Financial Wellness

Helping you manage your money, for school and for life!

August 22, 2013
by Carissa
1 Comment

Understanding Federal Stafford Loan Entrance Counseling

Another school year has started, and for many students, that means taking out new federal student loans and completing entrance counseling.  Now, after having completed the counseling, and reading all the fine print and loan jargon, did any of it really make sense?  If you answered no, then we’re here to help!

Taking out federal student loans to pay for your education can be a wise investment, if you understand how to manage the borrowing process.  Here are some helpful links for what you need to know about borrowing Federal Stafford Loans:

1. The different types of Stafford Loans that you may have

2. The limit to how much you can borrow in Stafford Loans

3. How you can save a lot of time and money by managing your loan debt as you progress through school 

4. The pitfalls of the “refund check” and how you may be required to pay that money back if you make changes to your schedule

5. Learn how to keep track of your federal student loans using the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

And because we love infographs, has created a handy visual aid (see below) to show you how managing your student loans is the best thing you can do for managing your future. 

If you have questions on any of these topics, please feel free to contact our Financial Aid department at or contact the Financial Literacy team at

 Understanding Student Loans in Real Terms

Via: NerdWallet

August 12, 2013
by Carissa

Saving Money by Cutting Cable

For most people, myself included, when I look at ways in which I can cut back every month, the buck stops when it comes to my cable.  After all, if I’m saving money by not going out as much, aren’t I going to rely more on TV for entertainment?  And since my cable is bundled with my internet service, it just seems logical to keep it all anyway.  Right?  Well, maybe not.

There have been so many advancements with streaming technology that you may be able to save yourself hundreds of dollars per year by cutting the cord and making the switch!  With Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, network websites and so many other ways to get your television fix, it does seem like cable companies may be going the way of the dodo.  By finding a good internet plan and subscibing to a few streaming services, many converts are swearing by this new way of watching television.

I don’t pretened to be an expert on this stuff, but the money saver in me was definitely intrigued by this article by Snarkfinance writer Mitchell Pauly.  He shows an example of $888 annual savings for a Comcast customer switching to streaming – when you put it like that, it certainly seems worth consideration!

Has anyone made the leap and gotten rid of their cable?  Tell us what you think!

August 6, 2013
by Carissa

Beware of “grey charges”

Previously on this blog, we’ve talked about the importance of reviewing your credit card statements to monitor any activity that may indicate ID theft.  But what if that activity was coming from a company you trusted and did business with — and it was legal?  These charges do exist, and we call them grey charges.

According to this USA Today story, many Americans are paying around $215-356 each year in these charges, which often stem from the expiration of a free trial period, or from services that automatically renew (think magazine subscriptions).  These are charges that many people never intentionally plan to take on but, once charged, the amount is usually too small to notice for those who are not reviewing their monthly statements.  It’s the gradual build-up of these small grey charges that, over the course of a year, really add up to a significant amount!

This infographic from BillGuard shows the ABC’s of grey charges, and what you can do to avoid them.

Click to view full infographic