Free Library of Philadelphia

Shay Olivarria with staff from the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Thursday, April 5, 2012 Shay Olivarria was pleased to present financial education workshop “Creating a Foundation for Wealth” based on her book 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money to student-workers at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Wow! The students were so much fun! We weren’t able to film because the students were minors, but there are some comments from the evaluation to give you an idea of how the workshop went.

What was the most important thing you learned today?

“Stop being idiot and save some cash!”

“Savings and a bright, ready mind can get you ANYWHERE!”

“How to think critically about money”

“The difference between a bank and a credit union”

“Invest in retirement and have an emergency fund”

“”I learned about small opportunities that make a big difference”

“The most important thing I learned today was how I can start saving now, to benefit my future”

“Avoid fees was the most important thing I learned. The fees can add up and put you in a hole”

“You can buy stock at any age”

“I leaned about saving money and shopping smart”

Book Shay to speak at your event today.

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on,, and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit

Colleges Withholding Transcripts

The Nation just did an article on colleges withholding transcripts from graduates that are in default with their student loans. Re-read that last sentence. You take out loans to pay for your college education banking on the hope that a person with a college degree will have a better chance of getting a decent paying job and firmly settling into middle-class-hood. Then you graduate and you start looking for a job. The loan folks give you six months to find a job before they start requiring repayment.

The Problem

Imagine you’ve graduated, find a low-paying job, move back in with your parents, and start working. You can’t put gas in your car, give a few dollars to your parents for bills, and pay your student loan. You’re trudging along and then one day to see a job posting for the job of your dreams! You’re a perfect fit and it’ll pay you enough to repay your student loans and maybe move out to a small roommate situation. The company requires a copy of your transcripts so you call your alma mater only to find out that you can’t get a copy of them because you’re in default on your student loans. This could become a huge problem.

Documentaries such as Default: The Student Loan Documentary are showing the problems that students are facing repaying student loans.

Debt bomb?

Yahoo! explains the problem perfectly:

A year ago, the Institute for Higher Education Policy published a study tracking the dismayingly high delinquency and default rates of the class of 2005. But as the sum of outstanding student loans has climbed towards the $1 trillion mark, passing total credit card debt along the way, the fact that America’s students are essentially putting themselves into hock for an education has more than a few people panicking. As William Brewer, head of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, told the WaPo, “This could very well be the next debt bomb for the U.S. economy.”


I have no answers other than the traditionally held:

#1 Attend a community college to complete your lower division classes.

#2 Choose a college with good return on investment (ROI).

#3 Get as many grants and scholarships as you can.

#4 If you have to take out loans, only take what you need. You can deny portions of your loan package.

#5 Start paying the loan off while you’re in school. Interest is a beast.

What suggestions do you have for dealing with paying for college?

Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on,, and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event visit

Student Loan Forgiveness Bill

I saw this post on Default: The Students Loan Documentary‘s Facebook page and I knew that you would be interested in reading about it:

Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI-13) introduced the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 (H.R. 4170) on March 8, 2012. If enacted, this legislation will provide student loan forgiveness for federal education loans, allow private student loans to be refinanced into federal direct consolidation loans and cap all federal student loan interest rates at 3.4%.

This legislation would address some of the calls for student loan forgiveness raised by and the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Of course this has not been passed, but it’s a great step in the right direction. To read the whole article on Fastweb, click here.

To read about more ways to manage your money order a copy of 10 Things College Students  Need to Know About Money. Not sure what’s in it? Check out the reviews here.



National Consumer Protection Week

A few months ago, I wrote about the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and their work to help average Americans. Well, this week is National Consumer Protection Week! I thought I’d help get the word out, so here it is:

In case you forgot what the CFPB does, the website says:

We’re taking your complaints. We started with credit cards, moved on to mortgages, and now have the ability to take your complaints about a wide range of financial products and services provided by banks and credit unions.

We launched our supervision program. We are responsible for supervising not just banks, but also other financial businesses, such as payday lenders, mortgage companies, private student lenders, and others – collectively known as nonbanks. We will visit these businesses to make sure they are following the law and assess risks to consumers.

We adopted a rule to increase protections for consumers who transfer money internationally. One of our jobs is to write rules that tell financial institutions how to follow the law. This regulation will help protect consumers who send money electronically to another country.

We’re developing tools to help you make better financial decisions. Our Student Debt Repayment Assistant helps people with student loans determine their repayment options. We’re also working to provide educational materials to service providers working directly with consumers in their communities. Nearly 5,200 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) locations around the country received materials from us that they can use to help encourage taxpayers to save some of their 2011 federal income tax refunds.

We’re looking out for you. All finance is personal, but some populations have unique needs. Staff from our offices for older Americans, servicemembers, and students are out in the field gathering information and looking out for consumers’ interests.

Tell a friend!

Hoover HS 2011

Shay shares a tip about saving early and often at Hoover HS in San Diego.

Financial education speaker Shay Olivarria had a wonderful time at Hoover High School in the City Heights part of San Diego! It was really special because Shay graduated from Hoover 15 years ago. She delivered two seminars entitled “Money Tips for Seniors” to the graduating class. Students really got a lot from the seminar. Don’t believe it? Students said they learned:

“It’s important to use your money the right way. I’m going to spend less money on junk food and start saving up all my coins”

“A lot about credit and how to smart choices ’cause you don’t want to have bad credit”

“To keep trying”

“Everything is propaganda, the 5 things that keep your credit score high, don’t get store cards”

“I learned that it’s better to put my money in a credit union”

“Think and use the available resources for our future career”

“The more money I have in the bank, the more money I get; called interest”

“That it’s better to have a money market account than a savings account. I am planning on opening an account at a credit union”

“Money is power”

“Make sure not to be fooled by commercials that promote free money”

Shay talks about how amazing credit unions are at Hoover HS.

Students love talking about credit unions! Who knew? One of the central tips Shay talks about is knowing the difference between a bank and a credit union. Many of the student mentioned that they learned more about what credit unions are and how they can use them.

If you’re considering a credit union, check out “Are You a Good Fit for a Credit Union?” on

Two students from each seminar won books from Shay Olivarria.

At each seminar, two students won copies of “10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money“. You should have seen them scrambling to find the winning ticket under their chairs. It’s really great to see students excited about learning personal finance tips.

Talk about a complete speaker! Shay is amazing!

Want to know more about Shay? Visit

“It was fun and interesting. =) Shay was real open about her experiences!”

Book Shay to speak at your event today (323) 596-1843.

College is Overemphasized

What's your ROI?

I’m sure I’m not the only person that remembers all the “a mind is a terrible thing to waste” commercials promoting college attendance in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Many a young person attended college and maybe even grad school in hope of graduating and starting a wonderful career that would provide for them financially. That’s a wonderful possibility, but we need to understand that it’s only one possible outcome. Some people graduate from college and can’t find a job or find a low paying job and struggle to pay back student loans.

I just read an article about America’s overemphasis on promoting college as the only pathway to success. There are certainly careers that require a college degree. There are also careers that require master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and various types of training. I’m not for or against attending, and graduating, from college. I do want people to know that there are several paths to success. Don’t do things because you think you’re supposed to. Understand the return on investment (ROI) that you’re going to get from different career paths. Most high net worth individuals are business owners, corporate executives, and doctors/dentists. If you’re planning on one of those careers paths, you need to think long and hard about what skills you need to achieve your career goals and what the best way might be to get/grow those skills.

(Time + cost (fees, books, loans, etc.))/ expected yearly income = return on investment.

Would you spend $40,000 to earn $32,000 a year? That’s just what some of us were trained to believe we should do. Whatever you choose, make sure that it’s a choice that you’re making. Don’t choose not to attend an educational program (community college, trade school, university, etc.) or choose to attend one based on the influence of people that may have something to gain from selling you an educational experience. Figure out what you want and choose the path that you believe will help you get there.


Financial Impact Factor Radio Show

Image Shay on Financial Impact Factor Radio Show

I just completed a wonderful interview with Paul Petillo (managing editor of and and co-hosts and founders of Dave Kittredge and Dave Ng (both of whom have extensive backgrounds in the world of financial services) of the Financial Impact Factor Radio Show.

We talked about financial education for students, 401k options for recent grads, the awesomeness of credit unions, and why those for-profit colleges aren’t what they are cracked up to be. Listen to the show here.

I am opinionated aren’t I? LOL Enjoy!