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Student Loans

Student Loans: More May Not Be the PLUS You Think

By Drew Kessler Part of being a parent is wanting to protect your children from things that might harm them, including a heavy student debt burden. This is why many parents turn to the Federal Parent Direct PLUS loan program. These loans put the burden of payment squarely on the parent. PLUS borrowing has grown from a little used option to account for 10% of all federal student loans issued in 2014. …Read More

CFPB Calls for Student Loan Servicing Reform

By Drew Kessler The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published a detailed report based on the results of its public inquiry on student loan servicing practices. The findings highlight troubling customer service practices in the student loan servicing industry and include recommendations for reframing oversight of the student loan servicing marketplace. The recommendations contained in the report are partly based on comments submitted to the CFPB after it launched a …Read More

Worth It!

By Drew Kessler The numbers are intimidating: 40 million Americans owe roughly $1.2 trillion in student debt as of mid-June. As Kyle McCarthy observed in a Huffington Post article, 40 million is more than the entire population of Canada. These figures are especially intimidating for current students. With close to two-thirds of students using loans to pay for college, it comes as no surprise that those currently in college—some 70%—say …Read More

Choose Help Over Avoidance

By Bruce McClary When applying for student loans, you’re more likely to be focused on the goal – being approved – than on how you’ll actually repay the loans. After all, at that point, it seems like you’ll have plenty of time to figure things out. Not being ready to address repayment isn’t unusual. Employment opportunities may be different from what you expected. Unanticipated changes in your education or family …Read More

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

By Bruce McClary The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, or PSLF, rewards individuals who go into public service jobs. If those individuals make 120 monthly loan payments towards their student loan debt, the remaining balance is forgiven. This plan was created in 2007 under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. In a speech, Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said that the program was being …Read More

Income-Based Repayment Option for Student Loan Debt

By Drew Kessler You’ve done it. After years of hard work, you’ve finally earned your degree and graduated from college. What’s next? Finding a job and a place to live, budgeting for basic living expenses, and hopefully starting to put money away for the future. For about two-thirds of college graduates, paying off student loan debt is an additional priority. The average graduate leaves school with around $26,000 in student …Read More

Money Saving Tips for College Students

By Drew Kessler Let’s face it, college is expensive and most students have a limited cash flow. The good news is that a number of businesses realize this and make an effort to accommodate their student clientele. Always keep an eye out for student discounts, and bring your student ID with you wherever you go. Many establishments offer discounts to anyone with a student ID – from clothing stores to …Read More

Educating Consumers: How To Spot a Student Loan Debt Relief Scam

By Bruce McClary The growing burden of student loan debt has drawn much attention from those who wish to address consumer needs, but not all of that attention is positive. Student loan debt relief is a term that is in danger of becoming synonymous with “scam” or “rip-off”. Some of the same players that were abusing consumer trust under the banner of for-profit debt settlement or foreclosure rescue are now …Read More

What College Graduates Should Know About Student Loan Repayment

By Bruce McClary If the results of the recent NFCC financial literacy online poll are any indicator, many college graduates will soon experience sleepless nights, as more than half of the respondents (53%) suggested that student loan debt repayment was causing them the most stress. The best way to feel more confident about keeping your student debt under control is to have a specific plan. Part of the planning process involves …Read More

NFCC Acquires Student Loan Alliance®

By Bruce McClary The NFCC is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Student Loan Alliance® (SLA). This announcement heralds a new chapter in counseling services for consumers struggling to repay their student loans. Student loan debt recently surpassed credit card debt at $1.3 trillion, and is now second only to mortgages in terms of total consumer debt. Among the 43 million total federal student borrowers, 7.3 million are at least …Read More