Tag Archives: Financial Aid

Tardy Tuesday…

Does time ever get away from you? Do you lay down at night and ever wonder where all those hours went? Is this starting to sound like one of those informercials that play late at night?

Well, it seems like the last few days have gotten away from me. I had a fantastic weekend that was busy and relaxing at the same time. There was a beach day on Saturday at Far Rockaway which was a smashing success but left me drained for the rest of the day. And then a day spent indoors cleaning and cooking–we made beef bourguignon a la Julia Child.

Blog post to follow.

But let’s get back on track first.

So here’s a belated “Monday Monday” if you will.

So recently there have been two developments in the student loan game that sort of negate one another. First off, President Obama just signed off on a bill that would keep student loan interests fixed at 3.4% for the next year. Which is good. I mean it helps out thousands of students this upcoming school year who are going to take out loans. But that fixed interest rate is only guaranteed for a year. Who knows what it’ll just up to 365 days from now. It’s a start though.

Secondly, starting this past Sunday, graduate student loans going forward will no longer have a grace period. Traditionally, you take out your loans, finish school, have six months to scrabble together some income and then your loans start accruing interest. Now loans will start accruing interest while you’re still in school. So by the time you graduate your loans have already been billed interest for the last two or four years or more if you’re in a PHD program…

Every now and then I think about going back to school to pursue a graduate degree. In what exactly? I’m not sure. But the idea of tacking on more debt terrifies me. So as much as I would like to increase my skill set, actively learn, and have summers again I’m hesitant to take on more schooling with no guarantee that I’ll be able to make ends meet afterwards.

I just found this resource on Kiplinger–a personal finance site–that breaks down the best value colleges for those considering a return to school. They have a ton of other related tools as well including information about stocks, taxes, and general basics.

Interested in learning more about your loans? If they’re held by Nelnet you can attend a webinar for more information on their Money Mondays!

Now here’s what I really want to ask you…

Do you want more informational posts like these or more personal ones about what I’m dealing with? A little of both?

I want to hear from you!
So comment, email doogenblogs@gmail.com or tweet @doogencreates 

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Money Monday$

Politics, Money, Religion–things you’re not supposed to talk about at the dinner table, right?

Well, it seems like money is something you’re never really supposed to talk about. It’s taboo to talk about stipends and mortgages and rent payments and credit card debt and salaries…and why is that?

Wouldn’t it make sense that we would should talk about something that is essentially the baseline for how you live?

I’m not saying that you need money to have a good life. And I’m definitely not talking about bling, fast cars, and luxury meals–although, wouldn’t that be nice if those were my problems? I’m talking about managing your money to live the way you want to.  I am simply asking about how in the midst of all this talk about education and prevention when it comes to eating healthy, safe sex, politics, and policy–we don’t include financial literacy.

This particular topic is one I have become more and more interested as I’ve started to work my way through all the red tape and paperwork and forms that come with my student loans AND as I’ve seen more articles, blog posts, info-graphics, and conversations center around people drowning in their student loans.

I went to UCLA–a big public university in a bankrupted CA. My last quarter there, I saw a 33% increase in tuition costs. My parents weren’t able to foot the bill, I had some grants, and loans made up the difference. I’m a smart kid but that’s the thing–I was just a kid. Taking out over $25,000 in loans. With no credit history. Isn’t there something wrong with that picture?

My understanding is that when you go the bank and ask for a loan for a new car or a house or anything, really, they do extensive checks on your credit score, your purchase, etc. etc.  And here I was, 18 years old, with barely a few hundred dollars to my name, given this enormous sum of money. I knew I would have to pay it back eventually and I didn’t spend it frivolously but I also never really thought about what the payments would be like, how the interest would build on itself, or how having five different servicers/lenders would be such a pain in the ass.

Just like we educate children about not taking candy from strangers, maybe we should start educating them about not taking money all willy-nilly from interest hungry lenders.

So here’s my bright idea, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and mouthing off about my money. Every Monday. (That’s the hope for now.)

If you’re a high school senior, recently accepted into college…Congratulations! And good luck. Check out your school’s financial aid office–and since those are packed–come to terms that you’ll have to figure most of it out on your own. Most schools now have a Net Price Calculator to help you figure out your total cost. But I would advise just taking a good hard look at what your actual expenses are (rent/tuition/books) and taking as few loans as humanly possible. Then get a work-study job. And try to Know Before You Owe.

If you’re paying off your loans, it would be nice to know what they all were right? The National Student Loan Data System has your records here!

Maybe my own experience will help make someone else’s journey easier? If nothing else, I know that misery always loves company.

Have a question or suggestion? Want to talk about something specific? Feel free to comment and let me know what you want to see on Money Monday$! If you’d rather not address it publicly, you can also email me at doogenblogs@gmail.com.

I’d love to hear from you!

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