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The Advantages of Online Personal Loans

Personal loan balances have nearly doubled from 2006 to 2018 . While getting approved for a personal loan can be cumbersome and time-consuming, the process has also vastly improved since 2006.

Online personal loans have made these loans more accessible, because they often come with competitive rates and a streamlined application process that can be accomplished from your couch.

These advantages are very appealing to consumers who may have previously had trouble getting a traditional bank loan for the purposes of consolidating credit card debt (to pay it off at a lower interest rate), or funding a large purchase like a wedding or home improvements.

Generally, online lenders offer unsecured personal loans, which means they don’t need to be backed by collateral, such as real estate or business equipment. This isn’t always the case, so it’s always worth shopping around to find the bank—online or brick and mortar—that offers the best loan for your needs. Here’s how to know where to start on the search for a personal loan.

Pros of Online Lending

Competitive Rates

Online lenders are typically able to offer competitive rates because, unlike many big banks, they don’t have thousands of physical bank branches to run. However, some online lenders may try to generate profits via extra fees. When shopping around, be sure to consider all fees when calculating the cost of the loan, including origination fees and closing costs.

SoFi also offers adjustable rate loans that may offer even lower rates than a fixed rate loan. Because adjustable rate loans can result in more interest down the road if rates go up, adjustable rate loans may be a great option if you are in a position to pay back your loan quickly.


Online lenders generally want to disrupt traditional banking, because big banks largely let people down when they need quick access to capital or a streamlined application process that can be done from anywhere. Some online lenders are able to approve personal loan applications within a period as short as a week and minimal hassle.

Different Criteria

Most bank lenders, online or otherwise, require you have good credit to take out an unsecured personal loan. But some online lenders can give credit scores less credence than others, focusing on other markers of financial health such as cash flow and employment history. While most traditional banks will also look at your income and financial history, they generally still prefer to loan to those with excellent credit scores.

Other Perks

Lenders are usually competing for the best customers, and so they’re offering more perks to those their customers. For example, SoFi offers its members Unemployment Protection , where your loan can be put on hold in the event you lose your job through no fault of your own. Even better, we offer career coaching to help you find a new job.

Pros of Traditional Banks

There are Physical Bank Branches

This one is pretty obvious, but if you feel best working with a live, in-person body, then a traditional bank or a credit union is probably ideal. If you have a great, long-standing relationship with your bank or credit union, it may work more in your favor to get a personal loan quote from them; relationships can matter, even in banking.

May Be Easier to Find a Specific Loan Type

If you need a significant loan, it may make more sense to work with a traditional lender that specifically handles the specific type of loan you’re after. For example, if you need a business loan, personal loans cannot be used for business expenses, so you might be better off applying for a small business loan with a traditional bank.

Access to a Line of Credit

A line of credit is different from a personal loan; it is similar to a credit card, where you spend only what you need, and there isn’t an established term, or payoff timeline.

A line of credit allows you to access a set amount of money when you need it—but you don’t have to use all of it. You can use only a portion if you prefer, and you generally only have to pay interest on the portion you actually use. That’s why it might be more appropriate for someone who has more sporadic credit needs.

Access to Secured Loans

It is sometimes possible to get a lower rate on a loan if you use your home or car as collateral. This is called a “secured” or “collateralized” loan, and it comes with additional risk; for example, the bank can seize your property if you fail to make payments.

No matter your goal for the money, it is in your best interest to shop around for the best rates and a personal loan that best serves your needs. The proliferation of online banks is no surprise—they provide consumers with more options.

Before you start your personal loan research, it’s a good idea to set a realistic budget so you can get a better sense of what you can afford and whether or not a personal loan makes sense.

Here’s a personal loan calculator you can use to become familiar with how different interest rates and loan lengths affect both your monthly payments and how much you could pay in interest over time.

Ready to see if a SoFi personal loan can help you achieve your next financial goal?

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website on credit.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.


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How to Avoid 401k Fees

As Bob Dylan so aptly put it, “The times they are a-changin’.” Gone are the days of starting and finishing your career with the same company. In previous generations, the chances of getting a job, and working at the same company for the entirety of your career were far more likely than today.

And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , most employees stay in the same job for only about four years.

While the increased job mobility has its benefits—it can be great for your annual salary—it could impact your 401k savings. When you leave your current employer, you’ll also have to deal with changes to your 401k plan. You’ll be responsible for paying any 401k fees associated with maintaining your account.

What most of us don’t realize is that these sneaky 401k fees can add up over time to hundreds of thousands of dollars and cut into our retirement savings.

The typical 401k plan charges a fee of 1% of assets managed. While that might not seem like a lot of money, it can easily add up to $100,000 or more over your lifetime—and that’s the amount on just one account. According to CNBC, “a 1% reduction in fees can add an additional 10 years to your retirement income.”

Consider this: If you’ve changed jobs multiple times, and each time leave your 401k plan with your former employer, then you are paying 401k fees on multiple accounts. In addition, your ex-employer might be charging you an administrative fee for the privilege of staying in the company’s 401k plan now that you are no longer an employee.

Perhaps then it’s not surprising that Federal Reserve’s 2017 Survey of Consumer Finances , finds that the typical couple nearing retirement will only receive $600 per month from their 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) combined.

If all this talk of hidden fees has you thinking that next time you switch jobs, you’ll just liquidate your account, think again. If you are under the age of 59 ½, early withdrawal penalties can throw a wrench in that plan. You’ll be taxed on that money as if it was ordinary income and there will most likely be to a 10% federal tax penalty.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid 401k fees. The next time you switch jobs, pay attention during your exit interview. Your human resources representative should go over your options for managing your 401k plan.

You aren’t required to keep your account with your former employer, and you won’t be forced to liquidate it. Instead you could transfer your 401k money by either rolling it into your new 401k plan with your next employer, or rolling it over into an IRA. Transferring a 401k is simple: It typically requires a phone call and some paperwork.

The benefit of setting up a separate account is that the next time you change jobs, you will automatically have somewhere to rollover your 401k. With your money in one place, you can easily see whether you are on track to reach your retirement goals.

If you rollover your 401k to a separate account or to your new employer’s 401k, you might find that over time you have more money in your retirement account, because the savings on fees will compound over time. The sooner you avoid sneaky fees, the better.

Before you decide where to move your 401k, here are some questions to ask yourself.

What Are Your Investment Choices?

In some ways, your 401k plan is only as good as its investment choices. While the average 401k plan offers 8-12 investment choices , many smaller employers may offer fewer options. While too many options may be overwhelming, it’s important that you have enough the opportunity to diversify your portfolio.

If your new employer’s 401k plan only offers a handful of investment options, consider starting a separate account for 401k transfers.

Are There Fees Associated with the Plan?

If you keep your retirement account in your former employer’s 401k plan, you’ll be charged a fee that will add up over time. Setting up an IRA account might cost you $50 or more a year in maintenance fees. On the other hand, you can look for a invest account that comes with no fees—and no strings attached.

How Easy Is It to Make Changes to My Account?

While you probably don’t want to change your investments every quarter without good reason, its a good idea to evaluate your investments at least once a year. In fact, your SoFi investment advisor will look at your account once a quarter to determine if it needs to be rebalanced. You can easily access your account online and through the SoFi app.

Setting Up Your New Retirement Account

If you plan to rollover your 401k plan, make sure the funds are being directly transferred from your old account to your new account. It’s usually not a good idea to take ownership of your retirement savings: Instead, you want to make the check out to administrators or guardians of the new account.

That means the check should not be made out in your name, otherwise the IRS will count it as income and charge you a penalty. If you need help rolling your old 401k into a SoFi Invest® account, we offer complimentary support from our team of financial advisors.

We can take a look at your current 401k plans and determine how much you are getting charged in management fees. Did you know that with SoFi Invest there are no management fees? Sign up for an appointment today to get started.

Thinking about rolling over your old 401k plan? Consider opening a SoFi Invest account and avoid the 401k fees.

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SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance.
This information isn’t financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on specific financial needs, goals and risk appetite.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

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Is Your Savings Account Interest Rate Low? Here’s What to Do.

To get the most value out of your money, it’s natural to want the lowest rates on the loans you take out and competitive savings account rates to grow your liquidity.

And which one of these two goals is easier to achieve depends upon current economic conditions—because savings and loan rates rise and fall in tandem. Right now, the bigger challenge may be to earn enough interest on a savings account—and we’re ready to tackle that challenge, sharing strategies to help you get the most for your money.

We’ll first share why savings account rates are so low, and how, in general, financial institutions set their savings and lending rates. We’ll also provide a four-part strategy to get the most from your money, ways to get savings rates, and how SoFi can be part of your strategy.

In fact, this post is one way we’re sharing a debuting product that will help you with your money in a new and highly practical way.

Why Are Savings Rates So Low?

Although, in theory, financial institutions have a significant amount of freedom to offer whatever rates they want on their savings products, it doesn’t really work that way. Here’s why: Financial institutions take in money as people deposit their funds in checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and so forth.

In return, the depositors often get interest on their money, while the financial institutions use funds from the deposits to lend out dollars to people who are approved for loans. The interest rates charged on the loans are higher than what is being paid out in interest for the various types of savings products.

Then, the difference in interest being charged and being paid out is used to help support the financial institution—paying salaries, building costs, equipment costs, and so forth. Financial institutions are also required to maintain a cushion of funds to ensure that people can have access to their money when needed.

This is a highly simplified overview of how money is managed at financial institutions, but it does illustrate the main point we’re making— that, while in theory, financial institutions can just increase savings rates, they actually some have pretty tight parameters to follow.

Federal Discount Rate and Federal Funds Rate

Rates, whether set for savings products or loans, aren’t randomly chosen. They depend significantly upon the rate that the Federal Reserve Bank charges when lending money to financial institutions. This rate is known as the Federal Discount Rate.

The Federal Reserve Bank also controls the rate at which banks can loan money to one another, and this is known as the Federal Funds Rate. This latter rate is usually a little bit lower than the Federal Discount Rate, which encourages banks to help one another out. When, however, some banks need more money, but other banks aren’t in a position to lend them the funds, the Federal Reserve then needs to make more funds available to the banks.

When the national economy is sluggish, the Federal Reserve usually lowers interest rates. That way, the lending of money among banks is further facilitated. If the economy is booming, the Federal Reserve typically raises the rates to control inflation.

Making the Most of Your Money

Armed with that knowledge, here is a high-level, four-part strategy that we recommend:

1. Reduce the interest rates you’re paying on your debts.
2. Pay off debts, both revolving (such as credit cards) and installment (such as personal loans, student loans and car loans, as three examples).
3. Build up an emergency savings account, about three to six months’ worth of living expenses, in an account with the best rate you can get. The goal is to keep this money in an account that offers easy liquidity, so you can access it when you need it.
4. Focus on growing your worth and wealth. Once you’ve got solid savings in place for emergencies and unanticipated expenses, then you can focus on boosting your wealth in investment vehicles that aren’t as liquid as a savings account. (That’s why we created SoFi Invest®.)

The rest of the post focuses on the first three parts of the strategy (since the goal is to help you build up your savings as a precursor to greater wealth building).

In the summer of 2018, the average credit card had an APR of 16.83% . So before trying to nudge your savings account interest rate up, create a plan to pay off these cards. To make that happen, including consolidating your credit card debt into a lower-interest personal loan. The third prong of this three-part foundation strategy, then, is to build up savings for emergencies. As you pay down debt, next increase the amount you’re saving.

But, now, how exactly do you get the best interest rate for your savings?

Finding the Best Savings Interest Rates

The internet makes it very easy to compare rates, so shop around. Note that, many times, financial institutions that offer the best rates are online only. That’s because their lower overhead costs allow them to pass some savings onto their customers.

When you find a high-interest savings account (or checking account, for that matter), take a look at the fine print. What conditions are attached for you to get that rate? The financial institution may require you to have a certain amount of money deposited into that account each month, maintain a certain balance or have your bills automatically deducted from it. You may need to use your debit card a predetermined number of times, as yet another example—or be limited in the number of transactions that can take place each month.

What About Certificates of Deposits?

Some people put part of their savings dollars into a certificate of deposit, also called a CD. This is a type of investment and savings product that typically offers a higher interest rate than the average savings account, but it isn’t as liquid as an actual savings account. With a CD, you agree to leave your money in the account for a certain term, and the interest rate you’re given is tied to that term.

The longer the term, the better the rate; but in today’s economy, you’ll probably need to tie up the money for a long period of time to get much of an increase in the interest rate. Plus, you wouldn’t be able to access money in a CD for an emergency unless you pay a penalty.

Once you have three to six months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency savings account, it does make sense to look for other ways to grow your money. But, you may want to choose short-term investments like bond ETFs instead, funds that invest in bonds that are due in three years or less.

Finally, here’s another strategy to consider.

Open a SoFi Money™ Account

SoFi Money is tailored to simplify your money. It is a cash management account that doesn’t have any account fees. With SoFi Money, you can save, spend, and earn all in one place.

Here are more benefits of SoFi Money:

•  No account fees (subject to change). We believe your money should earn you money, not cost you money.

•  You can also benefit from complementary career coaching, SoFi community resources and more, including some cool swag.

•  You’ll also receive a debit card, have the ability to make mobile transfers and photo check deposits, along with customer service.

•  Plus, you can count on secure SSL encryption, fraud protection, and FDIC insurance up to $1.5 million.

Ready to open a SoFi Money account? Sign up today!

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank. SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.

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Should You Open an IRA If You Already Have a 401k?

Sometimes the daily grind can overshadow long-term financial planning. But a great way to help prepare for your golden years relaxing and enjoying your hard-earned time off is to actively start saving for retirement.

If you’re already contributing to a 401k plan at work, you may be wondering if you should also contribute to an IRA. The short answer may well be “yes.” Contributing to multiple retirement accounts could help set you up for financial success in retirement.

This post will go beyond discussing if you can contribute to both, delving into whether it makes good sense for your financial wellbeing to do so. And if it does seem as though contributing to both dovetails with your current financial situation and long-term plans, what strategies should you take to get the most out of this dual contribution strategy?

The answer will largely depend upon two issues: Whether you have enough money to fully fund both, and how much 401k matching your employer offers.

Retirement Dreams

As you work your way through the nuts and bolts of retirement funding, it’s important to keep why you’re doing this at the forefront. Quality planning for retirement can help you to meet your lifestyle goals in your post-working years.

For some people, the idea of retiring early is attractive. If that’s true for you, factor that into your planning. Others plan to work into their 70s—but on their own terms, perhaps involving part-time hours, telecommuting, or consulting.

As you get started planning your retirement savings, it’s a good idea to determine the estimated age you can or would like to retire. There are plenty of resources available online, including SoFi’s retirement calculator to help you determine at what age you can retire.

Difference Between IRA and 401k Funds

Although both IRAs and 401ks are retirement savings accounts, there are some important differences. A 401k is an employer-sponsored retirement plan that allows both the employee and employer to contribute to the account. Often times, employers will offer matching contributions to 401k accounts up to a certain percentage point or dollar amount.

If your company offers a 401k option, it is worth taking advantage—after all, a matched contribution is essentially extra money for retirement at no cost to you. If you are self-employed, you can open a solo 401k , with similar guidelines to a traditional 401k.

IRAs are Individual Retirement Accounts that anyone can set up for themselves. There are two main types of IRAs: Traditional and Roth.

In a traditional IRA, the money you contribute is tax-exempt but you are taxed when you withdraw the money in retirement, at the income bracket you are in then. With a Roth IRA, you pay taxes up front at the income bracket you are in at the time of contribution. You are then able to withdraw the money without tax.

If you’re employer doesn’t offer a 410k plan, you may want to set up an IRA, either Traditional or Roth depending on your personal financial situation. Even if you are already contributing to a 401k, you may still want to think about opening an IRA.

Annual Contribution Limits: Traditional and Roth IRA vs. 401k

As step one, it’s important to know the maximum that you can invest in each. In October 2017, the IRS announced an increase in the 401k-contribution ceiling for the first time since 2015. The annual contribution limit was increased from $18,000 to $18,500. Catch-up contributions for employees over the age of 50 remained at an additional $6,000.

Contribution limits did not change in 2018 for traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs. They remain at $5,500 per person, with a catch-up contribution for people aged 50 and up staying at an additional $1,000.

Reframing Traditional/Roth IRA vs. 401(k)

Instead of investing in only an IRA or your company’s retirement plan, consider how you can blend the two into a powerful investment strategy. One reason this makes sense is that you can invest more into your retirement, with growth providing even more resources to fund your retirement dreams.

Since employers often match 401k contributions up to a certain percentage, this regularly boosts the principal of your fund and adds more fuel to the growth of your retirement fund. Every company is different, so check with your employer to determine their policy on matching 401k contributions.

One of the best things about an IRA is the flexibility you have when investing. With a 401k, you have limited options when it comes to investment funds. With an IRA, you’re able to decide what you’d like to invest in, whether it be stocks of choice, bonds, mutual funds, or another option. By investing in both a 401k and IRA, you are taking advantage of employer-matched contributions and diversifying your retirement portfolio.

Max-Funding Both Retirement Plans

Are you able to fund both plans to the maximum? If so, this can go a long way in funding your dreams for retirement. If you are planning to contribute the maximum to both a traditional IRA and a 401k, you’ll need to do some research into how that affects the tax deductions on your 401k.

When You Can’t Max Out Both

Not everybody is able to max out both retirement fund options, but even if you can’t, you can still create a powerful one-two punch by making strategic choices. So, first, think about your company-matching benefit for your 401k. This is a key benefit (especially since these matching funds don’t count toward what you can personally contribute), and it makes sense to take as much advantage as you can.

So, let’s say that your company will match a certain percentage (say, 3%) of the first 6% of your gross earnings. Calculate what 6% is and consider contributing that much to your 401k and opening an IRA with what else you can invest this year.

And, if you end up having even more money to invest? Go back to your 401k because all you’ve done, with this strategy, is to contribute what could be matched. There is still plenty of value in contributing to your 401k beyond the amount that can be matched.

Now, let’s say you have a 401k plan but your employer doesn’t offer a matching benefit. Then, consider contributing to an IRA first. You’ll benefit from the ability to have a huge amount of investment choices, putting you in the driver’s seat. Once you’ve maxed out what you can contribute to your IRA, then contribute to your 401k.

No One-Size-Fits-All

The guidelines we’ve provided should help you to start creating your own unique retirement plan. But the reality is a retirement plan that might work for one person may not be right for the next. You need a personalized plan with just the right diversified portfolio. Items that you should consider when refining your retirement plan include:

•  Your current income

•  Anticipated future earning potential

•  Your current expenses

•  Anticipated future expenses (perhaps college for your children)

•  Your risk tolerance

•  How many opportunities you’ve missed and how you can catch up

To take this information and craft it into a strategic plan, consider consulting a financial advisor.

Maximize Your Retirement Funding with SoFi Invest®

With SoFi Invest, you can put your money to work. You’ll gain access to financial advisors who can help you with:

•   Goal planning: With a focus on your dreams for retirement, we’ll work with you to map out a plan and help you to stick to it.

•   Diversifying your portfolio: We invest in thousands of assets, so we can help to reduce and manage some risk.

•   Portfolio selection: To give you the best of both worlds, we actively manage your passive assets.

•   Automatic portfolio rebalancing: We do this whenever it’s needed!

Plus, SoFi doesn’t charge any management fees and we can help you take a look at your current 401k plans to see what you are getting charged. Then, we can help you rollover your 401k into an IRA with SoFi.

When you’re ready to take control of your retirement savings, SoFi will be here to help. See how a SoFi Invest account can help you reach your financial goals.

Choose how you want to invest.

Ready to

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SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance.
This information isn’t financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on specific financial needs, goals and risk appetite.
Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit or fully protect against loss in a down market.
SoFi doesn’t provide tax or legal advice. Individual circumstances are unique. Consult with a qualified tax advisor or attorney.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

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10 Financial Milestones to Achieve in Your 30s

When you become an official 30-something, the constant advice from parents, friends, and money experts to start investing in your future may sound like a broken record that you want to turn off. But they’re right. While you might think you still have plenty of time to start saving, consider this — one in three U.S. employees expects to work past age 70, and only 26% expect to retire before age 65.

Those are sobering statistics, especially when predicting how they might look for today’s young workforce. The good news is that even if you spent your 20s with a cavalier attitude toward finances, it’s not too late to shore up your long-term financial goals.

And just imagine following a financial strategy that takes you right back to that carefree lifestyle when you’re in your golden years — instead of having to take a part-time job to make ends meet.

Here is a list of 10 financial milestones to strive for during your 30s that can kick-start your savings, but let’s be honest — some of this might hurt a little. Saving money means sacrifice, compromise, and diligence, but always remember the end goal. Retirement. Complete, fully unemployed (unless you just really want to work), worry-free retirement.

1. Establish a Good Credit Score

We put this at number one because good credit can lead to better results with everything else finance-related. It determines the interest rate you’ll pay on a new car or house, (see number three), and how much you can save if you refinance your student loans (see number two). Bottom line, a good credit score equals cash saved.

And even better news? It doesn’t have to be perfect. A target score of 740 or more will put you into favorable range for lenders. If you have no credit or low credit, educate yourself on ways to improve your credit score. Find your current score via a number of free websites, including Credit Karma , and learn ways to better manage your debt.

2. Pay off Your Student Loans

This is a huge one. By the time you reach 40, you’ll be almost 20 years out of college: It’s time to graduate from that payment. One thing to note is that you don’t have to stick with your original payment plan.

Refinancing your student loan debt could lead to considerable monthly savings, even if the interest rate drops by just half a percentage point. SoFi’s student loan advisors can help you map out a way to refinance your debt, and remember that the higher your credit score, the better your rate will be.

3. Get Rid of the Credit Card Debt

High-interest credit card payments are among the most likely financial hurdles to keep you from getting ahead. If you are paying on several high-interest cards at once, SoFi can help you make a plan to get out of debt and stay out. A number of free debt calculators are available online to help you get a solid picture of your overall debt.

4. Invest in your Retirement

It might be one of the most frequently asked questions about retirement: How much savings should I have? The answer is based on your retirement goal, so a good way to answer that question is to start at the end and work all the way back to a monthly investment goal. Once you have that number in mind, take every opportunity to meet that number, and exceed it where possible.

Many employers offer 401(k) matching programs, and it’s a powerful tool for supercharging your investment. Consider contributing at least up to the amount of your employer match. Another easy way to invest is a high-yield savings account, which is a growing trend. If you’ve managed to eliminate or lower some monthly debt payments, consider putting at least a portion of your newfound cash into retirement instead.

5. Create an Emergency Fund

Living paycheck to paycheck can work for a while, but life is inevitably bound to happen. Unexpected medical bills, storm damage, sudden job loss, and a host of other scenarios could add a financial burden to your household if you aren’t prepared.

A good goal for an emergency fund would be six months’ income, and a high-yield savings account can help you get there faster. The key to a successful emergency fund is to resist the urge to dip into those funds for everyday use.

6. Establish a Monthly Money Routine

Especially if you are the type who can’t remember where all the money went last week, consider creating a budget for monthly management, and stick to it. A host of budgeting apps are available to meet your needs or your style, so set one up, turn on the notifications and make it your most-used app.

Think of it like calorie counting: Nothing goes in your body (or in this case, out of your bank account) without being logged. It creates discipline and good habits quickly, and may even become a fun challenge. As part of that routine, set reminders to stay on top of your bills, because late payments can negatively affect your credit score.

7. Become a Homeowner

The cost of a house down payment when your career is young can seem unachievable, but becoming a homeowner in your 30s, or even buying a house in your 20s, could be a smart investment. And it’s not as difficult as you think.

One way to start saving money would be to take any cash you save from refinancing student loans or consolidating credit card debt and set it aside for your down payment. If you’ve already learned to live without that money, it could be a relatively painless transition. SoFi’s home buyer’s guide has even more tips and advice to help you get started.

8. Protect your Life

Find out whether your employer offers life insurance and take advantage of it. Often, it is only a few dollars (if not pennies) per month, which is a small amount to pay for peace of mind. If you have family (or even if you don’t), also consider supplemental life insurance as well.

Establishing a life insurance plan in your 20s, when you’re the picture of health, can be a lot more affordable than waiting until health problems start to creep up.

Nothing is more important than having a plan when the unexpected happens. With SoFi Protect via Ladder, you can set up an affordable life insurance plan for you and your loved ones.*

9. Protect your Income

Signing on for your employer’s disability insurance plan pulls double duty because it not only gives you time off to get the medical help you need, but it also protects your job. Like life insurance, short-term and long-term disability plans can cost mere dollars per paycheck. Combined with the Family Medical Leave Act, you can be confident that your salary is secure. Think of your income as your biggest asset, and work hard to protect it.

10. Budget in Some Fun

Saving money can be a painful process that requires a lot of self-discipline and focus, especially when your friends are all meeting at the new restaurant in town and you’re staring at a frozen lunch. But hard work deserves reward, and money shouldn’t be all business.

Be sure to set aside a little bit of disposable income for yourself, and again, consider a cash management account to make your hard-earned money earn money.

The SoFi wealth management team is available to help you develop a money strategy that’s right for you. Contact us today for a consultation.

*Coverage amounts range from $100k to $8 million. Instant coverage is available to applicants who meet certain risk and eligibility requirements. A medical test may be required for applicants that do not meet these eligibility criteria.
Ladder policies are issued in New York by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, New York, NY (Policy form # MN-26) and in all other states and DC by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, MN (Policy form # ICC20P-AZ100 and # P-AZ100). Only Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York is authorized to offer life insurance in the state of New York. Coverage and pricing is subject to eligibility and underwriting criteria. SoFi Agency and its affiliates do not guarantee the services of any insurance company. The California license number for SoFi Agency is 0L13077 and for Ladder is OK22568. Ladder, SoFi and SoFi Agency are separate, independent entities and are not responsible for the financial condition, business, or legal obligations of the other. Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi) and Social Finance Life Insurance Agency, LLC (SoFi Agency) do not issue, underwrite insurance or pay claims under LadderLifeTM policies. SoFi is compensated by Ladder for each issued term life policy. SoFi offers customers the opportunity to reach Ladder Insurance Services, LLC to obtain information about estate planning documents such as wills. Social Finance, Inc. (“SoFi”) will be paid a marketing fee by Ladder when customers make a purchase through this link. All services from Ladder Insurance Services, LLC are their own. Once you reach Ladder, SoFi is not involved and has no control over the products or services involved. The Ladder service is limited to documents and does not provide legal advice. Individual circumstances are unique and using documents provided is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice.
SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank. SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
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External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

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