I Took Out Chase Private Student Loans and My Father Cosigned

September 19th, 2014

Huffington Post Reader Question

Dear Steve,

I was very irresponsible in this decision that I had made back in 2007 (after I had graduated high school), I somehow managed to convince my father to co-sign a loan for me for $8,500. My father barely speaks English and you could say that I even tricked him into signing those papers. It was terrible.

Anyway, I was making payments on and off for about four years. I had stopped going to school and my original four-five year plan didnt work out as planned. I was working full-time and going to school part-time. I lost my job and could not afford to make anymore of the minimum payment of $90 a month, which in turn was really barely paying a little over the interest every month. So many mistakes. You live and you learn, right? Costly mistakes.

Well, now Im focused on finishing school. Of course, I backed myself into a hole. Im only finishing my associates degree in about 6 months and Ill be heading to earn my bachelors hopefully within two years. In between all of the non-sense, my student loan defaulted a few months ago. The deferment period was over with and it already been seven years since the loan was created. The biggest problem is that it is a Chase private loan and this is what Im worried about the most.

What are my real options? I got in touch with Chase this past week and they said I have 10 days to make a decision on whether I would want to settle for $6820 instead of the $10,200 that I owe on this account. There is no way I can make that payment and my father cannot afford this either.

Ive heard of consolidation and rehabilitation, but I dont know where to begin. I have to get back to Chase and I dont even know what to tell them. Im in serious need of some advice. Thanks in advance!


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Dear Chris,

You are right, a lot of lessons learned.

It sounds as if you have a private student loan through Chase. In that case the only options are whatever Chase offers you, accept the settlement, payoff the loan, or make monthly payments you and Chase agree on.

Frankly, Chase Bank is not required to offer you a settlement and yet theyve gone ahead and made an offer for you to satisfy your debt for less than you owe. Unfortunately at this time you are not able to accept it and be done with this debt.

You might just have to do what others have done, drop out of school, work full time and pay the loan back.

Im not sure which is the more painful lesson to learn; taking out private student loans or cosigning.

I wish I had a magic wand but when it comes to private student loans, outside of those private student loans eligible for a bankruptcy discharge, there are no good options yet. It would be worth it for you to read this article and see if those factors might apply to allowing you to discharge your loans today through bankruptcy.

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National Debt Relief Named Best Student Debt Relief Provider By …

September 19th, 2014

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

Frankfort, KY (PRWEB) August 19, 2014

Kentucky is considered to be the home of thoroughbred horse breeding. And for good reason. If you were to search on the term horse breeders in Kentucky, you would get 238 pages of results with 12 breeders per page. When you think of Kentucky, you probably think first of the Kentucky Derby, which is considered by most people to be Americas most prestigious horse race.

However, there is very little thats prestigious about Kentuckians when it comes to debt. The states average credit card debt per borrower is $6221, which is nearly $1000 higher than the national average. Kentuckys median household income is just $40,072, which is substantially lower than that of the US as a whole and its students graduate owing an average of $22,384 in student loan debts. The reason for this is primarily due to the cost of going to college in Kentucky. For example, the total cost to attend the University of Kentucky for a year is $24,729. Western Kentucky University is a bit better at $20,173 but a year at a private school such as Georgetown College costs $44,373.

In response to this problem with student debt, recently completed a survey of the debt relief companies available to Kentuckians in order to determine which would be the best. What its analysis revealed is that the top two are National Debt Relief and SoFi (Social Finance Inc.) and of these two it ranked National Debt Relief as the best.

One of the most compelling aspects of National Debt Reliefs student loan relief program is that the customer is not charged any upfront fees or maintenance fees. In fact, the way it charges its customers is totally performance-based. It either helps them with their student loan debts or it charges them nothing.

Michael Smith, a spokesman for said that, We rank National Debt Relief number one for several reasons. One of the most important of these is that the company can provide its customers with many different repayment programs. This is due to the fact that it offers a suite of options for student loan repayment from the Department of Education. This allows the company to match up itsclient with the one thats best suited to him or her given their financial circumstances. also gave National Debt Relief high marks because its been in business since 2007 and has helped more than 100,000 families and individuals find debt relief. Plus, it has continuously maintained an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and its student debt counselors are available to its customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Studentloanconsolidationreviews.orgs analysis of debt relief companies available to Kentuckians found that their second-best bet would be SoFi.

We thought that SoFi could be a good option, said Smith. However, we were concerned that it will consolidate federal student loans with private loans. Federal student loans come with many benefits including a number of different repayment options, deferment, loan forgiveness and even cancellation. Once these loans are consolidated with a private loan, all those benefits go away. was also troubled by the fact that SoFis consolidation loans offer no options for changing repayment plans. Once a customer takes out a loan from SoFi he or she is totally locked into a fixed interest rate and a fixed monthly payment. Finally,as pointed out SoFi relies on peer-to-peer loans. In fact its lenders are the alumni of the schools that the borrower is attending or attended. While there are 550 schools in the SoFi network, there is another several thousand that arent. This means that people that are not attending or didnt attend one of those 550 schools would be ineligible for a loan or loan restructuring from SoFi.

Residents of Kentucky who would like to learn more about these debt relief companies should go to for more information.

Read the full story at

John Hancock’s ‘Hancock Next’ Is Ambitious For A Financial Services Brand

September 18th, 2014

Is any marketing subspecies as helplessly behind the times as financial-services marketing? Granted, I dont pay a lot of attention to these ads, as theyre not specifically targeted at
mehellip; yet. But as best I can tell after doing literally minutes of research, the homogeneity is staggering.

Every financial-services pitch since the dawn of humanity appears to have been
delivered by an old-but-not-too-old man, one whose demeanor suggests a prudent town clerk and whose voice conveys the wisdom of the ages. Perhaps financial companies have research confirming that
venerated white guy speaking slowly, as if to a roomful of impulsive dipsh*ts remains the most effective attitudinal shading for products of this nature, but really: Its 2014. If
a woman or a member of a racial or ethnic minority were capable of steering your portfolio in the right direction, youd never know it from the marketing of financial products and advice. In my
house and millions of others, its the female partner whose savvy and forbearance keeps the family from plunging into financial peril and OMG HONEY EDDIE VH GUITAR PICK ON EBAY QUICK WHATS OUR PAYPAL PASSWORD QUICK

Thats how I come at John Hancocks most recent campaign, Hancock Next, a collection of financial scenarios with a
faint make-your-own-adventure vibe. The company presents four 30-second spots that tease an imminent Financial-Moment-of-Reckoning-with-a-capital-F-M-and-R, then point users towards a site that, for
each spot, offers three different resolutions. Some of those spots even feature non-men in a leading role. Hey now!

Based on that description alone, Hancock Next ranks as
massively, daringly ambitious for a financial services brand. Still, describing this (or any other) campaign as ambitious for a financial services brand is like describing a whole-wheat
pancake as ambitious for breakfast. In both instances, the comparative set aint daunting.

Your response to Hancock Next, then, will be dictated by the amount
of credit you give the company for the modicum of adventurousness it flashes here. In the context of financial marketing, yeah, the dramatic tenor and multiple-ending twist feel revolutionary. But in
a general context – and given that John Hancock seems hell-bent on inserting itself into my Twitter feed, the company is likely thinking bigger here – its just another campaign, one that
overrelies on the target audience following through to the Hancock Next web site.

As for the scenarios, theyre given ominously vague names like The Ride and
The Knock. In the set-up to the latter, a late-middle-agey white guy sags physically as he walks somberly down the hall. When he reaches a closed door, he pauses to collect himself
before knocking and asking, Can I come in? From all this, the astute viewer gathers that he is not the bearer of happy news, or a pizza.

The three alternate scenarios that follow
are pretty much what youd expect. In one, he tells his daughter that he cant afford the private college shes eyeing. In the next, he and his wife discuss elder-care expenses for
his father-in-law. In the third, he stands passively as his mother intones, It wasnt supposed to be like this. Im supposed to take care of you with an over-overabundance of
WASP-y resolve. See, from each of these scenarios we can glean the bare outlines of a lesson, one which the good folks at John Hancock would be willing to teach.

The other clips offer more of
the same. In The Call, mom (protagonist gender diversity ahoy!) picks up a buzzing phone to learn, in order, that somebody who wasnt even 50 has met with physical
misfortune; that somebody is offering her either a job or a second interview for a job she doesnt appear to want; and that somebody or other is pregnant with twins. The Meeting,
on the other hand, explores a host of workplace scenarios: Middle-aged white guy (boooo!) gets promoted, quits to open his own business and is pressed into early retirement.

Theres not
a lot to like or dislike here, to be honest. The videos are produced professionally enough; the meeting room resembles an actual real-world meeting room. The acting is acceptable if a bit wooden,
though Id like to know how many of the roughly 2,675 dramatic pauses and tremulous sighs were written into the script and how many were improvised. Critiquing Hancock Next is like
critiquing a typical patch of suburban grass, really. Whats the point? (Wait – Id like to get paid for this. The point is that brand videos from financial-services companies need to be
bolder and more inclusive, or something).

Really, my biggest issue here is with John Hancocks new tag line, which flashes at the end of each video: When life comes, be prepared
for it. Does the company mean when life comes knocking? When life delivers the dealer a queen while youre sitting on 19? I spent a solid 12 minutes trying to
parse this incomplete turn of phrase. I suspect that wasnt what John Hancock wanted to be anyones primary takeaway from the campaign. Oh well.

Federal student loans can now be refinanced at lower rates at Charter One

September 17th, 2014

Charter One Bank has expanded its student loan program to offer a new way for borrowers to refinance federal student loans — generally at lower interest rates.

Charter One and its Rhode Island-based parent, Citizens Bank, launched itsEducation Refinance Loan earlier this year for private student loans.

Now, federal loans can also be refinanced.

While refinancing federal student loans isnt for everyone, this could be an attractive option for some families.

The banks refinance loan offers eligible applicants interest rates as low as 2.31 percent variable or 4.74 percent fixed. The bank charges no application, origination or disbursement fees, and no prepayment penalties.

With its private student loan refinancing, borrowers have reduced monthly payments by an average of $127 a month and dropped their interest rate by 1.5 percent. The improved terms could amount to thousands of dollars saved over the life of the loan.

About 40 million consumers have at least one student loan, according to a report released last week by Experian, one of the big three credit bureaus. Thats up 38 percent, from 29 million consumers, just since 2008.

About 92 percent of student loans are federal loans, so this represents a big market.

Charter One/ Citizens said the new refinance option will help borrowers better manage their debt, in part by allowing consumers to refinance at lower rates once theyve built up a decent credit history and and can qualify for lower rates.

While a college education is one of the best investments a young adult can make, paying for it afterward while trying to achieve other financial milestones can be difficult, Brendan Coughlin, president of education finance for the bank, said in a statement.

Traditionally, families are cautioned about refinancing federal student loans with a private lender because you can lose options they have with federal loans that arent available with private loans, such as extensions, loan forgiveness and income-based repayment. But more and more, private lenders are offering lower rates than the federal government.

More information about the loans and criteria is available or by calling 1-888-411-0262.

Leading Financial Services Company Modernizes Service Infrastructure in the …

September 17th, 2014

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Mapping the Spread of Housing Inequality Over the Great Recession

September 17th, 2014

The housing crisis and credit collapse that together comprised the Great Recession disproportionately affected minorities in America in at least two specific ways. As recent research from Rice University and Cornell University has demonstrated, black households were widely targeted by predatory lenders. Building on a major joint report from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury Department, the researchers found that more than half of home-refinance loans for poorer African Americans were subprime, while black households were more than twice as likely as white households with comparable incomes to receive subprime loans.

Now, a new tool from the Urban Institute shows the other shoe dropping. Today, with interest rates low and policies in place that favor new homebuyers, credit is disproportionately unavailable for minorities. The households hit hardest by the housing crises have been effectively locked out of the recovery.

The Urban Institute has released its data in the form of an interactive map to show exactly where that other shoe has dropped. The interactive map tracks some 100 million mortgages over 12 years using home price index data from CoreLogic as well as public data provided via the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. According to lead researchers Taz George and Bing Bai, The combined number of African-American and Hispanic mortgages rose 83 percent from 2001 to 2006, and then it plummeted 68 percent over the next three years.

Consider Atlanta. In 2006, home prices there, as in many other metro areas, were relatively high, and anyone who could fog a mirror could get a mortgage (as The Wall Street Journals Nick Timiraos likes to put it). Heres a snapshot of the Atlanta metro area at the height of the boom.

(The Urban Institute)

Fast-forward a little more than 6 years later, and the demographics for new mortgage originations are greatly changed. In 2012, there are far fewer new mortgages for African Americans. Where in 2006, the northeast Atlanta suburbs boasted a growing community of new Hispanic households, those new homebuyers are harder to find during the recovery.

(The Urban Institute)

Even in Texas, a state that has led the recovery, racial disparity can be seen in the gains of the return to growth. Texas cities rebounded faster than any, according to a report from the Brookings Institution; the organizations latest findings show the Texas metro areas of Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio among the top 15 metro areas nationwide in terms of economic performance today.

In 2006, new Hispanic households were a big part of the growth in Texas metro areas, especially in San Antonio and Austin. New mortgages for African Americans originated primarily in Dallas but also in Houston.

(The Urban Institute)

Yet by 2012, new household formation looks nothing like the rich diversity of Texas. As a result of the credit crunch, minorities appear to be left out of the Texas Miracle.

(The Urban Institute)

It is a universally acknowledged truth that San Franciscos housing market is thorny like few others. But the racial difference between new mortgages started in San Francisco in 2006:

(The Urban Institute)

And a comparison to new Bay Area mortgages during the recovery…

(The Urban Institute)

…is as stark as a complete palette swap.

What may not be so immediately clear from the map is how few households are benefitting from the recovery. In San Francisco and San Jose, the researchers note, there were 245,000 mortgages created in 2012. Thats 13 percent fewer than were started in 2005.

The map makes it clear that entire communities, particularly those with high levels of African-American and Hispanic residents, were hit hard by the bust and are, in many cases, the same communities that are most affected by todays tight credit market, said researchers George and Bai in a release. Between 2006 and 2012, the percentage of loans made to African Americans and Hispanics dropped from 25 percent to 11 percent.

Urban Institute data show that the average FICO score for all home-purchase loans is about 750. In an address this week, HUD Secretary Julin Castro noted that some 13 million people have credit scores ranging from 580 to 680a range that has been effectively frozen out of the housing market. What this map illustrates is the extent to which the recovery is benefiting whites as well as the wealthy.

Missourians Trapped In Student Debt Have Two Best Options For Relief …

September 15th, 2014

Jefferson City, MO (PRWEB) September 15, 2014

Missouri has long been known as the Show Me State though most residents probably don’t know why. There are several explanations for this but its origins are usually credited to a speech made in 1899 by Congressman Willard Vandiver who declared, “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri and you have got to show me.”

An indisputable fact about the state of Missouri is that 63% of its students are forced to take out student loans to pay for their educations. This is three points higher than the national average of 60%. Furthermore, Missouri students graduated this past year owing an average of $27.232. This ranked the state 38th in the nation.

An even more disturbing statistic is that people age 40-49 owe $154 billion in student loan debt and the 50-59 age bracket owes $106 billion and that out of nearly 40 million student loan borrowers, about seven million have defaulted

“We felt that Missourians struggling with student debt should have help available,” said Michal Smith, a spokesman for “We did an analysis of the debt relief companies available to Missouri residents and determined that the best two are National Debt Relief and SoFi.”

National Debt Relief was ranked best based on several criteria. One of the most important of these is that the company charges no upfront fees. It will analyze a customer’s financial picture including current earnings, debts, family size, future earnings and general financial picture and then review its student loan portfolio. If it is able to find a customer a better repayment program than what he or she currently has, National Debt Relief recommends it to its customer. If the customer approves, National Debt Relief will draw funds into an escrow account under the clients control and begin the student loan relief process by working directly with the Department of Education (DOE) to attain final approval on the most viable repayment option for that particular customer. In other words, National Debt Relief charges a customer nothing unless it is able to find a repayment program that he or she accepts.

In discussing the company’s new student debt relief service, National Debt Relief spokesman Paul Ritz noted that, “We offer all the student loan consolidation programs available from the Department of Education. This allows us to provide a client with the one that’s best suited to him or her given their financial circumstances.

“A school such as the University of Missouri now costs an in-state student a total of $23,136 a year and even Missouri State University costs$19,581 a year,” reported National Debt Relief spokesman, Paul Ritz. “Given this we felt it important to create a new service designed to help student debt-strapped Missourians achieve relief.” also gave National Debt Relief high marks as it has constantly maintained an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and that its counselors are both experienced and licensed.

The organization ranked second best for student debt relief was SoFi (Social Finance Inc.). It offers student loans and student debt consolidation loans with both fixed and variable interest rates starting at a 3.63%. SoFi is actually a kind of community in that its loans come from the alumni of 550 participating schools and only students that are attending or are an alumnus of one of these schools are eligible can get also liked SoFi because it offers its customers career support and unemployment protection.

“SoFi has much to offer,” said Smith,” but we ranked it second principally because of its repayment plans. Once you get a loan from SoFi your monthly payments and term are fixed with no possibility for change. In comparison, with National Debt Relief if you run into serious financial problems it’s possible to change to a different and more affordable repayment program.”

Missourians trapped in student debt that would like to know more about SoFi and National Debt Relief should go to the site

Fitch to Rate Navient Student Loan Trusts 2014-2 through 2014-7; Presale Issued

September 12th, 2014

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Link to Fitch Ratings Report: Navient Student Loan Trusts: 2014-2,
2014-3, 2014-4, 2014-5, 2014-6 and 2014-7 (US ABS)

Fitch Ratings expects to rate Navient Student Loan Trusts 2014-2 through
2014-7. A full list of ratings follows at the end of this release.


High Collateral Quality: Each trusts collateral consists of 100%
Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) consolidation loans,
approximately 15% of which are rehabilitated loans. The credit quality
of the trusts collateral is high as the trust student loans are
guaranteed for at least 97% principal and accrued interest by the US
Department of Education (ED). Fitch currently rates the US at AAA
with a Stable Outlook.

Sufficient Credit Enhancement: The cash flow results for the class A and
B notes in each trust were satisfactory under Fitch AAAsf and AAsf
stresses, respectively. Total credit enhancement (CE) for each trust is
provided by initial overcollateralization (OC) of approximately 2.3% of
trust collateral balance, excess spread and, in the case of the class A
notes, approximately 2.7% of subordination provided by the class B
notes. A target OC amount equal to the greater of 4.50% of the adjusted
pool balance and $2.75 million must be met before excess cash can be

Adequate Liquidity Support: Liquidity support is provided by a reserve
account sized at 2.25% of initial student loan balance and funded at
closing. The required reserve account balance for any distribution dates
prior to Aug. 25, 2019 (the step-down date) is 2.25% of the current
student loan balance; then on and after the step-down date, the greater
of 0.25% of the current student loan balance and 0.10% of the initial
student loan balance.

Acceptable Servicing Capabilities: Navient Solutions, Inc. (formerly
known as Sallie Mae, Inc.) will service approximately 79% of each
trusts student loan pool; Xerox Education Services, LLC (Xerox-ES) will
service 13% of 2014-2 and 21% of each of 2014-3 through 2014-7 pools;
Great Lakes Education Loan Services, Inc. (Great Lakes) will service 8%
of 2014-2. In Fitchs opinion, all of the servicers are acceptable
servicers of FFELP student loans.


Since FFELP student loan ABS rely on the US government to reimburse
defaults, AAAsf FFELP ABS ratings will likely move in tandem with the
AAA US sovereign rating. Aside from the US sovereign rating,
defaults and basis risk account for the majority of the risk embedded in
FFELP student loan transactions. Additional defaults and basis shock
beyond Fitchs published stresses could result in future downgrades.
Likewise, a buildup of CE driven by positive excess spread given
favorable basis factor conditions could lead to future upgrades.

Key Rating Drivers and Rating Sensitivities are further described in the
pre-sale report titled Navient Student Loan Trusts: 2014-2, 2014-3,
2014-4, 2014-5, 2014-6 and 2014-7, dated Aug. 5, 2014, available on,
or by clicking on the link.

Fitch assigns expected ratings to the following:

Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-2

–$256,000,000 class A notes AAAsf(exp); Outlook Stable;

–$7,000,000 class B notes AAsf(exp); Outlook Stable.

Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-3

–$256,000,000 class A notes AAAsf(exp); Outlook Stable;

–$7,000,000 class B notes AAsf(exp); Outlook Stable.

Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-4

–$256,400,000 class A notes AAAsf(exp); Outlook Stable;

–$7,000,000 class B notes AAsf(exp); Outlook Stable.

Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-5

–$154,100,000 class A notes AAAsf(exp); Outlook Stable;

–$4,200,000 class B notes AAsf(exp); Outlook Stable.

Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-6

–$153,800,000 class A notes AAAsf(exp); Outlook Stable;

–$4,200,000 class B notes AAsf(exp); Outlook Stable.

Navient Student Loan Trust 2014-7

–$153,800,000 class A notes AAAsf(exp); Outlook Stable;

–$4,200,000 class B notes AAsf(exp); Outlook Stable.

Additional information is available at

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

–Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria (May 20, 2014);

–Rating US Federal Family Education Loan Program Student Loan ABS
Criteria (June 23, 2014).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Global Structured Finance Rating Criteria

Rating US Federal Family Education Loan Program Student Loan ABS

Additional Disclosure

Solicitation Status


Toronto must improve transit to keep growing as financial services hub: report

September 10th, 2014

Toronto needs to improve its road and transit infrastructure if it is to keep growing as a centre for financial services headquarters, according to a new

As the country’s top location for financial services head offices, Toronto compares well to other Canadian and international cities on the checklist of
factors attracting corporate headquarters, the Conference Board of Canada study says.

But in the report’s survey of Toronto financial services executives, respondents indicated that improving road infrastructure and mass transit for
commuting were important to enhancing the city’s competitiveness.

The concerns echo those of voters, who say transit and gridlock are the biggest issues by far in the current mayoral race.

Toronto is the most congested city in Canada and worse than New York City and more than 50 other cities in the Americas, says the study, published

“Not surprisingly, a strong majority of respondents suggested that improving the transportation infrastructure is the most important objective for Toronto
to improve its competitiveness,” the report says.

“Commuting times were a major concern for those who choose to live in the suburbs.”

There were also worries expressed that Toronto will suffer in its ability to attract the most qualified financial services personnel because of its
transportation problems.

To a lesser degree, access to affordable and efficient air travel was mentioned as a concern, according to the online poll of Toronto financial institution
head offices conducted in May and June with the help of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance. (There were 47 responses from 40 different institutions.)

Financial services is the third largest source of headquarters employment in the city, after retail and manufacturing, the report says.

Toronto has 43 percent of Canadian financial-services headquarters employees, it says.

The city has about 30 percent of all financial services head offices in Canada; Vancouver is second at 13.2 percent.

Out of a total of 726 corporate headquarters in 2012, the city boasted 37 financial services head offices, according to the findings.

In areas besides transportation – such as political stability and regulatory certainty, good telecommunications and availability of skilled people and
financial expertise – Toronto compares well against other international financial services centres as a head-office location.

Montanans Discover Two Best Student Debt Relief Options Thanks To …

September 9th, 2014 helps the residents of Montana who are riddled with student loan debt by reviewing and ranking the top two student debt relief in the area.

Helena, MT (PRWEB) September 09, 2014

If you like wide-open spaces, you’d love Montana. It consists of 147,046 square miles, making it America’s fourth largest state yet has a population of just 902,195. This means Montana has roughly six people per square mile.

Montana’s state slogan is The Treasure State based on the amount of copper, gold and silver that’s been mined there. The name Montana comes from the Spanish word for mountainous, which makes sense in that it’s very mountainous and its highest point is Granite Peak at 12,799 feet.

Butte, Montana has been called “the richest hill on earth,” but residents of Montana have not exactly profited from this as its students graduate from college owing an average $27.475 ranking the state 18th in the nation. Also, 64% of Montana college students are unable to go to school without taking out student loans. This is despite the fact that college in Montana is fairly affordable. For example, the cost for an in-state student to attend the University of Montana for a year is just $18.336. Montana State University costs a bit more at $19,476 but a year at the private school Carroll College costs a whopping $40,051. recently named National Debt Relief and SoFi (Social Finance Inc.) as the two best options for Montanans seeking relief from their student debts.

Michael Smith, a spokesman for said, “We studied the student debt relief options available to residents of Montana and concluded that these two are the best. We gave National Debt Relief top marks based on several factors not the least of which is what it can do for its customers. But we also liked SoFi for its low interest charges and the career counseling it can provide its borrowers”.

When hearing the news of its top rating National Debt Relief spokesman Paul Ritz commented, We were pleased to hear this because we only recently introduced this service. We take pride in the fact that we can help our customers obtain direct federal consolidation loans or change to repayment plans with lower monthly payments and better terms.

While SoFi specializes in student loans and debt consolidation, National Debt Relief works through the US Department of Education to find its customers the best repayment programs given their financial circumstances.

We believe that when it comes to student debt there is no one size fits all, said Ritz. Instead, we analyze each of our clients financial situation and federal student loan portfolio. We can offer a suite of options for student loan repayment from the Department of Education This allows us to provide a client with the one that’s best suited to him or her given their financial circumstances. For example one of these options is the Graduated Repayment Program. It’s become very popular because it allows low-income graduates to start with low payments that increase gradually every two years as their income increases.” also gave National Debt Relief its top score as it consistently maintains an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. Plus, its been in business since 2007 and has helped thousands of individuals and families find relief from their debts through debt settlement.

SoFi was ranked second to National Debt Relief due mostly to its business model. It uses peer-to-peer lending where the loans come from the alumni of the 550 colleges and universities that belong to the SoFi network. “For people who need a debt consolidation loan SoFi can be a good option, noted Smith.However, to be eligible for a loan from SoFi you must be a student at or the alumnus of one of the schools in SoFi’s network.” Additionally, marked SoFi down because it will consolidate federal student loans with private loans. This is a practice frowned on by many experts because once these loans have been consolidated, the borrower loses all of the benefits and advantages associated with federal student loans including loan forgiveness, cancellation, deferment and the seven different options for repayment, and is basically stuck with a fixed term and fixed monthly payment.