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SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

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How to Ask for Student Loan Money for the Holidays This Year

Houses are adorned with festive decorations, busy shoppers are filling the stores, crossing items off of their shopping list—the holidays are here. It’s a time full of family, friends, traditions, and new memories.

Unfortunately for the millions of Americans facing the hefty burden of student loan debt, the joy of the holiday season can be overshadowed by the stress and anxiety that can come with making student loan payments during the holidays.

The average student in the class of 2017 graduated from college with $32,731 in student loan debt. If you’re a parent or family member looking for good gifts for millennials this holiday season, you may want to consider making a student loan payment on his or her behalf.

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7 Purchases To Make at a Local Business

You may have missed Small Business Saturday, but you really don’t need an excuse to shop at locally owned businesses. The fact is, supporting small businesses is a great thing to do. It stimulates your local economy. If you’re spending money at your local coffee shop, your money is benefitting someone in your community. What’s more, your money is going to a business that might need to make a sale more than the department store down the street.

In the age of Amazon, it can be easier to click and purchase things online, but it’s also important to support your local community. Who wants their downtown to be tumbleweeds? Supporting your local businesses can help reinvigorate your city or keep your town thriving. Well, here’s a list of great products to pick up at your favorite small business, as well as a few ways to finance those purchases.

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How to Choose the Right Charity

Donating to a good cause can be one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences when it comes to personal finances. But, how do you know your money is actually going to help? While the goal of charitable giving is to do good, choosing a charity can be daunting.

As is always the case when money is involved, you want to apply some strategic thinking, in this case, to ensure that your donation is going to a cause and organization that feel right for you.

There are so many worthy charities in need of funding that chwoosing just one can be a difficult task. We’ve compiled some tips to make the charity evaluation process a little easier and help you feel confident about your decision. And don’t forget to talk to a tax professional about how to deduct charitable contributions.

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Paying Yourself First: How to Prioritize Saving before Other Priorities

Monthly expenses add up quickly; including rent or a mortgage payment, car payments, student loan payments, and more. You routinely pay these bills each month, and then, almost as an afterthought, you try to figure out what’s left over to save for a rainy day or invest for financial growth. The concept of paying yourself first shakes up that routine.

When you pay yourself first, your top priority is to put a predetermined amount of money into personal savings and investment accounts. Depending on your expenses and income, the amount you save will vary.

When you focus on investing in your own financial wellbeing first, it helps to ensure your discretionary spending doesn’t cut into your financial growth. When you make paying yourself first a priority, it often makes sense to set up automatic transfers from your paycheck to your savings or investment account. If you’re ready to make yourself and your financial future a priority, these tips and strategies could help.

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How to Manage Your Holiday Credit Card Debt

Maintaining a budget is hard at any time of year, but when the winter holiday season is on the horizon, and the time has come for gifts to be purchased, decorations to be pulled out and updated, and parties to be thrown and attended, budgeting can easily and quickly fall by the wayside.

While it’s no big deal to swap a restaurant meal for a home-cooked dinner during the year, it can feel like your best laid plans go to waste once Thanksgiving hits. Between holiday celebrations, extra treats for coworkers, travel plans, and more, it’s easy to see how, for Americans, the average Christmas debt is around $1,054.

The scariest part? While more than half of the respondents to a MagnifyMoney survey said they would pay down the debt in three months or less, around 30% said they would need five months or more to pay off the holiday debt on their credit card.

In order to avoid being part of that statistic—and avoid interest rates that could haunt you well into 2019—here are some budgeting tips as well as tips for how to manage credit card debt.

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