassdoor users are paid in your same position or place. Use the tool to search with various criteria, then come up with a salary average with the information you discover. If you’re earning less than the estimate, the chances are that you’re underpaid.
2. The Know Your Worth tool confirms it.
“Glassdoor also provides an online tool that helps you to track your value by the job in your local market,” says Copeland. “It emails you as your market value goes up or down to show what other people at your level are making in your local area.” With these alerts, it’s effortless to stay on top of what you should be paid, as well as when it’s time to negotiate a raise.
3. Someone at your company gives you a hint.
Copeland remembers a time when she disclosed her pay to a coworker—who replied those digits were less than she had expected. “This person was the employee who processed the financials for our department, so they had the inside scoop on what everyone was making,” Copeland says. “The comment gave me a heads up to do research and to start negotiating.”
4. You’ve been at the same company for years.
There can be a downside to dedication. “If you have stayed at the same company for more than five years, there’s a chance you may be underpaid,” Copeland warns. “Many companies provide the largest financial incentives to new hires, rather than existing employees.”
5. Your salary isn’t keeping up with inflation.
“If your dollar isn’t going as far as it used to for the same expenses, there’s a chance you’re underpaid,” Copeland says. When running errands like grocery shopping or buying gas, ask yourself: can I buy what I usually do with the same amount? A Google search will also tell you exactly what the inflation rate has been in recent years. (This year, it’s projected at 1.9 percent.)
6. You made a switch—but your salary didn’t change.
According to Copeland,“If you have switched to a higher paid industry—such as from nonprofit to for-profit—and your new employer-based your new salary on your old salary,” then there’s a good chance your new employer took advantage of an unrelated and too-low salary.
7. You’ve never negotiated a higher salary.
Think back to when you received your job offer: did you negotiate the starting pay? “Almost never does a company come out with their best offer first,” Copeland explains. “If you aren’t asking for more, chances are you’re leaving money on the table.”
Luckily, no matter the reason you’re underpaid, your opportunities are the same: according to Copeland, you can keep your current salary, ask for a raise, or seek a new employer.
If you choose to remain mum, then you have no course of action (Although we recommend you take steps to get the salary you deserve!)
If you would like to see a spike in your salary and to stay at your current place of employment, “You need to make a good case about why you deserve a higher salary,” says Copeland. For example, if you’ve recently taken on more responsibility or even received a promotion, then you have excellent reasons to ask for a raise. “Rarely will your boss want to offer you more money to do the same job,” Copeland points out. “Your performance evaluation can be a great time to make your case for more money and more responsibility.”
On the other hand, if you choose to switch companies, Copeland urges you to be prepared. “You need to do your salary research in advance. During a job interview, your salary is one of the first questions HR will ask you. Not being prepared on the front end can hurt you.” Use the tools mentioned above to find out what you should be paid and your worth. Then, come to an interview armed with that information. “To be fairly compensated in the future, you need to negotiate for more during your next interview,” Copeland says. Don’t be afraid to ask for a big bump in an initial offer, using your salary research as a negotiating tool.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.89% – 6.66%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.09%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.64%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.98% – 8.55%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews! |
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of October 1, 2020.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of July 31, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 7/31/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
5 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 10/15/2020 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.98% APR to 8.55% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.99% APR to 8.77% Fixed APR with AutoPay.