No wonder so many college graduates want to refinance student loans. In 2011–12, 39% of students who earned a bachelor’s degree had borrowed over $24,300 of college debt. 17% borrowed more than $40,000 for school, and 3% owed over $70,000. Steep monthly payments, high interest rates, and a debt burden disproportionate to the borrower’s income […]
Common Student Loan Fees
This is an advertisement paid for by ASCENT Student Loans As you research all of your options on how to pay for your college education, understanding the impact of fees associated with your student loan – and how to avoid them – is an important part of the process. After all, student loans are costly […]
Student Loan Debt Facts & Stats (the Numbers May Surprise You!)
Borrowing for college is a fact of life for many students. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2019, the average student loan debt burden shows that U.S. students owe over $1.5 trillion in outstanding college debt. Per the NCES, in 2018–19, some 43% of first-time, full-time degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students were awarded loan aid, a […]
Compare Student Loans Side by Side
Choosing the student loan provider that suits your needs may require you to do a little homework. For starters, you’ll want to understand factors like repayment plans, origination fees, and interest rates, which vary from loan to loan and can impact how much you’ll end up paying for what you borrow. Our LoanFinder is a […]
Graduate School Loans
For some students, the process of finding graduate school loans to fund their continued education can be a challenge. For example, some may not have needed financial aid as an undergrad or may have had their parents help in obtaining it. Even if you do have experience under your belt, there may still be challenges. […]
Differences in How Families Pay for College – Northeast Region
The part of the country you live in might determine the foods you love, what you do for fun, and the pro sports teams you root for. But did you know it might also affect your attitudes toward higher education—including how you plan and pay for college? The annual study How America Pays for College […]
Refinancing Student Loans: Guidelines
What Does It Mean to Refinance Student Loans? When you refinance student loans, you typically take out a new private loan and use it to pay off your other loans. This could help simplify your finances if you have many student loans. And, it could help you tackle your student loan debt in less time. […]
Paying for College in America
Whether you’re a student getting ready to apply to college, or a parent trying to help your child prepare, you’re probably asking yourself 1 big question: how will you be paying for college? College costs have been steadily rising over the past 20 years, meaning that some families might need to get creative or plan […]
Student Loans 101
The world of student loans can be very confusing. Do you know the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized? How does a Direct Plus Loan for parents differ from one for a graduate student? Not to mention the differences between federal and private student loans; searching the Internet can sometimes lead to further confusion and frustration. […]
Gift Aid vs. Self-Help Aid
Now that college acceptance letters have started to roll in, students will soon begin receiving financial aid award letters from their prospective colleges, as well. This vital component of the college planning process can be a bit confusing, especially when colleges do not use the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet created by the U.S. government. This standardized form […]
How to Appeal Financial Aid Offers
Financial Aid Appeal Over the next few weeks, high school seniors will receive their financial aid offers from prospective colleges. For some, the offers will be sufficient and allow them to make a final decision on where they will attend college this fall, but not everyone will be that lucky. Some students may need to […]
How to Spend Your Student Loan Money
What can you use student loans for? It’s that time of the year when students start to receive their financial aid refunds. This typically occurs when students have either secured enough money through grants and scholarships to cover their tuition and fees, or they have borrowed more student loan money than they actually needed. What Can […]
Student Loan Default
What is Student Loan Default? Student loan default typically means you failed to repay your student loan according to the terms agreed to in the promissory note. But having defaulted student loans means something different to each loan holder as well as getting student loans out of default. That’s because each lender sets terms regarding your […]
Find Relief Through Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
It is estimated that nearly 25 percent of the American workforce is eligible for some form of student loan debt relief through federal loan forgiveness programs. Many graduates work for state or local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, schools, and other companies that meet the definition of an eligible employer. Unfortunately, many borrowers are not aware that […]
FAFSA Tips: Independent vs Dependent
Occasionally, I get questions from parents and students regarding financial aid, especially when it comes to filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Most are worried that they make too much money to qualify for any grants or scholarships, and want to know if they should even bother completing the form. And, in case […]
Understanding Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans
In a few short weeks, many college students will be taking their last exams and preparing for graduation. It’s a time of celebration and trepidation, as many make the transition from attending classes to actively seeking employment. The responsibilities of being a full-fledged adult are just now coming into focus, as they prepare to leave […]
Where Do You Go if You Have a Student Loan Problem?
Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report detailing the types of complaints it has received over the last three years. This not only included information about credit card and mortgage complaints, but also issues with private student loans. Resolve a Student Loan Problem The majority of the complaints the CFPB received regarding […]
Do You Qualify for Private Student Loan Modification
Private student loan borrowers who are struggling to repay their loans may soon get some relief thanks to new programs being rolled out by two of the largest private lenders in the country. Wells Fargo and Discover Financial Services both have announced plans to offer private student loan modification programs to their existing clients. This is definitely a shift […]
Can Student Loans be Discharged?
Can student loans be discharged? It’s a common question among those saddled with student loan bills, especially with so many college graduates still struggling to find high-paying jobs. The short answer is “yes,” but it’s not a simple or easy process to undertake. In fact, a study by Jason Luilano suggested that in 2007 there may have been […]
What Parents Should Know About the EFC?
What is EFC? It’s short for Expected Family Contribution. Basically, it is a number derived from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that shows your family’s financial health and how much you should be able to contribute to your child’s college education for one year. Where does this number come from? It’s really too […]
How Do Private Student Loans Work?
If you have exhausted all federal financial aid, grant and scholarship opportunities, and still find you need additional money for college, a private student loan may be the solution. How do Private Student Loans Work? Unlike federal loans, which require students to attend school at least part-time, a private loan can be used for any […]
Variable vs Fixed Rate Student Loans: Which Should You Choose?
Understanding the basic concept of variable vs. fixed rate student loans if fairly simple. A variable interest rate will change periodically over the term of the loan whereas a fixed rate will not. The questions many borrowers face is, “which is better?” Variable vs Fixed Rate Student Loans There’s no simple answer to this […]
5 Tips for Approaching Potential Cosigners
Is your financial aid package a little lighter than anticipated? It may be time to consider getting a private student loan. And if you do, keep in mind that you will likely need a cosigner to qualify for the loan; very few students are able to receive financing based on their own creditworthiness. But, how do you […]
Job Loss and Financial Aid
Whether voluntary or involuntary, the loss of one’s employment when a child is attending college can leave a parent distraught. Questions like “how will I come up with tuition?” and “will my child have to leave school?” are very common and real. There’s no doubt that the loss of a job has incredibly serious consequences […]
Student Loans: How Much is Too Much?
I recently came across an article about a couple who borrowed $500,000 in student loans to help three of their children attend college. Yes, you read that correctly – half a million dollars. Thankfully, each of their children agreed to pay back 75 percent of the money they borrowed, but the couple still has $150,000 in outstanding student loan debt […]