Posts Tagged: ‘federal student loan debt’

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 changes to bankruptcy laws could affect your student loan debt

March 8, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Student loan debt continues to be a serious burden for many Americans, despite various repayment options available to borrowers.  Even with income-base repayment plans for federal student loans, borrowers who graduated in 2016 have an average of $37,172 in loans to repay over the course of their lifetime.

Recently, democratic lawmakers proposed changes to legislation that would provide student loan borrowers the ability to discharge their loans in bankruptcy. Under the current law, borrowers can only have their student loans discharged if they prove they have experienced an undue hardship, which is near impossible.

The proposed amendment would allow borrowers to include their student loan debt in a bankruptcy filing if the lender servicing the loan failed to offer a debt relief option. The federal government offers Pay As You Earn (PAYE), which gives borrowers the opportunity to cap student loan payments based on a percentage of their monthly income. After 20 years, the remaining balance of that borrower’s student loan debt is forgiven under the program.

If private student loan lenders did not offer a similar program to borrowers, student loan debt could be canceled or significantly reduced through bankruptcy, according to the proposed legislation.  Going a step further, some lawmakers have introduced changes that would allow student loan borrowers to include all education debt in their bankruptcy filing, even if a debt relief program similar to PAYE was offered directly by the lender.

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.

Struggling with Student Loan Debt after 50? You’re not alone

February 22, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Student loan debt is no longer limited to the young.  In fact, Americans age 60 and older are the fastest-growing population of student loan debtors.  Those seniors who are living month-to-month on fixed incomes are the most likely to default.  When this happens to borrowers 65 and older, the government can seize a portion of their social security benefits, even if this pushes them into poverty.

Approximately 20,000 Americans 50 years of age and older had their Social Security checks cut below the poverty line in 2015 because of student loan debt.

Many have accumulated the debt helping their children or grandchildren, either by borrowing directly or co-signing on loans.  As these borrowers age, it becomes more difficult to afford their loan payments while also paying for food, housing, prescriptions, and dental and medical expenses.

Many seniors who are carrying federal student loan debt are eligible for income-based repayment plans, where borrowers can pay as little as zero dollars per month or may even qualify to have their loans forgiven after a specified period of time.

But loan servicing companies have not made it easy for borrowers to enroll in the programs or even let them know it was an option.  This deprives seniors of information about payment plans that would allow them to meet their loan obligations without having to skimp on food or necessary medical care.

The federal government needs to make this group a priority, which means ending the practice of garnishing the Social Security benefits of poor or disabled student loan debtors.

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.

Related Resources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/13/opinion/haunted-by-student-debt-past-age-50.html?_r=0