Best Options for Arizonans Struggling With Student Loan Debts Revealed by …

August 1st, 2014 recently evaluated the student debt relief companies available to Arizonans who are struggling with student loans.

Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) August 01, 2014

Residents of Arizona that are struggling with student loan debt or even faced with the dreadful prospect of having to default on their loans have new help available in the form of student loan debt relief.

The dismal fact is that 54% of Arizona college students graduate with student loan debts average $20,299 making Arizona 47th in the nation. Arizona State students graduate owing an average of $18,615, while University of Arizona students graduate owing $22,269″.

There are, of course, several reasons why graduating students owe so much on their student loans. However, one of the primary causes is the cost of attending college. As an example of this, the total cost of attending Arizona State University in the academic year 2011-2012 was $22,916.University of Arizona students paid an average of $23,115 to attend the school for a year and the total cost of attending Arizona Northern University was$22,730.

When you couple this with Arizona’s unemployment rate of 6.8% it becomes clear why so many recent graduates are having a tough time paying back their student loans. Most people with student debt have multiple loans. When this is the case, one good option is to get a debt consolidation loan and pay them all off.

The website recently evaluated the student debt relief companies available to Arizonans and revealed what it found to be the top two – National Debt Relief and SoFi (Social Financial, Inc.). ranked National Debt Relief as its top choice in student loan debt relief for several reasons. For one thing, the company operates in a very ethical manner. As an example of this, it charges its customers nothing upfront. National Debt Relief ranks highly in customer satisfaction and has continuously maintained an A rating with the Better Business.

In describing his company’s service, spokesman Michael Smith said, “What we first do is evaluate a clients financial situation including his or her earnings outstanding debts, earning potential, educational background and more. We next go to the US Department of Educations website and review his or her loan profile. We then evaluate alternate repayment programs such as Extended Repayment, Graduated Repayment and Pay As You Earn Repayment. If we determine that one of these programs would have better terms and lower monthly payments than our clients current repayment program, we then recommend it to him or her. If our recommendation is accepted we then prepare the paperwork necessary to get our client into the new program. While people can do this themselves and for free, many elect to let the professionals at National Debt Relief do it. also liked the fact that this service is totally performance-based. If National Debt Relief is not able to find a better program than what its client currently has, it charges nothing. ranked SoFi second in student debt consolidation. This company was started by a group of business students at Stanford University that wanted to help their fellow students. While the program began at Stanford, it has expanded and is now nationwide. The way it approaches lending is commonly called peer-to-peer lending.

SoFi offers debt consolidation loans and loan refinancing services and both fixed-rate and variable-rate loans and terms of five, 10 or 15 years.

One problem with SoFi is that its loans are very inflexible. They have a fixed interest rate and a fixed term and no ability to change repayment plans. Plus, if a person lets SoFi consolidate both federal and private loans, he or she immediately loses all the benefits that come with a federal loan. This would include repayment plans based on income, and student loan forgiveness programs.

A second problem that found with SoFi is that the loans actually come from alumni of the school that the borrower is attending or attended. This means he or she must be a student in or an alumnus of a school that is part of the SoFi lending network. What this translates into is if you are not attending or are not an alumnus of one of the SoFi schools you would not be eligible for a SoFi loan. In comparison, National Debt Relief offers its services to everyone.

Portuguese post firm CTT’s profits grow on financial services

July 29th, 2014

LISBON, July 29 (Reuters) – Portugals recently privatised
postal service CTT posted a slightly higher than
expected 14 percent rise in its first-half net profit on Tuesday
as revenue in its financial services business increased by 21

Net profit rose to 36.1 million euros ($48 million),
exceeding the average of analysts forecasts of 34 million
euros. Total operating revenue rose almost 2 percent to 356.5
million euros, despite a continuing decline in regular mail
traffic that has been decelerating.

Express delivery and parcel service traffic rose almost 12
percent, but revenues in the segment still dipped 1 percent.

CTTs financial services business includes sales of savings
products such as Treasury certificates and have been on the

CTT has said it will analyse the possibility of setting up a
postal bank and take a decision in the fourth quarter. Just
before the privatisation last year the Bank of Portugal gave its
authorisation for CTT to set up banking services if shareholders
opt to do so.

CTT shares closed 2.1 percent lower at 7.54 euros before the
results were announced. Its shares debuted on the Lisbon bourse
in December after an oversubscribed stock offering at a price of
5.9 euros.
($1 = 0.7457 euros)

(Reporting By Andrei Khalip; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

Credit Score Costs in 2014: An Updated Look at FICO Pricing, Free Scores and …

July 29th, 2014

Unless you pay cash for everything, credit scores play a big role in your life. They affect your ability to obtain rental housing, take out a car loan, buy a house, and more. As a result, millions of Americans check their credit scores each year, to find out where they stand. And most of them pay a price for this insight.

Unfortunately (and perhaps unjustly), companies within the credit reporting industry charge a fee for these three-digit numbers. Which begs the question: How much do credit scores cost in 2014? Heres an updated look at FICO credit score pricing in 2014, and other developments from around the industry.

Free Scores for Borrowers Who Are Denied Financing

There are certain cases where you might be entitled to a completely free credit score, with no strings attached. For instance, if you are turned down for a loan, or offered less favorable terms as a result of your current credit situation, the lender or creditor is required to give you a free copy of your score. This was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

If a creditor turns you down for any kind of financing or credit (whether its a home loan or a Visa card), they must give you an Adverse Action notice detailing the specific reason(s) for the denial.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, If a credit score was a factor in the decision to deny you or to offer you terms less favorable than most other customers receive, the notice also will include that credit score.

Call it a consolation prize for loan denial.

2014 Credit Score Costs on $19.95 Each is the website owned by FICO (formerly the Fair Isaac Corporation), the company that developed the commonly used FICO credit score. In addition to being the developers of this particular product, they also sell it directly to consumers via their website. The current cost is $19.95 per score, according to the website.

Its worth mentioning at this point that you actually have three different scores. Thats because there are three companies that create consumer credit reports in the United States. They are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You have one FICO score based on each of those reports. Three reporting companies, three separate numbers. And dont be surprised if they are all slightly different. also sells a quarterly monitoring service that they claim will reveal changes to your credit report that can affect your score. But you can purchase the scores by themselves, if you choose.

Note: The cost and pricing information above was current as of  2014. For the most current price information available, visit

Congressional Bill Would Grant Free Scores to All, Annually

Last year, a bill was introduced in the Senate that could bring free credit scores for everyone. It is formally known as the Fair Access to Credit Scores Act of 2013, or Senate Bill 471. It was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in March 2013. At the same time, Rep. Steve Chosen (D-TN) introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

According to Sanders, credit scores affects consumers ability to finance important purchases like homes and cars everyone applying for a loan should be able to see the same information that banks rely on to judge whether a consumer is creditworthy.

If passed, this measure would require scores to be included with the free credit reports that consumers are already entitled to receive once per year.

The bill was endorsed and supported by Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy organization that publishes Consumer Reports magazine. The bill was assigned to congressional committees in both the House and Senate on March 6, 2013. Those committees will consider the bill before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole.

Of course, theres a large and powerful financial lobby that stands between the proposal and its passage. The aforementioned credit-reporting companies, for instance, regularly contribute to political campaigns on both sides of the aisle. So theres a change this bill will die on the vine. At any rate, we are tracking the free credit score initiative and will report on its progress going forward.

Do You Even Need to Check Your Credit?

All of this raises the question: Does the average consumer even need to check his or her credit scores? That depends on how you manage your finances.

Some people go their entire lives without ever seeing their scores. This is particularly true for low-ownership consumers that is, people who typically pay as they go and avoid taking on debt. These consumers follow the European model of rental housing, cash-only purchases, and very little debt accumulation. They have little need for their credit scores, free or otherwise.

But the average American will rely on financing at some point in his or her life, and probably on an ongoing basis. It might be a student loan to pay for college tuition, a mortgage to cover the cost of a home, or just a credit card for occasional purchases. For these people, credit scores become much more important. These three-digit numbers can make or break your chances of getting a loan. They also affect the amount of interest you pay on credit cards and loans. If you fall into this group, and you rely on creditors and lenders from time to time, youd be wise to keep tabs on your score. Announces the 3 Top Online Debt Relief …

July 26th, 2014

Best Debt Consolidation Loans are helping residents of Wisconsin choose the best debt consolidation company in nearest to them by putting out the top three organizations in the industry today.

Appleton, WI (PRWEB) July 19, 2014

Dealing with a huge amount of debt can be very stressful and getting out of debt even more traumatic. However, the company wants residents of Wisconsin to know that there are, in fact, honest and trustworthy companies available that could help them find debt relief.

The experts at analyzed the major online debt consolidation loan providers in order to determine which ones could be trusted to provide debt reduction and debt settlement at a reasonable cost. In evaluating these companies used six important criteria – the companys financial standing, debt solution alternatives, fees, customer service, customer satisfaction and business ethics.

Given these criteria, found that the three best online debt relief providers for residents of the Badger state are National Debt Relief, CuraDebt and American Debt Enders. And of these three companies, ranked National Debt Relief as the best option.

Wisconsin currently has an unemployment rate in excess of 6%. In addition, the states residents have an average credit card debt of $4327 per borrower. The unemployment rate means that approximately 160,000 residents of the Badger state are still unemployed and this is nearly five years after the official end of the Great Recession. When you add to this the increasing costs of basic necessities such as housing, fuel, food and health care, it becomes clear as to why many Wisconsinites are struggling with debt.

There were numerous reasons why ranked National Debt Relief as the best option available to these people. For example, found that National Debt Relief has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau due primarily to how it treats its customers. This company charges no upfront fees and has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If at any time a customer becomes dissatisfied with National Debt Relief, she or he can cancel out of the program and without being charged any fees or penalties.

National Debt Relief specializes in helping customers who owe more than $7500. Its debt counselors have excellent working relationships with all major lenders and so are almost always able to save the companys clients thousands of dollars and help them become debt free in 24 to 48 months. also ranked National Debt Relief highly because it has already helped more than 100,000 individuals and families become debt free. Plus, the company ranks number one for debt relief programs on the site In awarding this ranking, noted that National Debt Relief’s credit counselors take a thoughtful approach in developing personalized debt settlement plans, that its website is clean and friendly, and that it offers a free debt analysis. In addition, it found that National Debt Relief’s counselors are knowledgeable and friendly and that it has a high degree of customer satisfaction. In fact, most of the companys first time customers reported that they were very satisfied with National Debt Relief.

The company that was ranked as the second-best option for residents of Wisconsin that are struggling with debt is CuraDebt. This company has been in business for nearly 18 years and has helped many Americans with financial advice, debt settlement and credit negotiations. CuraDebt’s credit counselors have almost always been able to help their customers achieve debt relief because of their strong working relationships with the credit card companies. It works mostly with people who owe more than $10,000 in credit card debts but also has programs designed to help with medical debts, student loan debts, personal loans and tax debts.

Bad boyfriend brings big debt

July 25th, 2014

DEAR HARRY: I am in deep debt. I made the stupid mistake of letting my boyfriend use my credit card because he already was just about maxed-out on his. Last week, after being together for about six months, I caught him stealing from my purse, and I kicked him out. In the last month, he added about $3,200 onto my credit card. Now Im struggling to make my monthly minimums. He has refused to help. I tried to get my family to help, but they are in tight situations of their own. My father suggested that he would co-sign on a loan from his bank if it would help me. I hate to do this, but it seems the only way out. How does it sound to you?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: Debt-consolidation loans can be advantageous. First, see if you can get a loan from your bank without your fathers guarantee at an interest rate less than you have on your credit cards. This will protect your credit rating and save lots of interest. See if you also can get the payments to be less than you are paying. This is the best path to follow. If you are unable to engineer this, your fathers guarantee would be an OK second choice. Suing your ex appears to be a waste of time and effort. And, please be more careful about selecting a boyfriend and about giving your credit card to anyone.

Email Harry Gross at, or write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red-Cross.

Don’t Let Student Loan Debt Get You in Trouble

July 24th, 2014

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. — At a time when a college education has never been more important, it has never been more expensive.

In the last 30 years, the average tuition at a public four-year college has tripled, according to a White House release. Accumulating too much student loan debt can present new college graduates with overwhelming monthly payments, subjecting them to a risk of default, poor credit, and other adverse financial consequences. But knowing the options available to mitigate this risk can pay both literal and figurative dividends down the road.

To help address the issue, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum June 10 directing the secretaries of the treasury and education to take action to reduce the financial burden on those with student loan debt.

Programs already in place, such as the Income-Based Repayment and Pay As You Earn options, allow certain borrowers to cap their student loan payments at 10 percent of their income and receive loan forgiveness after 20-25 years in repayment. However, the rising cost of tuition is leaving many middle-income earners–who are ineligible for these programs–with a tremendous amount of student loan debt with unmanageable monthly payments.

The new direction from the White House gives the secretary of education until June 9, 2015, to propose regulations expanding the access to the Pay As You Earn Plan to as many as 5 million additional borrowers, according to the White House website. These regulations are to take effect by December 31, 2015, the website says. As tuition has risen much higher and quicker than income in the United States, this expansion will allow more borrowers to cap their monthly payments at 10 percent.

Eligible borrowers and loans vary by program. The Pay As You Earn program requires that you must be suffering from a partial financial hardship and covers only Direct subsidized and unsubsidized loans, Direct PLUS loans made to students, and Direct consolidation loans made to students, according to the Department of Education.

For more information about the presidents plan to expand repayment options, visit To learn about current repayment options, calculate your repayment under a particular plan, or learn how to apply for repayment under a different plan, visit

Want to Get Rid of Your Student Loans? Become a Nun!

July 24th, 2014


Want to Get Rid of Your Student Loans? Become a Nun!


How to get relief on your student loans (without paying for it)

July 23rd, 2014

Last this week, Benjamin Snyder reported in that the state of Illinois was taking on debt settlement companies targeting students looking for relief from their student loans. “Lisa Madigan, the Illinois attorney general, filed two lawsuits targeting firms that charge as much as $1,200 upfront to help students with loan repayment problems,” he wrote.

The fact that Madigan decided to forge ahead on this shines a light on the huge problem student loan debt has become. The average tab of nearly $30,000 per student (and much more for many) is so onerous that borrowers are willing to pay four-figures for relief that they could actually get themselves without paying a dime.

Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president and publisher of, a financial aid information site, notes that there’s nothing illegal about businesses charging you to do something you could do yourself for free. Tax preparers, for example, do that every day. “Where debt relief businesses sometimes cross the line is in misrepresenting the nature of the services they provide and their affiliation with the US Department of Education, he said. He also notes that accessing many of these solutions yourself is “much easier” than filing a federal tax return. That said, here are some legit routes to relief.

Choose a different repayment plan.

A standard federal student loan repayment plan lasts for 10 years. If you pay off on this schedule, you’ll pay less interest than by swapping into a different repayment plan. But if you’re struggling to make loan payments, there are other options. (Note: These apply to Federal Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loans, including the Parent PLUS Loan and Stafford Loans.) Graduated repayment – also 10 years – starts with a lower monthly payment and ratchets up every two years. Extended repayment can be established with either fixed or graduated payments and can last up to 25 years. And, if you qualify for them, the Income-Based Repayment or Pay As You Earn programs cap your monthly payments at 15% and 10% of your discretionary income respectively, then forgive any remaining debts after 25 or 20 years, respectively.

If you’re working in a helping profession that qualifies they may be forgiven after 10. You should also check with your lender to see if they have any programs you can qualify for. Sallie Mae, instance, offers a period of 12 interest-only payments to new grads who have loans in good standing, according to spokeswoman Martha Holler.

Look into consolidation

You may call your lender told you that they don’t offer Income-Based Repayment or some of the other aforementioned options. In that case, look into consolidating through the Department of Education at, although it won’t necessarily lower your payments. Your new rate is the weighted average of your current loans’ interest rates, rounded up to the nearest 1/8% (you can use this calculator). However, consolidating your loans will make your life easier, at least administratively. And it will allow you to take advantage of the aforementioned repayment plans, too. (Note: If your lender does offer the various payment plans, chances are it will offer consolidation as well. It’s fine to go that route, but remember that if just because your lender says it can’t consolidate your loan, doesn’t mean it can’t be consolidated. What it does do is send people running to consolidation companies and, again, paying good money to do things they could do themselves through It’s also important to understand consolidating is not the same thing as refinancing your loans with a private company. That may actually cost you access to some of the repayment plans.)

Work on your credit, then consolidate private loans.

Private student loans are a horse of a different color. There are, Kantrowitz says, about a half-dozen lenders that offer private consolidation loans. These are tied to your credit, however, so borrowers who are struggling are unlikely to qualify. He also notes that immediately after graduation is not the best time to consolidate. (Every year you’re in college, your credit score goes down because your credit utilization goes up). So wait a few years, pay off your credit cards and pay down your student loans and your score will start to increase. Meanwhile, work your student loans like a credit card avalanche. Target the one with the highest interest rate for immediate repayment. Throw all of your extra cash against that, then move onto the next highest and so on. Eventually, you’ll get out from under.

Steven Goldstein contributed to this report.

Spectra Group to bring 250 financial-services jobs to Charlotte

July 22nd, 2014

Spectra Group Inc., a financial-services technology consulting company, plans to bring 250 jobs to Charlotte.

Weve learned Gov. Pat McCrory will make the announcement today at a 3 pm news conference at the Charlotte Chamber. Our sister publication, the Triangle Business Journal, broke the news this morning when it reported NC Department of Commerce officials had approved up to $2.9 million in incentives for the firm.

Spectra Group is a Princeton, NJ-based consulting firm that specializes in financial-services work. The company intends to open a finance center in Charlotte with 250 jobs paying average annual wages of $84,996.

Check back later today for updates from the press conference.

Adam ODaniel covers banking, entrepreneurs and technology for the Charlotte Business Journal.

Three Best Debt Consolidation Loan Companies for Residents of Wyoming …

July 22nd, 2014

The top three debt consolidation companies for Wyoming residents shared by Best Debt Consolidation Loans.

Cheyenne, WY (PRWEB) July 22, 2014

Residents of Wyoming that are struggling with debt or even facing the bleak prospect of having to file for bankruptcy now have honest, trustworthy help available.

The company recently analyzed the online debt consolidation loan companies available to residents of Wyoming. The goal of this study was to identify those online debt relief providers that could be trusted to provide good, cost-effective solutions. The study focused on six criteria as follows – debt solution alternatives, customer satisfaction, customer service, fees, financial standing and business ethics.

A spokesperson for pointed out that there are numerous debt consolidation loan companies on the Internet but not all of them are honest and ethical. In fact, as he noted, “There are those that are downright swindlers. These are companies that charge huge upfront fees, fail to deliver on their promises and then close up, taking their customers money with them. Given this we felt it was important to determine which debt consolidation loan companies were honest and ethical and could be trusted to deliver on their promises. We did find that, in fact, there are such companies and that the three best are National Debt Relief, CuraDebt and American Debt Enders.”

Residents of Wyoming have a median household income of just $47,660. This compares – unfavorably – with the nations median household income of $51,017. In addition, Wyoming residents have an average credit card debt of $4789 per borrower. When you add this to the always-increasing costs of food, housing, fuel and health care, it becomes easy to see why many of the states residents are struggling with debt.

In analyzing online debt relief companies, determined that the best option for debt-saddled Wyoming residents is National Debt Relief. It found that National Debt Relief is a very honest and ethical company. As an example of this, National Debt Relief has no upfront fees and, in fact, charges nothing until it has settled its customers’ debts to their satisfaction and they have signed off on their payment plans. National Debt Relief also scored well in customer satisfaction as most of its first-time customers reported that they were very satisfied with the company and its services.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) awarded National Debt Relief an A rating due largely to the way it treats its customers. Membership in the BBB alone is an honor and not every business qualifies. Not only is National Debt Relief a member but maintains a rating with the BBB that is just one point below the Bureaus maximum rating.

National Debt Relief also scores highly in the area of debt solution alternatives because it does not offer a one-size-fits-all program. Instead, its debt counselors tailor their programs to fit the needs of their individual customers, most of whom owe $7500 or more. These counselors have strong relationships with all the major lenders, which enable them to typically save their customers thousands of dollars and help them become debt free in 24 to 48 months. For that matter, National Debt Relief has already helped more than 100,000 individuals and families achieve freedom from their debts. ranked the company CuraDebt as the second-best option for Wyoming residents facing big debt. The reason for this was largely because this companys debt counselors can help with credit negotiations, debt settlements and financial advice. They have excellent working relationships with the credit card companies and are almost always able to deliver on the promises they make to their customers. CuraDebt’s counselors can not only help customers with their credit card debts but also with medical debts, personal loans, tax debts and student loan debt consolidation.