Connect with us


Wealth Educator Sunshine Smith-Williams Launches Academy To Equip Youth In Financial Literacy



We live in a world where it’s touted that knowledge is power. However, the truth is, applied knowledge is power.

This is one of the missions of serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and community activist, Sunshine Smith-Williams. As a financial instructor, the pandemic caused her to postpone implementing her wealth education curriculums for NYC school districts. The attempt to resume with Zoom sessions didn’t work due to constant connectivity issues. The students were given the opportunity to learn at their own pace and upon completion of the course was awarded a certificate. We recently caught up with Sunshine to talk about financial literary, advocacy, and how we can continue to equip our communities for wealth empowerment.

Talk to us about your new youth academy that was recently launched?

Yes, we launched on August 1, 2021. I couldn’t believe that over 1,500 people enrolled. I didn’t want the academy to only offer courses to the youth, so we expanded the courses to everyone seeking to learn financial literacy.

We have courses such as understanding cryptocurrency, commodities and trading. I created that course because after making millions from real estate before the 2008 recession, I never assumed investing in bitcoin would be so lucrative. From digital investments, my wallet has a value of over 4 million dollars. How could I hoard this life-changing information? I grew up in the hardcore projects, and although my physical body resided there, my mind wanted so much more. Therefore, I refuse to keep any information that can change a person’s income and outcome. Statistically, with more resources, there is less crime.

Furthermore, business owners mainly struggle in their first year due to the lack of capital as I have on a few occasions. Prior to SBA loans, my financial firm offered services on how to establish business credit. Through my online academy it is now a self-paced course. Other courses include learning the process of protecting your private information from dark webs, and websites that share your information. In the height of identity theft, I felt that course was justified. Also for many seeking additional trades, we added how to start your own credit repair business.

You invest a lot of time, energy and resources in our youth generation. Can you share more about what drives this passion?

I often tell people “Be the person you wish you had when you were younger.” The person I needed as a teen was a financial educator, educating me on how money worked, how to invest, manage and save it. How to utilize credit and how to balance checkbooks. I always had ambition but often asked myself what the use was of making money aside from squandering it if I didn’t know how to manage or invest it. My passion has always been my purpose. My drive comes from wanting others to feel financial freedom, having the independence to feel in charge of their own life and owning the opportunity to improve, grow and become more capable.

As a successful boss lady, you inspire people of all ages but especially our young girls—what ways do you use your influence to send them positive messages?

I often tell them (and women in general), I went through it so you didn’t have to. My life went from rags to riches but I endured a lot of pain during the process. Even lost my freedom. Unhealed pain turns into trauma but with healing it becomes wisdom. Don’t let your past define you. Establish a set of values. Be humble. Read. Think before you act. What doesn’t respect you, doesn’t deserve you, and lastly, your dreams and goals are connected to your purpose and your passion is connected to what makes you happy.

You also work diligently with bringing our culture financial literacy, awareness, education—what is you and your husband’s philosophy and strategy on wealth building?

Our philosophy and strategy on wealth building is invest, manage, borrow, and protect. The strategy in my community of South Jamaica, Queens, NY, however, is a different approach. A major key in our communities is that if you are not a Black-owned business it is important to employ children from the community. I have seen many times that other races will not employ kids from the community. Not on my watch! If they don’t employ a kid from the community then their business will fail because no one will support them. By employing the youth from the neighborhood, you are giving back. The business owners are held accountable. Withdrawing from our community with no return is unfair and not tolerable for community leaders like myself.

You are purchasing land for your son—that’s quite remarkable. Talk about training our children now so that they can have the proper mindset and experience to receive the legacies that will be left to them for management and stewardship.

Yes! Buy land, they’re not making any more. The Trust purchased land for my son. It is important when diversifying your children’s portfolio you make these decisions and protect all assets under a trust fund.

By being taught about financial risks, children will be better versed to avoid financial debt and bankruptcy in the future. They may be more inclined to plan for events in the future, such as saving for rainy day funds, investing in home ownership, land, or putting aside money for retirement.

How can others help with joining some of your advocacy initiatives?

For the homeless shelters, visit

For youth advocacy, visit

Follow the Instagram pages for bulletins on community advocacy @investing_in_us @sunnymoneyqueens


Source link

Continue Reading


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.

Learn more:

Source link

Continue Reading


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

Source link

Continue Reading


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.



Source link

Continue Reading