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What are the Downsides to Using Home Equity to Refinance Student Loan Debt?

What are the Downsides to Using Home Equity to Refinance Student Loan Debt?

I have almost $200K in student loan debt at interest rates from 6.5% to 8.5%. My parents are offering to take on $70K of my debt that's at 8.5% by way ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 22, 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
What are the Downsides and Upsides to Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans?

What are the Downsides and Upsides to Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans?

As a guidance counselor, I have many families asking me if there's any downside to taking out a federal unsubsidized loan. They need loan money either way and the rates for ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 23, 2012
Bailout Yourself--Tips for College Savings

Bailout Yourself--Tips for College Savings

Even though the bailout bill has been passed, most Americans are still wary of future financial woes. Students are especially worried, seeing as their funding for college is tied up in ...

By Kathryn Knight
Published March 23, 2009
What is a Reasonable and Affordable Monthly Payment for a Defaulted Borrower to Regain Federal Student Aid Eligibility?

What is a Reasonable and Affordable Monthly Payment for a Defaulted Borrower to Regain Federal Student Aid Eligibility?

I am 26 years old and would like to go back to college. I have $12,000 in student loans which are currently in administrative wage garnishment. I make $27,000 a year ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 30, 2010
New Proposals for Hybrid Fixed/Variable Interest Rates on Federal Student Loans

New Proposals for Hybrid Fixed/Variable Interest Rates on Federal Student Loans

The President's budget for fiscal year 2014, which was released on April 10, 2013, includes a proposal for switching new federal student loans to a hybrid fixed/variable interest rate scheme starting ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 12, 2013
Let Your Friends and Family Pay Your Tuition with a Peer-to-Peer Education Loan

Let Your Friends and Family Pay Your Tuition with a Peer-to-Peer Education Loan

One way to pay for college is to get everyone to chip in.

By Kathryn Knight
Published April 21, 2009
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
Debt Worriers

Debt Worriers

Student debt spans the population and affects all groups across age, race, ethnicity and gender.

Elizabeth Hoyt
Published July 16, 2013
Should Parents Pay Off Credit Cards Before Applying for College Loans and Other Aid?

Should Parents Pay Off Credit Cards Before Applying for College Loans and Other Aid?

Why is it better for parents to pay off credit cards (if one can) before obtaining loans for a child for college? — Diane H. Most forms of consumer debt, such ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 30, 2011
Does a Parent's Credit History Affect the Student's Eligibility for Loans and Other Aid?

Does a Parent's Credit History Affect the Student's Eligibility for Loans and Other Aid?

My parents have a Federal Direct PLUS Loan they got while I was an undergraduate student several years ago. Due to their current financial hardship, they haven't been keeping up with ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published July 11, 2011
Private Student Loans Add Fixed Rate Options

Private Student Loans Add Fixed Rate Options

Student loan pricing goes through cycles. When fixed interest rates are high but variable interest rates are heading downward, borrowers prefer variable interest rates. When variable interest rates are low but ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published May 21, 2012
Survey Says: Financial Considerations Affecting College Choices

Survey Says: Financial Considerations Affecting College Choices

Sallie Mae and Gallup just released the results of a survey of how American families pay for college. The survey found that families are becoming more cost conscious in their college ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 19, 2009
A Primer on the Doubling of the Subsidized Stafford Loan Interest Rate

A Primer on the Doubling of the Subsidized Stafford Loan Interest Rate

This article summarizes the background concerning the doubling of the interest rate on new subsidized Stafford loans to undergraduate students from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1, 2012. It also discusses ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published April 24, 2012
Congress Proposes Cutting Student Financial Aid in FY2012 Federal Education Budget

Congress Proposes Cutting Student Financial Aid in FY2012 Federal Education Budget

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are considering proposals to cut student financial aid in the FY2012 federal education budget. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), chairman of the House Appropriations ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 3, 2011
PLUS Loans for Grad Students

PLUS Loans for Grad Students

Grad students are entitled to the PLUS loan, like parents.

By Stephen Borkowski
Published April 21, 2009
How Does a Pending Foreclosure or Short Sale Affect Financial Aid?

How Does a Pending Foreclosure or Short Sale Affect Financial Aid?

How do we answer the question "Do you own your home" on financial aid forms when we are in pre-foreclosure? We are not yet in active foreclosure, but are several years ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published January 28, 2013
Death and Disability May Now Get You Out of Paying Loans

Death and Disability May Now Get You Out of Paying Loans

According to a press release from Securian Financial Group, Sallie Mae is adding a total and permanent disability discharge on its Smart Option private student loan. This discharge will forgive the ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 8, 2010
How to Report Stocks on the FAFSA

How to Report Stocks on the FAFSA

I am a single mom and my son will be entering his freshman year in college this fall. The FAFSA application asks for the gross income from last year's tax return. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published March 15, 2010
Is There a Better Option for Financing a College Education than a Parent PLUS Loan?

Is There a Better Option for Financing a College Education than a Parent PLUS Loan?

I have a simple question: Is there currently a better option to help finance my sophomore daughter's college education than a 7.9% PLUS loan? That just seems a bit high given ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 19, 2012