Posts Tagged: ‘Student Loan’

How the Tax Reform Could Affect those Paying off Student Loans

November 24, 2017 Posted by kingcade

As lawmakers consider two different bills that would overhaul the tax code, several changes on the table could affect Americans who are paying student loans. The House version of the bill would eliminate some tax benefits for those with college costs. However, the Senate version of the bill would leave most of them untouched. Both bills would eliminate many tax breaks, however; they would also roughly double the standard deduction.

If you are currently paying off your student loans, you can use the student loan interest deduction to lower your taxable income by as much as $2,500. It is an “above the line deduction,” meaning it can be claimed without itemizing. It is available to borrowers with modified adjusted gross incomes up to $65,000 or $130,000 of couples filing jointly. The current tax deduction saves people a maximum of $625 per year. The proposed House bill would repeal the deduction while the Senate bill would keep it in place.

If you are paying for your child’s tuition you can currently claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit for up to $2,500 per child enrolled in college each year. The full credit is available to couples earning up to $160,000 per year and an individual earning up to $80,000 per year. The proposed House bill would expand eligibility to a student’s fifth year at a reduced benefit and the Senate version would keep the credit as it is.

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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 McMaken 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.

The Costs of Deferring Your Student Loans

August 17, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Many Americans are struggling to pay back their student loans.  According to a recent study, 30 percent of direct loans are in deferment.  When a borrower defers a student loan, temporarily suspending repayment due to unemployment or other financial hardship- the interest on the loan continues to accrue.  If no payments are made during the deferment period, the interest will capitalize and be added to the total amount of the loan.

Interest rates are expected to rise in 2018.  Undergrads will pay 4.45 percent on loans distributed from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, which is up from 3.76 last year. There are limited time frames for how long a loan can be in deferment.  Deferring your student loans can also eliminate your eligibility for certain public forgiveness programs.

Deferring your student loans can be costly.  Here are some alternatives:

  • Utilize income-driven repayment plans offered by your lender;
  • Refinance your student loans;
  • See if your employer offers loan assistance to employees;
  • Forbearance, which suspends student loan payments is typically at the loan holder’s discretion. These specific qualifications are detailed on the government’s Federal Student Aid

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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.

The IRS Has Hired a Debt Collector That is Being Sued by The Government

April 7, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The IRS has hired for-profit debt collectors to collect on long-overdue taxes that the government lacks the resources to work on. Four debt collectors were selected for the new contracts, including one whose parent company is currently being sued by the U.S. government over its student loan debt collection practices.

Pioneer Credit Recovery is a subsidiary of Navient, a student loan debt collector. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit against both companies in January claiming that the companies “systematically misled consumers.” A few months prior, Pioneer was selected as one of the IRS debt collection contacts in September, alongside ConServe, Performant and CBE Group.

Pioneer’s parent company Navient, formerly known as Sallie Mae, holds a federal government contract to service approximately $300 billion in student loans owed by 12 million borrowers.

The IRS was mandated by Congress to hire debt collectors, in language that was inserted into a $205 billion highway funding bill in late 2015. Experts on consumer protection say the new contracts create more potential for bad behavior in debt collection.

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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.

What the Navient Lawsuit Means for Your Student Loans

April 5, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Navient, a company that derived from Sallie Mae, has more than 12 million customers and services more than $300 billion of government and private student loans. In January, a lawsuit was filed against the student loan lender where the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) alleged that Navient “systematically and illegally failed borrowers at every stage of payment,” in many ways such as:

  • Creating obstacles to repayment by providing bad information
  • Processing payments incorrectly
  • Failing to act when borrowers complained
  • Illegally cheating many struggling borrowers out of their rights to lower payments, which caused them to overpay for their student loans
  • Deceiving private student loan borrowers about requirements to release their co-signer from the loan
  • Harming the credit of disabled borrowers, including severely injured veterans

 

According to the CFPB, Navient also improperly directed borrowers into forbearance when these borrowers otherwise might have qualified for income-based repayment plans. The lender also failed to keep borrowers in income-based repayment plans informed of deadlines to maintain their eligibility under such plans.

Navient later denied all allegations and claimed the lawsuit was politically motivated. The company filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on March 24th, claiming there have been no violations of actual servicing rules.

Does your student loan servicer owe you a fiduciary duty?

According to Navient, it is not a fiduciary financial advisor. The student loan lender claims that courts “routinely hold that servicers and lenders do not owe borrowers any specific fiduciary duties based upon their servicer/borrower relationship.”

This means that if you need guidance in choosing a repayment plan, Navient maintains that the lender is not responsible for counseling borrowers on alternative repayment plans. Navient further notes that the U.S. Department of Education does not pay Navient enough to provide sufficient customer service that the CFPB would like Navient to provide.

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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.

What Actually Happens When You Default on Your Student Loans

March 31, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to the Department of Education, eight million Americans defaulted on their federal student loans last year. Approximately 1.1 million of those former students did so for the first time which is a U.S. high.

The former student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Rohit Chopra, told Time Magaizine, “In spite of a booming stock market and falling unemployment, there is obviously a significant block of the labor force that is really struggling.” He went on to say, “New college graduates and new entrants to the workforce are facing a double whammy of flat or declining wages and higher debt.”

Defaulting on student loans is a growing problem for millions of borrowers. As a result, it is important to understand the consequences of doing so. Here are three things you need to know about defaulting on a student loan:

  1. It is more serious than a late payment. In most cases, default occurs when a borrower has not made a payment in 270 days, which is roughly nine months. However, loans that are offered by the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL) are considered to be in default after 330 days or 11 months. When this happens, the entire balance of the loan and interest is due immediately and you lose any eligibility for deferment or forbearance, or any additional financial aid.
  2. Your credit score will drop. The federal government will report your student loan delinquency to credit agencies. If this happens, it will be a long and difficult process to rebuild.
  3. The federal government may garnish your wages. If you default on a federal student loan, the government may take money out of your paycheck before you even see it. Your tax refund can also be held to collect some of your debt. If the debt persists for long enough, the government can also take money out of your social security check. Fortune reported that more than $1 billion has been taken from social security checks since 2001.

 

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.