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

July 23rd, 2014

Last this week, Benjamin Snyder reported in Fortune.com 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 Edvisors.com, 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 studentloans.gov, 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 Studentloans.gov. 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 BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org 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 BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org 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, BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org 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.

BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org 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.

How This Great American Dream Is Turning Scam

July 19th, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently reported, among many other disturbing facts about student loans, that more than 7 million Americans have defaulted on over $100 billion of student loan obligations. The CFPB is now seeing tens of thousands more (defaults) every month.

Desperate students and parents who want to clean up their outstanding debts are increasingly turning to debt-help companies that are advertising day and night, just like mortgage-forgiveness outfits did during and after the mortgage crisis.

Way too many of them are scams.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is doing something about it. Too bad shes the only AG I see going after these scammers. Shes filing suit today against two outfits that ply their rotten tactics in her state.

One outfit, First American Tax Defense, advertised an Obama Forgiveness Program, supposedly just passed by Congress. Of course, there is no Obama Forgiveness Program. Theres only the presidents request for $3.7 billion to house illegal immigrant kids and help educate them… but I digress.

Another outfit, Broadsword Student Advantage, takes up-front money for its help program and charges an ongoing $49.99 a month and does virtually nothing.

The Federal Trade Commission received 204,644 complaints about student loan debt forgiveness and debt-help scams in 2013. Its an epidemic.

So, I have to ask: Doesnt this remind you of something?

Doesnt our system of higher education increasingly look like nothing but indebtedness and more pain? And doesnt it increasingly look like another great American scam?

Editors Note: The public narrative has always boxed in debate on topics considered sacred cows above questioning. Higher education, despite its track record of rampant, mismanaged costs and weak institutional oversight, is certainly one. Shah regularly tackles topics that are all the more dangerous for their implied insulation from public scrutiny.

To get all of Shahs latest updates, including those that take on the sacred cows in no uncertain terms, click here
for his free, semi-weekly Wall Street Insights and Indictments.

Loan company opens at Lima Center

July 19th, 2014

LIMA – Lima Center, located on Elida Road, welcomed the opening of Mariner Finance Monday. The business provides personal, home and bill consolidation loans and occupies 2,520 square feet of space.

The Three Best Debt Consolidation Loan Companies For Residents of …

July 19th, 2014

Best Debt Consolidation Loans helps residents of Washington by listing down the top three debt consolidation companies available in their area.

Bellingham, WA (PRWEB) July 17, 2014

Residents of Washington who are struggling with their debts or even facing the bleak reality of bankruptcy have three debt consolidation loan companies that can be trusted to provide honest debt relief help.

The company BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org recently analyzed the online debt consolidation loan companies available to the states residents. Its goal was to determine which of these companies were trustworthy and could be depended on to provide good debt relief programs and at reasonable costs.

In analyzing online debt consolidation loan providers, BestDebtConsolidationLoans.og utilized six criteria – customer satisfaction, debt solution alternatives, fees, customer service, business ethics and financial standing. Given these criteria it found that there are, in fact, debt consolidation loan companies that can be trusted to deliver on their promises. It also identified what it considered to be the top three of these companies as National Debt Relief, CuraDebt and American Debt Enders.

Many residents of the Apple state are definitely having a problem with debt. This is evidenced by the states average credit card debt of $5269 per borrower, which is slightly higher than the nations average credit card debt of $5235 per borrower. On a brighter note, the states median household income is $62,187 versus the nations median household income of $51,017.

As of late last year, Washingtons unemployment rate was 6.6%, which ranked it 29th in the nation. Given the states total workforce of 2,764,080 this means that there were approximately 180,000 of the states residents unemployed. When you add to these numbers the ever-increasing costs of necessities such as housing, fuel, food and medical care it becomes clear as to why so many Washingtonians are having a problem paying their bills.

In analyzing online debt consolidation loan providers, BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org concluded that the best option for Washington residents seeking help with their debts is National Debt Relief. This is due in no small part to how ethically National Debt Relief treats its customers. For example, it has a 100% satisfaction guarantee in that its customers can drop out of their programs at any time they become dissatisfied with National Debt Relief and without having to pay any fees or penalties.

Unlike some other online debt consolidation loan companies National Debt Relief charges no upfront fees. Its debt counselors have excellent working relationships with all the major lenders. National Debt Relief tailors its programs to fit the needs of individual customers rather than offering just one debt relief solution. It has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, which the Bureau itself says is an honor and not every business qualifies. Just to join BBB, businesses must meet its high standards and an A rating is proof positive that National Debt Relief can be trusted to deliver on the promises it makes to its customers. The company specializes in helping people that owe more than $7500 and has helped some 100,000 individuals and families achieve debt relief and in just 24 to 48 months.

The company ranked second best for debt consolidation loans is CuraDebt. This company has been in business since 1996 and helps its customers with credit negotiations, financial advice and debt settlements. CuraDebt counselors have strong working relationships with the credit card companies and are almost always able to help its customers achieve credit card debt reduction. In addition to programs for credit card debts, these counselors are able to provide ones designed to help with medical debts, student loan debts, personal loans and tax debts.

American Debt Enders was ranked by BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org as the third best option available to residents of Washington seeking debt relief. This companys counselors can help with debt settlement, debt consolidation, free bankruptcy counseling, credit restoration and the consolidation of student loan debts. American Debt Enders has been in business only since 2007 but already has a reputation for being able to help customers that owe more than $5000. The company says that its counselors can even often help its customers improve their credit scores.

Residents of Washington who would like to know more about these three companies, and their services should go to the website http://www.BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org for more information.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/Washington_residents/top_debt_consolidation/prweb12011717.htm

How This Great American Dream Is Turning Scam

July 18th, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently reported, among many other disturbing facts about student loans, that more than 7 million Americans have defaulted on over $100 billion of student loan obligations. The CFPB is now seeing tens of thousands more (defaults) every month.

Desperate students and parents who want to clean up their outstanding debts are increasingly turning to debt-help companies that are advertising day and night, just like mortgage-forgiveness outfits did during and after the mortgage crisis.

Way too many of them are scams.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is doing something about it. Too bad shes the only AG I see going after these scammers. Shes filing suit today against two outfits that ply their rotten tactics in her state.

One outfit, First American Tax Defense, advertised an Obama Forgiveness Program, supposedly just passed by Congress. Of course, there is no Obama Forgiveness Program. Theres only the presidents request for $3.7 billion to house illegal immigrant kids and help educate them… but I digress.

Another outfit, Broadsword Student Advantage, takes up-front money for its help program and charges an ongoing $49.99 a month and does virtually nothing.

The Federal Trade Commission received 204,644 complaints about student loan debt forgiveness and debt-help scams in 2013. Its an epidemic.

So, I have to ask: Doesnt this remind you of something?

Doesnt our system of higher education increasingly look like nothing but indebtedness and more pain? And doesnt it increasingly look like another great American scam?

Editors Note: The public narrative has always boxed in debate on topics considered sacred cows above questioning. Higher education, despite its track record of rampant, mismanaged costs and weak institutional oversight, is certainly one. Shah regularly tackles topics that are all the more dangerous for their implied insulation from public scrutiny.

To get all of Shahs latest updates, including those that take on the sacred cows in no uncertain terms, click here
for his free, semi-weekly Wall Street Insights and Indictments.

The Three Best Debt Consolidation Loan Companies For Residents of …

July 18th, 2014

The Three Best Debt Consolidation Loan Companies For Residents of Washington Facing Unmanageable Credit Card Debts
Best Debt Consolidation Loans helps residents of Washington by listing down the top three debt consolidation companies available in their area.

What You Must Know About Student Loan Consolidation

July 17th, 2014

Life can be complicated for any borrower who is paying on multiple student debts.  Bearing a number of student loans at varied interest rates and different payment due dates can be difficult to manage.

Working with a student loan relief consultant can ease the worries of debtors to a great extent. Experts say that loan consolidation is a very viable solution in this tough economic situation to help borrowers pay off their student loans smoothly.

Types of student loans that may be consolidated

  • Direct subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans
  • Subsidized or unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  • PLUS loans from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program
  • Direct PLUS loans
  • Supplementary loans for students (SLS)
  • Federal Nursing/ Perkins Loans
  • Loans for Health Education Assistance

A few existing consolidation loans
One can always consult a student loan relief consultant to know more about this. Usually, borrowers are eligible to consolidate their loans once they complete graduation, leave school, or drop school below half-time enrollment. Borrowers paying varied interest rates for all their federal student loans can consolidate them and make a single monthly payment. By doing so, they can have just one fixed interest rate that will remain unchanged during their loan repayment period. This fixed rate of interest is calculated on the basis of the weighted average of the interest rates of the loans being consolidated.

Requirements for loan consolidation

  • Borrowers must have a minimum of one Direct Loan FFEL Program Loan in repayment or grace period.
  • To consolidate a loan in default, one needs to make suitable arrangements for repayment with the current lender before consolidation, or the borrower must agree to repay the new Direct Consolidation Loan. They can repay the loan through the Income Based Repayment Plan, Income Contingent Repayment Plan, Standard Repayment Plan, or Graduated Repayment Plan.
  • Under certain conditions, borrowers may consolidate an existing FFEL Consolidation Loan.

If you want to know more about this, you can always consult a student loan consolidation expert. Go online and look for a well-established consolidation company.

Benefits of consolidating student loans
Opting for student loan consolidation provides numerous advantages to borrowers. Major benefits are:

  • Improvement of credit score, since all default loans will be paid off completely.
  • Borrowers may seek and apply for new student loans once their default loans are paid off.
  • Borrowers need to take care of just one monthly payment instead of tracking multiple payments.
  • Since the payments will be linked to the debtor’s income after the loan consolidation, the payments will be easier to manage. .
  • Borrowers may also qualify for loan forgiveness.

It is advised that borrowers who wish to benefit from the above advantages should team up with a reputed student loan consolidating company to know more.

Debtors should look for a loan consolidation firm that is willing to listen to their unique financial situation and not just consider the numbers. A reputed firm works with a borrower by taking into account their goals and suggests the most appropriate repayment options.

BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org Reveals The Three Best Online Debt …

July 17th, 2014

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

Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) July 10, 2014

Residents of the Beehive state continue to be plagued by the rising costs of housing, insurance, medical care and fuel. And while unemployment is only at 4.10%, this means that approximately 50,000 of the state’s residents are still out of work and this is nearly five years after the official end of the Great Recession.

Also, Utahans have an average credit card debt of $4559, which is clearly one of the reasons that many of the states residents are struggling to pay their bills.

BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org recently analyzed the online debt consolidation loan providers available to Utah residents. The goals of this study were to help Utahans avoid being scammed and achieve relief from their debts.

As a spokesperson for BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org pointed out, “There are unfortunately some debt relief companies available online that are frauds and swindlers. They charge huge upfront fees, close down without performing any of the services they had promised and then open up again a few months later under a new name. We felt it was important to analyze online debt consolidation loan companies to identify those that could be trusted to deliver honest debt relief programs.”

BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org looked at six factors in reviewing online debt relief providers. They were debt solution alternatives, fees, customer service, customer satisfaction, business ethics and financial standing.

Given these criteria, BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org found that the three best options for Utah residents needing help with their debts are National Debt Relief, American Debt Enders and CuraDebt. And of these three companies, BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org ranked National Debt Relief as its top choice.

In terms of business ethics, National Debt Relief is very trustworthy. It charges its customers nothing until it has settled their debts to their satisfaction and they have approved their payment plans. Unlike some other online debt relief companies, National Debt Relief charges no upfront fees. Plus, the funds that are sent in by its customers is deposited in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured trust account that only they can manage. This assures them that their money cannot be spent for reason without their knowledge and consent.

National Debt Relief also ranks highly in customer satisfaction as most of its first-time customers report that they were very satisfied with National Debt Relief. The company maintains an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and was ranked first in debt relief programs on the site TopConsumerReviews.com. National Debt Relief specializes in helping customers who owe more than $7500 and has helped 100,000-plus individuals and families achieve debt relief – usually in 24 to 48 months. The companys debt counselors are experienced and knowledgeable and have excellent working relationships with all the major lenders.

Ranked second for debt consolidation loan programs by BestDebtConsolidationLoans.org is CuraDebt. It works mostly with customers who owe more than $10,000 in credit card debts. It is usually able to get its customers the results it promises because of the strong working relationships it has with the credit card companies. CuraDebt’s credit counselors are also trained to help customers with medical debts, student loan debts, personal loans and tax debts. Its clients get honest, personal service and expert advice from counselors who are looking out for their best interests.

American Debt Enders was rated as the third best option for residents of the Beehive state that are having a problem with big debt. This company has been in business only since 2007 but has already created a reputation for providing debt relief to customers who owe more than $5000. In addition to credit card debt settlement, American Debt Enders counselors can help its customers with almost every other type of credit problem. For that matter, the company says that its debt counselors are even often able to offer help their customers improve their credit scores.