Pay Off Student Loans Or Invest
10. After 25 years of repayment the remaining balance was forgiven. In 1996 the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 allowed Social Security benefit payments to be offset to repay defaulted federal education loans. 11. In 1998 the Higher Education Amendments of 1998 struck the provision allowing education loans to be discharged after 7 years in repayment. 12. In 2001 the US Department of Education began offsetting up to 15% of social security disability and retirement benefits to repay defaulted federal education loans. In 2005 "the law change" as we call it in the Bankruptcy field further narrowed the exception to discharge to include most private student loans. Since private student loans were given protection from discharge in bankruptcy there has been no reduction in the cost of those loans.
Under current credit criteria most students who typically have little or no established credit history will require a co-signer in order to qualify for a private student loan. Typically a co-signer is a relative who agrees to pay the balance of any co-signed loans if the student fails to repay the loan although a family relationship is not a requirement. A student may have an unrelated co-signer. Federal Student Loans vs. Private Student Loans Government-backed federal student loans come with certain payment-deferment and loan-forgiveness benefits. Borrowers who are having difficulty making their monthly loan payments may be eligible for up to three years of payment deferment due to economic hardship along with an additional three years of forbearance during which interest continues to accrue but no payments would be due.
Most Popular This Week
But Brazos once again suspended its education lending program late last month citing continued turmoil in the student loan industry. Brazos Executive Vice President Ellis Tredway said his organization simply "ran out of time to get everything in place" to issue new student loans for the fall. The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority which issued more than $500 million in college loans to 40000 Massachusetts college students and their families last year had already suspended its federal student loan program in April. Now MEFA has also pulled the plug on its non-federal private loan program which provided Massachusetts students with fixed-rate private student loans. "While we continue to pursue every possible option raising the necessary funds to offer fixed-interest rate private education loans is taking longer than originally projected and has become even more challenging" said Tom Graf MEFAs executive director. Students Face the Uncertainty of Switching Lenders With over 8 million students and parents having turned to federal college loans in 2006-07 according to the College Board the number or families that stand to be affected by the ongoing wave of lender departures this year is not unsubstantial.
Borrowers who are employed full-time in qualifying jobs in the public service sector may have their remaining student loan debt forgiven after just 10 years in the income-based repayment program and this forgiveness would be tax-free thanks to a ruling from the U.S. Treasury last year. Qualifying for Income-Based Repayment To find out if you qualify for income-based repayment on your federal college loans youll need to contact your lender and provide information about your financial situation - youll need to demonstrate "partial financial hardship" as defined by federal regulations. Only federal Stafford and Grad PLUS student loans in good standing along with consolidations of these college loans are eligible for income-based repayment. Federal Perkins loans are eligible only if theyve been included in a federal student loan consolidation.