student loans – 4 Walls And A View http://4wallsandaview.com/ Sun, 20 Mar 2022 14:00:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://4wallsandaview.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-5.png student loans – 4 Walls And A View http://4wallsandaview.com/ 32 32 Dear Penny: Can I be sued for a car loan I co-signed 22 years ago? | News https://4wallsandaview.com/dear-penny-can-i-be-sued-for-a-car-loan-i-co-signed-22-years-ago-news/ Sun, 20 Mar 2022 14:00:50 +0000 https://4wallsandaview.com/dear-penny-can-i-be-sued-for-a-car-loan-i-co-signed-22-years-ago-news/ Dear Penny, Yesterday I received a letter from a financial company here in Iowa, where I lived for 14 years. He said I owe money that hasn’t been paid on a car that I co-signed in 1999 for a roommate when I lived in Florida. She didn’t have enough credit, but I found out she […]]]>

Dear Penny,

Yesterday I received a letter from a financial company here in Iowa, where I lived for 14 years. He said I owe money that hasn’t been paid on a car that I co-signed in 1999 for a roommate when I lived in Florida. She didn’t have enough credit, but I found out she died in 2000.

I think his son kept the car (no will). He had to make payments, or he traded in the car. I don’t know what he did. I lived in Iowa for 14 years and long since lost touch with him.

The letter said I had to pay for the car she bought in 1999. Can they charge me after 22 years? Please tell me if I am responsible. I am retired now. I live on my Social Security. I am 69 years old and I can barely survive.

-Q.

Dear Q,

I wouldn’t pay a penny of this debt. This is clearly a case of zombie debt, meaning debt that has already been paid or is so old that it is no longer recoverable.

But that doesn’t stop sketchy companies from trying. Agencies buy tons of old accounts for pennies on the dollar, or sometimes even less. If they scare only a small fraction of people into paying, they can make a profit.

Of course, you should pay the debts you know you owe when you can afford them. But you really don’t know if that loan has become delinquent. Even if it was, your roommate’s lender had plenty of time to sue you. He chose not to. Meeting your basic needs is more important than paying off a loan you co-signed 22 years ago.

Each state has what is called a statute of limitations for bringing debtors to justice. This window can range from three to six years, depending on the state. In Florida, it’s five years for written contracts, including auto loans.

After the statute of limitations has passed, a debt collector can still try to make you pay. But they can’t sue you for it. Once seven years have passed since the account became delinquent, it should also no longer appear on your credit reports.

Technically, you still owe an old debt. But there’s really no consequence if you don’t pay it back. They can’t get a judgment from the court. They are not allowed to add negative information to your credit file, although some debt collectors use this illegal tactic. They cannot seize your wages or your bank accounts.

And for the record, your Social Security benefits can’t be withheld unless you owe the government taxes or federal student loans, or have unpaid alimony or child support. A debt collector cannot seize your Social Security for an overdue consumer debt, such as a car loan or credit card.

The real risk comes if you make even a small payment. Depending on your state’s laws, you can restart the collection clock. The same applies if you acknowledge that you owe this debt.

Normally, I wouldn’t advise ignoring any financial matters. But I think that might be your best approach here. This company probably buys a huge number of accounts, knowing that the vast majority of people they contact by email will never respond. I’m afraid contacting them will prompt them to take more aggressive action.

This company knows they can’t legally sue you. In the unlikely event that he tries to do so anyway, the case will automatically be thrown out since the statute of limitations has expired.

But get a copy of your free credit reports from each of the three bureaus to verify that this account is not listed. Unpaid debts should not appear on your credit reports once seven years have passed since the original default. If the account is still listed, use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s sample dispute letter to have the debt removed.

If the agency continues to contact you, you may want to request a debt validation letter requesting information about the money they claim you owe. It is essential to avoid acknowledging that you owe anything. Under no circumstances should you provide personal information, such as your social security number or banking information.

If they respond, you can send a letter saying the statute of limitations has passed and demand that they stop contacting you. Report the company to the Federal Trade Commission or your state attorney general if they continue to do so.

I would only contact this company if absolutely necessary. You are no longer responsible for this debt. Don’t let any debt collector tell you otherwise.

Robin Hartill is a Certified Financial Planner and Senior Writer at The Penny Hoarder. Send your tricky money questions to AskPenny@thepennyhoarder.com.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers across the country to make smart decisions with their money with practical, inspirational advice, and resources on how to to earn, save and manage money.

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What to know about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program https://4wallsandaview.com/what-to-know-about-the-teacher-loan-forgiveness-program/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 13:40:12 +0000 https://4wallsandaview.com/what-to-know-about-the-teacher-loan-forgiveness-program/ Our goal at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, hereafter referred to as “Credible”, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we promote the products of our partner lenders who pay us for our services, all opinions are our own. Educators who meet the eligibility criteria may […]]]>

Our goal at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, hereafter referred to as “Credible”, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we promote the products of our partner lenders who pay us for our services, all opinions are our own.

Educators who meet the eligibility criteria may be able to get student loan forgiveness. (Shutterstock)

Student loan debt can be overwhelming, especially for borrowers who aren’t in a high-paying field. If you are a teacher with student loans, you may qualify for loan forgiveness choice. Here’s what you need to know about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.

If you are considering refinancing your loans, you can use Credible to compare student loan refinance rates from various lenders in minutes.

What is the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program?

Teacher Loan Forgiveness is a federal program for full-time teachers who work in low-income schools or educational service agencies. It was created to encourage teachers to work in areas where there is a shortage of qualified teachers. To qualify for the teacher loan forgiveness program, you must have federal loans and be considered a highly qualified teacher by the US Department of Education.

How much can we forgive?

The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program offers up to $17,500 in forgiveness. You can receive the full $17,500 if you are a highly qualified special education teacher at the elementary or secondary level, or a highly qualified math or science teacher at the secondary level.

You could be eligible for up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness if you work in a different field, as long as you meet the other requirements.

What are the eligibility requirements for teacher loan forgiveness?

You may be eligible for teacher loan forgiveness if:

What does it mean to be a “highly qualified” teacher?

According to the US Department of Education, you are a highly qualified teacher if:

  • You hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • You hold a state teaching diploma.
  • No certification or licensing requirements have been waived, revoked or suspended for any reason.

Unfortunately, you will not be eligible for teacher loan forgiveness if you are a school administrator, school counselor, school librarian, or other education staff. You must be a teacher working in a classroom for an eligible employer.

What is considered a low-income school or educational services agency?

You can use the Directory of Low-Income Teachers (TCLI) to determine if your workplace qualifies as a school or low-income educational services agency.

You will need to click on yearbook search and select the school year and state you live in. To narrow your search, you can also enter the name of your school or educational agency.

If you are considering refinancing your student loans, you can use Credible to compare student loan refinance rates without affecting your credit score.

How do I apply for teacher loan forgiveness?

If you qualify and want to apply for teacher loan forgiveness, follow these steps:

  1. Complete the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Application. You can find the application on the Federal Student Aid website. You will need to provide your personal information as well as your employment details. You must also indicate if you have ever applied for teacher loan forgiveness. Make sure your teaching start and end dates include the month, date, and year.
  2. Contact your administrative manager. Contact the chief executive officer (CAO) of your school or agency to complete the certification section of the form. This person will likely have access to your academic records and will be able to confirm your employment. This could be your manager, your assistant manager, your superintendent or someone from human resources.
  3. Send the form to your loan officer. Once your application is complete, submit it to your loan officer(s) at the end of your fifth year of teaching. Make sure you have a copy for your records before sending it.

Keep in mind that if you have taught at different schools during the five-year period, the superintendent of each school must complete the certification section. And if you have multiple loans from different loan servicers, you’ll need a separate form for each.

If you’re not sure how many loans or services you have, check your Federal Student Aid account. Once logged in, you will be able to find all of your student loans and loan managers.

Your loan manager will determine how long it will take for your application to be processed. To avoid delays, make sure you have completed your application accurately. Remember to verify that your account has the correct contact information and continue to make your student loan payments to stay in good standing.

Can teachers benefit from the Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Program?

Civil Service Loan Waiver (PSLF) is another option you might want to explore if you’re a teacher. It is a loan cancellation program for public service workers, including teachers.

To qualify for the Civil Service Loan Relief, you must be a qualified full-time employee of a government entity or non-profit organization. You must also have direct federal loans under an income-based repayment plan. Once you have made 120 qualifying payments, you may be eligible to have the remaining balance on your loans forgiven. Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and Federal Perkins Loans are only eligible if you consolidate them into a direct consolidation loan.

Can you get both teacher loan forgiveness and utility loan forgiveness?

You may be able to take advantage of both the teacher loan forgiveness and the civil service loan forgiveness. But you will need to have separate periods of teaching service to do so. For example, if you receive teacher loan forgiveness after five years of teaching, you will not be able to count any of those payments toward the civil service loan forgiveness. You must make 120 additional eligible payments beyond this teaching period if you wish to benefit from the PSLF.

State Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Teachers

If you are not federally eligible student loan forgivenessIt’s a good idea to look into state loan forgiveness options for your profession. The available forgiveness programs and their eligibility requirements depend on where you live. You can use the American Federation of Teachers Database to find out what’s offered in your state and school district.

Can private student loans be forgiven?

Private student loans are generally not eligible for loan forgiveness. The good news is that you may be able to refinance or even postpone these loans. Although refinancing doesn’t forgive your loans, it can lower your monthly payments, reduce your interest rate, or allow you to pay off your debt sooner.

With deferment, you may be able to temporarily defer your payments, especially if you are having financial difficulty. You will need to contact your lender to find out if this is an option and how it works.

You can compare student loan refinance rates quickly and easily with Credible.

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How to offset university fees with education tax credits https://4wallsandaview.com/how-to-offset-university-fees-with-education-tax-credits/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 16:24:17 +0000 https://4wallsandaview.com/how-to-offset-university-fees-with-education-tax-credits/ Our goal at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, hereafter referred to as “Credible”, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we promote the products of our partner lenders who pay us for our services, all opinions are our own. Education tax credits help offset the cost […]]]>

Our goal at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, hereafter referred to as “Credible”, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we promote the products of our partner lenders who pay us for our services, all opinions are our own.

Education tax credits help offset the cost of higher education by reducing the amount of tax you owe to the IRS. (Shutterstock)

College is expensive. Luckily, you have a number of ways to offset the costs, from benchmarking the best rates on student loans to using tax breaks to offset education expenses.

If you need to cover the cost of higher education, here’s what you need to know about education tax credits and other education-related tax breaks.

Education tax credits can help defray costs while you study. But if you’ve already graduated and are looking for a lower interest rate or smaller monthly payment, refinancing a private student loan may be worth considering.

Credible, it’s easy to view private student loan refinance rates from several lenders.

What are education tax credits and how do they work?

You are probably familiar with tax deductions, such as the standard deduction or the mortgage interest deduction. The value of a tax deduction depends on your tax bracket. For example, if you’re in the 24% tax bracket and you get a $1,000 tax deduction, you’ll save about $240 on your tax bill.

Tax credits are more valuable because they reduce the tax you owe, dollar for dollar. For example, if you owe $1,000 in tax but can claim a tax credit of $1,000, your tax bill is zero.

Refundable tax credits are even more valuable because they can create a tax refund. For example, if your tax account is $1,000 and you can claim a refundable tax credit of $2,000, you will receive a refund of $1,000.

Two main federal education tax credits are available, and your ability to claim these credits depends on several factors, including the amount and type of college expenses you had during the tax year, your level of registration and your income. Depending on where you live, you may also qualify for state-level tax credits.

Education tax credits i.e. US Opportunity Tax Credit

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) is worth a maximum of $2,500 per student.

This is a partially refundable credit, which means that if it reduces the amount of tax you owe to zero, you can get up to $1,000 of the credit back.

Qualifying education expenses for the AOTC include tuition, required fees, and course materials necessary for participation.

The US Opportunity Credit is the more generous of the two federal education tax credits, but it also has the strictest requirements. To claim the credit, you, your spouse or your dependent must:

  • Be enrolled at least half-time and in a degree or credential program
  • Be in the first four years of undergraduate study (for example, freshman to senior year of college, but not graduate school)
  • Do not have a conviction for drug trafficking

The AOTC also disappears if your income is too high. To claim the full credit, your modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI, must be $80,000 or less ($160,000 or less if you file a joint return). If you are single with MAGI between $80,000 and $90,000, or married with MAGI between $160,000 and $180,000, you can apply for a reduced credit. If your income exceeds these upper limits, you cannot claim AOTC at all.

Education tax credits namely: lifelong learning credit

Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) is worth up to $2,000 per return, and no portion of this amount is refundable.

The definition of qualifying expenses for the LLC includes tuition and required fees. But it only covers course materials, such as books, supplies, and computer equipment, if the cost of those materials must be paid to the college or university as a condition of enrollment or attendance.

The LLC is not limited to the first four years of higher education and does not require the student to be enrolled at least half-time or pursuing a degree. This makes it accessible to graduate students and people taking college courses to improve their professional skills.

For the 2021 tax year (returns filed in 2022), your MAGI must be less than $80,000 ($160,000 for joint filers) to claim the full LLC. If your MAGI is between $80,000 and $90,000 ($160,000 and $180,000 if filing jointly), your credit is gradually reduced. You cannot claim the LLC at all if your MAGI is above these upper limits.

Eligibility for tax breaks is often tied to income. But the income requirements for refinancing your student loans can be more flexible. If you are considering refinancing your student loans to save money, you can compare rates from multiple lenders using Credible.

How do I claim an education tax credit?

You should receive a Form 1098-T from your school by the end of January following the year in which you paid eligible expenses. You can use Form 1098-T to claim an education tax benefit or both by completing Form 8863 and attach it to your tax return.

Just keep in mind that you can’t “double down”. For example, if you are claiming the AOTC for yourself or for a dependent child, you cannot claim the LLC using the same student’s education expenses.

Other Ways to Offset College Tuition

Education credits aren’t the only way to make college more affordable. Consider these strategies to help reduce the financial burden:

You can learn more about private student loan refinancingand compare rates from multiple lenders by visiting Credible.

]]> What to know about student loans before borrowing https://4wallsandaview.com/what-to-know-about-student-loans-before-borrowing/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 08:36:43 +0000 https://4wallsandaview.com/what-to-know-about-student-loans-before-borrowing/ One Billion Photos / Shutterstock.com Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Live on the cheap. Are you considering taking out a student loan for your studies or those of your children? This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Here is the basic information you need to know. Federal student loans aren’t always […]]]>
One Billion Photos / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Live on the cheap.

Are you considering taking out a student loan for your studies or those of your children?

This is not a decision to be taken lightly.

Here is the basic information you need to know.

Federal student loans aren’t always superior

Man giving stop gesture with one hand and holding money with the other
Krakenimages.com / Shutterstock.com

A long time ago, private student loans were given for ridiculously high amounts and interest rates varied, which meant that over a 10-year repayment period, you could have an interest rate of 4% at some times and 12% at other times.

Payments could not only exceed $1,000 per month, but also vary by hundreds of dollars due to changes in interest rates.

Now, private student loans are available at fixed interest rates that do not change and are often lower than the parent PLUS loan interest rate. Compare federal parent loan rates with rates from lenders such as SoFi.

There is a big difference between student loans and parent loans

University student on a laptop
Studio F8 / Shutterstock.com

Parent PLUS loan interest rates are higher than traditional undergraduate student loans, income-contingent repayment plan prices are higher, and the only limit is the cost of attendance.

For example, let’s say a school costs $30,000 per year, including room and board, books, etc. The limit for dependent undergraduate students for the first year is $5,500.

If parents qualify, they can borrow significantly more, up to the full cost of tuition minus any other student financial aid. So a parent could easily end up in debt of $100,000 because of a child’s undergraduate degree.

Credit score and income determine eligibility for private student loans

Man checking his credit score
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

Whether it’s a private loan for parents or students, credit rating and income matter. Students who obtain a loan in their own name with a limited credit history can obtain loans with a parent or other co-signer with more established credit.

A co-signer is someone who agrees to repay the loan if the primary borrower cannot. Thus, they are also responsible for the loan, and the loan payment history also appears on the co-signer’s credit report.

The credit rating can also determine the interest rate. For example, someone with a better credit rating may qualify for an interest rate two or more percentage points lower than another person with a lower credit rating.

There are different types of federal student loans

Student
pathdoc / Shutterstock.com

For students, most federal student loans are issued as subsidized or unsubsidized loans. Interest on subsidized student loans is paid by the federal government while students are in school with at least half-time status and a few other circumstances. These loans must be used up to their limit before taking out any other type of student loan.

Unsubsidized loans are available for the remaining amount a student is eligible to receive within normal borrowing limits. The gaps are filled by PLUS parent loans or PLUS graduate loans. Private student loans also fill in the gaps.

Remember that you are never obligated to borrow the full amount granted. I can’t stress that enough. Compare financial aid programs and call the financial aid office to apply for more scholarships and also inquire about local and state scholarships. If you are still or recently in high school, ask your high school counselor to help you find scholarships.

Repayment term and terms vary

Black man in office thinking about possibilities
Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock.com

Repayment periods vary from 5 to 30 years. The five-year repayment is only for private student loans, but it depends on the lenders. Some lenders will have the option of a 15 year repayment term. Longer repayment periods generally mean smaller payments. Although you pay more interest because you are borrowing for a longer period, you can still pay off the loan sooner. Usually there is no penalty for this.

The standard repayment term for repaying federal student loans is 10 years. There is a 20 year plan where payments are based on earnings and up to 25 years for an extended payment plan.

There are consolidated loans with repayment periods of up to 30 years, with payment never increasing as income increases.

An advantage of loan consolidation is that it can make you eligible for civil service loan forgiveness., a program in which you can potentially have your remaining balance canceled for working for a public service employer for 10 years. Student loan consolidation allows borrowers to combine multiple federal student loans into one federal student loan. Although consolidation allows you to pay off multiple loans with one simplified payment, it will likely increase the amount of interest you pay over time.

Sound complicated? It can be. A student loan is a decision that involves comparing interest rates, long-term protections for financial emergencies, and avoiding over-indebtedness.

The best way to make the decision easier is to complete the FAFSA so that you know all the federal options available to you. Then talk to your financial counselor and a college financial aid counselor or high school counselor about what your options might mean for your family’s future. It’s better to spend a few hours making an informed decision about borrowing now than to spend years worrying about the financial impact of loan repayments later.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our stories.

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Student Loans: Jobs That Will Get You Loan Forgiveness https://4wallsandaview.com/student-loans-jobs-that-will-get-you-loan-forgiveness/ Sat, 05 Mar 2022 19:38:40 +0000 https://4wallsandaview.com/student-loans-jobs-that-will-get-you-loan-forgiveness/ Every year, students go into debt by obtaining studies and taking out student loans to complete them. It can take years to pay off. The average student debt for a student today is $37,113. Some people are lucky enough to get these loans forgiven. FAFSA: Application Information for the 2022-2023 Academic Year Cancellation of civil […]]]>

Every year, students go into debt by obtaining studies and taking out student loans to complete them. It can take years to pay off.

The average student debt for a student today is $37,113.

Some people are lucky enough to get these loans forgiven.

FAFSA: Application Information for the 2022-2023 Academic Year

Cancellation of civil service loans

This program will eliminate all student loan debt.

It was created in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

To use it, you must first make 120 qualifying student loan payments while working for an employer eligible for the program.

This means that you must work full-time for a government agency or a specific type of non-profit organization.

Federal direct loans and federal consolidation loans are eligible.

You must have an income-based repayment plan to qualify.

Financial aid: differences with public and private colleges

Those are

  • Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Repayment Plan
  • Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Reimbursement Plan
  • Income Based Reimbursement Plan (IBR)
  • Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR Plan)

Student Loan Repayment: Income-Based Plans

What Types of Jobs Will Get Me Off My Student Loans?

  • emergency management
  • Government (excluding time spent as a member of Congress)
  • Military service
  • public safety
  • Law enforcement
  • Public health
  • Public education
  • Social work
  • Public service for the elderly
  • Public interest law services
  • early childhood education
  • Public service for people with disabilities
  • Public Library Science
  • School librarianship and other school services
  • 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations
  • Teaching as a faculty member at a tribal college or university
  • Teach as a faculty member in an area of ​​high need or in an area in short supply
  • Full-time volunteering for the AmeriCorps or Peace Corps
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Some domestic violence survivors are still paying their abusers’ student loan debt https://4wallsandaview.com/some-domestic-violence-survivors-are-still-paying-their-abusers-student-loan-debt/ Mon, 28 Feb 2022 23:06:46 +0000 https://4wallsandaview.com/some-domestic-violence-survivors-are-still-paying-their-abusers-student-loan-debt/ Angela Littwin, Ronald D. Krist Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin Law SchoolNearly 30 years ago, a federal law allowed married couples to consolidate their federal student loan debt through a short-term US Department of Education (ED) program. Couples who participated in the now-defunct program, which ran from 1993 to 2006, […]]]>

Angela Littwin, Ronald D. Krist Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin Law SchoolNearly 30 years ago, a federal law allowed married couples to consolidate their federal student loan debt through a short-term US Department of Education (ED) program. Couples who participated in the now-defunct program, which ran from 1993 to 2006, became jointly and severally liable for reimbursement. Yet today, domestic violence survivors who participated in the program may still have to pay their abusers’ loans. A proposed bill in Congress could change that.

“When people think of domestic violence, they often think of physical violence, primarily because the dangers to physical safety are very real,” said Monica McLaughlin, director of public policy at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV ), a nonprofit organization that advocates to stop domestic violence. “But one of the ways to ensure control over a survivor is through economic abuse.”

Over 14,000 borrowers have participated in the ED program. But untangling consolidated loans can be especially difficult for victims of domestic violence when the other borrower is their abuser. Domestic violence advocates and experts point out that consolidated debt can be a form of economic abuse. Financial abuse occurs in about 99% of domestic violence cases, according to a study from the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“A colleague of mine would say survivors were showing up at shelters with just the clothes on their backs, but now they’re showing up with the clothes on their backs and crippling debt with low credit scores,” McLaughlin said. “That is often the case. And it can devastate the rest of their lives.

She pointed out that an average of three women a day are killed by a current or former intimate partner across the country. The National Survey of Intimate Partners and Sexual Violence, developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), also found, based on 2010 data, that people facing food or housing insecurity are more vulnerable to abuse. McLaughlin highlighted the links between physical violence and economic insecurity.

Angela Littwin, Ronald D. Krist Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin Law School, studies consumer debt and domestic violence with Dr. Adrienne Adams, assistant professor of ecological/community psychology at Michigan State University. She explained that economic abuse can take two forms: financial restriction (ie prohibition from working) and financial exploitation.

“The behavior of consolidated student loans would amount to economic exploitation to make you responsible for a debt that is not yours,” Littwin said. “Partners can do this through coercive control. And bankruptcy is not even an issue because student loans are very difficult to repay in bankruptcy.

But in April 2021, members of Congress introduced a bipartisan bill to help borrowers break consolidated federal student loans in cases of domestic violence or divorce. Representative David Price of North Carolina was one of the members of Congress to introduce the bill, called the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act.

“The Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act was created in direct response to my constituent’s experience with a damaging joint consolidation loan,” Price said in an email to Miscellaneous. “Unfortunately, borrowers nationwide remain responsible for their potentially abusive or uncommunicative former partner’s share of their consolidated debt. In the absence of legal options for relief, as in the case of my constituent, this Debt can be crippling. My colleagues and I were thrilled to reintroduce this common-sense, bipartisan legislation — congressional action to address this issue is long overdue.”

If passed, the bill would allow two borrowers to submit a joint application to ED to unravel the consolidated loan into two separate loans. It would also allow a borrower to submit a separate application if they face domestic or economic abuse from the other borrower. Similarly, the bill would allow a borrower to file a request if the person cannot reasonably reach or access the other borrower’s loan information.

“There’s not a huge universe of people who were part of this program, but it illustrates what’s happening in so many other economic areas of domestic violence survivors’ lives,” McLaughlin said. “You think about all the ways you intertwine your life with another person’s life in an intimate relationship, and untangling it is very difficult.”

Rebecca Kelliher can be reached at rkelliher@diverseeducation.com.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score in 2022 https://4wallsandaview.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-in-2022/ Wed, 23 Feb 2022 16:18:45 +0000 https://4wallsandaview.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-in-2022/ Building your credit history can be as simple as checking your credit report for errors and improving your on-time payment history. (iStock) Having good credit can help you get favorable terms on a number of products, from mortgages to credit cards. On the other hand, having a bad credit rating can make it harder to […]]]>

Building your credit history can be as simple as checking your credit report for errors and improving your on-time payment history. (iStock)

Having good credit can help you get favorable terms on a number of products, from mortgages to credit cards. On the other hand, having a bad credit rating can make it harder to get loans and new lines of credit.

If you’ve set a goal to boost your credit score in 2022, here are five strategies to consider:

  1. Review your free credit reports
  2. Improve your on-time payment history
  3. Pay off credit card debt
  4. Keep old accounts open
  5. Open a secure credit card

Learn more about each credit repair strategy in the sections below and visit Credible to sign up for free credit monitoring services. You can also purchase a number of financial products, such as credit card consolidation loans and secured credit cards, for free without affecting your credit score.

WHY IS GOOD CREDIT IMPORTANT?

1. Review your free credit reports

The first step to increasing your credit score is to identify areas where you can make improvements. An effective way to do this is to review your credit reports with the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Check your credit reports for errors, such as missing accounts or clerical errors that result in erroneous missed payments. Then dispute any errors by contacting the credit bureau, which is responsible for correcting inaccurate information through the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

You can request free weekly credit reports until April 20, 2022 at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. After that, you can pull your credit reports once a year for free. You can also sign up for free credit monitoring services on Credible, so you can identify errors or fraud as quickly as possible.

HOW YOUR CREDIT RATING IS EFFECTED BY HARD AND SOFT APPLICATIONS

2. Improve your on-time payment history

Your payment history has the biggest impact on your credit rating, accounting for 35% of your score using the FICO scoring model. Derogatory marks, including missed payments, can last up to seven years on your credit report, although they have less of a negative impact over time.

Signing up for automatic payments to pay your bills and utilities is an easy way to improve your on-time payment history and boost your credit score. It may also be useful to download a free budgeting app to track your expenses and bills across all your bank accounts.

HOW MUCH CREDIT DO YOU NEED FOR A MORTGAGE?

3. Pay off credit card debt

Another factor with a strong impact on your credit score is your the credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of debt you owe relative to your available credit. For example, if you owe $500 on a credit card with a credit limit of $4,500, your utilization rate on that account is approximately 11%.

Borrowers who regularly have high balances on their credit cards may have a high credit utilization rate, which can lower your credit score and cost you money over time due to interest rates. students.

Let’s say you have $3,000 in credit card debt on an account that has a $5,000 line of credit and an interest rate of 17%. If you only make the minimum payments, your credit utilization is 60%, which is about twice what credit reporting agencies recommend. Plus, you’ll likely pay hundreds of dollars in interest charges while you pay off your debts.

One way to reduce your credit usage and save money on interest is to consolidate credit card debt at a lower interest rate with a personal loan. As a bonus, personal loans can diversify your credit mix, which can further boost your credit score. You can compare personal loans for debt consolidation on Credible with a soft inquiry, which will not impact your credit score.

HOW TO CHECK YOUR CREDIT SCORE FOR FREE WITH NO PENALTIES

4. Keep old accounts open

Credit bureaus like to see a well-established credit history, which includes the average age of credit accounts in your name. If you have old credit accounts that you may not be using, it may be useful to keep them open to demonstrate a sufficient length of credit history.

Likewise, it may be wise to avoid opening new credit card accounts while you’re building your credit score. New accounts will shorten your average credit age, and they will also have a temporary (and minimal) negative impact due to thorough investigation when you apply for the account.

You might also consider becoming an authorized user on a trusted friend or relative’s credit card account. If they have a consistent and on-time payment history on an old account, it can help you build your own credit report without much effort on your part.

HOW STUDENT LOANS CAN HELP YOU DEVELOP GOOD CREDIT

5. Open a secure credit card

If you don’t have an established credit history, it can be difficult to qualify for a traditional unsecured credit card. But without new lines of credit, it can be difficult to build your credit.

Some credit card issuers offer secured credit cards, also known as charge-to-credit cards. These accounts allow you to borrow money from a line of credit that you secure with a cash lump sum. With a secured credit card, you may need to pay $1,000 upfront – then you can use the credit card up to a certain limit.

Secured credit cards can help you establish a timely payment history and diversify your credit mix. This can help you boost your credit score quickly while avoiding interest charges. You can visit Credible to compare a variety of credit cards, including secured cards.

BUY NOW, PAY LATER LOANS WILL BE FORMALLY INCLUDED IN EQUIFAX CREDIT REPORTS

Do you have a financial question, but you don’t know who to contact? Email the Credible Money Expert at moneyexpert@credible.com and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.

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Does PSLF really work? [Success Rates & Program Changes] https://4wallsandaview.com/does-pslf-really-work-success-rates-program-changes/ Sat, 19 Feb 2022 07:31:24 +0000 https://4wallsandaview.com/does-pslf-really-work-success-rates-program-changes/ [Editor’s Note: We are excited to now have the Peak Housing REIT on our list of available real estate investments! For a relatively small minimum investment ($25,000) for WCI readers, this fund could be a great way to add diversity to and minimize taxes in your real estate portfolio. The investment is relatively new, but […]]]>

[Editor’s Note: We are excited to now have the Peak Housing REIT on our list of available real estate investments! For a relatively small minimum investment ($25,000) for WCI readers, this fund could be a great way to add diversity to and minimize taxes in your real estate portfolio. The investment is relatively new, but it’s already performing far above expectations at 22% YTD. Check out our recent conversation with The Peak Group here on YouTube and see how the Peak Housing REIT could be your next big investing win!]

By Andrew PaulsonCSLP, Lead Student Loan Consultant and co-founder of our partner site StudentLoanAdvice.com

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness or PSLF is the well-known holy grail of loan forgiveness programs. Unlike most other loan forgiveness programs, PSLF offers tax-free loan forgiveness AND no cap on the amount of loan forgiven.

Any borrower who has a chance of working in a non-profit organization should definitely consider the program, even if you earn more than you borrowed for college. Yes, we’ve all seen the slew of articles professing the dismal success rate and subpar loan service that has sustained the program. But with recent changes to the program, there’s a big boost in the success rate, and it should be on more people’s radar.

In this article, we will discuss how the program works, how it was created, its success, and some speculations/projections for the future.

Civil Service Loan Cancellation Program

The PSLF program was created as part of the College Access and Cost Reduction Act of 2007 to provide tax-free loan forgiveness to indebted professionals who work as public servants. It was created for the benefit of nurses, teachers, military, law enforcement, government officials, and other employees of non-profit organizations.

PSLF can help encourage borrowers to pursue careers in lower-paying jobs than they would otherwise when entering the private sector.

What is Civil Service Loan Forgiveness?

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a student loan forgiveness program that provides tax-free loan forgiveness.

PSLF has four requirements:

  • Eligible Federal Student Loans – Direct Stafford (unsubsidized and subsidized), Direct Plus Graduate Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans
  • Qualifying repayment plan—IBR, PAYE, RPAYE, ICR, or the standard 10-year repayment plan
  • 120 one-time qualifying monthly payments, no obligation to be ongoing
  • Full-time employment with an eligible employer such as a nonprofit or 501(c)(3)

How to Apply for Civil Service Loan Forgiveness

The only mechanism in place to request a forgiveness of public service debt is the employment certificate form (ECF). This form must be completed for each eligible employer to receive credit for PSLF.

Although you can wait until you have reached 10 years of skilled employment, we recommend that borrowers complete the ECF form annually. The ECF form is used to get credit for past payments made and to request loan forgiveness once you have reached 10 years of payments. We recommend that you keep track of the ECF forms and the corresponding payment documents.

Expect the repairman to come back with errors. But if you certify regularly, it will be much easier to correct their mistake of two months ago than to go back eight years and two jobs, fighting them over payments to a now-defunct repairman.

Please note: Borrowers must still be employed by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization at the time of remittance.

Changes to Civil Service Loan Forgiveness

Civil service loan forgiveness has undergone some changes over the years. The first change or adjustment was the addition of the employment certificate form in 2012. In the first two years, borrowers had little to no understanding of the program, and if you didn’t have a buddy who followed student loan law closely, then you would have heard from your agent about financial aid than the program should not be relied upon.

The Temporary Extended PSLF (TEPSLF) was added in 2018 by the Consolidated Credits Act 2018. This happened when the first group of borrowers became eligible for PSLF in 2017 and about 99% of applicants were turned down. TEPSLF has slightly different requirements than PSLF and has a limited amount of money to support it. Thus, the program is first come, first served. Also in 2018, Federal Student Aid released the PSLF Helper Tool to assess your employer’s eligibility for the PSLF.

successful cancellation of civil service loans

The most recent change is the PSLF Limited Waiver released in October 2021. The Limited Waiver has huge ramifications for borrowers, but is most useful for those with FFEL loans. If you have FFEL loans and have worked as a civil servant, you should inquire. All you have to do is consolidate your FFEL loans into direct loans and submit a PSLF attestation form. However, we recommend that you review WCI’s interpretation of the PSLF Limited Waiver. Additionally, this is a time-limited waiver set to expire in October 2022.

Is the cancellation of civil service loans legitimate?

Yes, the PSLF is legitimate and many white coats have received it. WCI has a podcast dedicated to financial milestones called Milestones to Millionaire, and host Dr. Jim Dahle has interviewed a number of people who have actually received the PSLF. Not everyone had the smoothest process to get the PSLF, but the financial benefits outweighed the extra paperwork and headaches.

There is a significant part of StudentLoanAdvice.com’s customers who are also in the process of obtaining the PSLF. The added value of pursuing PSLF versus refinancing or taxable loan forgiveness is real, and it can be life changing in certain circumstances.

PSLF success rate

Ah, the number we were all waiting. . . here is a report from the Department of Education (ED) over the years. We took TEPSLF and PSLF and combined them in the report below.

Figures prior to September 2019 indicated that only around 2% of applicants received the PSLF. The reports started to improve in 2019. Here are some numbers:

Until September 2021, only 16,119 civil servants had benefited from the PSLF with a fairly low success rate still at 4%. It is important to realize that the number of requests above are totals going back to the start of loan forgiveness from October 2017. For example, there were not 16,119 borrowers who had their loan forgiven from September 2020-2021; there were 10,619.

But as of December 15, 2021, an additional 38,000 borrowers have now received the PSLF. Data has not yet been released on the number of candidates who applied in the last three months. If we launch a hypothetical number of 100,000 applicants over the last three months, from December 2021 to February 2022 (when this article was published), we would see a fairly significant increase in the success rate.

The reason for the increase in the number of approved applications is the recent PSLF waiver which primarily benefits FFEL loan holders. We expect that number to continue to rise in 2022, but lag behind as FedLoan shifts its 9 million borrowers to multiple loan servicers. All those on the right path to PSLF will be switched to MOHELA in 2022.

Now more than ever is the BEST TIME to consider PSLF, given the positive momentum of borrowers getting their loans forgiven tax-free.

The future of PSLF

Our crystal ball is cloudy on the future of the PSLF, but we believe the success rate will continue to increase – and not just a one-time bump with the recent release of the PSLF waiver.

During our consultations, many customers are expressing concern about future changes to PSLF.

  • “What if the loan forgiveness becomes taxable? »
  • “What if they cap the amount of loan forgiveness? »
  • “What if they phase out high earners?”

Each of you signed a Master Promissory Note (MPN) to take out your Federal Student Loans. If the federal government follows its normal process for modifying federal student loans, those currently in the program will be grandfathered into the old one. Basically, if you have a federal loan now, you can continue with the program.

pslf master promissory note

You are not alone if you have thought deeply about whether to do PSLF. At Student Loan Advice, we’ve met hundreds of borrowers just like you who are facing similar challenges. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of different options and which would result in the optimal outcome to beat your debt and get you closer to financial freedom. Contact our experienced team at studentloanaadvice.com today!

Did you manage to get the PSLF? What was your experience like? Do you think the new changes will help candidates pass? Comments below!

]]> Everything you need to do before interest rates go up https://4wallsandaview.com/everything-you-need-to-do-before-interest-rates-go-up/ Tue, 15 Feb 2022 14:30:00 +0000 https://4wallsandaview.com/everything-you-need-to-do-before-interest-rates-go-up/ Photo: Cheryl Savane (Shutterstock) With inflation leading 7% and consumer confidence at 10– low year, it is a foregone conclusion that the Federal Reserve will increase the federal funds rate in the near future. This could be at their meeting in Marchor it could happen even sooner to a emergency meeting, but it’s coming. The […]]]>

Image for article titled Everything You Should Do Before Interest Rates Rise

Photo: Cheryl Savane (Shutterstock)

With inflation leading 7% and consumer confidence at 10– low year, it is a foregone conclusion that the Federal Reserve will increase the federal funds rate in the near future. This could be at their meeting in Marchor it could happen even sooner to a emergency meeting, but it’s coming. The first hike will likely be followed by a series of hikes that could take the policy rate from its current level of 0.08% to 1.6% or more by the end of 2023. This would mean that the banks’ prime interest rate (the best rate at which they will lend money) would likely end up around 4.6%.

The rate change will most directly affect credit card interest rates, home equity lines of credit and other types of variable interest debt, as these rates are based on the banks’ prime rate, which changes much in tandem with the Fed rate. Other types of loans (mortgages, car loans, etc.) have different influencing factors that affect their interest rates, but the ripple effect of a rate hike would likely increase the cost of all borrowing.

Here are some things for consumers to consider in order to prepare for higher interest rates in the near future.

Do not worry: Rising interest rates are not (necessarily) a bad thing. “From an investment perspective, interest rates rise when the economy is generally doing well,” Daniel Milan, managing partner of Cornerstone Financial Services, told CNBC. “People are spending…if you look at it from a different angle, it means positive things are happening.”

Call your credit card company and ask for a lower rate: According to a CreditCards.com survey, 84% of the time, people were able to lower their credit card interest rate simply by calling their issuer and asking. is now a good time to make that call.

“If you cut the rate, it will be a little more than a quarter of a percentage point that the Fed will raise rates, so you will come out on top,” Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree, told CBS.

Refinance your home loan: Although mortgage interest rates are not directly linked to the prime rate, this does not mean that they do not increase, too much. According to Freddie Mac’s Data, 30-year mortgage rates rose from 2.73% a year ago to 3.69% last week. This is still a historically low rate, but many economists expect it to go further In the coming months. A Zillow survey indicated that approximately 78% of American households haven’t refinanced their home in the last year. If you’re eligible for a re-fi, you should consider turning it on now.

Make a big purchase: If you are planning to make a major purchase on credit, it may be a good idea to pull the trigger now and lock in lower interest rates, provided that it is corrected. Prices are likely to continue to rise a bit anyway, so even spending the money makes sense. Borrow money for a yacht, a car or that second home you had your eye on could end up being more expensive if you buy it in a few months than if you buy it now, Mr. Moneybags.

Consolidate your debt: If you’re like me and think more about how best to manage your credit card debt than whether it’s a good time to buy a boat, you should consider whether a debt consolidation loan is right for you, and try to lock it in before rates go up. You might also consider deferring your debt to a credit card with balance transfer before these rates increase, also.

Refinance student loans: This is a particularly good time for people with student loans. Federal student loan payments and interest suspended until May 1, and more federal relief might arrive (probably not, but you never know). If you paid for your education with private loans, student loan refinance rates have been at or near recent all-time lows. Consider taking advantage of these discounted rates while they are available.

Consult a financial advisor about your portfolio: Most financial experts usually advise consumers with 401(k)s or IRAs to invest in long-term growth and leave their funds alone, but now is the time to review the details of your portfolio and discuss any concerns, questions or potential changes with a professional financial advisor.

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If you don’t qualify for Navient’s student loan forgiveness, try these options instead https://4wallsandaview.com/if-you-dont-qualify-for-navients-student-loan-forgiveness-try-these-options-instead/ Sat, 12 Feb 2022 13:46:22 +0000 https://4wallsandaview.com/if-you-dont-qualify-for-navients-student-loan-forgiveness-try-these-options-instead/ Navient (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images If you don’t qualify for Navient’s student loan forgiveness, try these options instead. Here’s what you need to know. Student loans If you’ve been following the latest headlines on student loans, you may know that Navient – one of the […]]]>

If you don’t qualify for Navient’s student loan forgiveness, try these options instead.

Here’s what you need to know.

Student loans

If you’ve been following the latest headlines on student loans, you may know that Navient – one of the nation’s largest student loan managers – has agreed to a major student loan deal. As a Navient student borrower, you could get over $1.7 billion in student loan forgiveness. That’s the good news. (Here’s how to qualify for $1.7 billion in student loan forgiveness).

The bad news, however, is that there’s a good chance you won’t qualify. For example, about 66,000 student borrowers out of 45 million borrowers are eligible for the $1.7 billion student loan forgiveness. Another 350,000 student borrowers could be eligible for additional relief of $95 million. This means millions of student borrowers will not be eligible for student loan forgiveness. (Here’s Who Won’t Get Student Loan Forgiveness).

However, there is a silver lining. If you don’t qualify for this student loan forgiveness, there are several other viable options, and here are the actions you should consider.


1. Student Loan Payment Break Can Help You Save Every Month

If you have federal student loans, the good news is that your student loans are still on hold until May 1, 2022. That means no mandatory federal student loan payments, no interest accruals, and no student loan collections in fault. Since March 2020, when Congress passed the CARES Act, student borrowers have had access to this historic student loan relief. (Biden should end student loan relief). The US Department of Education estimates borrowers saved $5 billion a month in student loan interest. Congressional progressives want President Joe Biden to extend student loan relief beyond May. (Will student loan repayments be postponed until 2023?). However, to date, the White House and the Department of Education have signaled that student loan repayments will resume as planned in May. (Student loans will restart soon. Here’s how to prepare for repayment).

Shock poll: Student loans will be completely canceled before student loan payments restart in May


2. Consolidate student loans

If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of going back to monthly student loan payments, you’re not alone. Student loan repayment is a lot to manage, especially if you have multiple student loans with different interest rates, student loan balances, and student loan managers. (Biden stops challenging student loan forgiveness after public outcry). Student loan consolidation is a strategy for organizing and streamlining your federal student loans. You can consolidate your current federal student loans into one direct consolidation loan. This new federal student loan will have a student loan balance, student loan interest rate, student loan manager, and monthly payment. It can make your life easier each month. The downside is that you won’t get a lower interest rate. Rather, your interest rate will be equal to a weighted average of your current interest rates, rounded to the nearest 1/8%.


3. Get student loan forgiveness this way

There are several options for obtaining student loan forgiveness, including income-based repayment plans such as IBR, PAYE, REPAYE, and ICR. Check with your student loan officer for details. (If Biden cancels student loans, that will happen next). Alternatively, there are options for student loan forgiveness, such as civil service loan forgiveness. Through this program, you work for a qualified utility or nonprofit employer, make 120 monthly student loan payments, and meet other requirements. The good news is that you can completely forgive your federal student loan. The downside is that it can take 10 years. If you have previous student loan repayments that are not eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you can complete a limited waiver to count your previous student loan repayments. (Student loans are on hiatus, but here are 6 things to do right now).


4. Refinance student loans to get historically low rates

Student loan refinancing is the best way to get a lower interest rate on your student loans. Student loan refinance rates are currently at historic lows and start at 1.74% for variable interest rates and 1.99% for fixed interest rates.

This student loan refinance calculator shows you how much you can save when you refinance student loans.

For example, let’s say you have $100,000 in student loans, an interest rate of 8%, and a repayment term of 10 years. By refinancing your student loans at an interest rate of 3% and a repayment term of 10 years, for example, you would save $248 per month and $29,720 in total. You can choose a fixed or variable interest rate as well as a repayment period between 5 and 20 years. There are no application fees, origination fees or prepayment penalties if you pay off your student loans early. Plus, you can refinance again in your search for a lower interest rate in the future. To qualify, you’ll need at least a 650 credit score, current employment or a signed job offer, stable income, and a low debt-to-income ratio.

With student loan refinance, you can refinance private or federal student loans, or both. Refinancing private loans is a smart move if you can qualify for a lower interest rate. Refinancing federal loans depends on whether you think you need to access federal benefits such as income-contingent repayment or civil service loan forgiveness. If so, do not refinance federal student loans. If not, you may decide to refinance federal student loans to get a lower interest rate and save money.


Student Loans: Related Reading

Here’s who won’t get student loan forgiveness

Will student loan repayments be postponed until 2023?

Biden should end student loan relief

If Biden cancels student loans, it will happen next

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