How to Make Talking About Finances Fun, Not a Fight

How to Make Talking About Finances Fun, Not a Fight

Ask couples what they fight about most, and money is sure to be mentioned often. Decades of research have shown that some of the most common clashes are over major purchases, decisions about finances and children, a partner’s spending habits, and investment choices.

While dealing with money isn’t always easy, it doesn’t have to drive a wedge in your relationship. These strategies will ensure your financial discussions with your partner are productive and—dare we suggest—maybe even something to look forward to.

Schedule Timed, Regular Meetings

Set aside time in your calendars to have a monthly conversation about all things money. That’s a good amount of time to judge progress because you’ll have paid monthly bills and have gotten a couple of paychecks since your last sit-down.

At the meetings, plan to review your net worth (everything you own minus everything you owe) and cash flow (what money is coming in, being spent, and being saved), and track headway toward any joint financial goals, like buying a house, saving for childcare, or creating a will. If you haven’t already, this is also a great time to make a monthly budget.

While these sessions may seem uncomfortable at first, streamlining your financial conversations may actually prevent them from creeping into the rest of your life.

One way to time-box the conversation is to set a timer and spend no more than 30 minutes having an honest discussion about your finances. Once the timer goes off, go back to being a regular couple, knowing that there’s a special time and place for this type of a conversation.

If you can’t swing monthly meetings, then shoot for quarterly, biannual, or at least annual sit-downs—anything is better than nothing.

Make It a No-judgment Zone

These types of conversations can get very personal, and it’s important to make sure that you don’t judge your partner’s choices. After all, you wouldn’t want the same done to you. Being open with each other is key to having financial success.

If your partner is shy or tends to get defensive, it might help to start things off by revealing a spending habit that you’re not proud of. This might encourage your partner to reciprocate. You can even keep things light by making a joke about it. “So, I realize I blow $150 on a massage every month that I don’t technically need but am totally addicted to. What about you?” This can open up a dialogue about what’s important to each of you, and what expenses may be easy to curtail. (How about a massage every other month instead?)

Let Go of Resentment

Financial inequity between partners—say, if one person has a lot of debt or there’s a large disparity between incomes—can be a common source of tension.

If you feel like one person’s debt is holding you both back, remember that it doesn’t have to last forever. There are many strategies for paying off debt—talking it through will help you find the right path for you both. You might also decide to meet with a financial advisor who can help you prioritize, budget, and sometimes even refinance to break even faster.

In cases of income disparity, it may help to reframe each partner’s contribution to the household. Yes, one person may bring in more (or all) of the household income, but be clear on the non-monetary intangibles that the other person is contributing. Cooking, cleaning, watching the kids, caring for aging relatives—these duties all add up and represent what each of you is bringing to the household.

Reward Yourselves

Create incentives to stick with your financial meeting schedule. Maybe that means taking your laptops to your favorite coffee shop, or treating yourselves to a movie night afterward.

Another idea is to reward yourselves as a couple after you hit a predetermined financial goal or milestone. For example, every month you successfully increase your emergency fund by a target amount, you might choose to enjoy a nice restaurant meal.

Even a free indulgence—like a walk around your favorite lake after the discussion—can be effective. Just make it something that you both enjoy (bonus points if it’s something that you don’t do all the time so it feels extra special). That way, you’ll look forward to it.

The Takeaway

The best way to take the sting out of discussing finances with your partner is to make it a regular part of your life together. Scheduling time to talk monthly (or whatever cadence works for you) allows you to save that time for money talk, and get back to the fun of living your lives together the rest of the time. And make it fun—build in little incentives to stick with your regular financial check-in.

One topic of discussion that might come up during monthly money talks? Investing. SoFi Invest® might be a great place to start—members can trade stocks, ETFs, and crypto, and participate in upcoming IPOs at IPO prices, or start automated investing.

Find your own path to financial wellness with SoFi Invest.


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.
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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.
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For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. 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.
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Do College Credits Expire?

You’ve probably seen them on the TV news, or found their photos in your Facebook feed: Men and women in their 80s and 90s who’ve finally realized a long-held dream of earning a college degree.

And perhaps, inspired after hearing their stories, you wondered to yourself: Hmmm. I would love to go back to college and finish my degree, even after all these years. But I don’t want to start from scratch. Would the college credits I earned years ago even be good anymore? Do college credits expire?

The answer is no. Not really. Well, maybe.

OK … it depends.

When Do College Credits Expire?

Some folks wonder: Do college credits expire after five years? Technically, college credits don’t expire. When students earn credits for taking college courses, those credits will always appear on the official transcript from the school they attended.

The question is whether a different school or program will accept those credits if a student wants to transfer them. And that can be a gray area.

The good news is that older, “nontraditional learners”—undergraduate and graduate students in their mid-20s, 30s, 40s, and up—are not an unusual sight on college campuses these days. Schools that hope to attract students who are looking to complete a degree may be especially open-minded about transferring their credits.

The Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics projects that in 2020 and 2021, more than a third of students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities will be 25 or older. And it has been that way for decades. So most college admissions offices should be prepared to answer questions about the possibility of transferring old credits, or if some credits have a shelf life at their school.

Those policies can vary. A college doesn’t have to accept transfer credits unless it has a formal agreement with the transferring institution or there’s a state policy that requires it. A credit’s transferability also may depend on the type of course, the school it’s coming from, or how old the credit is. These deciding factors are sometimes referred to as the three R’s: relevance, reputation, and recency.

What Criteria Do Schools Consider?

Here are some things schools may look at when deciding whether to accept transfer credits:

Accreditation Is Key

Accreditation means that an independent agency assesses the quality of an institution or program on a regular basis. Accredited schools typically only take credits from other similarly accredited institutions.

General Education Credits Usually Transfer

Subjects like literature, languages, and history tend to qualify for transfer without a challenge. So if you completed those core classes while working toward your bachelor’s degree, you may not have to repeat them.

Other Classes May Have a ‘Use By’ Date

Because the information and methods taught in science, technology, engineering, and math courses can quickly evolve, credits for these classes may have a more limited shelf life—typically 10 years.

Graduate Credits May Have a Short Life Expectancy

If the coursework for your field of study in graduate school would now be considered out of date, it’s likely that some or all of your credits won’t transfer. Graduate program credits are generally denied after five to seven years.

There Could Be a Limit on Transfers

Many institutions set a maximum number of transfer credits they’ll accept toward a degree program. For example, the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences won’t take more than 60 credits from two-year institutions for an undergraduate degree, and no more than 90 credits from four-year institutions. No more than 12 of the last 42 credits earned for a degree may be transfer credits. At the University of Arizona, the maximum number of semester credits accepted from a two-year college is 64. There is no limit on the credits transferred from a four-year institution, but a transfer student must earn 30 semester credits at Arizona to earn an undergraduate degree. And credit won’t be given for grades lower than a C.

Some Transfer Credits May Count Only as Electives

If a student’s new school determines that an old class was not equivalent to the class it offers, it may require the student to repeat the coursework in order to fulfill requirements toward a major. But the new school still may consider the old class for general elective credits, which can at least reduce the overall course load required to obtain a degree.

If at First You Don’t Succeed, You Can Try Again

Many schools allow students to appeal a credit transfer decision—whether it’s an outright denial or a decision that a course will be allowed only as an elective. The time limit for an appeal may be a year, a few weeks, or just a few days, so it can pay to be prepared with the evidence necessary to make your case.

The relevant paperwork might include a class syllabus, samples of completed coursework, and a letter from the instructor that explains the coursework.

Students also may have to meet with someone at the school to talk about their qualifications, or they may be asked to take a placement exam to test their current level of knowledge in a subject.

How to Request Transcripts

Some schools allow students to view an unofficial record of their academic history online or in person through the registrar’s office. So if it’s been a while and you aren’t sure what classes you took or what your grades were, you might want to start there.

After a refresher on what and how you did at your old college, it might be time to check out how your target school or schools deal with transfer credits.

Many colleges post their transfer credit policies on their websites, so you can get an idea of what classes you may or may not have to repeat. Or you can use a website like Transferology , or try the Will My Credits Transfer feature at CollegeTransfer.net, to get more information about which credits schools across the country are likely to accept.

When you’re ready to get even more serious, you may want to see if your target school makes transfer counselors available, or if someone in the academic department you’re interested in will evaluate your record and advise you as to how many of the credits you’ve earned might be accepted toward your major.

You’ll probably need to have an official transcript sent directly to your target institution to document your grade-point average, credit hours, coursework, and any degree information or honors designations. There may be a small fee for this service, and it could take several days to process the request.

Once your target school has had time to review your transcripts, you can expect to receive a written notice or a phone call telling you how many of your credits will transfer. When you know where you stand, you can decide if you want to appeal any of the school’s transfer decisions, if you’re ready to move forward in the application process, or if you want to check out other schools.

It’s important to note that students who still owe money to their old school may find it difficult to have an official transcript sent to a target school.

While the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act gives students the right to inspect their educational records, the law doesn’t require schools to provide a signed and sealed hard copy of a transcript to students who haven’t fulfilled their financial obligations.

State governments may have different laws when it comes to withholding these documents, and schools may have their own policies. So some students might hit a road bump at the registrar’s office if they’re behind on their loans or haven’t paid an old fee.

How Old Debt Can Affect Transferring Credits

The problems caused by student debt can go beyond trouble with transcripts.

If you’re planning to return to school and you’re behind on your student loans, you may have difficulty borrowing more money until your old loans are back on track. Borrowers who lose eligibility for any additional federal student aid, such as loans and grants.

The Federal Student Aid Program offers flexible repayment plans, loan rehabilitation and consolidation opportunities, forgiveness programs, and more for borrowers hoping to get back in good standing. The Federal Student Aid office’s recommended first step (preferably before becoming delinquent or going into default) is to contact the loan servicer to discuss repayment options.

Another possible solution for those who have fallen behind on their payments can be private student loan refinancing. Borrowers with federal or private student loans, or both, may be able to take out a new loan with a private lender and use it to pay off any existing student debt.

That new loan may come with a lower interest rate or lower payments than the older loans, especially if the borrower has a strong employment history and a good credit record.

Even if you’re doing just fine and staying up to date on your student loan payments, if you’re thinking about going back to school and you’ll need more money, a new loan with just one monthly payment might help make things more manageable.

However, if you have federal loans and refinancing sounds appealing, it’s critical that you understand what you could lose by switching to a private lender—including federal benefits such as deferment, income-driven repayment plans, and public student loan forgiveness.

Moving Forward (With a Little Help)

If you’re excited about the possibility of going back to school to finish your degree (or earn a new one), you might not have to let concerns about financing keep you from moving forward.

You can contact your current service provider with questions about payment options on your federal loans. And if you’re interested in refinancing with a private loan, you can start by shopping for the best rates online, then drill down to what could work best for you.

With SoFi, for example, you can get prequalified online without completing a full application, decide which rate and loan length suits your needs, and then finish up your application online if you like what you see.

SoFi offers live customer support seven days a week. And if the application is accepted, SoFi will pay off old loans and issue a new student loan with one manageable monthly payment.

There is no application or origination fee (that’s something you should always check), and SoFi members have access to career coaching, financial advice, and other benefits that could come in handy when starting a new chapter in life.

Anyone ready to finish earning a degree can check out how SoFi can help with refinancing old student debt.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF SEPTEMBER DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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 or products 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 Lending Corp. and its lending products are not endorsed by or directly affiliated with any college or university unless otherwise disclosed.
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7 Things to Do After College Besides Work

Numerous college students have a trajectory in mind for navigating life after college. For some, getting a job is their top goal. But, are there other things to do after college besides work?

Beyond looking for a traditional entry-level job, there are alternative choices for new grads—including internships, volunteering, grad school, spending time abroad, or serving in Americorps.

Naturally, the options available will differ depending on each person’s situation, as not all alternatives to work come with a paycheck attached.

Here’s a look at these seven things to do after college besides work.

1. Pursuing Internships

One popular alternative to working right after college is finding an internship. Generally, internships are temporary work opportunities, which are sometimes, but not always, paid.

Internships may give recent grads a chance to build up hands-on experience in a field or industry they believe they’re interested in working in full time. For some people, it could help determine whether the reality of working in a given sector meets their expectations.

Whatever grads learn during an internship, having on-the-job experience (even for those who opt to pursue a different career path) could make a job seeker stand out afterwards. Internships can help beef up a resume, especially for recent grads who don’t have much formal job experience.

A potential perk of internships is the chance to further grow your professional network—building relationships with more experienced workers in a particular department or job. Some interns may even be able to turn their short-term internship roles into a full-time position at the same company.

Starting out in an internship can be a great way for graduates to enter the workforce, “road testing” a specific job role or company.

2. Serving with AmeriCorps

Some graduates want to spend their time after college contributing to the greater good of American society. One possible option here is the Americorps program—supported by the US Federal Government.

So, what exactly is Americorps? Americorps is a national service program dedicated to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. There are three main programs that graduates can join in AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps State and National, and AmeriCorps Vista.

There’s a wide variety of options in AmeriCorps, when it comes to how you can serve. Graduates can work in emergency management, help fight poverty, or work in a classroom.

However graduates decide to serve through AmeriCorps, it may provide them with a rewarding professional experience and insights into a potential career.

Practically, Americorps members may also qualify for benefits such as student loan deferment, a living allowance, education awards (upon finishing their service), and skills training.

It may sound a bit dramatic, but AmeriCorps’ slogan is “Be the greater good.” Giving back to society could be a powerful way to spend some time after graduating—supporting organizations in need, while also establishing new professional connections.

3. Attending Grad School

When entering the workforce, graduates may encounter job postings with detailed employment requirements.

Some jobs require just a Bachelor’s degree, while others require a Master’s–think, for instance, of being a lawyer or medical doctor. Depending on their field of study and career goals, some students may opt to go right to graduate school after receiving their undergraduate degrees.

The number of jobs that expect graduate degrees is increasing in the US. Graduates might want to research their desired career fields and see if it’s common for people in these roles to need a master’s or terminal degree.

Some students may wish to take a break in between undergrad and grad school, while others find it easier to go straight through. This choice will vary from student to student, depending on the energy they have to continue school as well as their financial ability to attend graduate school.

Graduate school will be a commitment of time, energy and money. So, it’s advisable that students feel confident that a graduate degree is necessary for the line of work they’d like to end up in before they apply or enroll.

4. Volunteering for a Cause

Volunteering could be a great way for graduates to gain some extra skills before applying for a full-time job. Doing volunteer work may help graduates polish some essential soft skills, like interpersonal communication, interacting with clients or service recipients, and time management.

Another potential benefit to volunteering is the ability to network and forge new connections outside of college. The people-to-people connections made while volunteering could lead to mentorship and job offers.

Volunteering is something graduates can do after college besides work, while still fleshing out their resume or skills.

New grads may want to volunteer at an institution or organization that syncs with their values or, perhaps, pursue opportunities in sectors of the economy where they’d like to work later on (i.e., at a hospital).

On top of all these potential plus sides, volunteering just feels good. It makes people feel happier. And, after all of the stress that accompanies finishing up college, volunteering afterward could be the perfect way to recharge.

5. Serving Abroad

Similar to the last option, volunteering abroad can be attractive to some graduates. It may help grads gain similar skills they’d learn volunteering here at home, while also giving them the opportunity to learn how to interact with people from different cultures, try to learn a new language, and see new perspectives on solving problems.

Though it can be beneficial to the volunteers, volunteering abroad isn’t always as ethical as it seems. And, not all volunteering opportunities always benefit the local community.

It could take research to find organizations that are doing ethically responsible work abroad. One key thing to look for is organizations that put the locals first and have them directly involved in the work.

6. Taking a Gap Year

According to the Gap Year Association , a gap year is “a semester or year of experiential learning, typically taken after high school and prior to career or post-secondary education, in order to deepen one’s practical, professional, and personal awareness.”

While a gap year is generally taken after high school or after college, one common purpose of the gap year is to take the time to learn more about oneself and the world at large—which can be beneficial after graduating from college and trying to figure out what to do next.

Not only might a gap year help grads build insights into what they’d like to do with their later careers, it may also help them home in on a greater purpose in life or build connections that could lead to future job opportunities.

Graduates might want to spend a gap year doing a variety of activities—including:

•   trying out seasonal jobs
•   volunteering
•   interning
•   teaching or tutoring
•   traveling

A gap year can be whatever the graduate thinks will be most beneficial for them.

7. Traveling Before Working

Going on a trip after graduation is a popular choice for graduates that can afford to travel after college. Traveling can be expensive, so graduates may want to budget in advance (if they want to have this experience post-graduation.

On top of just being really fun, travel can have beneficial impacts for an individual’s stress levels and mental health. Research from Cornell University published in 2014 suggests that the anticipation of planning a trip might have the potential to increase happiness.

Traveling after graduation is a convenient time to start ticking locations off that bucket list, because graduates won’t be held back by a limited vacation time. Going abroad before working can give students more time and flexibility to travel as much as they’d like (and can afford to!).

With proper research, graduates can find more affordable ways to travel—such as a multi-country rail pass, etc. It doesn’t have to be all luxury all the time. Budget travel is possible especially when making conscious decisions, like staying in hostels and using public transportation.

If graduates are determined to travel before working, they can accomplish this by saving money and budgeting well.

Navigating Post Graduation Decisions

Whether a recent grad opt to start their careers off right away or to pursue one of the above-mentioned things to do after college besides work, student loans are something that millions of university students have taken out.

After graduating (or if you’ve dropped below half-time enrollment or left school), the reality of paying back student loans sets in. The exact moment that grads will have to begin paying off their student loans will vary by the type of loan.

For federal loans, there are a couple of different times that repayment begins. Students who took out a Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Federal Family Education Loan, will all have a six month grace period before they’re required to make payments. Students who took out a Perkins loan will have a nine month grace period.

When it comes to the PLUS loan, it depends on the type of student that’s taken one out. Undergraduates will be required to start repayment as soon as the loan is paid out. Graduate and professional students with PLUS loans will be on automatic deferment while they’re in school and up to six months after graduating.

Some graduates opt to refinance their student loans. What does that mean? Well, refinancing student loans is when a lender pays off the existing loan with another loan that has a new interest rate. Refinancing can potentially lower monthly loan repayments or reduce the amount spent on interest over the life of the loan.

Both US federal and private student loans can be refinanced, but when federal student loans are refinanced by a private lender, the borrower forfeits guaranteed federal benefits—including loan forgiveness, deferment and forbearance, and income-driven repayment options.

Refinancing student loans may reduce money paid to interest. For graduates who have secured well-paying jobs and have improved their credit score since taking out their student loan, refinancing could come with a competitive interest rate and different repayment terms.

Graduating from college means officially entering the realm of adulthood, but that transition can take many forms. There are various financial tips that recent graduates may opt to look into.

Thinking about refinancing your student loans? With SoFi, you could get prequalified in just two minutes.



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 Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF SEPTEMBER DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
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Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change. SoFi Lending Corp. and its lending products are not endorsed by or directly affiliated with any college or university unless otherwise disclosed.

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How to Work Abroad After College

College graduates who’ve been bitten by the travel bug but don’t have the funds to see the world might still have the opportunity to travel by working abroad after college. Living and working in a new country may have its challenges but the experience may also transform graduates in ways that are likely to be impressive to future employers.

The Pros and Cons of Working Abroad

Though it can be an enjoyable experience, working abroad can also have challenges. Considering both the pros and cons is recommended before making this life-changing decision.

Making Money While Traveling

Working abroad allows graduates to start their career while also having the opportunity to travel. This can be a popular post-graduation choice for students who want to travel but don’t have the funds. Moving to a new country generally makes it easier to truly explore and get to know a country better.

Travel to nearby countries may be easy as well, so instead of visiting a single country during a one-week vacation, traveling workers might be able to experience multiple countries and cultures.

Learning the Language

Living abroad gives people a great opportunity to learn a new language or sharpen their skills in one they already speak. Every situation, from ordering breakfast to figuring out transportation, will give recent grads an opportunity to improve their language skills. The ability to speak more than one language might also open more doors in the job market. Being multilingual has become an increasingly desired skill. Learning a language while abroad could pay off in the future.

Culture Shock

Unfamiliar surroundings. A different culture. Moving to a new country means lots of adjustments. People will communicate differently, eat differently, work differently. Every part of life will be new, which can be both exciting and stressful, and adjustment to life in a new place may be experienced in a range of stages, beginning with excitement and enthusiasm, with maybe some frustration in the middle, to feeling at home in new surroundings and building relationships.

Language Barrier

Dealing with a language barrier can be stressful and scary. Not only can a language barrier make daily activities difficult, it can also make building relationships pretty slow-going. This can feel isolating for people who don’t understand the local language.

Finding Jobs

Finding an international job isn’t all that different from finding one here in the states. Recent grads might consider looking on well-known job search sites or those specific to finding opportunities in other countries. Some overseas job opportunities might be found on websites for international humanitarian organizations , travel magazines , or even the United Nations .

Requirements to Work Abroad

Getting a passport and an employment visa are important parts of preparing to work in a foreign country. Most countries grant specific work visas to international workers, but the requirements and process for getting the visa will vary by country.

The US Department of State provides some information for people interested in teaching in international schools . Checking the individual country’s official government website for visa information is recommended. Employers may be involved with the visa application, possibly being required to apply on behalf of its employees.

It’s also important to know whether or not fluency in the language is required. People who are not fluent in a language other than English and do not want to learn before moving may want to consider countries where English is the official language .

Employment Abroad

Graduates who like to think long term may want to consider applying for jobs with global companies that have positions in multiple countries , including the United States. This may open up opportunities to move back to the US in the future.

One popular choice for working abroad is teaching English. A teaching degree may or may not be required, so checking requirements of any job is important.

Recommended certifications for teaching English to non-English speakers include TESOL, TEFL, or CELTA certification. There are varying levels of certification, and classes can be taken in person or online. Choosing an accredited course will likely help a candidate’s job search.

Another popular option is to look for seasonal work, such as jobs in the tourism industry. This work can be anything from working at a ski resort, to a hostel, to bartending. People who enjoy caring for children might be interested in working as an au pair, which typically includes room and board in addition to a salary.

Other Post-Graduation Decisions

Finding a job isn’t the only task that begins after graduation. Once a student graduates, drop below half-time enrollment, or leaves school, the task of paying back student loans begins. Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Federal Family Education Loan borrowers have a six-month grace period before they’re required to start making payments. Students who took out a Perkins loan have a nine-month grace period.

Parent PLUS loans do not have a grace period unless a deferment is requested. Graduate and professional students with PLUS loans are given automatic payment deferment for six months after graduation, dropping to half-time enrollment, or leaving school.

Refinancing student loans into a new loan may offer borrowers a lower interest rate or different terms than an existing loan. Both federal and private student loans can be refinanced, but when federal student loans are refinanced by a private lender, the borrower loses federal benefits like income-driven repayment plans, loan forgiveness programs, deferment, or forbearance.

The Takeaway

Whether your future employment is in the US or in a foreign country, there are lots of options to consider. What kind of work to look for? Which employer might offer the opportunities and experiences you’re looking for? How much of a challenge are you up for? No matter where your future employment takes you, if you have a student loan, repayment will follow.

If refinancing a student loan is something you’re considering, SoFi has options that may work for your situation. Saving money is simple with SoFi’s online application process, low fixed or variable rates, and flexible terms.

See if you pre-qualify for student loan refinancing.



SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF SEPTEMBER DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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.
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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What Is Renters Insurance and Do I Need It?

Renters insurance protects your possessions if they’re stolen or damaged while you’re renting.

In addition to burglaries and vandalism, renters insurance protects you against unfortunate events, such as electrical surges, floods, and fires.

While many tenants assume they have ample coverage under their landlord’s property insurance, this is actually not typically true.

Without renters insurance, you could take a major financial hit in the event of a burglary or fire by having to pay out of pocket for everything you own that is lost or ruined.

Renters insurance also offers other financial protections, such as covering personal injuries to others and temporary accommodation if you ever need to move out due to home damage.

Whether you rent an apartment, townhouse, house or condo, here’s what you need to know about renters insurance.

What is Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance provides a number of protections, which typically include:

Personal Possessions

Renters insurance protects against losses to your personal property (think furniture, clothing, luggage, jewelry, electronics), or items that aren’t built into the property unit.

Even if you don’t own much, it may add up to more than you realize

Liability

In the event that someone other than you is injured on your rental property, renters insurance can cover expenses related to personal injuries, such as healthcare bills and legal expenses should that person sue you.

Most policies provide at least $100,000 of liability coverage, along with a smaller amount to cover medical payments. You can purchase higher coverage limits for a fee.

Temporary Living Expense

If your home becomes uninhabitable as a result of one of the covered perils, your renters insurance policy may reimburse you for the cost of any extra living expenses that occur while you’re unable to reside in the rental property, such as hotels or meals out.

Your Belongings When You Travel

Your personal belongings are not only covered when you’re at home, but also when you are away from home.

Your possessions are typically covered from loss due to theft and other covered losses wherever you may travel.

What Catastrophes Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Renters policies protect against a long list of unfortunate events.

While each policy’s level of coverage will vary, a standard rental policy may cover losses to property from perils including:

•  Fire
•  Smoke
•  Theft
•  Vandalism or malicious mischief
•  Lightning
•  Windstorms
•  Explosions
•  Water from internal sources (such as plumbing leaks)
•  Windstorm or hail
•  Falling objects

Typically, renters insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by earthquakes or floods from external sources.

You may need to purchase a separate policy or rider to get coverage for these events.

A separate rider might also be necessary to cover wind damage in areas that are prone to hurricanes.

Rental policies also do not typically cover losses due to your own negligence or intentional acts.

Recommended: What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Why is Renters Insurance Important?

One of the main benefits of renting versus owning is that there is less responsibility involved.

If there is a leak in the kitchen or a noisy neighbor causing problems, in theory, the landlord should handle those issues.

When renting, it’s easy to fall under the impression that your landlord will handle everything that goes wrong.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

Your landlord’s property insurance policy covers losses to the building itself, whether it’s an apartment, a house, or a duplex.

Renters insurance provides financial protection for many of the things that landlords aren’t insured for, or would likely be willing to cover out of their own pocket.

Is Renters Insurance Mandatory?

In some cases, yes.

While renters insurance isn’t a requirement by law, landlords are legally allowed to require it in their rental agreements.

Basically, if a landlord says a tenant needs it, they have to get it. If the landlord doesn’t require it in the lease agreement, the choice is up to the renter.

If a landlord requires renters insurance, it’s probably because they are looking after their own best interests. If a tenant has renters insurance, the landlord will be less likely to get hit with a lawsuit regarding injury or theft.

Even in cases where a landlord doesn’t require renters insurance, they may still favor applicants who have it over those who don’t.

So if you’re looking to rent a home in a competitive area, having renters insurance may help you stand out amongst a sea of applicants.

Recommended: Why Do Landlords Require Renters Insurance?

Renters Insurance Policy Options

Exactly what renters insurance covers depends on the policy type. There are two main types of renters insurance policies that renters will likely come across:

•  Actual Cash Value. This type of policy pays to replace possessions minus an amount for depreciation up to the limit of the policy. In other words, they reduce the value of the possession based on its age and use.
•  Replacement Cost. This policy pays for the actual cost of replacing the possessions, and doesn’t deduct for depreciation, up to the limit of the policy. Generally, a Replacement Cost policy costs around 10% more than an Actual Cash Value coverage policy, but this higher cost may be worthwhile.

How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost?

The price will depend on what type of policy you choose, as well as how much coverage you need.

Depending on the state you live in, the average cost of renters insurance can vary between $12 and $37 per month (or $139 to $442 per year).

To determine how much coverage is necessary, it helps to know the value of all your personal possessions.

Let’s say the worst happens and the rental property burns down to the ground. How much would all of the furniture, electronics, art, jewelry, clothing, appliances, and everyday items like towels cost to replace? Ideally, the policy will be enough to replace all possessions.

Creating a home inventory of all of your personal possessions and their estimated value can help determine this number.

Keeping this inventory up-to-date can make it easier and faster to file an insurance claim down the road.

How to Buy Renters Insurance

If you decide you want to purchase renters insurance, here are some ways to get started.

Comparison Shopping

Renters insurance policy prices can vary greatly depending on the provider, so it can be worthwhile to shop around.

It’s a good idea to get at least three price quotes, but the more the merrier.

You can call the company directly or submit an online form if available to get a quote, and then compare the different offers to see which one provides the best coverage for the best price.

Varying the Search

You may want to get quotes from different types of insurance companies, including those that sell policies through their own agents, and those that sell directly to the consumer without using agents.

You can also consult independent agents who offer policies from multiple insurance companies.

Looking Past Price

While getting the best deal possible sounds great, price shouldn’t be a renter’s only concern.

An insurance provider’s customer service, claim process, and customer reviews are all important factors to take into account.

Asking for Referrals

Alongside looking at customer reviews, you may also want to ask friends or relatives for their recommendations. This is especially helpful if they have dealt with processing a renters insurance claim before.

The Takeaway

Renters insurance can provide coverage for your personal belongings, whether they are in your home, your car, or while you are on vacation.

In addition, renters insurance can provide liability coverage in case someone is injured in your home or if you accidentally cause injury to someone

To determine if buying renters insurance is worth it for you, you may want to consider whether it would be financially devastating for you to have to replace all, or even some, of your personal possessions if they were stolen or damaged.

If the answer is yes, then a renters insurance policy may be a wise investment.

Renters insurance can also provide peace of mind, which some renters may feel is worth the cost.

If you decide to purchase a policy, you’ll want to understand what the policy covers, and also ask the company or agent about available discounts, deductibles, and coverage limits.

Thinking about renters insurance but worried about how to fit it into your budget?

You may want to consider signing up for a SoFi Money® cash management account.

With SoFi Money, you can easily see your weekly spending on your dashboard in the app. This can help you stay on top of your spending, and make sure you are staying on track with your budget.

Learn how you can earn competitive interest, spend and save all in one account with SoFi Money.



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.
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.

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