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How to Deal with a Defaulted But Paid-Off Student Loan that Reappears

How to Deal with a Defaulted But Paid-Off Student Loan that Reappears

Years ago, I went to a two-year school and obtained my Associate's degree. I defaulted on the loan. However, my taxes were taken years later (twice) to take care of the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 5, 2012
Social Worker with Six Figure Debt Seeks Advice Handling Student Loans

Social Worker with Six Figure Debt Seeks Advice Handling Student Loans

Help! I am a 24-year-old recent college graduate who is struggling to find full-time employment. I'm currently working full-time hours on a three-month contract that is going to expire at the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 27, 2012
Some Scholarship Sponsors Review the Online Presence of Finalists When Selecting Winners

Some Scholarship Sponsors Review the Online Presence of Finalists When Selecting Winners

Your Facebook profile may cause you to lose a scholarship. It can also help you win a scholarship. According to a recent survey of scholarship-granting organizations, about a quarter of scholarship ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 24, 2012
If a Student's Parents Do Not Claim Him as a Dependent on their Income Tax Returns, Will the Student Get More Financial Aid?

If a Student's Parents Do Not Claim Him as a Dependent on their Income Tax Returns, Will the Student Get More Financial Aid?

How beneficial is it to have our college attending son file his taxes on his own versus us claiming him as a dependent? Does it make a huge difference in the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 20, 2012
Borrowers with a Recent Bankruptcy are Ineligible for the Federal PLUS Loan

Borrowers with a Recent Bankruptcy are Ineligible for the Federal PLUS Loan

Borrowers who have had a bankruptcy discharge in the last five years are generally not eligible for the Federal PLUS loan. They remain eligible, however, for Federal Stafford, Federal Perkins and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 16, 2012
How Do I Roll Over US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan?

How Do I Roll Over US Savings Bonds into a 529 College Savings Plan?

I have several thousands of dollars in Series EE savings bonds (issued from 1988 through 1992). I know that you can use the bonds relatively tax free if cashed and used ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 13, 2012
Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Call for Return of Bankruptcy Discharge for Student Loans

Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys Call for Return of Bankruptcy Discharge for Student Loans

The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) held a press conference on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 during which they called on Congress to allow federal and private student loans to ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 8, 2012
When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

When Should a Child's UTMA or UGMA Account be Moved into a 529 College Savings Plan Account?

I have an old UTMA account for my daughter with Janus, with approximately $5,000 in gains. I opened this before they even had 529 college savings plans. I was thinking of ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published February 6, 2012
Summary of President Obama's Budget Blueprint for Federal Student Aid

Summary of President Obama's Budget Blueprint for Federal Student Aid

This article summarizes President Obama's FY2013 budget proposals for the federal student aid programs. Most of these proposals will require Congressional approval before they can be implemented. The combined cost of ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 30, 2012
Is a Student with Children But No Income Considered to be Independent?

Is a Student with Children But No Income Considered to be Independent?

I am under 24 years of age. I did not have any income the year before last. I have 2 children and live with a partner of 6 years. He is ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 30, 2012
President Obama Proposes Student Aid Increases in State of the Union Address

President Obama Proposes Student Aid Increases in State of the Union Address

In the state of the union address on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, President Obama proposed several increases in student aid spending. The first two proposals call for Congress to extend existing ...

Published January 24, 2012
What Do You Do When Income or an Asset Isn't Really Your Money?

What Do You Do When Income or an Asset Isn't Really Your Money?

I am a disabled parent who hasn't worked since 2007. I am currently on long term disability and have been ruled disabled by the Social Security Administration. My child is heading ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 23, 2012
Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for One-Time Events

Ask for a Professional Judgment Review for One-Time Events

In our base year, my spouse will have a one-time job that will significantly raise our income for one year only. We have significant credit card debt and no savings for ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 16, 2012
Why Do We Owe the College Money After the Student Dropped Out?

Why Do We Owe the College Money After the Student Dropped Out?

My son was awarded an amount from FAFSA and also money from the LIFE and Pell grants. We paid the remainder of his tuition out of pocket. He started his freshman ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 9, 2012
Year in Review: Ups and Downs for Student Financial Aid in 2011

Year in Review: Ups and Downs for Student Financial Aid in 2011

2011 was an eventful year for student financial aid, student loans and scholarships. This article summarizes the major events, positive and negative, for student aid in 2011. It also provides a ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 5, 2012
Can a Dependent Student File the FAFSA as Independent if the Student's Parents Don't File Federal Income Tax Returns?

Can a Dependent Student File the FAFSA as Independent if the Student's Parents Don't File Federal Income Tax Returns?

The next several Ask Kantro columns will answer questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be filed starting on January 1. The FAFSA is used ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 2, 2012
Does a "Safety Net" Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

Does a "Safety Net" Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

We are parents of a high school junior looking to learn about the best places to put our money for when we fill out that first FAFSA in two years. My ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 26, 2011
Changes to the 2012 - 2013 FAFSA

Changes to the 2012 - 2013 FAFSA

For many students, January 1 is doomsday. It’s the day the FAFSA application becomes available, triggering an overwhelming sense of dread as students either fill out the FAFSA alone or with ...

By Kathryn Knight Randolph
Published December 19, 2011
Will Differences in Parent Assets Due to the Omission Sibling-Owned Custodial 529 Plan Accounts Cause Problems on the FAFSA?

Will Differences in Parent Assets Due to the Omission Sibling-Owned Custodial 529 Plan Accounts Cause Problems on the FAFSA?

Since siblings' UTMA 529s don't get reported on the FAFSA, but the student's UTMA 529 is counted as a parent asset, each of my kids would have a different amount listed ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 19, 2011
Aboriginal Art and College Cost Bubbles

Aboriginal Art and College Cost Bubbles

What does Australian aboriginal art have to do with college costs? Read on. When I was a research scientist at a software laboratory over a decade ago, I purchased a few ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 15, 2011