Americans’ Financial Regrets

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Do you have any regrets in life? You’ve probably done a few things you wish you hadn’t, like adding sour milk to your coffee or washing your new red sweater with your good white shirts.

Those regrets can be painful, but the effects are short-lived. Financial regrets can have longer-lasting consequences – and, according to a recent survey from Student Loan Hero, 76% of Americans have some form of financial regret.

Most financial regrets come from the same basic principle – spending too much money instead of saving it.

In the past year, not saving enough was the top regret of 46% of survey respondents. Half of respondents regretted not saving more for retirement, and just over one-third would contribute some of their spending to a 401(k) plan or IRA if they c…

5 Ways To Have Your Student Loans Forgiven

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Does your student loan situation look hopeless? Don’t give up hope yet. Consider these alternative repayment programs that can provide manageable loan payments and lead to forgiveness of a portion of your loan in exchange for some form of service.

1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program – As it stands, the PSLF program allows those working in government organizations and certain non-profit organizations to achieve loan forgiveness. To qualify for forgiveness, borrowers must make ten years of qualifying payments under one of the income-driven repayment (IDR) programs offered by the Department of Education. These programs are popular with certain professions like police/fire department employees and public defenders where collegiate expenses aren’t in line with the pay provided by a public service position.

The 201…

Employers Offer to Help Pay Student Loans

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It’s not uncommon for companies to help with tuition payments for their employees who are continuing their education, especially if they are working toward a professional degree that will help them in their job or with future advancements in the firm. Such a program can be a great recruiting tool.

Unfortunately, these programs do not help a company’s recent hires who have already absorbed huge student loan debts on the way to graduation. Gradifi, a start-up technology company based in Boston, has addressed this problem by setting up a platform that allows employers to make direct contributions toward their employees’ student loan debts in a secure fashion. Tim DeMello, Founder and CEO of Gradifi and a trustee at nearby Babson College, got the idea for Gradifi in 2014, after a presentation at Babson showing the incredible increases in student debt.

Gradifi’s first high-profile client was the massive accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), whic…

Income Share Agreements

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America’s total student loan balance has topped $1.5 trillion, according to recent Federal Reserve data. Default rates on student loans are at 11%. While the job market has improved for recent graduates, many are struggling with excessive debt (over $39,000 at graduation on average) and entry-level jobs that make repayment difficult.

Enter an alternative approach to paying for college – the Income Share Agreement (ISA). Schools that offer an ISA program provide the funding to get your degree in return for a percentage of your post-graduation income over a set number of years. In essence, the school is investing in you and expecting that return to pay off in a direct income stream – bypassing the student loan system entirely.

The repayment percentage varies depending on the chosen major/profession and starting salaries, following the advice of Adam Carroll, Founder …

Is Trump Making It Easier To Get Out From Student Loan Debt?

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According to the G.19 Consumer Credit Report recently released by the Federal Reserve, America’s total student loan debt has topped $1.5 billion – and we are having trouble paying off that debt. At of the end of 2017, a whopping 11% of student loans were either ninety days delinquent or in default.

The Department of Education offers several avenues to help federal student loan borrowers deal with their debt. Options include income based-repayment plans that scale payments to discretionary income, consolidation loans that can lower monthly payments by extending terms, Public Service Loan Forgiveness programs, deferment, and forbearance. Borrowers with private loans have fewer options outside of r…

Top 5 Student Debt Warnings

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As a nation, America’s student debt load is reaching crisis proportions. The New York Federal Reserve puts the total student loan debt at over $1.52 trillion, with the delinquency rate over 11%.

Is your personal student loan situation nearing a similar crisis? Consider these five warning signs to assess whether you are handling your student loans responsibly or are on the road to potential default.

1. Apathy/Denial

This may be the most dangerous sign of all – refusing to realize the consequences of defaulting on a student loan. Adam Carroll, Founder and Chief Education Officer of National Financial Educators, likens student loans to “the worst weed to have in your yard because if it goes unchecked, it will grow to massive proportions.”

You can’t just wave a magic wand and make your student loan debt go away, nor can you pretend there aren’t serious con…

4 Out Of 5 Young Borrowers Blame Student Loan Debt For Not Owning A Home

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A student loan can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. It can lead to an advanced degree that leads to a better job with higher pay and superior benefits. It can also be a millstone of debt keeping you from fulfilling other life goals – such as owning a home.

A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows how pervasive the effects of student loans can be. According to the survey, 83% of millennials (age 22-35) who don’t currently own a home blame the delay on student loan burdens. The average delay in purchasing a home is seven years. Federal Reserve data shows that for every 10% increase in student loan debt, the odds of successful home ownership in the first five years beyond school drops by 1 to 2 percentage points. Given the $1.52 trillion total student loan debt reported b…

Jumbo Student Loans Increasing

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“Jumbo shrimp” sounds contradictory but can be quite enjoyable. “Jumbo debt”? Not so much, especially for students.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with large student loans, and historically the default rate has been low on such loans. People who borrow large sums of money usually go for advanced degrees that translate into higher salaries. However, a February 2018 study by the Brookings Institution found that large-balance student loan borrowers have increased dramatically in recent years – and the typical profile for such borrowers has changed.

In 1992, only 2% of student loan borrowers owed over $50,000 upon leaving school. In 2014, that number rose to 17%. Just over half of total student loan debt is held by this small percentage of large-balance borrowers.

Default rates are low in this group (typically around 4%), but the consequences are large. Student loan borrowers with balances over $50,000 account for almost 30% of defaulted student …

The Geography Of Student Loan Debt

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America’s outstanding student loan debt reached $1.52 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, according to information from the New York Fed. Have you ever wondered whether a significant amount of that debt is located in your city – or even in your zip code? Wonder no more.

The Mapping Student Debt Project at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth used extensive data from Experian and the annual American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau to create a color-coded interactive student loan debt map. Map filters allow you to display color-coded average student loan balances, delinquency rates, and median incomes for more than 41,000 zip codes in America.

You can hover the cursor over a particular zip code to find information on the average student loan balance and delinquency rate for that zip code, as well as the median income. Racial demographics …