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It’s no secret that a creative writing MFA often involves a significant amount in student loans. Even though a bestselling book or tenure-track professorship may be in your future, you might be required to start making payments sooner than you’d like! Learn what you need to know about repayment options, forgiveness programs, and tax implications, in this panel discussion specifically for writers with MFA student loans.

Erin Lowry (author, Broke Millennial series) moderates this chat with Betsy Mayotte, founder and president of The Institute for Student Loan Advisors, and Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez, author and founder of Zero-Based Budget Coaching.

A Q&A will follow the presentation; you can pre-submit a question when registering for the event. A recording will be made available for those who cannot attend live.

The event will take place via Zoom with automatic closed captioning. To request any other accessibility features, please email and we will make every effort to accommodate.


Betsy Mayotte is the president and founder of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA). She has been working in the student loan industry doing compliance and advocacy work for over 20 years and has helped thousands of borrowers with their student loans. Betsy has served as a primary negotiator for several federal Title IV negotiated rulemaking sessions on topics such as the use of student loans at foreign schools, loan rehabilitation and borrower defense to repayment. She is regularly quoted in the media on student loan issues including the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe.  She was recently featured in Money magazine as one of the top 50 influential Changemakers in America’s finances.

Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez, Esq. is a money coach, speaker, and the author of Overcoming Debt, Achieving Financial Freedom: 8 Pillars to Build Wealth. After graduating law school in 2015 with $215,000 of debt, Cindy documented her debt payoff journey on social media, while sharing the personal finance knowledge that she was learning in a simple and relatable way. She has spoken to thousands and coached hundreds on budgeting, saving, debt payoff, investing, credit, building generational wealth, and more. She is committed to helping millennial women, particularly women of color, create a realistic money plan to achieve financial freedom. Cindy has been featured in national publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Kiplinger, CNBC, CNET, NextAdvisor, Real Simple, HipLatina, Remezcla, and Refinery 29 and has appeared on national and local television, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, Pix11 News, and Telemundo. She has partnered with the White House’s National Economic Council to raise awareness on the American Rescue Plan and the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Cindy practiced law as a commercial litigation attorney at an Am Law 100 firm before diving into full-time entrepreneurship. She is a graduate of Stony Brook University and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. You can find her on Instagram and TikTok @zerobasedbudget and at

Erin Lowry, moderator, is the author of the four-part Broke Millennial series, including:Broke Millennial, Broke Millennial Takes On Investing and Broke Millennial Talks Moneyand her soon-to-be-published Broke Millennial Workbook: Take Control and Get Your Financial Life Together. Erin’s been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and on CBS Sunday Morning, CNBC and The Rachael Ray Show. She has written for The New York Times, USA Today, and is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. She publishes a twice-weekly Substack newsletter called Broke Millennial with Erin Lowry.