SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

15 Top States Where Professionals with Student Debt Own Homes

Many SoFi members choose to invest in themselves as homeowners while still paying down student debt. It’s a natural extension of the way they invested in themselves as professionals with top-flight educations and advanced degrees. Now, some of the hottest real estate markets in the nation are drawing them. From MBAs in Illinois and computer scientists in Oregon to lawyers in Texas, SoFi members are becoming homeowners just about everywhere you look.

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How America’s Student Debt Crisis Affects The Country’s Largest Corporations

With the rise of millennials and Generation Z grads, the workforce is rapidly changing. Young, educated professionals bring a lot to employers for sure—like energy, enthusiasm, and a thirst for innovation. But these days, they also come with some financial baggage: high levels of student loan debt. That debt can be crippling and distracting, and on top of that, it’s also an obstruction to both short- and long-term financial goals.

It’s no secret that organizations directly feel the impact of the hardship. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) 2016 Employee Financial Wellness Report, 28% of 1,600 full-time U.S. employees surveyed admit that personal finances cause them to be distracted at work—up from 20% in 2015. Among those workers, 46% spend three or more hours a week, while at work, dealing with or thinking about their financial situations, compared to 37% in the previous year. Yet few HR teams are taking steps to address the problem effectively and help their employees—and their company’s ROI.

In this first part of our new series on employee wellness, recruitment, and engagement, we at SoFi want to provide actionable insights on how to better understand the financial burden of student loan debt that these employees face, and what to do to help ease the pressure through financial assistance, education, training, and support.

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A Visual History of Cash, From Beads to Bitcoin

How did we get from counting wealth in beads and shells to buying a car with a thumbprint? The nature of money is constantly changing, and the way we earn, store, and spend it changes too.

One constant is that money exists to help us move value from point A to point B, without having to haul heavy trade goods around. That’s why the ancients came up with a money system as soon as they had enough valuable items to store and sell. “An entire warehouse of olive oil, beer, or wheat could be reduced in value to an easily transported ingot of gold or silver,” writes Jack Weatherford in The History Of Money.

A complete history of money around the world takes up several books (we’ve got the reading list below to prove it), but here are some highlights from millennia of monetary innovation to enjoy and share.

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How to choose a new neighborhood when home buying

How to Tell If You’ve Outgrown Your Neighborhood—and Where to Go Next

There comes a turning point in every renter’s life, where that neighborhood you loved when you moved in just doesn’t feel right anymore. It happens—sometimes the community surrounding your home changes, and isn’t quite as sweet as when you first moved in. But more often than not, as life goes on, careers advance, families grow, and finances improve, it’s less about the neighborhood transforming, and more about your own priorities shifting for what you want out of an area.

While you may have once reveled in the fact that your neighborhood boasted plenty of hotspots just outside your front door, you may now yearn for a quieter, more family-focused locale so that you can start your own. Better yet, as your career has blossomed—along with your salary—it may be time to upgrade to a larger place with more of your “wish-list” items in an area, where you’ll be surrounded by up-and-comers just like you. After all, home buying isn’t just about falling in love with a house, securing a mortgage, and making that square footage your own; it’s also about finding the perfect neighborhood that works for you today and tomorrow.

If it’s time to assess whether you’ve outgrown your neighborhood, here are the questions to ask yourself:

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6 Steps to Improving Personal Cash Flow, So You Can Be Like Your Own CFO

Picture this: It’s the end of the month, you’ve paid all your bills, and even had a little fun. You’ve made ends meet, as you always do, but your savings account isn’t growing and there’s nothing left to fund an emergency should one arise. Sound familiar? If you’re just breaking even—or worse, excess spending (spending more money than you’re taking in)—you’ve got a personal cash flow problem.

Maybe you’ve been living this way for a while, and it now feels normal. But here’s the deal: Without a positive cash flow (meaning you earn more than you spend), it’s hard to get ahead financially. Until you’re in the black, you could be shut out of good financial opportunities—including getting low interest rates on personal loans, or a mortgage loan, or even student loan refinancing. You’re also missing out on the money you could be earning by investing what you save.

The good news is, it’s possible to turn that around. You’re the Chief Financial Officer of your life, so it’s up to you to learn exactly how to improve your monthly cash flow. It will take some work, but by increasing your income and lowering your expenses—both fixed (rent, utilities, and car payments), and discretionary (entertainment and clothing)—you can make dramatic shifts in your financial life. Follow this six-step plan, and you’ll see your monthly cash flow move from negative to positive even faster than you’d expect.

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