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Student loans

2011-2012 FAFSA Now Available

fafsa formsWhen preparing to go to college, one thing can help you more than anything else – get started early. If you think you might want to go to college or are sure of it, you should get the process started as soon as you can. One thing that many students will fill out in preparation for college is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the FAFSA.

Filling out the FAFSA will help give you access to government funds to pay for your education. The information you provide will determine what type of funds you are eligible for and whether you qualify for grants, which do not have to be paid back. Students seeking access to these government funds must fill out a FAFSA for each school year.

Now the FAFSA for the 2011-2012 school year is available for students to complete online. The sooner you fill out your online FAFSA and get it filed, the sooner you will know what funds you can receive to help fund your education. Read the rest of this entry »



FAFSA Must-Haves for Applying for Student Loans

Most students cringe when it comes time to fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known by its dreaded acronym, FAFSA. Some students even avoid the whole situation by simply not applying for FAFSA and just hope to have enough money saved up by the time tuition is due, while others assume that they or their parents make too much money to qualify.fafsa

No matter what your situation is, it is always in your best interest to apply for FAFSA, especially if you’re having trouble making those tuition payments.

The financial aid application isn’t the easiest thing to complete, but students miss out on thousands of dollars in grants and low-interest student loans just because they didn’t have the necessary items to fill out the form. Sorry guys, but you’re in college now. If you want to make your tuition manageable, suck it up and gather every thing you need to complete the form.

Here are 5 things you will need to complete the FAFSA: Read the rest of this entry »



Student Loan Default Rate Highest in Arizona

arizona state signStudent loan debt is something that can haunt you literally for the rest of your life- especially if you allow yourself to take out multiple loans for more money than you actually need.

Since student loans have to be paid back whether you graduate or not, many people find themselves unable to pay back the debt after spending it. There are no guarantees that even with a college degree you will receive a job that pays you enough to afford the loan payments plus the interest. With the current state of the economy in the U.S. and people without jobs, many people are unable to pay back their student loans which sends them into default. Read the rest of this entry »



Finding the Best Deal on Student Health Insurance

prescription medicationAs a college student, you’re taking on more responsibility. From paying off student loans to organizing your study time, you are getting acclimated to managing every aspect of your life. And for some students, one more responsibility they must look after is their health insurance.

You’re healthy and young, so why do you need health insurance? For starters, as a college student, you will get sick and you are accident-prone. Keep in mind that the number one reason for bankruptcy is unpaid health care bills. And who needs health care bills on top of unpaid student loans?

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the college health care system is a jumble of school plans and private insurance. The Government Accountability Office cites that more than half of the nation’s colleges offer school-sponsored plans and on average, 80 percent of college students are covered by private or public health insurance. Read the rest of this entry »



Student Loan Default Rates on the Rise

loan applicationFeb. 11, 2011 is the day my first student loan payment is due and like most students, I’m dreading repayment. While some students can handle the monthly amount, others are struggling to find work and the income to pay off their debt. In a tough job market, it’s no surprise that the student loan default rate continues to increase.

Education secretary Arne Duncan released a statement last Monday saying that he isn’t happy with the continued rise of student loan default rates. He attributes a significant amount of default rates to for-profit colleges, like the University of Phoenix or National American University.

“While for-profit schools have profited and prospered thanks to federal dollars, some of their students have not,” Duncan said in a statement on Sept. 13. “Far too many for-profit schools are saddling students with debt they cannot afford in exchange for degrees and certificates they cannot use.”

Duncan said that as of the 2008 fiscal year, the most recent period for which data is applicable, the total student loan default rate was 7 percent. The fiscal year before that, it was 6.7 percent. And before that it was 5.2 percent. Read the rest of this entry »



How to Ask Mom and Dad for Money

moneyCollege students are known for two things: being bogged down with homework and being broke. College teaches students how to live on very little and still survive, because between tuition costs, books and school supplies, students often have nothing left. This is partly the reason why so many students fall into the trap of taking out multiple student loans to supplement for the things they cannot afford. For some, it’s as serious as not having enough to eat, while others want money for the occasional luxury of going out to eat or buying clothes.

One thing students hate to do when it comes to money is ask mom and dad. When you leave home for college, it’s usually the first step of being out on your own, and many students don’t want to admit to their parents that they need help. But most parents would rather their child take a loan from them than have them take out student loans that charge interest and often give students more cash than they need. Read the rest of this entry »



$50.8 Billion in Student Loans in Default

student-loan-defaultsThe rate of borrowers who will default on student loans is higher than short-term government estimates indicate, reports the The Chronicle of Higher Education. According to their data, 20 percent of government loans that started repayment in 1995 have gone into default. The rate is even higher for students attending two-year colleges.

Defaulting on student loans leads to serious personal and financial burdens. Borrowers become ineligible for additional federal aid and can have their wages and tax refunds seized by the government. It also ruins future credit ratings, making it difficult to obtain mortgages, car loans or credit cards.

Loan money that is not recovered by the government must come from taxes. At the end of the 2009 fiscal year, $50.8 billion of student loans were in default.
Read the rest of this entry »



Student Loans Cheaper and Simpler to Receive and Repay

student-loanWe could all use some good news when it comes to money these days. And even if it’s not your own money, the federal government is taking steps to make borrowing money for student loans cheaper and easier to get and much simpler to pay off.

Here’s why:

On July 1, the federal government lowered the interest rates on many student and parent loans, and took out the middle-man by awarding loans directly through the government itself rather than through a bank.

The only downside is that there will be a bit of a learning and processing curve on the shoulder’s of the schools’ financial aid offices as they learn about the new rules and spend more time answering parents’ questions. So expect longer phone times and maybe mixed messages from school administrators during the first few months of the academic school year. Read the rest of this entry »



5 Ways to Manage Your Student Debt

It’s no secret that most graduates are in debt. By the time you walk across the stage in cap in gown you have likely built up several thousands in student loans. According to the Project on Student Debt, students, on average, are $23,200 in the hole by the time they get their degree. So instead of cringing when you get your first letter from Sallie Mae, you should educate yourself. Here are some tips on how to manage your student debt:student-loans

1. Know what you owe: Go to the National Student Loan Data System at to find out how much you owe. The website will be able to keep you up to speed on all the loans you have taken out so far. You should also know the different federal student loans you have, the lenders on each of the loans and the interest rates one each of them.

2. Never default on a student loan: There’s never a good reason to default on a loan. No matter what your financial situation is, lenders have several repayment plans, including a 36-month economic hardship deferment plan. Keep in mind that once your loans become delinquent, you lose the right to deferment and have to deal with those pesky collection fees. Read the rest of this entry »



Obama’s Education Reform Act Might Cost Us More Than We Thought

student loanAlright everyone, I have a confession to make. I am a Conservative. Especially when it comes to how our government spends money. I don’t think there should be government incentives to buy new cars or new houses. I don’t think there should be millions of government handouts. It makes me ill to see how high our national debt is. (It’s almost $13,000,000,000,000.00 right now, and rising every day.) And, I hate to say this, because I know how many people are excited about the new government regulation of student loans, but I can see it easily driving up our national debt even more.

The new Education Reform Act places the government in charge of regulating student loans. As part of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, the federal government will lend directly to students, according to Al-Jazeerah.com. This is really good for students who take out loans in order to attend college because it will put a cap on the amount of loans they must repay each year and will lessen the financial strain of earning a higher education. It also provides funding for minority and community colleges that desperately need it. Those are definitely good things. Read the rest of this entry »





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