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All about REPAYE: on Physician Financial Success (podcast)

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Last week I had the pleasure of being the featured guest on Josh Mettle’s Physician Financial Success podcast. During our very pleasant and lively chat, we discussed:   the new REPAYE Program – what it is, when it’ll roll out & what it means for you (in plain English) what IBR is & how it compares to the REPAYE Program whether using REPAYE disqualifies you for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program caveats to the REPAYE program that are essential Continue reading

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REPAYE: what it means for you

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In June of 2014 President Obama put through an executive order that would allow those who qualify for the 15% version (IBR) of the income driven plans to now qualify for the 10% Pay As You Earn program (PAYE) plan regardless of when you took out your loans. In short, this means that about 5 million borrowers who are presently in the 15% IBR program will have the opportunity to lower their payment by approximately 33% under the 10% version Continue reading

July 1st 2015 means new Student Loan Interest Rates

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  Heads up everyone: The new interest rates on federal student loans are here. And fortunately, this year, they’re just a little bit cheaper. The 2015-2016 federal student loan interest rates, which took effect July 1st, are more than 1/3 of a percentage point less expensive than last year’s rates. Granted, these yearly fluctuations in interest rates are not some extraordinarily rare — they’re something that has, and will continue to happen annually, as a natural consequence of market fluctuations. Continue reading

Take note of these 5 student loan debt relief agencies (recently sued by Illinois Attorney General)

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This past May, Attorney General Madigan of Illinois filed a hefty lawsuit against the following 5 student loan debt relief agencies: Consumer Financial Resources LLC, operating as Student Loan Resolve (based in Texas) Federal Student Loan Alliance (based in California) Interactiv Education LLC, operating as Direct Student Aid (based in Florida) Student Consulting Group Inc., a.k.a. University of One and Help Assist Me Default Resolution Services (based in Georgia) Nationwide Student Aid LLC (based in Chicago) The Attorney General alleged Continue reading

GL Advisor: where’d they go?

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For the past few months, I have been receiving many phone calls from worried student loan borrowers concerning GL Advisor. Apparently, this agency, which was designed to help borrowers manage their student debt, has been unreachable for weeks. Unfortunately, this does not surprise me that much — but it did just a little! While scams of all kinds run rampant throughout the student loan debt relief industry, GL Advisor seemed to be on the up and up. They focused on Continue reading

Which student loan debt relief agency is reputable and safe?

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I receive many, many emails with the following question: “How can I know if it’s safe for me to work with any student loan debt relief agency?” And my answer is always the same: No debt relief agency is truly recommendable, in my opinion. Debt relief agencies all offer the same services, as though they were “unique” programs that could only be obtained through their agency. For example, things like: federal student loan consolidation access to Obama’s student loan forgiveness Continue reading

How to get your new FSA ID and Password

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  Hello everyone, There have been a few important changes on the NSLDS and Studentloans.gov websites — and they’re mainly related to the verification process. Here are the changes: Where you used to put in your social security number, date of birth, first 2 letters of your last name and pin number, now you are required to create an “FSA ID and password.” You can create one of these on the spot. (However, like all things federal loans, it’s a Continue reading

Washington Attorney General & CFPB sue Student Loan Processing (debt relief agency)

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  Last Monday (April 6, 2015), Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against Student Loan Processing. Allegedly, this firm had been exploiting student loan borrowers by tricking them into paying for federal loan benefits that were designed to be 100% free. In other words, Student Loan Processing was positioning the benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Education as though they were “unique” programs that could only be obtained through their agency. Oy vey. Interestingly enough, back in Continue reading

The Doctors’ Loophole: what it is & how it might affect you

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  As a student loan consultant, I work with borrowers of various different career paths. Some are architects, some are baristas and some are even actors living in Hollywood. One of the biggest groups of borrowers I help are physicians. Because of their high debt amounts, and their participation in Internship and Residency, doctors are faced with special circumstances when it comes to managing their student debt. One of the most recent concerns that doctors are facing is the effect Continue reading

About the “Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2015”

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This month, 13 senators cosponsored the “Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2015.” Through the passing of this bill, these senators intend to remove the bankruptcy immunities that have made private student loans impervious to being discharged through the process of bankruptcy. I’ve always held that applying bankruptcy immunity to private student loans is unfair, since they are far less borrower-friendly than federal loans. Allow me to expand a bit on why I believe federal student loans should have bankruptcy Continue reading

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