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Skimm Money: Student Loans, Energy Costs, and Costco Memberships

In today’s newsletter, we’re covering the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Biden administration’s student loan debt-relief plan. That’s in a special edition of Eyes On below. Next Friday, we’ll be back with our usual Free Advice expert Q&A.

eyes on

student debt activists standing outside of Supreme Court building

Student Loan Forgiveness Struck Down

The Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s student loan debt-relief plan. Today, the court ruled 6 to 3 that the plan exceeds President Biden’s authority, denying 40 million eligible borrowers cancellation of up to $20,000 of federal student loans. Thanks to the payment pause — first implemented by the Trump admin then extended by the Biden admin multiple times — it’s been over three years since borrowers have had to make payments toward their debt. But now, because of the debt ceiling deal that was signed into law earlier this month, interest will start accruing on your existing balance in September and payments are set to resume in October. Here’s how you can prepare.

Your move:

  • Track down your loans. During the pause, several major companies that managed federal student loans have stopped doing so. TLDR: You might have a new servicer. Find out who’s managing your loans via your account dashboard on the website. Then, make sure your contact info is up to date so you don’t miss any important updates.

  • Get the deets on your next payment. When the pause ends, your servicer will send you a billing statement with your payment amount, upcoming interest, and due date. Until then, log in to your loan servicer’s website (or contact them) for an estimate. PS: In the meantime, you can also enroll in auto-payments (hint: it could save you $$$).

  • Consider switching repayment plans. Your circumstances may have changed since the pause went into effect three years ago. Use the federal gov’s Loan Simulator to explore your repayment options and choose the plan that’s right for you. Ex: You may qualify for an income-driven repayment plan, which is based on how much money you make.

money win

I bought a house during the insanely low-interest rate period in 2020. Then, in 2022, I went through a breakup, sold my house to my ex, and walked away with $98,500 in profit. Since then, I’ve booked two vacations and put the rest into an HYSA while I decide what my next steps are. I’ll most likely use the bulk of it for a down payment on a new home for me and my fur baby and invest the rest.

— Claire K (CO). Like Beyoncé says, best revenge is your paper. Let the interest on that HYSA roll in.

Scored a raise, saved up for a big purchase, or reached another money goal? Tell us about it here. Quotes are edited and condensed for clarity.

for the group chat

SCOTUS’s ruling to end affirmative action in college admissions…

Has some experts saying that workplace DEI efforts could be next.

Summer is heating up…

Here are four ways to save on your energy costs.

At first, it was just Netflix…

Now Costco is cracking down on membership sharing, too.

Working while pregnant can be tough…

A new law is meant to make it easier.

investment piece

investment piece Erica Chan Coffman headshot

Splurging doesn’t always = frivolous spending. Designer watches, handbags, and shoes can also be investments. This week, we spoke to Erica Chan Coffman, founder and executive editor of Honestly WTF, about how her timeless (pun intended) vintage watch could be worth more $$$ in the future. 

What’s a recent investment purchase that you made? 

For my 38th birthday, I bought a pre-owned, 36mm 1980s Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust watch in 18k yellow gold and stainless steel. 

How much did it cost?


Why do you consider it a good investment?

Vintage Rolex watches, especially those in excellent condition, are often in limited supply. This scarcity increases their desirability and potential value over time. There's something appealing about the utilitarian quality of a vintage luxury watch. You can appreciate the watch's timeless aesthetics, heritage, and superior craftsmanship — and potentially see the investment grow in value!

Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.

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