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Handling Finances in Marriage

When you’re basking in that about-to-be (or recently) married glow, it can be hard to think of anything else. You and your life partner have finally found each other and are ready to commit to a life together in front of family and friends.

But with the celebration in the rear view, it might be time to start thinking of the practical side of married life. When it comes to love and money, things can get complicated. If you’re married or planning to get hitched soon, this can be a great time to spend some time thinking about how to handle finances in a marriage.

Though figuring out how to set financial boundaries and expectations can be an important part of any relationship, learning how to manage finances and develop shared financial expectations can be especially crucial in a marriage.

Building a healthy financial relationship in your marriage can come with its share of challenges. In fact, money is one of the most common things that couples fight about. Organizing your own financial life can be tricky enough already, so when thinking about developing strategies for combining your money goals and habits with your partner’s, things can get messy if you don’t stay on top of them.

Every couple has different circumstances—from the amount of income they are bringing in, to the money habits they picked up from their families and friends. Since there is so much variety, this article will take a look at a few different strategies that married couples may want to try out in order to approach finances in their relationship in a healthier and more effective way.

From figuring out the best way to enmesh finances to developing a routine that lets you and your spouse check in about all things financial, here we take a close look at ways to have better, more candid, and more productive conversations about money in your marriage so that you can work toward building a more secure financial future—together.

Communication Is Key

Communication is always important in a relationship, but when it comes to discussing how to manage money with your spouse, it becomes especially crucial.

Zola and SoFi recently surveyed over 1,000 newlyweds* to gain some insight into their attitudes about money.

Most of the couples surveyed said that they knew everything about their partner’s finances before getting married.

In addition to this, 84% of couples said they felt extremely comfortable talking about everything financial, whether the conversation was a good or bad one.

Of those surveyed, 86% had debt , which can be linked to things like increased anxiety and other challenges that can make settling into a marriage more difficult. Talking about money isn’t easy, especially when it comes to debt.

So the fact that the majority of respondents said they made a point of regularly discussing money with their partner is great news. After all, communication often tends to be the first step to resolving any of these negative feelings—and avoiding arguments about money.

For many couples, it may be helpful to establish regular check ins or start going on “money dates.” This may mean having a set date on the calendar each month or quarter where you meet to go over your financial goals and setbacks at your favorite café. Or maybe it’s having a quick check in every week to make sure you are staying on top of your goals.

However you choose to approach your communication, know that finding ways to check in about money regularly can be one of the best investments you make in your marriage.

Of course, every pair is different, and so it’s important to find what works for you and make sure that whichever strategy you choose allows you to remain as comfortable and open as possible.

Identifying Your Priorities

Every married couple has different goals. Maybe, for you and your partner, it’s buying a house, or having kids, or going on a trip around the world together. Because every partnership is unique, you may want to take some time to figure out what you both want to work towards so that you can ensure you’re able to pace effortlessly towards your goals.

Whatever your ambitions may be, it can be very helpful to prioritize them early on. Though it’s important to enjoy the present moment, it can be important to find ways to live the life you want to live now, while also setting your future selves up for success and stability.

When asked to rank their savings priorities, the couples surveyed by SoFi and Zola put travel at the top of the list followed by retirement, emergency savings, paying off debt, having children, and, lastly, purchasing a house or a condo. Maybe these goals are similar to your own, or maybe yours differ drastically.

No matter what they may be, consider sitting down with your partner to identify some of your long term goals. If you’re in debt, this might mean crafting a debt payoff strategy to aggressively pay them off.

Or if you’re interested in saving for a down payment, you may want to identify how much you need to put down and set a savings goal every month until you can reach your goal.

Your budget and lifestyle may ultimately depend on what your financial objectives are and how soon you want to achieve them, so it’s important to take some time to identify your goals and priorities so you can start reaching them.

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Building a Budget Together

Once you’ve identified your financial goals for the future, it may be time to develop a framework that helps you stay on track. Every marriage is full of its own share of challenging financial decisions, but once you’ve identified your shared priorities and formed a habit of communicating regularly, you may be in a better position to weather them as they come.

For some couples, enmeshing finances is a no brainer. According to our survey, “72% of newly married couples have at least one joint bank account.” For others, it may be a little trickier. If combining accounts with your partner feels overwhelming, you aren’t alone. It was the number one reason survey participants cited for not merging their finances. But the process can sometimes be done in phases, which can make it more manageable.

In order to better navigate the uncertainty of life, you may want to consider setting up a budget with your partner that you can both work with—and stick to.

Not all budgets are created equal, so it may be necessary to sit down and take a look at your financial big picture—from your goals for the future to your income, expenses, and debt load—in order to figure out what kind of budget works best for you as a couple.

Sticking with a budget is a challenge for some, but a general rule of thumb is to start by putting 20% of your income towards your savings, 50% towards necessary costs like groceries, rent, and utilities, and the remaining 30% towards fun discretionary costs like entertainment, travel, and eating out at restaurants.

In addition to figuring out a budget that works for both of you, you may want to set other budgeting goals, like creating an emergency fund that could cover you both in case of an illness or a job loss, as well as saving for retirement. And, if you’re interested in learning how to invest as a couple, you may want to fit this into your budget, as well.

Finding What Works for Both of You

Building a financially stable life with your spouse isn’t something you can do in one meeting—it’s an ongoing discussion and learning experience that both partners have to stay dedicated and accountable to.

With proper communication, clarity around shared financial goals, and a budgeting strategy that works for both of you, it can be a lot easier to handle finances in your marriage.

There may not be a one-size-fits-all strategy for managing money with your spouse, but it’s important to identify and implement what will work best for you—both in the present and for the long haul.

Want to stay on top of your money? Consider opening a joint SoFi Checking and Savings® account with your partner so you can both have access to your funds when you need them.

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Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

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Does Free Financial Advice Exist?

Building an emergency fund. Saving for retirement. Investing in stocks.

When it comes to meeting our financial goals, a little advice can go a long way. That’s why many people ask financial advisors for help in managing their money.

It could make all the difference for a professional to give you insights about how many months’ worth of expenses you should have in an emergency account, how much you can afford to deposit into your online IRA right now, and which stocks you should invest in relative to how much risk you want to take.

Here’s the catch, though: It costs money to hire a financial planner. When saving money is our goal, hiring an advisor can almost feel like taking two steps forward, one step back.

Is there such a thing as free financial advice?

Let’s dive into the costs of using a financial advisor. The three main options are a human advisor, a robo-advisor, and a complimentary financial planner.

The Costs of a Human Financial Advisor

There’s no cut-and-dry answer to how much you’ll pay to hire a financial advisor. An advisor may use one or multiple methods to charge clients, such as:


When you pay a monthly, quarterly, or annual retainer, you pay a fixed fee to an advisor who manages your comprehensive financial plan.

Some people prefer paying a retainer fee because they believe it sets up advisors to be more trustworthy. Planners who aren’t trying to sell you products or earn a commission might be more objective.

Imagine walking into a sporting goods store. If you know the salesman is earning a commission on his sales, are you a little worried he’s going to push the $500 tent when a tent priced at $150 will meet your needs just fine? Many companies’ retainer fees differ depending on how many people are in your family.

Flat Fee

Retainers and flat fees are both fixed-rate payment structures that eliminate the commission-based worry of upcharges. So what’s the difference between the two?

A retainer covers the cost of an all-inclusive financial plan, while flat fees apply to individual services and projects, such as managing a retirement account or helping you plan what to do with your estate once you pass away.

With a retainer, an advisor is very hands-on in how they manage your account because the relationship is designed to be long-term. When you pay a flat fee for a specific service, however, the advisor is tenured a project basis.

Flat fees generally cost less than retainers, because the scope of what the advisor does is limited.

Hourly Rate

Paying hourly for a service is a common alternative to paying a flat fee. Many financial advisors charge an hourly rate for consulting sessions.

Advisors’ hourly rates can vary depending on what project you want them to complete and can vary still further if your situation is more complicated than the average Joe’s. Some clients prefer to pay by the hour so that they can easily control how they’re spending their money.

However, if you don’t discuss your expectations with the advisor beforehand you could end up overspending. Financial planners who charge retainer fees, flat fees or hourly rates are known as “fee-only advisors.”


Some advisors earn a commission when they sell certain investments.

For example, let’s say you want to invest $1,000. Your advisor recommends you invest in a fund that charges a 3% commission. That means $30 of that $1,000 will go to your advisor as compensation. External companies set the commission rates, but you’re the one paying the commission.

Some people are uncomfortable paying commission because they’re worried their advisors will act in their own interest rather than the clients. On the plus side, sometimes advisors who charge commission offer more products and services.

Many advisors earn money through more than one of these payment methods. For example, they may charge an hourly rate and earn commission selling the client’s mutual funds. These planners are known as “fee-based advisors.”

If you decide to hire an advisor, you might hear the terms “fee-only” and “fee-based” thrown around, and it’s important to know the difference.


Money isn’t the only cost of hiring a financial advisor—you’ll also spend time with your planner.

Maybe you want to set up an hour-long consultation session with your advisor. Or you could meet up to discuss your comprehensive financial plan once they’ve finished putting it together.

If you have an ongoing relationship with an advisor who actively manages your finances, they may want to have monthly or quarterly phone chats.

They’ll probably check in on you when you’re going through major life and/or financial changes and may even want you to fill out occasional surveys about your financial goals.

The Costs That Come With a Robo-advisor

Some people prefer a robo-advisor or automated advisor to a human financial planner. When you sign up for a robo-advisor, the program asks you questions about your finances and goals, then sets you up with an account to manage your money and make investments.

People generally like using robo-advisors because the process is pretty hands-off, and it costs significantly less money than going through a human advisor. Many automatic advisors offer access to an online financial planner, so you can still talk to someone if you have in-depth questions.

When you manage an investment account through a robo-advisor, it often charges a monthly maintenance fee of between 0.25% and 1% of your account balance. Certain companies charge a small dollar amount every month instead of a percentage.

Receive No-Cost Financial Advice With SoFi Invest

Now to answer the big question: “Does free financial advice exist?”

Thankfully, yes! When you sign up for SoFi Invest® you’ll have access to complimentary financial planners. You could speak with them about setting and meeting financial goals, then discuss how to pursue those goals.

With SoFi Invest you have the benefits of both a human and a robo-advisor. Real people can talk you through your goals, but you also have the option to invest with SoFi’s automated investing feature, saving you the time you would have spent talking with an advisor.

Stay on track to meet your financial goals—for free—with SoFi Invest.

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 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 . The umbrella term “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.


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How to Cancel a Credit Card

Credit card debt is an increasingly severe problem in the U.S. As Americans become more dependent on their small plastic cards, the amount of debt seems to just get bigger. And bigger.

According to Experian , the average American has a credit card balance is almost $6,200. Along with individual and household debt, the total amount of credit card debt in the U.S. has reached its highest level ever.

Whether debt has got you down, or you’re wanting to consolidate your existing credit cards and opt for ones that have the best perks and benefits for your circumstances, the question of canceling a credit card can be an extremely sticky one.

Many of us find ourselves wondering the best course of action to reduce credit card debt without affecting credit score, and the concern is valid.

While closing an account may play a role in getting a better handle on any existing debt, it’s important to understand ways to cancel a credit card in a way that doesn’t end up setting you back even more.

Ahead are some common steps that are typically needed to be taken in order to fully cancel a card, including sending a written confirmation and keeping a watchful eye on your credit report after you’ve put through a cancelation request.

Do You Really Need to Cancel?

It can be tempting to cancel cards or close accounts when things get overwhelming. But sometimes this may not be the best option.

In many cases, canceling a credit card can actually damage one’s credit score. In fact, canceled accounts may remain on a credit history for several years after the date they are closed. (With a card in negative standing, it will remain on your credit history for up to seven years, and a cancelled card in positive standing typically remains for 10 years.)

It’s important to take the time and analyze your motivations behind canceling an account before you actually do. After all, it may be smarter to simply cut up or hide a credit card rather than officially canceling.

As always, the decision is up to you, but it’s helpful to take these considerations into account before finalizing a decision that may have a long-lasting impact on your credit health and your long-term financial future.

Closing One Account at a Time

If you’ve decided that canceling your card is the best way to go for you, there are some things you may want to keep in mind before getting started.

First of all, when it comes to canceling credit cards, it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal.

Depending on the exact reasons that led you to wanting or needing to cancel a card, you may want to consider a few things before pulling the trigger.

For example, if you’re thinking of canceling a card, you may want to consider canceling new ones instead of old ones to avoid impacting your credit score.

In the world of credit, older, more established credit in good standing is looked upon more favorably than new, and so you may want to keep this in mind when choosing which card you would like to cut.

On top of this, some credit cards may offer more appealing rewards programs for your lifestyle than others, so you may want to take stock of the perks that come with each card before deciding which one you want to stop using.

Paying Off or Transferring Your Balance

Depending on the total amount of credit you have available, closing a card account with a high credit limit could run the risk of damaging one’s credit score.

If you are carrying high balances on other cards or have active loans, this damage could be especially noticeable, since your debt-to-credit ratio (also called your credit utilization ratio) may affect your credit score. (Typically, you’d want to stay at 30% or below.)

If you’re planning on canceling a credit card, you will likely want to ensure that you’ve paid off any remaining balances on that account. If you fail to do so, you may end up having to pay interest charges on any remaining balance.

If you normally carry a balance from one month to another, you may need to take extra care to pay the full statement balance before canceling a card in order to make sure there is no money left in your balance and avoid future interest charges.

You may also want to take some time to brush up on your knowledge of credit card utilization, as it can be important to understand when it comes to canceling your credit cards smartly.

In order to lessen the negative impact of closing one of your credit card accounts, you may want to pay off all of the balances you carry on all of your cards first.

If you cancel a card while carrying zero balances on all your cards, your credit utilization rate should stay at zero, so even if you cancel a card and remove its balance, your rate shouldn’t be impacted.

Contacting a Credit Card Company

Once you’ve paid off your credit card balance, you will want to contact your credit card company to put through your request to close your account.

Sometimes, you will be able to cancel a credit card without making a phone call. It may be helpful to look up how to cancel a particular credit card online to see if your credit card company offers this option.

In most cases, you will want to contact your credit card company by phone. Usually, your customer service number will be printed on your credit card.

From there, you’d inform your credit card company that you are canceling your card. Keep in mind that some companies require you to speak to a customer service representative in order to complete this process, while others are more flexible.

It’s helpful to know that credit card representatives may be trained to try to convince you to keep your account open. Remember that you have the right to close your account at any time.

Before you hang up the phone, you may want to ask your representative for their name so that you can include it along with your written notice of cancelation.

Sending Written Confirmation

Once you’ve called and canceled your card, you may choose to mail a written confirmation letter to your credit card company. This can be a good option in order to protect yourself generally, but also in the event that the customer service representative made a mistake while putting through your card cancelation request.

In the letter, you would write things like your name, phone number, address, and account number as well as the details from the call you had with your credit card representative. If you got their name, you may want to also include it here.

You might choose to also state that you’d like your credit report to show that the account was closed at your request.

If you choose to mail a letter, consider sending it via certified mail so that you can ensure the company receives it, and make sure to keep a copy for your records.

Keeping an Eye on Your Credit Score

When canceling credit cards, patience is key. From the moment you begin the process to the moment your credit card is officially canceled, it may take one month or even longer, depending on the company.

After your account has officially been canceled, you may wish to keep tabs on your credit report to ensure that your credit card has in fact been listed as closed.

If, for some reason, the card is still marked as open, you may need to get back in touch with your credit card representatives and, possibly, repeat some or all steps in this process.

Know that it can sometimes take several weeks for changes to show up on your credit card report. For this reason, it’s good practice to get into the habit of checking your credit score regularly, whether or not you’ve recently closed a card.

Of course, if you did just cancel a card, you may want to wait a month or so to see whether or not closing your account impacted your credit score.

Keep in mind that, every twelve months, you can get one free copy of your credit report online through AnnualCreditReport.com . Some credit card companies may also offer apps that allow you to check your score for free.

Destroying Your Card

Once you’ve confirmed that your card is canceled, then you’re almost done with the process.

If you’ve ensured that the account is in fact closed, then you can officially destroy your card in the manner of your choosing.

Though cutting up a credit card may provide a feeling of freedom and catharsis, it’s important to be careful to choose a method that makes sure the information on your card is not recoverable.

If you have access to a shredder, shredding your card may be the most efficient and secure way of destroying it.

If you’re using scissors, make sure that you properly cut up all the identifying pieces of information on the card, including your signature, the expiration date, CVV number, and the credit card number itself.

From there, ensure you properly dispose of the shards. For an added layer of security, consider throwing them away in more than one garbage can.

Maintaining a Healthy Relationship with Credit

Despite the array of credit card-related woes many Americans experience, it is possible to leverage credit cards in a healthy and productive way.

Depending on your needs and financial circumstances, finding ways to use credit to your advantage is a great way to ensure that you don’t wind up with more debt than you can handle.

A credit card cancelation can often offer an opportunity to take stock of the way you’re using credit, and establish better practices moving forward.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with your credit utilization, and taken a look at the rewards you are currently signed up for, you may choose to go about things differently in the future.

One of the best ways to help you keep tabs on your credit is to build a practice of checking your balance and your credit score regularly.

This may look like downloading an app that lets you see all of your savings, checking, and credit card accounts in one place, or just getting into the practice of logging into all of your account on a regular basis.

Whichever way you choose to go about it, there are several strategies you can try out that may help you to keep your credit in check.

From leveraging balance transfers to using the snowball method to help pay off any debt balances you currently have, there are ways to help you get your credit card debt and finances under control—regardless of whether or not you decide to get rid of some of that seemingly precious plastic.

Looking for a way to manage credit card debt? With SoFi Personal Loans, you can consolidate with a potentially lower interest rate.

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.

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 .

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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


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What Is a Cash-Back Credit Card?

You might have heard the phrase “there’s no such thing as free money.” You may also have heard that “money doesn’t grow on trees,” but we’re pretty sure money is still made of paper. While cash back from your credit card isn’t exactly free money, using credit wisely can be beneficial.

How Does a Cash Back Perk Work?

Cash back is the rebate of the credit card world. The money that you get back, depending on the card and the deal you’ve gotten, may come in the form of a check, statement credit, or deposit with your financial institution.

With points, you might end up with $10 off your next Starbucks purchase; but you might actually prefer The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, so a Starbucks card may hold no value for you. With a cash-back reward, you typically get to decide how you want to spend the money: your mortgage, your lunch, your boyfriend’s birthday present, or even your credit card debt.

While some credit card companies offer a flat cash-back rate, other cards offer some combination of a flat cash back rate, and a specialized cash back rate for certain categories (often ones you can choose).

Card holders may be eligible to receive varying amounts—typically a percentage of spending in a certain category, e.g., dining, hospitality, airlines, or groceries.

But choosing a cash-back card with the best rewards isn’t so simple. There are many different kinds of cash-back rewards which may be available.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.

What’s Available

•   Cash back on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.

•   The cash back could be for any kind of purchase or for particular purchases in certain categories like dining, gas, groceries, etc. Sometimes it might be a combination of these two with higher rates of return on certain categories.

•   Timed spending bonuses: If you spend a certain amount within a certain prescribed time you may be eligible for even more cash back than the base amount.

•   Certain cards might also offer non-cash benefits like flight upgrades or extended warranties on purchases made with that card.

Why Do Cash Back Rewards Even Exist?

How is this even possible? Getting paid to spend money sounds like the kind of job you invented when you were twelve—it couldn’t possibly be real.

It turns out that the money you’re getting back comes from some very real places. Of course, credit card companies will try to get you sign up with them instead of their competitors. It’s dog-eat-dog out there. Credit card companies have since come up with a variety of tools to attract customers, and cash back is a common reward.

But where does the money come from? If you’ve ever been asked to fulfill a credit card minimum purchase amount you know where it comes from. The $10 minimum at the cafe is not there entirely to keep you adding extra shots to your morning latte (although you’re totally going to anyway).

The Pros

With so many kinds of credit cards out there, why would you consider a cash-back card?

•   Credit cards with cash-back rewards might actually help you earn more money than a low-interest-rate checking account with a debit card. Some checking account interest rates can often be less than 1% APY. Getting 5%—or more—cash back on your purchases is a lofty difference. Credit card spending, though, is still spending—not saving—an important difference to keep in mind when making purchases. Buying within a budget is still an important consideration.

•   Some cash-back cards offer sign-up bonuses or bonuses for spending over a certain amount or in a certain categories. When used responsibly, these types of bonuses could be used for special purchases a buyer might not have been able to afford otherwise. Two tickets to Paris please!

•   Consumers with credit scores of 740 and higher are typically the ones who qualify for cards with the highest cash-back rewards, which could be up to 6% when purchasing items from designated categories. Yet another reason to pat yourself on the back for your high credit score.

The Cons

Okay, so maybe some of the maxims are correct. Nothing in life is free and money doesn’t grow on trees. Like anything good in life, there can be a downside (we’re looking at you, cupcakes).

•   Many cash-back programs actually come with a maximum on rewards. While it seems that the more you spend the more you get, eventually you might just be spending more.

•   Some cash-back credit cards have annual fees. While this may seem small compared to the money you’ll be getting back, it might be worth it to do the math and make sure the pros outweigh the cons before you are convinced that this card is worth your spending power. Some cards with hefty fees reward the cardholders with perks beyond the cash-back bonus.

•   Like any other credit card, if the balance due is not paid on time, there are typically interest charges and fees added to the principal balance. That amount may negate any cash-back rewards you earned during that statement cycle.

•   Perhaps the biggest con: Choosing and managing a credit card can be complicated. Lots of homework, (i.e., research online, with your bank, has to go into this one before you may feel ready to commit to this endeavor. With occasional fees and sometimes hard-to-acquire gains, your research is key to making sure you find one that works for your spending habits. Cash-back credit cards can pay off, but it might take some digging to find the right one.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, there’s no free lunch. Credit card companies are in the business of making money and they rely on your debt to fund their businesses.

Using credit wisely—and reaping all the rewards—typically means paying the balance due in full each billing cycle. Getting to that point can take some time, though.

See how using cash back from a SoFi Credit Card can help you pay off debt and boost your investments.

New and existing Checking and Savings members who have not previously enrolled in direct deposit with SoFi are eligible to earn a cash bonus when they set up direct deposits of at least $1,000 over a consecutive 25-day period. Cash bonus will be based on the total amount of direct deposit. The Program will be available through 12/31/23. Full terms at sofi.com/banking. SoFi Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on Savings account balances (including Vaults) and up to 1.20% APY on Checking account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for these rates. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 3/17/2023. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet

1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, a statement credit, or pay down eligible SoFi debt.
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 .

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.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


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Tips for Putting Multiple Kids Through College

Remember your kids as little ones, riding on their tricycles and grabbing fistfuls of Cheerios? Now they are soon off to college, and you might be feeling bittersweet. Your children can finally do their own laundry (hallelujah) and you get some much needed quiet time around the house.

Sending kids to college is not just a transition for your children, it’s also a big step in parenthood for you. You may be sending your first child to college, but what if you have another child headed off to educational pursuits not too far behind?

If you have two kids going to college at the same time, the double whammy can hurt right in the wallet. As you navigate college dorms, tuition, and how to make sure your kids know where all of their classes are, you might have a few questions on how to support them over the next four years. We’ve compiled a few tips that could help guide you through sending your kids to college.

Financing Your Kids’ Education the Debt-Free Way

If you are putting multiple kids through college, then you know how much tuition and other costs can beat down your budget. You might want to start by talking with your spouse or someone you trust about finding the cash to finance your children’s education.

There are several ways to get creative with saving for your child’s college tuition that might help you avoid going into massive debt.

Scholarships can also play a role in financing your children’s education. They can be especially helpful since you won’t need to pay them back after your child graduates, and they can be used to directly fund tuition. Scholarship hunting can be a daunting task though.

Your mini-mes are most likely overwhelmed with selecting their university, studying for college entrance exams, and finishing out their high school senior year.

You could band together on scholarship applications by helping them find scholarships they are eligible for and compile a list. Ultimately, it’s up to your child to make the effort to complete the requirements. Encouragement is key here!

A Borrower’s Way to Pay

If paying for tuition out-of-pocket is out of reach, it’s recommended to first apply for federal financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) . You may be faced with several options here, including Federal Direct Loans, which can be either subsidized or unsubsidized, PLUS Loans work-study, or grants.

Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans are offered to students who are enrolled at least half-time in school. Each of your kids will need to fill out their own FAFSA—parents cannot take out these types of loans on behalf of their children. That’s where the Parent PLUS, or Direct PLUS, loan comes into play.

The Direct PLUS Loan allows parents of undergraduate students to take out a loan to pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. It’s helpful to have a strong credit history, as anything adversely affecting your credit could also affect your eligibility to receive a Direct PLUS Loan.

Are You Cashing In on Ramen and Mac ‘n’ Cheese?

Your kids might not be accustomed to fending for themselves when it comes to food. If you’re concerned about your child’s eating habits while in college, you could make clear what you will or will not be paying for in groceries.

If you want to help out your kiddos, you could send them food items to get them through the week. You might want to check with the college residence hall coordinator first about any rules on using a mini fridge. Or you could stick with items that can be stored in a plastic bin or inside a closet to make things easy.

Let Your Kids Spread Their Financial Wings

Tuition continues to rise, and so does the cost of living. Tuition and fees for full-time, in-state students attending four-year public colleges and universities saw a 2.6% increase between the 2018-19 academic year and 2019-20.

How will your children support themselves in school? There are several ways, and it might be advantageous to have a conversation with your kids early on about how they can take care of themselves financially.

Some universities offer work-study programs, which give student workers the opportunity to work a job that fits within their class schedule. Students would need to fill out the FAFSA to determine eligibility for federal work-study.

If your child qualifies, it will be noted in their financial aid award. If your child is awarded work-study, they will still be responsible for securing a job that fits within the program.

Your kids could also explore part-time opportunities off-campus, such as waiting tables or picking up a gig as a nanny.

Another alternative, if you have the ability, is to support your children financially. You could determine an appropriate amount to keep your child on the right path or consider offering cash incentives for good grades. If you have the funds to help throughout the year, this could help offset student loan debt.

You Come First

Sending your kids to college can be a priority, but you come first. You might want to prioritize your money goals first, such as retirement. You don’t want to be caught dumping all of your potential retirement savings into tuition if you are short on your retirement goals.

You could make a plan and ask yourself how much you want to contribute each month to retirement, regardless of other pressing expenses. Tuition can be covered in a variety of ways, but borrowing from your retirement stash or neglecting it could have an impact on your retirement goals.

They’re Off to College, but They Still Need You

Just because you successfully guided your offspring to college doesn’t mean that they don’t need you. You can probably expect to answer text messages (because we all know actual phone calls are a thing of the past with Gen Z’s) on how to make a pot of coffee or what that genie lamp light means on the dashboard of their car (hint: check your engine oil!). Remember, they may still lean on you for support as they transition into adulthood.

Then There’s the Whole Paying It Back Thing

Four years are going to fly by. When your kids are well on their way to their post-grad careers, you could check out how refinancing their student loans might help. Refinancing student loans with SoFi can create one monthly payment.

Your child could even reduce their interest rate when they refinance, depending on the terms of their existing financing. If they have federal loans, know that refinancing means they’ll no longer qualify for federal protections or repayment programs.

Learn more about student loan refinancing with SoFi.

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.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are a federal student loan borrower, you should consider all of your repayment opportunities including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. Please note that once you refinance federal student loans you will no longer be eligible for current or future flexible payment options available to federal loan borrowers, including but not limited to income-based repayment plans or extended repayment plans.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


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