By Joseph Reinke, CFA, CEO of FitBUX
“It’s not just about student loans, it’s about your entire life!” This is often how we explain FitBUX’s innovative technology to new clients.
This case study illustrates how we recently developed a sound plan for one of our users, which often entails much more than just student loans, and can ensure how one can maximize the hard earned money that one receives while minimizing financial risk.
In this case study, we will refer to our client as Cindy. Cindy graduated from a DPT program six months prior to our first conversation. She recently started working and the $140,000 that she had borrowed in students loans were just coming out of their grace period. In addition, she had underestimated how long it would take after graduating to complete her NPTE and find work. Unfortunately, she used what little cash she had to cover daily living expenses and was left with only $150 in savings. Lastly, she had to put most of her expenses on a credit card and now had a $10,000 credit card balance. As result, her FitBUX Score was 561 (out of 1,000).
Cindy’s FitBUX Coach designed a repayment plan that first emphasized the importance of: 1) creating a reserve account (i.e., save the equivalent of 3-6 months of expenses in a bank account); 2) paying off her high interest rate credit cards that were at 20%; and 3) implementing a repayment strategy to tackle her student loans, in that specific order.
Her FitBUX Coach stressed the importance of developing a reserve account so that if something unforeseen were to happen, she wouldn’t find herself digging deeper in credit card debt.
To be able to save for that reserve account, her FitBUX Coach suggested taking advantage of the Federal government’s income-driven repayment plan for 6 to 12-month period to significantly reduce her monthly payments. During that time, she would be able to save $6,000 in her reserve account. Once she completed that, she could begin paying down her credit card debt. Once she had accomplished both objectives, she would begin making standard 10-year loan payments and could possibly refinance her student loans in the future to further reduce her total loan payments. By implementing this strategy, her FitBUX would have increased to 625 within 1 year.
Cindy’s FitBUX Coach followed up six month after she began the plan to check in on her progress. Cindy had put her plan in motion and began saving for her reserve account. After 3 months, she had saved enough for her reserve account and made her first payment to reduce her credit card debt.
A few days after she made her first credit card payment, she went to work and was informed by the owner of the private practice where she was employed that he would be closing the business. In short, she was going to be out of a job within two weeks.
It took Cindy a month and a half to find a new job. In addition, the new job required her to relocate.
After two months of losing her first job, she had spent 75% of her reserve account. However, the good news was that she was able to first focus on creating a reserve account before paying down any of her debt. Had she not built her reserve account first, she would have had to incur more in credit card debt, meaning she would have additional debt incurring 20% compounded interest.
Instead, she built a strong financial foundation and when turmoil hit she did not have to panic. Instead she gave herself options. Now that she has a new job, she can continue again with her original plan.
If you are interested in developing a repayment plan that is customized to you, you can email FitBUX at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fitbux.com for more information. When users build a profile on our site, they receive a personalized score that provides a snapshot of their complete financial picture. From there, we use the FitBUX score to help users design a customized student loan repayment plan that helps them improve their score in the fastest way possible. The user’s loan repayment strategy is customized to that individual and incorporates his or her financial and life goals to get that person on a good path going forward.