Posts Tagged: ‘student loan debt’

Millennials Struggle to Keep up Financially with Previous Generations

May 22, 2018 Posted by kingcade

The financial crisis may have hit the ’80s generation the hardest. Americans who were born in the 1980s, otherwise known as “millennials,” are finding themselves struggling financially more than generations before them. Following the Great Recession, which began in 2007, individuals born in the ‘80s are at wealth levels which are 34 percent below where they would be had the financial crisis not occurred. Most millennials have to save longer to buy a home, struggle with student loan debt and rising home prices.

The generation known as “millennials” is categorized as being born between 1981 and 1996. According to a report issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, people in this generation are at risk of being termed “the lost generation.”

“Not only is their wealth shortfall in 2016 very large in percentage terms, but the typical 1980s family actually lost ground in relative terms between 2010 and 2016, a period of rapidly rising asset values that buoyed the wealth of all older cohorts,” the report says.

This can be attributed to a number of factors. One major setback this generation faced was entering the workforce as the financial crisis was beginning. In fact, this generation seems to have been hit the hardest for this very reason. Entering the workforce at the time of a recession put these young workers at an immediate disadvantage for earning an income, as well as saving money towards big purchases or retirement.

Once the recession passed and the economy began to improve, these individuals faced difficulty in recovering from the hard hit.

Millennials have been on the receiving end of a 67 percent increase in wages since 1970, but this increase in pay has not kept up with the rising costs of living, including rent, home prices, college tuition, costs for childcare, healthcare, and entertainment.

This generation also has to deal with large amounts of credit card debt, on top of six figure student loan debt. After graduating from college at a time when jobs are not as prevalent, these individuals have had to resort to credit to pay for these expenses.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of 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.

Related Resources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/1980s-millennials-wealth-the-great-recession-2018-5

https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2018/05/21/crisis-hits-1980s-generation/

How Student Loan Debt Can Affect Your 401K

May 14, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Student loans and retirement planning may not seem like two things that would affect each other. Usually, the first thought after graduating is to get a job to start paying back student loan debt. However, student loan debt has become an increasing problem when it comes to saving and planning for retirement.

More and more students are graduating with student loan debt today.  And for those starting their careers fresh out of college, many are finding it hard to save for retirement along with meeting their monthly obligations, the biggest of these being student loan payments.

New research shows that families age 45 to 54 with zero student loan debt have an average 401(k) balance of $80,000. Take that same age demographic and add the issue of student loans, and the median balance for their 401(k) drops to $46,000. Families who have heads of household younger than 35 with student loans carry a median 401(k) balance of $8,000.

Some companies are helping their employees with student loan debt. In January 2016, Fidelity launched a program to help their own customer service associates pay up to $2,000 of student loan debt annually, with a lifetime maximum of $10,000. Fidelity employees responded well to the program with 8,400 employees taking advantage of it, the majority of them being in the younger demographic.

Another company, Gradfi, a fintech company, started a student loan repayment program, offering this service to 100 employers in 2016. Gradfi is now working with 350 companies across the United States, including Peloton and Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Employers can use these programs to draw in key hires, but also work on retaining employees once they are hired.

One downside to these student loan repayment programs, however, is the fact that these employer payments must be considered as taxable income to employees.

For the time being, it is advisable to factor in both payments on student loan debt and contributions to retirement savings. Every bit helps and making those smaller contributions today will build up to larger contributions over time as student loan debt decreases. Take advantage of employer-matched money when making these contributions, and speak with your financial advisor to see how much you can contribute comfortably.

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. There are ways to file for bankruptcy with student loan 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 Dangers of Co-Signing a Student Loan

May 3, 2018 Posted by kingcade

It has become common practice for parents of high school students looking to enter college in the fall to co-sign or take out private loans to help their children afford the costs associated with a higher education. Many times, the scholarships (if available to the student) have already been maximized, and the financial aid offered through federal loans simply is not enough to cover the complete costs of college.  However, according to a recent study taking on a private loan or co-signing on one to help a child go to college can seriously hurt the parent later when it comes to retirement.

Most private student loans require a co-signer since most high school students do not graduate with well-established credit. Parents will often jump to co-sign, not even thinking of the potential consequences.

“It’s portrayed to them as if they’re going to simply be a reference or endorser, when the truth is they‘ll be obligated to pay this loan if something happens and the primary borrower can’t pay,” said Seth Frotman, Student Loan Ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). “We now see more and more cosigners going into retirement facing unprecedented levels of student debt.”

According to a survey released by the website LendEDU, a site that specializes in student loan refinancing and private student loan borrowing, of the 500 parents who co-signed on their children’s loans, one-third of them did not fully understand the consequences of co-signing. Out of that number, 35 percent of them later said they regretted doing it. More than half of them said their credit scores took a hit after co-signing. More than one-third of them said that the lower credit scores later hurt their chances of qualifying for any financing in the future.

The parent’s credit can be negatively affected if the child later misses payments or fails to pay the loan on time. The survey also showed that more than one-third of the parents picked up the loan payments for their children.

However, what happens if the parent is unaware their child is keeping up on the loan payments? Many cosigners are not informed of the status of their co-signed loans until it is too late- many times to the point where interest had accumulated and fees had been assessed.  The survey also showed that more than half of the parents worried that their child’s student loan debt would jeopardize their retirement plans.

Every student is different, and while some may naturally be responsible, get a job straight out of college and make payments on the loans without any issue, many students fail to understand the responsibility of paying back these loans and are not so fortunate with their job prospects upon graduation.

One option available is a Tuition Installment Plan (TIP). Through a TIP program, the college may divide tuition into equal monthly payments with no interest added. If the parent or child can afford it, this avoids making one lump sum payment and avoids taking out the additional private loan to cover costs. However, look into whether the student’s specific college offers this option.

We have written previous blog postings on the dangers of co-signing a loan – which puts more than your name on the line.  If you have any questions on this topic, feel free to contact our firm.

There are ways to file for bankruptcy with student loan debt.  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.

Related Resources: https://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/cosigning-loan-your-credit-score-will-drop-you-ll-retire-n739366

 

Disabled no longer face big tax hit when student loans are forgiven

May 1, 2018 Posted by kingcade

Borrowers who have had their federal student loans forgiven due to “total and permanent” disability determinations will no longer have to pay federal income taxes on the amount forgiven. This change is great news for borrowers who anticipate having loans forgiven in the future. However, if the disabled borrowers were granted loan forgiveness prior to the rule change in December, the benefit does not extend to them as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is not retroactive.

According to a report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in December 2016, the United States Department of Education forgives an estimated $2 billion in loans owed by disabled borrowers annually.

Disabled borrowers include veterans who are no longer able to work due to service-related injuries but also anyone who is determined to be “totally and permanently disabled” by a physician and is now receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. According to the GAO, over 213,000 people were approved for discharges due to total and permanent disability (TPD) in 2014 and 2015. The typical amount forgiven in 2015 was around $17,500, an amount which would be then considered taxable income by the IRS.

In 2016, the Department of Education, utilizing a computer matching software, identified an additional 387,000 borrowers who appeared to be eligible for loan forgiveness. Notifications were then sent to these individuals regarding their eligibility, also warning them of the tax consequences. An additional 19,000 in new approvals for loan forgiveness were then made.

However, the fact that only 19,000 followed through showed that borrowers may have been either intimidated by the paperwork or scared of the tax consequences of the student loan forgiveness.

Now that no federal tax implications are tied to loan forgiveness for disabled borrowers, lawmakers want to see the Department automatically clear out the debt of those who do meet the eligibility requirements by using the same or similar computer matching program that was previously used. In fact, on Feb. 15, eight lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and VA Secretary David Shulkin, asking that the process begin in discharging these debts.

“Veterans who have served our country with honor and sustained a debilitating service-connected disability are still facing the burden of payments on debt that is eligible to be forgiven,” the letter said. “Delaying benefits owed to our veterans due to a lack of coordination among federal agencies is unacceptable.”

Certain issues may delay borrowers from filing for a TPD discharge, especially if the filer is not a veteran. Delays have been known to happen at the Social Security Administration level.

“Borrowers with disabilities who are eligible for loan discharge may still struggle to get relief from the burden of their student loans,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s student loan ombudsman, Seth Frotman, reports. “Borrowers complain to the Bureau about problems related to every stage of the TPD discharge process.”

Once approval has been given for the disability and the borrower has been approved for loan forgiveness, it is also still possible that the approval can be taken away if the borrower fails to submit to annual income verification that is required for the three years following the approval, also known as the three-year monitoring period. The IRS is not notified that the loan has been forgiven until after the three-year period has been completed.

However, if the borrower was given TPD discharge through a VA application, he or she will not need to do the three-year monitoring period.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) suggests borrowers do the following when seeking TPD loan discharges:

  • Provide proof of disability from a physician, the Social Security Administration or Veterans Administration;
  • If the borrower’s loans are in default, it is recommended that he or she apply for discharge as soon as possible. Any payments being taken out of social security benefits will then stop while the application is being reviewed;
  • Remain in touch with the loan servicer during the three-year review period;
  • Discuss other options if the borrower has been turned down for a TPD discharge. Other income-based repayment plans do exist to help ease the burden if the borrower cannot get a total discharge.

There are ways to file for bankruptcy with student loan debt.  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.

Related Resources: https://www.credible.com/news/student-loans/disabled-no-longer-face-big-tax-hit-student-loans-forgiven/

Seniors See Rise in Personal Debt

April 26, 2018 Posted by kingcade

While personal debt can affect people of all ages, few are affected by it more than seniors who are already living on fixed incomes.  A recent study by the Washington, D.C.-based Employee Benefit Research Institute highlights the risk of financial strain that comes with aging.  Researchers found that between 1992 and 2016, a higher percentage of American families headed by people age 55 and older are struggling with debt.

The increase in those carrying debt has been most prevalent among families headed by those age 75 and older, where the percentage rose from 31.2 percent in 2007 to 49.8 percent in 2016.  The debt is coming from different sources. A number of seniors are helping their children and grandchildren attend college by co-signing student loans.  In fact, the number of people age 60 and older with student loan debt as quadrupled in the last 10 years to 2.8 million, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

As these borrowers age, it becomes more difficult to afford the monthly payments while also paying for necessary food, housing, prescriptions, and medical expenses. The trouble begins for many seniors when they begin using credit cards to pay for basic living expenses.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of 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