SoFi Credit Card Full Details Released (4% Referral Bonus For 30 Days)

Update 4/8/21: There is now a referral bonus for double points earned for the first 30 days (please don’t share your referrals in the comments).Hat tip to reader V K

Update 3/15/21: Card is now available publicly. Sign up bonus is $20-$10,000 (they are giving away 50 million points (worth $500,000)) in total).

Update 12/16/20: Some people are targeted for a $100 bonus after $1,000 in spend. E-mail subject line is ‘Get $100 with the new SoFi Credit Card’

Update 10/28/20: Card has now started to be offered to SoFi customers via e-mail. Hat tip to reader Platypus

Original post: In January it was announced that SoFi would launch a credit card, in June we  got some additional details about what the card might offer. Today the card was briefly available on the SoFi app but it was not possible to apply for. The details shown when the card was live are as follows:

  • No annual fee
  • 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Full mastercard world elite benefits (including up to $1,000 cell phone insurance)
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No sign up bonus

The previous rumor was that it would come with two 5% categories but also a $99 annual fee. For people interested in more details somebody saved the full terms & conditions here. Obviously it’s possible that the details surrounding this card could change again, but seems unlikely given the level of detail leaked here. In all likelihood we could see the official launch this coming week.

Hat tip to /r/creditcards


How to Hire An Attorney

Maybe you’re buying or selling real estate, trying to resolve a dispute with a neighbor, starting a business, or going through a divorce. When life gets legal, you’ll likely need access to a good attorney.

But there’s a lot to think about when hiring the services of a lawyer, especially if you’ve never retained one before.

While personal referrals can be a great place to start, it’s also important to find an attorney who has experience that is relevant to your legal situation.

Fortunately, there are a number of resources and websites that can help you hone in on a reputable lawyer that fits your needs, as well as your budget.

Knowing the right questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line is also key to getting the right fit.

Here are some beginner tips and tricks to help guide you through the process of hiring a lawyer.

Knowing Where to Look

Most lawyers concentrate in a few legal specialties (such as family law or personal injury law), so it’s important to find a lawyer who not only has a good reputation, but also has expertise and experience in the practice area for which you require their services.

Below are some simple ways to begin your search:

Word of Mouth Referrals

One of the best ways to find a lawyer is through word of mouth. Ideally, your family and friends may have worked with someone that they can refer you to. Better still if their situation is similar to yours.

But even if a recommended lawyer doesn’t have the right expertise, you may still want to contact that attorney to see if they can recommend someone who does.

You might consider asking your accountant for a recommendation as well, since these two types of professionals often refer clients back and forth.

Local Bar Associations

Your local and state bar associations can also be a great resource for finding a lawyer in your area.

County and city bar associations often offer lawyer referral services to the public (though they don’t necessarily screen for qualifications).

The American Bar Association also maintains databases to help people looking for legal help.

Your Employer

Many companies offer legal services plans for their employees, so it’s worth checking with your human resources department to see if yours does.

You’ll want to understand the details, however, before you proceed. Some programs cover only advice and consultation with a lawyer, while others may be more comprehensive, and include not only advice and consultation, but also document preparation and court representation.

Legal Aid or Pro Bono Help

Those who need a lawyer, but can’t afford one, may be able to get free or low-cost help from the Legal Aid Society. You can often find out who to contact by searching online and typing “Legal Aid [your county or state]” in your computer’s search bar.

Consider reaching out to local accredited law schools as well. Many schools run pro bono legal clinics to enable law students to get real world experience in different areas of law.

Online Resources

There are a number of online consumer legal sites, such as Nolo and Avvo , that offer a way to connect with local lawyers based on your location and the type of legal case you have.

Nolo, for example, offers a lawyer directory that includes profiles of attorneys that clue you in on their experience, education, fees and more. (Nolo states that all listed attorneys have a valid license and are in good standing with their bar association).

Martinedale-Hubbell also offers an online lawyer locator , which contains a database of over one million lawyers and law firms worldwide. To find a lawyer, you can search by practice area or geographic location.

Doing Some Detective Work

Once you’ve assembled a short list, it’s a good idea to do a little bit of sleuthing before you pick up the phone.

This includes checking each attorney’s website–does it look cheap or professional? Is there a lot of style but little substance?

By perusing the site, you can also get details about the lawyer or firm, such as areas of expertise, significant cases, credentials, awards, as well as the size of the firm–and, size can actually be an important consideration.

A solo practitioner may not have much bandwidth if they have a heavy caseload to give you a lot of hand holding if that matters to you. However, their prices may be more budget-friendly than a mid-sized or larger firm.

While larger firms may be more expensive, they may have more resources and expertise that makes them the better option.

You may also want to make sure the lawyers on your consideration list are in good standing with the bar, and don’t have any record of misconduct of disciplinary orders filed against them.

Your state bar, once again, is a good place to get this kind of information. Some state bar websites allow you to look up disciplinary issues. The site may also have information on whether the attorney has insurance.

You may also be able to search the state bar’s site by legal specialty, which can help you confirm the lawyers you’re looking at really do have expertise in the area of law you need council in.

The Martindale-Hubbell online directory can be helpful here as well–it offers detailed professional biographies and lawyer and law firm ratings based upon peer reviews, which may help when choosing between two equally qualified candidates.

Asking the Right Questions

Many lawyers will do a free initial consultation. If so, you may want to take advantage of this risk- and cost-free way to get a sense of the attorney’s expertise and character. This is also a good opportunity to get a sense of the costs.

Whether you’re able to arrange a face-to-face meeting, or just speak over the phone, here are some key topics and questions you may want to address:

•  Do they have experience in the area of law that applies to your circumstances?

Further, you may want to get the percentage break-down of their practice areas. If you need someone to help you with setting up a business, for example, and that’s only 10 percent of what they do, that practice may not be the best fit.

•  Do they work with people in your demographic? If the practice only represents high net worth clients, and you’re not in that income bracket, they could be a mismatch. You can also get a sense of their typical clientele by asking for references from clients.

•  How much time can they commit to you? And, how do they like to communicate–phone calls? Email? Ideally, you want a lawyer who can make you a priority and is able to respond to your questions in a timely manner, rather than leave you dangling for days or weeks.

•  What are the fees and how are they charged? For example, they may charge hourly, or they may work on a contingency basis, meaning if you successfully resolve your case they get paid. Also find out if they require a retainer (an upfront fee that functions as a downpayment on expenses and fees), as well as what is included in their fees, and what might be extra (such as, charges for copying documents and court filing fees). Ideally a lawyer will explain their fees and put them in writing.

You may also want to use this meeting or conversation to judge the lawyer’s character and personality, keeping in mind that chemistry counts.

The attorney you’re interviewing could have all the right credentials and awesome experience, but in the end, if their personality strikes you as a little prickly, or the vibe is off, even if you can’t exactly put your finger on it, you may want to trust your gut, walk away and keep searching.

The Takeaway

Choosing an attorney is an important decision–much like choosing a financial advisor, doctor, or other professional who will have a significant impact on your life.

As much as you want to just get on with what may be a challenging or stressful situation that you need legal help with, it’s a good idea to take your time, cast a wide net for referrals, then create–and carefully vet–your short list.

Finally, you’ll want to have an open conversation with any lawyer you are considering to make sure you feel he or she is a good fit for you and that you understand, and can afford, all the fees involved.

Whether you’re looking for a lawyer to help you buy a home, start a business or facilitate any other life transition, it’s a good idea to get your finances in order as well.

One simple move that can help is to sign up for SoFi Money®. SoFi Money is a cash management account that allows you to earn competitive interest, spend and save–all in one account.

Another perk: SoFi Money doesn’t have any account fees, monthly fees, or many other common fees.

Check out everything a SoFi cash management account has to offer today!

SoFi Money®
SoFi Money is a cash management account, which is a brokerage product, offered by SoFi Securities LLC, member FINRA / SIPC .
Neither SoFi nor its affiliates is a bank.
SoFi has partnered with Allpoint to provide consumers with ATM access at any of the 55,000+ ATMs within the Allpoint network. Consumers will not be charged a fee when using an in-network ATM, however, third party fees incurred when using out-of-network ATMs are not subject to reimbursement. SoFi’s ATM policies are subject to change at our discretion at any time.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.



Share Your Chase Sapphire Preferred Referral Links Here

(Update 6:48 pm: comments are now closed.)

Feel free to share your Chase Sapphire Preferred referral link in the comments below. Do not add any additional words other than the referral link and don’t thread comments.

If you are signing up for the Sapphire card for the increased 80,000 + $50 offer, consider using a reader’s referral to give them a 15,000 points bonus at no cost to you. (Some might prefer to sign up in a Chase branch to get the $95 annual fee waived, if you are in the area to do so.)

We’ll probably close the comments here within a few hour due to volume of comments which are difficult to continue moderating for long.


5 Things to Do Before and After Closing

Your journey doesn’t end on closing day. Here are some next steps to consider before you actually move in.

You’ve been house shopping for months or even years. You’ve endured a series of offers, property disclosures, inspections and reports. Finally, after so much excitement, stress and anxiety, the house hunt has come to an end.

But the story isn’t over yet. Here are some next steps to consider before you actually move in.

1. Plan renovations well in advance

Rarely does a buyer get a place that’s move-in ready. By the time you’ve signed a contract, you have lots of ideas about how you’ll live in the home, how you’ll customize it and what work needs to be done.

If the place needs work, don’t wait until you’ve closed to engage a professional. Either at your final walkthrough or during a private appointment, get the proper contractors in the house and start collecting bids for necessary work. If possible, have floor sanding, painting or small fix-it work done before you move in. Real estate agents work with all kinds of tradespeople, so they’re often a great resource for referrals. 

2. Set up the utilities

Some people assume the utilities will work once they walk in. While many utility companies have grace periods (the days between when the seller cancels service and the new owner calls), you can’t always assume this will be the case. If you have an out-of-town seller, they may have canceled services the day they knew all contingencies were removed. In this instance, the grace period likely lapsed, and you may be stuck dealing with the electric company, waiting for an appointment or just being without power when you really want to start painting, fixing or cleaning.

The best plan is to call the utility companies and get service set up well before closing. If they haven’t received cancellation notice from the seller, let the seller know to take care of that.

3. Change the locks

Assume that everyone has a set of keys to your new home. The seller’s real estate agent likely gave copies to their assistant, a painter, a stager or even another agent at some point during the listing period. That’s why the first person you should call after getting the keys is a locksmith.

4. Hire a cleaning crew

There’s nothing worse than showing up with the movers, dozens of boxes and your personal belongings only to discover the seller hasn’t had the place cleaned.

Assume the worst and get a professional cleaning crew in there the minute after closing. Even if the seller did clean, they may have done a poor job. You want to start life in your new home with a clean slate. The bones of the place will be sparkling clean, and you won’t be scrambling to get cleaners in while the home is in a state of unpacking disarray.

5. Have a handyperson, contractor or designer on call

Moving involves the kind of stuff you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Things like aligning your framed artwork, centering the couch in the living room or getting the large rug set up in the master bedroom can drive you crazy.

While it may seem like a luxury, investing a few hundred dollars in hiring someone to help with these tasks will save time and potentially relieve you of a giant headache.

Thinking ahead is the way to go

As your closing date draws near, you’re probably exhausted. But taking a little extra time to plan ahead will save you time, money and stress — and make the move into your new home so much more satisfying.


Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow. Originally published February 2013.


How to Recession Proof Your Finances

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After years of uncertainty and constant shifts within the economy, it’s always best to prepare for what you have the ability to control. Instead of allowing the world’s happenings to control your finances; take these necessary steps to give you financial security and sanity.

Create a solid plan of attack to pay off credit cards

I know, this is an exercise you’ve done many times before. However, let’s go in laser-focused and eager! One of the best things you can do is reduce debt by any means necessary to prevent being overwhelmed in the future. Start by making a list of all creditors and be sure to jot down all interest rates. Depending on what’s most suitable, you can either build up your momentum and begin with the lowest amount owed or work on the revolving credit with the highest interest rate. While there is no one-way approach, make sure you truly commit to reducing debt as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to set reminders on your phone or post personal notes at home to remain focused. As you see your debt decrease, this will serve as a major boost to stay the course and keep going.

Re-evaluate your budget

We often believe there’s not much room in our budget when honestly, we haven’t taken the time to evaluate how much money we spend per month. Take the time to ask yourself those personal questions. Are there any subscriptions you don’t fully use or get your money’s worth? Are you spending too much on entertainment or eating out? How much produce goes to waste after every grocery trip? Revisit your entertainment or discretionary bucket for these items and transfer the remaining balance to your savings or toward reducing debt. Start where you are with what you have. If you have $50 extra after household expenses, draw a line in the sand there and build upon that.

This strategy isn’t only for those that may be classified as high earners. Budgets aren’t meant to be stoic and unenjoyable; they’re to provide us with necessary guardrails. Think about it like this – you’re driving up a mountain and there are no reflectors, no safeguard railings, and no signs to assist you in what is already a nerve-wracking experience. Your finances are no different. To reach the goals for you and your family, you have to. put parameters in place to help you see things to completion.

Side hustles are the name of the game

Long gone are the days that you’re able to solely rely on multi-billion-dollar corporations to ensure you’re living the quality of life you desire. Unexpected layoffs and workforce reduction are the name of the game and will never come with forewarning. When you think about what you can monetize; consider this: what is that one thing your friends coin you the go-to person for? What is always your responsibility when planning anything for your family or friends?

Any talent or skill that you have can easily be monetized. Leverage social media as an outlet to gauge the interest of others while ramping up your clientele. Remember, this is scalable and can ramp up as slow or fast as you’d like. Various online platforms allow you to create a profile advertising your services. Referrals, word of mouth, and various social media channels will add some extra funds to the places you need it most. Don’t forget to have fun with this and make changes as you see fit! When frustrating moments occur, take a step back and remind yourself of the overarching goal – to create a financially established environment for you and your family, regardless of what happens in the economy.

Boost your emergency fund

For every dollar that fails to be assigned in your budget, your spending habits will indeed do the assigning for you. Please be very intentional with designating a set amount every pay period to beef up your emergency fund. No amount is too small; even if it’s just $20 each pay period – you have to make it a priority and start somewhere. The amount can be increased and adjusted over time as your comfort level increases.

Any windfalls such as bonuses, monetary gifts, income from side hustles, and remaining funds after household expenses are covered can be thrown toward your emergency fund. If you’ve personally reached your goal, it’s okay to establish another! There’s never enough money in the reserves. Having your peace of mind when a family member gets sick, unexpected job loss, or any emergency arises makes all of the short-term sacrifices worth it.

Check your investment portfolio

If it’s been a while, look at your investments, ensure you’re still comfortable with what’s available and make any necessary tweaks. Do you need to make adjustments to match your current level of comfort? Were you more open and willing to risk tolerance in the past and now want to adjust? Ask yourself these very vital questions and be honest.

Avoid incurring any new debt

It’s one thing to pay off debt and a completely different animal to avoid racking up any new debt. If at all possible, avoid opening new lines of credit. You don’t want your hard work to be in vain. Keep this in mind – you’re doing some important work to guarantee that no matter what happens in the economy your finances won’t suffer. If a major purchase like a car or a home is in the near future, you can create an account that’s dedicated specifically to that. Consider saving more over time to decrease monthly living expenses. Haste can get the best of us, but it doesn’t have to. Emotional or impulsive purchases typically don’t align with any financial goal – so make sure you exhibit enough self-control to stay focused on the goals ahead.

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