Exploring Student Loan Terminology - a foreign language?


During this webinar, we’ll discuss:

  • Types of Student Loans

  • Types of Student Loan Payments

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness

  • Deferment and Forbearance

About Amy:

Amy Irvine.jpg

If any of you have ever met Amy, you know she is passionate about three things.  Family, Finances, and WINE!  This comes through in all that she does and all that she is.  When asked to describe herself she first and foremost states, “I am a wife, a daughter, and hopefully a good friend, who happens to also be a financial planner.” 

Amy holds a Master’s Degree in financial planning and is a Certified Financial PlannerTM, Enrolled Agent, Certified College Financial Consultant, and a Financial Wellness Coach with over 25 years of financial planning and industry experience.  She is the Founder and owner of Rooted Planning Group, (Formerly known as Irvine Wealth Planning Strategies LLC), which started in 2016 and has grown to include 6 other planners and 2 part-time staff members.  Amy is definitely “doing it her way” and has been recognized by her financial planning colleagues as being a “disrupter,” a title she holds close to her heart and is proud of.

Uniquely, at the age of 44, she decided to not only start her only company, but to act on what she defined as her perfect life and she splits her time between Parrish, Florida and Jasper, New York.  

On her website it states, “I love what I do, but I also very much enjoy warmth, good conversation, wine tastings, and volunteering.  New York is extraordinary in the summer and fall, but so is Florida in the winter.”

In 2018, she decided it was time to take the stigma out of finances by combining her passion for finances and wine.  She started a podcast called “Wine and Dime,” which highlights a different wine and financial topic each week, and she released her book combining those same two passions, titled, “Uncork Your Finances.”

Many of you may know her as one of the co-founders of the Southern Tier Women’s Financial Conference – a day of collaboration and financial education, which will be hosting it’s sixth year!

To round out her volunteering passion, she often provides financial education to the community through the financial management program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County, she serves on the board of Faith-in-Action of Steuben County, volunteers for various Fund For Women of the Southern Tier events, works with the finance committee of the Arts Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, and serves on the board for the Corning Painted Post Historical Society (also known as Heritage Village).

In her downtime, you’re likely to find her with a glass of red wine from one of the many Keuka or Seneca Lake wineries that she highlights in her Wine and Dime Podcast.

Should a Savvy Lady Consolidate Her Student Loans?


“Should I consolidate my federal student loans?”

To consolidate, you need to have at least one Federal Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan. You may designate all or some of them, along with your Federal Perkins Loans, for consolidation. The government’s consolidation loan repays the debts you designated. Depending upon how much you owe on your total federal student loan debt, you’ll get more time to pay off your consolidation loan than you had to pay off the loans it replaces.

In this webinar, you’ll learn about the advantages of consolidating loans such as:

  • Lowering monthly payments

  • How to simplify your loan

  • Obtain one fixed interest rate

You’ll also learn about the disadvantages of loan consolidation, including:

  • You may pay more in the long run

  • No more Perkins Cancellation/Discharge

  • Monthly payments could start earlier

About Tom:


Tom Melecki is the founder and sole employee of College Affordability Solutions. He created it in 2015 after retiring from a 39 year career in postsecondary education.

His work in college affordability began at The University of Texas Austin (UT), where he served for 10 years in the financial aid office, including seven years as its director. Tom also spent 26 years student loans. There his efforts focused on student aid and student loan policy, research, and education — including leadership of the nation’s broadest personal money management education programs for college students.

Tom co-authored College “Credit”: Reducing Unmanageable Student Debt and Maximizing Return on Education. He also developed presentations such as Deciphering the Mysteries of the FAFSA; Sending Johnny to (and Keeping Him In) College: The Role of Financial Counseling, Planning, and Education; and Seven Ways to Minimize Student Debt.

Throughout his career Tom held leadership positions with the Coalition of State University Aid Administrators, National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Financial Aid Advisory Committee, and the Nebraska, Rocky Mountain, and Texas Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

Tom also serve on the UT System Student Debt Reduction Task Force, College Board Southwest Regional Council, and Consumer Information and Research Committees of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

He was twice a member of teams that negotiated with the U.S. Department of Education about new and revised student aid rules. He also helped initiate, develop, and manage The Common Manual, the nation’s single most comprehensive set of student loan policies.

Tom and his wife Sherry put two now-grown daughters through college. He worked and borrowed to finance his doctorate in higher education administration from UT and he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees by working his way through Bowling Green State University in Ohio.