Posts Tagged: ‘federal student loan debt’

Why Paying off Your Student Loan Debt Early Could be a Mistake

September 14, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The average college student who graduated in 2016 had approximately $37,172 in student loan debt.  While experts offer differing opinions on exactly which types of debts are considered good and bad, everyone agrees that debt on something that will end up making you money in the long run is essentially “good debt.”

A 2013 study based on Labor Department statistics showed that Americans holding a four-year college degree made 98% more per hour on average than those without a degree. Student loans are typically a low interest debt, as opposed to credit card debt which is typically the most expensive kind of debt.

The interest rate for undergraduate federal student loans disbursed in 2017 was 4.45%; the rate for federal graduate student loans was 6%. Compare that to the average credit card APR of 15.59%.

The Department of Education allows student borrowers to choose from up to eight different repayment plan options, several of which are designed for those with low income levels. If one repayment plan does not work, you can switch to another.

Private student loan debt is different and comes with a higher interest rate.  Private student loan lenders offer what is called “financial hardship forbearance,” which means you can suspend your payments due to financial hardship but the interest continues to accrue and is added to the balance.

Paying your student loan debt consistently overtime can lead to debt forgiveness.  Certain federal student loan repayment plans can result in automatic debt forgiveness. If you choose the Income-Based Repayment Plan, the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan, or either of the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plans, any balance you owe on your federal loans after 25 years will be automatically forgiven.  Student loan debt interest is also tax deductible, something you will see in your refund after filing your personal taxes.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Student Loan Servicer Accused of Mismanaging Debt Forgiveness Program

August 29, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to a lawsuit filed by the attorney general of Massachusetts, one of the country’s biggest servicers of federal student loans has mismanaged its debt forgiveness program, raising repayment costs for hundreds of thousands of borrowers who work in public service jobs.

The loan servicer, FedLoan, has made numerous errors, potentially keeping many students in debt far longer than they expected, according to Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general.

The company’s actions have jeopardized the financial futures of teachers and public servants nationwide. Consumer watchdogs and government officials have raised concern with the government’s public service loan forgiveness program, which promises qualifying workers — including teachers, librarians, police officers and doctors and nurses — forgiveness of their remaining federal student loans in return for a decade of full-time service.

Approximately 612,000 borrowers have signed up for the loan forgiveness program and submitted at least one approved certification, according to data from the Education Department.  However, many of the borrowers are concerned about how many of their monthly payments will be counted — or even if the certification itself will be revoked.

The Education Department said that the approval notices the company sends to borrowers seeking certification are not binding and can be rescinded by the department at any time. Four of those borrowers whose approvals were withdrawn are in continuing litigation with the department.  The Education Department says their student loan debt forgiveness was in error.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

New Underwriting Rules Make it Easier to Obtain a Mortgage with Student Loan Debt

August 9, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you are struggling with student loan debt the prospect of ever qualifying for a mortgage may seem out of reach.  However, last week changes made to underwriting rules by Fannie Mae could make easier for borrowers with student loan debt to obtain a mortgage.

The new rule impacts borrowers with federal student loan debt who are currently enrolled in income-driven repayment plans.  An income-driven repayment plan sets your monthly student loan payment at an amount that is affordable based on your income and family size. Your monthly payments could be capped at 10% of your income.  If your discretionary income is low enough, your monthly payment could be as low as $0.

In order to qualify for the mortgage, a borrower must meet certain debt-to-income (DTI) requirements.

A statement from Fannie Mae says that reduced payment can be used, even when the payment is $0. According to Fannie Mae, “if the lender obtains documentation to evidence the actual monthly payment is $0, the lender may qualify the borrower with the $0 payment as long as the $0 payment is associated with an income-driven repayment plan.”

These new changes will allow more borrowers to qualify for a home, but there are exceptions.  These rules do not apply to all mortgages, and are specific to “agency-backed” mortgages that represent more than half of the mortgage market.  The changes do not apply to borrowers with private student loans.  As a general rule, student loan borrowers should max out federal loans before considering private loans.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

How Marriage Affects Your Student Loan Debt

July 3, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Saying “I do” does not mean you are legally bound to your spouse’s student loans.  Each of you remains responsible for your own student loans you took out before the marriage.  However, tying the knot can affect your payments, student loan-related tax breaks and your ability to pursue other financial goals.  Here are some other ways marriage can have an affect on your student loans.

  1. Your monthly payment could increase. Federal loan borrowers can enroll in one of four income-based repayment plans to lower their monthly payments. However, the Revised Pay As You Earn Plan, determines married borrowers’ payments based on their combined adjusted gross income and student loan debt. This typically means a higher monthly payment.
  2. You risk losing the student loan interest deduction. The student loan interest deduction tax break allows you to deduct up to $2,500. But if you and your spouse earn more than $160,000, you will lose out on that deduction- even if you file separately.
  3. Your spouse’s payments could affect your finances. In the event you co-sign your spouse’s private student loan, you are legally responsible for repaying it if he or she cannot.  The loan will also appear on both of your credit reports.  And if your spouse takes out a student loan during your marriage, then defaults creditors in some states can go after both of your wages and assets- even your tax refund.
  4. Your spouse may help pay off your student loan. If you and your spouse decide to help each other pay off your student loan debt, consider coming up with a written agreement.  This could help avoid future arguments, especially in the case of divorce if one spouse depends on the other financially.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Student Loan Forgiveness Letters May be Invalid

April 20, 2017 Posted by kingcade

More than 550,000 student loan borrowers who signed up for a federal program that promised to repay their student loans after they work 10 years in a public service job may be invalid, according to the Department of Education.

In a court filing last week, the Education Department suggested that borrowers could not rely on the program’s administrator to say accurately whether they qualify for student loan debt forgiveness. Even more appalling, the thousands of approval letters sent out by FedLoan Servicing are considered to be non-binding and can be rescinded at any time.

The filing adds to questions and concerns about the student loan forgiveness program, which offered major benefits and incentives for student loan borrowers who took public service jobs instead of more lucrative work in the private sector.

The American Bar Association and several borrowers have filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Washington against the department.  The plaintiffs in the case held jobs that they initially were told qualified for the debt forgiveness program; only later to find out the decision was reversed. The lawsuit seeks to have their eligibility for the forgiveness program reinstated.

The student loan debt forgiveness program covers people with federal student loans who work for 10 years at a government or nonprofit organization, and includes public school employees, museum workers, doctors at public hospitals and firefighters. The federal government approved the program back in 2007.  The first potential beneficiaries of the program reach the end of their 10-year commitment this October.

Approximately 25 percent of the nation’s workforce may qualify for the program, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.