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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" ["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) "2017-10-23 17:16:37" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-23 17:16:37" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(35) "http://studentloanreport.org/?p=354" ["menu_order"]=> int(1) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#616 (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(2243) "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" ["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) "2017-10-09 16:32:06" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-09 16:32:06" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(35) "http://studentloanreport.org/?p=350" ["menu_order"]=> int(2) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#614 (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(3) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#667 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(215) ["post_author"]=> string(1) "3" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2017-08-28 14:43:49" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-08-28 14:43:49" ["post_content"]=> string(5773) "What does the future of student debt hold? What changes should borrowers anticipate during the new administration? Sometimes there are no simple answers, which seems to be the case currently. It is difficult to tell fact from fiction in the current climate of information sharing. Headlines seem alarming, but the reality remains that any change happening in the Federal Student Loan legislation is minuscule and slow going. Many bipartisan bills have been introduced in the last couple of years only to be turned down later by the Senate. Our President, Donald Trump, and our new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, have been causing waves in Congress since Early January of this year.

Student Loan Crisis

The state of student debt is now being referred to as the 1.3 Trillion dollar crisis, behind only mortgage debt. Before the 2016 election, there was a push for “free college,” with Bernie Sanders, but now most time, energy, and bills are focused on legislation to shorten repayment periods, lower interest rates and consolidate the lenders into one organization instead of many. According to statistics from the New York Federal Reserve, there are more than 44 million people borrowing currently and the average student graduating now has $37,172 in student loan debt.

Changes to the Income-driven Repayment Plans

Currently, there is legislation proposed to alter the terms of repayment for some student loan repayment plans. The law has stated for some time that the debtor cannot charge payments that are more than 10% of the borrowers income, and that after paying 10% of their income for 20 years, the student loans would be forgiven. The Trump Administration has proposed new legislation that would slightly raise the amount of money being taken per month through the Income-driven Repayment plans and substantially reduce the time in which that money would be collected. Instead of the standard 10%, borrowers should expect the new rate to be 12.5% of income, or an eighth of all earnings. While this seems like a dramatic increase, and it is, simultaneously the reform would call for the repayment period to be lessened to 10-15 years instead of 20, at which time the borrower would be forgiven that debt. Trumps proposal would probably benefit both lenders and debtors in the long run, some say. In the end, debtors will likely pay less money this way. This is especially true because the term of their repayment plan would include fewer of the highest-earning years. Likewise, student loan issuing organizations will likely make a more consistent profit in the long run. It is impossible to deny that losing a full eighth of one's income will have some major effects, but the repayment period has been reduced by a full quarter. This is certainly a benefit worth considering.

Betsy DeVos

The Trump Administration and education secretary Betsy DeVos have been considering methods to consolidate and streamline the student loan process. DeVos proposed that all student loan issuing agencies be handed over to the Treasury Department. This plan included cutting funds to the Department of Education by over 50%. Needless to say, these kind of proposals have some on edge, even downright angry, resulting in a few resignations so far, including James Runcie, the head of the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid Program. This proposal was found unsuitable, and has been withdrawn, but it does have certain possible benefits. Interest rates might go down and service might improve. Some say that bringing the IRS closer to the trillion dollar business of student loans makes sense.

The Unpredictable Horizon

In April of this year DeVos,  officially withdrew two Obama-issued memorandums requiring that the government’s Federal Student Aid office do more to help borrowers manage or even discharge their loans. Some criticize DeVos for removing the memorandums, saying that it will cause many more borrows to default, though most do agree that the government spends too much money on the collection of student debt, spending over $800 million a year to collect on the $1.1 trillion in debt. Meanwhile student's applying for forgiveness under the Student Loan Forgiveness Program can expect no progress on their case anytime soon as these cases have been stalled for fear of fraud by the new administration leaving many to wonder what the future of student loans will bring. Photo by DMichael Burns" ["post_title"]=> string(33) "Tracking Student Loan Legislation" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(33) "tracking-student-loan-legislation" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2017-09-12 17:52:49" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-09-12 17:52:49" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(35) "http://studentloanreport.org/?p=215" ["menu_order"]=> int(4) ["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)#615 (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(2070) "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" ["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) "2017-10-23 17:16:37" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2017-10-23 17:16:37" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(35) "http://studentloanreport.org/?p=354" ["menu_order"]=> int(1) ["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) "16" ["max_num_pages"]=> float(4) ["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" } }

The Numbers Behind the Student Loan Crisis

Articles

Mark Twain famously said there were three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.  The numbers behind the American student loan crisis, however, certainly do not lie about its dire nature.  For the first time in history, student loan debt has grown larger than total credit card debt (itself a serious issue for millions of Americans, and not mutually exclusive to loan debt) and stands at a total of one and a half trillion dollars, give or take a few hundred billion.  Putting these numbers into context can boggle the imagination; as just one comparison, this amount of money could pay off every debt racked up in the budgets of all 50 states.  Put another way, if you could stack this debt in $1 bills, you’d reach halfway to the moon.

44 million Americans hold at least one student loan, more than the entire population of California.  With an average amount of just under $45,000 in loan debt per person, these obligations nearly amount the annual median household income (and comes in several thousand dollars higher than the median household income of poorer states like Mississippi).  Only mortgage debts are a higher financial obligation.

It’s tempting to stereotype Americans with student loan debt as millennials who took out hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans, especially when half of all student loan holders are under the age of 25.  However, excessive borrowing is not unique to the younger generation, even if they’ve been borrowing more than their parents and grandparents.  More Americans under 30 have student loan debt than any other age bracket, but nearly 3 million Americans over 60 carry student loan debt, a number that’s rising fast as more middle-aged and senior Americans look to extend the duration of their careers by going back to school.  Although the total student debt owed by those under 25 has doubled in the past decade, it has increased tenfold in the highest age bracket over that same period of time.

Extreme borrowing is not rare but is also not the majority.  Only half a million Americans have loan debt greater than $200,000 and only two million have loan debt greater than $100,000.  Nearly ten million Americans, by contrast, have loan debt of less than five thousand dollars and half of all Americans with student loan debt owe less than $25,000.

Student loans may not seem to be discriminatory, but a closer look at the number indicates that the debt load is not carried evenly.  The trend of universities admitting more and more women and fewer and fewer men ((60% of all graduates at four-year universities are now women) has resulted in women carrying larger loan obligations than men overall.  Not only are women racking up more student loan debt, accumulating about $1500 more in debt than their male counterparts, but they’re also repaying it slower: women who graduated a decade ago have paid off just 33% of their loans, compared to 44% for men.  Women take out more debt than men for several reasons: first and foremost, they’re more likely to spend all four years at university and graduate than men, who drop out earlier in larger numbers.  However, men are also more likely to drop out before they incur high student loans (for example, by going to community college before transferring to a four-year school).  Other factors that leave women on the hook for more loan debt is their higher enrollment numbers in for-profit schools and the greater likelihood that women will work and take care of children during their time as students.

Nor is debt distribution even across all ethnicities: Asian-American students take out the least amount of loans, about 70% of their first-year income, while African-American students take out an average of 101% of their first-year income.  Interestingly, Hispanics are the only ethnic demographic where men borrow about as much as women.

Where you live can matter just as much as who you are when it comes to student loans.  New Hampshire has the highest student loan debt load of any state in the nation, with each graduate holding an average of $25,000 worth of debt, due to its close proximity to high-profile and Ivy League schools in New England.  By contrast, Utah students graduate with an average of just $7,500 in debt since the state legislature caps the costs of tuition; Utah students also have the fewest number of students take out loans in the nation (just 41%).  What’s more, Utah further bucks the broader national trend because it is one of the only states in the union where the total amount of student debt is falling rather than rising.

With steep debt comes the unfortunate stories about Americans unable to pay back their obligations.  Over one in ten have loans that are either delinquent or in outright default, resulting in thirty billion dollars of total loans that are 90 days overdue, and another thirty billion that have been sent to collections agencies.

Graduate student debt looks somewhat different from total debt averages.  40% of all student loan debt is graduate debt, but unlike undergraduate debt, the largest obligations from graduate students come from science degrees, followed by education and business administration.  While graduate programs in medicine cost more than any other post-secondary education, they account for only 5% of total graduate student loan debt overall.

While federal student loans outnumber private student loans several times over, over one million Americans have loans from private lenders, and private student loan debt stands at over seven billion dollars.  Fewer students are turning to private loans, furthermore, with the total number of private student loans dropping by over 50% in the past decade at the same time that overall student debt has risen by 50%.

Here are a few resources that will help you make an informed decision when it comes to student loan,

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Articles
A Brief Guide To College Financial Aid
Was It Worth It: Student Loan Vs. Entry Level Pay
The Cost of College Around The World [Infographic]
Tracking Student Loan Legislation
Preparing for Graduation: Repaying Your Student Loans
Reports
Student Loan Debt vs. Entry Level Pay: An In-depth, Up-to-Date Overview
A Comprehensive Guide To Student Loans
A Review of Top Companies to Refinance Your Student Loans
A Comprehensive Guide to Refinancing Student Loans
9 Simple Tips for Reducing Overall Student Loan Debt
Resources
The Cost of College Around The World [Infographic]
A Comprehensive Guide To Student Loans
A Review of Top Companies to Refinance Your Student Loans
A Comprehensive Guide to Refinancing Student Loans
Preparing for Graduation: Repaying Your Student Loans
Reviews
A Review of Top Companies to Refinance Your Student Loans
Refinancing Student Loans with Sofi
LendKey Student Loan Refinancing Review
Common Bond Student Loan Refinancing Review
Laurel Road Student Loan Refinancing Review