harles is a former college student who experienced the challenge of paying for his college education alone without any external financial assistance. He cut down his college costs by thousands of dollars which amounted 40% of his college expenditures, allowing him to successfully graduate.
Charles has two degrees, but he also learned a trade before going to college. Learning a trade can add more value in today’s very competitive job market. His trade experience/employment even helped him pay off his student loans! Also, during the pandemic, he was able to work, being deemed an essential worker working in the construction/security industry.
The author of two books Chadwick’s College Checklist 2 Steps W/Tips On How To Cut College Costs and Chadwick’s Cultivated Circumstances: Experience Is Sometimes Priceless, aims to encourage people to not compromise on their education or overlook the importance of learning a trade. Through his books, he wishes to help people earn college degrees while staying financially afloat to build a brighter future!
THIS EPISODE COVERS:
- How exactly Charles paid off his student loans without receiving any help from his family;
- How Charles turned skills he developed before and during college to turn a profit;
- Putting your pride aside can help you save thousands;
- much, much, more…
CONNECT WITH CHARLES CHADWICK
- Instagram @reducecollegedebt
Enjoying the show? Leave us a rating and review. Every comment helps! Drop in your IG handle so we can thank you personally!
Charles Chadwick (00:00): My dad actually took a pen and in the middle of him signing, he put the pen down, he stopped, he thought he said, you know what? You should have already had credit established by now. I'm not gonna, uh, co-sign a loan for you. If you want to go do it on your own. Wow. And he walked away and I was like,
Daphné Vanessa (00:22): Wow. Wow.
Charles Chadwick (00:23): Yeah.
The Student Loan Podcast Intro (00:26): Welcome to the student loan podcast.
Shamil Rodriguez (00:28): Here. You'll find practical advice on tackling student loan debt, paying down your higher education expenses
Daphné Vanessa (00:35): And inspiring stories about paying off student loans, where your host, Daphne, Vanessa
Shamil Rodriguez (00:41): And Shamil Rodriguez,
Daphné Vanessa (00:45): 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 (00:55): This is not professional advice. And we speak from our own personal views and opinions.
Daphné Vanessa (01:01): The student loan podcast is brought to you by start new, where you can serve your community and get rewarded with tuition and student loan payments to check out if start new is on your campus, visit start new.com while welcome everyone to another episode of the student loan podcast. Today, we have an interesting guest and when I say interesting, his own story is so motivational and inspirational that you yourself will question, why do I even have student loan debt? So with that, Charles, please introduce yourself.
Charles Chadwick (01:35): Hey, how's it going? Uh, I'm Charles, I'm very unique. I have two degrees. I pay back all my loans, the interest, and now I'm debt free. So, um, during the pandemic, uh, I just saw so many people struggling and I was hearing how much the amount was financed for college degrees. And it's no secret if you're doing a doctor lawyer, something of that nature. Sure. It can get up in a thousand, but for some general bachelor's degrees, I found it farfetched to see people in a hundred thousand dollars worth of debt. So it really made me, self-examine what my college cost was. And after I unconsciously reviewed what I paid for college, I said, I should write a book and try to help people cut down that cost.
Shamil Rodriguez (02:23): I think that's amazing. That's really funny that you're like, you know what, let me just, uh, do something about this. Uh, so that's amazing that you did that, but Charles, let's not just like skim over the fact we are on the student loan podcast and the idea that you're like, yeah, this went to school, pay it off of my student loans. And now I'm doing these great things. It's like, wait a minute, let's backtrack. Let's walk the listeners through because that is an amazing accomplishment. And so congratulations. Number one on doing that, just share with everyone how you actually went about paying our free student loan debt.
Charles Chadwick (02:54): Okay. Um, it's a very, very interesting story and it it's a subject that maybe you guys might do later on. Again, I did, uh, successfully graduate with, with two degrees, but guess what, guys, I have found more success with a set of skills that I learned for free. And that's from the trade industry. My father owned the plumbing business. So before college, I learned plumbing from my dad and I helped him work the plumbing business. So here's the story of how college came into that. I took a year off after high school, after I graduated, I really was not motivated to, uh, ever go to a classroom. Again, I, I disliked school with a passion, but after a year of just working, helping my dad, plumbing, business, working various jobs said, you know what? There gotta be something better in life. So I decided to go to college and I went ahead and did two years at a community college first.
Charles Chadwick (03:52): And then when I got ready to transfer to a university, I needed a co-signer for loan. So I went to my dad. I was like, Hey, plumbing's not my cup of tea, but I'm ready to go to college and go on that life journey. Can you, co-sign this loan for me? My dad actually took a pin and in the middle of him signing, he put the pin down, he stopped. He thought, he said, you know what? You should have already had credit established by now. I'm not gonna, uh, co-sign a loan for you. If you want to go do it on your own. Wow. And he walked away and I was like, wow. Yeah. And I was like, that's, that's kinda, that's kinda cool. I could see the point. And I really had to sit down and process that. And I was like, nobody's ever taught me anything about finances.
Charles Chadwick (04:44): I'm a country guy from North Carolina. Um, all my family ever told me to do was pray and work hard and everything and be alright. But at that moment, it, it, I had to figure out what I was gonna do, you know, to go to college on my own and pay for it by myself. So, uh, what I end up doing, I sat down hard and I wasn't mad at my dad. Um, I really construction has really helped me learn critical thinking skills, how to fix something, how to solve something. So I sat there, picked up the phone. I called the college that I transferred to. It's called Lee's McCray college. It's a beautiful college in the mountains of North Carolina, but I called the financial aid lay and I just kept it real. I kept it 100. I said, look, I love my financial aid package awards and this and that.
Charles Chadwick (05:35): But I am short. My PA my father is refusing to sign the co to be a co-signer for this loan. Is there any way that I could take out the loan myself? I know it's gonna probably be more interest, but I am so determined to go to college. The lady sat there, she looked, she said, I found a scholarship that your parents don't have to come, not a scholarship alone. She said, I found a loan for you where your parents don't have to co-sign. And that's what I did. And I got to college all by myself. The flip side of that is wow. When I turned around this way and I turned around that way, I knew there was nobody else going to help me pay for college. So the fact that I had some work experience working with my dad, plumbing business, I learned a secret.
Charles Chadwick (06:29): And that is how to cut costs and get the things you want. So I really wanted, wow. Yeah. So I really wanted to go to college so bad. So right off the bat, when I got to college, I was looking for ways to cut costs. And in that process, I saved thousands of dollars. And guess what? My parents, nor myself, I didn't, they didn't, we didn't save a dime, but yet I got to go to college because I used my mind to cut costs. Um, so I didn't have money straight up. I didn't, but what I did do was cut my costs and that's something I don't think people are looking at because alone it is money just floating around that you do have to pay back. But in my book, what I'm trying to get people to see that it's not about saving money is not about 5 29, uh, the 5 29 plan. It's not about a 401k or scholarships and grants. Those things are all good. But after you get your financial aid award package, to see how short you are, just try to cut costs. And that's exactly what I did. I cut my costs.
Daphné Vanessa (07:43): And so what are, there's so much to unpack there, but first question I have for you before we get into the technical is what are some pitfalls that you've seen people go through, like in college where, you know, maybe a friend took out more than they needed. Why what's the psychology behind that? What are people spending money on?
Charles Chadwick (08:05): I love that question. What is the psychology behind it? I've had this debate with many people, and this might be a harsh answer. When a person is passionate about something, you really can't stop them at all. That's absolutely right. And when it comes to the loans, um, and maybe this, uh, maybe this might be an American, uh, situation in America. Only we are dreamers. We do think big, but I've been to other countries that use a little bit different approach. They dream, but they stay within their means. And the best example I can give you is when I graduated, I remember talking to one of my friends and I said, well, how much did you know how much student debt? Well, yeah, he said, it took a hundred thousand dollars and I looked like what? He said, it don't matter. I'm going get a job with the FBI and I'm gonna start out making a hundred thousand dollars. And because I worked before I went to college, I know that there's a difference between gross and net. So even if that's true,
Charles Chadwick (09:11): If that was true, which it is not, even if he did make a hundred thousand, he's probably gonna lose $30,000 to taxes right off the bat. So 70,000 and then your cost of living. Awesome. So I think so I think what, what, what you're saying is true and I've had this debate when a person is passionate about something, you're really not gonna stop 'em. So on the flip side, be passionate about how your finances, not only in college, but in your everyday life, if people would get more, uh, passionate about finances in general, I think that would be a great help. Cuz you saw my story. You're hearing my story. I knew there was nobody else coming to save me and that I was on my own. So therefore I stayed within my means and actually I cut my college costs by 40% and I beat the national, uh, bachelor's degree, average.
Daphné Vanessa (10:08): Amazing. Since we're getting into percentages, I think we're gonna have to drill back and just share. What was your makeup? What loan did you take out? What was the interest rate? What, what was your loan makeup?
Charles Chadwick (10:22): The loan makeup on that was, and I have it here in my book. I have, for whatever reason, I've always saved my emails and I've always, uh, saved all important paperwork. So some of the loans that I did take out was a direct loan, subsidized and direct direct loan, which is a federal loan. Those are the two loans that I'm seeing now on it. Um, far as the interest rates, it started out very low, probably like 6%. And later on in life, I, I start studying finances. So what I did, I consolidated all my loans into under one loan servicer provider and it really cut the cost as well.
Shamil Rodriguez (11:08): Did you consolidate because of the lower cost savings? Uh, yep. And then, or because the higher, excuse me, opposite higher cost savings. But then also, because, uh, it was easier to just manage instead of having to worry about four or five different loan companies, you gotta pay at different periods of time. You've just got one loan that you're gonna be dealing with. Was that a part of it?
Charles Chadwick (11:27): Oh yeah. And the, the, the lower interest rate overall again, if a person is thinking about cutting costs, if you let's say one loan is, I hope it's not this case, but maybe 10% interest. And then you have another loan. That's 15% of interest. But if you could consolidate both of those loans together under a loan service provider, that's maybe 6%. That is the route to go because when you're making these payments, you always, always want more to go to the principle than that. The interest.
Shamil Rodriguez (12:01): Absolutely. Now I have a, another question that came into mind when you were first telling your story about how you cut costs. So one I wanna discuss about how you cut your cost by 40%. Uh, but it's not always just about cutting costs. And I'm saying that for the general audience, right? Cause that is probably the biggest issue that a lot of people will face when they see when they get 10, $20,000 in their hand, in the form of a check of an overpayment from their student loan. What about what income that you have that actually provided for you while you were in school? You know, because you didn't have coming anybody coming from your left or your right to come and save you. So how, how did you figure out and manage that process? Because I think a lot of people that we've spoken to that, uh, that seek help can feel overwhelmed with trying to figure out I gotta pay for school. I gotta do well in school and gotta cut costs at the same time.
Charles Chadwick (12:50): Happy you asked that question because this is a new perspective that I could offer. Um, again, I learned plumbing from my father, which is a trade and in the trade industry, you're gonna learn a lifetime earning skill. So while I was in college, um, I networked. So here's the interesting thing about, I don't like the word hustle, but what I did to make it number one, federal work study. And, and this was interesting. I, I graduated in college in 2010, but I can say this when I was in college doing my work study jobs, a lot of other students looked at me like I was crazy. Like they had so much pride that they couldn't work. Um, because I had a construction background, the lady that did the federal work study jobs for me, she gave me maintenance. So I worked with my, uh, college campus maintenance and it was fun because I already knew how to use the weed leader.
Charles Chadwick (13:50): I already knew how to work on pipes and plumbing. So I actually, we needed the campus and students would see me doing that and laughing at me, but what they didn't know at the end of the semester, once the money was worked off of what I owed to the college, sometimes I got $500 checks and that was my money to go back home during Christmas. So if you got pride, you know, it, it's not gonna work out for you. You're gonna have to understand you have to work. You're just not gonna get a degree. You're gonna have to use your hands and feet. Um, so that was one way federal work study, do it. If you don't have any work skills, I had skills before college and it will pay off. I, I, I don't make promises, but it is a true if you have any type of skill, bring that to college, you're gonna network with so many people.
Charles Chadwick (14:40): So federal work study, and again, if you don't have a skill, you'll be in a position to learn a new one. Um, once the maintenance department was done, my next work study was working with the it department and I learned how to fix viruses. I learned how to change out external hard drives how to change laptop, LCD screens at the time. So again, if you don't have any skill whatsoever, don't have so much pride that you can't do federal work study. And if you're a parent, um, make sure your child is willing to help you along the way. The federal work study is a great program to help you pay off some of your tuition, college expenses. And once those balances are paid off, if you have any money remaining that you earned, the college will cut you a check.
Daphné Vanessa (15:30): I love that. And the, the piece that you spoke on, on pride, that's so acceptable to everyday life. What was your psych? Were you just born as a person with no pride or did you grow to that level? How did that happen? Because I know pride for so many, you know, they say keeping up with the Joneses and like the, the American TV images, like older middle aged people on a suburban street, but really that, that concept in America starts so early with children comparing each other, you know, high schoolers compare each other college students comparing each other. So how did you move through pride? That's a big question
Charles Chadwick (16:12): That I have a very easy answer for you. When you grow up in North Carolina, in a small town and work for many of the things you have, it's just instilled in you. So my father always made me and my brother work. I mean on Saturdays, we, we didn't get to watch cartoons. And I know that can sound harsh to some parenting today. Or people probably say, Charles, your life was hard. It was at that time, but it actually paid off. You know, my dad given us that tough love. So also, you know, uh, I knew, I knew what working hard can do. It can make things easier down the road. So there was no pride with me and I enjoyed it. Um, the college I went to is called Lees McCray college. And again, it's in the, uh, blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, very beautiful campus.
Charles Chadwick (17:08): It snowed a lot. So one cool story I can have. I never drove a snow plow truck until I went up there. The maintenance guys loved me. They saw it was hard working and they also had a different respect for me because they would always say, Charles, some students don't even have the courage to do what you're doing. You know, hard work is what you have to do till you get where you want to be. So I got to drive a plow truck and I'll tell you a funny story. The students used to say, Charles, we can't stand to see you work. And I said, why? Cuz you're the reason we have to go to class. Sometimes I would shovel. I would shovel the steps and salt, the steps in the morning before class and students. So a lot of students saw me working with the maintenance department, but it psychologically made them confused.
Charles Chadwick (17:56): And this is the deep, deep discussion we have to have as a nation in America trades in college. I feel like some of the students, not all they looked at the trade, I don't have to do that because I'm getting a degree. But as we see during the pandemic experience can be priceless. You, you have to have some type of work skill set. So again, the federal work study is a great program. If you don't have any skill whatsoever, you will learn something. Even if it's working with the maintenance department or in my case, the it department, um, and me working in that it department, it allowed me to make money. When I would go back home. I knew how to fix viruses. At one point in time, I haven't, I'm out the game of it. I've never been certified. I wasn't licensed, but guess what?
Charles Chadwick (18:45): I had the experience. So when we would get the blue screen of death back home, I worked on viruses so much that you have to take the internal hard drive out of the laptop, use a Sayta cable, plug it into another laptop and scan the virus out or find it through making the hard drive like a USB trial. I, would've never learned that if I didn't work my work study with the it department. Um, and I also had one more small story. I sold, I sold a lot of things on eBay before college. I took that same skill when I was in college, I made flyers and guess what? I called myself. I said, the eBay king, I had a flyer
Daphné Vanessa (19:30): Have that in common
Charles Chadwick (19:31):
Daphné Vanessa (20:32): I love that. And I love how you crowdsource the inventory. Shael like, that was a great idea. Like you didn't take the inventory. I know a lot of folks who were purchasing inventory and then selling on eBay, but you let me just take everybody else's stuff and
Charles Chadwick (20:52): And it, and it really helped the students out because that's what I saw, you know? Yeah. Mm-hmm
Charles Chadwick (21:40): If I was the research, what these old power G4 max sell for, maybe we could sell those and generate funds to maybe not replace every single one, but buy some new one. She said, let me think about it right off the bat. We went to the finance department, I wrote a proposal. They said, good to go. And guess what the catch was, the guy was like, Charles, we appreciate you selling all these computers. What's in it for you. I said, since I've been in this major, I really enjoy film. If I was to sell all these computers, can I at least keep one for myself? He said, sure, no problem. So I end up getting a powerful computer for free only because I sold all the other computers for the college and wow. And helped my major get new IMAX. And here's the thing with that old power G4 Mac. I started a small film company and started filming weddings. So again, the thing I want to teach people, or the next generation of people, it don't always take money. If you use your mind, then you can get through any bad or good time.
Daphné Vanessa (22:43): Amazing. I mean, I have so many questions, so many follow up questions, but I've been monopolizing. So Shail when I handed over to you. No,
Shamil Rodriguez (22:51): No, no, go, go ahead. I was just gonna, uh, jump in here, Charles. I'm really impressed. Uh, DNE had mentioned the eBay thing because I, what I'm seeing here in a common thread that I think I want us to emphasize here is that you looked at every experience as an opportunity. Yeah. Would you say that's right?
Charles Chadwick (23:09): Oh yeah, that's right. I love what you said. Experience is priceless. And that's what college is. It's an experience. Um, during the pandemic, I wrote that college checklist book behind me, the white book, but the yellow book is the book. I published two books in less than two years during the pandemic. That's what the yellow book is about. Uh, it's called Chadwicks cultivated circumstances. Experience is priceless. And that's where I talk about the eBay story and the college and everything else. And the main concept of this book experience is free. But when you want to go get a license or get certified in a profession, it costs money. But if you just want the experience alone, it is free. You can watch somebody, you can volunteer for a company or a business. And when you do your internships, that's what you're doing. Get the experience. I like what you're saying, man.
Daphné Vanessa (24:05): No, no. I mean, I think so powerful. I think definitely ties into a lot of things that we believe in too. I had a funny question. So Shama, I don't know if you're ready to go there.
Shamil Rodriguez (24:15): Okay. Go for it. Let's see.
Daphné Vanessa (24:18): Charles, Charles Chadwick, just be honest with us. Okay. How did the maintenance job affect your dating life in college? People wanna know,
Charles Chadwick (24:26): To be honest, I was more, uh, shy in college. Believe it or not. So, Aw. Um, I, I went on maybe one day, um, with one person. But other than that, you, you might think I'm crazy, but I knew that I wanted to cut my cost. So a lot of my college days was working
Shamil Rodriguez (24:44): And creating by the weekend.
Charles Chadwick (24:46): It really wasn't. Even on my mind, to be honest, I went on one day. I made friends, but I, if anybody knew me at Lee, Mcreel say Charles was always working and a cool story. Um, the only reason I went to college and transferred after the community college, because I loved basketball. I played in high school. I wasn't good, but I was like, Dennis Rodman. I did the work nobody wanted to. So I had a college basketball tryout, um, with this college and oh, nice. I went, I didn't make it, but I got to be the basketball video guy. And I hung up with a lot of the basketball players. So when they saw my swagger, they say, you know what, there's something different about you. It's like, you're our uncle. We're gonna call you uncle Charles. So that was my new thing with the basketball team when I was in call uncle Charles. So when you asked me that question, yeah.
Daphné Vanessa (25:38): Um,
Charles Chadwick (25:38): I guess it boils back down to what we said earlier, when a person is passionate about something, you can't stop them. And I knew that I wanted a degree. I want to control my destiny per se, on finances. So that's what I was always doing. When you get experience, your mind's gonna grow, it's gonna explode. I was just looking for anything. I could get anything that could help me a along my life journey. So when it comes to experience, I'm open to every opportunity there, there was
Daphné Vanessa (26:09): Except dating.
Shamil Rodriguez (26:10): And I thank you. Just kidding.
Daphné Vanessa (26:12): I bringing the comedy cast, I'm bringing the comedy.
Shamil Rodriguez (26:16): The, uh, no, no. I wanted you to emphasize that Charles, because the, the idea is that it wasn't just that you sought experience, but that the idea that you were open to it, right. You were open to that concept, right? It's it just didn't happen by mistake. Um, but it is an easy shift to make in the way that you look at things. So, uh, I want anybody who's listening out there right now to really mark that down, you know, write it down. If you're not driving, you know, really emphasize the idea that keeping an open mind and looking for those experiences, that you can turn into something that can help you pay down one of your bills or just have extra money in your pocket, or just have a skill to have an extra skill. Yes. Um, I think is something that is important. What do you think Charles
Charles Chadwick (27:00): Facts
Charles Chadwick (27:04): Is facts. Yeah. Because, and also too, we're seeing it now. People have degrees, even me, I'm using it now. Um, just to put it out there, it's not important, but my first degree was, uh, associates and electronic servicing. So I got the best fundamentals. There was, you know, uh, diodes, uh, processing, uh, chips, uh, resist their capacitors, how to fix, uh, uh, circuit board verse today's generation. The best example I could think of is now, you know, we all have an iPhone, but I know and learned the concept at this phone was to break. And as we see during the pandemic supply and demand, let's say for some reason, apple can't make the chips anymore. I believe that with what I learned, I can go on eBay, buy old phone, UN soldered, some of the parks and put it on this part machine. But I feel like with the today's generation, it's just, the solution is go buy a new phone, but there may come a day where you can't buy it. So you have to have the knowledge and the experience on how to fix it.
Daphné Vanessa (28:13): I love the solution oriented mindset. And that's basically what it seems like you've carried throughout your whole life. Like that's what got you to where you are today? Super successful, paid off student loan debt. I know we went into the specifics of what your debt was, but can you give us a timeline on paying it back? How long it took? Um, I, you know, you consolidated, but what was your approach? And then going back on consolidation what's did you ever think, like I'm giving up these government programs to consolidate? Was that ever a thought in your mind or were you just like lower interest rate sold?
Charles Chadwick (28:54): I was just lower interest rate and it's only, I, I don't think a person can understand interest rate until they understand fi finance finances and, and the book that changed my life. Of course, he's known all around the world was Robert Kiosaki. When I start reading books and understand what interest is, I'm like, it would totally make sense to go ahead and consolidate all of my loans. And I'm not gonna lie to you. Looking back, those loan servicers were changing like the original loan company that I took. The, I think my loan might have changed at least three different times, and I would get the letter in the mail. And I, and, and because I was on top of my finances, I called them up and said, this better not be a scam. How many payments have I made? You're a new company I want for the record, send me in writing. What's my balance, you know, oh,
Charles Chadwick (29:44): So I was on it. I was on it when it comes to those pavements. And, uh, a lot of times maybe y'all can educate me, but if I'm not mistaken, when you make your student loan payments on time, it doesn't really help your credit. But if you miss 'em and you fall into, you know, backed up on your payments and stuff, it affects your credit in a negative way. So with me, how I did my approach, I just always stayed on top of it. And most loan, uh, service provider website have a calculator. You can see what I happened. And sometimes when I got my income taxed back from working, if I drop a thousand dollars on this loan, it's gonna cut the, uh, interest down to this, this, this. So if you don't understand, finances, just look at interest like this and think how you can continually to chop that interest down. And if you get the interest down, then the more payments you make, go more to the principal and then the loan go away.
Daphné Vanessa (30:41): Yeah. And I'll just add our, our tip that we, that we've given out to folks too, which is that, um, when you're making out payments on your student loans, make the minimum payment and any extra balance, make a separate payment. And then in writing say, I want this applied towards the principal because you have a choice, ladies and gentlemen, in days and days, you can tell them this is going towards principal, but it has to be in writing by law. So you wanna send them, uh, an email. I mean, I used to send email fax. I called just to let them know that I'm sending them multiple channels of communication, but I sent them
Charles Chadwick (31:21): All the channels
Daphné Vanessa (31:22):
Charles Chadwick (31:23): But, but that's, that's awesome. And, and, and I can contest to that when I did have a mortgage, I once own a house and I sold it for profit, but you're right. You do have to tell them that in writing, because they know they'll let that payment just sit on the, the whatever digital world or whatever, before they apply it. So that's real,
Daphné Vanessa (31:43): Or they'll just put it towards half interest, half, you know, or they'll do like whatever sliding scale they have in the, and like in your agreement. So that's the default, the default is their sliding scale. So you have to affirmatively tell them that you want it to go towards principle, anything more than the minimum payment, obviously the minimum payment they do what they want with it, but anything more. That's why, if you're still paying off debt, two separate payments, the minimum payment, and then a separate everything else, payment where you specifically tell them this is going towards principal, that's it?
Charles Chadwick (32:18): Yeah. Cuz it is a game that they're, they're there to make, uh, money. And I know, and this is an interesting thing too, the way I think about it, you know, a car loan house loan, if you don't want the property back, which is physical, tangible, you just give the asset back, you get fine, take the car, reposess it. I didn't like fine. I'll move. I'll get to another house. But when it comes to student loans, they're not tangible. They're intangible. And I think the main thing here we keep rolling around is finances. I love you talking about interest rates. And maybe for me, that's why I was on, I was a bulldog on my student loans, cuz I, I did have a little information about interest and that might come from working with my dad and seeing like his supply house, uh, balances and stuff like that. So if anything, I would say, just understand just a little bit of finances along your college journey and it'll pay off.
Daphné Vanessa (33:11): Yeah. I mean I'm incredibly biased. I love this stuff, but I'm like, how could you not be interested in finance?
Shamil Rodriguez (33:18):
Shamil Rodriguez (34:06): Because I'm just gonna donate money to their pocket. That doesn't make any sense. Right. So I think that that little tidbit I was like at a minimum and I, I love what you said, Charles. I really do because just even understanding the interest rate. Yeah. Right. Just getting somewhat interested in just like, this is your money. This is your future. Uh, you should at least at a minimum, uh, try to take control of your finances in that way, because you took your experience. You had an open mind while you were doing it. So you also took that time to write books. Right. And develop this platform where now you're sharing your message. So let's talk about how you then flipped that, that mindset and that shift over to what you're doing right now.
Charles Chadwick (34:48): Oh yeah, man. Uh, a again, I know we kind of spoke earlier before we got on the show and I was like, you know, with what you guys are doing, uh, it still goes back to passion. Um, I've never been passionate at anything. I, I mean, I I've been a regular guy. I'll work a job. I don't care to really move up in companies. I work for, I just use the job to pay my bills and then do what I want on the side. And I guess the four momentum thinking and me really paying attention to the news and just what people around me were saying. It, it led me to these books. And again, I'm, I'm not a writer. Uh, I finished both of these books in less than two years. The college checklist book has been featured in the advisor perspective. And that's a great financial company.
Charles Chadwick (35:33): It's called advisor perspective.com. And my yellow book just got in reader's digest just this year. I just came out with it this year. But the pandemic really influenced me, but not in a negative way. I know it is been a dark time and I don't want to say the C word, but it's been a dark time for some people. But in this last couple years it's been nothing but light purpose in life. So, uh, the reason I wrote the books is because I want people to have a better futuristic outlook. You know, uh, they may seem like it's dark and all this, but there are more opportunities today than there was yesterday. And guess what? There'll be more opportunities tomorrow than they are today. So that's what led me to write the books. I really want to go against the grain. I didn't hear any stories from the news media about students who did re remain financially solve.
Charles Chadwick (36:27): All I heard was it's tough and it, and it was tough. Um, but I believe in duality, I believe there's left and there's right. There's up, there's down. A person could be tall or short. So the only balance I heard in this nation of America is just, is hard. It's hard, it's hard, it's hard. Uh, they made it seem like it was impossible. And I was like, y'all, y'all going a little bit too far on this. I can show people how to remain financially solving. But the media has to start reporting on people who did, because if you want, if you wanna see a difference, you gotta show that it is possible. And that's what, that's the only reason, honestly, that I had the courage to start writing books is because I like the me the way they're painting the future. They make it look ugly.
Charles Chadwick (37:13): Now it's never easy, but we will face challenges, but I just got tired of the media and that's just the straight true. Uh, one thing I can say about my life, a interesting story. If, if we got time, I, I don't mind being open with you guys, but at my community college, I took introduction to philosophy and it changed my life. And that's kind of where my mind start to think. So if a person, whether it's the news or a parent or a friend presents information to you, is it true? Is it false? Can it change? So I start to begin to think what the news is telling people is somewhat true, but on the other side, there's people like me and you or people that's listening to your podcast that did remain financially solvent. I think we have to look at both sides of the coin. It just can't be one side and it's so dark. So that's what led me to write books. And also student loans is a disaster, you know, for some reason
Daphné Vanessa (38:13):
Charles Chadwick (38:18): And I think it's, again, to, this could be a topic for another day, but degree versus a trade, you know, it, it just depends on the person. And what I want to do is use me as an example, Charles learned a trade before college and learning that trade caused me again, experience my mind to think in construction, you have to work with other people, plumbers, electricians, HVAC. I remember with my dad, when we would crawl under our house to run our pipes, you know, we would have to talk to the electrician. What do you have going on here? Are we going to be in the way the HVAC guy running duck work and stuff you had to work together. And I think at a early age being in construction, it just caused my mind to open and think so, that's what I want for college students is just open, open more of your mind, not just into what you're studying your degree, but just look at ways to cut costs.
Charles Chadwick (39:13): And if you open your mind, there's nothing to me that can stop you. There are obstacles, but, um, just get passionate and a good example. I thought about this from some other podcast I was on this week. Look at me. I have a degree. I'm writing a book now. So even if a person were to write a book, write a poem, I don't care. Talk about what you feel about student loans. Write a book, tell, tell a poem about it. And I feel that's how we're gonna grow as a nation by people sharing more of these stories.
Daphné Vanessa (39:44): Completely agree and love what you said about the dichotomy of your you're. You can be going through something bad and still get through it. It doesn't mean you're always going to be there. So if you are sitting in massive amounts of student loan debt, if you're sitting in, um, any sort of financial, uh, struggle or personal struggle, there is another side. There's another way. And I, I, I appreciate you saying that because it's easy to fall and we've all done it. I, I know I have, it's easy to sit in your victim mentality and just complain, oh, this needs to change. Do this government. Please help me do. But at the end of the day, you can rise above it. And after when you've accomplished that you are so much stronger and when you're going through it, when people say things like that, you roll your eyes because you're like, you don't know what I'm going through right now.
Daphné Vanessa (40:36): And like, please be quiet about the other side. I don't know what that looks like, but if you stick to it and you know, if, if faith is what your anchor is, the universe, meditation, whatever your anchor is, spiritually, that can help you get to that next step is what will, when you see through it, you grow through it. And I can't wait to see more and more people who read books like Charles, like your college checklist, like your circumstances book, so that they know how to get to the other side. Right? Because when you're at the other side, the next time there's a challenge. You're like joke. So we just wanna make sure that when you're listening to the media or yeah. Even people, right. Even people just saying like energy, oh, I'm always gonna be in student loan debt. I have six figure student loan debt.
Daphné Vanessa (41:28): It's never going away. Remove yourself from that. If you cuz if you don't wanna be that person just cut them. Like, I'm not saying don't be their friend anymore. But I am saying, try to spend less time with complainers because those aren't gonna be the people to bring you to the other side. And I say that as a person, myself, who was a complainer and Shael can tell you, but I was the number one complainer. I was the number one, snowflake, millennial complainer.
Charles Chadwick (42:26): Yeah. E yes,
Daphné Vanessa (42:28): Et, et, if you're listening to this, shout out, I love his story, right? Because he's like, I was literally homeless. I was homeless. I ate out of trash cans. I slept in the back of garages. I, and he not only got through it, but he got through, it, got himself in education. He has a PhD now is a huge motivational speaker, hugely financially successful as well, but more importantly, impacting thousands, not even thousands, honestly, at this point, millions of people. Right. And so look at the reward that came from being homeless for Eric, Thomas, Dr. Eric Thomas, we should say, look at the reward that came for you, Charles from being a plumber, working on campus in maintenance and doing it without pride, without ego. Yeah. Removing that, look at that reward. And I can't wait for more people to focus on what the reward's gonna be like when they accomplish the struggle. It's hard to do it when you're in it. Let me tell you, I'm the number one complainer. So I'm not, I'm not being judgey. I'm telling you that I've been there too. That's all
Charles Chadwick (43:35):
Charles Chadwick (44:23): The government knows that young people will be working a good proportion of their lives after college, even myself, if you look at my income, if it was on a scale, it is only went up with time. So the government knows young people are young, you got another 20 or 30 years to be working. And my opinion is too early for them to forgive the loans. You know that that's my theory on it. It's an asset for 'em. And again, we talked about interest earlier, so the student loan, it can last as long as your lifetime with interest. So my theory is the government knows that as long as you are alive, you will always have a possibility to be factored in, to make a payment, which is a cash flow and asset to them. So that's my theory. So I think it's too early. They're not gonna do it. And this is what I'm up. I'm not upset about, but I wish the media would start throwing out theories. Can you forgive them or, or okay. You can't. I know there's ways to forgive them, you know, the public service and all this, but just from a business and financial side, I believe they are an asset. And they know that a young person, if you keep working, you're gonna keep climbing the ladder. So you will be eventually able to keep making a payment. That's my theory.
Daphné Vanessa (45:39): And, and all theories aside, because so many people have different thoughts on, on this space. Really? What, what we have to think about is let's not be in that population, right? Yeah. Like, like, do you have to work? Let question everything. Number one, like when it be one of my favorite philosophers, because you start with tha LAAS, how you start with an empty slate and you ask yourself question, every single principle and premise that you've received is true first and then make your own assumptions. So I'm gonna work for the next 20 years. Really? Do you have to, you can join the fire movement and retire in five years by living off of 25 to 50% of your income and saving and investing the rest. So do you have to, that's what you have to do. Okay. Now you ask yourself, am I willing to do that? Am I willing to live at a cost of living and lifestyle? That is what 25 to 50% of my income looks like. Hmm. Let me think about it. Okay. That is worth the end goal of fire, or it's not worth it. I wanna live life now, Yolo, whatever your life is. And so question everything like, yeah,
Charles Chadwick (46:46): Question,
Daphné Vanessa (46:47): You don't have to work for the next 20 years of your life. You can, you, you don't even have to, honestly, you can make all your money before you have your first kid. You can make all your money before you can go to college. Like you said, Charles, there question everything and then just opt out. I don't want student loans. I don't wanna be a part of that life. I think that's the solution instead of whatever the government's gonna do, they're gonna do. And we have very little control over it. Not that I'm saying to ignore them, but I'm saying you have a lot more control in what you
Shamil Rodriguez (47:13): Do. I think that's well said, well said. So I wanted to get into a lightning round, uh, before we wrap it up and have you share, you know, your final words and how people can find you and where they can buy your books. We're definitely gonna do that. Cuz I love what you're sharing, uh, with us. Uh, but before we do that, we're gonna do something that we do. We did not prepare Charles for this or anybody's listening. As you guys know from previous episodes, Charles, you did not know we were gonna do this unless you listen to other episodes. What we have is a lightning round. We're gonna ask you some random questions. Uh, you have to answer and pick one or the other, uh, din, do you wanna start off with a couple of questions first? Or do you want me to kick it off
Daphné Vanessa (47:50): Yellow or blue,
Charles Chadwick (47:51): Yellow
Daphné Vanessa (47:52): Writing or reading?
Charles Chadwick (47:55): Both.
Daphné Vanessa (47:57): Gotta pick one,
Charles Chadwick (47:58): Uh, writing. Cuz I associate that with the future readings a little bit. Maybe pass. So writing. Yeah.
Daphné Vanessa (48:06): Nice. Um, Stafford loan or uh, consolidation,
Charles Chadwick (48:10): Whichever ones have the cheapest interest rate.
Shamil Rodriguez (48:14): But I would say a good one.
Charles Chadwick (48:17): I would say Stafford loan is still kind of tied to the, you know, some low interest rates, but consolidation, if you got too much interest rates,
Daphné Vanessa (48:25): There you go. Um, and to take it old school, Facebook or Twitter,
Charles Chadwick (48:30): Facebook, I would say is old school now
Shamil Rodriguez (48:33): Oh, so sad. I remember when they were, oh my gosh. I'm even gonna say it. Oh man.
Daphné Vanessa (48:39): Facebook or TikTok.
Charles Chadwick (48:41): Oof. With my age Facebook
Daphné Vanessa (48:45): We're hanging up now. This podcast is over ladies and gentlemen.
Shamil Rodriguez (48:49):
Daphné Vanessa (48:50): I no longer feel any sort of connection with Charles. Thank you.
Shamil Rodriguez (48:54):
Daphné Vanessa (48:55): Kidding.
Shamil Rodriguez (48:57): That was it. Uh, thank you Charles. So, so, uh, Charles, how can people get in touch with you? Uh, and how can they purchase your books?
Charles Chadwick (49:04): Okay. This is very easy. I think people are gonna love my, uh, following. Follow me, Facebook or Instagram at reduced college. Debt is simple. Follow me at reduced
Shamil Rodriguez (49:18): Debt.
Charles Chadwick (49:19): And uh, if you wanna buy my books, just go to, uh, my website Chadwick's college checklist. Excuse me. Chadwick's experience is behind me in this, uh, video call, but this is audio. You're just gonna go to Chadwick's experience. And that's C H a D w I C K S and then experience with an S Chadwicks experience.com and it, it has a lot more stuff on it. I give free tips from the books and all the book links on Amazon are right there. Uh, reviews. I also try to do cash prizes. If you go to my, uh, Facebook or Instagram and buy the paperback. If you tag me with the book in your hand, I give a hundred dollars, uh, monthly giveaway for that. Just if you want to use it for college application, college expenses, whatever, I'm just trying to promote and do anything I can to help people understand. You can go to college. You just have to cut your costs.
Daphné Vanessa (50:14): Love that. Love that. And what's so cool about your books is the fact that you have evidence, right? You come with,
Charles Chadwick (50:21): Oh yeah. That's yes.
Daphné Vanessa (50:22): You come with like, here's the screenshot. This is the exact paper that I use. Like I love that aspect of your book.
Charles Chadwick (50:30): Oh yeah. And on the website you can see other, uh, feature articles. Like I said, I've been in the reader's digest advisor perspective, uh, some other podcasts and we're just having a great discussion. And uh, if it's okay, I know we're running out of time, but I wanna show you how dedicated I've been to student loans. I made a quick, like 42nd music video that will explain it to the next generation, my life. Oh
Daphné Vanessa (50:55): Nice.
Charles Chadwick (50:56): Here we go. Short
Speaker 5 (50:58): Chadwick college check list. Hey, don't delay. I need you to come and check this. Bring in some powerful insight. I'm talking about knowledge. You don't have to go broke while you paying for college. Six months after you graduate student loans, don't wait. Accruing the interest, checking new balance rates. You don't wanna feel stressed out and lost cuz you didn't plan not to financial costs here to help you strategize. We will show you doesn't matter if a new student, young or older, if you wanna stress free life after college, come look how to cut costs. You should come and get the book, limit your debt and cut the college cost. It's time to manage and live like a boss. Don't hesitate. If you're interested, get the book. Now Chadwick's college checklist a available on Amazon. Now
Daphné Vanessa (51:43): I love that. Oh
Charles Chadwick (51:46): Yeah. That's that's how dedicated I was to be honest, cuz I really, really want to get this out here.
Daphné Vanessa (51:53): I love it. I, I mean, that was good. Now I want a freestyle and
Charles Chadwick (52:00): No, but just look, but just look at not, but just look at the creativity. That's how passionate I am to want love it. Know that you can cut your calls and, and I know we're getting to the end. This was such a good, uh, conversation with you guys. But I have a, a another statement. This is how I feel. Just cuz somebody sticks a sheet of paper in front of you with a number on it. A bachelor's degree is gonna cost you 40,000 at this university. It doesn't mean you have to pay the 40,000 look at ways to cut costs. That's the thing just cuz somebody put a number on a piece of paper does not mean you have to pay that amount. Just cut costs.
Daphné Vanessa (52:37): Completely agree. Thank you so much, Mr. Charles Chadwick, we've enjoyed having you ladies and gentlemen days, and Zays you can find Charles firstname.lastname@example.org at reduced college debt on Instagram and Facebook and check out his books. Chadwick's college checklist and Chadwick's circumstances. Get all of that and connect with Chadwick. Mr. Chadwick. I should say he Charles like honestly you've been such a great guest. The rawness, the realness we connected. I know everybody else connected. I can't wait to have you back on again. You're speaking the truth and, and we're so happy to help spread the message.
Charles Chadwick (53:20): I I'm I'm really happy for you guys platform because honestly, if something like this existed when I was in college, I, I don't know how further I could have went. That's that's what I liked. So for again, for the next generation, the future is bright. You just gotta open up your mind and, and don't always follow the, the media you like, as you said that you choose your own destiny. If you wanna go to college, go and pay what you want to pay, you don't have to pay what everybody else paid to go.
Shamil Rodriguez (53:47): Yes, love it. Well said thank you so much, Charles. Uh, for, for, for joining us today, uh, for more information on today's episode, visit the student loan podcast.com/episode 69. That's the student loan podcast.com forward slash episode 69.
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