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Free Tools

Student loan borrowers have important decisions to make. These tools will help you understand your options and manage your student loans.

 

Heather’s Favorite Sites

It takes a villiage!  Heather works closely with many of the following organizations and businesses.

Student Loan Borrower Assistance.org is brought to us by the great and powerful National Consumer Law Center.  This content-rich site provides free information about repayment options, avoiding and getting out of default, and dealing with collections agencies. 

Paul Garrard runs PGPresents, an independent student loan consulting company that works one-on-one with borrowers.  Paul is one of the most well-respected experts in the nation, and a friend of mine.  For more information, visit www.PGPresents.com or contact Paul directly at paul@PGPresents.com.

Project on Student Debt  is one of the fabulous projects of the Institute for College Access and Success.  Find state-by-state data, research, and policy analysis.

IBRinfo.org from our friends at the Institute for College Access and Success.  Here you'll find clear information about Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.  Check out the groovy animated student debt monster!

FinAid! The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid  Mark Kantrowitz, a giant of financial aid, provides this comprehensive online resource covering nearly every aspect of financial aid.

The College Affordability and Transparency Center gives you a wide variety of information about how much various colleges will cost you, how fast those costs are going up, and information related to why costs are going up.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a great source of information, an advocate for borrowers and consumers, as well as a watchdog of the financial sector.  A great resource is their relatively new decision-tree tool: Repay Student Debt.  Hot off the presses is their brand new toolkit - the Employer's Guide to Assisting Employees with Student Loan Repayment - for employers to learn more about how their employees may benefit from Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Non profit and Government Career Resources

Idealist connects people, organizations, and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.  Sweet!
Search for jobs through the Idealist Career Center.  Connect your educational options with your future social change career using Idealist's Grad School Resource Center.

PSLawNet is the online resource connecting public interest law job-seekers with job opportunities at all experience levels.

USAJobs, the federal government's official jobs site.

IRS Exempt Organizations Check Tool allows you to select an except organization and check certain information about its federal tax status.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and are struggling with suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has trained counselors available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Grant Space answers your questions about starting a nonprofit organization.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs

Heather's hyperlinked list of law school loan repayment assistance programs.

Summary of state-based loan repayment assistance programs compliled by Kelly Carmody of Carmody and Associates for the American Bar Association.

State-designated agencies administering the John R. Justice loan repayment assistance program for prosecutors and defenders.

Student Loan Laws

Statute establishing Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-Based Repayment.
College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Pub. L. No. 110-84, 121 Stat. 784, amending the Higher Education Act of 1965 (to be codified in 20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.).

Proposed regulations for Income-Contingent Repayment-A, public comment period ending August 16, 2012.

Regulations established by the United States Department of Education.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness, 34 C.F.R. 685.219, 73 FR 63258, Oct. 23, 2008, as amended at 74 FR 56006, Oct. 29, 2009.
Income-Based Repayment, 34 C.F.R.  685.221, 73 FR 63258, Oct. 23, 2008, as amended at 74 FR 56006, Oct. 29, 2009.

Statute exempting Public Service Loan Forgiveness and certain Loan Repayment Assistance Programs from taxation.
Internal Revenue Code, Section 108: Income from Discharge of Indebtedness
IRS Revenue Ruling interpreting Section 108(f) to exclude certain loan forgiveness from income.
IRS Information Letter interpreting Section 108(f) to exclude Public Service Loan Forgiveness from taxable income.
United States Department of Treasury Letter interpreting Section 108(f) to exclude Public Service Loan Forgiveness from taxable income.

Statute creating John R. Justice Prosecutor's and Defender's Incentive Act and Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program.
Higher Education Opportunity Act, Pub. L. No. 110–315, 122 Stat. 3078, amending the Higher Education Act of 1965 (to be codified in 20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.).

Student Loan Policy and Advocacy

Heather and other advocates filed Comments in response to the Proposed Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form
Comments in response to Proposed Employment Certification Form and Instructions

Information on legislation, hearings and markups, and hearing testimony from the congressional committees with jurisdiction over higher education and student financial assistance
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor

Policy briefs, reports, studies, and testimony from advocacy organizations  
Project on Student Debt

The National Center for Education Statistics examines characteristics of students in postsecondary education, with special focus on how they finance their education in the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study.

Student Loan Research and Reports

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Student Loan Affordability: Analysis of Public Input on Impact and Solutions (May 8, 2013)

Rohit Chopra, Student Loan Ombudsman, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, October 2012
Annual Report of the CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman

Heather Jarvis, Education & Practice, Vol. XIX, No. 3, Fall 2011
What Every Lawyer Should Know About the Economic Realities of a Legal Education

Kevin Carey & Erin Dillion, Education Sector, August 3, 2011
Debt to Degree: A New Way of Measuring College Success

Cristian Deritis, Moody's Analytics, Regional Financial Review, July 2011
Student Lending's Failing Grade

David Segal, New York Times, January 8, 2011
Is Law School a Losing Game?

The Project on Student Debt, January 2010
Quick Facts on Student Debt

Heather Jarvis, Clearinghouse Review, 2009
How the College Cost Reduction and Access Act Can Benefit You: Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Income-Based Repayment

Phil Schrag, Hofstra Law Review, 2007
Federal Student Loan Repayment Assistance For Public Interest Lawyers And Other Employees Of Governments And Nonprofit Organizations

Personal Finance Fun

How to get and keep a good credit score from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau