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With the unemployment rate soaring toward 10 percent and the average starting salary for college graduates down 2.2 percent this year student loan borrowers - whose average debt from student loans tops $22000 - are now having an even tougher time affording their student loan payments. The good news? Starting July 1 2009 graduates with federal college loans may be able to qualify for a new government program that can reduce the monthly payments on their student loans based on their income. Income-Based Repayment for Federal Student Loans The income-based repayment program created by Congress in 2007 as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act will cap a borrowers monthly student loan payments at a percentage of her or his income when the borrowers income is at least 50 percent higher than the current federal poverty line for the borrowers family size.
In 1981 a minimum wage earner could work full time in the summer and make almost enough to cover their annual college costs leaving a small amount that they could cobble together from grants loans or work during the school year. 4. In 2005 a student earning minimum wage would have to work the entire year and devote all of that money to the cost of their education to afford 1 year of a public college or university. 5. Now think about this there are approximately 40 million people with student loan debt somewhere over the 1.2 trillion dollar mark. According to studentaid.gov seven million of those borrowers are in default that is roughly 18%. Default is defined as being 270 days delinquent on your student loan payments. Once in default the loan balances increase by 25% and are sent to collections.
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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.