Episode Number: 228

Episode 228- Everything You Need To Know About Student Loan Repayment W/ Travis Hornsby

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Show notes

Jamila Souffrant 0:00

You're listening to the Journey To Launch Podcast: Everything you need to know about student loan repayment plans. The options you have, loopholes you should know, and how to pay them back on any income with Travis Hornsby.

Intro 0:13

T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the Journey To Launch Podcast with your host, Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you, get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey To Launch to financial freedom in five, four, three, two, one.

Jamila Souffrant 0:41

Hey, hey, hey, Journeyers. Back with another episode that I hope will be helpful to you on your journey to launch to financial freedom and independence. On the podcast today we have Travis Hornsby. He's the founder of Student Loan Planner, and the host of The Student Loan Planner Podcast. To date, he's consulted on over $500M in student debt personally, more than anyone else in the country, he says. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst and brings his background as a former bond trader, trading billions of dollars. You'll hear Travis is an expert on student loans. This is what he does for a living. He helps people really plan out the best way to tackle their student loans. And you're going to get a wealth of information from this. Now, when we recorded this episode, it was a couple weeks ago. And so now we are in real time, I'm actually recording this intro, you know, still some couple weeks out before you hear this episode. So things may have changed. But I will tell you this, we planned and we made this episode timeless. So no matter what happens when it comes to repaying your student loans, if you get an extension. Again, if you are one of the people that were able to benefit from the student loan payment plan pause for federal loans. If it continues, you'll have some tips to move forward. If they do not decide to continue the pause and you will have to pay your loan back soon, you'll get some tips for that too. We will also talk about how to pay your student loans back, how to think about them depending on your income level, and your repayment plan options. I'm telling you, you do not want to miss this episode. If you know someone who has student loan debt, federal student loan debt, you have to let them hear this. Share this with them. Send it to them. Take that screenshot. Copy that link, and make sure you're getting this information to who needs to hear it.

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If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned, and so much more. Also, whether you are An OG Journeyer or are brand new to the podcast, I've created a FREE Jumpstart Guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes to listen to, stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources, and so much more. You can go to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Hey, Journeyers. Okay, so I am bringing you a very important... they're all important my conversations by the way, but this is a very timely and important conversation about student loans. And I have none other than Travis Hornsby, of Student Loan Planner Company here to help us understand what is going on with our student loans. I luckily, thank God, don't have any more student loans, but I know a lot of my Journeyers listeners do. And some of them are six-figures worth of student loans. And some of them are crippling them in terms of moving forward with investing and reaching their goals. So we have Travis here to help us break it all down on how to succeed with our student loans. So hi, Travis, welcome to the podcast.

Travis Hornsby 4:51

Thank you so much for having me, Jamila.

Jamila Souffrant 4:53

First of all, just explain why I believe, like, you're one of, like, the top experts in student loan... just information, and, planning, and helping. Can you just give a little background about what you do and your company?

Travis Hornsby 5:03

For sure. So the company has advised close to $1.5 billion of student loan debt for five or 6,000 borrowers now. So, we like to think that we are, like, the top experts for student loans, when, it's in some cases more than what people have on a house. So we tend to help people with like, really large debts, but we can really help people with any level of debt. And as we know, you know, student loans have been paused for 16 months now. And at a minimum, it's going to be paused for 18 months, but we're starting to see signs that, that bill is about to start coming due again. And you know, it's been wonderful, this pause, like, it's been so great for borrowers, but there's gonna be, like, seismic changes happening in the student loan system, where people need to know what's coming down the pipeline, so that you can be ready and not have those student loans throw you off all the financial gains you've made towards your goals this year.

Jamila Souffrant 5:53

Yeah, there's going to be like a, a big reckoning to come up when the payments become due. So, let's, let's walk back a little bit to get, like, a history. And when we're talking about student loans in this context, it's federal student loans, right? So, can you walk us back to how we got to where we are today and when the student loan pause is supposed to end and what's going on with that?

Travis Hornsby 6:14

Yeah, so like how we got here today. So, I mean, like, go way back. You know, I mean, if we, if we can go way, way back, right. So, Sputnik happened, right? The Soviets were kicking our butt in the space race. And so Congress was like, "We should make student loans to help people to go to college." And so, over time, like student loans have become a bigger and bigger thing. And, you know, basically, in the 2000s, they came up with income based repayment, and they came up with loan forgiveness programs, where you didn't necessarily have to pay everything you borrowed back, depending on what kind of job you're in, depending on how much you owe relative to your, to your income, excetera. And in President Obama's administration, these programs got even more generous. And during that timeframe, there was also new companies that came out that allowed you to refinance your student loans to lower interest rates if you're trying to pay it back. So what we had happened was, there's these two different paths, you can go down. You can pay it back, which is what you're going to hear on most of the popular personal finance shows. Is like that advice on paying it back. And you can also get it forgiven, which is a whole nother path that people really don't understand very well, because all that advice about paying your loans back is kind of like the most popular advice. It's been around for forever. And like I mentioned, you know, a lot of these best forgiveness programs only came about in the last 10 or 15 years. So a lot of the older folks out there that went to college in like the 80s, or the 90s. They're given advice with a framework that, you know, on, on programs that didn't exist back when they went to college. So a lot of times, they're completely unaware of what options people have. So, that's how we kind of got up to this point. And then what happened with the COVID-19 Pandemic is people lost their jobs in mass, right? People, like, were impacted economically, health wise, you know, finances, it was it was a really hard time. And so the government said, "Okay, let's go ahead and pause people's interest and their payments on qualifying federal student loans." That didn't go to private loans, unfortunately. The private loan companies gave people, in some cases, like three months of pause payments, but that's pretty much it. So, for federal student loan borrowers, this has been the most unexpected, exciting, happy time, like, ever, because there was zero interest and zero payments. I mean, didn't get better than that. So if you're making payments, it was all going to principal. If you're not making payments, and you're going for forgiveness, all those $0 payments we're counting towards forgiveness. So, it's been a wonderful past 16 months. Now the problem is, all good things have to come to an end, right? That's kind of like a cliche, but it's like kind of a sometimes a truth thing. And so what's going on right now, as we record this, we're expecting at any hour for them to come up with an announcement about when people will have to start paying again. So, for sure, there's going to be one final extension if there is an extension past September 30th. So we know one of two things is going to happen. It's either going to end September 30th. Or it's going to end sometime between September 30th and March 31st. So we're still waiting on that announcement, but we can talk about like either scenario.

Jamila Souffrant 9:06

Yeah. So one of the things I want to do-- so I know that this is a very, and I'm hoping I get this episode out to you guys listening in a couple of weeks. So, because the information may change, but what I want to do is talk some timeless information about your student loans right now what you can do, what you can expect, and then regardless of what happens, how you can move forward in the best way and then talk about these possible scenarios, um, that may occur. So I do want to just go back to what we can expect. So we don't know yet, and maybe by the time this comes out, we'll have an idea if it's ending or not. But if the paused payments are not extended at the end of September 30th, then when will the first student loan payments be due?

Travis Hornsby 9:45

Basically, if nothing changes, like, if there's, if there's no kind of, like, extra extension, the interest starts October 1, but the payments are mostly due October 30th. So, one thing you should know, like, as a borrower is whenever that interest payment pause does end, basically 30 days after that is when your bills due. So you're gonna, it's gonna be a really big thing. You're getting text messages, emails, you're gonna get a lot of contacts. And so it won't come as a surprise. So, you know, I think that that's what most people need to realize, though is the payments are basically 30 days after the end of that student loan forbearance.

Jamila Souffrant 10:21

And your loan servicer is required to contact you. So, maybe some people are just like, "Well, I missed this," but you won't, because they have to, it's like by law, they have to contact you and let you know your payments are due, right?

Travis Hornsby 10:30

Right. I mean, like, it would be very unlikely that you would miss it. But, I will say that if you're, you know, completely not paying attention, there's the chance, right? Like, if you got a new phone number, or maybe you moved. I mean, that would be a scenario where you can miss it, because maybe not everybody checks their email, right? So, I think that the, the thing is, is like, whenever it does end, it will end, and it will end sometime in early 2022. Why do I know that? It's because the, you know, Democrats, are in charge of Congress, right? Both Democrats that run the Education Committee in the House, and the Senate, requested that, maybe, you get another extension, but that it would end in early 2022, right? So, that's telling us that but the best case scenario, your student loans are going to start up again in early 2022. So we so we know that. That's like the best case scenario, the worst case scenario is nothing happens, and the thing ends in September. And, you know, by the time this episode comes out, I expect that we'll know that. So what you could do is just Google "When do my student loan payments start?" And you know, if you see that answer online, then you know, kind of, how to prepare for this next bit of advice that really give.

Jamila Souffrant 11:31

So for those who've had their payments paused, what, and they weren't, maybe, saving it, and putting it aside, like, it was literally to help them pay for living. In general, what should they do now to prepare for this payment plan if it does not extend? And well, the pause isn't, the pause expires? What should they do? How should they start to do this? Should they act as if they need to pay it, and then put that money aside? What is your advice?

Travis Hornsby 11:58

Well, so I heard this press conference the other day, and they were talking about the need to extend the pause one more time. And they were talking about how people have student loan payments that are as big as their rent, or their, or their car payment, or, you know, something like that. And so I'll say the federal student loans, that should never ever be the case, unless you want it to be that way. So what I mean by that is, let's say you have $100,000 in student debt. So, they're gonna send you a piece of mail that says your payments are $1,000 a month. Well, nobody says that you have to pay $1,000 a month. So if your payments are really high, and, you know, high enough to be stressful, then you need to know about income based repayment. So you can go to studentaid.gov/IDR, you know, stands for income driven repayment. So studentaid.gov/IDR. So, that's the first step, is go there, there'll be an "Apply Now" button, and apply for an income based plan. There's a lot of different plans, most of the ones out there will give you 10% of your income, but they only take 10% of your income over, like, one and a half times the poverty line. So if you're making $20,000 a year, or $30,000 a year, your payments very well could be zero, or close to $0 a month. So, that would be great, you know? So I want to want to tell people out there that just because this thing's coming to an end doesn't mean that your payments have to be super high, right? Now, if they are high, because that you want them to be high, that's fine, like because that's what you want to do to get out of debt fast, right? But I just want people no low-income people out there. Don't stress about this, because you have so many options to get a really low payment.

Jamila Souffrant 13:29

And I want to explore that more, because regardless of what happens, whether we, they have to start paying back the loans or not this Income Based Repayment Plan and all these forgiveness programs are available. So I do want to spend some time talking about that. And then we can go back into the possible scenarios, because I think that will be the best, timeless, most information we can give right now for people. So let's talk a little bit about these options.

Travis Hornsby 13:50

Sure, and I want to talk... I'm gonna kind of, like, go into them, like level of income. Some kind of start, kind of, like, lower income first, and we're gonna, like, work our way up the scale. That way, there's kind of information for everybody. So, let's say you're in default or delinquent on your student loans before the pandemic, or let's say you're, you know, you think you, you couldn't make the payments or something. Well, if you are worried about getting into default or delinquency, obviously sign up for the income base plans. But let's say that you were in default or delinquency, like, on your student loans before the pandemic. Well, now, everybody has had at least nine months of credit towards getting your loans out of default. So you basically have to do usually like this nine month process to get your loans out of default, if it's normal times, but the pandemic counted all those months towards that nine month clock, which means like anybody in to default on their loans, get them out of default now, just by signing up for an income based plan. So no more garnish, tax refunds, no more garnished wages, no more garnished Social Security, if you're older, right? The government can really seize a lot of your income and your tax credits and refunds. And a lot of people are getting really large tax credits right now with the expansion of the Child Tax Credit. So we don't want any anybody getting anything garnished or seized, right? And so the simple solution to that is to, you know, you can type in like, "Default Resolution, Department of Education Hotline," and so you can call that number and help ask them to help you sign up for an income based plan, when the payments become due, so that you get yourself out of default and no longer hurts your credit. And, actually, that should come off of your credit report, if you do that. So that, that default doesn't even need to hurt your credit score anymore, which is, you know, a really big deal for especially for lower income people that are trying to get access to, to lower cost credit.

Jamila Souffrant 15:32

Right. So I, I, love-- I just want to highlight that. So, and just, like, repeat it. So, if you, before the pandemic, were in default, or delinquent, and maybe you put your head down, and you don't know that this apply to you and you were afraid or whatever it was, that you should take action and call, or you said Google "Default Resolution, Department of Education," and essentially get on an income based repayment plan, because that is going to, they're going to look back and count the nine months or whatever time period, towards you rehabilitating your credit for your student loan.

Travis Hornsby 16:07

Exactly. So that's, like, the low income side, side of the scale, like, and I know that that's a big problem, because, you know, during the pandemic, they made it so that they wouldn't seize your tax credits anymore for, like, defaulted student loans. And we had so many people come to our, come into our website for details on that. And then you know, some people, like, if you filed your taxes on or before, you know, x date, people didn't get that credit refunded. And other people that filed their taxes later got the credit refunded. So, it was just a big mess. And so we just want people out there to know that that should never happen to you. You know, the government, if they're going to garnish you, they're going to garnish you at 15% of your wages. And if you go up and sign up for an income based plan, it's at 10%. So it's kind of, like, it's cheaper to sign up for an income based plan, and not have it wreck your credit, than to just let it wreck your credit. And then they'll take even more money.

Jamila Souffrant 16:55

Right, right. Okay, great. Love that tip. Okay, what's like that next level?

Travis Hornsby 17:00

Alright, so the next rung of the ladder is, do you go for income based forgiveness plan? So this is kind of, like, you don't necessarily have to make a low income for this to make sense. So what this is kind of saying is, "Okay, let's say that your debt is large relative to your income, and what's, what's large relative to your income." I'm gonna say, you know, anything that's more than what you earn every year. So if you have more debt than what you earn every year, which is a whole lot of people, especially with graduate degrees, it's like basically, most people, you want to think about forgiveness plans. And when I say forgiveness plans, there's two kinds of big forgiveness plans you can get. So there's public service loan forgiveness, which applies to one quarter of all workers in America. So Public Service Loan Forgiveness is something you can get if you work at a nonprofit or government employer full time. So that's why it applies to one quarter of workers in America, because about 25% of Americans are employed at a qualifying nonprofit or government employer. So a lot of times people say, "Well, hey, what's my nonprofit or government employer?" Well, you actually don't have to do a ton of work to figure that out. So let me give the website for that.

Jamila Souffrant 18:05

I'll also be having this list of websites on the show note to everyone so you can click to get them

Travis Hornsby 18:10

For sure. So the, the way to find out if you're eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness is to go to studentaid.gov/PSLF, PSLF. So studentaid.gov/PSLF. So what you're gonna get if you go there is, you can find out if your employer qualifies. Basically, you just look at your pay stub, and your pay stub is gonna have something on there called Employer Identification Number, it's called EIN. And it's a really easy, sneaky way that you can, like, type in information online to see what kind of employer the government thinks your employer is. So you can go put that number in, onto the website that I just gave, you can find out, automatically if somebody else is applied for Public Service Loan Forgiveness through your employer. So if your employer has more than 10 employees, it's almost certain that your employer is going to show up there if it is eligible. And when you find out that it is eligible, that's really the hardest part, because they have to determine you know, if you have a qualifying employer or not. So once you know you have a qualifying employer, now all you have to do is just print out the prefilled form and just get your employer to sign it. And then you can take a picture with your mobile phone, and you can upload that onto the government website. So that's really great, because then that's just the easy way to get certified. And you have to just pay 10 years worth of income based payments at it while working full time at one of these employers that qualify. And so we tell people that, you know, could qualify for this, just make sure you do that process once a year, same time you certify your, your income based payments with your tax returns. So that's the one type of forgiveness, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness. That's the most generous kind.

Jamila Souffrant 19:45

And when it is forgiven, at the end of the 10 years, you don't pay taxes on that forgiveness?

Travis Hornsby 19:50

Right. So, that's great. And it's not, like, it's, it's not a negative credit event. It's not going to hurt your credit. It's not going to interfere with you buying a house. It's really a wonderful forgiveness for program that everybody really needs to know about, even if you don't qualify for it, because you can tell your friends about it.

Jamila Souffrant 20:04

Yeah. And I have a couple questions around that. So if you switch from a government employee to a nonprofit, can you still count those 10 years in, like, cumulative order?

Travis Hornsby 20:13

Yeah. It's it's a cumulative plan, not a consecutive plan. So that means if you fall off the wagon, maybe you take some, you know, some period away from the workforce or something, you just pick up where you left off. So there's no, you know, kind of stress about that. Same with switching employers. You can just cumulatively build up this 10 years of payments across different kinds of employers.

Jamila Souffrant 20:32

You know what, I'm glad that I asked that, because the next question, what people will sometimes say is, that I'm working for a government agency and I, you know, make a good amount of money, but the real benefit is I can be on this repayment plan. And they're like, but I can earn more money in the private sector, or going somewhere else, or I'm not happy, and I want to switch. So, if they do switch, and they go follow their dreams, and they realize it's not for them, or they decide to go back, they can then start back up where they left. As long as they were up to date on certifications every year that they did the plan?

Travis Hornsby 21:06

Yeah, so that's a great segue. So the second kind of loan forgiveness is the kind that's over 20 or 25 years. So that kind of loan forgiveness is the same payment plans, you're enrolled in the same income based program. It's just the difference of how long it takes to be forgiven. So that Public Service Loan Forgiveness has got more strict, regulations, you know, restrictions on what kind of employer you have to work for, and you have to work full time. Whereas the 20 and 25 year programs, you can do absolutely anything, including not work at all, and still qualify. You can work at a private employer, nonprofit employer. You can work part time, you can work full time, or not at all. And all you got to do is make sure that those income based payments continue. Now who's a good candidate for that? It's people that have more debt than what they earn every year. So if you have more debt than what you earn every year, you're probably better off going for one of those 20 or 25 year programs. And you can do all kinds of things to get your payments low. You can, if you're married, you can do some tricks to get your payments a lot lower than they would be if you didn't, you know, know that you could do these tricks. So there's all kinds of ways to get the payments low. Now, the difference with the 20 and 25 year programs is that when the loans are forgiven, it's considered taxable income. What we expect, though, is that that's going to change and then the taxes are not going to end up being owed, because of, you know, some complicated stuff that I could go into if you wanted to. But just, most people need to know that probably there's not going to be income taxes on the forgiveness either way. And so that means that if people are owing more in student loan debt than what they earn every year, that you're going to want to go for one of these forgiveness programs. If you're working on a government or nonprofit, it's PSLF, if you're not working in one of those places, that it's the 20 year 25 year program. And one thing that you said was, "Well, what if I want to change jobs, because like, my heart's not in this or something." That's a great, like a great comment, because the answer is you should always switch to whatever job you want to do, not what you think you need to do. So what we find in doing a lot of our plans, is that the one forgiveness benefit-- is nice, but it's not the reason that you would work for a nonprofit or government employer. There needs to be another reason, like you love the work, you love the people, you love the role you're in, right? You can almost always find a job that's a better paying job, even adjusted for missing out on that loan forgiveness benefit. So you never want to make the choice based off of your loans, you want to make that choice based off of your calling.

Jamila Souffrant 23:30

I love that. Listen, I think that will help a lot of people. So many people just want, like, guidance. And I've had so many people ask this question, "Should I just stay in this job for that?" And I love...don't. Say that, again, that was like a bar right there. Travis.

Travis Hornsby 23:43

Don't stay at a job just because of loan forgiveness, because it's never worth it. So, let me give you an example. Just because I think people like to hear examples of this stuff. So we had a dentist who had like $500,000 of loans. He was driving one hour each way to work, to go work at a lower income clinic, so that he could get $25,000 a year of loan forgiveness. And so, he did that for four years. And he was thinking, "Okay, I gotta do four years of work at this clinic, because, you know, I'm gonna get one forgiveness this way like and to help get me out of debt faster." And the, the worst part was his wife was driving like an hour in the other direction, because she couldn't find a like a loan forgiveness qualifying place in her area, or their area. So she was having to drive like an hour north, he was driving an hour south. And it was just a big mess for their family. And so what I explained to them was, wait a second, you owe in student loans a lot more than what your earnings are going to be. And so you would be better off paying the minimum, going for one of these forgiveness programs over 20 years, and then the remainder is going to be forgiven. So his $25k a year, like, forgiveness was basically just reducing the size of loans that were going to be forgiven, which is basically meaning that he's getting a benefit that's really not worth anything at all. That's pretty crazy, right?

Jamila Souffrant 24:59

It is and you know, again, it's for the individual, because that same dentist could have loved, you know, working in that clinic. And that was, it was worth it. But for him and his individual needs in life, that wasn't worth it. And so everyone has to make this choice for themselves that no, Travis or I can't, like, tell you, like, if the job was worth it. Like, you really have to sit down and think, "Am I doing something that I really want to do, not just based on the money or the forgiveness program?" So, I love that you brought that as an example.

Unknown Speaker 25:29

Yeah, and like for this dentist too, like, you can serve lower income patients, like, in your own practice, too. So it wasn't necessarily that he, you know, had one, like, type of patient that he liked to work with, it was more just like that was the kind of employer that had the right tax ID code that qualified for him for this type of unique forgiveness program. And so it was just one of those things where, like, he was making a decision for his loans. And that's never the way you want to do it. You want to be making that decision based off of your life. We can always back it up with the math, but I can just tell people, like after doing 1000s of plans, like I've done about 2500 myself, you know, it's just always works out where you can make that decision based off of, like, what you want to do, and then the numbers can justify it.

Jamila Souffrant 26:13

Right? Okay. So I'm glad that we talked about the, like, two different types of forgiveness. Whether you work in a nonprofit or for the government agency versus, like, a private sector or for yourself. There is a way to go on an income based repayment plan. They are a little bit different. The last thing I'll talk about, or ask about that is, if you do switch from employers, or industries, you do have to recertify? Or do you say that you need to switch from the not the government agency one of the 10 year repayment to the 2025?

Unknown Speaker 26:42

So both of those plans use the same, like, repayment program. So you actually don't ever need to switch plans. You just basically give the government your tax returns every year, and then they calculate your payment. And you do that once a year. It's pretty obvious, like, when, when they, when that is, because it's the same time every year once you get set up. And they're working on a program to make that automated in the future. So it's going to eventually be something that you don't even have to necessarily do. Just right now it is

Jamila Souffrant 27:07

Right. And you know, one of the things that came up for a lot of people, and I think it's coming, it's happening now, is that this is, like, the first time we're seeing the, the forgiveness programs happen, right? Because it was started about 10 years ago, is that true? Because a part of it was, well, we don't know what really happens. And so many people miss their certifications. And when it came time to prove that they, they completed the time in the program, they were not repaid. So what's your thoughts on that?

Travis Hornsby 27:31

Well, the way I would kind of describe this is, like, a lot of people attack loan forgiveness, because they say, "Oh, it's not real," right? It doesn't happen. Or, it didn't happen for me, therefore, other people aren't gonna get it, right? So the way I would describe this is, before 2010 people didn't have the right kind of loans. Congress. I don't know why, but Congress wrote the forgiveness programs were only loans that were issued from the government could qualify. And there were some other programs before 2010, where banks issued the loans, but the government guaranteed it. But it's not directly a government loan. And so, people don't understand that, because people don't waste their time, like, looking at like the details of loan ograms, right? So, just, stupidly, the government wrote the loan program that way, I think because the banks lobbied so that they couldn't get their loans forgiven because of the interest money they were making.

Jamila Souffrant 28:15


Travis Hornsby 28:16

So all the people, of course, applied after the 10 years, not knowing that they had these bank loans, instead of the government loans. And so they applied, and then they didn't qualify, because they had the wrong kind of loans from the get go. And then nobody was qualifying. And then, you know, it was just this big disaster, whereas anybody that has those government loans, like already, which is anybody that started borrowing after 2010, is totally in the clear and doesn't need to worry. So, kind of think about it, like, you know, if you had some sort of government program for, like, people that owned electric cars for 10 years. Well, today, there's tons of electric cars, right? But how many people had the right kind of car 10 years ago to have owned that electric car for 10 years? You know, so that's kind of like the, the, the nuance, right? It's like everybody kind of now has the right kind of loans, but back 10 years ago, people didn't. And so that's what's causing all these people to apply and not get approved. And then that creates all these bad headlines about loan forgiveness not being real when it is.

Jamila Souffrant 29:12

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One of the things that happens a lot, especially depending on who you listen to, who you, kind of, are following in this space, is like paying off debt. Like debt free the whole way, and, like, this responsibility to pay off your debt, and like there's all this, like, morality talked to around, like, paying off your student loan, versus getting it forgiven. And I love that you, you're more strategic, and so am I, when it comes to having debt and how to still invest while having debt and buy a house, because at the end of the day, the reality is, many people still have student loan debt and other debt. And I don't think that should stop them from accumulating assets and wealth on the other side of, like, the balance sheet. So can you talk a little bit about, just for people who still have debt. Your thoughts on moving ahead with other life goals, such as investing and buying a house and other things, how they can do that with a student loan still.

Travis Hornsby 31:31

Absolutely, like, and we and I still want to talk about like the high income people too.

Jamila Souffrant 31:35

Oh, yes. We still have to get back to that, yes.

Unknown Speaker 31:37

But we will, but, but, like, like, the, the point there is that it shouldn't impact you really at all. And so what I mean by that is, for people that are going for forgiveness, the student loans are a percent of your income. So if your student loans, instead of being debt, it's a percentage of your income, that's an income tax. So if you have a higher income tax than other people, because you went and got an education, then what probably that means is that you're making a lot more money than if you'd never had gotten that education. So for example, if you go to school and become a nurse, and you're making say, $60,000, but if you hadn't gone to school, you'd be making like $30k, we'll take away 10% of 60,000. So 10% of 60,000 is $6,000. So, after accounting for your student loan payment to the government, your income after that would be $54,000. And that would be as if you had zero student loans, right? So now, you're just a person with $54,000, trying to invest, trying to buy a house. You're way better off than if you had never pursued that education in the first place, right? Now, what if you, you know, could have gone to school for free, or not having to take that debt out? Well, obviously, that would be better. But, unfortunately, that's not the system that we have, right? We have a debt financed educational system. That's the way it'll be for a while until it's changed, maybe, eventually, right? So, the big thing is, don't wait around on that change, like, be your own change. And try to, like, do what you can to, to get to that next level of wealth as fast as you can. What that means is, for example, with mortgages. Let's talk about that. They're going to only look at what your income based plan payment is in calculating what you qualify for, for your mortgage. So that means that they're going to take that 10% of your income plan, and they're going use that for calculating your mortgage, instead of what they used to do, which is to take 1% of your balance. So, and make that your monthly payment. So, if you had $200k of loans back in the day, your payment, that the banks are gonna calculate, is $2,000 a month. You're never gonna qualify for a house. Whereas now, you could be, you know, somebody making $60,000 a year, with $200,000 of student loan debt and still be able to buy that house because of them looking at your monthly payment for the income based options. So that's the house thing. You can easily buy a house, just don't go overboard, like, like anybody, you know, when you're buying a house. Like, don't go overboard with it. So for investing, you can save money in investing through retirement and actually reduce what you pay in your student loans. So remember, the student loan payment is based off of what your tax return says. So that means, if you're putting money into pre tax accounts, and reducing your taxable income, that's also going to simultaneously reduce what you have to pay in your student loan payments. So in fact, student loan borrowers have even more of a reason to be investors, than people that are not student loan borrowers. So, just because you have the big debt doesn't mean that you can't invest. In fact, you should be investing even more so. And the third thing you mentioned was the morality of it. So what I would say to, like, the morality comment is, you know, I mean, the morality part of things is kind of, like, well, you would need to... usually that's going to be asked by like a boomer, right? Like that's the usual people that, like, make that point, right? So I would put I would put that question back to the boomer that asks that and say, "What do you think the morality is of claiming Social Security benefits that are actually nine times what you paid into the system?" Right? In other words, what's the morality of taking out Medicare benefits that are vastly larger than what you paid in taxes to cover Medicare? So in other words, like we all have government programs that we take advantage of. And you know, especially for seniors, they're getting benefits that are way larger than what they paid for it, because that's just the system that we have. So back in the 80s, and 90s, we had a different system where people just paid their debt off. The interest rates were lower, like, the amounts were lower, and great. Like if you could go back into that timeframe and pay that amount of money for you to create and go do that. But the schools are all charging, knowing that they these income based programs exist. And so that's just the system that we have. So it's not, like, immoral to not pay the debt. It's just true strategic.

Jamila Souffrant 35:32

Yeah. And, you know, add to that millennials, and all the other, you know, generations of under us have more debt than the boomers did with student loans, like, the cost of education, you know, has been outrageous. And so it's not just also the boomers, I realized too some people, and it's not a lot, but I would point out to people who, you know, struggle to pay off their debt, and like, are kinda, like, jaded because of that. And they're just never had to have student loan debt. And then they're now mad that there's an opportunity for people to get a head start and not, like, a head start by, like, them cheating, but like I have started, just put them on a level playing field for all, you know, for the money that they've spent or taken out to better their education. I mean, I hit the argument that, you know, if people sure there are some people who just took out loans, and were not thinking about it, and took advantage, but, I, 99.9% of people I talked to, and I know, that have a lot of student loan debt, like they needed to take out debt to live, you know? To pass their classes, so they weren't overstressed and they were still working and still couldn't afford it. So yeah, on the same page there, Travis.

Travis Hornsby 36:35

Well, the government's gonna make back its money. Like, if you make a higher income from getting more education, you're gonna pay more in taxes. So yeah, you're not paying for it directly through the student loan stuff, but you're paying for it indirectly through higher taxes, too. So either way, you're gonna pay for it?

Jamila Souffrant 36:49

Yeah, yeah. Okay, so let's go back to the higher income individuals, and what they can do in terms of their student loan repayment.

Travis Hornsby 36:57

For sure. So if you're a higher income individual, and for this, it doesn't necessarily mean making six figures. A higher income individual, it's just somebody that makes more money every year than what they have in student loans. So you know, you could be making $50,000 a year and have $30,000 of student loan debt, and be considered a, "high income individual," right? In terms of, like, how it relates to your student loans. So if you have more income than debt, unless you're, like, you know, unless you're like randomly qualifying for one of these public service programs, which is still possible. So you definitely need to double check yourself, if you're working government or nonprofit, just to make sure, but if you're not, and you have more income and debt that you got to pay it off. That's the bad news, right? So, yes, it is still a thing people do still have to pay off their student loans. And when do you have to do it? Generally, it's when your income is larger than what you owe. And in that case, the government charges higher interest than they really should. So anybody who has had student loans, has looked at that interest rate and thought, "Ugh," Right? Like, this is disgusting, right? It's because it's more, it's more, than what you pay in a mortgage, like significantly so, and it's more than what you pay on a car loan, and other things. So that interest rate is too high. And so for people that are higher income, the strategy needs to be refinancing that student loan into a lower interest rate. So that's a big part of what a student loan planner does, besides making plans for people. So people that need to go for forgiveness, are unsure if they should go for forgiveness. One part of our business is figuring out the best way to do that, to save people the most money by having the lowest payments and making sure that, that's optimized. And then the other part of our business, is for, like the, you know, higher income to debt, like people, that need to get the lowest interest rate. And so people will go on our site and shop for the lowest interest rate and biggest cash bonuses for that.

Jamila Souffrant 38:36

And is it, and basically, when you say refinance, you're refinancing out of your federal loans into a private loan.

Travis Hornsby 38:42

Right, and, and exactly. So, the way I like to talk about it is kind of, like, think about it kind of, like, government provided flood insurance. If you're down in the floodplain, you're gonna want to pay for the government provided flood insurance, because your house is, you know, gonna flood, right? But if you're up on the mountaintop, then maybe you could get a cheaper rate for your insurance from a private company, that's charging a lower amount, because you're a much lower risk, right? So in other words, the interest rate for the government student loan program is set at one level for everybody. Well, some people are going to be greater risk, and some people are going to be lower risk than what that interest rate implies. The people that are the lower risk, and that interest rate implies they're generally these people that make higher income relative to their student debt. And so, I don't know why the government allows this, but they do, you can basically take those higher interest rates and exchange them for lower interest rates with a private loan. Now, private loans are really bad for a lot of people, because you can't get 18 months of pause payments and interest, right? You can't get loan forgiveness, right? And so that's why the only people that should consider these private options are the ones where it's just a slam dunk that they're gonna pay it back. There's no question about it. And the goal is just minimizing the interest, so you get it a lot sooner.

Jamila Souffrant 39:51

Yes. And I love that we are being really clear about that. There are a lot of considerations if you're going to transfer out your, your government loans to private loans. But in some cases, it makes sense, depending on your income. And that happens to a lot of people. So, not only do I get the people who have, like, a lot of debt, and they're just trying to work their way under it. I get people who are earning a good amount of money, but they , they have life, they have kids, they have a mortgage, and it's hard to still keep up with their payments. And so there needs to be other options. Also for them, apart from, yes, budgeting and earning potentially more to help accelerate that. It is let's be smart with what that interest rate is. Who holds that loan? And can you be more strategic in terms of paying it back?

Travis Hornsby 40:35

Well, a lot of things that I'm seeing right now, that smart people are doing, are doing 20 year refinancings. So that might sound terrible. 20 year refinancings? I don't have student loans for 20 years. But it's all about your monthly payment. Like that's really what matters, is if you look at what that monthly obligation is. That can either be not that big of a deal, or it can crush somebody. So as an example, just this week, I had somebody who was paying $1,400 a month, and her interest rate was high, and she was also paying it back under, like, a seven year timeframe, but she had other stuff going on in her life that she wanted to do. She wanted to save for a new car. You know, she wanted to save for a house, like, all these things. And so she could refinance that loan to a 20 year loan term, and then her payments $450 a month. And there's nothing wrong about that right now. To lock in that low interest rate and that low payment, because 20 year refinancings have extremely low interest rates right now, like, the lowest ever. And so, in a lot of cases, if you lock in a 20 year fixed rate, right now, you could end up making money if inflation is larger than 2 or 3%, right? So that's, like, free money almost. So I would say, like, the biggest thing we have to fight in student loans is shame. People have all this shame about their debt. They feel guilty. They feel like: "I was trying to like boost myself economically, like be better than my parents. And then what did they do? The government saddled me with all this debt. Now I can't buy a house. Now I can't start my family. Like, I feel hopeless. Like, can I ever invest?" And so the great news is because these, all these loan programs do exist, if you know about how to use them, you don't have to have any of those obstacles affect you. You can do everything you want to do, and in fact, because the loans are just a percentage of your income, in every case, almost every single case, you're actually much better off for having pursued that education, than if you had never pursued it. So a lot of people have a lot of regret, "Like oh man, if I'd only gone to a cheaper school." Luckily, you don't have to have that regret, because I would say 90% of people are making more income, or being in a better, happier job than if they hadn't pursued that education in the first place. So it's just kind of a reframing student loan debt doesn't have to be this shameful thing. You don't have to feel stupid. You don't have to pay it back and live on rice and beans. There's all these other options out there for people.

Jamila Souffrant 42:44

Yes. And, you know, I just want to highlight that, that again, because I am of the opinion that debt is a tool, can be used as a tool. And I'm not talking about the, like, the mindless kind of just spending, and accumulating, and never getting out of it for no reason. But I'm talking about like the debt that you were able to leverage to get you in different places to get your education, to buy a house. Even if it you know, you found out not to be the best decision, in terms of the outcome that you thought, like, you learned something from it. And so I love the reframing of, it's okay to move forward with your life with debt. Now, if you are like more of, "I got to be debt free, by any means necessary," then, you know, yes, then sacrifice what you need to to get to that point. But if you're like many people, especially like me, where you want a more balanced approach, and you still want to live a certain life and invest and do other things, it's okay to still have the debt you have, especially when it comes to student loan or mortgage, right? Like these high balanced debts for the most part and still do other things with your life. Like, don't shame yourself, or don't feel shamed by other people on what their track or path is, because you are walking in your own unique journey. And I'm glad that we're talking about this from another perspective.

Travis Hornsby 43:59

Yeah, there's more than one way to skin a cat, right? I mean, I like the emotion of wanting to be debt free, so badly. The good news is, is that's basically just saying, have a good savings rate. Because that money could go into your investments, or it could go into paying down your debt. And there's an efficient answer as to which one that should be for everybody. But the good news is, is if you do have that higher savings rate, things are going to work out great no matter what. So the pay off the debt at all costs mentality. The reason why that does still work for people, even people that shouldn't pay off their debt, is because it tricks people in to have a high savings rate. So that's really kind of the secret.

Jamila Souffrant 44:31

Yeah, yeah. So, Travis, what are some other just loan loopholes for people to understand or that they can use? I know, you talk about this all the time on your platform, but what are some other things that we should be looking out for or that we can do to help ourselves?

Travis Hornsby 44:49

Well, I want to start off with some bad news. And then we can do the good news. So, the bad news is we've been waiting on student loan cancellation to happen and it seems like it's not going to happen now. And the reason for that is the Senate has been pushing for it, like the leaders of the Senate have been pushing for it. But then, Speaker Pelosi came out recently and said, "No way, it's not going to happen unless it happens through Congress." So people were kind of calling on President Biden to do an order to, like, cancel student debt. And now Speaker Pelosi, who's you know, the leader of the House is coming out and saying he doesn't have that power, even if we wish that he had that power. So it's got to go through Congress. And the problem with that, is Congress has got all these things they got to do. And student debt cancellation is expensive enough, where they're going to choose to do other things besides that. So, they're gonna choose universal Pre-K, they're gonna choose universal childcare, free community college, right? Home Health Care, like they're gonna choose all these other things, instead of student debt cancellation. It may be except for people that are, like, very low income or in default, or something like that. So that's the bad news. Is don't wait around for cancellation to happen, because unfortunately, seems like it's not going to happen, because they're saying it has to go through Congress and the chances of that are low. The other thing to be, make people aware of is most people, or a lot of people, in the next two to three months, to a year, are going to get a new company managing their student loans. So the government kind of does these 10 year contracts for, for companies to collect student loan payments for them. And those contracts are mostly coming up -- expiring. And one of the big companies that manages student loans called Fedloan Servicing, who manages the public service program, they're getting fired/firing themselves. So they're going out the door, meaning that, like, when you know, people have to make payments, again, there's going to be a new company that's going to come forward, that's going to take over for them. And so a lot of people are gonna get sketched out by that, or freaked out by that. Don't be. A lot of people think that, you know, these companies are like, selling their loans constantly. That's, you know, it feels that way, but that's not exactly how it works. It's just basically the government hires a new company to collect payments for it. So that's not gonna affect anything. It's not gonna affect your, you know, loan forgiveness. It's not gonna affect your interest rates, or anything. I just want people to know that's going to happen. So you can be prepared if you get a new company that's contacting you telling you, you have to make payments. Just, like, verify to make sure it's actually, you know, you're getting official correspondence, that they really are that company.

Jamila Souffrant 47:17

Yeah, I was gonna say, I know that that's going to be an opportunity for a lot of scammers to come out and try to, you know, redirect payments somewhere else.

Travis Hornsby 47:25

The key thing is: You're not going to get, like, you are probably going to get a piece of mail notifying you, but you're going to get multiple pieces of communication, right? So that's the thing is anything you get in the mail, like verify it with what you're getting in your email, with what you're getting to your text message, right? With what you're seeing when you log into studentaid.gov. Studentaid.gov is gonna have a ton of announcements about this. So just kind of put those things together to make sure the company is legit. The company that I expect is probably going to take over as either Mohila or Ed Financial. So those are the two companies that we're expecting are going to be taking over for the other ones. So if you get anything from ED financial, or Mohila, that's probably legit.

Jamila Souffrant 48:05

Just make sure that they're the legit company. So it's not taking their name and putting it with a sketchy website.

Travis Hornsby 48:11

Well, yeah, so that's that's the bad news. The good news is there's, there's are some things happening. The Biden administration is canceling a lot more debt than they used to for people that are disabled, or went to for-profit schools. So that's really good. We're seeing, you know, a little bit more efficiency with that. Also, they're doing a review of the regulations around loan forgiveness right now. So we expect that will be done in about a year. And we'll probably have, if not new income based plans, we might have a new income base plan that's even more generous. We also might have public service loan forgiveness get a lot easier to apply for. We might have a lot better rules with people that were defrauded by their college, getting kind of have their loans forgiven for that. So that's, that's a good thing that might be coming down the pipeline, as well. So, it's not all bad news, but I'll just say that, you know, people just, you know, things to be aware of, right? You know, where you just want to know it's happening, so you can take advantage as best as possible.

Jamila Souffrant 49:08

Yes. And actually want to ask you a question and update because I actually had Lynnette Khalfani-Cox on the podcast last year, and I had, like, an emergency episode on this, because I found out where she had tweeted about how your employer to pay $5,200... $5,250, so $5,250 of your student loan, if it was, like, eligible. it would be, and it would be not be taxable. And when I recorded that episode with her, it was like right before the end of 2020. And it was because the Cares Act, it was all coming like that was the last time you could do it by the end of the year. So I wanted to ask about, is that still possible for people now and what does that look like?

Travis Hornsby 49:44

They made it semi permanent now. So now you can do that every single year all the way until, I think, 2025. The only catch is your employer has to offer a formal student loan program. If they don't offer a formal student loan program then, then they can't just be like, "Here's money. Like, make it tax free." Like, there's rules where it's got to apply to everybody, or it's, kind of, applied as people in a certain way. And so what you're gonna see is bigger companies are going to set this up. And smaller companies are probably gonna have a harder time with that. But yeah, you can, still you can still get that. Up to $5,250 tax free.

Jamila Souffrant 50:16

Tax free that your employer can forgive if they have a existing student loan repayment policy. And I will link to that episode look with Lynette because, and also some resources there, because she even told me about HR email templates. So even if your HR company does not have this in place, you can petition and, you know, ask them, depending on your company, also, if they want to be competitive in the marketplace, like, "Hey, here's something that, you know, we want you to implement." So, we think that's just important for us to know about.

Travis Hornsby 50:45


Jamila Souffrant 50:46

Okay, Travis, just a couple more things before we wrap up. Anything else we should know? I know, again, it's hard to predict the future, but what, what's ,like, something, you would say, like, advice going in for people now, unsure about what's going to happen kind of either way. If it extends, if the pause extends itself, or if it doesn't, what we should be doing?

Travis Hornsby 51:05

Either way, you're student loans are still gonna be there, right? So, I mean, that's the bad news. Is it's not getting completely wiped away, which means that it doesn't really matter that much if it's September 30th, or if it's January 31st, or if it's March 31st. Those are the three dates that I think it will eventually be by the time this comes out. You can just Google which one of those that is and you'll see it. Okay, so that means your payments are coming due. You're going to want to recertify your income, if it's fallen. So if you're, you know, income was lower in 2020, than it was in 2019, it just kind of depends on what information your loan servicer is going to ask for. So they're going to ask for information from you. You just give them what they ask for. And if your income is lower, than you can recalculate that payment to get an even lower payment. So one thing I'd say is, like, people have serious mental health, like, breakdowns from debt. It makes people feel like, just like we said: Shame, regret, feeling trapped, But nobody, at least to my knowledge, has had a severe mental health breakdown over taxes. Right?

Jamila Souffrant 52:06

Well, unless they had a big tax bill and had to pay it.

Travis Hornsby 52:08

That's true. But, but we could say. I was.... I'll rephrase it and say, a tax bill that they like had planned for. Like, if you plan for the tax bill, you got the money socked away, it's not going to be something that's going to super stress you out mean, necessarily like as much as debt. And so I say that because the student debt, if, you have a lot of it, it's like an income tax, right? And an income tax. What do you do? You think about it once a year. It's not fun when you have to think about it, but you think about it once a year, and you're done till next year, right? Same thing is true for income based repayment. You recertify your loans. It's good for a year, right? You have it paid monthly, so it doesn't sneak up on you, like, say your entrepreneur, like, you know, Jamila, You and I are right? Like, yeah, the taxes maybe are really stressful, because you got to make these big payments instead of having it held from your paycheck. But you know, luckily, the student loans are all, like, deducted from you kind of like a paycheck as so it's there's no surprises. So I would say that. It's just to get your head in the right spot, where it's like, "Okay, my payments too big. I can get a lower payment." And, if it's, you know, something I need to pay off, once that interest starts, again, I get refinance it to a lower interest rate with record low interest rates and get a super low, you know, interest cost to my loans. So, that's what I'd say is when that interest pause does end, and it will end, just know that you have all these options to get a very low payment. It's not as good as zero, but it can be almost as good as thatb because it's if you're low income, it could be as low as zero. If you're high income, you have all these forgiveness and refinancing options that can get that cost down to as low as possible.

Jamila Souffrant 53:42

Yes, ultimately, you have options. You have options. Okay, Travis, please let everyone know where they can find you. You. I mean, you talk about this all the time on your platform and with your company, and they also have a podcast. So let's talk about that where they can catch up with you.

Travis Hornsby 53:56

Yeah, so the podcast is the best source of free information. I think it's The Student Loan Planner Podcast. So you can download that anywhere, you know, that podcasts, so you found this one out. So you can just type in Student Loan Planner, and you'll find us and that you can find like episodes about certain niche things, like PSLF, or certain kinds of loan forgiveness, or like, you know, episodes by occupation. So that's a great source of free info. This studentloanplanner.com website is also a source of great info with the blog. We've got a bunch of calculator tools that you can use and calculate what your payments gonna be when the payments are due again. We have a calculator for that. And, on the site, too, we've got the refinancing resources, but for your audience, the, the thing that I wanted to mention is we have the student loan planning option. Obviously, it's called student loan planner, that's because we make student loan plans, right? So if you have more debt than what you earn every year, I think that you need a student loan plan. If your student debt is smaller than your income, you might be able to get away with just kind of figuring it out, getting a lower interest rate, but certainly if you have more debt than what you earn every year, I would highly suggest getting a student loan plan to make sure you're not missing something, because when you miss something, it's usually a five figure mistake is what we find. So for your audience, we have a promo where they get a year of support. You know, basically, after the call, they have a year of follow up questions, and they can ask us questions about their plan and making sure that they understand everything the right way, versus if you booked through the site, it's only half of the year.

Jamila Souffrant 55:24

And just wanted to clarify what is the call that you do with people?

Travis Hornsby 55:28

So we go through all of their loans that they have. We identify all the ones that they have by a process that we use to get all that information into one centralized place. We make a summary of all the loans, so that they can see all the different kinds of information about their loans, like how much time they have for forgiveness, what kind of loan structure they have, etc. And then we make a plan, where we go through all of the different options that analyze the cost of all those, and then we identify the cheapest version of that. And we tell them how they should be filing their taxes, joint or separate, we tell them that they should be doing refinancing. We tell them about you know how to plan for their student loans in relation to other life goals that they want to accomplish. And they do all of that in an hour. So we do that in an hour call. And then that's a one time flat fee of like $400 to $600. And then they get that follow up that's included afterwards too. And what we find is 90% of people don't ever need another call after that, because once you get the plan, it's straightforward. You just have to get make sure you get the right one. But if people do have ongoing needs, we have a follow up concept that's cheaper that people can do what they want, but most people don't.

Jamila Souffrant 56:32

And then you have that, you said if you sign up, you can have that year of support if they say... what is it? What's the code that they should use if they decide to go forward?

Travis Hornsby 56:39

Yeah, all you need to do is when you're booking, just say that you refer by Journey To Launch, so just put that into, you know, put the name of Jamila's podcast, right? Just put that. You can even put your name if you want, but just say Journey To Launch in, like, "Where did you hear about us?" and then our team will know, automatically, to make sure that you qualify for that better offer.

Jamila Souffrant 56:57

Awesome. And just do your socials too, because you tweet a lot of great stuff on Twitter about, like, the latest news with all the student loan stuff in the government. So what's that?

Travis Hornsby 57:05

Um, I'm @studentloantrav on Twitter. I'm @studentloantrav, because I think there's a 12 character maximum. So I didn't, I didn't know that before picking your, you know, my username. So just a pro tip, if you pick a brand name for your company, like, maybe look and see how long it is on Twitter. And then yeah, so that's the, that's the main spot. We're also on Instagram @studentloanplanner on Instagram. So if you find us there, those are the two spots we're most active at.

Jamila Souffrant 57:30

Awesome. Thanks so much, Travis, for sharing this information with us.

Travis Hornsby 57:33

Absolutely. I hope people figure it out, get a plan. Whether it's the free path, or getting the help. You deserve a plan and you deserve clarity so students don't have to affect your life.

Jamila Souffrant 57:46

Alright, I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Travis. And here's the thing that I really enjoyed. I mean, we got into the technical stuff. I made sure to ask him about how we can pay those loans back. But I really also wanted to focus on why you shouldn't let your student loans prevent you from living your life, and investing, and building wealth. Because I know that many of you are saddled with student loan debt, so I hope that this episode gives you not just information, but that motivation to keep going on your financial freedom journey.

If you enjoyed the episode, as always, take a screenshot. I love when you are sharing that you're listening to the episode. Take a screenshot, share it on your social media, on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @journeytolaunch and tag me, tag me so I know that you are listening. Share it on your main feed and tell me your takeaway Tell me one thing that you learned, that you didn't know before, or something that you are going to do going forward as a result of listening to this conversation.

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your Jumpstart Guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show: One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple Podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple Podcasts, rate, review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two, follow me on my social media accounts. I'm @journeytolaunch on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And I love, love, love, interacting with Journeyers there. Three, support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you. Sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So, show them some love for supporting your girl. Four, and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker, so that we can spread the message of Journey to Launch. Alright, that's it until next week. Keep on journeying Journeyers.

(This post may include some affiliate links)

Travis Hornsby, founder and owner of Student Loan Planner, takes us through the often overwhelming and confusing world of student loan repayment plans. With new government updates happening each month, it’s important to stay on top of the various options available to you. Travis explains, in simplistic terms, those options and how you can take advantage of them to pick the plan that is best suited for your student loan debt.

In this episode we talk about different payment plans based on income levels, what’s going on with student loan cancellation, and what you can expect when student loan payments eventually resume.

If you’ve ever been anxious about not knowing your options, or you’ve wanted to tackle your student loan debt in a more strategic way, this episode is for you.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What to expect when the student loan payment pause ends next year (2022)
  • How student loan forgiveness is real + where to go to find out if you qualify for it
  • Various repayment plan options based on various income levels (low to high)
  • Why student loan cancellation is likely not going to happen
  • The reason it’s even more advantageous for those in student loan debt to invest

Watch the video to this interview on YouTube here

I'm Listening to Episode 228 of the Journey to Launch Podcast, Everything You Need To Know About Student Loan Repayment W/ Travis Hornsby Share on X

Other related blog posts/links mentioned in this episode:

  • studentaid.gov/IDR
  • studentaid.gov/PSLF
  • studentaid.gov
  • I’ll be taking the stage at FinCon 2021 in Austin as a Big Idea Speaker. You can grab your ticket to join me in person or virtually here (use the code “ FCJOURNEY5“ for a discount) 
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