Our Blog

A blog dedicated to providing readers information for all of life's financial decisions

How to Pay off Student Loan Debt

College was a blast, right? You partied, made a few friends and might’ve even learned a thing or two. But now that your final semester is in the rearview, it’s time to think about how you’re going to pay for that hard-earned education.

If you’re in your early twenties and part of the class of ’16, your student loan debt is likely the largest bill that’s ever had your name on it. That can be a bit intimidating, but there is good news: You’ve got six months from the moment you throw your mortarboard in the air until your student loan grace period ends and your first payment is due. So if you haven’t done so yet, put your college smarts to good use and learn how to pay off student loans fast by following these tips to tackle debt.

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Cost of Living in Major Metro Areas

There are multitude of reasons why you may decide to move from one city to another. Maybe you just landed a sweet high-paying job after graduating college or you’ve done the research and decided that moving would be a better option for starting your own business.

While it would be great to just pick-up and go, it’s not always that easy in real life. You could potentially move to a new location that is too expensive for you to live in. Can you live your ideal life in New York City if you’re only bringing in $50,000 a year? It would definitely be a challenge.

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How to Create Your First Budget

There are many milestones of being an adult. Signing your own lease for the first time, being able to rent a car, having someone call you ma’am.

But being an adult also means being responsible for your own finances. Like many things, you can’t have a successful financial future if you don’t plan for it. The best way to do that? Create a budget.

Creating a budget can seem daunting, but it just requires a series of steps. See below for help on creating your first budget.

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5 Tips on How to Negotiate an Entry-Level Salary

Now that you’ve crushed it with your cover letter, blown everyone away with your resume, and aced your interview, it’s time to do what half of all new hires never even attempt: negotiate your salary.

If you’re a recent graduate hunting for work or a twentysomething switching careers, the thought of telling a potential employer how much you want to be paid probably makes you feel a little uncomfortable. But negotiating your entry-level salary could be one of the most important conversations of your professional life, and it can actually be a lot less intimidating if you’re prepared.

Start a new entry-level job earning the paycheck you deserve with these five salary negotiation tips.

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Transitioning Your Finances to Life After College

Just graduated from college? Congratulations! You’ve made it to one of the major milestones in life, and you’re looking at a world of possibility.

So how do you make the most of starting this new, post-university phase of life? One of the most important things to understand as you transition from college student to real world, on-your-own adulting is how to start managing your money so you can not only pay all your expenses, but also start saving and build wealth.

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How I Save Money While Living In the Most Expensive City In The US

I made a lot of waves with family and friends in Los Angeles (and a few online) when I announced that I was moving to Madison, Wis., last year. Some of them just didn’t understand my desire for a slower lifestyle and a more affordable city. I tried to make each and every one of them see that they were the crazy ones for not moving to the Midwest.

I did everything short of slap my friends in the face and scream, “Wake up! You could be living in an apartment that’s twice as big for half the price! In a place where people don’t cut you in line! Where Traffic is just a rock band from the ’60s!”

I was passionate about my new life, and I wanted everyone to know it. That makes it a little awkward to announce that my stint in Wisconsin lasted a grand total of six months, and I now live in the most expensive city in the country. 

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Guest Post: Using Mint to Pay Down $14,000 in Credit Card Debt

Our guest blogger, Kathryn Bradt, is one-half of the duo behind the Dames in Debt blog. The Dames are sisters working off their combined $250,000 worth of student loans and consumer debt while keeping it real about the struggles of being twenty-somethings in expensive cities with limited funds.


Credit cards…love them or hate them, these little pieces of plastic (now featuring the “new” technology that is a slow-as-molasses electronic chip) are a frequent part of our daily lives. With the exception of food truck purchases, I can’t remember the last real transaction I made in cash, and with the advent of credit card rewards programs, I can’t remember the last time I used my debit card instead of my credit card.

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The Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge Program


This program offers the ability to cancel some or all of a Perkins loan over the course of five years. Those who qualify can have 15% of their principal balance and accrued interest canceled after their 1st and 2nd years of service, 20% of their principal balance and accrued interest canceled after their 3rd and 4th year, and the remaining 30% of their balances canceled after their 5th year.

This program is available to Perkins loan borrowers who work in the following fields.

Attorneys: You must be a full-time attorney employed in a federal public or community defender organization. Your service must have commenced on or after August 14, 2008, and may be eligible to have up to 100% of your Perkins loan forgiven.

Child or Family Services: You must be a full time employee of a public or nonprofit child or family services agency that provides services to high risk children and their families from low income communities. Those who qualify can have up to 100% of their loans forgiven.

Firefighters: You must be a full-time firefighter whose service must have commenced on or after August 14, 2008. If you qualify, you may be eligible to have up to 100% of your Perkins loan forgiven.

Head Start Workers: You must be a full time staff member in the education component of a Head Start program. If you qualify, you can receive up to 100% of your loan forgiven- 15% of the principal balance plus accrued interest for each year of service.

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