2023 Student Loan Forgiveness Update: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Remember back in August of 2022 when we were all stoked to hear about the Biden Administration’s plan to forgive federal student loan debt? Yeah. Things have changed.

I’m here to update you on the status of federal student loan forgiveness. Shit’s complicated though, so if you didn’t read our FAQ about the program when it was first announced, you might want to get that background before reading any more. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Now that you have the background, I’ll give you the latest on where federal student loan debt forgiveness stands, along with some guidance on what student loan borrowers can do from here. Spoiler alert: there’s Bitch-on-Bitch drama at the end.

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Buy Now Pay Later Apps: That Old Predatory Lending by a Crappy New Name

Years ago Kitty and I did an interview with Glen James from My Millennial Money, a podcast out of Australia that answers the question “Will I ever get tired of listening to men with Australian accents talk about everything from true crime to investing?” (And that answer, to be clear, is a resounding haaayl nah.) You should listen to it! It’s great!

At the end of our conversation, Glen hit us with a curveball. “What do you think of Afterpay?”

“I don’t know her,” said we. And Glen, who is clearly gifted with The Sight, answered cryptically, “Ah. So it hasn’t made it to the States yet. Good luck, mates.” And then we asked him to say “1999” and giggled incessantly.

Flash forward to the present. Not only have we now heard of buy now pay later apps like Afterpay… we fucking hate them. Which means it’s time for another installment of Piggy Rails Against a Financial Outrage for 2,000 Words Or So.

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2022 Student Loan Forgiveness FAQ

The 2022 Student Loan Forgiveness FAQ You’ve Been Waiting For

***BREAKING NEWS UPDATE! The federal student loan forgiveness application is now LIVE! You can fill it out here. Ok now here’s the article.***

When I heard that President Biden was pushing through a massive federal student loan forgiveness initiative, I knew exactly what I had to do. I dropped what I was working on and immediately grabbed my phone.

I texted Piggy, my coblogger, to let her know what truly mattered in this situation: that I was right, and she was wrong, neener neener neener.

You see, back in March of 2021, I wrote a case study dissecting an IRL friend’s financial situation. In editing my article, a disagreement surfaced between Piggy and I over the likelihood of student loan forgiveness. She considered the possibility of $10K in student loan debt cancellation so remote that she strongly pushed me to remove it from the article altogether. We settled for explaining both our stances in editorial notes, which you can still read here. (Piggy: In my defense, I’ve heard this campaign promise since I was a starry-eyed 17-year-old college applicant at a John Kerry for President event.)

But I was right. As I always am! I’m a seer, a sage, a prophetess. If I had letters tattooed across my knuckles, they would say TOLD and YASO. I am Samuel Gerard, United States Marshall, ruff ruff ruff!

Okay, okay, gloating aside… A big chunk of federal student loan debt is indeed being canceled. At long last, Cancel Culture is ASCENDENT!

I know our readers have a ton of questions about how this student loan forgiveness package works. Follow me, dear children, and I will answer all of your questions in a rapid-fire FAQ.

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Credit Card Companies HATE Her! Stay Out of Credit Card Debt With This One Weird Trick

Kitty was once at an event where a credit card company was hawking their new cash rewards credit card. The credit card rep excitedly told her about all the cash back rewards she could earn by using the card, and how the interest wasn’t even “that bad!”

But mama didn’t raise no fool. Instead of falling head over heels for low interest, Kitty asked, “But what if someone pays off the credit card debt in full and on time? Will they still get the rewards?”

“Ah,” the credit card rep sighed, “we call those people deadbeats.”

A deadbeat, Kermit.

That’s right: deadbeats. Credit card companies fucking hate people like Kitty and I. And that’s exactly how we like it!

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How to Protect Cash Savings During High Inflation

How To Protect Cash Savings During High Inflation

We’ve gotten a TON of questions recently from readers trying to protect cash savings during periods of high inflation.

Usually, having mad cash and not being sure how to spend it is a fun problem to solve. (Index funds + a nice seafood dinner at a non-chain restaurant is our default answer.) But right now, high inflation is sucking the pleasure out of Scrooge McDucking on a big pile of cash.

Now is a terrible time to be holding onto cash. Cash savings during times of high inflation are guaranteed to lose value. For example: if you had $1,000 saved a year ago, our 8.5% inflation rate means that money can only buy $915 worth of goods today. It sucks for everyone, but especially so for people who’ve been saving up for a long time to hit a life milestone.

We know how hard our readers work and sacrifice to put money away. And it’s so painful to watch it lose its value because of reasons outside your control. So if you’ve got money sitting idle in your checking account, listen up! We’ll do our best to help you take the sting out of shrinking cash savings during high inflation.

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Season 3, Episode 1: "I Worry Paying for My Kids’ College Will Spoil Them. Don’t Student Loans Help Build Character?"

Season 3, Episode 1: “I Worry Paying for My Kids’ College Will Spoil Them. Don’t Student Loans Build Character?”

Do student loans build character? Or is debt in our fucked-up society suffering without meaning?

Who’s worse: the parents who give their kids every advantage in life even at their own expense? Or parents who withhold crucial help in order to teach toughness and independence? Truly, this is the weightiest question in the American experience since Jubilee asked if “a mall babe eats chili fries.” (The previous record-holder? Eh, probably Socrates?)

Here it is, Bitch Nation: the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The moment we’ve been teasing for months. It’s time for SEASON THREE OF THE BITCHES GET RICHES PODCAST!!!

Yeah, yeah, I know it took a while. But there were extenuating circumstances (see: coronavirus resulting in general ennui). But since we recently won the Plutus Award for Podcast of the Year (#stopthesteal), we figured we should get off our shapely butts and actually put out an episode of said podcast.

So here it is! And it’s a good one, if we do say so ourselves. In this episode we demonstrate our extensive parenting expertise (none) and experience with student loans (lots). We also wax philosophical about the future costs of higher education. Will little Timmy eventually have to fight in the Thunderdome to get into Princeton? Only time will tell!

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{ MASTERPOST } Everything You Need to Know about How to Pay off Debt

{ MASTERPOST } Everything You Need to Know about How to Pay off Debt

You’ve passed the trials. You’ve fought hard and won your place among the champions. At long last, it is time to be inducted into the Secret Society. Which secret society, you ask? It’s a secret.

As you take your place among the robed and hooded figures in this subterranean chamber, you know not what to expect. They are lit only by the flames of an ancient fire.

One by one, the hooded figures raise their arms to the stalactites above and intone:

Let us pay off debt, brothers and sisters!

Elmo amid the flames, presumably chanting "pay off debt."

Darling readers, debt fucking happens. Having debt doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, nor that you’re lazy or stupid. But it is something you’ll have to work hard to get past. So here is our collected advice on the subject of how to pay off debt.

Go forth and conquer, for you are soon to be debt-free!

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Dafuq Is Interest? And How Does It Work For the Forces of Darkness?

Dafuq Is Interest? And How Does It Work for the Forces of Darkness?

Here at Bitches Get Riches, we’re constantly extolling the virtues of compounding interest, which Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa, and Nelson Mandela all deemed the Eighth Wonder of the World.* This might lead personal finance novices to believe that interest is universally a great and wealth-building thing. Not so, dear readers. Not so.

Just as interest can work for you, contributing mightily to your financial goals over a long period of time, so it can spell your very doom. DOOM.

Like a monetary Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, interest has both your best interests (see what I did there?) and your utter financial destruction at its heart. Let’s explore its dual nature with a healthy dose of hyperbole, shall we?

*Not intended to be a factual statement

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Case Study: Held Back by Past Financial Mistakes, Fighting Bad Credit and $90K in Debt

Case Study: Held Back by Past Financial Mistakes, Fighting Bad Credit and $90K in Debt

Hi, it’s me again—your Good With Money Friend! It’s time for another case study. This time we’re talking about how to recover from past financial mistakes.

You guys really enjoyed our first case study. It tackled problems related to student loan debt, employment instability, and paying through the nose for rent in a high cost of living area. I’ve been hoping to do another one, but all of my friends’ most recent money issues have been too specific to their situations to be helpful to a broader audience.

Until now!

A friend reached out, asking for help repairing her damaged credit score. So she scheduled a 30 minute call with me to discuss her options, because I’m literally that bitch.

Obviously it turned into a ninety-minute call, mostly because I love the sound of my own voice. (Vocal fry ’til I die!) But really because the more we talked, the clearer it became that her credit score wasn’t her main enemy on the battlefield for financial stability. It was like a machine gun a mile away: an easy threat to identify, making a huge racket and scaring the shit out of everyone, but not actually that threatening in her present circumstances.

If you’ve struggled with debt, or you want to hone your Good With Money Friend skills, read on. Hopefully hearing about her situation will help some other folks!

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