09/17/2020

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SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

friends at dinner table

Should You Talk About Money at the Friendsgiving Table?

So you brought the cranberry sauce and Mom’s famous stuffing—but is it wrong to also bring your financial woes to the table?

Financial topics feel loaded. Revealing how much money you make or how much you have saved can feel a bit heavy to discuss at the dinner table. And being the first person to broach the subject is like playing a hypersensitive game of Operation. One wrong move and chaos erupts.

Despite the risks, talking about money with friends may be something worth considering. You talk to your friends about everything else, right? Before you dig into your debt alongside the pumpkin pie, let’s examine the pros and cons of talking money with friends.

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mother with children outside house

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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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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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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Caitlin Boston SoFi member

How One SoFi Member Paid Off More Than $222,000 in Student Debt

The member’s experience below is not a typical member representation. While her story is extraordinary and inspirational, not all members should expect the same results.

What do a simple question, a tropical rainforest, and a shiny purple catsuit have in common? For SoFi member Caitlin Boston, they’re all part of the story that helped her pay off more than $222,000 in student loan debt.

This unconventional tale begins back in 2009, after Boston had earned two bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and American studies from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in social psychology from Cambridge.

Like many other recent graduates, Boston knew her student loan payments would start coming due. But what she didn’t know was just how high those numbers would be.

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