Posts Tagged: ‘student loans’

Student Loans Vs. Other Debt: Find your Most Powerful Debt Payoff Strategy

September 1, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Many Americans struggle when trying to prioritize which debts to pay off first. Here is a helpful guide for deciding when to prioritize paying off student loans before other debts.

4 Reasons You Should Pay Down Your Student Loan Debt First

  1. You have high student loan rates. If your student loans have the highest interest rate of all your debt, that is where you should begin. You may also want to explore refinancing your student loans if you qualify for a lower rate.
  2. Your student loans have a small balance. Paying off your student loan with a small balance first is called the debt snowball method. This method allows you to see results and to stay motivated to keep up with your payoff plan.
  3. You have private student loans. Private student loans are considered “riskier” forms of debt than federal loans, which is why you should pay them off sooner rather than later. The reason they are riskier is because they do not offer the same repayment protections and options as federal loans, such as income-based repayment plans.
  4. You are close to defaulting on your student loans or declaring bankruptcy. Defaulting on a federal loan can lead to wage garnishment much more quickly than if you are not making credit card payments. Therefore, if you are struggling with student loan debt, make it a priority to make those payments first.

 

5 Reasons You Should Pay Down Other Debts First

  1. You are following the debt snowball method. The debt snowball method may lead to you paying off student loans first, however; it may also lead you to target other debts with higher interest rates or lower balances first.
  2. You value federal loan protections. Federal student loans offer repayment options and other protections that other types of debts do not offer.
  3. You hope to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF). The PSLF is slated to forgive federal student debt for more than 550,000 Americans, according to the Washington Post. Any balance remaining after 10 years will be forgiven to eligible borrowers. The more you pay on this debt, the less you will be left for the government to forgive.
  4. You want to improve your credit. Decreasing your debt is a good way to improve your credit score. However, certain types of debt will increase your score faster than others. Higher balances on revolving debt will give you a higher utilization ratio – which can damage your credit. If you have your credit cards maxed out, you should target this debt first.
  5. You want to claim interest tax deductions. When considering which debt to prioritize, it can help to consider the potential tax benefits you can claim. Most consumer debt cannot be claimed as a tax write-off, but student loan debt and home mortgages are exceptions.

Click here to see 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.

Credit Card Debt a Growing Concern for College Students

August 30, 2017 Posted by kingcade

A recent study conducted by Nellie Mae, the nation’s leading student finance firm, revealed that the average undergraduate carries a credit card balance of $2,169.  According to the study, many students use their credit cards without knowing how the bills will even be paid off.  It also showed that many students used credit cards to pay for tuition and books, instead of federal student loans that offer lower interest rates.

Four out of five college students amass nearly $1,000 a year in credit card debt.  One cause of credit card debt is college students’ difficulty in adjusting to their newfound financial freedom.  Parents and students need to come up with a budget for credit card spending before their child leaves for college.  Make sure your college student knows not to use money they do not have, even for a one-time purchase.

Use resources available to keep them on the right path.  You and your college student should sign-up for overdraft alerts on all accounts. Online alerts and apps on your Smartphone can help with this.

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, 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.fastweb.com/personal-finance/articles/dealing-with-credit-card-debt

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Credit-card-debt-a-mounting-concern-for-college-students-441338263.html

The New Shape of U.S. Household Debt

April 14, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Household debt in America has been reshaped in ways that could potentially affect how financial experts are able to help manage a consumer’s liabilities. The overall debt of U.S. households is $100 billion smaller than it was in 2008. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it also looks a lot different now than it did then.

Mortgage debt remains the largest debt burden. However, its share of household debt has declined along with that of credit card debt, while the share of student loan debt and auto loan debt has grown.

By the end of 2016, mortgage debt accounted for 71 percent of household debt, down from almost 79 percent in 2008. Student debt had more than doubled since 2008 and more than tripled since 2003 to 10.4 percent.

Auto loan debt had a 9.2 percent share at the end of 2016, which is approximately one-third larger than it was in 2008. All three types of debt had larger shares of households’ income than credit card debt.

All of this means that housing debt fell $1 billion from its peak in 2008 of $9 trillion, while student loan debt rose $700 billion and auto debt rose $350 billion.

Financial experts attribute the change in household debt to a change in the demographics of U.S. debt. Households that are headed by those 60 years old and older now account for just over 22 percent of outstanding U.S. debt, which is up from 16 percent in 2008.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, 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 Loans ‘Designed to Fail’: States Say Navient Preyed on Students

April 12, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Navient, a student loan lender that split off from Sallie Mae in 2014, retained nearly all of the company’s loan portfolio. In recent months, Navient has come under fire for aggressive and sloppy loan collection practices, leading the government to file multiple lawsuits against the student loan giant in January.

However, those accusations have overshadowed broader claims made against the lender. Two separate states, Illinois and Washington, have filed lawsuits against Sallie Mae claiming that it engaged in predatory lending, extending billions of dollars in private loans to students.

“These loans were designed to fail,” said Shannon Smith, chief of the consumer protection division at the Washington State attorney general’s office.

New details emerged last month in the lawsuits against Navient that shed light on how Sallie Mae used private subprime loans, some of which it expected to default at rates as high as 92 percent, as a tool to build its business relationships with colleges and universities across the company.

The risky loans were detrimental for students, however; they were beneficial for Sallie Mae. The private loans were a “baited hook” as Sallie Mae described it. The lender used the private loans to reel in more federally guaranteed loans, according to the lawsuit.

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 Student Loan Debt Can Affect Your Tax Return

April 3, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The average college student who graduated in 2016 will have approximately $37,00 in student loan debt, according to Forbes. Most college grads spend their time and energy on finding a job. However, another concern for new grads is how their debt will affect their 2017 tax filings. Here are a few tips on deductions and credits grads will be entitled to, and also what to do if you are filing as a dependent.

Student Loan Interest Deduction

If you paid interest on student loans in 2016, you most likely qualify for the Student Loan Interest Deduction. Also, if your student loan was not given to you by a family member or your employer, you were enrolled at last half-time in an accredited institution of higher learning and your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) was less than $80,000, you can claim interest you paid on your loans as a deduction.

American Opportunity Tax Credit

You might also be able to claim a few education tax breaks if you meet the criteria. The American Opportunity Tax Credit allows undergraduate college students to claim the first $2,000 and 25 percent of the next $2,000 they spend on tuition, school fees, books, equipment and other non-living expenses.

Lifetime Learning Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit can be claimed by college and vocational students. It allows eligible students to claim up to 20 percent of the first $10,000 they paid toward tuition and school fees. Eligible students can also claim 100 percent of the Lifetime Learning Credit if their MAGI is less than $55,000.

If You Are a Dependent

Your parents can claim you as a dependent if you are 19 years old or younger, live with your parents for at least half the year and they provided for at least half of your financial needs. You can also be claimed as a dependent if you are 24 years old or younger and you are a full-time college student. If you earned at least $6,300 in 2016, you have to file a return, even if you are being claimed as a dependent by your parents.

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.