KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The time of Trend Spending is here.  Americans are projected to spend $1,536 per consumer on holiday shopping.1  What most shoppers don’t think about are the extras that go with the holiday shopping trips and how those «extras» can add up.

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Barbara Thomas, SouthEast Bank’s Executive Vice President and head of the Education Loan Finance Division, uses a term to describe that type of spending: Trend Spending.  «Trend Spending is spending on the latest ‘it’ items for which you don’t really budget.  It’s just part of your weekly or even daily routine, yet it can add up to thousands of dollars a year, especially when that fancy latte before work now becomes two or three.  Couple that with holiday spending, and you will easily be acquiring additional costs and spending money needlessly.»

Thomas advises to know where your money is going. «We find that many individuals, especially Millennials, can be caught in the Trend Spending phase, often without realizing it.  Millennials frequently feel pressured to keep up with friends when it comes to subscription services for media, beauty, and fitness trends.  When you figure that 63% of millennials have more than $10,000 in student debt2, these Trend Spending behaviors could have lasting effects on their financial future.»

According to the Brookings Institute, more than 44 million Americans have student loans totaling nearly $1.4 trillion. Student loan debt is now the second-largest source of household debt in the U.S. after home mortgages, with Millennials accounting for more than $1 trillion of the student loan debt.3

Adding just one extra payment a month to a student loan can help pay that debt faster, explains Thomas.  Education Loan Finance can assist college graduates in refinancing their student loan debt, with ELFI customers saving $309-a-month on average, coupled with an average savings of $20,936 over the life of the loan.4  

«Once people do the math, they are amazed at the amount of money they are spending on the latest trendy items or items. According to the 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey, Millennials ages 26-34 spent $3,416 annually on food away from home. Take that $8 burrito lunch five times a week, and that adds up to more than $2,000 on burrito lunches for the year.  If you were to take that money and place it towards your student debt, you could see some real progress on eliminating that debt. If the borrower took that one step further and refinanced those student loans, the progress could be accelerated exponentially.»

Trend Spending should be enjoyed responsibly.  Enjoy the new latte flavor or the latest subscription service. Just don’t let it get in the way of your financial future. «There are a number of ways that consumers can save money, such as only using cash or having an emergency fund so you don’t end up paying interest for things that happen unexpectedly.  The one piece of advice that I would give anyone is just know where your money is going,» recommends Thomas. 

Thomas suggests using some of the finance apps available.  «There are a number of really good apps out there that can help track your spending. Once you have all your debts and monthly spending in one spot, you can better see the full picture. Taking a good look at where your money goes, and where you’re Trend Spending, is a great first step towards empowering your financial future.»

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About Education Loan Finance
Education Loan Finance, a division of SouthEast Bank, is a financial technology company and leading online lender designed to assist borrowers by consolidating and refinancing private and federal student loans into one simple, low-cost loan. Education Loan Finance believes that providing consumers comprehensive refinancing and consolidation options empowers the consumers on their financial journey.  To learn more, visit

About SouthEast Bank
Headquartered in Farragut, Tennessee, SouthEast Bank operates branches throughout East and Middle Tennessee, blending modern amenities with hometown service and decision-making. Our customers enjoy free access to convenient electronic and mobile platforms such as online banking, remote deposit, automatic fraud monitoring, and a worldwide ATM network.  In the last decade, SouthEast Bank, along with its holding company, has donated over $20 million to support secondary and post-secondary education in our local communities and universities throughout the state of Tennessee. To learn more about SouthEast Bank, please visit




4: Average savings calculations are based on information provided by SouthEast Bank/ Education Loan Finance customers who refinanced their student loans between 8/16/2016 and 10/25/2018. While these amounts represent reported average amounts saved, actual amounts saved will vary depending upon a number of factors.

Contact Information:
Heather B. Price
(865) 824-3350
[email protected]

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SOURCE Education Loan Finance