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What Effect Does the CaronaVirus aka The Rona Have on Your Student Loans? + How to Benefit Financially

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It is without a doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic is having and will continue to have an effect on the economy and our pockets. If you are one of the millions of people who have student loan debt, then there is good news coming out of this situation. Student loan borrowers who are planning their finances around the uncertainty of the Coronavirus can take advantage of some new benefits.

A new federal law called the CARES Act, which stands for the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Securities Act has provided an automatic suspension of principal and interest payments on federally held student loans, until September 30 2020. This suspension will also count towards any student loan forgiveness program, so there won’t be a lapse there.

There have been many questions surrounding how these suspensions will come into effect, so here is everything you need to know about your student loans and the (CARES) Act:

The Application Process

You will not need to apply to suspend your payments of federal student loan, your federal student loan servicer will suspend all payments without any action necessary from you. You don’t need to contact them or fill out any special application. If you have a federal student loan. Then the suspension will happen automatically. This does not apply to your private student loans. This is only for government issued loans. Keep in mind that there are some federal loans that are owned by commercial lenders, so these loans are not eligible at this time.

Interest Rates and How They Will Be Affected

As far as interest payments go, interest will not accrue on your federal student loans, while your payments are suspended. For your other loans that do not qualify for suspension, interest will continue to accrue.

The Cost of Suspending Your Loans

Unfortunately, during times of crisis, there are many people out trying to scam you. Please be advised that there is no fee, nor will there ever be a fee to suspend your payments. If you are contacted by someone who is asking you to pay a fee, then this is 100%, a scam. Again, there is no action required by you for you to get these payments suspended. If you are contacted by someone please report it to the FTC’s complaint assistant so that they can be aware, and potentially stop these scam artists.

What If Your Loans Don’t Qualify for Suspension?

For those who have federal loans that do not qualify for the suspension or those who have private loans and your finances have been affected negatively by the Coronavirus pandemic, it is important that you reach out to your lender as soon as possible. Most lenders offer income driven repayment plans that you can take advantage of or you can look into getting a forbearance or deferment while you sort out your finances. You should contact your servicer to find out what options are available to you. If you do not know who your federal loan servicer is, please go to the Department of Education’s website  where you can look it up. Everyone is feeling the impact of the Coronavirus so most private lenders will have some type of option to potentially help reduce your payments.

Other Consideration You Should Think About:

  • If you are already enrolled in an income driven repayment plan, but can no longer afford your payments, then you should contact your servicer immediately to report a change in your income and recalculate your monthly payments.
  • If you are currently part of the public service loan forgiveness program, even though your payments are suspended, those months will count towards your program.
  • Please be advised that the Department of Education has stopped the collection of defaulted federal federally owned student loans, including any garnishment of wages, the offset of tax refunds and Social Security benefits. There is nothing you need to do for your federally owned loans. This will take effect automatically. For the other loans that you have that do not qualify for suspension, you should contact your servicer as soon as possible to see what options are available.

If your income has not been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and you were already making monthly Student Loan payments then I would suggest to save the monthly payments that you would’ve made in a savings account to give you extra cushion during these times. If your income gratefully stays the same then use this money as a jump start on investing, buying an income producing assets or starting a business or sidehustle.

For tips on how to create a product from scratch check out my Product Creation Planner  which will teach you how to create and monetize a product from A-Z

Ash Exantus aka Ash Cash is one of the nation’s top personal finance experts. Dubbed as the Hip-Hop Financial Motivator, he uses a culturally responsive approach in teaching financial literacy. He is also a speaker, and bestselling author of six books. Ash has established himself as a thought leader and trusted voice with Corporate America, Colleges, Churches, and Community based organizations. Ash is best known for helping people maximize their full potentials by giving them the inspiration, tools, and resources needed to live their best lives. For more info on Ash please visit www.IamAshCash.com

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Start With Where You Are

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Start With Where You Are

By: Tiara Davis

Hey Cousin,

You aight? The quarantine snacks hittin’ ya pockets heavy? Them recipes on Youtube all fun and games ‘til you hit the checkout line. Since when it cost 55 dollars to make tacos?!

This me, “ Oh naw, take that off, “ and then, “ You can put that back.” And there are other times where I’m like you know what, “Treatcho self Fam.” And so, I spend 60-75 dollars on various cooking items that I’ll probably never use again. 

But I ain’t stressed. Ask me why cousin?

‘Cause I’ve saved for moments like these. Food is being marked up at my local grocery store, my position is no longer certain and I swear I got a text message from Furlough sayin’, “ You up?”

In the past, I put a little money away until I was stable enough to build an emergency savings fund.  Lemme’ show you how.

First, issa a whole lot of literature about the importance of an emergency savings fund. The experts encourage us to save 20% of our income or  3 – 6 months of our expenses. A quick google search will render countless options of “how tos” and “why comes.” 

As a young professional, all of those figures seemed out of reach. So I didn’t use it. 

I started with what I had which amounted to 100 dollars per pay period. In 6 months, I saved $1200; enough to cover my rent ($595), car note ($189), insurance ($134), and phone bill ($56). I highlighted some of my monthly expenses because I want you to remember to track yours. 

In that time, I built the mindset, built the habit, and most important, learned to live without it. 

It was too easy.

So I doubled it.

 

I started saving $200 per pay period. Four hundred a month, for six months, das about $2400 plus my other $1200.  That’s a calm $3600! We out here lookin’ cute fam. She really shapin’ up to look like somebody’s fund!

 

I used the same tactic until I was living off fifty percent of my monthly income. The check I received on the 1st was for me, and the check I received on the 15th was for future me. 

 

I built the emergency savings until I saved my yearly salary. I know, I know, girl whet?! I like a challenge. 

 

But that’s just it. You set the goal. Crush the Goal. Set another one and then set your sights on something greater. Real estate could be cute. What y’all think?

Let’s chat in the comments! What do you plan to start with?

Love Ya Cuz,

Tiara Davis

 

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Power of the Dollar!

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Power of the Dollar!
By Shana-Lee Scott

As we come off the heels of Juneteenth with celebrations from posting on social media, to supporting black owned businesses, parades, some companies even deciding to make it an official holiday, to us celebrating with Alicia Keys and John Legend. This was the year more people decided to learn about Juneteenth and to celebrate it. We can all admit, 2020 has been full of so many emotions and we are only in June. This is such a pivotal time in America where Blacks and some of their allies are all saying enough is enough and this is the year we are demanding change.

How to Leverage Our Economic Power

On July 7th, Blacks and their allies have chosen to blackout this day by not spending any money for a full day in hopes to leverage our economic power to resolve police brutality and racism towards Black people. We are at a point in America where we all may have asked this question, or had conversations with family and friends, what would we have done during the Civil Rights Movement? On July 7th you get to answer that question. We all have our ways in supporting the current climate in America, by protesting, registering people to vote, being vocal on social media, donating to social justice organizations, and/or learning about our own history, but on July 7th we all can stand in solidarity.

The True Power of Black People

According to 2019 Nielson’s Report, African Americans have a $1.3 trillion buying power! African Americans outspend other races, and that is how we will bring attention to our demand of wanting real change by making an economic impact. When African Americans band together we bring results, in March a group of women decided to attack Beatrice Dixon, the creator of Honey Pot for her Black History Month Target ad, when Black women heard about this, we went out, bought and sold out the Honey Pot at Targets across the country. In 2018, Black women pushed Doug Jones, a Senator from Alabama to win as State Senator, and we can go as recently as 2020 when North Carolina came into play in the primary Black people spoke, and Joe Biden won his first primary race. There are endless stories of when Blacks decided to make a point, band together, and the results follow. We have receipts to show for it.

These Are the Demands from Black-America

On July 7th, we have the power to show America we don’t want change, we demand change. We have that same power with our own finances to not spend a single penny. Leading up to that day and afterwards we must decide where and who gets our money. In this movement, we are starting to intentionally spend our money at Black Owned Businesses. Facebook groups are being created, word of mouth is spreading information, and websites are seeing more traffic that provides information on Black Owned Businesses. These businesses are seeing more customers, and doing well. We are pouring our money back into our community and we are doing this one business at a time with our money. That is the power we have with our money.

This is a Movement That Can Last Generations

On July 7th not only can we take back our power as consumers, we can take back our power in our finances. We can start thinking about our household finances. How our call to action affects our children and future generations. This is the time that as a community, we start thinking about our savings, credit, debt, and pouring back into our community. As we have more access to learn about Black Wall Street and Seneca Village, we need to challenge ourselves to do better. You have that same power with your finances to demand a better life for yourself and generations to come. Now, this time may be difficult for you financially because you may have lost your job, but I still want to challenge you to take that hard look at your finances, examine where you can cut back, start saving even if you can only afford $5, take a free credit course to examine how you can improve your credit, make a plan to tackle that debt, and invest in black own businesses. Just start!

The Time is NOW to Live Out Our God-Given Abundance

We have entered a new decade and even though 2020 has been rough for many of us, I believe this is the decade financial freedom will be seen by many people. As we sat in our homes due to Covid-19, many of us began to realize we like our own home cook meals, we realized we are innovative by thinking of ideas to make our household run smoother, and that we are adaptable, we started having mini concerts in our home by way of Instagram. For some of us, the stillness of isolation and social distancing allowed business ideas to clearly take form in our minds that allowed us to clearly articulate the business plan that was laying dormant within us. I believe this season is the season you will look at your finances and start making changes. You will start manifesting the dreams that you desire. You will start setting goals and this decade is the decade you will see every dream you desire come true. This is the decade, we will not only realize our power as a consumer, but we will revitalize our power in our own finance, so that we can live and walk in our abundant life.

We are only starting on July 7th, there will be more days. The Montgomery’s Bus Boycott lasted 381 days, so get ready to buckle down and stand in solidarity. Here are some resources on July 7th and that can also direct you to Black Owned Businesses in your area:

  • How-we-Fight.com
  • Black Dollar Black
  • Black Wall Street App
  • Webuyblack.com
  • Eatblackowned.com

*This blog in no way endorsed any political party.

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Personal Finances

Charlamagne tha God says Joe Biden May Spark Voter Depression and He’s Right!

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The Breakfast Club radio host Charlamagne tha God on Sunday warned that Democrats could face a “voter depression” on Election Day because people still aren’t enthused by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Biden came under heavy fire on Friday after he defended his record during a conference call interview with Charlamagne, at one point telling the black radio host that if he has a problem “figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” The former vice president later apologized for the remark, saying that “no one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.”

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Joe Biden is taking on President Trump over the economy.

The former vice president’s campaign believes he has an opening with voters on an issue that has been a strength of Trump’s given the economic harm caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has locked down businesses and led to skyrocketing unemployment.

They plan to argue that Trump handled the pandemic poorly, is mishandling the economy, and that their candidate is the better leader to shepherd the country to recovery.

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