Interview: Financing Your College Education with Financial Expert, Author & TV Personality, Farnoosh Torabi

 I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Financial Expert, Author and TV Personality, Farnoosh Torabi most notably of Bank of Mom and Dad and The Nate Berkus Show to discuss ways students can save for college tuition and the ins and outs of scholarships, financial aid and student loans!

FarnooshAboutFinancial Expert, Farnoosh Torabi – Image via Farnoosh.TV


Candace Rose: What are the smartest and best ways to save and pay for college? 

Farnoosh Torabi: “The smartest and best ways to pay for college begins with applying for free money, scholarships, grants; the millions and millions of dollars that students have access to each and every year to help them supplement their college expenses, that would be the first destination I think.”

CR: What are some of the most fiscally responsible choices for federal and private student loans?

FT: “So, I would first start with federal student loans. You want to apply for the FAFSA which is the free application for Federal Student Aid, that’s FAFSA.Gov. You can apply for that, it’s kind of an open ended application but I would recommend if you’re headed to college; you’re a high school senior – you want to apply the year that you’re applying for college. If you still need some aid, if there’s a gap to fill beyond the scholarships and beyond to the federal aid, look into private student loans. There’s a wide variety of them and you want to look for student loans that offer low terms, good payment options, low interest rates. I’ve actually partnered with Sallie Mae, the biggest provider of private student loans and they have what’s called the ‘smart option loan’ and students can actually pay down the loan a little bit at a time when they are in college and also get the benefit of a shorter term, so they pay off the loan faster and they save on interest over the life of the loan.”



SallieMaeLogoSallie Mae –


CR: Where can we go to find scholarship listings and search for free money?

FT: For scholarship listings and a list of free money, you want to check out sites like,, as well as – the site has a huge database of millions of dollars worth of scholarships and grants.”




CR: Do you have any advice for those applying for scholarships?

FT: “My number one advice for anyone interested in scholarships is don’t underestimate your ability to qualify. I think a lot of students follow the myth that they don’t have the grades or the community service hours but that should not be a reason to avoid the free money. There’s something out there for everybody, the key is to really cast a wide net. Read up on all the eligibility factors and contact not only those websites but also your parents employers, your community service groups, your church groups- wherever you may think they have some free money lying around and they want to support your educational pursuits.”

CR: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?

FT: Well, I think we covered much of the advice but I would say be thoughtful about financing your education, understand you don’t have to bear the entire burden yourself. It’s good to come into the investment with some skin in the game and some of your own money that you’ve saved up over the years but there are other resources out there to help you finance the education and is a great place to learn more about what we’ve talked today and what we’ve covered and some of your other options for financing a college education.”

Interview: Jeff Yeager The Ultimate Cheapskate Savings Challenge

 Last week I had the chance to speak with the one and only "Ultimate Cheapskate," Jeff Yeager about the third annual AARP Savings Challenge he's hosting until the end of the month, which is open to anyone age 18 and up. If you're a self proclaimed cheapskate be sure to enter to win, as they're awarding the top three winners with some fabulous prizes! 


Jeff_bioJeff Yeager "The Ultimate Cheapskate" –


Candace Rose: Can you tell us about the AARP Savings Challenge please?

Jeff Yeager: "You know I'm 'The Ultimate Cheapskate', I'm hosting something called the AARP Savings Challenge, which is the third annual savings challenge. If you go to the website, it tells you all about it. What is it's a month long contest. It runs through the end of April inviting people to share their best money saving tips with other people interested in pinching their pennies. Every week we have a different challenge asking for your best tip on a given subject. Last week it was how to save money on gas. Every week we have a weekly winner where you might win a prize and then at the end of the contest, April 30th we declare three overall winners including a top prize of a $2,000 gift card to the top winner. So it's a chance to perhaps win some money by showing people how to save money."



300_SC_2011_headerAARP Savings Challenge 


CR: What are your favorite money saving tips, especially for those of us trying to stick to a budget?

JY: "On the Savings Challenge we have believe it or not nearly 4,000 penny pinchers like myself sharing their tips. I like to think it's the largest online gathering of cheapskates in the history of the internet, so it's not just my tips but it's also all these other peoples tips as well. But there are a lot of things that people don't think about. I mentioned saving money on gas and we're all concerned about that as gas prices are edging up. The other week we ran a savings challenge about that and one of the tips we discussed was try taking a full glass of water or a cup full of water and keeping it all times in the cup holder next to your steering wheel. Make a little game out of trying to drive down the road without spilling any of that water. It'll make you more fuel efficient and a safe driver. You know when you think about it, when you drive too fast you're going to spill some water. If you have a jack rabbit start you'll spill some water or brake too fast. The U.S. Department of Energy says that in essence you could lower the cost of a gallon of gas by as much as a buck per gallon just by being a more fuel efficient, less aggressive driver in the ways I just described."


CR: Is it easy to sign up?

JY: "It's very easy and again it's open to people of any age. In order to be eligible for the prizes you need to be at least 18 years of age, you don't need to be an AARP member, it's very easy to register and I guarantee you there's a lot of cheap talk going on the in the Savings Challenge.

     The challenge currently is simply tell us about the best deal you ever got and we're hearing great stories from people who found a priceless object at a yard sale for next to nothing or maybe haggled for a better price. Next weeks challenge is going to be about the environmental mantra 'reduce, reuse, recycle' as sort of a salute to Earth week. We're asking people for their favorite creative reuses for things that people throw away everyday. For instance you'll find on the Savings Challenge articles about how to repurpose everything from old pantyhose to eggshells to soda bottles. So it's all about that reuse part of the environmentalist mantra reduce, reuse, recycle."