How Much Private Student Loan Debt Do You Have?


Student Debt
More and more students turn to federal and private student loans to pay off their tuition fees and other school expenses. This has even earned the attention of major lawmakers, since the numbers are continuously climbing up, which proves that more and more families are finding it difficult to send their children to college.
Since more students are depending on these private student loans, more and more students ask themselves how much private student loan debt they currently have. Why is this so? One reason is that most students borrow from different student loan companies without even realizing that they are borrowing more than they can pay. Idealistically, they are counting on the fact that they can land their dream job which pays more than enough for them to pay the loan off. However, after graduation, they are faced with the harsh reality that it is not that easy to get a job that would pay them enough. Thus, they end up with an overhead of debts.
So, how do you prevent this from happening? First, know more. Know more about the terms and conditions, fees and interests of different student loans being offered to you. Talk to your guidance counselor of whoever is in charge of explaining the details of private student loans in your school. It is best to be armed with knowledge rather than fall into a trap. Next, talk to your loan officer. Ask as many questions as you can. Are their interests fixed or variable? Do they charge other fees aside from the interest? What are their payment terms? What are actions that result to penalties? Make sure that you know everything you need to know before you go ahead with the application.
Lastly, manage your budget wisely. If your schedule permits it, get a part-time job and save some money so that after you graduate, you have enough bread to get you through until you find a really steady and good paying job. Be wise when it comes to spending your money, and make sure you pay your monthly repayment dues on time. A good credit standing can earn you lower interest rates and even discounts.
Applying for a student loan is not bad, as long as you know the ins and outs of the situation. Be wise enough to plan ahead on how you are going to pay it after you graduate, so that you will not be surprised with the sudden responsibility of paying off debts after you graduated. Be matured enough to take responsibility.

Saving Money Consolidating your Student Loans

Once you have graduated from college, it is now time to face a new world and start paving your own career path. However, it is also important to look back and pay off the private student loan companies who assisted and helped you through college expenses and tuition fees. Paying off several student loans can be very stressful, and it is very hard to budget your finances if you have to pay for them on different dates of the month. A great solution to this problem is via private student loan consolidation. Managing your monthly loan payments into one account can be a great help, and can better enable you to effectively budget your money and even lower your monthly repayment fees.

Although you cannot consolidate your federal and private student loans, it is best to consolidate them separately, in order to enjoy the benefits from both of them. Federal student loans will definitely give you lower rates once consolidated, so it will be far easier than consolidating your private student loans. Thus, it is best to be wise when it comes to private student loan consolidation.
Here are some helpful tips to save money with private student loan consolidation:
  • Scour the internet for a list of companies who offer the most competitive rates and repayment schemes. Make a list and narrow it down to three to four companies, before finally contacting them.
  • Once you have contacted these companies, make sure to ask questions. Some of the most important questions that you can ask are: Are your interest rates fixed or variable? Are there any other fees involved? Are there any pre-payment or cancellation penalties? It is best to be clear, so that you won’t be surprised if there are other additional fees you are being charged with.
  • Maintain a good credit rating. Borrowers with a good credit rating will of course have lower monthly payment rates, so be sure that you have a good credit rating.
  • Lower your monthly repayment fees by extending your repayment period. Some companies offer up to 25 years when it comes to repaying their loans. Choose which scheme is best for you, so that you can plan your finances ahead.
Choosing the best private student loan consolidation company can really be a tough decision to make, and it is best to choose a company with a known reputation when it comes to transparency and integrity. Choose a company who will offer you the best rates and repayment terms, to help you repay all your loans the easier and most convenient way possible.

The Student Loan Debt Bomb Bill: What You Should Know

Concerns about the continuously ballooning percentage of unpaid student loans have prompted several lawmakers to pen a bill that would help lessen the number of students who have flunked out from paying their loans. The initially idealistic plan of letting students borrow money to sustain their education, then pay later once they are capable enough to earn has turned into something of a major economic concern.
Although there has been several restructuring that have been done with the payment and interest scheme, but it seems like it has been tainted with the current economic crisis that has affected not only the United States but some of the power countries as well. Thus, a bill called The Student Loan Debt Bomb Bill was created. Also known as The Know Before You Owe Act, this bill aims to:
  •  Impose schools to educate their students and their parents about the available federal student aids that they can avail, before resorting to applying to private student loans.
  •  It also requires schools to be stricter when it comes to confirming vital information related to private student loans.
  •  More awareness when it comes to the different terms and conditions both of federal and private student loans
  •  Their awareness about their awareness to reject or cancel a private student loan under the legal laws.
Apart from these main points, students and lenders are also required to meet several requirements like double-checking the current status and the amount needed by the student from the school, a quarterly update to borrowers about their payables, and a report a certain student loans standing to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This is to ensure that both parties are doing their responsibilities with each other.
This is a good bill, since it both protects the students and private student loan providers from unwanted situations like unpaid loans. Students are more aware of their benefits, and may very well exhaust all available resources offered by the government before turning to private student loan companies. If they do, they will be assisted by their schools in getting a loan that would be easier for them to pay. Private student loan providers, on the other hand, can partner with schools in getting borrowers who are good payers and are capable of paying what they borrow.
This bill is designed to help both the borrower and the lender, and let us hope that it will also help the economy put off another debt bomb in the form of student loans.

Is Private Loan Consolidation Right For You?

One of the most common problems of college graduates nowadays is paying off their private student loans. It is a very stressful thought, especially if you have a loan with different companies, and all of them are maturing at the same time. Obviously, a fresh graduate who is just starting out with his or her job cannot pay off the loans in full, thus, a good strategy is to consolidate all your existing loans into one manageable account.
You might think that either they are multiple accounts or just one big account, the end result is still the same: you still have to pay your debts. So ask yourself: is private loan consolidation right for you? If you are unsure of your answer, try listing down the benefits of consolidating your private student loans, and then weigh them down. Surely this can help you decide whether or not this is the right choice for you.
Benefits of Private Student Loan Consolidation
  • Better budget management- having one manageable account is better rather than juggling multiple accounts with your two hands. This can also let you schedule your payments easier, rather than having multiple payment periods in one month.
  • Ease of mind- having one monthly loan payment to think of is healthier for your state of mind, rather than thinking of multiple payment dues in one month.
  • Lower rates- having consolidated your debts, the consolidated rate will be more minimal than what you were paying before, since your loans will be under one interest rate only.
  • Fixed interest rates- most often than not, your loan company will give you a fixed interest rate for your consolidated debt, so it will be easier for you to budget your money and prepare for your monthly payment rates.
  • Flexible payment terms- you can choose whether to pay for it within 10, 15 or even 25 years. It all depends on which is most convenient for you. However, try to compute if paying for it long term will save you money, rather than paying for it at a shorter amount of time.

When looking for a good private student loan consolidation company, look for one that provides you with all the information you need. Ask your loan specialist if their rates are fixed or variable, if there are any other fees (beware of hidden fees), and their available payment terms. It is possible to easily pay off student loans. All it takes is good money management and strategy.


Colleges are listening?

A growing number of colleges are taking smart measures to attract more students by cutting tuition or speeding up the rate at which they graduate.

While some private colleges are introducing double-digit percentage cuts in tuition or freezing prices altogether, other schools are offering three-year degree programs or four-year graduation guarantees.

In part, these schools are responding to consumers’ concerns about the rising cost of college.However, one has to be careful that all is not what it appears. Tuition cuts and freezes are usually accompanied by reduction in financial aid.The University of Charleston, for example, may be slashing tuition but it’s also reducing the amount of financial assistance that’s available to students to $10 million from $15 million. Instead of making cuts, other schools are freezing tuition at current levels or giving students four-year tuition guarantees. This still means students need to take out student loans and they need to continue to be smart about shopping around for private student loans.

While making school more affordable for students has become more common, it’s still far from a widespread trend. Many more schools continue to hike tuition, he said. Overall, tuition at private colleges has been increasing more than 4% each year for the past three years, according to the National

At least 14 additional colleges have frozen tuition for the upcoming school year — the highest number of tuition freezes on record.

A degree in four years or less: With average tuition at four-year private colleges costing $28,500 a year, according to the College Board, failing to graduate on time is a costly proposition. As a result, some colleges are reducing the time it takes to graduate or guaranteeing that students will get their degree in four years.

Beginning next year, Ashland University in Ohio is granting bachelor’s degrees that can be completed in three years instead of four — saving students an estimated $34,000 in tuition costs and giving them a year’s head start in the work force.

Ohio’s Baldwin-Wallace College is introducing a “Four-Year Graduation Guarantee” program this fall. Under the program, the school guarantees that students who meet certain requirements, like maintaining a GPA of 2.0 or higher, will graduate in four years. If not, the college will pay for the extra time.

Some colleges are taking it a step further by offering joint-degree programs that allow students to graduate with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in four years. Simmons College in Boston is offering joint-degrees in areas including social work and public policy, while Wilson College in Pennsylvania is launching a program that lets students graduate with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in humanities.

Meanwhile, Lipscomb University in Tennessee is reducing the number of credits students need to take to graduate on time from 132 hours to 126 hours for the 2012 school year — the equivalent of about two classes.

Don’t Fall for these College Myths

It seems as if everyone has a different plan that they tout as being the best for saving for college. Families trying to map out a college payment plan face rough waters as the cost of higher education continues to rise in the face of a still-sick economy.

According to a study by the College Board, the cost of in-state public four-year institutions for the 2011-2012 school year rose 8.3%, compared to last year while out-of-state tuition and fees at public four-year colleges increased by 5.7%. At private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities, costs have jumped 4.5%.

Myth 1: High-income families won’t get any financial aid.
Many parents assume that if they make a high salary, their child won’t be eligible for any financial aid. Briggs says that it’s a good idea for families across the financial spectrum to complete a FAFSA form to see if they qualify for need-based aid and if not, to borrow money through federal student loan programs.
Every student should estimate how much he will likely receive with FAFSA4caster. Don’t avoid filling out a form because you don’t think you’ll qualify for Pell Grants. You may lose out on a university- or state-based grant or scholarship.
Myth 2: If you save too much, it will hurt your eligibility for financial aid.
Parents shouldn’t feel discouraged from saving for their kid’s education over the fear they might qualify for less aid.  Even if it works in your favor, the amount you might receive in financial aid from the government or the college would likely be significantly less than what you could have saved had you started early. The benefits of saving for any financial goal typically far outweigh any consequences of doing so. From a financial aid standpoint, parent assets are only assessed at about 5% after an asset protection allowance is applied, while student assets are assessed at a much higher rate.
Myth 3: The sticker price is the true cost.
Students and their families should distinguish between the sticker price of a school (the advertised price of attendance) and the net cost, which factors in grants or scholarships.
The truth is the sticker price on college doesn’t mean anything–don’t make any decisions until you personally receive your financial aid award letters and compare them.
Myth 4: Private schools are more expensive than public universities.
In general, experts say private schools are considerably more expensive than the sticker price of public schools. However, private schools have significant amounts of aid to award in need-based and merit-based situations, something that cash-strapped state schools can’t offer as easily.
All schools use a slightly different [need-based scholarship] formula, but that formula for many people results in significant discounts, so that $56,000 sticker price that you would pay at a Harvard or Princeton might be at or below the net price that you would pay at a state school.
Myth 5: Students loans are a bad idea.
Although the growing amount of outstanding student loan debt in this country continues to balloon, students shouldn’t be discouraged from borrowing for school. Families need to do their research, start saving early, and borrow only what you need so that your student isn’t left with a mountain of debt.
It’s OK to expect your child to take out loans on his or her own to pay for education beyond what you are able and comfortable with funding.
Myth 6: Uncle Sam doesn’t want you to go to college.
Parents should take advantage of the tax benefits of paying for their child’s education. There are several tax deductions, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit that is worth up to $2,500 per student for the cost of tuition, fees and course materials paid during the taxable year and 40% of the credit (up to $1,000) is refundable even if you owe no tax.
There are a lot of families who don’t claim their education credits in their full amount and that would save them money that they could then use to pay for education.
While it’s no secret that college can be expensive, students can have better control over their debt level if they make smart decisions from the get go.
You control which school you select, the way you purchase your textbooks, and how much you spend while in college. You can’t control your tuition prices, but you can make a dent in the cost of college with your own choices.Above all else, shop around for private student loans after you have satisfied all of your Federal Loans. And after you graduate, remember to consolidate your high interest private student loans with a private student loan consolidation.

Most Expensive Dorm Rooms

The Top 20 Room & Board Expenses 2011-2012

College Room/Board
1. The New School $18,080
2. New York University $15,181
3. Fordham University – Lincoln Center $15,000
4. Fordham University – Rose Hill $14,925
5. St. John’s University (Queens) $14,700
6. Suffolk University $14,624
7. Manhattanville College $14,520
8. Pace University $14,230
9. University of California – Berkeley $14,046
10. Marymount Manhattan College $14,030
11. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering $14,000
12. Sarah Lawrence College $13,958
13. Dominican University of California $13,900
14. University of California – Santa Cruz $13,869
15. Harvey Mudd College $13,858
16. Cooper Union for Advancement of Science $13,700
17. University of California – Santa Barbara $13,694
18. American University $13,684
19. Claremont McKenna College $13,625
20. Vanderbilt University $13,560

Update on College Costs

Average annual tuition at four-year private colleges for the 2011-2012 academic year is $28,500, up 4.5% from a year earlier, according to the College Board, a New York-based nonprofit that administers college entrance exams, while average room and board charges have risen 3.9% to $10,089. Between 2001 and 2012, tuition and fees at four-year private colleges rose at an annual average rate 2.6 percentage points greater than the consumer-price index. The priciest colleges now cost close to $60,000 a year.
Debt, too, is on the rise. Students who graduated from college in 2010 are shouldering an average $25,250 in debt, up 5% from a year earlier, according to the Project on Student Debt, a nonprofit research group.
The most important element in applying for financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also called the FAFSA, which determines how much in federal grants and aid a college-bound student will get. The form, which is used by all public and private universities, asks families to provide income and asset information, but doesn’t require you to report the value of your primary residence.
If you are attending a private college, families also must fill out the College Board’s CSS/Financial Aid Profile, which schools use to determine how to distribute their own aid funds.
The CSS takes into account factors that are largely ignored in the FAFSA. For example, the CSS looks closely at home values: Parents who have seen their home values tank in recent years should include the “quick sale” value of the home—which is roughly 80% of the value that the home is currently appraised at.  If that value is substantially below your outstanding mortgage, it can increase your aid package.
After you have exhausted all your Federal Loan options, you should look to supplement you tuition expenses with cheap Private Student Loans.And for those that have already graduated, you may want to consider refinancing some of your more expensive Private Student Loans with a Private Student Loan Consolidation.

Student Loan rates are about to double?

According to a recent article from the Huffington Post, tuition rates at four-year colleges and universities have risen over 32 percent in the last decade, and last year Americans took out more than $100 billion in student loans for the first time in our history. Student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt in the United States, creating an immense burden that will last years after graduation.

The problem will only get worse if Congress does not act soon. On July 1, 2012, student loan rates on subsidized Stafford student loans — one of the few programs that is affordable for students and families — will double, from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. In no uncertain terms, this would be another hit to middle-class and working-families, and a de facto tax increase on as many as 10 million people.

According to the non-partisan U.S. Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG), if Congress does nothing, borrowers taking out the maximum $23,000 in subsidized student loans will see their interest balloon by an estimated $5,000 over a 10-year repayment period and $11,000 over a 20-year repayment period.

Making college more affordable is one of the best investments our nation can make in America’s economic future.  Call/write your Congressman!

Student Loan Debtors

The Project on Student Debt’s report included a list of schools with the highest student loan debtors. Students of the private schools listed below graduated with debt ranging from $40,400 to $55,250. public universities that produce graduates with the most debt. The public school debt ranged from $29,800 to $45,350.


That’s mind boggling!