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SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

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How to Stay Focused on School Despite the Debt That’s Coming

More than 44 million borrowers collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the United States. Looking at these numbers more specifically, the average student loan balance is around $34,000.

And student loan balances have a ripple effect—they’re now impacting borrower’s financial decisions after college, including deciding whether to save for retirement or put away money for a house down payment.

If you are one of the millions who have taken out student loans for your college education, you may be worried about how to stay focused in college classes with this debt looming over your shoulder. It’s an understandable concern, of course—it can be difficult to focus on Creative Writing 201 when you’re busy calculating how much you’ll need to take out in student loans next year. Nonetheless, here are some tips to help you keep calm and stay focused on school.

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15 Fun Mother’s Day Activities

Mother’s Day often includes breakfast in bed, flowers, or brunch with mimosas and a lovely gift. But this year, why not change things up a bit with an entire day that’s no work, all fun, and all about Mom. There are tons of fun things to do on Mother’s Day, ranging from traditional gifts and cards to experiences to a nice long nap.

Whether you’re planning something for your own mother, partner, daughter, or other moms in your life, one way to make the day memorable and thoughtful is to be on the lookout for clues to make it her best day ever.

Does she want to see a new movie or wish she had time to get her nails and hair done, or go for a hike? Maybe there’s a local festival she’s mentioned in passing, a winery she’s always wanted to visit, or a book she’s been dying to read.

Here’s a list of fun Mother’s Day ideas that can include the whole family, but are all about Mom.

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What to Do About Student Loans if You Get Laid Off

Getting laid off can send your finances into a tailspin, especially if the pink slip comes without much notice. Whether you are facing temporary unemployment, or are having trouble finding a full-time position for a while, it’s important to think about how you will handle your student loans during this period so that you don’t go into default.

While it’s certainly scary to suddenly be without a job, layoffs are pretty common. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, every year about 21 million Americans lose their jobs due to layoffs and discharges.

If you recently got laid off and are suddenly scrambling to pay your bills, you may wish to consider income-driven repayment plans for your federal student loans or student loan forbearance. Loan forbearance allows the borrower to temporarily stop making payments, or at least reduce the payment amount for a specific timeframe, and can apply under many circumstances, not just unemployment.

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Your April Monthly Market Commentary

April Showers: It Rained IPOs (Plus, Blockbuster Flicks, Streaming and More!)

The ol’ adage about April showers certainly came to fruition this past month, especially in terms of IPOs. A bunch of consumer brands went public and there was a sense of excitement in the financial world that we haven’t seen in quite some time.

Personally, I’ll be pumped when literal raindrops stop falling on my head here in not-so-sunny SF, but that’s another story. (In reality, “Karl” is much easier to manage—yep, the fog in SF indeed has a name and a sassy Twitter account ).

Another juicy IPO for San Franciscans is that of Beyond Meat. The plant-based meat startup IPO’d Thursday morning with its initial public offering at $25/share , which implies a market valuation of $1.46 billion. You don’t need to be vegan to give that a look.

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4 Summer Splurges that May Not Be Worth It

Summer is almost here and the long, lazy days are in full swing. The hazy heat and extra sunlight are cause for celebration. Days spent cooling off at the beach or pool and summer nights spent enjoying time with friends and family—is there anything better?

All of the summer fun can lead to some serious spending, though. It can be easy for summer to feel like the season of perpetual vacation, treating yourself to iced lattes and trips to the local ice cream stand.

When your friends are frequenting rooftop happy hour and splurging on tickets to outdoor concerts, it can be difficult to reign in your spending. The fear of missing out can make it easier for people to spend money on things they don’t actually want or need. One recent study found that of the 1,045 participants aged 18 to 34, nearly 40% said they had gone into debt to keep up with their friend’s lifestyles.

Especially in today’s social media obsessed world, it can be easy to feel left out when you’re sitting at your desk envious of a Facebook friend’s trip to Fiji. One of the biggest drivers of consumer behavior is social comparison.

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