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Dec 2, 2013

It’s exciting to be near the finish line.

The end of late-night studying, exam-session stressing and lectures is almost here (for now!). However, graduation also means the ending of in-school student loan deferment (if you have federal loans, then the 6 month countdown is about to begin). So, here’s some practical perspective to help you prepare to manage your student loans after graduation.

5 crucial tips for managing student loans after graduation:

(1) You will not live off of the advertised salary. Subtract your monthly student debt payments from your take-home earnings (after state and federal taxes! + please consider withholding!), and then you have a more rational view of what your actual earnings post-graduation look like. So when comparing job offers, think about the professional direction you’re committed to, and make sure you have what you need to live and pay your student loans after you take off your cap and gown.

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Apr 15, 2014

Facing student loan repayment reality

Facing the impact that student loans have on our daily lives takes strength. We look around, and see friends and colleagues about our age who made different career decisions, and seem to be moving on with their lives just fine, with minimal debt burdens. We see people purchasing homes, getting married, or having children and think, “Did I screw up by getting X degree and using student loans to pay for it?

There are reasons it seems so tough

I think that one of the reasons so many of us procrastinate and struggle with enrolling in a repayment plan, making student loan payments, calling our student loan servicers, or responding to other student loan correspondence is that the standard of success that was held up in front of our faces, the success we were told we could attain if we pursued higher education, now seems out of reach. (The NYTimes published a great editorial this Sunday that is a must-read.)

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Apr 8, 2014

Someone Else Setting Your Repayment Agenda?

Now that you’ve begun figuring out what you need financially in order to live without pulling your hair out, you’re in prime position to begin identifying and obliterating any barriers that stand in between you, and securing the best repayment plan for you. If you haven’t read last week’s blog post, no worries, I’ve included a brief recap for you below.

When taking small, doable steps towards enrolling in the best student loan repayment program for you, begin by:

Factor 1: Making sure that you have a “realistic life budget” that supports your real month-to-month living expenses at a manageable stress level. (Insane levels of stress are pretty counter-productive in the student loan repayment process. Take a look…)

Factor 2: Formulate a systematic method for tracking all of your income, debts, cash-flow (and expenses), so that you reduce unnecessary financial uncertainty. (It’s pretty pointless to walk around guesstimating at how much cash you actually have on hand once your bank account balances out. All this does is generate more stress and get in the way of clear-headed repayment.)

This week, we’re diving into another crucial factor you’ve got to evaluate in the process of finding the best student loan repayment program for you.

Factor 3: Know Your Repayment Objectives for Yourself

Have you had any difficult conversations about student loan debt recently? You know, one of those talks where about halfway through you realize that the person you’re talking with has absolutely no concept of what it’s like to feel torn between living a joy-filled, high-quality life and managing what can feel like a gigantic repayment burden?

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Apr 1, 2014

Find and Enroll in the Best Student Loan Repayment Plan for You

It’s time to get actively engaged in finding and then enrolling in the student loan repayment plan that best suits your needs. We’re keeping these Conquer. nuggets small, sweet, and doable. (There are more tasty digestible bites to come in future posts!) So get ready to move forward to find (or verify that you’re already in) the right student loan repayment program for you!

Real Factors that Matter: Your Budget + Your Tracking Skills

Factor 1: Make sure that you have a realistic life budget.

To create your “realistic life budget” make sure you know:

  • What your monthly take-home income is after taxes.
  • Precisely how much income you need to live without feeling like you’re going to pull your hair out.
  • Exactly how much of that income is going towards covering your basics. (Basics = food, shelter, transportation, clothing, personal hygiene.)
  • Exactly how much of that income is going towards covering your “living well” expenses. (Living well expenses = eating out, movie nights, home décor, stress relief activities etc.)
  • Exactly how much of that income is going towards debt.( Credit card debt, personal loans, student loan debt etc.)

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Mar 24, 2014 Perspective Shot - 3-24-14

Something Insidious This Way Comes…

I’ve begun noticing something insidious in my life. Has it snuck into your life too?

I think that I’m afraid of the shadow of my dreams. Let’s call this “dream shadow terror.”

I also think that I’ve been carrying dream shadow terrors around with me for the vast majority of my adult life. (Oh dear.)

When dream shadow terror strikes, it’s not because we’re actually afraid of our dreams. It’s that we’re afraid of the shadow of our dreams.

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Mar 3, 2014

How to think about hard situations...

Felt overwhelmed recently?

I’ll just come right out and say it. The subject of student debt is a massive overwhelm trigger in our society. Widespread default, a pervasive sense of frustration, believing that life will never improve because they took out student loans, a general shutting down and giving up on life.

Classic signals that many of us are living our lives in fear because we think we’ll never control, much less Conquer., our student debt.

Raise your hand if you relate. (I’m raising my secret third hand too.)
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