Who said the only way to learn about money was to read articles on top of articles? Financial education is all around us—provided you look closely enough. Increase your awareness with the SALT Blog video of the week, picked fresh from YouTube.
Well, I hate to be the one to say it, but I suppose Red Bull doesn’t actually give you wings.
What it did give Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner was the chance to jump out of a balloon craft from the ridiculous height of 128,100 feet. That’s four times higher than Mount Everest!
Baumgartner had previously made headlines for skydiving across the English Channel and jumping from Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue (because, I assume, he loves Jeee-sus and America, too).
For those of you who hadn’t yet seen Baumgartner’s feat, the folks at Red Bull flew this guy up in the air and filmed him jumping all the way back to Earth. He hit a top speed of 833 mph and broke three world records, none of which were related to Red Bull’s other jumps.
The video is pretty awe-inspiring and brings two questions to mind:
- Who needs NASA when we have energy drink companies?
- How can this teach us a financial lesson?
Question 1 is a clearly a joke (right?), but let’s take a look at question 2.
LEARNING TO FLY
Baumgartner’s free-fall was on purpose (this video would be far less inspiring if not), but when it comes to paying off student loans, sometimes your life could turn into a free-fall without you wanting it to. Just like Felix had his parachute and his special suit, many student borrowers also have helpful options.
Over the last couple weeks here at SALT, I’ve learned that if my situation ever is trending downward, I can change my payment schedule to something like a graduated or income-based repayment plan. These options decrease your payments, letting you slow things down and straighten them out when life throws you a curveball (or pushes you out of your fancy space capsule).
Or when things head into actual free-fall, I know that there are other options, like deferment or forbearance. These options suspend payments if you are really struggling, which could go a long way in helping you gain control.
INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN
I don’t plan on using any of these methods now, but I doubt Felix Baumgartner knew 5 years ago that he’d be skydiving from space.
Just like Baumgartner and his crew prepared and studied how to make this leap safely, students like me need to know what their financial parachutes are.
Felix jumped from the heavens and wasn’t scared at all because he was heavily prepared and protected. With your student loans, if you know where you stand and what can help, you shouldn’t have any reason to be afraid either.
Or, you’ll at least be a lot less afraid then the guy who just jumped from space.
Know what’s your financial parachute is? Pull the ripcord in the comments.