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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

FAB Financial Awareness Basics

To view this email as a web page, go here.
Three ideas to improve your financial life
Simple things for students and everyone to do this month
 
 Request a copy of your consumer credit report and review it 
 
Amount of time to complete: 
15-30 minutes
How: Go to www.annualcreditreport.com 
— Click "Request yours now!"
— Click "Request your credit reports"
— Fill out the form
Note: As a safeguard to your personal information, you'll be asked questions only you would know the answers to.
Why it matters: The information in your reports may affect your mortgage rates, credit tcard approvals, apartment requests or your job application. In addition, reviewing the information may help you detect identity theft.

 
 Keep track of the due dates of all bills. Always pay on time. 
 
Amount of time to complete: 
15-20 minutes monthly
How: Set up a bill tracking system that works for you. It could be a calendar, an app, a spreadsheet or a simple piece of paper with the due dates and amounts indicated for each bill.
Why it matters: Paying bills on time means you'll avoid late fees. An added bonus is that your track record for paying on time is one piece in maintaining a good credit score. 

 
 Celebrate completing ideas 1 and 2 by doing something free. It's spring! 
 
Take a walk, sit in the park, or listen to music, and imagine the day when you have control of your financial life. It's possible by taking small, manageable steps one at a time.
Amount of time to complete: 5-30 minutes
How: Start by imagining the freedom in deciding that happiness doesn't need to cost money.
Why it matters: Small, impactful steps-like finding free things to do-can lead to a more empowered, debt-free life.

 
 Oprah may have her favorite things, but the Outreach and Financial Literacy team has found some fab stuff to share with you! Here are some of our most recent picks: 
 Video 
 
  • In preparation for National Financial Literacy Month, iGrad visited college campuses to test the financial literacy of today's students. You may find the results surprising.
  • Spring is the perfect time to tackle financial clutter. From refreshing budgets to going paperless to cleaning up your credit score, here are seven tips that make it easy to do a financial clean sweep this spring.
  • How to rebuild your finances after draining your emergency fund
  • Manilla—This free app allows you to pay, track and store records of all of your bills, financial accounts and household accounts in one place. You can also customize the app to send alerts for outstanding bills that are coming due.

 
 
When do I start repaying my federal student loans?
You don't have to begin repaying most federal student loans until after you leave college or drop below half-time enrollment. Many federal student loans have a grace period, which gives you time to get financially settled and to select your repayment plan.
You will make your federal student loan payments to your loan servicer. They will provide you with a loan repayment schedule showing when your first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment. Your servicer will work with you to choose a repayment plan and answer questions you have about your federal student loans. It's important to stay in contact with your loan servicer and keep them informed of any changes to your mailing address, email or phone number so they know how to contact you.
How much will I have to pay?
You can use the repayment estimator to gauge your monthly payments under different repayment plans to determine the option that fits your financial circumstances. Just remember, if you would like to switch repayment plans, you must contact your loan servicer.
What if I'm having trouble making my student loan payments?
Contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. You may be able to change your repayment plan to one with a longer repayment period or to one that is partially based on your income. If switching repayment plans isn't an option for you, ask your loan servicer about your options for loan consolidation, a deferment or forbearance.
 
 
Webinars and money tips in honor of National Financial Literacy Month
What a perfect opportunity to learn money management skills! This month the Outreach and Financial Literacy team presents the free, five-part webinar series: "Five Easy Pieces: Earn, Spend, Save, Protect and Borrow." Each installment is 30 minutes and is designed to provide financial aid counselors with information that they can share with their students. Clickhere to find out more about the series and reserve your (virtual) front row seat.
We'll also be sharing important money management tips on social media. Like our Financial Awareness Basics Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.
Start a discussion using the hashtag #FLM2015.
Looking ahead: Budget is not a four-letter word
It's pretty difficult to manage a budget when your expenses exceed your income. In the next issue of FAB Gab, we'll share a simple strategy to track spending and set up a realistic money management plan that even the most math-challenged person can handle.
 




Monday, April 20, 2015

This Week in Congress

Please see below from our Legislative Relations committee.

 

Week of April 20th

 

This week, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate are in session for legislative business.

 

o   Both the House and Senate may consider a conference agreement on the Fiscal Year 2016 budget resolution if conferees can resolve the differences between each chamber’s budget blueprint. The House and Senate Budget Committees are expected to hold the first meeting of the conferees on Monday at 3:00 p.m.

 

o   The House is expected to consider H.R. 1195, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act, to create a Small Business Advisory Board and codify the creation of a Credit Union Advisory Council and Community Bank Advisory Council at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The bill also restricts the amount of funds that the Bureau can request from the Federal Reserve over the next 10 years.

 

·       On Monday at 12:30 p.m., the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosts a discussion titled, “High Costs, Uncertain Benefits: What do Americans Without a College Degree Think about Postsecondary Education?” Participants include: Andrew Kelly, Director, AEI’s Center on Higher Education Reform; Kevin James, Research Fellow, AEI’s Center on Higher Education Reform; Mark Schneider, Vice President, American Institutes for Research; Nicole Smith, Research Professor and Senior Economist, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce; and Rachel Zinn, Director, Workforce Data Quality Campaign.

 

·       On Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., NCHER holds its Monthly Membership Call, which will provide a summary of the March 24, 2015 call of the Board of Directors; provide a summary and updates on major items being worked on by our committees, caucuses, and working groups; and provide a Washington Update, including recent legislative and regulatory actions of the Congress, Department of Education, Department of Treasury, and CFPB. The conference call-in number has been circulated to each organization’s primary point of contact.

 

·       On Wednesday through Friday, all-day, the National Association of Bond Lawyers hosts its Fundamentals of Municipal Bond Law Seminar in Orlando, Florida. The seminar provides attendees with a strong understanding of the key components of a municipal bond practice, including an overview of federal securities laws with which every municipal bond practitioner should be familiar and an in-depth explanation of the federal tax laws applicable to municipal bonds. 

 

·       On Wednesday at 10:45 a.m., the House Appropriations Committee meets to consider and approve the allocations for each of the 12 subcommittees responsible for assembling legislation setting funding levels for federal discretionary spending, including the Labor/Health and Human Services/Education Appropriations Subcommittee. 

 

·       On Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing titled, “Enhancing Cybersecurity of Third-Party Contractors and Vendors.” Witnesses will be announced at a later date.

 

·       On Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., the CFPB hosts a meeting of its Community Bank Advisory Council, which advises the Bureau in the exercise of its functions under federal consumer financial laws and provides information on emerging practices in the consumer financial products or services industry. The meeting’s agenda includes a welcome by CFPB Director Richard Cordray and a discussion of credit scores and credit reporting and its implications for small financial institutions. 

 

·       On Thursday, all-day, insideARM.com and the iA Institute host the third annual Larger Market Participant Summit for senior executives in the accounts receivable management industry. During the summit, attendees will discuss current trends in consumer litigation, including recent Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases; receive updates on current events, including Department of Education contract litigation, CFPB action against collectors and technology vendors, and large companies exiting the 3rd party collection space; discuss credit reporting; receive an update on clarifications related to the new New York debt collection rules; and participate in a meet and greet with representatives from the CFPB.

 

·       On Thursday at 9:15 a.m., the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit holds a hearing entitled, “Examining Regulatory Burdens – Regulator Perspective.” Witnesses will be announced at a later date.

 

·       On Thursday at 2:25 p.m., Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer hold a press conference at Jefferson Community and Technical College to highlight the success of core reform efforts underway in the state and across the country.

 

·       On Friday at 12:00 p.m., the Council for Economic Education, Jump$tart Coalition, and Junior Achievement USA hosts a Financial Literacy Day on the Hill. Held in conjunction with the offices of Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), the event is open to the public and provides networking opportunities with the national financial education community. NCHER staff and more than 50 non-profit, government, and corporation organizations will participate in the event.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Condolences





SASFAA extends our condolences to former President, Susan Little, as her family mourns the loss of her father who passed away on April 14.
 
Susan was SASFAA President in the 1998-1999 year and was GASFAA President in 1990-1991.  During her years in aid administration and before her retirement from University of Georgia as Director of Financial Aid in 2008, Susan was very active in both associations as well as in NASFAA as a strong advocate for students.

You can extend your personal condolences to the family on the funeral home's website (below) or to their home address.
Jim and Susan Little
1348 Foster Manning Road
Summerville, GA 30747
For more information regarding arrangements for Susan's father, please visit:  http://www.rainwaterfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Bryan-Durham/.

Please keep the Littles in your thoughts during this difficult time.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tax Day Deals, Bargains, & Freebies - Check 'em out.



"Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them.” 
Margaret MitchellGone with the Wind

The day has arrived! It’s Tax Day 2015! Hopefully some of these deals, bargains, and freebies will help ease the pain of this day (for some, anyway). Listed in no particular order: 


SASFAA does not endorse nor support any of these sites or products/deals advertised.            


SASFAA Communications and Outreach Chair, 2014-2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 New Aid Officers Workshop - Registration is Open!



The SASFAA New Aid Officers Workshop (NAOW) is a unique training experience designed to significantly enhance each participant's knowledge of federal financial aid.  The registration fee includes all instructional materials, housing, most meals, and SASFAA 2015-2016 membership.
All pertinent information can be found at http://www.sasfaa.org/naow.

We look forward to seeing you in this summer in northern Kentucky. Register today!

Marian Dill and SASFAA's Professional Development Committee