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Expert Financial Aid Advice Articles

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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
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
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
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
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
When A "Free" College Education Isn't Really Free

When A "Free" College Education Isn't Really Free

Some of the protesters at Occupy Wall Street are demanding that a college education be provided for free. But even if their request is granted, which is unlikely, it might not ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 13, 2011
Should Borrowers Pay Off Old Student Loans to Qualify for the New 10% Version of Income-Based Repayment?

Should Borrowers Pay Off Old Student Loans to Qualify for the New 10% Version of Income-Based Repayment?

I want to qualify for the "pay as you earn plan" 10% income-based repayment plan. I have $80,000 in Direct Loans from 2010-2012. I have a balance of $2,800 on an ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published December 5, 2011
People Retiring with Student Loans May Save Money with Income-Based Repayment

People Retiring with Student Loans May Save Money with Income-Based Repayment

I'm 68 years old, have worked for the last thirteen years in a state psychiatric hospital and after consolidating all my loans, have never missed a payment to Direct Student Loan ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 21, 2011
That Free Financial Aid Seminar May be Just a Worthless Sales Pitch

That Free Financial Aid Seminar May be Just a Worthless Sales Pitch

From time to time I receive solicitations for free financial aid seminars that are really sales pitches for a product or service. I attend these seminars to monitor the information (and ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published November 18, 2011
Repayment Begins for Students Who Graduated in May and June

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 ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 26, 2011
How Accurate are the Net Price Figures from Colleges and College Navigator?

How Accurate are the Net Price Figures from Colleges and College Navigator?

How believeable and reliable are the net price values quoted on the College Navigator web site? My granddaughter is interested in two public universities, one in Wisconsin and one in Minnesota. ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 17, 2011
Top Ten Myths About Scholarships

Top Ten Myths About Scholarships

There are many myths about who wins private scholarships and the benefits of winning scholarships. These myths can be harmful if they give students and their families unrealistic expectations about their ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published October 2, 2011
If I Stop Paying My Student Loans, Will the Default Yield a Reasonable Settlement?

If I Stop Paying My Student Loans, Will the Default Yield a Reasonable Settlement?

I would like to know what will happen if I stop paying my student loans. I have never been unemployed and don't plan to be, but my loan payments are over ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published September 5, 2011
PSST! Want to Graduate from College with an Undergraduate Degree and No Debt?

PSST! Want to Graduate from College with an Undergraduate Degree and No Debt?

A recent research report analyzes the characteristics of the 1.7 million undergraduate students who were able to graduate in 2007-08 without any student loan debt. About two fifths of undergraduate students ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 24, 2011
When Does Repayment Begin on a Subsidized Loan?

When Does Repayment Begin on a Subsidized Loan?

When does a student have to start paying back a subsidized loan? — A.A. If the loan is a subsidized Stafford loan, repayment begins 6 months after graduating from college or ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 15, 2011
A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

A Prospective Student is Ineligible for Financial Aid Because of a Student Loan Default

I gave college a shot when I was 18 and dropped out due to major health problems. Student loans obviously did not disappear because of this and I have been struggling ...

Mark Kantrowitz
Published August 1, 2011
Student Credit Cards

Student Credit Cards

You see the offers everywhere, free duffel bag for signing up for this credit card, free water bottle, campus gear and sometimes even free money. Before you go signing on the ...

By Leah Westfall
Published July 28, 2011