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Saturday, May 24, 2008
State fund to offer student loans
Utah college students won't have to worry about the availability of student loans for the coming academic year.

As banks across the nation and in Utah have announced they will halt federally backed student loans, the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority on Friday said it would use cash reserves to make sure students needing loans can get them.

"We've got money to make the student loans without disruption, whereas many states do not," said the authority's executive director, David Feitz. "Because of our financial reserves, we have staying power to make loans, even in the credit crisis."

The authority's board of directors approved the plan late last month, Feitz said. Regents heard about the plan Friday.


Last month, Zions Bank, one of the nations' biggest lenders of federally backed students loans, told state colleges and universities that it would make no more federally backed student loans after March 31.

The announcement came as lenders across the United States have stopped or suspended participation in Stafford and PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) loan programs.

The reason: The new federal College Cost Reduction and Access Act, effective Oct. 1, cut the yield on student loans for lenders by 0.55 percent. After that came the credit crunch, fueled by subprime mortgage loans, making it tougher for lenders to continue such loans.

Zions typically would lend about $70 million in federal student loans a year. The Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority lends about $350 million a year to Utah students, Feitz has said.

The authority, however, wants to keep students out of a financial lurch that could discourage them from seeking a college education. It plans to use its financial reserves "as a bridge to better times," Feitz said.

"Even if other lenders drop out, we're still planning to make those loans...until the credit markets turn around," he said.

There is about $200 million in those financial reserves, Feitz said, thanks to conservative management, low overhead and money set aside along the way.

Still, Feitz said, Congress must be encouraged to take action now. "We want them to help shore up these collapsed credit markets" so student loans are available in the coming years.

Zions, meanwhile, is continuing work on a private student lending program, and expects to roll it out in the next 30 to 60 days, said Rob Brough, bank executive vice president of marketing and communications.

"We're unsure what the financing will look like," Brough said Friday. "They will be marketed as student loans programs, but alternative programs to the federal programs."
posted by Irmansyah @ 3:46 PM   0 comments
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Friday, May 16, 2008
Student loans impact FICO
I'm in my early twenties and I'm thinking about buying a house. I don't have any credit-card debt, but I owe about $20,000 in student loans. Will that hurt my chances of getting a mortgage?

Not necessarily. When you apply for a mortgage, lenders don't just look at how much you owe; your income is also a factor.

Mortgage lenders traditionally follow what's known as the 28/36 rule: No more than 28 percent of your monthly gross income should be dedicated to your mortgage payment, property taxes and insurance. And your total debt payments should equal no more than 36 percent of your gross income.

Two other factors are also important: The more money you put down, the less risk the lender takes on and the more likely you are to get a mortgage. Especially in today's market, in which lenders are looking for squeaky-clean borrowers, a bigger down payment makes you more attractive.

And, of course, lenders look at your credit score. Here, too, your student loans could have an effect -- but not necessarily negative. When credit scores are calculated, student-loan debt is viewed more favorably than credit-card debt.

That's because the FICO score, which most lenders use, divides debt into two categories: installment loans and revolving loans. Student loans, mortgages and car loans -- which require you to pay a fixed amount every month -- are installment loans. Credit cards -- which let you control your monthly payments -- are revolving loans.

Owing a lot of money in installment debt isn't going to hurt your credit score as much as maxing out your credit cards.

But young adults often get themselves into trouble by blowing off their student loans. In 2006, the default rate on federally sponsored Stafford loans was more than 12 percent. That's huge, when you consider that even in the current mortgage "crisis" only 5.1 percent of mortgage payments were late in the second quarter of this year.

Because new grads typically build their credit history based on a credit card and student loans, it's important to make your payments on time. If you're struggling to pay off your federal Stafford loans, you have several options:

• If you can't find a full-time job or you experience some other kind of economic hardship, buy time by asking your lender about deferring your loan repayment.

• If you're working for peanuts, you can lower your payments by stretching out the loan term or basing your payments on your income.

A new law just passed by Congress would phase in repayment terms that are even more generous for borrowers who need help.

Janet Bodnar is deputy editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and the author of "Raising Money Smart Kids" (Kaplan, $17.95) and "Money Smart Women" (Kaplan, $15.95). Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com.

Copyright C 2007 Deseret News Publishing Co.
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.
posted by Irmansyah @ 4:13 PM   0 comments
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008
NextStudent Consolidation Loans Can Give Student Loan Borrowers up to 20 More Years to Repay
A Federal Consolidation Loan from NextStudent, a leading Phoenix-based education funding company, could give borrowers with federal student loans, whether it's just one or several, more time to repay -- up to 20 more years -- and could substantially lower their monthly student loan payment. A student loan consolidation also allows borrowers with multiple federal student loans to combine them into one easy-to-manage loan with a single monthly payment.

The standard repayment period for federal Perkins, Stafford, PLUS and Grad PLUS loans is 10 years. When these loans are consolidated, the new repayment term for the consolidation loan ranges from 10 to 30 years and depends on the total outstanding amount of education debt.



In addition to student loan consolidation, federal student loan borrowers have other repayment plans and options available to them if they're having trouble making their monthly payments. To help answer parents' and students' repayment questions and keep them informed about all the repayment alternatives available to them, NextStudent offers a free online guide to repayment terms and options for federal student loans.

Besides the standard 10-year repayment plan on Perkins, Stafford, PLUS and Grad PLUS loans, borrowers can talk to their lender or servicer about qualifying for these other repayment plans that could lower their monthly payment:

Extended Repayment allows borrowers to extend the standard repayment period up to a 25-year repayment term, depending on the student loan amount and date the student loan was obtained. Income-Sensitive Repayment bases the monthly payment amount on a borrower's monthly income. Graduated Repayment allows borrowers to start with a lower monthly payment and then gradually increases the monthly payment amount over the repayment term.

Borrowers also have options for temporarily postponing their payments altogether without affecting their credit rating if they meet certain criteria:

Undergraduate and graduate borrowers who are enrolled at least half time can request an in-school deferment on their student loans so they don't have to make payments while they're in school. After they leave school or drop below half-time enrollment, all Stafford and Perkins borrowers receive a grace period (six months for Stafford loans, nine months for Perkins loans) during which no payments are due, before they have to begin repaying their student loans. There is no grace period for Federal Student Loan Consolidation , PLUS or Grad PLUS loans, although Grad PLUS borrowers can postpone making payments while they're still in school at least half time. Once they're in repayment, borrowers who are having trouble making their monthly payments can request a forbearance or, in cases of unemployment or financial hardship, a deferment. Deferment and forbearance periods allow a borrower to temporarily postpone making payments and can be requested for up to a year at a time. In such cases, borrowers are entitled to a total of three years of deferment (not including in-school deferments) and three years of forbearance.

With Perkins and subsidized Stafford loans, any interest that accrues during a grace period or deferment is paid by the government. For PLUS, Grad PLUS and unsubsidized Stafford loans, any unpaid interest that accrues during a grace or deferment period will be added to the principal loan balance for the borrower to repay once repayment starts or resumes. In a forbearance period, accrued interest on any federal student loan, whether subsidized or unsubsidized, must be paid by the borrower. Borrowers can always choose to make interest payments during any of these postponement periods in order to avoid having any accrued interest added to their principal loan balance.

Borrowers who have any questions about consolidating their student loans or about repayment plans and options can contact NextStudent, where they'll be assigned their own personal student loan advisor. The student loan advisors at NextStudent are helpful and knowledgeable about student loans and are a trusted source in getting borrowers the information they need.

About NextStudent

NextStudent, Federal Lender Code 834051, is dedicated to helping students and their families find affordable ways to pay for college. NextStudent offers one-on-one education finance counseling and has a portfolio of highly competitive education finance products and services, including a free online scholarship search engine, federally guaranteed parent and student loans, private student loans , both federal and private student loan consolidation programs, and college savings plans.

For more information about NextStudent and its student loan programs, please visit the NextStudent website at www.nextstudent.com .
posted by Irmansyah @ 12:39 AM   0 comments
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Monday, May 12, 2008
posted by Irmansyah @ 4:34 PM   0 comments
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Friday, May 9, 2008
NextStudent Offers 1% Locked Discount Incentive on Federal Student Loan Consolidation

Many parents and students who are looking to consolidate their student loans are not aware of the 1 percent LOCKED discount incentive on federal student loan consolidation offered by Phoenix-based NextStudent, the premier education funding company.


Although federal law sets the interest rate for all federal student loan consolidation , lenders are at liberty to put together incentives that entice borrowers to fund with their company. But not all incentives are created equal, and the borrower must beware.

With NextStudent's federal student loan consolidation , when student loans are consolidated under the Standard Locked Package incentive, borrowers receive a LOCKED 1 percent discount on the interest rate after 36 on-time payments. This is a discount that is guaranteed and does not change for the life of the student loan.

While many borrowers offer similar incentives, NextStudent's discounts are permanent and cannot be forfeited. For instance, all borrowers with federal student loans , whether subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford loans for undergraduates or graduates, PLUS loans (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students), or Perkins loans, qualify for NextStudent's 1 percent rate reduction.

However, most student borrowers are unaware that a student who has used deferment or forbearance on any federal student loan is INELIGIBLE for this same discount under some competing lenders. In addition, with some competing lenders it is easy to lose the discount after a single late payment. Between 85 percent and 90 percent of those borrowers who earn the 1 percent discount with other lenders lose the discount after 36 on-time payments.

With NextStudent's Standard Locked Package, college students and their parents can rest easy knowing that their 1 percent discount rate and accompanying savings are in place as long as the loan exists.

In many instances, federal student loan consolidation with NextStudent can reduce payments by up to 60 percent, and the repayment period is extended up to 30 years. This gives many families who are struggling with making payments plenty of time to meet their obligations. The student loan industry's own statistics suggest that up to 39 percent of student borrowers no longer can afford to make payments on their student loans due to unmanageable debt burden after college.

Student loan consolidation with NextStudent not only meets the basic needs of funding a college education, it also includes significant incentives not offered by competitors, resulting in impressive savings and easy debt management for both student and parent borrowers.

NextStudent's Federal Student Loan Consolidation Standard Locked Package, which includes the 1 percent LOCKED rate reduction incentive after 36 on-time payments, is available to borrowers now and throughout the year.

About NextStudent

NextStudent, federal lender code 834051, is dedicated to helping students and their families find affordable ways to pay for college. NextStudent offers one-on-one education finance counseling and has a portfolio of highly competitive education finance products and services including a free online scholarship search engine, federally guaranteed parent and student loans, private student loans, both federal and private student loan consolidation programs, and college savings plans.

The NextStudent Scholarship Search Engine, one of the nation's oldest and largest scholarship search engines, is updated daily, available free of charge, completely private -- and represents 2.4 million scholarships worth $3.4 billion.

For more information about NextStudent and its student loan programs, please visit the company's Web site at http://www.nextstudent.com/ .

posted by Irmansyah @ 11:27 PM   0 comments
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Student Loan Network Announces Private Student Loan Consolidation Services
The Student Loan Network announces the addition of another student loan consolidation product to its portfolio of Student Loan products in time for the end of many students' grace periods. The Student Loan Network Private Consolidation Loan is designed to help students refinance private alternative, non-federal education-related debt, and rounds out Student Loan Network's consolidation package, which also includes Federal Student Loan Consolidation.

Private student loan consolidation comes at a time when education debt is on the rise; the average debt in the class of 2006 is roughly $21,100, according to Greentree Gazette.

Federal loans often don't cover rising tuition expenses, so many students turn to private student loans to make up the difference. When loan repayment begins after graduation, students find themselves with federal and private loan payments. Now, the Student Loan Network can help these students consolidate all of those loans.

"Loan Consolidation -- whether for private or federal student loans -- offers many benefits for graduates," explains Jonathan Rudy, Director of Loan Consolidation at Student Loan Network. "Upon graduation, many students find themselves with high monthly loan payments. Student loan consolidation helps them meet their monthly payments and establish themselves financially while lowering their monthly costs. The Student Loan Network is proud to be adding another great product to our growing portfolio of student loan products aimed at making funding an education a reality."

The Student Loan Network's private consolidation loan offers a reduced interest rate during the first year of repayment. The loan also has the option for interest-only payments in the first two years, to help students effectively manage their monthly payments following graduation, a time when many students are just getting on their feet financially. The new private consolidation loan offers many additional benefits, including low origination fees, an origination fee rebate after 48 on-time payments, guaranteed approval with qualified co-signer (co-signers are highly recommended for private consolidation loans), and flexible terms and funding options. Visit www.StudentLoanConsolidator.com/private to learn more about specific benefits or call toll-free (866) 496-5787.

Student Loan Network is one of the nation's fastest growing providers of student loans and related information. Since 1998, we have helped approximately 25 million students and parents access over $1 billion in federal and private student loans, scholarships and consolidation funding for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education. To help make the confusing and stressful financial aid process easier, the Student Loan Network also delivers helpful information, including the award-winning Financial Aid Podcast, a multitude of financial aid-related blogs and the monthly Financial Aid Newsletter. Learn more about the Student Loan Network at www.studentloannetwork.com.

posted by Irmansyah @ 11:03 PM   0 comments
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NextStudent's Student Loan Consolidation Program Offers Great Rates, Benefits

Many college students rushed to consolidate their student loans prior to July 1 when federal interest rates sharply increased. According to Phoenix-based NextStudent, there is hope for those student borrowers who missed the deadline, as rates as low as 4.5 percent are available when accompanied by aggressive benefits and incentives.

Federal student loan consolidation is a smart choice for student borrowers, as loans are bundled together into one loan to help make monthly payments more manageable. Since consolidation interest rates are lower than current rates on student loans, federal student loan consolidation also saves student borrowers money that can be put toward other important items.


Applying for student loan consolidation with NextStudent is simple. The no-hassle application is an easy four-step, all-digital application process done directly online with Electronic Signature. The process is fast and there are no credit checks and no co-signer is needed. With NextStudent's program there never are fees or charges, and there is no prepayment penalty on student loan consolidation.

When student borrowers consolidate with NextStudent's federal Student Loan Consolidation program, they receive a host of benefits and incentives including: a savings of .60 percent when loans are consolidated right after graduation or during other eligible grace periods; an interest rate reduction of .25 percent when borrowers repay through Auto Debit; and an additional rate reduction of 1 percent that is locked for the life of the loan following the first 36 consecutive on-time payments, OR a reduction of 2 percent following 48 consecutive on-time payments.

Student borrowers may choose a repayment term as long as 30 years, depending on the balance of the borrower. A variety of repayment plans are available. Borrowers can choose from plans that include graduated and income-sensitive repayment. There also are deferment and forbearance benefits available.

The July 1 deadline to consolidate at last year's rates has come and gone, but student borrowers still have a host of great options through NextStudent. Student borrowers have choices, and it is best now to take advantage of student loan consolidation to bring together various bills for one monthly payment and, at the same time, help lower monthly payments to make life easier and more manageable.

About NextStudent

NextStudent, http://www.nextstudent.com/ , federal lender code 834051, is dedicated to helping students and their families find affordable ways to pay for college. NextStudent offers one-on-one education finance counseling and has a portfolio of highly competitive education finance products and services including a free online scholarship search engine, federally guaranteed parent and student loans, private student loans , both federal and private student loan consolidation programs, and college savings plans.

The NextStudent Scholarship Search Engine , one of the nation's oldest and largest scholarship search engines, is updated daily, available free of charge, completely private -- and represents 2.4 million scholarships worth $3.4 billion.

For more information about NextStudent and its student loan programs, please visit the company's Web site at http://www.nextstudent.com/ .

posted by Irmansyah @ 10:58 PM   0 comments
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