What The Navient Lawsuit Means for Student Loan Borrowers

The government or more specifically the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)  filed a lawsuit against Navient, the nation’s largest student loan service provider last week. Navient is the twin sister to the head of the student loan mafia, Sallie Mae, Inc. that services the loans of more than 12 million borrowers, including my own.  As a loan service provider, they manage borrowers’ accounts, process monthly payments, and communicate directly with borrowers.  The suit was filed on January 18th  with another following just days before the transition of presidential power.navient-lawsuit

According to the CFPB Director, Richard Cordray, “Navient chose to shortcut and deceive consumers to save on operating costs. Too many borrowers paid more for their loans because Navient illegally cheated them and today’s action seeks to hold them accountable.” Some of the most pressing allegations include failing to correctly apply or allocate borrower payments to their accounts, steering struggling borrowers toward paying more than they have to on loans, obscured information consumers needed to maintain their lower payments and deceived private student loan borrowers about requirements to release their co-signer from the loan.  

What That Means for You?

If this lawsuit is successful, consumers affected by Navient’s alleged misdoings may receive some monetary restitution.  Don’t get too excited yet.  This is not a class-action suit that you can sign up for.  According to ClassAction.org, “Attorneys usually find out those who were affected by looking at the defendant’s records in a phase of the litigation known as the discovery phase. People who could be covered by the suit are usually sent a notice or check in the mail. The agency that filed the lawsuit will also have information on their website about the suit and who can claim money in the event of a settlement”.

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A Key Benefit of Parents Funding Their Children’s College Expenses

I remember I asked the question on the SMC Facebook page, “Should parents help fund their children’s college expenses?”  The responses ranged from, “Oh, hell no” to “If I have the means, why not give back to the next generation”.  My Dad helped me and because of that, I graduated with about $25,000 in student loan debt, as opposed to $125,000+/ for a top-tier private college. According to USA Today, “in all but one state, the average graduate owed more than $20,000 in 2013, and in six states, the average student debt was more than $30,000.”  So what does this all mean post graduation?  It means that a generation is starting their adult lives in the red. When it’s time to make major financial decisions, such as buying a house, like our parent’s generation was able to do, the road to home ownership and financial freedom seems non-existent.

Stebo 008

A Key Benefit of Parents Funding Their Children’s College Expenses

I bought my house for my 24th birthday on a whim.  In fact, my story of how I purchased a home for my 24th birthday was nothing more than a beautiful blessing.  I had not saved one dime specifically for a purchase of this type.  In fact, I was simply praying for a way to get out of my parent’s house after moving back from college.  At this time in my life, Sallie Mae and I were close friends because I had my student loans paid a year in advance even with the recession picking up steam.  For about two weeks, I was looking on the internet for apartments when I recalled a financial seminar I attended in college where one of the panelists made the point that “renting was paying for something you would never own”.  I wondered could I afford to own.  With a strong push from my friend Jason, I took a leap of faith, that some would call a poor financial decision, and I made an offer on a property, without looking at other properties.  That was just four days after of my 24th birthday.

Read the full story here: Why I Think Parents Should Their Kids’ College Expenses

How Was I Able to Make Such A Big Financial Decision in Just 4 days?  Found out in the full story:

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{Donating to My Alma Mater} Why I Give Even When I’m Saving

One reason that I have over $20,000 in student loans is because I chose to attend Spelman College, one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges and #1 ranked HBCU. I was offered full music and academic scholarships during my senior year of high school to other colleges and turned them down to attend a school Forbes ranks among the nation’s top ten best women’s colleges. I got a little “something something” based on my academic achievements, but when everyone beside you is a Valedictorian and Salutatorian of their high school class, just being in the top 5% isn’t really scholarship worthy.  While I know my parents supported whatever decision I made, I am sure on some level my Dad’s wallet would have been very okay with a FREE education, elsewhere.

Michelle-Obama-Speaks-at-Spelman-College

Why I Spelman

Making the choice about where I would attend school was the first major decision that I ever made for myself.  It marked the transition from childhood to adulthood and  helped shape the course of not only my career, but also my life. In the end, I did not even consider the price of tuition (estimated $120,000) because I knew without a doubt, that Spelman was the right place for me. From the moment I walked onto the campus, so many beautiful, intelligent, and diverse women from around the world welcomed me. For the first time, I was “at home” in an academic space where standards and honor are raised.

spelman oprah

Why I Give Even When I’m Saving

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Earlier in my matriculation, I noticed the presence and pride of the alumnae. I was told that I was standing on the shoulders of greatness, hard work, and those who came before me.  Now is my time to help provide opportunities that help prepare the next generation of women who will change the world.  Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum acknowledges in the 2012-2013 Report of Philanthropy that “a college education is a privilege.”  According to Tatum, “We live in challenging times when educated women are needed more than ever.  The generosity of alumnae, corporations, faculty, friends, foundations, parents, staff, and our current students has secured vital financial support to develop  these change agents.  [Spelman] appreciates your contributions to scholarships, facility, renovations, innovative initiates such as Wellness Revolution, faculty and student research, and support of Spelman’s Annual Fund- all of which are critical for Spelman women to succeed.”  Yes, I have financial goals and a financial plan; but there is nothing like going back and seeing the women who are now standing on my shoulders and in need of support.  Giving back doesn’t always have to be in the form of financial contribution, however, I do highly recommend it.  Every year, Spelman announces a goal for it’s Every Woman Every Year campaign.  This year’s goal, like the year before, is to surpass 50% alumnae participation or 8,667 alumnae donors by April 11, 2014, the 133rd Anniversary of Spelman’s founding.  I make my contribution every year on this date and charge every Spelman alumna to show the impact of her voice, by making a contribution to Spelman in honor of our founding.  If you don’t give back to your school, I encourage you to do so.   If we don’t invest in where we came from, how can we expect anyone else to?

Happy Founder’s Day Spelman College

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{TuitionBites} Service That Pays Down Your Student Loans

Update: Tution Bites is no longer in business

In the quest toward financial freedom, I have tried some pretty crazy things.  Some worked out well and others…well, let’s just say there is a reason I didn’t write about them.  This week, I clicked the twitter handle @tuitionbites because I thought the name was catchy.  Little did I know, I would be introduced to a new(ish) concept that combines e-commerce and crowd-funding.  The service from TuitonBites claims to help people pay off student loans by shaving years off of a student loan repayment term and saving thousands in interest over the life of the loan.  The original tweet boasted about one person’s ability to get $100.00 per month paid to the principle of their loan… I was intrigued. 

Starbucks = Big Bucks?

Is it too good to be true? Being the researcher that I am, I decided to sign up five days ago.  My plan is to give it the good ole college try for about 6 months so I can report back to you, the readers of SMC, on whether I believe it is a smart financial move or a waste of time. Apparently, it works by sharing a personalized URL  with friends and family and a portion of every order, 25-30% depending on the item, gets direct deposited into your student loan account.  Buyers can even donate additional funds toward your student loan balance to help you reach your financial goals faster, so if you know a someone who may want to help you out (hello Uncle Moneybags), you might want to let them know asap since interest accrues daily.  When  I signed up a few days ago, the item of the month was chocolate cookies for $20.00.  TWENTY DOLLARS for chocolate cookie…during Girl Scout season?!! I thought that the price was steep and I worried that every item sold on this site would have an inflated cost or would be a product that people wouldn’t really want to buy.  Yesterday, however, I was so excited to see that this month’s item is a $25.00 eGift card from Starbucks for only $22.50, that’s 10% off to anyone who purchases from your store (insert angels singing here).  Once received, you can print out the card to give to the cashier, use it right from your smartphone or transfer the balance to a registered Starbucks card.  I see it like this, if it features affordable products that people like or want to try, something that saves money of things you regularly buy and helps pay down massive student loan debt, then it could be a win-win.  Only time will tell, so stay tuned as I keep you updated on whether this is a smart financial move or a waste of time.  If you want coffee in the meantime, I’m sure I can help you with that!

Does TuitionBites really make an impact? 100extra She Makes Cents

Do you think a service like this is worth the effort?

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{Throwback Thursday} The Best of SheMakesCents.com!

Every Thursday, social media is flooded with the hashtag #tbt (Throwback Thursday) as people take a  moment to reflect on their past and how far they have come.  In celebration of this weekly milestone, I would like to invite you on a journey to the beginning.  This Saturday, March 1st will mark the 3 year Blogiversary for She Makes Cents and I wanted to share some of my favorite posts of the past.  Happy Throwback Thursday Lovelies! 

Broke Is The New Black

Identity Theft Credit Cards

She Makes Cents

Happy Throwback Thursday!

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