Finding your first full-time job is a heck of a lot of work — after all of the research you do, applications you fill out, and interviews you prep for, it can be tempting to rush through an acceptance once you’ve been offered a position. But signing the dotted line on an offer letter without hesitation is a decision that can haunt you for years down the road. Not only do you miss out on a lower base pay now — subsequent pay raises are often based on a percentage of your annual salary, so the cash you’re missing out on only compounds. Similarly, settling on a lower initial salary might discourage you from asking for more later down the road or at your next position.
So even (and perhaps especially) if you’re fresh out of college, you should put the work in now to ensure that you earn what you deserve. Not sure where to start? Josh Doody, author of Fearless Salary Negotiation, shared some of his top tips for new grads — read on below if you want to see your savings grow as fast as your career.
1. Know Your Worth
You can’t score a great first salary if you don’t even know what a great first salary would be — so before you even come to the negotiation table, it’s critical to do your research. Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth™ personal salary estimator offers a free, customized estimate of what you should be making based on your job title, location, years of experience and other factors that you can use as a baseline. Once you have your estimate, compare it to the salaries listed on the company’s Glassdoor profile and the salary included in the job description, if applicable. Concrete data like this is often better than simply approaching your friends to see what kind of offers they’re getting, as “it might be a little too intimate to ask acquaintances about their job offers,” Doody points out. In addition, you may be drawing an apples-to-oranges comparison if your friends aren’t in the same line of work, company, or geographic location as you.
Once you’ve done your research, Doody recommends using the information gathered to set a minimum acceptable salary — the lowest salary that you’re willing to take. This “helps you evaluate the quality of each job offer you receive” and lets you know which offers to walk away from, Doody says.
2. Don’t Throw Out the First Number
Once you’re actually sitting down to talk turkey with your potential employer, “the first step to setting yourself up for salary success is to allow the company to be the first to state salary numbers. Even if you’re directly asked for current or expected salary, you should politely decline even if it’s your first job,” Doody says. Why exactly is this so critical? “They’re essentially asking you to take a guess as to what they plan to pay for the position… [and] guessing wrong will cost you money.” Even if you have a good idea of what a certain company will pay based on their Glassdoor salary information, it never hurts to see if they’d be willing to pay even more.
“You also want to defer the salary conversation as long as possible because the longer you can defer that discussion, the more time you have to impress them in your interviews and convince them that you should be paid at the higher end of the range they have budgeted for the role,” Doody adds.
If a recruiter or company directly asks you what your current or expected salary is, Doody suggests replying with: “I don’t have a specific number in mind. I prefer to focus on the value that I can add to your company, and I look forward to hearing what you think is an appropriate salary for this position.” If they continue to push, you can research advanced answers to the current and expected salary questions.
9 Ways You Are Guaranteed To Ruin A Salary Negotiation
3. Keep Total Compensation in Mind
Your annual base pay is the key factor in your overall compensation, but you shouldn’t ignore things like the number of paid vacation days, signing bonuses, relocation stipends, performance bonuses, and equity — all of which are commonly negotiable, Doody says.
“My rule of thumb is to prioritize the factors that matter the most to you, then work down the top two or three of those factors during your negotiation. If the company says ‘Yes’ to your last ask, then your negotiation is complete. Otherwise, you can move to the next item on your list by saying something like: ‘I appreciate you working with me, and I understand that you can’t come all the way up to the salary I requested. Can we settle on the salary you just suggested plus an extra week of paid vacation time?’” Doody suggests.
You can also use “a salary negotiation script … to plan for your own negotiation using this method,” Doody adds. “It helps to literally write down your preferences and plan your negotiation ahead of time so you don’t make silly mistakes in the heat of the negotiation.”
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Push Back
If the number that your potential employer suggests is below your expectations, you absolutely do not need to settle for it. While new grads, in particular, are often afraid that asking for more could cause their offer to be rescinded if a company can’t match it, there is little merit to this fear. “Most offers have a buffer built into them just in case you do negotiate. But even if they’ve made their absolute best and final offer, they’re extremely unlikely [to] retract a job offer just because you negotiate, even if this is your first job,” Doody says.
“Why? Because it’s expensive for a company to get to the point where they make you an offer. They’ve usually spent quite a bit of money to employ the recruiter you’re working with, pay the wages of the folks who spent time interviewing you, pay for a plane ticket plus room and board if they brought you on-site for an interview, and lots of other costs associated with the hiring process. Hiring people is expensive, and once they’ve made an offer, their investment is so substantial that they’re not inclined to just throw all that money away because you counter offered,’” Doody shares.
You may worry that, as a new grad with limited professional experience, you don’t have the leverage to negotiate, but “the primary reason to negotiate has nothing to do with leverage or experience,” Doody says.
“The primary reason to negotiate is… there might be room to negotiate! It’s that simple. Maybe the company will say, ‘That was our best offer. Take it or leave it.’ But maybe they’ll say, ‘Ok, how about another $3,000 a year?’ So why not give it a shot!”
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.88% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.85%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 6.59%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.88% – 5.64%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 5.25%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.13% – 5.25%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|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 June 1, 2021.
2 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Interest Rate Disclosure
Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 2.44% APR to 5.79% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.88% APR to 5.64% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 36% (the maximum allowable for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance 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 2.04% and 5.8% to the one month LIBOR. Earnest rate ranges are current as of 6/8/2021, and are subject to change based on market conditions.
Auto Pay Discount Disclosure
You can take advantage of the Auto Pay interest rate reduction by setting up and maintaining active and automatic ACH withdrawal of your loan payment. The interest rate reduction for Auto Pay will be available only while your loan is enrolled in Auto Pay. Interest rate incentives for utilizing Auto Pay may not be combined with certain private student loan repayment programs that also offer an interest rate reduction. For multi-party loans, only one party may enroll in Auto Pay.
Student Loan Refinancing Loan Cost Examples
These examples provide estimates based on payments beginning immediately upon loan disbursement. Variable APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 5.89% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,042.39. For a variable loan, after your starting rate is set, your rate will then vary with the market. Fixed APR: A $10,000 loan with a 20-year term (240 monthly payments of $72) and a 6.04% APR would result in a total estimated payment amount of $17,249.77. Your actual repayment terms may vary.Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest. com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
Earnest Loans are made by Earnest Operations LLC or One American Bank, Member FDIC. Earnest Operations LLC, NMLS #1204917. 535 Mission St., Suite 1663, San Francisco, CA 94105. California Financing Law License 6054788. Visit earnest.com/licenses for a full list of licensed states. For California residents (Student Loan Refinance Only): Loans will be arranged or made pursuant to a California Financing Law License.
One American Bank, 515 S. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104. Earnest loans are serviced by Earnest Operations LLC with support from Navient Solutions LLC (NMLS #212430). One American Bank and Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
© 2021 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved.
3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
4 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 April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates from 2.49% APR to 6.94% APR (with autopay). Variable rates from 1.99% APR to 6.59% APR (with autopay). All variable rates are based on the 1-month LIBOR and may increase after consummation if LIBOR increases; see more at SoFi.com/legal/#1. If approved for a loan your rate will depend on a variety of factors such as your credit profile, your application and your selected loan terms. Your rate will be within the ranges of rates listed above. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers, or may become available, such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license #6054612; NMLS #1121636 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Additional terms and conditions apply; see SoFi.com/eligibility for details. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
6 Important Disclosures for Navient.
7 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 04/07/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
8 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.13%-5.25% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are 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.