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Student Loan Forgiveness - List Of Programs To Help Pay Off Your College Loans
How to get rid of college loans: careers that can forgive student loan debt

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Excusing student loans -- having your college student loans cancelled or dismissed -- is the ultimate goal of loan forgiveness.


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Education loan forgiveness seems simple enough: Do your homework. Focus your time and energy. Keep applying to new sources for student loan repayment help. Avoid scams. And -- Never give up!

Yes, there are detailed specifics of how a student loan can be canceled or -- as it's more commonly referred to, "forgiven" -- if your college degree leads to or complements a job in the teaching profession.

There are a number of specific guidelines to be aware of as you search for the right college debt forgiveness program that will suit your individual needs. One of your best ways to find student loan forgiveness programs is by your own diligent research on the Internet.

The secrets on having school loans cancelled are easy to discover. You must be thorough in your search on how to have student loans excused. Spending years in college, believing that your loans will be forgiven, only to find out that you didn't qualify for one reason or another, could cause you substantial financial stress when it's time to start student loan repayments.

STUDENT LOAN UPDATES: New rules for student loan repayments starting in 2012 help provide guidance on student loan relief available to college graduates: flexible repayment options based on what you earn, not what you owe, plus college loan forgiveness options:
(Read the details here...)
Here is an extensive Q&A on the public service loan forgiveness program: http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/PSF.jsp.

What is the process to qualify for student loan deferment? (Check here to find out free...)


Qualifying for forbearance or deferment means a borrower receives temporary relief from student loan payments. Student loan forgiveness allows total principal and interest to be wiped away and excused. Usually, forgiveness of a student loan requires that the borrower willingly work in a career field that treats student loan payoff almost as a fringe benefit to attract high-quality candidates in return for lower wages or less desirable working conditions. Student loan deferments basically postpone repayment of your student loans. Now you can find out how to go about qualifying for a student loan deferment and buying yourself some extra time to pay off your college loan debts.

Time For Consolidating Student Loans?
(Click here to learn your options ...)

Have your student loans gotten out of control? Getting nasty collection calls? Maybe now is the time to consolidate your education loans. Find out if consolidating overdue student loans is the answer to your prayers... or maybe an expensive option you should avoid.

Updated 10/25/2011: Special Direct Consolidation Loans -- The U.S. Department of Education announces it will offer Special Direct Consolidation Loans to eligible borrowers, beginning in January 2012. This is a short-term consolidation opportunity, ending June 30, 2012. Get the factsheet here...

Student Debt Soaring

Across the country, most students have still been forced to shell out big money in order to continue their education. Sadly, this has continued for far too many years.

It has been reported that outstanding student loan debt here in the U.S. ranges between $900 billion to $1 trillion. Approximately $864 billion of this debt is in Federal student loans.
The College Board reports two-thirds of students are deep in debt at graduation, before they ever start working. The average debt for graduating seniors hovers between $20,000 and $30,000. Student borrowing has more than doubled in the past 15 years. Most college graduates struggle for a decade or more to pay off their student loans.

"I was always told that education was the most important, no matter what the price," says Stephanie Cluff, 26, who graduated last year. "Now I find myself feeling completely overwhelmed by all of my student loans."

Students who have a lot of debt are usually the same ones who don't know how to secure free money from grants and scholarships. "Part of the problem is that students coming in as freshmen do not understand smart borrowing and spending habits," says Rebecca Porter, director of enrollment at Indiana University.

Students fail to understand that total loan amounts also include rapidly increasing interest as well as fees.

Fifty percent of the students who graduate without debt took advantage of university or national scholarships and Pell grants. "If students took the time to see what scholarships and grants they are eligible for, there would be a whole lot less student debt," Porter says.

Online education resources like ClassesAndCareers.com are a great help to students who are continuing their education to learn more about scholarships, grants and financial aid. Here are a few money-saving tips for students:

1. Get by without a car. Most campuses have good public transportation or have easy accessibility. The money you will save on insurance, gasoline prices and parking can add up to thousands of dollars in annual expenses.

2. Buy used. Thanks to thrift stores, garage sales and Craigslist you can get almost everything pre-owned. Clothes, textbooks, bikes, and furniture are just a few of the things that can be bought secondhand and save you tons of money.

3. Avoid eating out. Learn how to cook basic meals. Buy snacks from the grocery store that you can bring with you to classes so you don't have to be spending at vending machines or the student center.

4. Be creative for entertainment. Instead of paying $10 for a movie or bowling, think of other things to do for fun that don't cost so much. Game nights, dance parties, or sports are just as fun and won't kill your bank account.

5. Find a balance between school and work. Students who work part-time or during the summers may find it difficult to graduate in four years, but they will graduate without as much debt. Online colleges are beneficial for students who need the flexible work schedules and go to school at the same time.

If you need help with your student finances, visit ClassesAndCareers.com and fill out the form. A career counselor will assist you in setting up a financial plan to help you get your education debt-free. Or to speak with a career counselor, call (888) 361-6346.

Article Courtesy of ARAcontent

Apply yourself: Now's the time to be on the lookout for college scholarships



College is becoming more expensive with each passing year. If you have a student entering school, you probably are faced with the sobering task of figuring out how to pay for it. While cost of college tuition continues to rise, scholarships are still a tried-and-true way to bring the price tag of college to a more reasonable level.

But your child can't receive scholarship money if he doesn't apply for it. And as with most things in life, the early birds get the worms. Now is the time to get those applications completed in hopes of handsome rewards in the spring and summer.

Applying for scholarships should be one of the first steps in your plan to pay for college. However, scholarship myths continue to flourish and need to be dispelled.

Myth 1: Billions of scholarship dollars go unclaimed.
In reality, the number of unused scholarships is minuscule. You'll need to do your research and apply early to have a chance at getting your share of available funding.

Myth 2: Scholarships go only to the best students.
Many scholarships are awarded based on elements other than academic achievement. Some scholarships are based on the student's major field of study, involvement in extracurricular and community activities, ethnicity and geographic origin, or other factors.

Myth 3: Scholarship searches are worth paying for.
This myth eventually will die as people discover the many free resources available on the Internet or in the print media.

So how do students and their parents sort through the myths and get to the facts? Start the process early - January is perfect for the next school year - and utilize the resources around you. To find scholarship opportunities, start with your high school guidance counselor and local library for a list of possible resources. Next, check with your college financial aid office. Most states and many colleges offer scholarships, so students should also inquire about them. Finally, the Internet and organizational websites are excellent places to search. Remember, this information should always be free.

Don't count yourself out just because you are not the valedictorian, class president or star athlete. There are scholarships available for many interests, backgrounds and abilities. The bottom line is apply now, and the more scholarships for which you apply, especially local and regional opportunities, the better your odds are to be selected.

Though the scholarship application process can be time consuming, most scholarships require similar information. Once you complete your first application, you can easily re-use the same information for additional scholarships.

Scholarships come from many sources, but the student may have to do some detective work to uncover them. For example, at www.usbank.com/studentloans, you can apply to be one of 40 high school seniors or college undergraduates to receive a $1,000 U.S. Bank Internet Scholarship. Over the past 13 years, U.S. Bank has awarded more than $350,000 in scholarship funding for this program. Scholarship award recipients are selected through a random drawing process. There are no essays to complete or minimum grade point average requirements. The U.S. Bank website also features a powerful scholarship search engine.

Scholarship search tips

* Start early - Experts recommend college-bound students and their parents start looking as early as their freshman year in high school. By identifying potential awards, students can choose classes and activities that will increase their chance at winning a specific award in the future.

* Use the Internet - But be wary of scams posing as scholarships. If a scholarship is reputable, you should be able to find information about it through multiple sources. Try to use two sources and make sure the profile submitted is accurate; paying fees does not increase your chance of winning.

* Think small - Competition can be tough for large awards. Smaller awards ($1,000 and less) typically have less competition and are easier to obtain.

Additional free scholarship Web sites you may want to visit include:

* www.collegeboard.com/scholarships
* www.collegeplan.org
* www.collegescholarships.com
* www.collegenet.com
* www.scholarships.com

Discovering financial aid opportunities in the current economy


If you are still searching for that silver lining in the present economic doldrums, going back to school this year might be the remedy for you. Whether you are a first-time freshman or a returning student looking for a new degree to move your career forward, for many the timing could not be better.

College enrollment across the United States has risen more than 40 percent, according to an October report issued by the Pew Research Center that was based on data released from the U.S. Census Bureau. America is still witnessing not only record highs in unemployment rates, but also in setting college enrollment records during the recession.

Of course, the age-old dilemma still remains for most present and potential scholars: "How am I going to pay for college? If I've lost my job, or I'm still looking for a job, how do I start to fund my education?"

"Dedicated students who want to study can always find a way to make it happen," says Tressa A. Brush, director of Student Financial Services at South University in Savannah, Ga. "After a student applies to college, the first place students should look for financial aid is with the U.S. Department of Education. Financial aid is available for those who qualify."

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Department of Education bolstered student financial aid resources for post-secondary education. Hope Scholarship Credits are widely used, and the moneys available via Federal Pell Grants for students who are eligible have been increased.

"When students begin looking for money to attend college, I provide them with many possibilities, but then, the real work begins. Students must begin conscientious and thorough searches for scholarships and loans. These searches can reap very positive results from public and private organizations," Brush says.

In addition, the current outlook for interest rates on some federal college loans is favorable.

"Funding, and sustaining funding, for educational endeavors can be a rigorous, but worthy task. If you do the work well, great payoffs can happen, and of course, the biggest payoff is the investment you will make by getting an education. Earning a college degree can lead you so much further on your career path," Brush says.  

Seeking financial aid for education?  Where to start:

* Visit the Department of Education online, www.fafsa.ed.gov.

* Check out the benefits of your present workplace. Often, employers offer their employees tuition reimbursements. Ask your human resources department.

* Talk to your close friends and family. New trends indicate increasing financial assistance is coming through the benevolence of one's own kin.

* Check with your local college's financial aid office to research the availability of  loans.

* Check with your local civic and non-profit entities such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Lions' Club, and Elks' Club for scholarship opportunities.

* Check out these other Web sites: www.finaid.org, www.fastweb.com, www.gacollege411.org, www.wiredscholar.com, www.usafunds.org, www.familiesoffreedom.org, www.rotary.org, www.ed.gov/finaid, www.collegeboard.org, www.salliemae.com, https://ugsp.nih.gov and www.nsdar.org.

Article Courtesy of ARAcontent

Overwhelmed by student loan debt? Know your options

If you find yourself in a financial hole you can't get out of, it's important to know you have options. Being in debt can cause people to continue to make payments that they can't afford or can barely afford without much hope of ever eliminating the debt. If you find yourself in this position, there are a few routes you can pursue to free yourself from overwhelming debt.

First, getting out of debt on your own should always be your first choice, if you can do it. The quickest way to save money and keep your credit intact is to pay off your balances as quickly as you are able.

If you don't think that option is open to you, it might be time to seek outside help. The Federal Trade Commission recommends looking at the following options and finding what might work for you. When you examine each of these possibilities, make sure the organization you are working with is legitimate. Always beware of hidden costs and make sure you know exactly what you will receive before you pay for these services.

* Credit counseling: If you don't think you can get your debt under control by yourself, credit counselors can help you develop a plan to get out of debt.

* Debt management plan: Often offered through a credit counseling service, this allows the participant to make monthly deposits to the service, which in turn will pay your bills as worked out with your creditors. You will be required to make your monthly payments on time and you may be barred from applying for additional credit while on the plan.

* Bankruptcy: This is usually considered the last resort, but it can allow you to have some of your debts forgiven completely. You may also be required to put your car, house or other assets toward repaying your debt. Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years and can make it difficult to secure any type of credit during that time.

* Debt settlement programs: Often considered an alternative to bankruptcy, debt settlement, or debt negotiation programs, allow those with unsecured debt (debt not tied to an asset, like credit card debt or medical bills) to pay less than what they owe through negotiating with creditors.

"The goal of a debt negotiator is to obtain a debt settlement for you on the current debt amount you owe your creditor. For example you may owe one particular creditor $10,000, so the goal of the negotiator would be to have you end up paying back say $5,000," says Steven Veator, senior program adviser of Core Financial Services, a Massachusetts-based debt settlement agency.

Recently, much attention has been brought to fly-by-night debt settlement agencies that often only cause participants to go into more debt. If you plan on enrolling in a debt settlement program, the United States Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternatives (USOBA), a professional organization for the debt settlement industry, recommends taking the following things into account before enrolling in a program:

* Know in advance that your credit score will take a hit. Any debt settlement agency promising otherwise is probably not telling the truth.

* Programs will often take two to three years to complete. If you can't make the payments necessary to complete the program, don't enroll because you will still be responsible for your debts in addition to any program fees.

* Beware of hidden fees. Make sure all fees you will have to pay during the program are agreed upon before enrolling in the program, along with a payment schedule. The program will likely charge you beyond what you will be paying back to your creditors for their work, so make sure it is still a good option once these fees are included.

* Debt settlement is a private industry, so any organization that speaks of a federal program for debt settlement is not telling the truth.

* Don't stand for pressure or silence. A legitimate agency should not pressure you to enroll and should allow you the time to make a decision. You should also be able to freely and easily communicate with the agency before enrolling and during the debt settlement process. Some programs require you to default on paying your creditors, so have a plan in place with your settlement agency on how to handle calls from creditors if this is the case.

For more on debt settlement and answers to frequently asked questions, visit www.coredebt.com.

(Article Courtesy of ARAcontent)

NEWS: Website Offers Tools For College-Bound Students
USA Today reported recently that the amount of student loans awarded last year was more than $100 billion, and that by the end of 2011, total outstanding loans will value more than $1 trillion.

Using data provided from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and College Board, USA Today was able to determine that Americans owe more on student loans than on credit card debt.

Also, students are roughly borrowing twice as much money for their education than they did just 10 years ago, even after taking inflation into account.

Lenders of student loans have very little risk when it comes to giving out the loan. The burden of the loan falls on the credit of the person who has taken it out. Many students take out loans that are too big for them to repay, resulting in defaults. Even declaring bankruptcy won't remove this loan from your credit.

However, these types of loans are often considered an investment in the future and a student's potential as a professional.

With the cost of education increasing, students are having to take out more loans or forego attendance entirely. But one website now provides tools on their website that can help students determine if attending an online college would be a lower-cost, time-efficient option.

My Colleges and Careers claims they can help students make informed decisions about their education and financial situation by introducing them to the benefits of receiving an education through online courses.

Their website is www.mycollegesandcareers.com

What will it take to pay off my student loan?
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STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS AND TAXES: Many people who are searching for 'student loan forgiveness' wonder if the money they save from not having to repay their student loans winds up being taxable income or not. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided guidance on Student Loan Cancellations and Repayment Assistance to help you understand if a successful request for college debt forgiveness will result in a higher tax bill.

The Responsibilities of Cosigning For a Student Loan


By Steve Johnson

The responsibilities of a cosigner don't end when the bank approves the student loan application and doles out the money. In truth, the responsiblity has only just gotten started.

As a cosigner, your first responsibility will be to counsel the person asking you cosign on their loan and advising them as to the best course of action. Make a gut decision if this amount is the right amount. Too much borrowed could allow for excess spending, and a tough financial burden if the student drops out of school. Too little borrowed, and the student may not be able to complete studies due to a lack of funding. Either way, the student loses. And the cosigner could get stuck with the bill.

Moreover, ask all the "what if" questions: What if you quit school? How will you pay off this loan? What if you move out of state? How will I reach you? What if you worked part-time and only took out a smaller, more affordable student loan to get your through school? What if you sought out loan forgiveness programs available in certain professions like nursing, teaching, and the military?"

In non-legal terms, a cosigner agrees, with the simple stroke of pen adding their name to the college student loan contract, to assume equal responsibility for loan repayment. The cosigner then has assumed a loan obligation which could negatively impact their credit history and lower their credit score.

As a student loan cosigner, you must be responsible to retain copies of all important papers related to the loan, and develop leverage of the borrower to ensure that this loan gets repaid on time.

Entering into a loan agreement means that the cosigner is pledging to pay off the loan if the student
borrower fails to live up to the terms of the loan. If the loan goes into default, the cosigner will be equally liable. And, since a cosigner will probably have more tangible assets, a lender will be able to file a lien on the cosigner's property to recover on the loan.

So, say if the borrower stops making payments, the cosigner will have to take over the payments. You may even be responsible for the full payment of the loan in the event that the borrower dies or is disabled, though oftentimes a student loan can be forgiven if the right type of loan has been taken out.

Some banks will relieve the cosigner of his or her obligation after the first two years of loan repayments. After the student has made his or her first 24 consecutive monthly payments on time and meets certain credit requirements, he or she often has the opportunity to request to remove the cosigner from the loan.

A cosigner should have a good credit history and steady income, plus full trust in the person he is helping get a loan that he or she will honestly do eveything they can do to repay the loan when the note comes due.

What does a cosigner need to sign on the dotted line and make the loan go through? All lenders require different documentation to approve a student loan. During the application process, cosigners will generally be asked to supply some or all of the following information:

  • Current address, phone numbers, and alternate contact information
  • Personal reference information, including full names and phone numbers
  • Employment information: employers, address, phone numbers, supervisors, time worked at each job, and gross income
  • Your monthly rent or mortgage payment
  • Social Security number (some will require you produce the actual Social Security card so they can photocopy it and keep it with the loan application).

When you cosign, your credit history will be examined by the lender. A higher credit score, stable work history and a long-term successful use and repayment of previous credit should help you and the borrower get approved for the loan.

There are two rights that most co-signers should request from the lender. One, demand that the lender give them proper notification of any and all late payments. And, two, writing into the loan agreement a clause limiting the cosigner's financial responsibility only to the loan's principle, and excluding late fees and attorney costs. Such rights, properly exercised, could limit the financial liability to the cosigner in the end, should the student loan go into default.

THE COLLEGE DEBT CRISIS IN FOCUS ON CNBC SPECIAL INVESTIGATION

CNBC recently broadcast an inside-investigation into educational institutions, which have encouraged borrowing money to pay for the rising cost of college tuition and books -- regardless of that student's ability to repay his or her student loans. In the end, the majority of college graduates wind up saddled with, on average, about $24,000 in student loan debt as they seek the launch their post-college career.

Far too many have much, much more debt than this. And, it's a debt that doesn't seem to go away.

This excellent television expose asks: "Is a college degree worth such a high cost? How long can the U.S. higher educational system be sustained in its current form? Are student loans the next subprime mortgage fiasco?"

In "The Debt That Won't Go Away" -- The CNBC website reports: "Americans now owe more on their student loans than they do on their credit cards. With debt now growing at a rate of $2,853.88 per second, it will surpass $1 trillion in 2012."

Find out more about their special report, "The Price of Admission: The College Debt Crisis" at CNBC.com

If you are a Sallie Mae cosigner, then there are new protections available. Under the Sallie Mae's 'Smart Option Student Loan', if the primary borrower dies, becomes permanently and totally disabled, whatever balance remains of the loan is forgiven. Thus, the cosigner is not expected to continue making those monthly loan payments. (or permanent and total disability), the remaining balance would be forgiven. However, for other loans such as a Perkins student loan or a Stafford student loan you need to read over the promissory note carefully to see if similar protections apply.

As was stated earlier, the responsibilities of a cosigner don't end when the application is approved and the loan is funded. The responsibility bestowed on a cosigner after all the money has been spent, the classes taken, and the loan payments begin could last for many years. Thoughtful analysis of all the factors surrounding such a loan request should be carefully considered before one agrees to cosign a college loan.

Steve Johnson is the writer and publisher who founded http://www.FindHow2.com, filled with free, helpful articles on credit repair, credit card debt reduction, and personal financial management, plus "how-to" informative articles on a variety of topics. One of the most popular topics at FindHow2.com is the series of free articles on student loan deferment. You can explore the hundreds of articles at FindHow2.com for free.

Article Source: Steve Johnson

Need to consolidate your student loans?

Find out now if student loan consolidation is the best option for you.

Read how college tax credits can help you save money: "How College Education Credits Can Help To Lower Your Tax Bill"


Tax Credit Helps Students Pay For College

The recent tax cut approved by Congress in the waning days of 2010 includes $18 billion set aside toward helping students and parents pay for college tuition.

The so-called "American Opportunity Tax Credit" -- a much-needed extension of the HOPE tax credit -- can put up to $2,500 (100% of the first $2,000 spent and up to 25% of the next $2,500) back in your pocket once you file your tax returns. Best of all, it can be claimed for 4 years of college.

AS an example: if your "qualified tuition and related expenses" total $3,000, you would get back 100% of the first $2,000 spent, then $250 of the remaining $1,000. You would only be out-of-pocket $750. Uncle Sam would be paying for 75% of your college education!

Full details on eligibility and qualification details of the American Opportunity Tax Credit can be found here:

American Opportunity Credit: Questions and Answers, the most updated information on the topic on the IRS website. (Page opens in new link)



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