SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

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6 Questions to Ask Before Doing a Home Remodel

Home sweet home hasn’t been looking so sweet lately. Maybe you spend your days fantasizing about a kitchen any professional chef would dream of. Or perhaps you want to soak your worries away in a brand spanking new bathtub in your freshly tiled bathroom.

Your home is a sacred space, but it might take a little work—and money—to make your home feel that way. Whether you’re working on a fixer upper or want to give your home a mini-makeover, here are six home renovation questions to consider asking yourself before you launch into a remodel. Thinking about these questions out before you start home improvements could potentially save you a lot of time, money, and stress!

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student on graduation

Are You a Go-Getter? Ways to Be Successful in College & Beyond

College can be a blast—dinners in the dining hall, late-night gab sessions with the roommates, and weekend parties with the crew. It is an exciting time for self-exploration and learning.

As a college student, you might have more freedom than you’ve ever had before. No parents checking in to make sure your homework is finished or telling you to go to bed and get a good night’s rest. It’s really all up to you. While this transition can be challenging, college can also be a chance for you to grow in your independence.

Oftentimes, the skills you learn in college will be invaluable as you enter the real world—and isn’t that why you’re going to college in the first place? The work you put in during your college career could even lay the foundation for your future success.

So, what do college students need to be successful? There’s no one single guide for how to be successful in college, but these tips could help you make the most of your college years.

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women at hotel front desk

Hotel Fees: What Could You Be Paying For?

During the summer of 2019, two different attorneys general—from Washington, D.C. and Nebraska—filed lawsuits against two large hotel chains, Hilton (Hilton Dopco Inc.) and Marriott International, Inc., accusing them of charging hidden hotel resort fees. Although the lawsuits are not identical, they’re similar in their language, with each calling these hotel fees “deceptive and misleading.”

These types of fees vary by location and by the amenities and services they cover. For example, some hotels charge guests for Wi-Fi access, gym access, newspapers, in-room safes, even bottled water—whether these amenities are used or not.

At the heart of the lawsuits against Hilton and Marriott is the allegation that these hotel resort fees are not included in room rates published online, which makes it challenging for people to compare rates.

Hotel guests typically aren’t aware of these fees until after they have started booking—a practice called drip pricing—and, according to the lawsuits, these practices violate laws put into place to protect consumers.

So, what fees should a hotel guest expect to see on their bill? What do they actually cover? Which of these hotel fees should be questioned?

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Breaking Down Pete Buttigieg’s Position on Student Debt

In our efforts to bring you the latest updates on things that might impact your financial life, we may occasionally enter the political fray, covering candidates, bills, laws and more. Please note: SoFi does not endorse or take official positions on any candidates and the bills they may be sponsoring or proposing. We may occasionally support legislation that we believe would be beneficial to our members, and will make sure to call it out when we do. Our reporting otherwise is for informational purposes only, and shouldn’t be construed as an endorsement.

What does it mean for a millennial to run for President of the United States? In the case of Pete Buttigieg, the current mayor of South Bend, Indiana, it means a candidate who is passionate about the country’s student loan crisis.

And why shouldn’t he be? Like so many college graduates of his generation, Buttigieg has a significant amount of student loan debt. He is personally affected by the issue.

Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, have a combined total of over $130,000 in student loan debt. Buttigieg says he received his undergraduate degree from Harvard without taking on too much debt, and he received a Rhodes Scholarship to attend graduate school at Oxford University.

However, Chasten accumulated a good bit of debt by obtaining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and by attending teacher training programs in preparation to become a middle school teacher. When they got married, Buttigieg took on Chasten’s debt–and it’s no small amount.

If elected, Buttigieg could be the first President with student loan debt upon entering the Oval Office. It only makes sense that he has a plan to address the issue.

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Grounded planes

Will Boeing’s Flight Grounding Affect Your Holiday Travel?

You know that blessed moment when you board an airplane and realize you have the entire row to yourself? Probably not going to happen this upcoming holiday season.

Due to the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max airliners, there were about 41 million fewer airplane seats throughout the summer, and shortages may carry through the winter.

After two airplane crashes that killed 346 people on board in Indonesia and Ethiopia in October 2018 and March 2019, respectively, airline regulators grounded all Boeing 737 Max airliners—the new model of Boeing airplane involved in both crashes.

This decision came as a major shock for some US airlines, like United, American, and Southwest, and affected plenty of international carriers as well. Airlines using (and planning to use) the new model had to make major adjustments—and fast.

Immediately, airlines reacted by canceling flights. They rearranged routes and unretired old planes without knowing when the 737 Max would be ready for use.

Along with the airlines, interested travelers are waiting on the latest news. With the Boeing 737 Max grounded, what can travelers expect this upcoming holiday season? Here’s how to know whether you’ll be affected, and how to deal if you are.

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