The Timing of Certain Financial Decisions Can Hurt Students’ Eligibility for Assistance
Most families know the basics of college financial aid: Several months before school starts, students apply for assistance, parents detail their financial situations, and then everybody waits for the powers that be to tab the bill.
What many don’t know—or at least, don’t realize until it’s too late—is that the timing of certain financial decisions made well before and even during college can significantly alter a student’s eligibility for aid from both the federal government and the university itself. This has been quite an eye opener for several families. Read more
How old will you be when you finally pay off your student debts?
Rosemary Anderson, from Watsonville, California, took out two student loans in her thirties when she earned her bachelor’s degree, and her master’s, totalling $64,000. She has worked at least one job most of her life, in addition to raising her two children.
But after health complications from lupus, and expenses from a divorce, Anderson, 57, fell behind on her payments eight years ago. With compound interest, the loans have ballooned to $126,000. With payments of $526 a month, she will be 81, she estimates, when she pays it down.
A growing percentage of aging Americans struggle to pay back their student debt. Tens of thousands of them even see their Social Security benefits garnished when they cannot do so. Read more
Private College Loans Can Be Cheaper Than Federal Loans
Many students and families have substantial college debt by the time of graduation. For many of those families, private college loans are much cheaper than federal student loans now—a reversal from as recently as one year ago. While the federal government has increased interest rates on its loans for the 2014-15 academic year, most private lenders have kept their rates steady for parents with high credit scores.
Interest rates on new federal Plus loans—which are often taken out by parents—have recently risen. Every borrower gets the same rate regardless of his or her credit score. Read more