If you haven’t heard all of the reports lately regarding federal student loan interest rates, it may “interest” you to know that the rates on subsidized Stafford loans doubled on July 1st. However, the Senate has approved a bill to tie those rates to market rates, which means any undergraduate loans taken out since July 1st will be at 3.9% interest and graduate loans will be at 5.4% interest. These rates will be locked in for the life of any federal students loans taken out during the 2013-14 federal aid year. As ABC News reports, the House is expected to also pass the bill soon, making it all but a done deal.
Wednesday’s ruling to overturn DOMA will mean major financial changes are on the horizon for same-sex married couples who reside in states that recognize gay marriage. Besides the big change to tax filing status going forward, same sex couples are now also permitted to file an amended return for the past three years to take advantage of the status retroactively. Additionally, death benefits, gift tax exemption, and health insurance (including the Affordable Care Act) will now be inclusive of all married couples.
Some issues to consider include whether or not filing jointly will benefit a couple, and if a married status will help or hurt couples under the Affordable Care Act. While there will undoubtedly be more details in the coming months, here are a few good articles that summarize the preliminary DOMA financial implications from CNBC, Daily Finance, and Huffington Post.
In a June 4th article, the Columbus Dispatch reported that Ohio is the fourth worst in the U.S. when it comes to financial literacy. The results were based on a financial literacy quiz, conducted as part of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study. To read more about the sad state of affairs here in Ohio, click here for the article.
If you’d like to take the financial literacy quiz and see how you measure up, just click here. Leave us a comment and let us know how you scored!
Free financial counseling – Apprisen is the local consumer credit counseling agency for Columbus, offering free initial counseling for those requesting money management help. If you are outside of the Columbus area, click here for an agency close to you.
Money Smart Week– Morningstar, an investment research database in our library, is sponsoring investment webinars the week of April 20 – 27th. Additionally, they have created a fantastic tool to get all of your finances in order so that you can begin to focus on investing. Click here to view this handy guide.
Debt.org – Everything you need to know about student loans, managing student debt, paying back student loans — and that’s just one part of the website! You can also explore personal debt, and how to get free debt consultation services.
We hope you have enjoyed this week’s activities, and continue to explore the many resources available to you to help you on your path to fiscal responsibility. If there’s a favorite site of yours that has not been included, feel free to leave us a comment and tell us about it!
Remember to visit the Financial Literacy Week events today through Thursday, both onsite and online! These events are open to all students, faculty, and staff. At the end of the week, we’ll draw winners for fuel cards and gift cards to Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, and Subway — but you have to participate to win, so click here to see today’s events, or check out the rest of this week’s activities.
Cincinnati.com has a great article on how to apply March Madness bracketology to your personal finances. Here’s just a snippet of their sports-themed advice:
A motto of March Madness teams has become “survive and advance.” Do whatever it takes to make it to the next round. In your financial tourney, this means living below your means. It wasn’t a basketball coach who first said, “No pain, no gain.” It was actually Ben Franklin. What he was referring to was the fact you need to accept some pain now (in the form of saving rather than spending) if you want to reap financial gains in the future. Unfortunately, this is a lesson lost on many at both the consumer and government level today.
After reading this article, you can create your own personal financial bracket by heading over to http://www.financialfour.org/. Here, the National Endowment for Financial Education and Financial Planning Association has already selected 32 sound financial goals. Pick your top priorities to advance through each round, helping you to identify your top financial goals, and see how you stack up to the rest of the bracket entries.
There’s a viral video on wealth inequality that’s getting a lot of attention for highlighting just how far off the mark we are when it comes to who we think has all the money. It’s great food for thought, and makes me even more determined to make deliberate and purposeful choices about how I spend and save every hard-earned penny. Take a few minutes to see where you stand, and feel free to post your comments/reactions to this powerful video.