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    Best Private Student Loans for 2021

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    best private student loans reddit

    Looking for the best private student loans? Reddit

    Funding your education using student loans can be pretty useful. Here is an insightful guide on all you need to know about the best private student loans of 2021.

    You have deftly tackled the nerve-wracking pressure of getting into the college or university of your dreams. You have the scores, a host of co-curricular activities to show your mettle, and the only thing left to do is secure a student loan to fund your education.

    Quite a significant number of students are in your shoes right now. In fact, studies reveal that a whopping 71% students course through college with the help of student loans every year on an average. Not that startling, if you think about the high cost of education at the leading higher education institutions all across the world.

    Since you are at the threshold of applying for one, it is best to proceed with all the knowledge that you can get your hands on regarding student loans. Presented here is a quick overview of the crucial facts and factors pertaining to student loans along with 6 best private student loan options you can explore.

    The Difference Between Federal and Private Student Loans

    Did you know the likes of Barack Obama and plenty of Hollywood actors (including Jane Lynch and Finesse Mitchell) all had to use student loans, whether federal or private? They couldn’t even escape the high cost of college, which is usually over $30,000 in the United States for a 4-year public college.

    Before we apply for student loans, here are the basics of federal and private student loans.

    Federal and Private Student Loans – Know the Difference:

    Federal Student Loans

    A federal loan stands for a loan that you borrow from the government. You are basically using the taxpayers’ money to get your college or university degree, hence repaying federal loans come with a different level of responsibility altogether.

    However, since interest rates are comparatively lower in federal loans and one does not require having a great credit score, most students take a lax approach when the time comes for repayment. You will also find options for paying as per your level of income or alternative repayment options if you apply for federal loans.

    Private Student Loans

    In case you opt for a private student loan, a credit union, bank or online lender provides you with the money that you need to pay your way through getting a higher education degree. They can have varying rates of interest (that is usually dependent on the loan provider and the type of interest you choose) and have comparatively rigid repayment options.

    However, since the rules regarding what you do with the loan money are quite lax in case of private loans, you can come up with ingenious tricks to pay it off way before it starts accumulating interest.

    Top 6 Best Private Student Loan Options

    Prior to approaching a lender for a private student loan, you must know that you will need to have to meet a number of criteria for your loan to be approved.

    Carefully consider if you have a good credit score (or having a creditworthy co-signer will also do the trick) and have read their terms and conditions before you apply.

    Here are the six best private student loans that will help you pay off the high tuition fees for college or university.

     1. Best Overall: LendKey

    best private student loans reddit

    LendKey offers repayments terms ranging from five to 20 years.  They have numerous excellent 5-star reviews on TrustPilot and the process is easy to complete.

    Borrowers can include parents of students, parents of graduates and degree holders as well as current undergrad and graduate students. To be eligible, U.S. citizens and permanent residents must have proof of citizenship or residence permit as well as proof of income. Potential borrowers can check their eligibility online and then receive offers from LendKey’s networks of community lenders.

    The minimum loan amount starts at $7,500 and goes up to $250,000, with rates as low as 3.85% or 4.86% depending on if you go with a variable or fixed APR.

    Don’t meet the requirements or want to qualify for a lower interest rate?

    LendKey allows for borrowers to add a cosigner to the loan to help borrowers meet eligibility and get the interest rate that works best for them. This isn’t the only benefit to considering a LendKey loan, they also offer unemployment protection. If you lose your job or have just finished school, loan payments are placed on temporary hold.

    lendkey

    Visit LendKey

    Or, click here to learn more about Private Student Loans with LendKey.

    2. Funding U

    Funding U, also known as Funding University, has been around since 2016. This is a company that offers student loans to students without credit or a co-signer at eligible four-year colleges.

    Funding U doesn’t fund you based on your credit score, but your grades in school and projected earnings after graduation. If you are a junior or senior in college, you can qualify for a Funding U loan. However, if you are a freshman or sophomore, the approval process is more strict.

    It’s a smart option for students because:

    • You don’t need a co-signer or credit history to get a loan.
    • You can see if you’ll qualify and what rate you’ll get without a hard credit check.
    • DACA students with a work-eligible Social Security number can qualify.

    If you wanted to apply you can see what rate you’ll get and it’s a soft credit check. The loan term is 10 years and loan amounts up to $10,000 and the range of interest rates is in line with other private student lenders.

    funding u

    Visit Funding U

    Or, click here to learn more about Private Student Loans with Funding U.

    3. Citizens Bank

    Looking to make financing your education easy and affordable? You can apply for a private student loan from Citizens Bank today if you have a good or excellent credit score.

    • Loan repayment terms of 5, 10 or 15 years
    • 25% reduction in interest rates if you go for auto-repaying options while still in college or university
    • 25% reduction in interest rates for existing Citizens bank account holders
    • Fixed APR of 4.72% – 11.90%
    • Variable APR of 3.36& – 11.87%
    • No application, prepayment, disbursement or origination fees required
    • Good or excellent credit scores needed

    Visit Citizens

    Or, click here to learn more about Private Student Loans with Citizens.

    4. College Ave

    At College Ave Student loans you can apply in just 3 minutes and get an instant decision. College Ave offers 4 flexible repayment options to help you make paying your student loans off easier.
    Special features include:  Repayment Options, US Based Customer Service, Easy Mobile Application.
    • Loan term length of 8, 10, 12 or 15 years
    • No application, origination or prepayment fees required
    • 25% reduction in the interest rate for auto-repaying methods while in college or university
    • Fixed APR of 4.72% – 12.94%
    • Variable APR of 3.96% – 12.94%
    • Good or excellent credit score needed (get a co-signer if you have a bad or no credit score)

    Visit College Ave

    Or, click here to learn more about Private Student Loans with College Ave Student Loans.

    5. Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae offers a variety of student loans for college and more. Apply for the Sallie Mae private student loan that fits your needs today and you’ll be in great hands.

    • Covers up to 100% of education costs (including college-approved expenses)
    • Offers interest rate reductions (subject to terms and conditions)
    • 15-minute response time after applying
    • No origination, prepayment or application fees
    • Fixed APR of 4.74% – 11.35%
    • Variable APR of 3.37% – 10.75%
    • Good or excellent credit score required (you can opt for a co-signer in case you do not have a credit score)

    Visit Sallie Mae

    Or, click here to learn more about Private Student Loans with Sallie Mae.

    6. SunTrust

    SunTrust offers several private student loan options to fill the gap when federal loans, scholarships & grants aren’t enough to cover education expenses.

    • Re-financing options of existing private student loans to the new student loan module
    • Loan terms to choose from 7, 10 or 15 years
    • Fixed APR of 4.30% – 11.05%
    • Variable APR of 3.62% – 10.67%
    • 50% reduction in interest rate if you choose the auto-payment option when in college or university
    • No application or origination fee required
    • Loan repaying cluster options (principal and interest, partial interest, interest-only, deferred payment) available when in college or university
    • Good or excellent credit score needed (opt for a co-signer if you do not have a credit score)

    Visit SunTrust

    Or, click here to learn more about Private Student Loans with SunTrust.

    7. Discover

    Learn about student loans for college from #6 on our top picks for private student loan options. Discover Student Loans can help you find the best private student loan to fit your needs.

    • Covers up to 100% of your education costs (including college-approved estimations of tuition and additional resources)
    • Offers an interest-only repayment discount
    • Includes 1% cash reward as an acknowledgment for good grades
    • A simplified application process that provides the promptest feedback
    • Fixed APR of 4.74% – 12.99%
    • Variable APR of 3.37% – 11.87%
    • No origination or prepayment fees needed
    • A good or excellent credit score is needed (you can get a creditworthy co-signer in case you have a bad or no credit score to show)

    Visit Discover

    Or, click here to learn more about Private Student Loans with Discover.

    Are There More Private Student Loan Options?

    This list is not a comprehensive one by any means. There are definitely many more student loan options available to you — both private and federal — that we encourage you to research and consider as well.

    The loans listed here are some of the best in regards to benefits and future opportunities, such as the interest rate reduction for meeting various requirements.

    Your Best Option for Private Student Loans

    You can benefit from using our top pick, LendKey, to help you pick the best private student loan with the lowest rates:

    lendkey

    Visit LendKey

    When choosing a loan, remember to consider variable versus fixed rates and also the repayment plans offered. You might not have the resources to repay a loan immediately after you graduate and enter the workforce. In that case, deferment options and grace periods are highly beneficial.

    Whether it a public, non-profit private or for-profit private higher education institution, you can ease a considerable portion of the financial burden if you choose to go for private student loans. It is a common case for almost every student aspiring for higher education. Consider all the factors carefully before you apply for one, read our student loans 101 guide, and make sure that you are wise with spending the money.

    With oodles of confidence, a fiery passion for academics and all-around know-how of the workings of the world, you will surely be able to repay your student debt once you start earning a living after graduation. Good luck in securing a suitable private student loan to give wings to your scholastic aspirations!

    Any questions on any of these best private student loans for 2021? Sound off below!

    A Look at How Millennial Student Debt is Holding You Back

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    millennial student debt

    Millennial student debt is one of the most likely things to hold you back in life. Here is how debt is holding you back, Millennials.

    One of the things most likely to hold you back in life is your student loan debt. While it’s possible to borrow smart, and use debt as a way to leverage different opportunities, it can also drag your finances down. Using debt requires that you walk a fine line that can result in financial bondage if you aren’t careful.

    Even if you do use debt for something considered “reasonable” like education (student loans), buying a home, or starting a business, it’s important to borrow as little as you can and to pay it back as quickly as possible. If you don’t, even so-called “good” debt can begin to hold you back.

    How?

    How Debt is Holding You Back

    1. Debt Saps Wealth

    millennial homebuyers

    Even though it’s possible to use debt as a way to jump-start financial success, you should realize that, ultimately, debt saps wealth. This is especially true of consumer debt with high interest rates, such as credit card debt. When you are paying interest to someone else, you reduce your disposable income in a way that leaves less for you to use the way you want.

    Paying interest means that your money is going to someone else — and not going to build a profitable side business, improve your financial future through wise investments, or even to a great family vacation. Pay off your debt as quickly as you can in order to ensure that your money is being used for your financial future.

    2. Debt Can Affect Your Ability to Find Work

    best private student loans reddit

    Another way that debt can hold you back is in your professional life. While not all jobs require a credit check, some employers might want to know your credit history. If you are going to work in the financial sector, or if you have a sensitive job, you might be considered vulnerable and unsuited if you have a high amount of debt.

    Getting out of debt can help you improve job prospects in some cases. Not only that, but most people feel a jolt of confidence when they pay off debt. Being debt free can translate into confidence and a good attitude that can help you get hired, as well as help you negotiate a higher salary. You might not even realize how debt has been weighing on your confidence and attitude until you pay it off and feel better about yourself and your situation.

    3. Debt Can Impact Your Relationships

    Stress introduced into relationships because of debt can really make a difference. What happens when you are in debt can cause stress and anxiety, and lead to difficulties with your loved ones. Indeed, marriages have been ruined because of the stresses that come with being in debt. Plus, your anxiety can impact relationships with children, parents, friends, and coworkers. Get out of debt, and you will find yourself more relaxed, and better able to focus on building good relationships with those around you.

    The Student Loan Crisis

    The student loan crisis is going to cause changes in the economy because it has started to cause a trend in which recent graduates are delaying their first home purchase. With student loan debt in the United States having more than doubled, it is driving down homeownership due to the lengthy-time period it takes to pay back student loans [1].

    This money if saved up each month could be used for a down payment. Unfortunately, the cost of living and education today has increased but minimum wage has not increased with the same rate of inflation as other sectors. The previous generation could be home-owners and have no student debt within a few years after graduation.

    Today, many are still paying their students debts 10 years post-graduation and still do not own homes [1]. Today to get a decent income many require more than a Bachelor’s degree but the baby boomers only needed a Bachelor’s, therefore this generation is in more student debt and spend more years in school, delaying their career start date.

    Student loans are keeping many in the 24 to 32 age group from buying a home, according to a Federal Reserve study and from 2005 to 2014, the percentage in that group owning homes dropped from 45 percent to 36 percent, 20 percent of which likely came from education debt burden [2]. During this 9 year period, college debt doubled per capita, leading to 400,000 recent graduates not buying homes who otherwise would have [2].

    This also means that credit scores are being impacted, even if they have a payment a couple of day late. Therefore students are struggling more often to get credit card limit increases and car loans [2]. It is unfortunate that “83% of non-homeowners say student loan debt is preventing them from buying a home, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR)” [3], that is a ridiculously high number as they are the next generation and if they are coming into this economy with this much struggle the housing sector is not the only one that will be impacted.

    Another issue is that “options are slim and competition is fierce, as the availability of cheaper homes is about half that of pricier options — and supply is tightening” [4]. With less homes in an affordable price range, it is forcing those that cannot afford to increase their home budget to keep renting and sometimes they have to rent far away from work to get cheaper rent.

    The student loan crisis has become such a large problem, some are going as far to say it has “completely broken…the business cycle,” with school loans increasing steadily throughout the last financial crisis even with debt growth slowing in other sectors, nearly “one-fifth of the U.S. population is holding student loans..double the 2004 level” [4]. 

    With first-time homebuyers being a key part of America’s housing sector, with the current patterns, the real-estate industry and economy is going to be taking a big hit due to the student loan crisis [4]. The government needs to better assist students to accommodate the difference in inflation between cost of living and minimum wage. A program with lower interest rates for recent graduates and possible longer amortization periods, to be able to make lower monthly payments would greatly benefit the young generation trying to start their careers.

    Millennials and Debt — A Shift in Mindset

    Being in debt can really weigh on a person. From holding you back financially to holding you back in other areas of your life, debt can be a real burden.

    Take steps to pay your student loans faster and other debts, and you will feel happier and have more income at your disposal.

    Sources:

    [1]- https://www.npr.org/2019/02/01/689660957/heavy-student-loan-debt-forces-many-millennials-to-delay-buying-homes

    [2]- https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/16/student-loan-debt-is-keeping-young-people-from-buying-homes-fed-study-finds.html

    [3]- https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/how-does-student-loan-debt-affect-buying-a-home/

    [4]- https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-18/three-charts-show-struggle-is-real-for-millennial-home-buyers

    White Rock Loans Review 2021: Scam or Legit?

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    white rock loans

    Is WhiteRockLoans.com legit and safe? We will review this loan lender, White Rock Loans, to see if you should trust them or not.

    If you’ve ever found yourself in a position where you need a loan, no matter what it may be for, then you likely understand just how stressful it can be – especially when it comes to picking out a service to do it through.

    Of course, most would-be loaners are turning to the internet these days, as is typical of the digital age. Sites like MoneyGator.net are particularly popular – rather than being a lender in itself, they essentially distribute the details of would-be loaners among its extensive network of money lending services. In this way, loaners like yourself can far more efficiently find the best lender for what they’re looking for (and get the best rates).

    But you likely know this. In fact, you’re probably here in the first place because you’re thinking of giving White Rock Loans a try. But you likely also know that choosing a money lending service is a big decision – and making a rash choice can potentially be a serious hassle, and potentially a waste of time and money.

    But from what we’ve seen, you really have made the right decision in considering White Rock Loans as your lender marketplace.

    APPLY NOW

    What is White Rock Loans?

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    Get a safe and secure loan up to $5000 from WhiteRockLoans! Users submit their request online and can be approved by a lender within minutes. white rock loans

    APPLY NOW

    Is White Rock Loans Legit?

    Firstly, and perhaps most strongly, there’s its dedication to convenience. We can’t personally know what the circumstances are surrounding your loan, but we’re guessing you’d like to get your hands on it as soon as realistically possible.

    And that’s the principle that White Rock Loans is pretty much built on. Fill in some basic info about yourself and the loan you’re looking to take out, and that info is provided to a vast network of potential lenders, thus dramatically speeding up the process of finding a lender who suits your needs.white rock loans

    And just to complement the slickness and convenience, White Rock Loans offers an ACH payment option, which withdraws the due payment for your loan out of your bank account on its due date, thus ensuring that, with no input from or extra cost to you, you fully avoid all the stress and hassle that can potentially come with a missed payment.

    And secondly, there’s the simple fact that it costs nothing to make use of White Rock Loans’ services. To be sure, some of the lenders you choose to do business with may charge you separate fees; but accessing the White Rock Loans marketplace itself, and perusing and comparing the various lenders, doesn’t cost you anything.

    This may sound like a simple asset at first; but when you think of it, it’s a serious blessing when you’re looking for a loan. After all, at a time like that, you’ll probably want to avoid spending excess money.

    APPLY NOW

    White Rock Loans Review

    Basically, White Rock Loans is a site that makes the loaning process as slick and convenient as it can be, all without any extra cost to you. You’ve really got nothing to lose by giving it a go. Being in the position of needing a loan can be a stressful one, and you deserve for it to be as painless as possible – and from what we can see, that’s precisely what White Rock Loans provides.

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    Top Reasons Parents are Struggling with Parent PLUS Loan Repayment

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    Parent PLUS Loan Repayment

    That moment at the end of your senior year, when the caps are thrown in the air is such a moment of pride. With flowers and gifts, your family is there to celebrate this reward of hours spent studying for your SATs, ACTs and AP tests.

    Then the grad party is over, and it is time to deal with college admissions. Armed with your dream acceptance letter, there are majors to choose and deadlines to beat. Then comes the sticker shocker; how are you going to pay for all of it?

    Chances are that your parents do not have a college fund like you always thought they did. And if they have, majorities have less than $10,000 socked up. Non-profit private colleges now charge a minimum of $46,950 for fees, room and tuition and these costs are skyrocketing by the day.

    Many parents at this point will jump in to save the day. Their dream is to see you have a brighter future than they have had. Parents know this future can be built on the bedrock of solid tertiary education. So, some will tap on home equity and raid their retirement funds. But if your parents do not have such assets, they will go into private debt or get a federal Parent Plus loan.

    The outcome of these decisions has a very bleak outlook for your parents. While a student can get a student loan, a parent on the verge of retirement has no chances of getting a retirement loan.

    So most parents getting into debt to finance their children’s education are most probably going to be a financial burden to them in the future. Unfortunately, research shows that Millennials have slim chances of out-earning their hard-working parents, so taking on that debt yourself might be an impossible task.

    Why do parents get into debt for their children’s education?

    • Thanks to student loans, Millennials are now beginning their adult lives with a negative average net worth. With an average student loan ranging from $37,172 in 2016, it is understandable that most parents hate the notion of letting their kids start their life out of debt.
    • Kids who finance their college education definitely have to work through their college lives. Most parents would rather have their kids more focused on better GPAs than finances.
    • If you have to work to fund your education chances are that college life is not really going to be the best time of your life. You will probably miss out not only on your social life but some classes too. Your parents might get into debt just to cushion you from the harsh realities of working through college.
    • Your parents might still be paying off their own student loans. This makes them very committed to ensuring that you stay off the lifelong financial burden unfortunately by taking on more debt themselves.
    • A simple survey shows that 28% of all parents have nothing saved for a college kitty. These parents will end up taking a loan because they have to, at the rush of getting kids into college. They haven’t found ways to save money as they should have.
    • Most parents have never heard of a 529 plan. These tuition plans are usually sponsored by educational institutions, states or their agencies to encourage a culture of saving for future educational costs.

    Top reasons parents are struggling to pay off student loans

    Parent PLUS loans

    In the 80s, the Parent Plus loan had caps on borrowing, but come 1993, most of those limits were lifted. Now your parents are eligible to up to your college’s cost of attendance. Most parents get a pleasant surprise on the realization that the stringent credit check rules that apply to other financing purchase options do not apply for Parent Plus. They can actually borrow more than they can afford to pay.

    And without large dings on their credit, your parent can get a loan approval of up to tens of thousands of debt. You can see where this is going. With no caps on borrowing and a continual increase in tuition fee charges, parents have dug themselves into a tight spot. This situation has thoroughly worsened the loan repayment outcomes with up to 3.4 million parents now owing up to $87 billion in Parent PLUS loans. This is a hefty 6% of all outstanding student federal loans.

    This outcome should not come as a surprise though. These loans have a substantial 7.6% interest rate and a 4.248% origination fee. Now, a student who borrows a federal student loan has many borrower protections that a parent cannot enjoy. This means that on default, your parent’s wages and their social security benefits will be garnished. Their tax refunds could be confiscated too.

    The major problem with Parent Plus loans is that a parent cannot easily transfer the responsibility of payment to their child. They could transfer them personally or through rare student loan consolidations, but this means losing all relief options and federal protection as well. The loan could lose its public service debt forgiveness opportunity and other lower payment options.

    They are part of the sandwich generation

    Want to know if your parents are part of the sandwich generation? Are they not only supporting you, but also taking care of their parents?

    Americans today owe over $13.15 trillion in debt. A majority of American adults are debtors, with 80.95 of all baby boomers, a group already in retirement, in debt. The Gen Xers have 79.9% of their population in debt, and 81.5% of all Millennials too have found their way into the debt trap.

    With little left to save after meeting all their responsibilities, parents who are willing to sacrifice and take on loans for their children are doing so with their own unpaid loans. Over the last 25 years, the average student loan borrowing amount has tripled from $5,200 in the 90s to $16,100 in 2014 and is still rising.

    Entrenched in debt, taking care of their offspring, servicing their loans and taking of their parents in debt has become a tall order for most parents. Most of them are on alternate repayment plans which means that they are paying off their own loans just as their own children are enrolling into college. This has created a sandwich generation that has is slowly aging and is set to become dependent too on their children.

    How to Make Parent PLUS Loan Repayment Work?

    The Parent PLUS loan has options that can be of help to parent borrowers. There are extended repayment options, graduated repayment as well as consolidation options. Under the income contingent repayment option, for example, a parent can have any remaining balance after 25 years on the plan forgiven. For parents on public service jobs, they can have the forgiveness option in ten years.

    Parents should also assist their children to find affordable institutions or tuition-free colleges that will keep them off the debt. If there are no scholarships or other financial grants, children can start off from affordable community colleges and transit gently to four-year colleges without straining their parent’s finances.

    Finally, as steep as it has become to squirrel some savings aside, this virtue can be cultivated with good financial discipline. Start off when kids are young so that you will not have to suffer financial peril in the future.

    Pay Your Loans Fast with The Best Student Loan Repayment Plans

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    Student Loan Repayment Plans

    This post will provide you with ways to help with dealing with massive student loan debt by choosing the right student loan repayment plans.

    Everyone knows that they should be paying down student loan debt as fast as possible.

    If it were only that easy. While there are some ways to get free money and ways to stop paying your loans, you need to buckle down and figure out your options.

    Some of the most common questions I get from my readers about student loans are, “Do I qualify for a discounted payment plan or loan forgiveness?” And, “Am I on the right payment plan?”

    Student loans are a massive economic burden for millennials that graduate from college every day. According to one study by Pew Research Center, 1 in 4 American adults have student loan debt. Those who have bachelor’s degrees owe a median of $25,000 dollars. Many college graduates and parents are worried about paying off student loan debt, especially if other payments are taken into consideration. However, there is room for hope for many in the form of student loan forgiveness programs.

    These are specialized programs that are offered by government agencies to help reduce the burden of student loan debt college graduates face each year. The eligibility requirements for student loan forgiveness vary depending on the program. Another benefit to forgiveness programs is that most programs will suspend the deadline for you to pay your loan while they review your application. In this article, we will show you how to apply for student loans, whether someone qualifies for student loans, and what to watch out for when applying.

    How to Apply & Eligibility

    Student Loan forgiveness programs are often accessed at the federal level. You can contact a loan servicer that can help you with eligibility and billing for student loan forgiveness programs. From here, you can talk to your loan servicer on what options you have when applying for forgiveness programs.

    Certain programs will only offer forgiveness for certain types of loans for example, teacher loan forgiveness programs only offer student loan forgiveness if your loans are either direct loans or federal family education loans (FFEL). Some, but not all, types of forgiveness programs will offer you loan forgiveness for Perkins Loans so please read the program description carefully.

    What Types of Student Loan Forgiveness Programs are Out There?

    There are a variety of student loan programs offered by both federal and state governments. Most of these programs are based on occupations such as work for government, teaching, or military for example. Others include forgiveness programs based on income such as the Federal Income-Based Repayment program or the Pay as You Earn Program.

    These loan forgiveness programs are especially helpful when you have bills that total up to more than 10% of your discretionary income. Other student loan programs are sponsored by state governments such as the Maryland SmartBuy Home Buyer Assistance & Forgiveness Program or the Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program.

    Standard Payment Plans

    If you took out:

    Or almost any other loan out there, you were probably automatically enrolled in a standard payment plan as soon as your grace period ended.

    These loans are paid back over 10 years and will typically be the option that offers you to get out of debt the fastest but have the highest payment.

    This may not always be your best option though.

    How You Can Lower Your Student Loan Payments

    Income-driven plans, or plans that make it easier for federal student loan borrowers to pay back loans if your debt is high compared to your income, were designed for those facing financial hardship upon graduation (which pretty much describes nearly all graduates these days).

    Instead of simply calculating the payment period over three years, the government will calculate your payment based on a percentage of your income.

    With an income-driven plan, it could take a while longer to pay down your debt (if you only pay the minimum monthly payment), but it can significantly lower your monthly payment if you have a high balance.

    Plus, on some payment plans, when the interest owed exceeds the monthly payment, the government with cover the shortfall for three years or more.

    Income-Driven Plans

    You might be thinking, “I can afford to pay the standard payment. Why should I consider an income-driven plan?”

    Good question!

    Everybody knows that you should pay down the loan with the highest interest rate first.

    What you may not know is that using an income-driven repayment plan can still have benefits even if you can afford the standard payment plan, since an income-driven plan lowers your monthly payment across all of your loans.

    “Won’t I pay the same amount of interest either way?” you might be asking yourself.

    Not necessarily.

    Because your required payment is lowered, you now have more cash free to pay down your higher interest loan. This is especially meaningful if you have large differences in your interest rates.

    Examples

    Let’s look at an example of someone with $100,000 of student loans spread equally at 8.75%, and 4% and the differences an income-driven plan can make.

    In this case, we are going to assume the borrower is eligible for Revised Pay AS You Earn (REPAYE) which caps payments at 10% of income.

     Plan Standard Payment REPAYE Amount Saved
    Monthly Payment $1,150 $266
    Additional Payment $884
    Payback Period 10 Years 9 Years 1 Year
    Interest Paid $38,000 $23,251 $14,749

    Using REPAYE and paying $884 per month to the higher interest loan allowed this borrower to save almost $15,000 in interest payments!

    This could go a long way toward a down payment on a house or even buy a nice car!

    While Income-Driven Plans aren’t for everyone, I hope you can see the benefits and the flexibility that they can create for many borrowers.

    Please see the table below for more details and specifics on the three most commonly used plans.

    As always, be sure to contact a financial planner about which one is right for you.

    The Three Types of Income-driven Student Loan Repayment Plans

    Plan PAYE IBR REPAYE
    What is it? Pay as You Earn –

    Limits payments to the lower of 10% of borrower’s income or the standard payment plan.

    Income-Based Repayment –

    Limits payments to the lower of 15% of borrower’s income or the standard payment plan.

    Revised Pay as You Earn –

    Limits payments to 15% of borrower’s (family if married filing joint) income.

    Interest Adjustment The government pays the first three years of interest on subsidized loans in excess of monthly payment The government pays the first three years of interest on subsidized loans in excess of monthly payment Government Covers First Three Years of Interest on subsidized loans not covered by payment and 50% of interest not covered thereafter.
    Taxable Forgiveness Taxable Loan Forgiveness After 20 Years Taxable Loan Forgiveness After 25 Years Taxable Loan Forgiveness After 25 Years
    PSLF Forgiveness Qualifies after 10 Years Qualifies after 10 Years Qualifies after 10 Years
    Qualifying Loans
    Federal Direct Loans
    FFEL Loans* X X X
    Perkins Loans* X X X
    Parent Plus Loans* X X X
    Private Loans X X X

    *Can be eligible if consolidated into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan

    Are Student Loans a Problem?

    This year, the total student loan debt was 1.56 trillion dollars across the total number of U.S borrowers with student loan debt of 44.2 million. That comes out to an average of 34,389.14 each student has in student loan debt!

    The value of the American dollar, according to the current dollar index, has increased from 89 in September of 2009 to 101.46 in December of 2019, which shouldn’t be seen as having any effect of increasing debt.

    While some of these issues seem blatant on paper, to the average student they can be nearly invisible until dramatically revealed. This isn’t helped by the fact that little is explained to students beforehand.

    Lack of Information

    Student debt can be increased by layers of hidden costs. Often, if a student asks about these costs, they will be denied detailed information. When information is revealed there may be questionable charges. Sometimes – for instance – students are charged for parking when they don’t own or operate a vehicle. Personally, this sounds borderline unethical as it appears to be charging for services not rendered.

    I feel it is not the colleges themselves that are the root of this problem that is growing at a much more rapid pace than people realize. However, private for-profit colleges may be the exception to this opinion as they are designed to be profitable. The system itself and the boards that continue to utilize and encourage such systems desperately need to be broken down and restructured for the benefit of American education.

    Summary

    If you are thinking about the best repayment plans you should also consider other options out there for you such as refinancing student loans.

    When you are managing student loan debt, a lender that as your back is SoFi

    SoFi is a social lending company that provides rates as low as 1.9% variable with auto pay and 3.5% fixed with auto pay.

    You can save thousands simply by refinancing your student loan interest rates. They can offer lower rates than the rest because they analyze you based on merit, quality of employment, and education besides just a credit score and financials.

    There are zero origination and prepayment fees. Offer terms are from 5, 10, 15, 20 years in both fixed and variable. Both private and public student loans can be refinanced. Besides low rates, one of their best features is their unemployment benefits.

    If you lose your job while repaying your loans, you don’t have to pay your loan for up to 12 months while you look for a new job! Interest will still accrue, but having this cash flow break is a huge benefit. They also provide job assistance guidance as well.

    If you’re interested in refinancing your student loans — you can take a look at the top refinancing lenders below:

    LenderVariable APRGet startedDetails
    laurel road logo2.25% to 6.65%Check rates
    at Laurel Road

    Laurel Road Details

    • Loan Types: Variable and Fixed
    • Terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20
    • Eligible Degrees: Undergrad and Graduate
    • Eligible Loans: Private and Federal
      lendkey2.01% to 8.88%Check rates
      at LendKey

      LendKey Details

      • Loan Types: Variable and Fixed
      • Terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20
      • Eligible Degrees: Undergrad and Graduate
      • Eligible Loans: Private and Federal
      earnest
      1.81% to 6.49%Check rates
      at Earnest

      Earnest Details

      • Loan Types: Variable and Fixed
      • Terms: 5 – 10
      • Eligible Degrees: Undergrad and Graduate
      • Eligible Loans: Private and Federal
      studentloansadvice1.81% to 5.74%Check rates
      at SoFi

      SoFi Details

      • Loan Types: Variable and Fixed
      • Terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20
      • Eligible Degrees: Undergrad and Graduate
      • Eligible Loans: Private and Federal
      student loans advice2.02% to 7.09%Check rates
      at Commonbond

      Commonbond Details

      • Loan Types: Variable and Fixed
      • Terms: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20
      • Eligible Degrees: Undergrad and Graduate
      • Eligible Loans: Private and Federal

      Have you considered any other student loan repayment plans that we haven’t covered here? Let us know in the comments below!

      How Are Millennial Homebuyers Saving To Buy Their First Home?

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      Millennials’ interest, and their perceived lack of interest in homebuying, has drawn many headlines over the last few years.

      Most of that attention is rightly focused on student loan payments weighing down this generation in debt. Today’s average student debt has ballooned to $37,000. These sky high monthly payments coupled with rising apartment rents and cost of living in metro areas — hello, avocado toast scandals — has made it nearly impossible for many millennials to afford a monthly mortgage payment, let alone a down payment on a home for first time buyers.

      So, Millennial Home Ownership?

      millennial homebuyers

      To put it bluntly: millennials are interested in buying homes — it’s just too expensive to do so.

      The National Association of Homebuilders has previously found that more than 90 percent of millennials say they eventually want to buy a house.

      But, median down payments on homes have risen to a three year high of $18,850 across the country.

      For those planning to buy in a city like Los Angeles, that number is more like $120,000 if you’re putting 20% down.

      Millennials are juggling a bunch of fairly new expenses that previous generations didn’t have take into account, whether it’s those dreaded student loan payments or on-demand and subscription services like Uber and Netflix that have become a part of everyday life.

      With December being a traditional month to start considering and saving up for home ownership goals, we decided to take a detailed look at where millennials currently stand with their homebuying plans and get insight into which expenses are the toughest to cut.

      Millennial Home Buying Trends

      Open Listings surveyed 500 U.S. millennials between 18-34 years old to dig into how they plan to save up for a home and additional financial measures they’re taking to afford their downpayment.

      millennial homeowners

      Millennials are Buying Homes, Especially in the Midwest

      Our representative sample of U.S. millennials found that 44% of the much buzzed about generation has bought a home to date. This falls somewhat in the middle of previous real estate industry analysis and past studies on millennial homebuying.

      Overall, millennial men were more likely to have bought a home (47%) than women (40%).

      Furthermore, 30% of those under 24 are currently homeowners, and 53% of millennials older than 24 have a bought a home.

      48% of the respondents, which have yet to buy a house, plan to buy a home within five years. The other 52% of non-homeowners plan to buy in more than five years.

      Millennials’ purchases of homes and plans to, also continue to be regional in nature.

      For instance, 51% of millennials in the Midwest note they have already bought a home, versus 41% of millennials on the east and west coasts.

      Home Buying Tips For Millennials

      millennial-homebuyers

      It seems like millennials really do love their avocado toast — or at least, dining out.

      When we asked respondents to choose the hardest expenses to cut from their budgets when figuring out top savings to buy from a home, dining out (e.g. avocado toast) was the most frequent answer (37%).

      millennial home buyers

      Surprisingly, it even beat out those who are trying to beat student loans with Student Loan Payments (35%), which is often a large fixed cost that cannot be easily mitigated within a personal budget.

      In some sense, it’s not a huge surprise.

      Previous studies have noted that the average millennial eats out 5 times per week, which is more than 14% more than baby boomers.

      Even if it’s is the healthy, quick service choice that many millennials are opting for (think: Sweetgreen, Cava), we’re likely talking about $60-$100 per person, per week.

      Over the course of the year, that amounts to almost $5,000, or around 25% of the current national down payment average for a home!

      For existing millennial homeowners, dining out was an even tougher expense to cut, with 44% of them saying it was the hardest expense, compared to 27% choosing student loan payments.

      It’s likely that current millennial homebuyers may have been able to buy a home earlier because they weren’t suffering the same student debt crunch. Therefore, cutting student loan payments from their budgets while saving for a home was easier than their cohorts.

      Comparatively, millennials that noted they wouldn’t be buying a home for at least another five years were the most likely to note how hard it was to cut student loan payments from their expenses (43%).

      This group of respondents was also more likely than their peers to note that Cable (e.g. Comcast), Transportation (e.g. Uber) and Online Subscriptions (e.g. Netflix) were hard expenses to cut from their personal budgets.

      When it came down to other variable expenses, women found it easier to cut the gym from their expenses (8% noting it was hard to cut out) than men (13% noting it was hard to cut).

      Millennials Guide To Buying A Home

      millennial homebuyers

      While the number of millennials moving back in at home draws media headlines, there are a variety of financial measures today’s millennial homebuyers are taking to save for a home.

      Moving back in with mom and dad isn’t at the top of the list.

      Millennials would rather consider getting a side job to accompany their 9-5 (40%).

      They’re also likely to be foregoing yearly vacations (34%) and are more likely to consider moving in with a roommate to save for a home (19%) before going back to their old room at their parents (15%).

      Those that said they won’t be buying a home for at least 5 years were the most likely to note they would consider moving back in with their parents (18%) to save money for a home (likely trying to become a saving junkie).

      Women were also slightly more likely (16%) to note they would consider moving back in with their parents versus millennial men (14%).

      Somewhat surprisingly, millennials that noted they were within 2 years of buying were the most likely to note that they would consider selling their car to save for a home (18%).

      This could be a result of eyeing locations that are more urban or near public transit.

      9% noted they’d consider renting their apartment on Airbnb to save for a home.

      Millennial Home Buyers 2020

      With the impending impact of tax plan reorganizations and the continuation of a volatile market, the next two-five years will provide further insights into millennials and homebuying behavior.

      It remains to be seen if these financial measures and priorities give the next generation of buyers the possibility to grab their own slice of the home-owning pie.

      Home Buyers Survey

      Get the full infographic from our study:

      millennial homebuyers

      LendKey Review: Is It Safe and Legit?

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      LendKey Review

      Saving thousands of dollars on your student loan debt seems ideal, and that’s just what LendKey promises. Is it legit, though?

      LendKey filled a void that existed in the student loan refinancing industry. They have been around since 2007. They took advantage of the student loan industry by beating small banks and credit unions to the punch with student loan refinancing and private student loans. But if it the right student loan refinancing company for you?

      Let’s find out, together in our Lendkey review.

      What is LendKey?

      LendKey is a platform that connects borrowers with community banks and credit unions that provide private loans for undergraduate and graduate students and refinance loans for college graduates.

      Who is LendKey Best For?

      Lendkey is a great option for those that have an average credit score and you’re looking for a lot of options in terms of student loans refinancing or consolidation.

      Visit LendKey to learn all of their options to see what they have for you.

      Services Offered

      Student Loan Refinance and Student Loan Consolidation

      LendKey Features

      Auto Payment, Cosigner Option, Calculator on Website

      LendKey Student Loan Refinancing Rates

      Student Loan Refinance: 2.51% APR – 8.82% APR

      • Student Loan Refinance Variable Rates: 2.51% – 8.09%
      • Student Loan Refinance Fixed Rates: 3.49% – 8.82%

      They have interest rates as low as 2.51% – 8.09% for variable APR and 3.49% – 8.82% for fixed APR.

      You can get your student loan refinancing custom rate in 3 minutes or less by clicking here.

      LendKey Private Student Loans

      Private Student Loans: 4.92% APR – 10.01% APR

      • Private Student Loans Variable Rates: 4.92% – 10.01%
      • Private Student Loans Fixed Rates: 5.36% – 9.69%

      You can get your private student loan custom rate in 3 minutes or less by clicking here.

      Loan Length

      Loan Length: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20

      You can get a loan through them for a 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20-year term. Speak to one of their representatives to figure out the best loan length that works for you.

      Loan Amounts

      The company currently offers student loan refinancing and consolidation for loans over $5,000.

      LendKey Eligibility

      To qualify for this loan, you will need to be able to prove that you have an adequate income to pay off the loan and an average credit score.

      Lendkey Pros:

      • LendKey focuses on customer service
      • The average person saves around $16,657 in student debt refinancing
      • Conveniently offers a 30-day, no-tax or interest return, if customers are not satisfied

       

      Lendkey Cons:

      • The minimum credit score for acceptance is around 680, and they require a strong credit history
      • Reviews have said the website is not user-friendly, and the process of uploading documents online is confusing

       

      Is LendKey Safe?

      LendKey has an A+ rating on the BBB page. They also have 5 customer reviews with an average of 1/5 stars.

      More LendKey Info:

      BBB File Opened: 10/23/2009

      Years in Business: 11

      Business Started: 5/2/2007

      Business Incorporated: 5/2/2007 in DE

      Accredited Since: 9/24/2012

      Type of Entity: Corporation

      LendKey Headquarters: 104 West 27th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001-6210

      LendKey Contact Information:

      Fax Numbers

      • (866) 610-7450

      Phone Numbers

      • (888) 549-9050
      • (800) 881-8985

      Why Should You Refinance Your Student Loan Debt?

      In case you’re wondering why someone would refinance student loan debt, here are the top reasons:

      1. It’s simple to check your rate and can save you a lot of money

      There are a lot of competing student loan companies and that’s good for you. That means you can get the best possible interest rate which can save you a lot of money. The average user saves $18,668 when refinancing. You can check your rate for all of the lenders on this page in under 3 minutes.

      2. If you have a high interest rate on your student loans

      Fortunately, for many graduates, refinancing can be a great opportunity to help with loan payments. If you have federal or private student loans with an interest rate over 4%, then refinancing them will save you a lot of money. Student loans with 6.8% interest rates mean that you’ll need to pay $586 a month in interest alone for every $100,000 you owe. You could also refinance your student loans to a longer term to help lower your monthly payments.

      3. If you don’t qualify for public student loan forgiveness

      Public student loan forgiveness (PSLF) was created in 2007 in order to encourage graduates to pursue full-time work in public sectors including nonprofits and government organizations. If you are working in one of these fields, and have been consistent with your payments, it’s best to weigh your options and see if refinancing or PSLF will save you more money over the life on your student loan.

      4. Have more questions?

      If you want to learn more about student loans before refinancing student loans with LendKey, here are some good student loan resources to consider:

      CommonBond Review: Is CommonBond Legit for Refinancing Student Loans?

      commonbond review

      Looking for a legit CommonBond review?

      Saving thousands of dollars on your student loan debt seems ideal, and that’s just what CommonBond promises. Is it legit, though?

      CommonBond is your friend in finance. They provide simpler, smarter student loan loans for a brighter future.

      But if it the right student loan refinancing company for you?

      Let’s find out, together in our CommonBond review.

      What is CommonBond?

      student loans advice

      CommonBond is an online lender founded in 2012 that offers both student loan refinancing and private student loans.

      CommonBond promises to jump-start your dreams with better loans & bigger savings. CommonBond members save over $24,000 on average and they don’t have any application fees, forbearance options, or prepayment penalties. No hidden fees whatsoever. They offer student loan Refinancing, parent PLUS refinancing, and student loan benefits. But should you use it to refinance your student loans?

      commonbond review
      Reviewed loan Student loan refinancing
      Interest rates Fixed: 3.21% – 6.45%
      Variable: 2.02% – 6.3%
      Includes autopay discount of 0.25%
      Loan terms 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years for fixed- and variable-rate loans. 10 years for hybrid loan.
      Loan amounts $5,000 to $500,000
      Co-signer release available Yes
      Can transfer a parent loan to the child Yes

      Check rates now

      CommonBond Pros:

      • CommonBond has low and transparent rates
      • This company offers lower rates than other lenders in the student debt industry
      • Conveniently offers a hybrid loan option

      CommonBond Cons:

      • To be accepted you must have graduated from college
      • Not available in Mississippi or Nevada

      Click here to apply now to refinance your student loans with CommonBond.

      Who is CommonBond Best For?

      CommonBond is quickly becoming one of the largest providers of student loan refinancing and consolidation. CommonBond is good for refinancing or consolidating student loans for anyone that has a good or excellent credit score. You’ll need a minimum credit score of 660 and get approved. The company has one of the best forbearance policy and you can visit CommonBond to learn all of their options to see what they have for you.

      Services Offered

      Student Loan Refinance and Student Loan Consolidation

      CommonBond Features

      Forbearance, No Prepayment Fees, No Origination Fees, Auto Payment, Career Support, Cosigner Option

      commonbond review

      Click here to apply now to refinance your student loans with CommonBond.

      CommonBond Student Loan Refinancing Rates

      is commonbond legit

      • Fixed: 3.2% – 6.45%
      • Variable: 2.02% – 6.03%

      Includes autopay discount of 0.25%

      You can get your student loan refinancing custom rate in 3 minutes or less by clicking here.

      Click here to apply now to refinance your student loans with CommonBond.

      CommonBond Loan Length

      Loan Length: 5, 7, 10, 15, 20

      You can get a loan through them for a 5, 7, 10, 15, or 20-year term. Speak to one of their representatives to figure out the best loan length that works for you.

      Click here to apply now to refinance your student loans with CommonBond.

      CommonBond Loan Amounts

      The company currently offers student loan refinancing and consolidation for loans over $5,000.

      Click here to apply now to refinance your student loans with CommonBond.

      CommonBond Eligibility

      To start refinancing your student loans, you must be a graduate. This seems to be the standard requirement for student debt companies, but there still are companies you can consolidate or refinance through if you did not graduate from college.

      CommonBond Customer Service

      One feature that is important is being able to get in touch with your student loan refinancing company. Sometimes it’s nice to talk to a real person. CommonBond has a U.S.-based care team is available by phone and live chat Monday–Friday, 9am–8pm EST, and you can email them anytime.

      Why Should You Refinance Your Student Loan Debt?

      In case you’re wondering why someone would refinance student loan debt, here are the top reasons:

      1. It’s simple to check your rate and can save you a lot of money

      There are a lot of competing student loan companies and that’s good for you. That means you can get the best possible interest rate which can save you a lot of money. The average user saves $18,668 when refinancing. You can check your rate for all of the lenders on this page in under 3 minutes.

      2. If you have a high interest rate on your student loans

      Fortunately, for many graduates, refinancing can be a great opportunity to help with loan payments. If you have federal or private student loans with an interest rate over 4%, then refinancing them will save you a lot of money. Student loans with 6.8% interest rates mean that you’ll need to pay $586 a month in interest alone for every $100,000 you owe. You could also refinance your student loans to a longer term to help lower your monthly payments.

      3. If you don’t qualify for public student loan forgiveness

      Public student loan forgiveness (PSLF) was created in 2007 in order to encourage graduates to pursue full-time work in public sectors including nonprofits and government organizations. If you are working in one of these fields, and have been consistent with your payments, it’s best to weigh your options and see if refinancing or PSLF will save you more money over the life on your student loan.

      4. Have more questions?

      If you want to learn more about student loans before refinancing student loans with CommonBond, here are some good student loan resources to consider:

      Click here to apply now to refinance your student loans with CommonBond.

      How To Pay Off Student Loans Faster

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      how to pay off student loans

      It’s 2020. If you haven’t figured out how to pay off student loans last year, then change it up and tackle your debt with these smart pay off tips.

      If you are a doctor, dentist, lawyer or Master of Business Administration (MBA) holder with high federal loan debt, you’re not alone in this predicament.

      According to economic research carried out by Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, approximately 45.2 million Americans are laden with $1.5 trillion dollars in student loan debt.

      That means for every four college professional degree holders, one is repaying their student loan. For most college students, this is not music to the ears, seeing as many wish to live a debt-free life full of opportunities, but are weighed down with a federal loan debt before even earning their first salary.

      The average American student graduates with a student loan totaling $30,000 and more. Being yoked to such a huge debt before your first paycheck is not funny, and you’d want to pay it off. But how to pull this off? How do you pay down student loans without putting life’s goals and opportunities on hold?

      Stop buying time to pay off your debt

      A federal loan can pin your life down and that’s nothing worth writing home about. So the best way is to never wait to pay. Just pay it off as soon as you get the chance. This way your loan never increases and you are at peace with yourself.

      • Federal loans provide borrowers a grace period to pay off their loans.
      • During this period, loan interest rates never accrue giving you more time to pay it off without any additional costs.
      • It’s at this period that most people never attempt (or shows any signs) to pay off little amounts of money to offset their loan.

      In fact, many don’t take up the initiative to pay anything, and that’s where the problem lies. A prudent move to clear your debt is to pay little amounts as low as $20 monthly to offset your loan’s interest first then work on reducing the principal amount as time progresses, and you’ll buy yourself repayment time.

      Check on a loan repayment term

      The idea is to clear off your loan as soon as possible, but this goal is far-fetched if you don’t consider the repayment plans of your high student loan debt.

      Most repayment plans are designed to make broke students repay loans within shorter periods of time even while paying more monthly interest rates than they can handle over the given period.

      This birthed income-based repayment plans (IBR) to assist students to repay their student loan debts fast beyond the usual 10-year repayment plan. IBR offers reprieve in the form of extending repayment terms on a student loan while lowering monthly interest rates.

      If you’re employed and have an income, department of education will provide you loan repayment plans based on your current income. This repayment plan provides you options of making low payments on over a given period of time.  While this is a prudent move, it slows your loans pay off time.

      If you are unable to make minimum payments on your student loan then consider an income-driven repayment plan by all means. Otherwise, it is ideal to save money and pay off your federal loan faster.

      Get employed in the public service

      If you are weighed down with a huge student loan, the best way to clear it off is through seeking a career in the public service. According to the public service loan forgiveness program, a student laden with a huge loan balance can have it scrapped off if they make 10-year payments at once.

      If you are a professional degree holder that took up several loans to complete their education this option provides a faster way to take care of your federal loans. And that’s the goal you want to achieve.

      You can also have your debt taken care off when working under service programs or education grants that offer loan forgiveness programs, and there are many. Find the right one that suits you.

      Have your monthly payments deducted automatically

      Perhaps the easiest way to pay off your student debt loan fast is to have it automatically deducted the minute your paycheck hits your bank account every month. This saves you time to offset our extra personal loans and not give it much thought as the repayment is done automatically. It doesn’t require your input at all.

      For some reason, this option comes with an added advantage as many lenders will have a reduction of 0.25% interest rates taken away from your federal loan. So enrolling in automatic repayments plans is not only ideal for you but also saves you planning time and money (you’d pay as extra interest rates)

      Make timely payments before the given time

      Waiting for the due date to elapse before making payments is not advisable or any wiser. It only works against the borrower since it carries no advantage as opposed to paying before the due date.

      Always make timely payments before the specific given date to enjoy reduced interest rates and a fast reduction of the principal amount you initially borrowed.

      Remember federal loan’s interest rates are calculated on a daily basis so the more you make timely payments (before the due date) the better for you. If you are unsure of how much you are needed to repay back, use a repayment estimate calculator.

      Make payments every fortnight

      Handling tasks get easier if you split the tasks into small manageable tasks. The same applies to your loan payments. Make loan payments easier by dividing (into two) your monthly payments into weekly or bi-weekly payments. This a simple yet overlooked way to get out loan debt faster.

      Take, for example, a student loan of $40,000. To offset this loan you need to pay $400 for ten years to complete it. But if the $400 can be divided into a manageable amount of $200 that you can pay every fortnight, you’d easily reduce your interest rates and repayment period, to your advantage.

      Ready To Pay Off Your Student Loan Debt?

      There are many other ways to get out federal loans including having your employer help you pay tuition fees as well as consolidating your loans to a lower interest rate. Also, if you have a private student loan, it is important to employ the aforesaid ways to get of debt faster.

      It’s no secret that professional degree holders are among the many people in the U.S. heavily burdened with student loans (a good chunk owes their parents as well). With a good strategy up your sleeve and hard work on what best practices to employ, it is easier to get off the chains of these loans, for good.

      Student Loans 101: A Guide to College Loans

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      Student Loans 101

      Student Loans 101: Thinking about financing your child’s education or taking out student loans to pay for college? Here’s what you need to know before you sign on the dotted line.

      Student loans are a good way to pay for expenses while attending college, but they may not be right for everyone.

      Loans, unlike grants, do need to be repaid once you are done with college.

      That’s why students may want to limit the total amount of student loans that they borrow or may want to only get loans that are subsidized.

      Whether a soon-to-be freshman or looking into graduate programs here are some basics about receiving and repaying student loans to consider before borrowing.

      Types of student loans

      There are two types of student loans: federal and private.

      Federal loans

      A federal loan stands for a loan that you borrow from the government. You are basically using the taxpayers’ money to get your college or university degree, hence repaying federal loans come with a different level of responsibility altogether.

      However, since interest rates are comparatively lower in federal loans and one does not require having a great credit score, most students take a lax approach when the time comes for repayment. You will also find options for paying as per your level of income or alternative repayment options if you apply for federal loans.

      • Subsidized Federal Loans: The federal government pays the interest for Direct Subsidized Loans while the student is in college or while the loan is in deferment. Interest begins accruing for Direct Unsubsidized Loans as soon as the loan is taken out.
      • Unsubsidized Federal Loans: Students are responsible for paying all of the interest that adds up until the loan balance is paid off. DirectUnsubsidized Loans (sometimes called Unsubsidized Stafford Loans) are low-cost, fixed-rate federal student loans available to both undergraduate and graduate students.
      • Parent Loans: PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay for college or career school. PLUS loans can help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

      Independent students are students who are over the age of 24, married or have a child. Independent students are eligible to receive loans based on their financial status and are often offered a combination of subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

      Subsidized loans are a good choice because they incur no interest while you attend school and repay the loan after graduation.

      Federal unsubsidized loans generally have a lower rate of interest than other types of loans, allowing students to take advantage of the low-interest rates to continue their education.

      Private loans

      In case you opt for a private student loan, a credit union, bank or online lender provides you with the money that you need to pay your way through getting a higher education degree. They can have varying rates of interest (that is usually dependent on the loan provider and the type of interest you choose) and have comparatively rigid repayment options.

      However, since the rules regarding what you do with the loan money are quite lax in case of private loans, you can come up with ingenious tricks to pay it off way before it starts accumulating interest.

      Repaying student loans

      Repaying student loans doesn’t begin until you leave college or you graduate.

      Most federal loans also have a six month deferment period that allows you to find and begin a job to ensure you can repay the loan amounts successfully.

      The amount that you repay each month is based on the total amount of the loans that you received throughout your education.

      Many people try to take the minimum amount possible to reduce their monthly loan repayment, while others use the full amount of student loans to assist them with living expenses.

      Consider the repayment period when deciding whether student loans are right for you, as well as the total amount that you need to complete college successfully.

      You can refer to this useful guide on tips for paying student loans off faster.

      There are a variety of student loan programs offered by both federal and state governments. Most of these programs are based on occupations such as work for government, teaching, or military for example. Others include forgiveness programs based on income such as the Federal Income Based Repayment program or the Pay as You Earn Program.

      These loan forgiveness programs are especially helpful when you have bills that total up to more than 10% of your discretionary income. Other student loan programs are sponsored by state governments such as the Maryland SmartBuy Home Buyer Assistance & Forgiveness Program or the Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program.

      Standard Payment Plans

      If you took out:

      Or almost any other loan out there, you were probably automatically enrolled in a standard payment plan as soon as your grace period ended.

      These loans are paid back over 10 years and will typically be the option that offers you to get out of debt the fastest but have the highest payment.

      This may not always be your best option though.

      Income-driven plans, or plans that make it easier for federal student loan borrowers to pay back loans if your debt is high compared to your income, were designed for those facing financial hardship upon graduation (which pretty much describes nearly all graduates these days).

      Instead of simply calculating the payment period over three years, the government will calculate your payment based on a percentage of your income.

      With an income-driven plan, it could take a while longer to pay down your debt (if you only pay the minimum monthly payment), but it can significantly lower your monthly payment if you have a high balance.

      Plus, on some payment plans, when the interest owed exceeds the monthly payment, the government with cover the shortfall for three years or more.

      Income-Driven Plans

      You might be thinking, “I can afford to pay the standard payment. Why should I consider an income-driven plan?”

      Good question!

      Everybody knows that you should pay down the loan with the highest interest rate first.

      What you may not know is that using an income-driven repayment plan can still have benefits even if you can afford the standard payment plan, since an income-driven plan lowers your monthly payment across all of your loans.

      “Won’t I pay the same amount of interest either way?” you might be asking yourself.

      Not necessarily.

      Because your required payment is lowered, you now have more cash free to pay down your higher interest loan. This is especially meaningful if you have large differences in your interest rates.

      Examples

      Let’s look at an example of someone with $100,000 of student loans spread equally at 8.75%, and 4% and the differences an income-driven plan can make.

      In this case, we are going to assume the borrower is eligible for Revised Pay AS You Earn (REPAYE) which caps payments at 10% of income.

       Plan Standard Payment REPAYE Amount Saved
      Monthly Payment $1,150 $266
      Additional Payment $884
      Payback Period 10 Years 9 Years 1 Year
      Interest Paid $38,000 $23,251 $14,749

      Using REPAYE and paying $884 per month to the higher interest loan allowed this borrower to save almost $15,000 in interest payments!

      This could go a long way toward a down payment on a house or even buy a nice car!

      While Income Driven Plans aren’t for everyone, I hope you can see the benefits and the flexibility that they can create for many borrowers.

      Please see the table below for more details and specifics on the three most commonly used plans.

      As always, be sure to contact a financial planner about which one is right for you.

      The Three Types of Income-driven Student Loan Repayment Plans

      Plan PAYE IBR REPAYE
      What is it? Pay as You Earn –

      Limits payments to the lower of 10% of borrower’s income or the standard payment plan.

      Income-Based Repayment –

      Limits payments to the lower of 15% of borrower’s income or the standard payment plan.

      Revised Pay as You Earn –

      Limits payments to 15% of borrower’s (family if married filing joint) income.

      Interest Adjustment The government pays the first three years of interest on subsidized loans in excess of monthly payment The government pays the first three years of interest on subsidized loans in excess of monthly payment Government Covers First Three Years of Interest on subsidized loans not covered by payment and 50% of interest not covered thereafter.
      Taxable Forgiveness Taxable Loan Forgiveness After 20 Years Taxable Loan Forgiveness After 25 Years Taxable Loan Forgiveness After 25 Years
      PSLF Forgiveness Qualifies after 10 Years Qualifies after 10 Years Qualifies after 10 Years
      Qualifying Loans
      Federal Direct Loans
      FFEL Loans* X X X
      Perkins Loans* X X X
      Parent Plus Loans* X X X
      Private Loans X X X

      *Can be eligible if consolidated into a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan

      Public student loan forgiveness

      Public student loan forgiveness (PSLF) was created in 2007 in order to encourage graduates to pursue full-time work in public sectors including nonprofits and government organizations.

      If you are working in one of these fields, and have been consistent with your payments, it’s best to weigh your options and see if refinancing or PSLF will save you more money over the life on your student loan.

      Another option that very few are eligible for, but still may be worth looking into is legally getting your student loans discharged. You can learn if you’re eligible by reading our recently published post here.

      Should you refinance student loans?

      After you graduate, you’ll have the option of refinancing your student loans.

      Over 94,000 people refinanced their student loans last year—saving an average of $18,668 according to CNBC.

      You should usually opt to refinance your student loans if you have a high-interest rate on your student loans.

      Fortunately, for many graduates, refinancing can be a great opportunity to help with loan payments. If you have federal or private student loans with an interest rate over 4%, then refinancing them will save you a lot of money.

      Student loans with 6.8% interest rates mean that you’ll need to pay $586 a month in interest alone for every $100,000 you owe.

      You could also refinance your student loans to a longer term to help lower your monthly payments.

      It’s very simple to check your rate and it can save you a lot of money. You can see the top lenders for 2020 in this student loan refinancing guide.

      Good luck with your student loans, and if you have any questions about the Student Loans 101 guide feel free to contact us or ask in the comments section below.