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July 26, 2013

The Student Loan Interest Rate Lottery: Borrowing Costs Are Headed Up

Following the failure of Congress to extend the 3.4 percent interest rate for undergraduate subsidized student loans, undergraduate unsubsidized and subsidized student loans reverted to a fixed rate of 6.80 percent.  GradPLUS and Parent PLUS loans remained at a fixed rate of 7.90 percent. The interest rate on consolidation loans is the weighted average rate on the underlying loans rounded upward to the nearest one-eighth, andcapped at 8.25 percent. The Senate passed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act (a "deal" supported by…

July 25, 2013

Senate Passes Student Loan Interest Bill That Will Make College Cost More

You won't see me fist-bumping with a bunch of delighted student advocates.  The bill that passed last night means that over time, students and parents will be subject to higher interest rates on their student loans.   I'm glad that students borrowing this year and over the next several years will benefit from a lower interest rate, but I'd be a lot happier if the lower rate would be available to more students over the long term. Read more: http://askheatherjarvis.com/blog/the-student-loan-interest-rate-lottery-borrowing-costs-are-headed-up…

July 19, 2013

Holy Student Loan Interest Rate Bills, Batman!

UPDATE: H.R. 1911 (as amended by the Senate) passed both chambers of Congress on July 31 changing interest rates, White House expected to approve the "deal" Unable to reach a bipartisan solution in Congress, subsidized federal Stafford student loan rates doubled to 6.8% on July 1. Last year, Congress extended the deadline that would have mandated federal interest rates to rise from 3.4% to 6.8%, effectively punting the issue down the road one year.  Beginning in earnest with the release of President Obama's Fiscal Year 2014 Budget…

July 17, 2013

Building a Bad*ss Credit Score: A Silver Lining Playbook for Student Loan Borrowers

I may not have two dimes to rub together, but my credit score is through the roof!  How’d I do it?  By borrowing young, borrowing a lot, and making zillions of teeny, tiny payments.  On time.  Every time.  Ever since.  (BTW, a better plan is to minimize your borrowing and pay back debt quickly to avoid higher interest fees and lower your costs over time.  Um.  If you can afford that).  Credit Report vs. Credit Score Your “credit report” is a history of your credit accounts that includes…

By Heather  |  Category:  Student Debt, Student Loan Repayment  

July 9, 2013

Income-Driven Repayment Options for Gay or Lesbian Couples (Post DOMA)

On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for the federal government to recognize marriages between same-sex couples.  Equal protection for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters! What does the DOMA decision mean for gay and lesbian student loan borrowers? Same-sex married couples with student loans will find that having one’s marriage recognized by the federal government makes for some mighty tricky tax decisions. The income-driven repayment plans (like Income-Based Repayment and Pay-As-You-Earn) limit a borrower's…

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