65. Student Loans and StartNoo | Radio Interview on 88.9 FM
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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

Daphné Vanessa and Shamil Rodriguez were invited to join “KMOJ’s Community Viewpoint” and share the vast reality of the student loan debt crises and how StartNoo can help in its own way.

KMOJ 88.9 FM has been on air since 1976 and continues its legacy as a community-oriented station located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This segment on KMOJ is the station’s way of achieving its mission of engaging, supporting and empowering Communities of Color.



  • The vast size of the student loan debt crises;
  • What borrowers can do to help ease the burden of student loans;
  • What is StartNoo and how it can help;
  • What inspired Daphné Vanessa and Shamil Rodriguez to create Startnoo.com; and
  • much, much, more…

Enjoying the show? Leave us a rating and review. Every comment helps! Drop in your IG handle so we can thank you personally!


The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:02): Welcome to the student loan podcast.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:04): Here, you'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses

Daphné Vanessa (00:11): And inspiring stories about paying off student loans, where your host Daphne Vanessa

Shamil Rodriguez (00:18): And Shamil Rodriguez.

Daphné Vanessa (00:21): Please rate, review and subscribe to the student loan podcast by visiting the student loan podcast on apple podcast or wherever you find your podcasts.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:31): This is not professional advice. And we speak from our own personal views and opinions.

Daphné Vanessa (00:37): The student loan podcast is brought to new where you can serve community and get rewarded with tuition and student loan payments to check out if start new is on your campus, visit start new.com.

Shamil Rodriguez (00:52): Welcome to another episode of the student loan podcast. Today's episode is going to be a radio interview that Daffy and I had on KM, OJ 89.9 FM radio. Now this radio station has been on air since 1976, and it continues its legacy as a community oriented station located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The segment that we're on is called KM O J's community viewpoint, and is one of the stations ways of achieving its mission of engaging, supporting, and empowering communities of color. So with that being said, we hope you enjoy today's episode.

Freddie Bell (01:28): Tell D this morning with that wake up workout on KM, OJ. It is 13 minutes past the hour o'clock and I know that there students have gone to college and the parents have helped them. Maybe the students have done it by done it by themselves, paying for college. However, at the end of it, degree or not, there could still be mountains of debt with us this morning, da Vanessa and Shael Rodriguez of start new. How can families get through this and how bad is the student loan crisis?

Daphné Vanessa (02:03): Thank you to so much for having us on. We are really excited to share with your audience. The student loan crisis is massive. We're talking about over 45 million people with over 1.7 trillion of student loan debt. And we didn't say billion. We said trillion.

Freddie Bell (02:21): Geez. So how do you navigate that? So you've got a, well, I've got a, a student who just graduated a couple years ago and I know that, uh, the debt amount is approaching six figures.

Daphné Vanessa (02:32): Yep. And unfortunately, that's starting to become more of the norm. What we have to start to do is ask ourselves, is it normal for education to cost that much? And the answer most often is no, not if it's a public good.

Freddie Bell (02:47): Wow. So what's what will happen will more or more people stop going to college and universities as a result of the high cost of education.

Daphné Vanessa (02:57): We hope not. And that's why we've created start new. Our goal is to not disincentivize people from going to college, you heard AOC for people who have been following the student loan crisis, say that the current system disincentivized people from going to school and no matter where you fall on the spectrum, the truth is that nobody can argue that having massive student loan debt is not something that would disincentivize somebody from going to school. So our goal is really to remind people that there is a benefit to school. College is not always necessary. There are trade schools, there are all other sorts of types of education, but we still need to figure out what is a financially sustainable way for people to graduate and then get to a place where they're financially independent. So they work in a career that they actually wanna be in.

Freddie Bell (03:47): So what about those students right now? Who are, or former students they're alumni, what can they start to do now to retire some of that debt?

Shamil Rodriguez (03:56): So right now, actually what they can do is start figure out ways to, uh, come up with extra income on the side or with us with start new, provide service to the community and then get payments towards their student loans. Uh, there are just many creative ways to do it, but what we're trying to do is we're not trying to have people defer their life decisions because of their student loan debt. If they're, if they're pushing their life backwards, us for that, then it doesn't make sense to us.

Daphné Vanessa (04:22): Completely agree. And some other creative ways are really just looking at what's your debt burden right now. And where do you wanna be? Are you the type of person that you're okay. Paying the minimum amount, knowing that your loan is going to increase over time, or are you the type of person that wants to get rid of it as soon possible? Let's say you wanna get rid of your student loan debt. We want you to first assess your situation, how much student loan debt do you have and what are your minimum payments next? We want you to find ways to make more than the minimum payment and send letters to your student loan servicer, letting them know that the extra payment should be directly applied to principal, where they get you sometimes is you make an extra payment and a lot of it goes towards interest. So that's not what we want. We want you guys to get debt free as soon as possible. And third open up your mind to get ready for financial freedom because the debt will go away one day. If you put your mind to it and we don't wanna live this mentality, what we're always going to be indebted with student loan debt,

Chantel SinGs (05:26): Daphné Vanessa, and Shail Rodriguez talking about the start new program, uh, Biden is not going to extend the student loan relief. That's probably gonna, I believe that's kicking off at the top of the year next year. Uh, let's talk about, start new. Exactly. What is this program and how does it work, um, volunteering and then thing to get that student loan debt down.

Shamil Rodriguez (05:45): No great question. And so what we do is our mission is to allow for you to find the website, you go to start new.com. You actually sign up, see if your school is on our platform. If it is you find nonprofits in the community that you can actually help with your skills. So you're benefiting from building your own skillset as well. And then once you're done, you actually can receive a payment towards your student loans or tuition, depending on if you're in school or if you've graduated and you got student loan debt that you're trying to pay off.

Chantel SinGs (06:12): Hmm. Wow. How did this program start? How did you guys come up with that? And how did you find a way to, to connect with community organizations, uh, to make this all work?

Daphné Vanessa (06:22): That's a great question. So when we graduated, we were a part of the generation that was right in the financial crisis. So we had studied hard. We did everything that we were told that we were supposed to, and our job offers were rescinded because the economy was crashing down and people no longer wanted to pay us. So for about four years, our generation sat out of the workforce. We were either unemployed or underemployed, just trying to feed our families and survive. And so during that time, I personally, and Shabel, we volunteered and in some of the volunteering experiences, prophet said, oh my God, you guys are amazing. We love that. You come on time. You guys actually have the skillset that we're looking for and you can help us with a lot of things. And we realized that nonprofits actually needed help. And the students were the people that had all the, the help. So we said, why don't we marry these two topics? Why don't we get these people together? And that's how start it was created.

Freddie Bell (07:22): And so nonprofits in every community or every state are a part of start new,

Daphné Vanessa (07:29): Not yet. And that's where we'd love to expand globally. But the truth is that right now we have to sign up by university. So if your university is on on board, then you can take advantage and you can find out if start new is on your university by visiting start new.com, where you can do a search, put your university's name in and see if we're on your campus. If we're not on your campus, you can petition your school to have start new come, and we're happy to come and talk on your campus.

Freddie Bell (07:57): So help me out, uh, uh, talk to me like I'm a fifth grader. So I graduated from the university of Minnesota. Okay. Correct. So far. All right. So and so I graduated from the university of Minnesota. I have a communications degree, but now I'm working in Florida. How do, how do I volunteer in Florida and retire the debt when I graduated from university of Minnesota.

Chantel SinGs (08:19): Oh, good question.

Daphné Vanessa (08:20): Well, the great, that's a great question. And the, and the great thing about start new.

Chantel SinGs (08:26): You really using that communications degree there, buddy?

Daphné Vanessa (08:29): Yeah. Look at

Speaker 9 (08:29): You. Look at you.

Daphné Vanessa (08:32): Um, well, the great thing about start new is that these nonprofits, a lot of them need volunteers virtually. So it's not only in person volunteering, but some of your skills, your communication major, maybe this nonprofit needs help getting the word out. So they don't know how to be on radio. They don't know how to leverage their communications screen, but you can help them do that and spread the word about their nonprofit.

Freddie Bell (08:57): Oh,

Daphné Vanessa (08:58): Even

Freddie Bell (08:59): I might graduate to the sixth grade now My goodness. All right. So is there a fee to be a part of start new

Daphné Vanessa (09:09): Students pay nothing to be a part of start new nonprofit subscribe for a low monthly so that they get access to unlimited volunteers and they save a ton of money because they're getting skills like people that are doing surveys of land, we've had, we've had people build out websites. We've had people do things that would've costed thousands of dollars that they're getting volunteers to do for these, for the nonprofits. And then universities also pay to have start new on their campus. So that's the ecosystem and how it works and brings everybody together.

Freddie Bell (09:40): Wow. We're out of time, Daphne, Vanessa and Shail Rodriguez of start new. You're helping a lot of people this morning. How can we get more information?

Daphné Vanessa (09:48): Awesome. Well, to find out more about start new visits, start new.com/financial freedom. There. You'll learn about how you two can take the steps to become financially free and independent.

Freddie Bell (09:58): That's S T A R T N O O.com

Chantel SinGs (10:04): With two eyeballs, start new looking forward to it. That's what the eyeballs represent.

Freddie Bell (10:11): Shail thank you, Daphne. Thank you. And I'm sure a whole community of people who are here in the twin cities and around the country are saying, thank you as well.

Shamil Rodriguez (10:20): Oh, thank you. Take care.

Freddie Bell (10:21): Happy holidays to both of you. Thanks.

Daphné Vanessa (10:23): Happy holidays.

Chantel SinGs (10:24): Yes, man. I am so happy that we talked to the, to, to, uh, Daphne and Shamil because I'm going to that website shoot. So I can start new.

Freddie Bell (10:34): I graduated the year after Mo as, uh, came down with the 10 commandments and I, I need, I need some help.

Chantel SinGs (10:41): Unfortunately, there are, uh, you know, you know, timeframes and limits on this thing. Okay. As you graduated was that 400 years,

Freddie Bell (10:52): Da didn't say anything about time limits

Chantel SinGs (10:56): Your, your student loan back then was probably, you probably only owe like $23

Freddie Bell (11:01): And

Chantel SinGs (11:03): Just pay it.

Freddie Bell (11:04): Frank 22 pass date, Larry Carol is out the way

Speaker 10 (11:08): Freddy bell and Chantel sings in the morning playing new music. First, first on 89, 9 KMO

Chantel SinGs (11:15): This hour

Shamil Rodriguez (11:16): For more information it on today's episode, visit the student loan podcast.com/episode 65. That's the student loan podcast.com/episode 65.

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