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Gen-Z and Millennials ready to take on debt to celebrate end of pandemic



The pandemic was the strangest time. We spent most of it at home, ordering in instead of dining out, relying on Netflix and Disney+ for entertainment, turning into gardeners and bakers and using Zoom for all our social needs. We decreased our credit card debt while on it.

After over a year of such existence, it’s no wonder that many can’t wait to get out and live their best post-pandemic life.

Now that the world if finally opening up, it’s a perfect time to splurge—to book that trip you’ve dreamed about all through the pandemic; to buy new outfits after having worn pajamas and yoga pants like they’re business casual; to go to the movies, shows, baseball games…

There’s just one catch: All this can get quite expensive.

This, however, doesn’t seem to bother young Americans. More than half of millennials and Gen Zers don’t mind getting into debt to fully enjoy the end of the pandemic.

Read on to learn what they’re planning to spend on and how you can celebrate the world opening up without hurting your finances.

56 percent of Gen Zers and 59 percent of millennials don’t mind post-pandemic debt

Travel fever is real. After over a year of being stuck in one place, many of us are yearning to travel and go out to have fun.

According to a survey by, 56 percent of Gen Zers and 59 percent of millennials are willing to go into credit card debt to celebrate the end of the pandemic.

And travel is the number one category they’re planning to spend more in. Thirty-eight percent of millennials and 39 percent of Gen Zers said they’re expecting to spend more on travel in the second half of 2021.

Unsurprisingly, another popular category is out-of-home entertainment, with 36 percent of Gen-Zers and 34 percent of millennials planning to spend more on things like movie theaters, concerts and sporting events.

The third most common category for expected spending is clothing and accessories, with 34 percent of Gen Zers and 33 percent of millennials ready to invest more in new outfits in the second half of 2021.

The two younger generations are showing their willingness to up their post-pandemic spending across the board—more so than all other generations. Other popular spending categories among millennials and Gen Zers include bars and restaurants, home renovations, physical fitness (gym memberships, workout classes and other expenses of that kind) and car purchases and maintenance.

To sum up, young Americans want to go out and travel and look amazing while doing so. They want it so much that debt doesn’t seem like such a bad idea anymore.

It’s a dangerous notion. Of course, it’s exciting that life is mostly back to normal, but is it worth putting your financial health in jeopardy?

Fortunately, there are ways to protect your budget and still enjoy all the fun the newly open world offers.

Budgeting for post-pandemic discretionary spending

It can be easy to get carried away catching up on the things you’ve been missing during the coronavirus crisis.

I’m feeling this too: I’ve gone on one trip, and it felt so good, the post-travel hangover is intolerable. I’m clutching my credit cards telling myself not to book my next three trips all at once.

Yet, if I did that, I’d get into debt. Luckily, the thought of owing money is still terrifying enough to me to avoid this kind of overspending.

Does it mean I’m not going on those three trips? Definitely not. I’m just going to take a deep breath and think of smarter strategies to make them happen.

Here’s what those strategies are.

Reviewing your budget

Your pandemic budget might have looked different with increased grocery spending, streaming subscriptions and a lot of room left from things you weren’t able to do during this time. Now is the perfect time to revisit your budget or create one if you haven’t yet.

Think of the categories you’re most excited to spend in and determine how much of your paycheck you can allocate to them, as well as which other expenses you can cut. Then, make sure to stick to your new budget.

Sometimes, that will mean stopping yourself from buying another pair of jeans or saving up for bigger purchases. It doesn’t sound fun, but believe me, credit card debt is even less exciting. And if you really want that pair of jeans, you’ll probably still want it next month when you can fit it in your budget.

Saving for travel and big purchases

If you haven’t been saving money during the pandemic, it’s never too late to start. Whether you’re planning a vacation or considering a big purchase, it’s best to save up enough money first. That way, you won’t have to worry about getting into debt.

Saving can require some patience. But haven’t you waited enough being stuck at home for over a year? That’s an understandable sentiment, and you deserve to treat yourself. But the treat is that much sweeter when you don’t have to pay interest on it.

Picking the right credit card

Yes, I’m suggesting you get a credit card, but hear me out. I’m not telling you to get it to put yourself in debt and lose money to interest.

What I’m saying is, credit cards can help fund your post-pandemic wants without making you worry about APR.

The first type of credit card I want to suggest are 0 percent APR credit cards. They offer a zero-interest promotional period (usually between 12 and 18 months), during which you can take your time paying off the balance without worrying about accruing interest. This is a good option for large purchases—just make sure you pay the card off in full before the promo period ends. Otherwise, you’ll be responsible for APR charges.

As for post-pandemic travel, a good travel credit card can be your best friend. A generous welcome bonus can pay for a big chunk of your vacation. For example, The Platinum Card® from American Express is currently offering a 100,000-point bonus for spending $6,000 in the first six months. That’s up to $1,000 when redeemed through American Express Travel, but you can stretch your points even further if you transfer them to one of Amex’s partners.

Or, if the $695 annual fee on the Amex Platinum seems too high, there’s even a more exciting welcome offer from Chase. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is currently offering a jaw-dropping 100,000-point bonus worth $1,250 toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The spend requirement is $4,000 in the first three months, and the card has a much more reasonable annual fee of $95.

The bottom line

Many young people are ready to experience the post-pandemic world and aren’t afraid to get into credit card debt if that’s what it takes.

Returning to normalcy, however, doesn’t have to hurt your finances.

Be strategic about your discretionary spending. Make room for it in your budget, save as much as you can for big purchases and take advantage of credit cards that can help you save and avoid interest.

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Are Sallie Mae Student Loans Federal or Private?



When you hear the name Sallie Mae, you probably think of student loans. There’s a good reason for that; Sallie Mae has a long history, during which time it has provided both federal and private student loans.

However, as of 2014, all of Sallie Mae’s student loans are private, and its federal loans have been sold to another servicer. Here’s what to know if you have a Sallie Mae loan or are considering taking one out.

What is Sallie Mae?

Sallie Mae is a company that currently offers private student loans. But it has taken a few forms over the years.

In 1972, Congress first created the Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA) as a private, for-profit corporation. Congress gave SLMA, commonly called “Sallie Mae,” the status of a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) to support the company in its mission to provide stability and liquidity to the student loan market as a warehouse for student loans.

However, in 2004, the structure and purpose of the company began to change. SLMA dissolved in late December of that year, and the SLM Corporation, or “Sallie Mae,” was formed in its place as a fully private-sector company without GSE status.

In 2014, the company underwent another big adjustment when Sallie Mae split to form Navient and Sallie Mae. Navient is a federal student loan servicer that manages existing student loan accounts. Meanwhile, Sallie Mae continues to offer private student loans and other financial products to consumers. If you took out a student loan with Sallie Mae prior to 2014, there’s a chance that it was a federal student loan under the now-defunct Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).

At present, Sallie Mae owns 1.4 percent of student loans in the United States. In addition to private student loans, the bank also offers credit cards, personal loans and savings accounts to its customers, many of whom are college students.

What is the difference between private and federal student loans?

When you’re seeking financing to pay for college, you’ll have a big choice to make: federal versus private student loans. Both types of loans offer some benefits and drawbacks.

Federal student loans are educational loans that come from the U.S. government. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, there are four types of federal student loans available to qualified borrowers.

With federal student loans, you typically do not need a co-signer or even a credit check. The loans also come with numerous benefits, such as the ability to adjust your repayment plan based on your income. You may also be able to pause payments with a forbearance or deferment and perhaps even qualify for some level of student loan forgiveness.

On the negative side, most federal student loans feature borrowing limits, so you might need to find supplemental funding or scholarships if your educational costs exceed federal loan maximums.

Private student loans are educational loans you can access from private lenders, such as banks, credit unions and online lenders. On the plus side, private student loans often feature higher loan amounts than you can access through federal funding. And if you or your co-signer has excellent credit, you may be able to secure a competitive interest rate as well.

As for drawbacks, private student loans don’t offer the valuable benefits that federal student borrowers can enjoy. You may also face higher interest rates or have a harder time qualifying for financing if you have bad credit.

Are Sallie Mae loans better than federal student loans?

In general, federal loans are the best first choice for student borrowers. Federal student loans offer numerous benefits that private loans do not. You’ll generally want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and review federal funding options before applying for any type of private student loan — Sallie Mae loans included.

However, private student loans, like those offered by Sallie Mae, do have their place. In some cases, federal student aid, grants, scholarships, work-study programs and savings might not be enough to cover educational expenses. In these situations, private student loans may provide you with another way to pay for college.

If you do need to take out private student loans, Sallie Mae is a lender worth considering. It offers loans for a variety of needs, including undergrad, MBA school, medical school, dental school and law school. Its loans also feature 100 percent coverage, so you can find funding for all of your certified school expenses.

With that said, it’s always best to compare a few lenders before committing. All lenders evaluate income and credit score differently, so it’s possible that another lender could give you lower interest rates or more favorable terms.

The bottom line

Sallie Mae may be a good choice if you’re in the market for private student loans and other financial products. Just be sure to do your research upfront, as you should before you take out any form of financing. Comparing multiple offers always gives you the best chance of saving money.

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Tips to do some fall cleaning on your finances



Wealth manager, Harry Abrahamsen, has five simple ways to stay on top of the big financial picture.

PORTLAND, Maine — Keeping track of our financial stability is something we can all do, whether we have IRAs or 401ks or just a checking account. Harry J. Abrahamsen is the Founder of Abrahamsen Financial Group. He works with clients to create and grow their own wealth. Abrahamsen shares five financial tips, starting with knowing what you have. 

1. Analyze Your Finances Quarterly or Biannually

You want to make sure that your long-term strategy is congruent with your short-term strategy. If the short-term is not working out, you may need to adjust what you are doing to make sure your outcome produces the desired results you are looking to accomplish. It is just like setting sail on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. You know where you want to go and plot your course, but there are many factors that need to be considered to actually get you across and across safely. Your finances behave the exact same way. Check your current situation and make sure you are taking into consideration all of the various wealth-eroding factors that can take you completely off course.

With interest rates very low, now might be a good time to consider refinancing student loans or mortgages, or consolidating credit card debt. However, do so only if you need to or if you can create a positive cash flow. To ensure that you are saving the most by doing so, you must look at current payments, excluding taxes and insurance costs. This way you can do an apples-to-apples comparison.

The most important things to look for when reviewing your credit report is accuracy. Make sure the reporting agencies are reporting things actuary. If it doesn’t appear to be reporting correct and accurate information, you should consult with a reputable credit repair company to help you fix the incorrect information.

4. Savings and Retirement Accounts

The most important thing to consider when reviewing your savings and retirement accounts is to make sure the strategies match your short-term and long-term investment objectives. All too often people end up making decisions one at a time, at different times in their lives, with different people, under different circumstances. Having a sound strategy in place will allow you to view your finances with a macro-economic lens vs a micro-economic view. Stay the course and adjust accordingly from a risk and tax standpoint.

RELATED: Financial lessons learned through the pandemic

A great tip for lowering utility bills or car insurance premiums: Simply ask! There may be things you are not aware of that could save you hundreds of dollars every month. You just need to call all of the companies that you do business with to find out about cost-cutting strategies. 

RELATED: Overcome your fear of finances

To learn more about Abrahamsen Financial, click here

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How to Get a Loan Even with Bad Credit



Sana pwedeng mabura ang bad credit history as quickly and easily as paying off your utility bills, ‘no? Unfortunately, it takes time. And bago mo pa maayos ang bad credit mo, more often than not, kailangan mo na namang mag-avail ng panibagong loan. 

Good thing you can still get a loan even with bad credit, kahit na medyo limited ang options. How do you get a loan if you have bad credit? Alamin sa short guide na ito. 

For more finance tips, visit Moneymax.



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