9 Ways You Are Guaranteed To Ruin A Salary Negotiation

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salary negotiation

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You could learn from your own salary negotiation mistakes—but wouldn’t it be much easier to learn from the mistakes of other employees? That’s why we asked nine hiring managers to share the some of the most memorable salary negotiations they can remember, describing exactly what the employees did wrong so that you can do better. Here’s how nine employers’ recall employees and candidates ruining their chances for better salary.

1. Using a personal financial situation as a negotiating tool.

“One of my employees requested a meeting to negotiate their salary. They came into the meeting and right off the bat started to discuss their personal financial situation at home: She was getting married and the wedding was costing more than she and her fiancé had anticipated. She used the wedding as a bargaining tool to ask for a raise. At the risk of sounding less compassionate than I really am, I must express the importance of leaving personal issues out of the conversation when asking for a raise. As much as I empathize with financial struggles, an employee can create a more compelling argument for a raise by providing evidence of his or her hard work.” —Lori Bizzoco, cofounder of NV Media, Inc.

2. Lacking confidence.

“I remember one employee who failed to be confident in what she had to offer. She failed to outline what her unique accomplishments were and how well they stacked up to the job description and therefore lacked the ammunition she needed to make a logical argument as to why deserved the compensation. Confidence is key. You should know what you’re worth and be able to list the reasons why.” —Jason Hill, founder of Sound Advice

3. Lying about a current salary.

“After a long recruitment search for the perfect candidate, I finally found someone who passed my interviews with flying colors. He had great experience, said all the right things during the interview, and was an interesting person to boot. But as we were going back and forth through salary negotiations, he made a fatal mistake: he lied about his current salary. He threw out a number higher than what was indicated in his initial paperwork. With such an amazing candidate, it was hard to believe he would lie. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, we directly asked him about the discrepancy. He admitted he was mistaken at that the lower number was his actual salary. This immediate sent red flags. Knowing that a lie already crept up even before he joined the team, I questioned his integrity. For the hope of earning a few more dollars, he blew his chances to join the team.”  —Mary Grace Gardner, career strategist at The Young Professionista

4. Asking for a raise when performance doesn’t merit it.

“The biggest mistake I’ve seen from employees over the years is asking for a raise when their performance is average or sub-par. For example, I’ve had sales people asking for raises when they are in the red and not able to close—or worse, people who take frequent vacations, use all their sick days … who have a general sense of entitlement and an attitude of ‘I deserve a raise because I’m just awesome.’ If these employees had shown they’re really worth their salt, by showing up to work on time and working as hard as they could, I would have given a them a raise.” —Joanna Buickians, vice president of operations for JBA

5. Getting defensive.

“I negotiated with a candidate who really ruined his chances of moving forward. When I presented my offer, he got defensive immediately. He negotiated a higher amount, and I returned with a salary that still did not meet his expectations—and that is when things went from defensive to downright rude. I asked that we remain amicable and keep the door open so that I could return if things changed with the salary. But the candidate reminded me I would not find anyone of his caliber who would take the offer I presented him, and he went on to bad mouth the assessment tool that the organization used for his role. His tone continued to be very combative. When you are negotiating … be polite and don’t take an offer personally. Being anything less than that can ruin your chances of getting hired even if you are a top tier candidate.” —Devay Campbell, career coach

6. Using scorched earth tactics.

“We were trying to hire a business director—someone well-connected to other businesses to help establish relationships. We took a chance on someone who knew the right people but had little experience working for a small company, and his negotiating strategy was scorched earth right off the bat, demanding almost twice what we had effectively agreed on in his previous interview. Playing that style of hardball might have been effective in larger companies, but in an open workspace with your new colleagues casually eavesdropping, it was off-putting for them to hear, embarrassing for my business partner and me to talk through, and made for such an untenable start that we ended up not hiring him.” —Mike Catania, chief technology officer of Promotion Code

7. Asking for a raise before meeting performance review goals.

“A particular employee hadn’t received a raise in about a year, and although we’d had a performance review detailing what he needed to do to be eligible for one—goals that he’d help set previously—he told me that he deserved a raise. My first reaction was that he didn’t quite yet, but after the meeting the conversation stuck in my head. My issue was that it is my job to determine who deserves a raise. One of my responsibilities is observing my team, evaluating their work, and acknowledging those who’ve performed well. I like to think I’m fairly good at it. The implication of my employee’s demand that he deserved a raise is that I was unaware of his performance—that I wasn’t doing my job. And while he certainly had no ill intentions—he just wanted more money—I found it off-putting. As such, I was less inclined to offer him higher pay. Eventually, he did get a raise, but only after we’d talked about it, and he had also reached the goals we’d set. My advice: avoid telling your manager what you deserve, and instead prove that you are deserving.” —Lauren McAdams, career advisor and hiring manager at Resume Companion

8. Making threats to quit.

“I remember an employee long ago who was interested in a salary raise and was very open about the fact that he was willing to leave the organization—right away!—if he wasn’t granted a pay increase. While [we were] interested in keeping him, the fact was that this employee’s skill set wasn’t particularly rare or otherwise ‘in demand,’ and as a result, his threats to leave the organization really didn’t hold much weight, and there really was no incentive for the organization to give him a higher salary. In this situation, I would recommend a softer approach. Instead of threatening to leave, an employee should make a reasoned, well-thought out case for a raise or promotion. However, if this is the route you choose to take, be very certain of the value of your professional skill set within your industry. It’s no use to threaten to leave an employer if what do for a living can be done by hundreds of other people.” —An employer at Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences

9. Negotiating every. last. detail.

“I had a candidate who received a verbal offer but chose to negotiate his title and responsibilities before negotiating salary. In most employment offers, there are three main negotiating points: salary, title, and responsibilities. It’s tough to negotiate all three after the initial offer is made. This candidate first asked that his VP title be bumped to an SVP title—that was approved. Then the candidate asked that his future sales region also include the Florida area—and the company agreed, so that was included also. Lastly, the candidate decided that the salary and bonus needed to be increased. But by the time we were discussing salary, the firm already thought he was high maintenance and dropped the offer. This individual should have negotiated his compensation first.” —Peter Keseric, managing consultant with Korn Ferry

This article originally appeared on Glassdoor.com and was written by .

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1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
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2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
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2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
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2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
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2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
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