object(WP_Query)#622 (49) { ["query"]=> array(2) { ["cat"]=> int(5) ["posts_per_page"]=> int(4) } ["query_vars"]=> array(65) { ["cat"]=> int(5) ["posts_per_page"]=> int(4) ["error"]=> string(0) "" ["m"]=> string(0) "" ["p"]=> int(0) ["post_parent"]=> string(0) "" ["subpost"]=> string(0) "" ["subpost_id"]=> string(0) "" ["attachment"]=> string(0) "" ["attachment_id"]=> int(0) ["name"]=> string(0) "" ["static"]=> string(0) "" ["pagename"]=> string(0) "" ["page_id"]=> int(0) ["second"]=> string(0) "" ["minute"]=> string(0) "" ["hour"]=> string(0) "" ["day"]=> int(0) ["monthnum"]=> int(0) ["year"]=> int(0) ["w"]=> int(0) ["category_name"]=> string(8) "articles" ["tag"]=> string(0) "" ["tag_id"]=> string(0) "" ["author"]=> string(0) "" ["author_name"]=> string(0) "" ["feed"]=> string(0) "" ["tb"]=> string(0) "" ["paged"]=> int(0) ["meta_key"]=> string(0) "" ["meta_value"]=> string(0) "" ["preview"]=> string(0) "" ["s"]=> string(0) "" ["sentence"]=> string(0) "" ["title"]=> string(0) "" ["fields"]=> string(0) "" ["menu_order"]=> string(0) "" ["embed"]=> string(0) "" ["category__in"]=> array(0) { } ["category__not_in"]=> array(0) { } ["category__and"]=> array(0) { } ["post__in"]=> array(0) { } ["post__not_in"]=> array(0) { } ["post_name__in"]=> array(0) { } ["tag__in"]=> array(0) { } ["tag__not_in"]=> array(0) { } ["tag__and"]=> array(0) { } ["tag_slug__in"]=> array(0) { } ["tag_slug__and"]=> array(0) { } ["post_parent__in"]=> array(0) { } ["post_parent__not_in"]=> array(0) { } ["author__in"]=> array(0) { } ["author__not_in"]=> array(0) { } ["orderby"]=> string(10) "menu_order" ["order"]=> string(3) "ASC" ["ignore_sticky_posts"]=> bool(false) ["suppress_filters"]=> bool(false) ["cache_results"]=> bool(true) ["update_post_term_cache"]=> bool(true) ["lazy_load_term_meta"]=> bool(true) ["update_post_meta_cache"]=> bool(true) ["post_type"]=> string(0) "" ["nopaging"]=> bool(false) ["comments_per_page"]=> string(2) "50" ["no_found_rows"]=> bool(false) } ["tax_query"]=> object(WP_Tax_Query)#627 (6) { ["queries"]=> array(1) { [0]=> array(5) { ["taxonomy"]=> string(8) "category" ["terms"]=> array(1) { [0]=> int(5) } ["field"]=> string(7) "term_id" ["operator"]=> string(2) "IN" ["include_children"]=> bool(true) } } ["relation"]=> string(3) "AND" ["table_aliases":protected]=> array(1) { [0]=> string(32) "wp_91e4ce6975_term_relationships" } ["queried_terms"]=> array(1) { ["category"]=> array(2) { ["terms"]=> array(1) { [0]=> int(5) } ["field"]=> string(7) "term_id" } } ["primary_table"]=> string(19) "wp_91e4ce6975_posts" ["primary_id_column"]=> string(2) "ID" } ["meta_query"]=> object(WP_Meta_Query)#626 (9) { ["queries"]=> array(0) { } ["relation"]=> NULL ["meta_table"]=> NULL ["meta_id_column"]=> NULL ["primary_table"]=> NULL ["primary_id_column"]=> NULL ["table_aliases":protected]=> array(0) { } ["clauses":protected]=> array(0) { } ["has_or_relation":protected]=> bool(false) } ["date_query"]=> bool(false) ["request"]=> string(451) "SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp_91e4ce6975_posts.ID FROM wp_91e4ce6975_posts LEFT JOIN wp_91e4ce6975_term_relationships ON (wp_91e4ce6975_posts.ID = wp_91e4ce6975_term_relationships.object_id) WHERE 1=1 AND ( wp_91e4ce6975_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (5) ) AND wp_91e4ce6975_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_91e4ce6975_posts.post_status = 'publish') GROUP BY wp_91e4ce6975_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_91e4ce6975_posts.menu_order ASC LIMIT 0, 4" ["posts"]=> array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#613 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(386) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-12-12 17:20:02" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-12-12 17:20:02" ["post_content"]=> string(7308) "Student loan debt can be incredibly burdensome. From losing sleep at night to increased anxiety, studies are showing that this form of debt can be detrimental to a borrower's mental health.  Are you one of these people? Are you looking for a way to reduce your student loan repayments? If so, you should consider student loan consolidation. This form of refinancing can lead to an array of benefits, including reduced payments, and possibly, a decrease in your overall repayment term. What you need to consider, though, is whether or not consolidating your loans will hurt or help your credit. For some of you, the health of your credit may not even be a factor in helping you choose whether or not to consolidate. Sometimes, consolidating is the only option that will provide some type of debt relief and it's worth hurting your credit. Still, for those who are wondering if consolidating is the best choice, here's a quick look at a few student loan statistics, an inside glimpse at how consolidating affects your credit, as well as a how-to guide for refinancing them.

Student Loan Debt Statistics

As of the third quarter in 2017, there were 6.5 million student loan borrowers who were still in school; their debt totaled $120.9 billion. 1.7 million borrowers had loans in a grace period, with their debt totaling nearly $42 billion. 18.3 million borrowers were in the repayment phase of their loans and 3.5 million had a deferment on their loans. 2.7 million had one or more loan forbearances and an astonishing 6.5 million were in default on their student loans. If you are having trouble repaying your student loans, these statistics go to show that you aren't alone. Here's a look at statistics for borrowers and their repayment plans:

When Student Loan Consolidation Makes Sense (and when it doesn't)

It is very important for you to understand that student loan consolidation is not a one-size-fits-all solution for all borrowers. The type of loans you have and their interest rates will play a large role in whether or not it is financially wise to consolidate them. And for many borrowers, consolidation simply isn't the best choice. Fortunately, we've broken down three scenarios in which consolidation does make sense and two scenarios when it doesn't. Continue reading to see which scenario applies to you.

Scenario 1: You got your loans with a cosigner

When a friend or loved one cosigned for your student loans, the reality is that they took on the responsibility of repaying the loans in the event that you can't. In fact, if you miss only a single payment, this can negatively affect the cosigner's credit. If you feel at any time that you are going to have difficulty repaying your loans, you should speak with your cosigner about having the loans consolidated. He or she will probably be more than happy to be released from their responsibility to keep the payments up to date.

Scenario 2: You borrowed money through private loans

When compared to federal student loans, private loans tend to have much higher interest rates. These loans also come with less-forgiving repayment terms. And for those who opted for a private student loan with a variable interest rate, it's not uncommon to see it jump as high as nine percent. Because of this, most people with private student loans will benefit from consolidating them. Not only can consolidating them reduce the monthly repayment amounts, but also the length of time you are in repayment.

Scenario 3: Your loans have a high-interest rate

Regardless of the type of loans you took out to pay for your schooling, if they have a high-interest rate, it will be in your favor to consolidate them. Some refinancing lenders can hook you up with a consolidation loan that comes with an interest rate as low as 3.25 percent. Over the time period of repaying your loan, a lower interest rate can save you several thousand dollars.

Scenario 4: You are seeking repayment amounts based on your income

If you took out federal student loans to pay for your schooling, you can apply for an income-based repayment plan. In doing this, your repayment term is normally more than 10 years, however, this decreases your monthly payment amount. Unfortunately, if you are in need of this type of repayment -- one that scales according to your income -- then consolidating your loans will likely not be a wise choice.

Scenario 5: You are seeking student loan forgiveness

Federal student loans often qualify for loan forgiveness if you work for a non-profit or governmental agency. To qualify for loan forgiveness, you will need to make 120 months of qualifying payments; that's 10 years of payments. If you consolidate your loans, though, you will no longer be eligible for student loan forgiveness.

How-to-Guide for Student Loan Consolidation

There are two primary types of student loan consolidation. It is important to understand how these two options work. If you have federal student loans, you may qualify for a federal student loan consolidation; however, this type of consolidation does not lower your interest rate or help you save money in any way. Instead, it is sometimes needed to help you qualify for certain federal repayment programs. Federal student loan consolidation can generally be completed in less than 30 minutes. You can start and complete the process entirely online on the Federal Student Aid website. The other type of consolidation is private consolidation, which requires you to go through a private lender. You will need a good credit score to qualify for a private lender loan consolidation and because you may be able to lower your interest rate, this will help you save money. To consolidate student loans through a private lender, you will first want to compare various lender rates and choose the lender that best meets your needs." ["post_title"]=> string(61) "Student Loan Consolidation: Does it Hurt or Help Your Credit?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(43) "student-loan-consolidation-hurt-help-credit" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-12-12 17:23:08" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-12-12 17:23:08" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(35) "http://studentloanreport.org/?p=386" ["menu_order"]=> int(2) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#614 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(354) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-10-23 17:16:37" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-23 17:16:37" ["post_content"]=> string(3207) "Did you know that the average student loan debt amount for students graduating in 2016 was $37,172? That's a lot of money, isn't it? This is why it is so important that you apply for as many grants as you can. Grants don't have to be paid back, whereas student loans do. Still yet, loans prove to be of the utmost value once all of your grants have been exhausted. You should do your best, though, to keep your student loan debt to a minimum.

Knowing how to apply for grants

Whether you are applying for grants or loans, you will need to fill out the FAFSA form. This form must be completed each year for the next upcoming academic year. You can complete the form anywhere between October and June before the next annual funding cycle. It is pertinent that you do your best to be completely honest on your FAFSA form as this will determine how much money you qualify for in grants and loans. If you have had a job, you will need to upload your tax return to the FAFSA system. If you don't have a job and you are currently living with your parents, you will need to upload their tax information.

There are changes coming in the near future

As of now, you cannot be charged more than 10 percent of income when making monthly minimum payments to pay back your student loans. In the near future, though, this percentage is expected to increase by 2.5 percent. This is why it is so important to borrow as little as possible and to pay it back as quickly as possible. Not only will paying it back as quickly as possible help you get out of debt faster, but it will also reduce the overall total amount of interest that you have to pay back on your loans. Guide to Student Loans  

Additional Resources:

  1. http://studentloanreport.org/student-loan-guide-2017/
  2. http://studentloanreport.org/student-loan-debt-vs-entry-level-pay/
  3. http://studentloanreport.org/student-loan-refinance-companies-review/
  4. http://studentloanreport.org/student-loan-refinancing-guide/
  5. http://studentloanreport.org/grants-loans-college-students/
  6. http://studentloanreport.org/student-loan-crisis-numbers/
" ["post_title"]=> string(38) "A Brief Guide To College Financial Aid" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(27) "college-financial-aid-guide" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-12-01 19:53:08" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-12-01 19:53:08" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(35) "http://studentloanreport.org/?p=354" ["menu_order"]=> int(3) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#612 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(350) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-10-09 16:32:06" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-09 16:32:06" ["post_content"]=> string(3380) "If you make the smart decision to go to college, it is paramount that you choose a career path before you get into your graduate studies. Sure, undergraduate classes can be used to earn just about any type of degree, but you want to make sure your graduate studies are leading you down a preferred occupational path. Your studies are going to cost a lot of money, making it all the more important to be smart with the money you borrow. Let's take a look at common career paths, how long they take to enter into, and the average starting pay:

2-Year Degrees

4-Year Degrees

As you can see from the lists above, some 4-year degrees are simply not worth the time and money they take to earn. Take for example the time it takes to become an information systems manager. You are going to spend about four years earning your degree and spend twice the money it takes to earn a degree to become a radiology tech. Still yet, though, the average entry-level pay for both of these careers is about the same. With of the above said in mind, you should always ask yourself the following questions to help ensure you are earning a degree that is worth the money and time invested: Student Loan vs Entry level Pay r1_170906  

Additional Resources:

  1. http://studentloanreport.org/student-loan-guide-2017/
  2. http://studentloanreport.org/student-loan-debt-vs-entry-level-pay/
  3. http://studentloanreport.org/student-loan-refinance-companies-review/
  4. http://studentloanreport.org/student-loan-refinancing-guide/
  5. http://studentloanreport.org/grants-loans-college-students/
  6. http://studentloanreport.org/student-loan-crisis-numbers/
" ["post_title"]=> string(49) "Was It Worth It: Student Loan Vs. Entry Level Pay" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(28) "student-loan-entry-level-pay" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-12-01 19:50:57" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-12-01 19:50:57" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(35) "http://studentloanreport.org/?p=350" ["menu_order"]=> int(4) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#665 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(343) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-09-20 10:45:24" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-20 10:45:24" ["post_content"]=> string(4624) "When it comes to education, a lot of people believe the grass is always greener on the other side, with the other side being the United States. What they fail to realize, though, is that there are many disadvantages to education in the United States. From high tuition costs to an insurmountable of student loans, the United States is a leader in educational debt. When students go to school in the United States, they can expect to pay about $8,700 a year for their tuition when attending a public, 4-year university. If they are attending a private, 4- year university, tuition costs often exceed more than $32,000 a year. That's a lot of money! And in the United States, tuition has increased by an astonishing 63 percent during the decade of 2006 to 2016. It's looking like Switzerland and Norway are the places to go! As far as education and average income, Switzerland and Norway definitely have their advantages. Both have an average annual per capita income of more than $80,000, and best of all, their tuition costs per year are less than $5,000 a year. Other countries that have developed an advantageous education rate and per capita income include Australia and Denmark. You think it's bad now? The United States currently has more than $1.31 trillion in student loan debt. And if you think that is bad now, wait until 10 years from now. Tuition costs are on the rise, meaning student loan debt is going to increase as well. There are more than 44 million people in the United States who currently have student debt, with the average debt per student who graduated in 2016 is near $40,000. Some students owe more than $200,000 and more than 8 million owe close to $50,000. When compared to other countries, the United States definitely has a disadvantage. In the UK, students have an average student debt of $30,800. Students graduating in Canada have an average student debt of $20,000, and in Germany, the average debt is only $2,400. As you can see, students in the United States are graduating with far more student debt than any other country in the world. If you are wanting to save on tuition costs, you very well may want to consider going to a school outside of the United States. And you can rest assured there are many higher-education universities all across the globe that provide an excellent education at affordable tuition costs. Even better is that when studying abroad you can still apply for U.S. aid programs. It's time to experience a new culture! It's time to get your education at an affordable cost by studying abroad. Cost of college around the world
" ["post_title"]=> string(50) "The Cost of College Around The World [Infographic]" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(41) "college-cost-around-the-world-infographic" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-11-14 20:01:57" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-11-14 20:01:57" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(35) "http://studentloanreport.org/?p=343" ["menu_order"]=> int(5) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } } ["post_count"]=> int(4) ["current_post"]=> int(-1) ["in_the_loop"]=> bool(false) ["post"]=> object(WP_Post)#613 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(386) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "2" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-12-12 17:20:02" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-12-12 17:20:02" ["post_content"]=> string(7308) "Student loan debt can be incredibly burdensome. From losing sleep at night to increased anxiety, studies are showing that this form of debt can be detrimental to a borrower's mental health.  Are you one of these people? Are you looking for a way to reduce your student loan repayments? If so, you should consider student loan consolidation. This form of refinancing can lead to an array of benefits, including reduced payments, and possibly, a decrease in your overall repayment term. What you need to consider, though, is whether or not consolidating your loans will hurt or help your credit. For some of you, the health of your credit may not even be a factor in helping you choose whether or not to consolidate. Sometimes, consolidating is the only option that will provide some type of debt relief and it's worth hurting your credit. Still, for those who are wondering if consolidating is the best choice, here's a quick look at a few student loan statistics, an inside glimpse at how consolidating affects your credit, as well as a how-to guide for refinancing them.

Student Loan Debt Statistics

As of the third quarter in 2017, there were 6.5 million student loan borrowers who were still in school; their debt totaled $120.9 billion. 1.7 million borrowers had loans in a grace period, with their debt totaling nearly $42 billion. 18.3 million borrowers were in the repayment phase of their loans and 3.5 million had a deferment on their loans. 2.7 million had one or more loan forbearances and an astonishing 6.5 million were in default on their student loans. If you are having trouble repaying your student loans, these statistics go to show that you aren't alone. Here's a look at statistics for borrowers and their repayment plans:

When Student Loan Consolidation Makes Sense (and when it doesn't)

It is very important for you to understand that student loan consolidation is not a one-size-fits-all solution for all borrowers. The type of loans you have and their interest rates will play a large role in whether or not it is financially wise to consolidate them. And for many borrowers, consolidation simply isn't the best choice. Fortunately, we've broken down three scenarios in which consolidation does make sense and two scenarios when it doesn't. Continue reading to see which scenario applies to you.

Scenario 1: You got your loans with a cosigner

When a friend or loved one cosigned for your student loans, the reality is that they took on the responsibility of repaying the loans in the event that you can't. In fact, if you miss only a single payment, this can negatively affect the cosigner's credit. If you feel at any time that you are going to have difficulty repaying your loans, you should speak with your cosigner about having the loans consolidated. He or she will probably be more than happy to be released from their responsibility to keep the payments up to date.

Scenario 2: You borrowed money through private loans

When compared to federal student loans, private loans tend to have much higher interest rates. These loans also come with less-forgiving repayment terms. And for those who opted for a private student loan with a variable interest rate, it's not uncommon to see it jump as high as nine percent. Because of this, most people with private student loans will benefit from consolidating them. Not only can consolidating them reduce the monthly repayment amounts, but also the length of time you are in repayment.

Scenario 3: Your loans have a high-interest rate

Regardless of the type of loans you took out to pay for your schooling, if they have a high-interest rate, it will be in your favor to consolidate them. Some refinancing lenders can hook you up with a consolidation loan that comes with an interest rate as low as 3.25 percent. Over the time period of repaying your loan, a lower interest rate can save you several thousand dollars.

Scenario 4: You are seeking repayment amounts based on your income

If you took out federal student loans to pay for your schooling, you can apply for an income-based repayment plan. In doing this, your repayment term is normally more than 10 years, however, this decreases your monthly payment amount. Unfortunately, if you are in need of this type of repayment -- one that scales according to your income -- then consolidating your loans will likely not be a wise choice.

Scenario 5: You are seeking student loan forgiveness

Federal student loans often qualify for loan forgiveness if you work for a non-profit or governmental agency. To qualify for loan forgiveness, you will need to make 120 months of qualifying payments; that's 10 years of payments. If you consolidate your loans, though, you will no longer be eligible for student loan forgiveness.

How-to-Guide for Student Loan Consolidation

There are two primary types of student loan consolidation. It is important to understand how these two options work. If you have federal student loans, you may qualify for a federal student loan consolidation; however, this type of consolidation does not lower your interest rate or help you save money in any way. Instead, it is sometimes needed to help you qualify for certain federal repayment programs. Federal student loan consolidation can generally be completed in less than 30 minutes. You can start and complete the process entirely online on the Federal Student Aid website. The other type of consolidation is private consolidation, which requires you to go through a private lender. You will need a good credit score to qualify for a private lender loan consolidation and because you may be able to lower your interest rate, this will help you save money. To consolidate student loans through a private lender, you will first want to compare various lender rates and choose the lender that best meets your needs." ["post_title"]=> string(61) "Student Loan Consolidation: Does it Hurt or Help Your Credit?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(43) "student-loan-consolidation-hurt-help-credit" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-12-12 17:23:08" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-12-12 17:23:08" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(35) "http://studentloanreport.org/?p=386" ["menu_order"]=> int(2) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } ["comment_count"]=> int(0) ["current_comment"]=> int(-1) ["found_posts"]=> string(2) "17" ["max_num_pages"]=> float(5) ["max_num_comment_pages"]=> int(0) ["is_single"]=> bool(false) ["is_preview"]=> bool(false) ["is_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_archive"]=> bool(true) ["is_date"]=> bool(false) ["is_year"]=> bool(false) ["is_month"]=> bool(false) ["is_day"]=> bool(false) ["is_time"]=> bool(false) ["is_author"]=> bool(false) ["is_category"]=> bool(true) ["is_tag"]=> bool(false) ["is_tax"]=> bool(false) ["is_search"]=> bool(false) ["is_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_comment_feed"]=> bool(false) ["is_trackback"]=> bool(false) ["is_home"]=> bool(false) ["is_404"]=> bool(false) ["is_embed"]=> bool(false) ["is_paged"]=> bool(false) ["is_admin"]=> bool(false) ["is_attachment"]=> bool(false) ["is_singular"]=> bool(false) ["is_robots"]=> bool(false) ["is_posts_page"]=> bool(false) ["is_post_type_archive"]=> bool(false) ["query_vars_hash":"WP_Query":private]=> string(32) "0fddf4e47252813ac61beaf97db9b6e4" ["query_vars_changed":"WP_Query":private]=> bool(true) ["thumbnails_cached"]=> bool(false) ["stopwords":"WP_Query":private]=> NULL ["compat_fields":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(15) "query_vars_hash" [1]=> string(18) "query_vars_changed" } ["compat_methods":"WP_Query":private]=> array(2) { [0]=> string(16) "init_query_flags" [1]=> string(15) "parse_tax_query" } }

Preparing for Graduation: Repaying Your Student Loans

Articles

Currently, there is a feasible repayment option for everyone, regardless of your current income. Sometimes it can be hard to get a job right after school, but the worst thing you can possibly do is cut off contact with your loan provider once you graduate. Most people have the option to apply for a $0 a month repayment plan if unemployed. Remaining in close contact with your provider will keep your loans out of default even if you cannot make an immediate payment.

The Standard Repayment Plan

When you complete exit counseling upon graduation, or drop below full time, you will be prompted to choose a repayment plan. If you do not take initiative and choose one that fits your income, the Standard Plan will be applied to your account. If you accidentally let this happen, you may choose another repayment plan by filling out an application for the one of your choice. The Standard Plan is the default repayment plan for all Direct and FFEL loans. In this plan your payments are fixed, meaning that they stay the same. The payments must be at least $50 a month and will last from 10-30 years.

The Graduated Repayment Plan

This plan works a little differently between loans that are consolidated and loans that are not. For loans that are not consolidated, your monthly payments will start low and gradually increase every two years, and those payments will be made for up to 10 years. The monthly payment is not allowed to be less than the amount of interest accruing, and it is not allowed to be greater than three times any other loan payment that you have. Loans paid under the Graduated Repayment Plan that have been consolidated work a little differently. Your payments will still start out low and raise every two years, but the repayment period will be up to 30 years, depending on the total amount of debt. Like unconsolidated loans, your payment is never to be less than the amount of interest accruing between each payment, and it is never to be more than three times any other payment.

The Extended Repayment Plan

To qualify for this plan you cannot have any outstanding balances on any loans. This plan allows the borrower an extended repayment period of up to 25 years. To qualify you must also be more than $30,000 in debt from one loan. To clarify, if you have $5,000 of debt from the FFEL program and $35,000 from the Direct program, only the Direct Loan over $30,000 will qualify for the plan.

Income-driven Repayment Plan

If your loan payments are too high compared to your income, one of the Income-driven Repayment Plans may be right for you. It is a fact that most students qualify to pay back their loans under at least one of the income-driven repayment plans. These plans were designed for working families or struggling singles in an attempt to make payments more affordable based on the size of your family and your household’s overall income.

In the news recently and up for reform are the REPAYE and PAYE Plans commonly known as the Pay as You Earn Repayment Plans. Trump is proposing to combine the two repayment plans, among other changes in interest rates and length of repayment times. Under the regulations in place now, both income driven programs require payments to equal 10% of your discretionary income. The difference is that the PAYE program has a 20 year repayment period while the REPAYE loan gives an extra 5 years to graduates for a 25 year limit. Meaning that after 25 years, you no longer have to make payments.

Other Income-driven Repayment Plans

IBR stands for Income-Based Repayment. Under this plan your payments will be 10% of your discretionary income and the payment period is 10-15 years.

ICR stands for Income-Contingent Repayment Plan. In this plan payments must always be lesser than 20% of your discretionary income, or, adjusted to your income, you would pay the amount equivalent to what you would pay on a fixed payment plan over a 12 year period. The ICR is currently the only income driven option for parents who have borrowed a PLUS loan for their children. They must first consolidate to qualify.

Income-Sensitive Repayment Plan

Your monthly payments under this plan decrease and increase based on reports of your annual income. Payments are to be made for a period of 10 years maximum.

If you aren’t sure who all of your loan providers are, you can find out at The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).

Photo by jridgewayphotography

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