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Daphné Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez



Stay Up to Date With The Latest and Not-So-Greatest News About Student Loans and More.

About This Episode

Happy Inauguration Day in the United States! New administration, new student loan agenda. With every Presidential Administration, new policies, efforts, and strategies are implemented across a number of different categories. The student loan crisis is no different. At a time when over 44 million Americans hold over $1.7 trillion dollars in student loan debt, and at a time when the country attempts to heal wide divisions, there is better time to have a clear agenda on economic recovery. Buckle Your Seat Belts and Stay Tuned as Daphné Vanessa(@daphnevanessa) and Shamil Rodriguez(@LinkedIn) take a Deep Dive Into the Biden Administration’s Possible Plans for Student Loans.


  • What the Incoming U.S. Presidential Administration hopes to achieve in the space of student loans and education costs.
  • Whether student loan relief is likely to happen in the New Administration.
  • How the proposed economic recovery plan may impact your student loan and future tuition costs.
  • Whether proposed actions are actually beneficial for students and student loan borrowers.
  • And much more…

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Resources from this Episode:

The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:01): Welcome to the student loan podcast. Here, you'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses and inspiring stories about paying off student loans. We're your hosts, Daphne, Vanessa and Shamil Rodriguez.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:18): Welcome to the student loan podcast. I'm Shamil Rodriguez and I'm Daphne Vanessa. And we have a great episode for you today, but first we'll just start off with a quick news update. It's a new section we have or something we're bringing back from earlier called star news. That's what we're going to bring to you. Some updates in student loans or anything relevant in that field that we think you might be interested in learning from the last episode that we had, the first thing is that federal student loan deferral that was in place due to the cares act in response to COVID-19 has actually been extended by the Biden administration. And so the end of the fiscal year, this year, which would be the end of September, which translates into meaning you don't have to make another payment on those federal student loans until October of 2021. Just keep that in mind, if you haven't heard that already, just so that you've got some nice relief there, but that also means like we've said, in other episodes opportunity for you to pay off some of your student loans interest free, what do you think Daphne about that?

Daphné Vanessa (01:19): Amazing. I think that you hit it on the head. That's an opportunity guys. That's like, this is an opportunity to pay off interest free student loans. Amazing.

Shamil Rodriguez (01:31): Absolutely. And the second news update we wanted to share is the secretary of education nominee yall Cardona said during an interview that student loans and the possibility of student loan forgiveness would be a priority for him, uh, under his tenure as secretary of education, assuming he gets approved by the Senate. So I think that's a very positive sign for things to come, uh, and we will keep you updated as we learn more. And as you know, some of those ideas and thoughts start to materialize, but just keep an eye out on that. And at least we know that the department of education will be prioritizing student loans. Great news. What do you think Daphne,

Daphné Vanessa (02:15): That's fantastic news and I'm really looking forward to seeing this new administration and how he manages the department and the innovative solutions that he's willing to bring to the table to really address this crisis that is student loans.

Shamil Rodriguez (02:33): Absolutely. And, uh, we will, we look forward to bringing on some guests, that'll help us navigate some of those ins and outs of the federal government perspective and helping us understand some of the inner workings of what that might look like under the byte administration. More things that come really excited about, uh, some of the episodes that will be coming out in the future. So let's get started with today's episode today. We're actually going to be using one of the comments that we received more than once from some of our listeners. And this is actually one from an email, um, that I think is going to kick us off into a really interesting episode. And this one was, should I open or excuse me, should I delay paying off my student loans by going to graduate school is I don't have a job yet. And I'm scared that my grace period will be, will be wasted. Please help

Daphné Vanessa (03:26): Wasted strong words. I mean, I can empathize starting school. Um, not necessarily knowing about the costs and kind of just going in with faith. Eventually you stop and ask yourself that, wait, what was school useful for? I didn't have to pay off student loans. Can we reapply this? And that's where that thought gets a little bit dangerous. So, um, I'm really excited that we're talking about this because you'd be surprised how many students just get another degree so that they can delay paying student loans. So it, that, yeah, go ahead.

Shamil Rodriguez (04:10): I was thinking, it's just like the, I know we've all heard this before, right? The kicking the can down the road, right. Things are so cliche, but I truly believe that there's a kernel of truth there. And that is, this would be an example of literally doing that. Um, I've seen others like defer going to grad school until they had their money in place or whatever the case of your financing for school. My concern here is making a short-term decision, right. In terms of, uh, being concerned, right? Like you're seeing words like, uh, I'm scared, wasted, please help. Right? Like it's coming from a place of urgency or stress and that's not necessarily the best place to make these types of financial decisions. Right. That's where you can end up making decision that ends up putting you in a bigger hole later on. Um, but if you are going to go that route, then what is the degree that you're looking to get into?

Shamil Rodriguez (05:08): And as a grad student, like what is that actually going to provide in terms of finances? Right. I know not a lot of people like to think of it that way, but like how much is it actually going to increase your compensation? Are you currently in the field of study and will this grad degree actually help propel you forward financially? Right. And have you, what other creative financing ways are you looking to tackle this? Are you going to be financing it 100% through student loans, right? These are all considerations that you need to put into place. Um, as you, as you kind of decide which way you would want to go. I know personally, if, if my short answer is no right, because I think it's better to reassess and plan because there are plenty of ways to finance your, that, that student loans shouldn't be their first option.

Shamil Rodriguez (06:01): If that's the case. Like if that's the only way you can go, then I understand, you know, you're breaking into college, you know, changing your, your economic status by pursuing a degree. Okay. But this doesn't come from that space. This seems to come from a space of concern, fear, um, and an urgency. And that, you know, that can really lead to some poor financial decisions. So, you know, assess, uh, what your current situation is, right. Do you have federal or private student loans, like just really look at the holistic perspective of yourself and then make that decision and make it based on an objective perspective to say, you know, is this going to end up costing me 10, 20, 30, more years and thousands of dollars of interest payments later where that money could have been spent into my retirement, which could have helped me later on or other investments or your business, if that's the way you go, uh, versus spending it on paying back a student loan company, what do you think Daphne,

Daphné Vanessa (07:03): That's the journey, right. I think you laid it out really clearly for, uh, somebody who's considering the different paths. And, and I think let's go back to the basics, right? The choices or the question is, should you delay paying off student loans? Do you know what the worth of your degree is? For example, right. So that's something that I think we need to spell out for the audience. Like, how does that work? Exactly. Sure. Go for it. So when you're assessing, right, whether you should pay off your student loans by going to grad school, the first question is, well, how much is your degree worth? How much is that graduate degree even worth, right? Have you done the math of the expected return divided by the cost of education to see what your ratio is going to be? These are some of the formulas that can help you decide is my degree actually work in the practical world, not in theory land, but in the practical world, is it actually worth my time and efforts? Um, or should I am, am I better served doing something else? So that's definitely a really important step in the, in a large scheme of things. What do you think about that Shamil?

Shamil Rodriguez (08:33): I think that's a really smart way to approach the, the assessment, right? You you've basically given the listeners a very simple and concrete way to go, right? Because there are plenty of resources in terms of how to find that out. So let's just go over that. Let's say you go, you just go on Google and say, um, you know, average salary for X position or X type of position or role that you think you'd be fulfilling. And then seeing what those requirements are for those jobs and what the pay is. Right? So, you know, I think Glassdoor or some other websites out there that can give you salaries that other people are actually reporting, right? They're self-reporting that are employees that are reporting their, their salaries. Then you can say, okay, this position makes this much money. You already know how much student loan debt you would have to take out.

Shamil Rodriguez (09:24): So you already have that part of Daphne's formula already laid out for you. So you do a quick Google search for the position that you're looking for, seeing how much they make an a on an average salary, you can actually hone in on where you live or where you, where you would be working as well. So you can see the difference in markets as well, because that, that should impact your, your calculus or your calculation as well. Um, and then, and then from there you make your decision, right? I think that's a really great analytical way to go. Like, just let it speak for itself. And then, uh, you, you make a, an objective, uh, decision. I think that's the smart, smart source or a way to go.

Shamil Rodriguez (10:03): And then I think another part definitely, um, the, to add there is, um, you know, what's, what's your why. Right. You know, and I think, you know, we touched on that a little bit earlier. We're really asking like, you know, why, like, what is it really like, you know, based on the email that we received, that we, that we choose, that we chose to kind of guide this episode is this person sells, like they're making it from a decision of fear. Right. So if you're only going to delay paying off your student loans, the Mike that's really has to it's like sound some alarms and some bells they're financial.

Daphné Vanessa (10:49): Yeah, exactly. Like, do you actually want to study the degree? Is it useful or have a lot of other questions, but very good point on the why Shamil.

Shamil Rodriguez (11:02): Yeah. And I think that's something that you, as a listener, whoever is out there, that's in a similar situation, right? Because these are, these are valid thoughts that people have, right. You're, you're making these life choices that are very, um, heavy in terms of their impact on your finances for the future. So you don't want to just kind of go on a whim right at you. You have to really take a second and say, all right, this is a big choice. This will impact me for several years, depending on which way I go. Um, so let me spend some time deciphering what that really means. And I think Daphne make a great point there. Like, what's my why in terms of like, is that going to get me motivated enough to study, right. Like, am I only doing it because of the money? And if so, you know, what other ideas or avenues have I explored? Right. Um, you know, what are what's out there? Are there income sharing agreements out there? You know, have you looked at programs, creative financing opportunities, like start new, right? Like what, what are you looking at out there that's giving you the opportunity to, to, you know, create alternatives, right? Like, don't let, don't let, don't let just this option be the only option that you consider, I think is a big way to, to sum it up. What do you think, Daphne,

Daphné Vanessa (12:25): You got to look at all the options and I think that's that you said it really well. I have nothing to add. Okay.

Shamil Rodriguez (12:35): Let's move on then, um, to some other parts of, of this assessment that I think we wanted to talk about. Uh, so I hope, I hope that we answered the question, uh, well, for, um, for this, this audience member and then for anybody else who's in that situation. Right. Like I think it's just, uh, I hope we were able to tackle that, uh, for them. So, um, so then go ahead. Definitely.

Daphné Vanessa (13:00): So, so yeah, I just want to quickly go to the next piece, right? So we're looking at the assessment, right? You assessed whether or not this was a good situation. You asked the why question. Right. Making sure the degree is for the right reasons, what are some alternatives that we can consider and have we exhausted all of the options? Have we done that

Shamil Rodriguez (13:28): Good point, then that's a really good point. Right? Like I keep saying what we've kind of said, like, you know, have you thought of all the other ways to, to, you know, finance or education or put yourself in a better position. Right. Uh, and so one of those that doesn't really come up as much as I would think, right? Like I think there's some great companies out there that are new and modern that are doing their thing. Um, but I think that the question is like, should you refinance your student loans or like, is, is refinancing one of those options that you've considered. It might put you in a better position to, to say, Hey, you know, is this the only option that I have? No, like refinancing could be something for you, uh, depending on your specific circumstances. Right. What do you think to ask?

Daphné Vanessa (14:17): Yeah, no, uh, well, I don't want to opine and I want to remind everyone that this is not financial advice. This is not professional advice. This is not any sort of, uh, licensed advice, but this is just two people having a conversation from experience. Um, but so refinancing when somebody thinks about whether it's an option, that's viable, you have to look at a lot of different things, right? You have to look at the amortization schedule of your current loan and R D are you okay with that? Starting all over? Are you okay with, with, um, you know, no longer participating in the federal programs, the student loan, forgiveness, income-based repayment, all sorts of federal programs. When you refi into a private loan, these are no longer options. So is that something that you are willing to give up because you think you'll pay it off within a certain period of time that, you know, these are all considerations that you need to think about. Do you have excellent credit? And so you don't need a co-signer, they're just a lot of different options. I think that you need to look at when, when you're considering refinancing, it's very popular conversation. It's a quick, easy win because on paper it looks like, Oh, lower interest rate compared to this interest rate. That makes sense. But there's a lot of fine print that I think people need to take attention to go through to make sure that this is the right decision.

Shamil Rodriguez (15:58): Well said, well said. So do you think we should walk through some of those, uh, ideas that you know, that listeners should walk through some of those points to make sure that they are not forgetting something that might be an important, uh, idea to take a look at? What do you think, Daphne, should we go down that route? Let's do it. All right. Here we go. Everyone. So take out your notebooks. If you're driving, don't take out a notebook, keep driving, keep driving safely, please, and get to your destination. You can always listen to the podcast later, uh, or replay, um, later on when you have the opportunity to record. Uh, okay. So let's talk about that. Um, so you had mentioned interest rates, right? So even though, you know, it's something you don't want to just like, make that decision solely on that, but you should, but you should consider it, right.

Shamil Rodriguez (16:48): Like it definitely should be a part of your, of your, your totality of the circumstances while Wila very good. Very well said. Very good. Very good. So, so that's definitely something you should look at, right? What is your current interest rate? Right. And like, the reality is like, do you even know off the top of your head? Right? Like, you know, like not, not knocking anybody who does it, but I'm just saying like this, you know, when you're doing this type of thought process and you're walking through this decision making process, it's good to, to ask yourself these questions, like a good refresher, like, Hey, you know, how much am I paying off my student loans? Like, what's the actual interest rate. My deputy mentioned earlier, what's my amortization schedule. How long is this going to take for me to pay off? And then at the end, how much more am I paying?

Shamil Rodriguez (17:31): And my student loans that I actually took out and I got 20,000 student loans, but I'm going to end up paying, you know, $36,000 in total because I made the minimum payments this entire time. Right. These are all things that you should consider, especially when you're refinancing or you just want to take a look at your interest rates. Let's take a look at what the schedule is looking like Daphne said, like, do you want that to restart all over again? Like, where will you be at that point in your life? Right. It's easy to just look at this as numbers on a paper. But the reality is like, if it's 10, 20 years from now, like, what does your life look like? How does it change? Like, are you looking to purchase a home? Are you looking to, um, you know, get married and start a family?

Shamil Rodriguez (18:15): Like some of those like traditional notions that we hear all the time, but like, what is it for you? Right? Like, what is your specific situation? What are you looking like to design your future? Like, and then you should also include that in this like thought process to say like, well, you know, what do I really want at the age of, you know, whatever 40, 50 to still carry my student loan debt burden. Right. You know, so you just keep that in mind. That's not the only thing we have a couple more items to go over. Those are the, some of those, like, do you have any thoughts on that Daphne before I move on?

Daphné Vanessa (18:47): No. Yeah. Just want to add that people like not everyone cares, right. It as you'll see from just listening to this podcast, like we have some guests to, you know, say no to debt. It is a high priority. It's do not have debt. Right. And then we had other guests who were like, that's fine. I'll pay it off when I pay it off. But this other activity is generating more revenue. And so the idea has to be what's your value system, right? Where do you stand with student loans and debt generally. And how does that plan into your execution? What's that going to look like? But it has to come from yourself from within.

Shamil Rodriguez (19:36): Okay. Can you, can you break down a little bit more there? Definitely. I think that was, that was well said, but like coming from within, like that, that perspective is, is there a new, more that you could add to that? Just to make sure it's clear for the listeners. I like that

Daphné Vanessa (19:49): From within your rights sounded so woo. What I, what I meant was that you have to sit down and look at your own value system and decide how is my financial life doing and where do I want it to be? And how does student loan debt play a role in that? So if your financial value system is that Cassius King, I don't want to have debt at all. I live like Dave Ramsey and do a zero based budget, et cetera. If that's the case, then perhaps you need to think about aggressively paying off your student loans and maybe consider how refinancing could play a role in that. Now on the contrary, if you have other views that could be a combination of let the student loan die with me or all, you know, pay off when I pay it off or, you know, it's just not a priority for you. That's okay. That's your pride. Like you have your own priorities and you shouldn't feel bad for valuing different things in life. The fact that we're all different, that's what makes us a part of this world. So that I just wanted to raise that, that really thinking about the value system is a key point.

Shamil Rodriguez (21:13): Absolutely. Like Daphne said, it's not about judging yourself when you're making this decision and going through this analysis, we just want you to go through the analysis, right? Like we just want you to sit down and consider these ideas. So you're making a thoughtful decision, right? Ultimately we just want you to make a thoughtful decision. So, you know, take, take some time to go into that really well said. Some other ideas items that we'll want to make sure that you consider when deciding to refinance your student loans, if that's the way you want to go, is it going to cost you anything? Right. Like, I feel like this is the biggest, like swept under the rug pretty easily. It's like, you know, are, is there a fee? Is the reef is the company that you're looking to refinance with charging you a fee? And if so, is that fee going to be more and offset the savings that you would have had if you had to refinance with zero fee, right?

Shamil Rodriguez (22:09): Because if it's going to be more than, you know, what you're, if you, if what you're spending at the fee is more than what you're saving and why are you switching? Right. Just to reset the clock and then just do the same things with a different company. To me, that doesn't make sense. So you want to make sure that you're keeping that in mind, just to make sure there's no hidden cost that you aren't aware of. So just be sure that whoever you're working with that you ask them, is it going to cost you anything at all? And in my opinion, based, based on the economy now, I mean, you should be able to find an option hopefully, um, that doesn't cost you anything, um, or has at least lower than, um, than the savings that you would make by switching over and refinancing your current student loans. Any thoughts there? Definitely.

Daphné Vanessa (22:55): No, I think you really elaborated very well and, and I think the audience is comfortable

Shamil Rodriguez (23:03): Hopefully, hopefully. Um, so, so some more to, uh, to go through, is that, um, is this going to, to, to shorten or extend my, my repayment schedule, right. And that, that goes back to Daphne's point on your, on your specific personal financial value system, right? What are your financial values? And what's important to you because if you are the type that says, like, I can't stand that it causes me emotional distress to know that I even have debt, um, then yeah, you should really like work your butt off. Like some of our guests that we've had on the show that like, like they poured everything that was above their minimum, living standard, any money they had additional to that into their student loan debt. So they could be debt free of student loans, you know, then, then, then maybe you don't want to refinance if it's going to extend your repayment schedule.

Shamil Rodriguez (24:02): Um, but if you're somebody who's like, Hey, look like Daphne had said, you know, I want it to die with me or, um, you know, I'll make them a payments. And when it gets paid, it gets paid, you know, that's the whole point of the agreement. And those are the terms that I signed then, you know, Hey, okay, great. So if you want some more time, you want to repay it and you feel comfortable making those payments. And by all means, you know, uh, do that, but just put that as one of your check boxes. Uh, and, and you know what we should, uh, add something like this on the show notes. So if we, we put together a PDF for, for folks that just have some of these checkpoints, um, and you can go in the show notes and just download it for yourself and use it as you actually assess it.

Shamil Rodriguez (24:41): We're not saying take, you know, a whole day. This can literally take, you know, half an hour call, you see the loan company or log in, check out your interest rates, uh, speak to the refinance, refinancing companies that you are thinking about, ask some of these questions that we're giving you and then make a decision. And I think that you end up being better off, honestly, uh, by just spending this time, uh, to, to, uh, assess whether this type of decision makes sense for you or not. Um, and then another one is whether or not the interest rate is fixed or variable, right? Um, I, I feel like things are much more fixed, but you just don't get caught off guard, or I don't make the assumption. So just ask the, you know, ask what I, what I would call your obvious questions, right? Because when you ask what are obvious questions and nobody gets caught off guard by any assumptions and from a, a, a legal perspective from a peace of mind perspective, from a consumer perspective, it's just better to know to get all like the, what some people might call dumb questions.

Shamil Rodriguez (25:48): I call them obvious questions because nobody ever gets upset. If you were very clear when you first agreed

Daphné Vanessa (25:56): To your terms,

Shamil Rodriguez (25:59): You will get upset after the fact. So, um, any thoughts there Daphne, before we go onto the other?

Daphné Vanessa (26:04): No. Yeah. I think that this it's about clarity, right?

Shamil Rodriguez (26:08): So that's, let's talk that let's switch gears a bit, um, and you know, continued on this refinancing path. Uh, what, when is refinancing a bad idea? Right? So it's not necessarily just the opposite of the things that we just said now, but what are, what are some of, what would, what would make refinancing a bad idea?

Daphné Vanessa (26:28): So refinancing, right. I think it's overused, to be honest, I think like too many people are touting it as the solution, right. But you're giving up some options for your federal loan. So I think it really makes sense where a person, one has great credit too. Um, is the interest rates make sense for whatever the time period is left, the amount of time left to pay on the loan is short enough. Um, there are a few other smaller items, but I think those are some of the bigger ones to make sure that it makes sense.

Shamil Rodriguez (27:13): [inaudible] well said, well said, right. Is it going to cost you more money to refinance? Right? Like what's the interest rate again? You know, you want to make sure that you're going in on these alone having a co-signer, if that's a requirement, if you're looking to refinance, uh, to me is a red flag, right? Like if you need a co-signer and you're refinancing, um, that like Daphne mentioned, they're like, what's your credit look like? Right. And do you have to work on that first that you can have your own, you know, your own terms under your own name, you just don't want to bring the stress upon someone else to, to co-sign with you on a refinance on your student loans. I think I get it more when people are trying to finance their student loans, you know, fresh out of high school, right. They don't have credit history, they may not have income.

Shamil Rodriguez (28:06): Right. That makes sense. But at this point you've graduated, you're looking to refinance, um, you know, you should, you know, you might be in the workforce, um, at this point for some time, you know, you may have to go back to the basics, so to speak and just make sure that your finances, your financial houses in order before you, you refinance. So just keep that in mind as you're making this decision. And then, um, you know, the longer repayment schedule we had mentioned before is really up to you, right? Like it really just is up to you. Um, but another point here that, you know, it's not just about refinancing, right? So the first option was the email that we received. And so just other options that people really consider when we're talking to them about these topics is, you know, should they delay or go to grad school to pay off their student loans or to delay paying off their student loans?

Shamil Rodriguez (29:02): You know, some of the other options to consider are refinancing, but then there, there are some other ones as well. Uh, and I think we should at least touch on those Daphne, what do you think? Go ahead. Let's go. Okay. So, uh, the first one is student loan forgiveness, right? Um, now this the Stylo forgiveness program as a very, very, very, very, very, very, very low rate storied history has a very low rate. I think it's like less than 5%. And I can refer to our notes from last episode and I'll put it in the show notes as well, uh, to the actual data, but the amount of, of individuals that actually the student loan forgiveness program, uh, is much lower than you might anticipate, and it's much more difficult to, to achieve. So it doesn't mean you should have looked into it, but I don't necessarily believe that you should just bank on it until you've had the chance to actually look at the terms and the rules, uh, because if, if for some reason or another, you don't qualify like you're out of the running.

Shamil Rodriguez (30:06): So you just want to make sure that if you're using this as now, alternatives to your original plan and just want to consider all the possible options that you might have on the table, then know that student loan forgiveness, maybe one, but the percentage of people that are actually obtaining forgiveness of the student loans is a lot lower than you might think. Uh, hopefully under this new administration and with the new secretary of education coming in, that might change if they decide to revamp, uh, the terms of the student loan forgiveness program, which we've seen, uh, possible, uh, then, you know, then maybe that will, can reconsider that option. But I just want to make sure that you're going in with eyes wide open, if, if that's something that you're considering when you're making that decision, right. It may not be something that's like forefront, but don't just go into it, banking on the idea that you're just going to have your student loans forgiven. Um, I think you just, you know, keep that in mind, uh, next is the income base, or I'm sorry to have you, do you have any thoughts on the student loan forgiveness program?

Daphné Vanessa (31:12): Thank you really summarize it. Well, historically, you know, some people have checked all the boxes done what they were supposed to do, and there were still challenges. So keep all every single record that you have, keep your correspondence safe, all of it, because that could be the evidence that you need to prove to the lender that no, no, no, this is completely paid.

Shamil Rodriguez (31:38): Hmm. I think that's a really good point. It's very easy to just kind of say out, I'll get to it or I'll ask whoever I need for the documents when I need 'em. Uh, no, especially if you're banking on student loan forgiveness, like you need to become your own administrator and, and, you know, really look through the terms or like what's required and then see whatever documentation you need to support that keep a good record of it, digital and paper, uh, but very, very good point, Daphne, uh, for income based repayment, right? I think the, this is pretty straightforward. Um, I dunno if the percentage will change under the Mo the under the new administration, but, um, you know, be, be very clear, just like take a look to see what the, see, what your budget is, see what your expenses are, what your income is and see whether or not you qualify for income based repayment.

Shamil Rodriguez (32:35): Like we're going to include these links into the show notes, but I think it would be worthwhile and it would be worth your effort to see how much you're actually paying in student loans against are comparing it to your total income for on a monthly basis. You're going to have a sense to say, okay, you know what, um, you know, wow, it's 30% of my income or it's 50% of my, of my, of my income. So, you know, take your time, take a look at that and see if that's something that you qualify for, because if it's too high, uh, you may be leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of the income-based repayment program so that you can have more funds to, you know, live essentially. Um, so just keep that in mind, the next item is service member benefits. Um, this is a personal favorite of mine, uh, because of, of my background in, in the military.

Shamil Rodriguez (33:35): And knowing that I've seen so many people, including myself that have benefited from this benefit, uh, it's something that I, that I think from the national guard perspective, we see a lot more, uh, in our state, uh, because, uh, it's something that the state, uh, pace actually, if you go to the state school, you are only paying for fees, but everything else is free. So, um, it's a wonderful program and it includes undergraduate and graduate degrees. So I was able to get my law degree that way. Um, and I've met other folks that are doing the same, uh, with other professional degrees as well. So it goes anywhere from community college, all the way up to whichever level you want to go to. But I think that it's a benefit that sometimes gets, um, uh, it doesn't get as much or, you know, maybe from my perspective, it doesn't get as much, uh, shine as it should.

Shamil Rodriguez (34:33): Um, and on the active side, uh, you know, if your state doesn't necessarily have a tuition waiver program or some sort of, uh, program that pays for you to go to an in-state school, um, you know, take a look at your VA benefits, um, in, and see whether or not you qualify for, um, using them. And then if you do qualify, but you're already done with your schooling, you know, you can pass it out to your family as well. So there's a process for all of that. Um, and I think those are certain things to keep in mind as an alternative, if you're already in the service or if you are already interested in it. Um, but didn't know that that was actually a benefit that you could actually take advantage of where he didn't know the mechanics of how that worked. Uh, it definitely should be something that you should consider as a possibility.

Shamil Rodriguez (35:18): Um, another, another point that I want to bring up on along the same vein is the idea of your employer having other reimbursement program or paying out right for you to go to school, right? There are plenty of companies out there that want you to pursue higher degrees of education, um, so that you are a more well-rounded industry Juul, which then benefits them, you know, longterm. So some of them may be specific as to getting degrees in that specific field. Others may be open to you just simply getting a higher degree and pursuing a higher degree. Uh, so just keep that in mind, as, as you're making your decisions as to alternate paths that you may have outside of just going to grad school with the defer or, you know, refinancing or student loan forgiveness, or income-based, uh, repayments that, you know, you could look at different options, like joining the military, um, like, uh, asking your HR department for your employer, what, uh, it might be out there for you, what money might be there on the table, uh, for you.

Shamil Rodriguez (36:27): And there are actually some, uh, federal positions that you can actually hold, hold that allow for a certain pot of money to pay for student loans. And, yeah, and after a certain amount of time working in that federal position, uh, you can start receiving it payment on your student loans, um, that qualify. So I, you know, I feel like I'm covering a lot of ground there, but my point is that it's still there. You can see the amount of options that are actually out there on the table for you. And these are just some of them that are scratching the surface. Um, as you dig deeper into this, you're going to see that there are just really creative ways, um, to finance your education, um, that you may not have thought of, uh, before listening to this episode. So hopefully you're finding some value there.

Shamil Rodriguez (37:15): So next is a student loan deferment and forbearance. So, so for that one, I think this is less of like a alternative to consider for financing and more so, you know, really applying this, if, you know, your life circumstances require you to, you know, seek some extra help, right? Like it's, it's not something that is uncommon or unheard of, right? You may lose your job. You may, um, you may have like a sudden life event occur, um, that requires you to defer, you know, redirect the funds that you normally have for that towards something else. Now, this kind of touching into personal finance, and we've had some of our guests like Chauncey Maddix on, uh, the student loan podcast that are personal finance. Um, I call them gurus in my mind. Um, you know, but they're personal finance experts that offer that type of help.

Shamil Rodriguez (38:15): Zina CUMAC is another one as well. Right? So you've got people out on this on or circuit of guests that you could reach out to, uh, and use their resources to help you. If you're personally, well, finances have hit a point where you need to request a deferment or forbearance, uh, but just make sure that if that's the, you know, if that's what you're going to do, like we were asking you to do your assessment, whether you, when you were deciding whether you wanted to refinance or not, that the, that you're also taking the time to speak to someone who may, uh, have a different perspective or who may be qualified or certified, uh, to help you with your student loan debt. Uh, and so I think that that's a, um, a very important step to take so that you're not just accumulating, um, extra interest on a new principal, right.

Shamil Rodriguez (39:04): Cause if you're pushing, if you're asking for what I can say, you know what you're considering essentially, a grace period. Uh, so you're not making payments. It's not just coming out of benevolence, right? Like these are, these are companies that are making money from you paying off your student loan debt because they invested in the idea and you getting your education and having the income after you graduate to pay it back, right? Like it's all a part of this agreement. And I think, uh, our guests, uh, Leslie, uh, had summarized that so well, right. And Swiss is switching up the way you view the student loans and saying that, Hey, there was an investment in somebody else. Somebody else made an investment in me, uh, to help me finance my education because they knew I would be good to pay it back afterwards. So when you're, when you're doing that, remember that you're when you're deferring, they're going to roll up and you, you speak to your student loan servicer to make sure these are exactly how it happened, but you want to keep in mind that since it's not benevolent, it's not charity that they are going to roll those payments back into principle, including the interest that you should've paid during that time period.

Shamil Rodriguez (40:12): And now the principal amount that you are paying is higher. That also means that the interest that is normally applied to your student loan will be higher because the principal is higher right now that the interest rate goes up. But the percentage of the pot, the pot has gotten larger. So now the percentage is going to be, uh, the same, but the amount that you pay on a monthly basis will be higher. So just keep in mind when you push back your payments, you're also saying that you're going to agree to pay a larger monthly amount, which is also then going to impact you, because if you've had, if you were going through a financial difficult time, financially difficult time, will you be able to recover quick enough to pay the new, higher amount on a monthly basis for whatever that term is, whether it's a one month, three months, six months, each servicer will have their different terms.

Shamil Rodriguez (41:08): So call them, speak to them, and then also speak to, uh, your, you know, your counselor, your student loan counselor, if you have one, and if you don't have one, like I mentioned before, uh, Chauncey Maddix, uh, Xena Kumar, there are some folks that have been interviewed on this little loan podcast that can help you, uh, serve as a guide. And I think it would be best to do that when you're considering student loan different, uh, deferments or forebears programs. Um, and then last but not least, uh, the cares act we had mentioned before during our certain news sections to mention an update that had happened, uh, since our last podcast episode that the, uh, student loan requirement, the requirement to pay your student loans, federal student loans back has been pushed back again, uh, to the end of the fiscal year. Uh, so that means that you will be making you won't be required to make another payment on your federal student loans until October 20, 21 of this year, 2021.

Shamil Rodriguez (42:07): Um, so keep that in mind that it is something that you should consider when you're making your decision. But, um, this is an opportunity, right? If you are in a financial position where you are still working remotely and things are working well for you financially, in terms of like the ball, just moving forward, then, you know, consider making an extra payment, like consider things that you would have done outside or socially that you are saving money on. And just think about how you can apply that towards your student loan debt repayment program, because what's essentially happening. You can flip this around in your mind is that the government is essentially saying, Hey, we're not going to require you to make any payments, but we're also not going to let interest accumulate during this time period, either. That's huge. They're basically saying you have an interest free period to pay off your student loan debt. So even if you can't pay the entire amount off in the next nine months, then maybe you can knock off a couple hundred thousands of dollars off depending on your personal financial situation or how aggressive you want to get

Daphné Vanessa (43:19): The less amount of principle, the less amount of interest that you're going to pay.

Shamil Rodriguez (43:23): Exactly.

Daphné Vanessa (43:25): Ever you can get rid of, get rid of it.

Shamil Rodriguez (43:27): Exactly. Right. And so you can literally save years off of your sort of loan repayment program. So Daphne, any other thoughts

Daphné Vanessa (43:34): I'd like to check in with the audience and you guys can drop us a comment and let us know how are you doing on that challenge? Getting rid of one student loan debt per year the lesson, tell me hello.

Shamil Rodriguez (43:46): Yes. Very good. Very good. Yeah. It leaves a comment on the show notes. If you want to DMS on Instagram, we've actually been, uh, replying to the messages that we get there. So we were happy to interact with you there. Um, and then also you can join the newsletter, uh, that we have. So when you visit the, this episode show notes, right@thestudentloanpodcast.com for slash episode 14 or any of the other episodes, uh, you'll find a sidebar that allows for you to sign up for our emails, and then you'll be able to interact with us and give us some of your feedback. And actually, I would love to hear your progress on, on how you're doing with paying off your one student loan for, uh, 20, 21 as your new year's resolution. Um, any other thoughts before we go to Anthony?

Daphné Vanessa (44:28): Oh, I think this was awesome. I a good time.

Shamil Rodriguez (44:32): All right. Me too. I hope, I hope you guys found it valuable. Uh, these episodes are always, uh, you know, a personal favorite of mine because it just helps me refresh some of the tools, um, that I have. And it requires me to kind of reassess where I'm at, as we're sharing some of these points based on our personal experiences in our, in our opinions. And, uh, I hope that you found it valuable and we look forward to hearing some of your success stories so we can share it on another podcast episode in the future. So, um, thank you guys again, hope you get home safe. I hope you're listening safely. If you're driving and get home safe, uh, otherwise we'll see you next week, uh, for our next episode. Uh, if you need more information on today's show notes, once again, visit the student loan podcast.com for slash episode 14. That's the number one four. That's the student loan podcast.com forward slash episode 14.

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