A lot of people talk about curing financial anxiety through logical methods.
Make a plan, buff up your savings account, increase your income. All of these things should take some of the heat off the emotional response of financial anxiety.
But do they really?
As someone who loves to seek logical solutions to my emotional fears, I’ve tried all of these strategies. Although these steps can impact my financial stability, they don’t solve my problem of overall anxiety.
Then one day, in a near meltdown over my money anxiety, my husband gave me advice that changed everything.
What is financial anxiety?
While I’m happy that I have an emergency fund, I still worry about the following:
What if I lose my job…and can’t find another one before my emergency fund runs out?
And, most of all, I think:
What if some large financial outcome happens that no emergency fund can save. What then?
Most people worry about money to a point. That’s because money controls many aspects of our lives: our ability to eat, to have homes, to eventually retire, etc.
In fact, a study done last year by the American Psychological Association uncovered some interesting details about money stress:
- Almost 3/4 of the respondents reported stress about money.
- Almost 1/4 of the respondents felt “extreme stress” in relation to money.
- Almost 1/4 said that, in the past month, their stress was up to “8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale.”
As you can see, if you’re worried about money, you’re not alone. But what about when that worry turns to serious anxiety? If left unchecked, money anxiety can lead to financially detrimental behaviors.
Dr. Brad Klontz, Psy.D., a certified financial planner and financial psychologist, describes some of these behaviors for Psychology Today. Some of them include excessive risk aversion, overspending, financial dependence, and more.
If you feel you may suffer from one of these disorders, jump to the bottom of the page. But, if you think you have financial anxiety that’s painful but not yet at that level, read on below.
How to not stress about money
Back to my husband’s game-changing advice.
When I was deep in a spiral of worry about money with no signs of letting up, I asked him why he doesn’t worry. I was hoping he could give me some magical cure-all advice on how to not stress about money.
Instead he says,“I try not to worry about what could happen. I’m confident about my resilience.”
What? That was a way of thinking I never considered before. Intrigued, I asked him to explain.
“You can worry about all the things that might go wrong,” he says. “Or you can understand that there’s always something you can do.”
In his words, it all comes down to understanding that there are options. Even if they’re not always ideal ones.
“If I really had to, I know I could make changes in my life to cope,” he explains. “Trusting in my resilience allows me to think clearly about a situation and find solutions rather than worry.”
At first, I was skeptical about this advice. Yet, I was still thinking about it a few days later. And that’s when I understood why it works.
Conquering my financial anxiety spirals
How could I tell it worked for me? Because the next time my financial anxiety spiral began, I was able to answer it in in the following ways:
“What if you lose your job and can’t find another one?”
I’ll work at a restaurant or a coffee shop or whatever I can get if I have to. Sure, I love my career and want to keep it going – but that’s not the only option that exists in the world.
“What if you have a medical emergency and your emergency fund doesn’t cover it?”
I’ll negotiate my medical bills. I’ll find ways to pay them off faster after I recover.
In the end, life is more meaningful than money. And if I can’t earn enough to pay them off, I can revisit the point above – only this time as a side gig alongside my day job.
“What if you and your husband both lose your jobs and can’t get new ones and run out of money for rent?” (You can see now how nasty my spiral gets.)
We’ll sublease our apartment – or we’ll break the lease and eat the cost from our security deposit if we have to. We can find a cheaper apartment to live in outside of the city, too.
Or, we’ll move in with our parents if we have to. That’s an option we’re lucky enough to have – even if we’d prefer not to use it. And we’ll do it all before draining our emergency funds, but as soon as it becomes clear it’s necessary.
Focus on your resilience
For some of us (myself included), we spend so much time worrying about how we’re going to hold the cards of our carefully crafted lives together that we forget that this isn’t the be all and end all of life. But focusing on your resilience can help.
Sometimes we have to go backward to move forwards. I’ve done this a few times by moving across country and changing careers. And sometimes we just need to focus on what we can do instead of worrying about what we’ll lose.
If your money stress is serious, seek help
I want to take a minute to say that I’m approaching this topic from the point of view of privilege.
I’m not worried about losing the roof over my head because of a tenuous financial situation. I’m worried about it because I’m a worrier.
Anxiety is always with me and it’s pointing to my greatest fear – not being able to provide for myself and my family.
If, however, your financial anxiety is caused by a very real concern about feeding and housing your family, seek help. Check out your local food bank or seek out other local services and resources to help.
And if all else fails, google the website of your city. For example, when I searched “New York City” in google, I found their website, which links to many local resources. Try this for your hometown to see what help might be available to you.
Finally, if you’re able to make ends meet, but financial anxiety is threatening to take you down, you might want to seek help from both a financial planner and a psychologist.
A financial planner can help you evaluate your money situation and suggest changes if necessary. A psychologist can help you get to the root of your anxiety – especially if financial anxiety is a symptom of something else.
No matter what the case, understand that you’re not alone. Seek help if you need it and start taking steps to work through this. Nothing is more powerful than taking that first step.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 7 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.45% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.81% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.49% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of November 6, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 11/06/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Mortgage lending is not offered in Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association.
ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (“APR”)
There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.
For bachelor’s degrees and higher, up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans (minimum $5,000) are eligible for refinancing. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, Lender may refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans.
ELIGIBILITY & ELIGIBLE LOANS
Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).
Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.
All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default. Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment. Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for applicable terms and conditions.
For Associates Degrees: Only associates degrees earned in one of the following are eligible for refinancing: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist. To refinance an Associates degree, a borrower must also either be currently enrolled and in the final term of an associate degree program at a Title IV eligible school with an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive an eligible associate degree OR have graduated from a school that is Title IV eligible with an eligible associate and have been employed, for a minimum of 12 months, in the same field of study of the associate degree earned.
The interest rate you are offered will depend on your credit profile, income, and total debt payments as well as your choice of fixed or variable and choice of term. For applicants who are currently medical or dental residents, your rate offer may also vary depending on whether you have secured employment for after residency.
The repayment of any refinanced student loan will commence (1) immediately after disbursement by us, or (2) after any grace or in-school deferment period, existing prior to refinancing and/or consolidation with us, has expired.
POSTPONING OR REDUCING PAYMENTS
After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship.
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.
We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.
If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of November 8, 2019 and is subject to change.
4 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 1.9299999999999997% effective October 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 11/07/2019 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% to 8.65% Variable APR with AutoPay and 3.49% to 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
7 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
College Ave Disclosures
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
1College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.
2All rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
3$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.
4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
Information advertised valid as of 09/23/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
|1.81% – 6.49%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.31% – 7.36%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 7.60%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.02% – 6.30%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.90% – 8.65%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.74% – 6.24%7||Undergrad & Graduate|