How to Overcome Your 5 Biggest Money Worries

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How to stop worrying about money
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Fifty-six percent of employees in America are financially stressed, according to a 2017 Workplace Benefits report prepared by Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. If you’re one of them, figuring out how to stop worrying about money could make your life a lot easier.

Unfortunately, there are lots of things to stress about when it comes to your finances. A survey by CreditCards.com revealed that a wide variety of money worries are keeping people up at night, including concerns about student loans, healthcare costs, retirement, credit card debt, and high housing costs.

How to stop worrying about money

Luckily, looking at the big picture and making a financial plan can help reduce stress. “Many individuals think their financial scenario is actually worse than it is,” said Magdalena G. Johndrow, a certified fund specialist and associate financial advisor at Farmington River Financial Group. “Often individuals have many moving parts and haven’t looked at their finances all together in one place.”

If you’re not looking at the big picture, you may be worrying unnecessarily. “Most people I’ve worked with are stressed because they don’t know if they’re doing enough,” said Michael Solari, a certified financial planner at Solari Financial Planning, LLC. “I find that most people who stress about money haven’t really thought through a game plan.”

Although it can be challenging to determine how to stop worrying about money, here are a few key pieces of advice for alleviating some of your potential financial concerns.

1. Tackle healthcare costs

Insurance coverage can reduce your worries about healthcare costs, as having a policy limits the potential expenses you face if you get sick. If you’re under 26, you’re allowed to stay on your parent’s health insurance plan — a convenient option for many young adults.

You may also be able to obtain subsidized insurance coverage through the Obamacare exchange. While open enrollment for 2018 coverage has already ended in most states, you could still obtain coverage if you have a qualifying life event such as getting married, having a baby, or losing your existing coverage.

Even with insurance, you might have concerns about high deductibles. Thankfully, there are several options to lower healthcare costs. One good option may involve opening a health savings account (HSA).

According to the IRS, you are eligible to open an HSA if you have an insurance plan with at least a $1,350 deductible for an individual. You can open an HSA at a wide variety of financial institutions including banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and credit unions.

Look for a no-fee or low-fee account that makes it easy to access your money. You can make a pre-tax investment into the HSA and withdraw money tax-free to cover qualifying medical expenses like co-insurance costs, prescription drugs, and dental or vision care.

You can also talk with your doctor about how to lower care costs. Researchers from Duke University found that in close to 50 percent of conversations with doctors in which costs were brought up, a solution was found to lower out-of-pocket expenditures.

2. Plan for retirement

Worrying about retirement savings is justified, especially with studies, such as this one from the International Longevity Center, projecting millennials will need to save more of their income for retirement than past generations.

“Unlike for many other items in life — such as a mortgage or student loans — you cannot borrow for your retirement,” Johndrow said. Because retirement savings is so important, prioritize investing for retirement even when you have other financial obligations. “By not saving for retirement early, you miss out on years of compound interest.”

Starting to save for retirement as early as possible means you won’t have to save as much money each month to end up with a big nest egg as a senior. Start putting money into a 401(k) or an IRA, both of which allow you to invest with pre-tax income. While a 401(k) is available only if your employer offers one, anyone can open an IRA online.

Though experts recommend saving 15 percent or more of your income, even investing a small amount can put you on the right path.

3. Manage your student loans

If you’re struggling with high student loan payments, figuring out how to stop worrying about money can be very difficult.

In this situation, making a plan can also be helpful. Use a prepayment calculator to see how extra payments towards student loans could shorten your payoff time, and use strategies like the debt snowball or debt avalanche methods to pay down your debts faster.

In some situations, you may not want to pay off student loans early. Early repayment might not make sense, for example, if you are eligible for loan forgiveness or if your loans are at a very low interest rate and you can get a tax deduction for student loan interest. If this is your situation, you might focus on keeping your payments affordable instead.

Switching to an income-driven repayment plan could be one option to lower payments if you’re struggling to afford them. An income-driven plan sets your monthly payments at a percentage of your income, and could result in some of your debt being forgiven after 20 or 25 years payments.

4. Decrease mortgage and rent payments

Although many financial experts advise keeping housing costs to 30 percent of your income or less, close to 39 million households are paying more than this amount, according to the State of the Nation’s Housing Report .

If your rent or mortgage costs are very high, getting a roommate or renting out a room using Airbnb could help alleviate money woes and help you learn how to not worry about money. In the biggest rental markets in the U.S., renters can save 13 percent of income on average by sharing a home with a roommate, according to Trulia.

If you have the flexibility to do so, moving to a different city where you can benefit from higher wages or a lower cost of living could also help you stop worrying about money. Some cities, such as Durham, North Carolina and Houston, Texas, are especially good places to live when trying to pay down debt.

5. Repay credit card debt

If you’re concerned about credit card debt, making a payoff plan could also be your answer to the question of how not to worry about money.

One way to reduce the costs of credit card debt and make payoff easier is to consider debt consolidation. There are two popular ways to consolidate credit card debt:

  • You could use a balance transfer to consolidate debt. This involves paying a small fee to transfer your current debts to a balance transfer credit card that offers a low introductory rate, such as 0% for a year.
  • You could also apply for a personal loan with a bank or credit union and use the loan to repay all of your current debts.

Either of these options often reduces interest costs and monthly payments, making it easier to get out of debt. A credit card consolidation calculator can show you exactly how much consolidation could save you.

Whatever approach you take to repayment, Johndrow recommends you automate your credit card payment to ensure you pay on time. “Timely payments compose roughly around 64 percent of your credit score, so it is important not to miss them,” she said.

How to stop worrying about money

Your money worries are unique to your situation, so ultimately it’s up to you to decide what steps you need to take.

For many people who have financial concerns, making a plan and looking at the big picture will go a long way towards reducing stress. By following these tips, you can tackle some of your money concerns so you’ll feel more in control of managing your money.

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1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.