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  • +51

    Loans 101: the Basics of Borrowing

    Loans 101: the Basics of Borrowing
    If you're a current or future college student, chances are good that you're considering a student loan. Before you make any decisions, it pays to understand the basic principles behind borrowing. All loans consist of three components: The interest rate, security component and term. The Interest Rate The interest rate is the lender's charge for the use of their money. The ...
    Published over 5 years ago | Rated: +51
  • +19

    The Horrors of Defaulting on Education Debt

    The Horrors of Defaulting on Education Debt
    This is a cautionary tale of the consequences of defaulting on education debt, based on the experiences of seven borrowers of federal and private student loans. The stories are all true, but names and inconsequential details have been changed to protect the borrowers. Education debt is a necessary evil. Most students graduate from college with debt. For example, seven out of ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +19
  • +29

    Best Strategies for Paying off Debt Quicker

    Best Strategies for Paying off Debt Quicker
    Suppose you've made the required payments on all your loans and want to use some extra money to pay off your debt quicker. How do you choose which loan to pay off first? There are two main strategies for accelerating the repayment of debt. One involves paying down the loan with the highest after-tax interest rate first. The other, popularized by ...
    Published over 3 years ago | Rated: +29
  • +12

    To Cosign or Not To Cosign, That is the Question

    My nephew has asked me to cosign a private student loan for college. He's on his own since he lives independently from his mother, his parents are divorced, and his father is completely out of the picture. He's made it through 2 years of college with great success. I'd like to help him. I have very good credit. What would be ...
    Published almost 4 years ago | Rated: +12
  • +8

    How to Pay for College After a Recent Bankruptcy Discharge

    My daughter will be starting college in the fall (hopefully). The full cost for each year is approximately $50,000. She received a scholarship for $35,000 and she has enough saved for books ($1,000), leaving her needing $14,000. When we filled out the FAFSA it said her family contribution would be too high. Unfortunately my husband and I filed for bankruptcy in ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +7

    What Kind of Financial Aid is Available for Graduate School? Will My Credit History Affect the Amount and Types of Aid?

    I recently decided to go back to school for a degree in software engineering. My short terms goal after school is to apply for a job with one of the top software application companies. My long term goal is to eventually start my own business specializing in creating custom apps for businesses and/or individuals. I am in debt from previous undergraduate ...
    Published almost 2 years ago | Rated: +7
  • +4

    Government Report Reviews Private Student Loans and Recommends Statutory Changes

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the US Department of Education released a report to Congress about private student loans on July 20, 2012 as mandated by section 1077 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203, 7/21/2010). The report discusses the growth and changes in the private student loan marketplace, the use of private student ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +3

    Who Really Graduates with $100,000 or More in Student Loans?

    Who Really Graduates with $100,000 or More in Student Loans?
    Newspaper headlines suggest that many students graduate from college with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. But is this really the case? A new report, Who Graduates College with Six-Figure Student Loan Debt?, finds that only 0.2% of undergraduate students and 6.4% of graduate students graduated with $100,000 or more in student loans in 2007-08. Far from being ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +8

    How Does Bankruptcy Affect Eligibility for Student Financial Aid?

    How does a chapter 13 bankruptcy affect financial aid? Would it be difficult to get financial aid for my child because my husband and I filed chapter 13 about 2 years ago? — C. F. A previous bankruptcy can affect eligibility for some education loans but it does not affect eligibility for other forms of financial aid. The Bankruptcy Reform Act ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +5

    Does Filing a FAFSA Obligate You in Any Way? Are Parents Responsible for Repaying a Child's Student Loans?

    I have a question about filling out a FAFSA form for my child. If we fill out the form and my child is granted a loan for college, will the parents be cosigners or responsible in any way for their child's loan either now or in the future? — D.F. No. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +3

    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 of a mortgage they have access to at 3.5%, provided that I am able to pay it off in 3 years. Given my current job situation, I can handle the ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +8

    How Can I Fill the Gap Between Financial Aid and My Ability to Pay?

    I'm a soon-to-be college freshman. My tuition is close to $40,000 but financial aid only covers $19,000. My mother is a single parent making only $18,000 a year and I was wondering if there are any other options I can get besides loans that financial aid can help me with. — D.V. Something doesn't add up. The amount of financial aid ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +8
  • +4

    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 the President's proposals are in excess of $10 billion per year. Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the education appendix to the FY2013 budget, as released on ...
    Published about 2 years ago | Rated: +4
  • +5

    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 the payments. I also had some college loans which I am paying regularly without problems. I would like to know if my parents' financial situation will impact my credit, since ...
    Published almost 3 years ago | Rated: +5
  • +6

    Facing the Prospect of High Student Loan Debt at a Prestigious College

    I graduated from high school with honors in June and have been accepted to a prestigious private college, where I will be majoring in computer science and math. The college awarded me $31,000 in grants and scholarships, but I still need to come up with $20,000. I applied for a student loan with each of my parents and was declined, both ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6
  • +11

    Congress Raises Debt Ceiling, with Shifts and Cuts in Student Aid Funding

    Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 on Tuesday, August 2, 2011, raising the debt ceiling at the last minute. The debt deal cuts some student loan benefits, especially for graduate and professional students, but avoids a more severe cut in government grants for undergraduate students. The Budget Control Act of 2011 passed the US House of Representatives by a ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +11
  • +4

    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 the current economic environment? — Alan S. When considering how to finance a college education, there are many options, including federal education loans, private student loans and non-education loans. It ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +4
  • +1

    Student Debt Guide: Types of Loans

    Student Debt Guide: Types of Loans
    Student loans, federal education loans, credit cards, mortgages, home equity...the list goes on and on. It's enough to drive a person mad! From the different types of debt to the different types of loans, this financial information is something any borrowing student should be aware of. Learn to decipher the definitions of debt so that you know what you're getting yourself ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +1
  • +3

    Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards

    Student Debt Guide: Budgeting and Credit Cards
    By now, we’re all aware that managing money can be quite difficult. Here are some surefire ways, straight from nationally recognized financial expert Mark Kantrowitz, on how to help stay on track when it comes to pinching pennies. [gate] First, exercise control over your money by increasing awareness of your spending habits. Start by preparing a descriptive budget, where you track ...
    Published over 1 year ago | Rated: +3
  • +6

    Repayment Begins for Students Who Graduated in May and June

    Students who graduated in May or June are nearing the end of the six-month grace period. The first monthly loan payment is usually due in November or December. Don't Be Delinquent Unfortunately, about a third of borrowers are late with the first payment on their federal student loans. This is called a delinquency. There are a variety of reasons why students ...
    Published over 2 years ago | Rated: +6