DENIED? Public Service Loan Forgiveness HORRORS

DENIED? Public Service Loan Forgiveness HORRORS

DENIED pslf horrors

You may have seen in the news that 99% of the applicants to the public service loan forgiveness program have been denied.

By the end of this post, you'll know exactly why people are being denied and how to not be one of them. Scroll to the bottom if you'd rather watch the video.

We did the heavy lifting to make sure you get your loans forgiven.

Why are people being denied for public service loan forgiveness?

The first reason is that they don't have the right loan. To be eligible for public service loan forgiveness, you have to be in a Direct Loan. If you have other loans they can be consolidated into Direct Loans to be eligible, but you have to do that first.

The second reason is they refinance their debt in the middle of making their qualifying payments. Whenever you refinance your debt, even if you refinance to a direct loan, the clock still starts over, unfortunately.

The third reason is they didn't make 120 qualifying payments. In order to be a qualifying payment it has to be for the full amount shown due, so you can't do any partial payments. It can't be any later than 15 days after due date, so a late payment does not count. You also have to be employed by a qualifying employer.

What is a qualifying employer?

These are 501C-3's or nonprofits, in the government at any level (federal, state, local or tribal). You can work in emergency management, military service, public safety and law enforcement, public interest, legal services, early child education, public service for individuals with disabilities, public service for the elderly, public health, public education and public library services. There's also a lot with schools, like school library services, other school-based services, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps also count.

In order to also be counted as a qualifying employer, you must be employed full-time at at least 30 hours per week and you cannot have your loan in a grace period, deferment, or forbearance.

The fourth reason why people were denied for public service loan forgiveness is that they were not on an income driven repayment plan. You must be on the PAYE, REPAYE, IBR or ICR plans. One caveat is the standard ten year repayment plan, also counts. If you made a year of payments on that plan before switching to an income based repayment plan, you'd be able to count those qualifying payments. However, if you went to it any type of extended payment plan that is a payment period longer than 10 years, those do not count towards qualifying payments.

The fifth reason why these people are not being approved for the public service loan forgiveness program is that they did not submit the proper paperwork. You must submit two pieces of paperwork, one is the public service loan forgiveness employment verification once per year and the income-driven payment plan income verification  once per year.

Make sure download our starter kit which includes the student loan flow chart to help you to pay off your student loans the fastest.

©2020 Owen Family Enterprises LLC. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy



7 expensive adulting behaviors

Written by Alli

So you're an adult now, congratulations.

Here is how to not waste your money.

By the end of this post, you'll have 7 categories to watch out for to adult successfully without wasting your money.

Scroll to the bottom if you'd rather watch a video.

It’s the minimalists that said,

“We work at a job that we hate so we can buy things that we don’t need to impress people that we don’t like.”

Impressing people is baked into society. Advertising pushes us in the direction that you need THINGS to appear a certain way to other people and it’s a trap almost everyone falls into. Even ourselves included at times.

The overarching idea of what we will cover is this: if you can remove yourself from trying to impress other people and just buy things that really bring you joy, you will do more things that are true to yourself AND you'll save a lot of money in the process.

So, here are the 7 "adulting" behaviors that are keeping you broke:

1. Going out to eat a lot

Obviously being an extrovert like myself, going out to eat and being social is important, but we’ve learned how to be social in ways that align with our values and fit in with the goals that we’re trying to reach. So that means organizing social events outside, going hiking, inviting people over to our house to eat dinner, etc.

2. Going to a happy hour all the time

This is something that is absolutely adulting. I remember when I first got my job, I went from broke college student to full-time employee, like what are all these numbers in my bank account?? I regularly went out with my friends after work and on the weekends. It really added up quick, turns out drinks are not cheap most everywhere in the country, but especially if you live in the city. It’s pretty easy to hit a $100 dollar bar tab a night. What we did was shifted to having people over our house more. If you do like to drink, nothing wrong with that, have some beers and some liquor at your house and you can have just as fun of a party if not better at your own house than you can at the bar. And you don’t have to worry about driving or ubering places.

3. Buying nice clothes

I love clothes and I used to be a Stitch Fix junkie. Through Stitch Fix, I would get an order of clothes every single month for $150 bucks. I was just doing that because I felt like I have a big girl job now, I need to dress the part.  When I stopped buying clothes for the sake of “adulting,” I realized that no one cared what I look like [to a point, obviously, if you look homeless they might be like, okay maybe she needs to brush her hair.] But I ended up wearing the same pants to work most days of the week and no one ever noticed. And who cares if they noticed, they're the most comfortable best pants ever and I love wearing them! Buying into the fact that we have to always have new clothes is bullshit.

4. Gadgets

I'm a total gadget junkie, I love technology. When transitioning into “adulthood,” I found myself buying a lot of stuff because I thought it was neat, even though I may not really use that much. For instance, when we were living in the van we bought a drone from someone who had it and used it twice. Like that’s something I would've done. Proudly though, we actually used the drone to shoot some of our YouTube videos that I'm sure you’ve watched. Buying things because they're cool and not necessarily useful is a good waste of money.  You don’t need that new Apple Watch or that new iPhone. The phone you have now works just great.

Pro Tip on Gadgets:  Something we've done to save money on some of our gadgets is we buy a model or two years old. The camera we film our YouTube videos on is a Sony Alpha 6000. We bought it when the 6500 were out and it was a lot cheaper and there's a lot of resources online. You can do that with just about anything, obviously look and see if the new ones are really worth the money, but most of the time tech only makes like small incremental jumps. So two models back isn’t exponentially worse than the one you can buy now, but it is exponentially cheaper.

5. Taking expensive vacations

This is so hard in the age of Instagram when you see everyone going off to Thailand and living it up! We are huge travel geeks and so we do still spend money on travel, but we've found ways to optimize our travel. Check out our blog post on how we spent 10 days in Cozumel, Mexico for $800 dollars each (including flights!). We have really found ways to optimize our expenses while traveling. We've also really enjoyed just traveling more locally. Camping out, taking the van and going places that are nearby is a lot cheaper than buying that transatlantic flight.  We live in America and it’s so beautiful here and there's so much we still haven’t even discovered. Appreciating what we have at home has also given us a newfound love and respect for our country.

6. Buying a house

Buying a house is like the most adult thing you can do, right? It’s like the American dream, but in a lot of cases people get themselves into trouble buying a house, either they're not ready financially for it or other expenses come up when you own a house that you might not expect. If you want to know how to buy a house super smart, check out our post on how to househack and drop your housing expenses to zero.

7. Buying a new car

A lot of people feel like they need to buy a new car because they want something reliable and of course with all the tech and gadgets. Thankfully, cars nowadays are super reliable, most are going over 150,000 to 200,000 miles with pretty minimal repairs. I don’t think you need a 2018 model in order to have a reliable car for the next 3 or 4 years. What we've done is we buy cars that are maybe 10 years old, 7 to 10 years seems to be a sweet spot. The cars still have less than 100,000 miles on them, they're still super reliable, they look good, they're usually in good condition and they cost like a third or a quarter of what a new car would cost.

If you do all of these things you're obviously going to save a ton of money but if you want to ramp up your savings rate even more, download our starter kit and welcome to the fam!

©2020 Owen Family Enterprises LLC. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy

Is College Right for You?

Is College Right for You? (Spreadsheet Included!)

Sweet life Starter pack image (3)

The ultimate Sweet

Life Starter Pack

Everything you need in one PDF. 14 pages of our biggest lessons, mistakes, and tips on helping you reach the sweet life sooner. It even includes action steps so when you're done with the document, you'll know exactly what you need to do next. Goodbye confusion, hello clarity.

Written by Matt

This article and video talks about:

  • The Costs of American college
  • The sunk cost of going to school and changing jobs
  • Finding your passion prior to college
  • The "Experience" of college
  • Choose Yourself Education - Sales, business, coding etc.

If you Listen to Dave Ramsey you would avoid all debt at all costs. I have nothing against Dave Ramsey, he is the entry point for so many to personal finance, but I think the community in pursuit of Financial Independence is a little bit beyond the simplicities of "Avoid all Debt". Debt is a double edged sword. It can absolutely cut both ways so the key word when dealing with debt is Prudence. I don't know about you but when I think of my 17 and 18 year old self "Prudence" is not the word that comes to mind!

Unfortunately, the education system in the United States does virtually nothing to prepare students and young adults to make wise financial decisions. Particularly, when it comes to going to college, which is one of the largest financial decisions young adults make. One that can saddle them with the negative net worth of 10's of thousands of dollars when exiting school and that can take years or even decades to pay off. That negative net worth has the 8th wonder of the world (compound interest) working against you instead of for you. Those prime years early on in your earning career when you should be putting money into retirement savings (because they literally multiply over time) are spent paying down debt and working to get to zero.

Now I don't just want to paint a negative picture of higher education. I think it has its place and particularly for certain people. After all, I have a college degree and it has served me very well financially.

The problem for kids in today's society is that it doesn't feel like college is optional. Society puts a lot of pressure on high school age kids to figure out what they want to do with their life when they've barely been cognizant of their actions for a 10th of their lifespan. It's insane honestly, and it's no wonder most college graduates don't get it right.  After all Its hard to know what you want to do when you've got so little experience.

Only 62% of college graduates work a job that requires a college degree and a mere 27% work in a job that is closely related to their major!

Personally, I view the main reasons to go to college as an opportunity to advance your knowledge, understanding, and value in a particular field you want to work in or think that will provide financially. Others may say it's to broaden your horizons, explore yourself and experience freedom and self-reliance. I think of school as an investment - You put money in, you want to see money come back out. If you're attending college for other exploratory reasons, you're really on an expensive vacation from the real world, not investing in an asset (yourself). Explore yourself in the real world for a little while and make some money while you do it! I think the statistics above show that many college goers have a less than productive outcome following college or at least mistook what they really wanted to do when they embarked on the road to higher education.

In this persons case, college actually made him poorer.  Download our spreadsheet to see if university will make you richer or poorer!
In this persons case, college actually made him poorer. Download our spreadsheet to see if university will make you richer or poorer!

Almost 40% of graduates are working a job that they could have gotten without even attending higher education. I think it's pretty clear to say that those 40% clearly missed the mark and would be way ahead financially had they started those same professions just out of high school. Another 35% of college grads work in jobs that are different than their field of study. Now these grads are working jobs that required a college degree so I think statistics will show that they are generally making more than their high school graduating counterparts and likely more than the 40% of graduates who are working jobs that don't require a degree.  However, they aren't doing what they thought they wanted to do when they went to college.

I Imagine many of them are happy where they are and enjoy their new jobs. I generally attribute this to the fact that most of them really didn't know what they wanted in the first place.  So really, they like something that pays them, and that they don't detest too awfully much.  Now I'm not going to pass judgement as one who thinks everyone needs to do a job that lights them on fire inside, but having a job that pays the bills gives you the FREEDOM to explore your "soul on fire" projects.

I think this is the most important and anchoring aspect of FI for me. If suddenly I won the lottery and never had to worry about money again I think we'd all agree that the vast majority of us would hand in our 2-weeks the following day if we even went in at all! Nothing wrong with that, we work to live, not live to work as I like to say. If all you want to do is volunteer at an animal shelter because caring for lost animals is what lights you up then you should do that. However, if you do that from day one you will undoubtedly have a much longer road to financial freedom. If you love your work and you would do it even if you didn’t get paid then that is amazing. Just beware, you are also strapping yourself to the next 40-50 years of working a job for which your enthusiasm may not be as long winded.

So if you haven't picked up on it by now I am big believer in analyzing your options and deciding what is best for you. Nothing is one size fits all in life! That said, It can be difficult to forecast our ideal future because just like those high school seniors we used to be, it's difficult to know exactly what we want to do and what will make us happy. For that reason I think some real world experience can make all the difference in preparing someone to go to school. You can try different careers and I would encourage you to use the apprenticeship model. Work with someone who is doing what you think you might like to do. You'll get a first-hand look at what that job is like and you can decide if you want to invest in yourself to develop the skills that job requires. You'll have a better understanding of what your financial prospects look like upon graduation. Something that many young adults fail to consider when they are determining what their passions are.

At the minimum you MUST run the ROI of your college education. Consider it an investment and consider what you'll make when you get out, what you'll spend while you're studying and the opportunity cost of lost wages. My personal philosophy has been maximize income early on and ride that into retirement. Use my spreadsheet to input your expected college expenses, expected income upon graduation,

College ROI spreadsheet

In the future I think you will see companies moving away from the emphasis on a college education. With the ability to take a class or certification in almost any discipline like coding, business, marketing, sales or any array of other professions which can be learned on Skillshare or GreatCoursesPlus we will start to see more and more specialized workers in the workforce who found something that interested them and went deep on it. I spent a lot of my college learning information that I have not used since the day I left that class and that all seems like lost time and effort to me.

The American Education system hasn't significantly changed in form or structure in decades. Other than the advent of online universities opening up night and remote classes it's been static. I think it will move to an interest-based study system. Instead of forcing kids to cram knowledge into their brain which they could easily just google if they were curious. Allow kids to study the things that make them excited and curious. We all learn better when we care about what we are doing. This is evident from the vast number of entrepreneurs who did horribly in school and ultimately turn out ultra-successful. It's not an uncommon story and I think it just takes someone finding their passion and going deep on that. That’s why I think the school system should be structured to expose kids to a ton of ideas and subjects and help them flourish in the ones they are drawn too.

If you have your future career firmly in sight and know what you want then I think you should go deep on that subject. The world recognizes world class and the only way you get world class is to put in the intentional practice to develop the skills. As the world gets more and more specialized people will be forced to niche down because things get more and more complex which is difficult for the generalist.

So now that I've given you tons to think about, use my Spreadsheet to calculate if college, university, or graduate would even help you on your path to financial independence!