Monday, August 31, 2009

The Student Loan Crunch - Cause For Concern

College families don't need anyone to tell them that college costs are soaring. According to The College Board, the average cost of a private four-year college is now $25,143 per year. In response, more and more families are taking out student loans to pay for college education. But due to the current recession, as demand increases the supply of loans may be decreasing.

A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) confirmed that many student financial aid administrators are concerned about access to the student loans. More than half surveyed say that the government's response to the recent credit crunch has been inadequate, and that the recently enacted Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act (ECASLA) does not fully address the growing problem of access to student loans.

Parents may find that while ECASLA temporarily eases student loan availability, longer-term solutions are needed. There are provisions in ECASLA that may encourage students and their families to sign with multiple loan providers, but parents and students are rightfully reluctant to simply take out more loans and be saddled with burdensome loan repayment obligations.

Financial aid officers are using creative methods to help families affected by the student loan crunch. But colleges and universities may not have all the answers; only one-quarter of financial aid offices have backup plans to make up for any shortfall in federal or private loans. At the time of the survey, only twenty percent said they would have a backup plan in place for the academic year 2008-2009.

Preferred Lender Lists: Phased Out?

To make it easier for students to identify reliable lenders, schools have traditionally maintained a Preferred Lender List (PLL) . Many schools that maintain PLLs provide a link to an outside website that offers a list of lenders or student loan comparison tools. But because some new federal and state laws and regulations make the lists too difficult to maintain, or expose the school to legal risk, in the past year there has been a sharp increase in the number of schools dropping the list.

Another big concern for college families is that student loan providers, spurred by the tightening credit market, increasingly are engaged in seemingly discriminatory lending practices. Some of the largest Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) lenders recently announced that they will no longer lend to some career schools, community colleges, and private schools that have either students with higher default rates, or (paradoxically) students with lower-than-average loan amounts.

According to college financial officers, the problem is widespread and lenders don't even try to hide it. More than half of the financial aid officers stated that a FFELP lender had notified them that students at their institution could no longer take out loans with the company, even though students at other institutions would still be serviced. Not surprisingly, low- and moderate-income students are the most impacted by these discriminatory lending practices

Federal protection may be required. Most survey respondents said Congress should pass legislation mandating that student loan providers grant federal loans to all qualified students, regardless of the institution attended.

College families are encouraged to compare colleges and financial aid packages to find the most advantageous deal, and to seek professional advice in negotiating the maze of financial plans available in the marketplace.

By Thomas A. Hauck

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Unsecured Debt - Student Loan With No Collateral?

Different Lenders Different Needs

Securing a good quality education is not within the reach of those who are not financially secure. This is the reason why students often opt for student debts to pay for all expenses involved in their education. Different lenders provide different loans that can be used to meet different needs. However, students rarely have any asset which can be provided as a bilateral.

Check Your Choices

It is incorrect to say that unsecured debt is not a reliable source of funds for one's education. There is a lot of choice available as far as unsecured debt for students is concerned. These can include scholarships, grants, federal and private loans. These loans can be used to fund the education and must be repaid after graduating from college. You need not pay before that period. If you check the internet and the departments for financial aid at colleges, you can have data on this aspect.

And What Are The Advantages?

If you want to reduce the burden of student debts on your finances, you can opt for consolidation of your student loan or refinancing of the student loan. There are many advantages associated with student loan consolidation. Your interest rate comes down along with your monthly payments.

A Way to Revitalize Your Finances Fast

This is more than sufficient to revitalize your finances. You can quickly bring down the number of creditors and keep track of payments without any difficulty. Nothing can be more confusing than dealing with numerous creditors at once.

By Michael Clifford Ramsey

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Get the Best Student Loan For College

Entering college proves to be a tough situation. Aside from thinking about passing entrance exams and interviews, there is the problem about money. Money is the most common concern faced by parents whose child is about to enter college. This is why student loans are provided either by private companies or by the U.S. Government.

A lot of parents and students are taking advantage of this because education is one of the important factors to get hired for a job. There are three widely used student loans which are Federal Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loans and lastly Federal PLUS Loans. But there are also other loans that you can choose from if you opt not to use this ones.

The Federal Stafford loans has two kinds which are subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The subsidized loan is granted for those who really need it. You are not required to pay for the interest while you are still in school or in half-time. You are also given six months of grace period after graduation before you are asked to pay back the loan. This gives you an ample time to save money to pay for the loan. On the other hand, unsubsidized loans can be claimed by qualified students regardless of their families income. This is usually chosen when the subsidized loan is limited.

The Federal Perkins loans has a lower interest of 5%. This is granted to undergraduate and graduate studens who are in dire need of financial assistance. There are several criteria that must be met for this loan to be granted to a student. Income or credit checks may be conducted as part of evaluation.

And finally, the Federal PLUS loans are granted to parents who have a child who is about to attend college. The parents can now pay for their child's college expenses in full. Though, the financial standing of the parents are not required, a credit check is still conducted.

With these kinds of programs, anyone is now able to go to college without having to think of the money to pay for college. Students and parents should know this kinds of programs to help them financially for better education.

By Crystal Jennings

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Brief Intro of Student Loan Consolidation

Many University or College students find themselves in a tough position because they cannot pay their loans and other outstanding loans with interest rates. A student loan consolidation allows you to incorporate everything into one single loan with only a single monthly payment. The rate is an average interest rate of your flexible loan rates. There are many advantages of obtaining a consolidation, such as allowing you to pay only one monthly payment at a lower amount for a longer time. Depending on your loan, student loan consolidation can be repaid up to 20 or 30 years.

It is important to know what types of loans are eligible for a consolidation. Here are some examples that are eligible: subsidized/unsubsidized federal student loans, federal direct lending student loans, federally insured loans for students, Federal supplementary loans for students and students' loan for health education assistance. These are only a few of the options, there are many more available. If you want to find out what other loans can be added to your student loan consolidation you should contact the Direct Loan Origination Center's Consolidation Department. If you took a loan from FFEL (Federal Family Education Loan) program, you should contact a FFEL lender for more information

A helpful fact you should take note of is that student loan consolidation can be obtained even after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. For undergraduates, half-time enrollment is generally 6 credits. For graduates, half-time enrollments are 3 credits. You can even obtain a student loan consolidation when you are in school. However, to be eligible for a student loan consolidation during school, you must currently have at least a FFEL loan or one Direct Loan during the school period.

You must also follow a few financial criteria in order to be eligible for a consolidation. Forbearance and deferment on all loans are actually being consolidated only if you are in a grace period. Your payment schedule must be on time or satisfactory with your defaulted loan holder and finally, you must agree on an income sensitive payment arrangement on consolidation of your loans.

By Elgin Still

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