Author Archives: femmefrugality

Occupation-Based Student Loan Repayment Programs

Student loan repayment programs for doctors, nurses, vets, STEM majors, lawyers, educators and more!

Most people are aware that your student loans can be forgiven if you’re in a government position.  A while back I wrote about states, cities, and provinces that are willing to pay back your student loans for simply moving there.

Today I’ve got even more programs that will help you pay back that nasty debt.  Most of them are based on your occupation.  Some of them are pretty common.  Some of them are completely random.  Some of them only apply to certain states or geographic locations.  Some are national.

All of them are worth reviewing.  They could help you pay back a significant portion of your debt.

(These are all snippets…for full details of the program hit “more information” under each one as their may be additional qualifiers I do not mention.  You may or may not be eligible for the full payback amount as listed depending on your situation.)

National program to get student loans forgiven

Teacher Student Loan Forgiveness

Locality:  Federal/National

What it will pay back: Up to $17,500 on direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans & subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans.

Special Requirements:  Be a teacher in a low-income school district for 4-5 years

More Information

Work in education? You may be able to get your student loans cancelled!

Teacher Student Loan Cancellation

Special Requirements:  Hold on!  You don’t have to be a teacher for this one!  If you work in the educational field, odds are you qualify.  You have to work either in a field where there is a lack of qualified educators as determined by your state, in special education, OR in a school with low-income families.

Locality:  Federal/National

What it will pay back:  A discharge of up to 100% of your loan from the Federal Perkins Loan program.

More Information

uninsured lost obamacare

Association of American Medical Colleges Scholarships, Student Loan Repayment & Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Locality:  Various states across the country.

What it will pay back:  Varies. Some state programs grant scholarships while others provide student loan repayment or forgiveness.

Special Requirements:  Varies, but you will need a tie to a state in order to qualify for its program.

More Information

occupation based student loan repayment programs

NURSE Corps Student Loan Repayment Program

Locality:  Federal/National

What it will pay back:  60% of your loan balance over the course of two years, possibly 25% for a third year.

Special Requirements:  Must be an RN with you education completed. Must be working full-time at a designated eligible critical shortage facility.

More Information

occupation based student loan repayment

Pitt Law Student Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Locality:  University of Pittsburgh Law School graduates

What it will pay back:  An unknown-to-me sum towards your debt.

Special Requirements:  Must be a graduate of Pitt who is using their law degree in public service (or public service related to the welfare of children depending on the program.) Your income must be below 400% of the federal poverty level.

More Information

Pitt Law has two additional student loan repayment programs available.

A lot of other schools and states have programs for their law students. Do some research around your own!

Vetrinary Student Loan Repayment Programs

Arkansas Veterinary Student Loan Repayment

Locality:  The state of Arkansas

What it will pay back:  The balance due on your loans for five years.

Special requirements:  Get a job or internship within 90 days of your graduation, and stay employed in the field consecutively to get the maximum benefits for the full five years.

More Information

Programs for Veterinarians in Other States

Joining the Peace Corps could reduce your student loans.

Peace Corps Student Loan Deferment and Cancellation

Locality: National (You may serve outside of the US.)

What it will pay back:  Potential 15-70% cancellations on Perkins Loans. Deferment on several Federal Loans. Deferment on private loans vary from lender to lender.

Special Requirements:  Join Peace Corps and serve for at least two years.

More information

occupation based student loan repayment programs

New York State Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness Program

Locality:  The state of NY

What it will pay back:  $6,500/year up to $26,000

Special Requirements:  Be a licensed social worker in New York state working in a critical human service areas in health, mental health, substance abuse, aging, HIV/AIDs, child welfare, or in an area with multilingual needs. You must work in an eligible county at 35+ hours per week.

More information

STEM Student Loan Forgiveness

North Dakota Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Occupations Student Loan Program

Locality:  The state of North Dakota

What it will pay back:  $1,500/year up to $6,000

Special Requirements:  Must be a North Dakota college graduate with a final GPA of 2.5 and have been working in your field for 12 months.

More information

Vermont used to have a very similar program that paid out a little bit more, but Vermont’s Student Loan STEM incentive program has sadly been discontinued.

 

While it’s really exciting if you can take advantage of any of these programs, be aware that money you receive to pay off your loans may be subject to taxes!

Financially Savvy Saturdays 181st Edition

Welcome to Financially Savvy Saturdays, the best place to find awesome money related stories and opinions on the web! It’s created specifically for personal finance bloggers! We welcome all things money here. Whether you’ve written anything from advice on how to stay positive during your debt journey to the worst ways to earn extra money, you’re invited to link-up.

If it ties into personal finance, we want to read it!

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Femme Frugality - Financially Savvy Saturdays with Broke Girl Rich and Disease Called Debt

Tweet about it. You can use #finsavsat when tweeting about the party!

Concerns about SEO? Recently many bloggers have decided to stop participating in events such as Carnivals. If you’re worried about how participating in this link-up could effect your SEO, we’d encourage you to check out this article.

Interested in co-hosting? Co-hosting is fun AND easy. If you’re interested, you can email me via brokeGIRLrich(at)gmail(dot)com with any questions. Or if you’re ready to take the plunge, you can sign up on this Google doc.

If you’ve co-hosted before and enjoyed it, please consider doing it again! If you’re interested but nervous about getting involved, please email one of us, we love talking to new bloggers and would enjoy explaining how blog hops work and getting you more involved!

Feature of the Week

As this week’s visiting co-host, I got to select my favorite post from last week’s blog hop to be this week’s feature. I chose Cable Without the Cable Price Tag: Our Sling Review by Emily at The John & Jane Doe Guide to Money & Investing! If you’re looking to cut cable while keeping sports programming, Sling TV appears to be the holy grail.

Click here to read her post!

Click here to read her post!

If you submit a post, you could be featured in next week’s party!

We do have a couple of rules for participation. Those who don’t follow the rules will have their link taken down and won’t have the chance to be featured.

1. Your post must be written in the past seven days, related to personal finance and not be solely a giveaway.

2. Be sure to include a link to one of your hosts by copying and pasting the html in one of the boxes below into your linked up post. You have the option of the button or a text link.

3. Follow your hosts. You can follow brokeGIRLrich on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, OR by subscribing to her RSS feed. Also, you can follow Femme Frugality on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest OR by subscribing to her RSS feed.

4. Comment on at least one post before and after you that have joined the party.

5. HAVE FUN!

Please copy and paste this button into the post you link up:

Disease Called Debt

OR copy and paste this code for a text link:

 <em>*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on <a href="http://brokegirlrich.com/financially-savvy-saturdays-181" rel="nofollow">brokeGIRLrich</a> and <a href="http://femmefrugality.com/financially-savvy-saturdays-181st-edition" rel="nofollow">Femme Frugality</a>*</em>


Help Boomers with their Money and Earn Mad Cash

I have the perfect idea for this! Really cool contest that pays you money for coming up with FinTech solutions for baby boomers!

I love FinTech. I love apps that help people save money and apps that help people make it to payday without going broke or taking on massive amounts of debt. In 2015, when I was picking an event to volunteer for at FinCon, I made it a point to hop on the FinTech competition.

Largely, FinTech is aimed at millennials. It makes sense. We were the first generation raised with the internet, so we’re tech savvy. We also tend to be fiercely brand loyal. We’re a generation that makes up a quarter of the population, and we haven’t even reached our peak earning years yet. We’re good for quick wins, but also great for the long-game if we can be secured as customers today while we’re still working on amassing our wealth.

However, nearly a whole other quarter of the population, with less than one million fewer people, controls 70% of this country’s disposable income. They’re older, though, and therefore not seen as the same quick win as millennials in the tech sector.

These people are baby boomers, and despite being the largest generation at their peak, they have ended up largely under-served by the FinTech community. Creating apps and platforms for people who didn’t grow up with technology is more challenging and not perceived to be as sexy. But there are dollars to be made, and solutions to be created.

Baby Boomer Money Problems FinTech Could Address

Serving the under-served baby boomers means coming up with creative and intuitive FinTech that addresses the unique financial situations boomers find themselves in. These include:

  • Retirement. Many don’t have enough money for it. Besides 401(k)s, IRAs and pensions, you’re also looking at things like social security as real means of daily provision.
  • Wills and estates. We should all be taking care of this now, especially if we have kids, but for baby boomers, it’s more pressing of a generational issue.
  • Disability. The longer you live, the more likely this is to be a financial issue. Baby boomers are living longer and retiring later than previous generations, so it is a heightened financial concern.
  • Bucket lists. While it may be trendy for millennials to tick off their bucket lists before they turn 30, boomers took a more traditional approach. They worked their whole life, waiting for retirement to finally do all the grand things they had always dreamed of. Unfortunately, most of them haven’t saved enough money to make these dreams a reality. Are there ways we can change that now, to adjust their finances so they can achieve their dreams?
  • Spending on grandkids. Or anything, really. I only mention grandkids because I know my own children are largely spoiled by their boomer family members. But boomers, despite not having enough money saved, do still have a large portion of this country’s wealth in their control. (Maybe the seeming discrepancy is due to the growing wealth gap.) Are there ways FinTech could help them make those spending decisions in fulfilling,  yet wise, ways?

My list is by no means all-inclusive. There are other issues this generation faces financially. There are additional solutions that need to be created.

Your Creativity Could Earn You Mad Cash

There is a need for creativity to solve these problems, but knowing how to code an app isn’t a requisite for dreaming up creative solutions.

CO-OP Financial Services recognizes that need, and recognizes that this generation remains largely under-served. That’s why they’ve put together The Financial Longevity Challenge. The challenge invites everyone, techy or not, to submit their creative, technology-based solutions to some of the financial hurdles boomers face.

Have an idea? If yours is chosen as one of the best, you’ll get to split a $10,000 prize with other thought leaders. There can be up to five winners, meaning the prize will be $2,000 at least, but that’s only if there are five worthy ideas. You could end up winning more.

If you want to participate, be sure to get your idea in by November 27th.

Ready? Set? GO!

This Year’s Top Ideas

UPDATE! This year’s top ideas have been chosen! There were five of them, and they were pretty phenomenal, addressing a wide range of issues:

Rightsize

Originator: Natalie LeRoy, Chicago, Illinois.

Idea: This initiative seeks to help those over 50 who are looking to relocate or change their living situation to reflect their current life circumstances. Through a web and mobile platform, “Rightsize” will help users develop their ideas about retirement, housing and lifestyle and transition them into reality. Users are able to build a fiscal profile and check in with a self-guided map, get relevant information from the news and other users, as well as connect to resources and services.

The “Not So Retired Life” Podcast

Originator: Rachel Rosenbaum, Detroit Michigan.

Idea: This initiative seeks to empower individuals over 50 years old to re-frame the way they approach retirement so they can live a long, fulfilling life, in a financially-sustainable way. This proposed podcast will share stories of the real experiences of people in their late careers/early retirement. The plan calls for leveraging local journalists, entrepreneurs, credit-unions, and/or communities to find initial sponsors and interviewers.

All Generation Friendly ATM

Originator: Freddy Shimabukuro, Pueblo Libre, (Lima), Peru, in collaboration with the Peru Chapter of the OpenIDEO Community.

Idea: The Friendly ATM will give credit union members more confidence when using ATMs by allowing them to take time when setting up transaction details while they are at home. Once transactions details are confirmed, the transaction will be automatically brought up then next time the user logs-in to an ATM. This will minimize the time that credit union members spend in being vulnerable at physical ATM locations.

Leverage Trust to Create Personal Pensions

Originator: Wingee Sin, South San Francisco, California.

Idea: This initiative seeks to create personal pension products for individuals and distribute them via credit unions. It will support the dreams and obligations of 50-plus consumers by creating a steady income stream from their earlier savings. It will leverage the credit union client relationships and physical distribution network to offer individualized pension plans at scale.

Incubator Club for Credit Union Members

Originator: Lillian J. Warner, New York, New York. Warner is among a team of graduate students from New York University, under the tutelage of Anne-Laure Fayard, Associate Professor of Management in the Department of Technology Management and Innovation.

Idea: This team proposes an “incubator” for credit union members over 50, where they can pursue their small business dreams and connect with their community. In this way, people in this age group can remain active, develop a project they always wanted to work on and help someone by providing expertise. The club will provide support, resources and networking opportunities to its members.

 

What do you guys think? Have a favorite?

If you’re bummed that you missed it, no worries. This contest has been going on since 2011, so I’m willing to bet it will be around next year, too. Keep an eye out for it in the Fall!

 

Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not)

Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You're Not): A Parents' Guide for Kids 3 to 23I’ve been writing about personal finances for almost six years now. I like to think I’ve got a good grasp of it.

I’ve also performed in work positions where I needed at least a cursory understanding of developmental and educational psychology. I like to think I performed pretty well in those jobs, too.

But the intersection of finances and developmental psychology? While I think I’ve been doing some great things to teach my kids about money, I recently picked up a book that taught me there’s a lot that I didn’t know.

Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even if You’re Not)

That book was Beth Kobliner’s most recent tome: Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even if You’re Not). Kobliner is a leading authority on personal finance for young people with a laundry list of impressive work experience, including serving as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability under Barack Obama.

The basics that I had already been doing were within her text: teach your kids about opportunity costs, delayed gratification and savings. Teach them that mom and dad have to work to bring home money to pay for our home and food and toys.

But Kobliner opened up doors to me that I didn’t even know were there. Much of her work is based on scientific studies that I never knew had been performed, yet the engaging read went quickly and didn’t feel anything like a white paper.

The Book’s Construction

I read the book start to finish, but its construction allows you to pick and choose sections to read that are applicable to your current stage of parenting.

Each chapter is divided up into sections for “Preschool”, “Elementary School”, “Middle School”, “High School”, “College” and “Young Adulthood”. If your kid is 12, you don’t have to sift through what you should have been doing when they were three, or what you will have to do when they’re 20.

It covers a vast array of topics, many of which I had never thought about introducing to my preschoolers:

  • Savings
  • Hard Work
  • Debt
  • Smart Spending
  • Insurance
  • Investing
  • Giving Back
  • College

My kids came home from school with a fire safety packet the other day. We got to the crucial rule of not going back inside the house after you get out. Whatever toy or possession you want to retrieve is not worth risking your life.

I never would have thought of it before, but since I had read Kobliner’s book, I took the opportunity to explain to them, in the most basic of ways, renters’ insurance. It reassured them that their favorite toys and blankets would be replaced without mommy having to work fifty million hours to compensate for the costs.

There is also a section on financial advice for parents at the end. If you don’t have your money game together, it’s a quick primer to help you do the big important things easily so you don’t come off as a hypocrite to your kids. Also, having your stuff together will make your life better, period.

While there were some things I knew in the text, there was plenty that I didn’t. Here are some of the most interesting things that stuck out to me.

Our Daughters’ Money Gap

Culturally, we tend to talk to our sons more about money than our daughters. Our sons grow up feeling more confident about money because we have these conversations with them so often, and we therefore think they are inherently better with money. This holds particularly true on the topic of investing.

It might not be something that we are doing consciously; it may be a cultural subtext that is so deeply ingrained in us that we don’t realize we’re perpetuating it.

Kobliner points out that this is doubly detrimental because when our daughters enter the workforce, they are faced with the very real gender pay gap. They’re making less than their male peers and, because we didn’t address the topic properly in their youth, they feel less confident handling the money they do have.

My parents were by no means feminists, but I do consider myself very fortunate that this was not the case in my home when I was growing up. I plan to be intentionally aware of equity in financial education as I raise my own children after discovering this fact.

Teaching Kids to Wait and Save

I knew that distraction was a good way to avert tantrums in toddlers and, to a certain extent, preschoolers, but I had never thought to apply this tactic to financial lessons.

Kobliner encourages parents to, among other strategies, play fun games in checkout lines or even bust out videos on the phone. Then, once you’re out of the store, praise the child for not freaking out even though they really wanted that overpriced candy bar.

They may not be aware of what’s happening in the moment, but the positive reinforcement afterwards starts building neural pathways that encourage delayed gratification and can even stave off credit card abuse when they’re older.

College Jobs Can Be Beneficial

It turns out working up to 20 hours per week can boost a college student’s grades—but only if it’s on-campus. Off-campus jobs don’t show the same correlation. So don’t turn your nose up at those work-study opportunities offered on the FAFSA!

The Science of Happiness

I’ve written on the science of happiness before—and how money only contributes to about 10% of it. Kobliner cites a new(er) book, though, that asserts that we’re happier with many small purchases spread out throughout the year as opposed to one or two big ones annually.

So maybe skip that huge vacation and instead take a bunch of smaller weekend trips. I’m going to struggle with following this advice, but it makes logical sense.

The Engagement Ring Matters

Apparently there have been studies done about the correlation between engagement ring costs and divorce rates. Those that spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on the ring were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced than those that only spent between $500 and $2,000. You now have a non-financial reason to be stingy.

Saving for College Increases Attendance

So here’s some financially backwards psychology for you: children who know their parents are saving for their college as early as preschool are more likely to actually go to college. The crazy part? This is especially true when the household income level is less than $50,000.

Why do I think that’s crazy? If you’re from a household that makes less than $50,000 per year, you’re likely going to get full Pell and state grants, qualify for a ton of financial aid at the school level, and have a lot of scholarships open to you because of your economic status. These are the families who, in my educated opinion, are most likely to get full funding without their own savings.

Even though it doesn’t make the most financial sense, especially considering those with incomes under $50,000 likely aren’t fully funding retirement accounts, I can see how this is a situation where psychology may win out and play a massive role in that child’s future earning opportunities.

Ivy League Does Improve the Marginalizeds’ Earning Power

My biggest regret surrounding my college education is that I didn’t apply to the Ivy League school of my dreams. In retrospect, I probably would have gotten in, and I probably would have gotten enough financial aid to allow me to graduate traditionally.

However, I know that the name on your degree doesn’t affect your earning power. Unless, as I learned from Kobliner, you are Latino, black, from a low-income household or are a first-generation college grad. Kobliner says this may be because of the network you gain at these schools, and therefore the access to opportunity.

I agree with that, but will go a step further in my own, personal assumptions: that Ivy League name may help combat racism and classism, which both negatively impact wage gaps.

If you have a child who is in one of these marginalized groups, know that Ivy League schools typically have very large endowments that can often make their tuition free or at least far cheaper than some private, or even state, schools. If your child has the academic acumen to get in, it’s well worth applying. Don’t write them off as too expensive.

One last note on higher ed—Kobliner is a bit pessimistic about funding education through scholarships or graduating debt-free. I tend to be on the other end of that spectrum as there’s a lot of money left on the table every year because most students don’t aggressively pursue scholarships, and many don’t even apply for the FAFSA. This may be the only point of possible contention I had with the entire text.

Recommend?

Highly. I know I’ve told you a lot I learned from the book, but trust me when I say there is so much more. There are techniques I will be using today with my preschoolers, and techniques I’ll be coming back to the book to reference as my children grow older. If you want to learn a better way to teach your child to be a financially-capable adult, this is a must-read.

 

*I have been compensated for my time reading and reviewing this book. Regardless, all opinions are 100% my own and 100% honest.*

Do Good in a World Full of Bad News

The news has been dragging me down lately. Nice to see a way to do good through Charity:Water!

Guys, I don’t know about you, but the world has been a rough place for me since January 20th.

Refugees being turned away from our doors. Leaders in the highest ranks firing people for  dissenting opinions. The very real potential of net neutrality being dismantled. The richest of the rich with no qualifications or experience being placed into positions of power that jeopardize the most voiceless of our population: disabled children. The very nature of reality being questioned–not by philosophers, but by our government.

It’s enough to send you into a panic attack.

Despite my attempts to avoid this constant stream of bad news, it keeps on filling my feed. I have to admit, I’ve occasionally engaged with it. Because I have a hard time keeping silent on things that matter so incredibly much.

In a world full of bad news, I feel like we all deserve a little good. I think we all need the opportunity to do a little good so we don’t fall into the dark madness that has been the past few weeks.

A powerful way we can fulfill that need is through our monetary resources. A powerful way we can curb our despair is by recognizing how fortunate we truly are, despite our struggles.

Without further ado, here is the good news.

clean water for uganda

Ladies in Media Charity:Water Drive

I’ve teamed up with several amazing women in the personal finance media space to raise money for communities around the world that don’t have water. Every day, about 1,400 children die from diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation.

As far as public projects go, a surprisingly small amount can change this situation for an entire community. For just $10,000, a community or school can have access to clean water via drilled wells, spring protections and BioSand filters.

Am I asking you to donate $10,000?

Psh. No.

But if you’re looking to do some good in the world, I would ask you to consider donating a much smaller amount that fits into your budget. Because with our powers combined, we can tackle this problem.

There are 13 women participating in this drive, and if each of us have 16 readers who contribute $50 within 60 days, we’ll not only reach our goal–we’ll exceed it.

clean water for india

What happens after we reach our goal?

The operational costs of Charity:Water are fully covered by private donors. That means 100% of the $10,000 raised will go directly to this project.

After we reach our goal, Charity:Water will send us photos and GPS coordinates of the community we helped, which I’ll be sure to include here. (So bookmark this page!)

This won’t help solve the crazy political problems we’re facing right now, but it will help a school or community in desperate need get access to clean water.

If the order is reinstated and we start turning people away again, at least we’ll be able to help those who aren’t as fortunate as we are to live in a community with clean water–the most basic of all basic needs.

clean water for cambodia

Okay, I’m in. Where do I donate?

Thanks, rockstar. People like you restore my faith in humanity.

You can donate here. You can use this same page to track our progress.

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