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Student Loans and Credit Reports

With all the recent press about credit reporting company Equifax's major data breach, now's a good time to discuss the intersection of student loans and credit reports. It's not uncommon to have questions about how student loans affect credit, so lets sort the myths from the facts. What Shows on a . . .
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Student Loan Bill of Rights

On March 10, 2015, President Obama introduced the Student Aid Bill of Rights; another executive action to deal with student loan debt. Read the official Memorandum. Let's take a look at some of the details. State-of-the-Art Complaint and Feedback System The President is requesting a "simple . . .
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IBR, ICR, PAYE, and IBR. Wait, what?

Dealing with Federal loans means understanding industrial acronyms. But what do you do when the same acronym means different things - or multiple acronyms mean almost the same thing. Does a letter really make a difference? You bet it does! Today we'll discuss income driven plans - repayment based . . .
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What You Don’t Know About Student Loans Can Really Hurt!

IBR, ICR, and PAYE – the income driven repayment plans: These three plans, Income Based Repayment (IBR), Income Contingent Repayment (ICR), and Pay As You Earn (PAYE), are all based on your income. That means low income earners, or those on social security, can qualify for an exceptionally low . . .
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Treating Servicers like Potty-Training Toddlers

This past weekend, I attended the Consumer Rights Litigation Conference put on by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). The opening speech was by Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin. It was a fabulous speech about my favorite topic - student loans. Understand that the NCLC conference . . .
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Bankruptcy is not the answer…or is it?

When it comes to student loans, bankruptcy tends to be useless. But not always. Sometimes it can help. Sometimes it can hurt. Let's take a deeper look. Bankruptcy Helps If you have a federal student loan with a wage garnishment or social security offset, a bankruptcy can offer protection. Once a . . .
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Student Loans and Military Personal

Yesterday was Memorial Day, so it is only proper that I discuss protections from student loans for those who serve our country. SCRA The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act has many provisions that apply to many other debts besides student loans.  The important one here is the interest rate cap.  All . . .
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Dear ED: Clarify Undue Hardship

On May 16, 2014, seven Congressmen/women sent a letter to Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, asking for clarification of "Undue Hardship" to allow Federal student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy.  The signers of the letter were Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Elizabeth . . .
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“Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act” in Plain English

Yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced legislation aimed to help level the playing field for student loan borrowers.  The main goal is to lower interest rates on ALL student loans (Fed and Private) to a fixed amount for the duration of the loan term.  The theory being that if interest . . .
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What Happens to your Student Loans when you file Bankruptcy

If you've read anything on the internet about student loans, you know bankruptcy probably can't help you. Discharging student loan debt through bankruptcy is not impossible, but it is difficult, for two reasons: 1) The test is draconian with no objective standard, and 2) It is often cost . . .
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