Natalie Salzman

Helping You Navigate Your Student Loans

Tips for Landing a Job after College


After finishing college, you are definitely ready landing a job. Even if it is hard to find your first job, it does not mean that you can`t land one. For finding the best job, it is very important to prepare yourself well from all points of view. There are several useful tips that are worth considering, when it comes to landing a job after college. Continue reading

The Effects of Bankruptcy on Student Loans


 Student loans often amount to very large sums of money, and it is unfortunately inevitable that some graduates may not be able to meet repayments for a variety of reasons. It’s also possible that you, as a prospective student or parent of one, are having difficulty securing a loan as a result of past bankruptcy. Read on for more information on how to manage adverse financial circumstances and particularly the effects of bankruptcy on student loans.

Declaring bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to ten years. It can affect your ability to get a job, rent or buy property, obtain credit, borrow money and get insurance. Added to this, student loans are generally exempt from being written off when bankruptcy is declared.

There are two types of bankruptcy that are most commonly declared: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.

In the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, non-exempt assets are liquidated to pay creditors, and the remaining unsecured debt is usually discharged – but not the student loan.  In Chapter 13, there is no liquidation of assets but a financial plan is made to repay the debt in instalments over a number of years. Again, the remaining unsecured debt is often written off, but not the student loan.

The exception to the student loan debt being exempt from being written off is if the borrower can prove that repaying it is causing undue hardship; this only applies in extreme cases, and would be determined by the bankruptcy court.

Defaulting on your loan repayments happens when you fail to make payments (delinquency) for nine consecutive months. This can have serious consequences which include:

  • Losing eligibility for forbearance and deferment options.
  • Becoming subject to collection fees and commission charges from 3rd party debt collectors.
  • Having up to 15% of your wages garnished.
  • The possibility of your professional license being revoked, suspended, or your application to certify being refused.
  • Your tax refund being seized.
  • Your social security retirement and disability benefits being seized.
  • Your case being referred to the US Department of Education who may sue you, or your co-signer, for the loan amount.
  • Your credit score being seriously affected, and the default appearing on your consumer credit report for up to 10 years.
  • Your application for postgraduate lending being refused for up to 5 years.

It’s clear that defaulting on your repayments and declaring bankruptcy are to be avoided at all costs. To avoid these penalties coming into effect:

  • Stay in contact with your loan provider; there may be forbearance or deferment schemes that will give you the time to better your situations and resume payments without defaulting, or an option to reduce your monthly payments.
  • Research whether you are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, or Income Based Repayment schemes. These are usually only an option with federal loans, but it’s worth inquiring about them to a private lender.
  • Consolidate your loans to make repayment more manageable.

Parents wishing to apply for a federal Direct PLUS loan will not be able to do so within 5 years of declaring bankruptcy, but students may find that this situation increases their eligibility for a subsidized federal loan, so explore your options.

Weird Scholarship Opportunities


There is a wide range of scholarship opportunities out there to choose from, from the most exceptional to all average students that fit all talents and characteristics, from the most common ones to unique talents. It doesn`t matter if you have the free spirit, you are a feminist or not an exceptional student, just an average one, there is surely at least one scholarship opportunity out there that fits you. However, many of us have really strange talents and people with these unusual capabilities wonder if there are any scholarship plans available for them to choose? Lucky you if you have one of these outstanding talents that make you unique in the crowd, because a scholarship from your college that you attend will actually help you open the future world for huge and steady income! Continue reading

Facts About Student Loans



Taking out a student loan is a big commitment; make sure you’re in possession of the facts before you go ahead with it. They are a useful and often necessary way to bridge the gap between your or your parents’ savings, any scholarships you have been awarded, and part time work that you’ll undertake while at college. They can be divided into two main categories: federal and private.


Federal Loans

In the majority of cases, it’s advisable to take out a federal loan rather than a private one. These are specifically designed with students in mind, and offer protective benefits such as deferment, forbearance, Income Based Repayment, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness for those of you who opt for certain careers. =

There are four types of federal loan. The first 3 are provided by the US Department of Education and require the loaner to pay fees that are deducted from the first out-payment of money, or disbursement.

  1. Direct Subsidized Loan

These are based on financial need and don’t require a credit check. The US Department of Education pays the interest on the loan while you are at college, and repayment starts 6 months after graduation.

  1. Direct Unsubsidized Loan

These aren’t based on financial need but still don’t require a credit check. You are responsible for all of the interest incurred, and repayment starts 6 months after graduation.

  1. Parent Plus Loan

These loans can be taken out by parents of dependent students and require a basic credit check. Repayments begin 60 days after the first disbursement.

  1. Federal Perkins Loan

Unlike the other three, this loan is provided by the school and is only available to students who are experiencing exceptional financial need, and therefore is of limited availability. There is no interest charged, repayments start nine months after graduation, and there are no administration fees.

Private Loans

These are provided by banks, financial institutions, or schools. Private student loans aren’t subsidized, so you will pay all the interest you incur, which may be at a fixed or variable rate. This will be payable as soon as you take out the loan. You may be required to have a credit check, and have someone co-sign your loan agreement if you don’t have a good credit rating. Although some lenders offer short term forbearance or deferment options, these are often chargeable. You may also pay a fee if you choose to make payments early or in excess of the prearranged amount.

It’s absolutely crucial that you base the amount you borrow on a realistic expectation of what you’ll earn once you’ve graduated. Research the graduation, retention, job placement and loan default rates for your prospective college, as well as the employment rates for your chosen career, to get an accurate picture of how long it will take you to get a job, and how much you will earn. Your student loan repayments should only be a small percentage of your complete earnings once you graduate; keep in mind you’ll have the cost of living to manage as well.

Tips for Getting Financial Aid

financial aid


Securing financial aid for college can be a difficult and confusing process. Follow these tips to help you on your way towards getting funded.

  • Use the FAFSA

Any student applying for federal financial aid is required to fill in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Even if you don’t think you’re eligible for subsidized loans or grants, it’s worth finding out what’s on offer.

  • Know Your EFC

The Expected Family Contribution is a crucial figure when it comes to student finance options. If your EFC is less than the cost of attendance, you’ll be eligible for need-based aid in the form of grants, scholarships and subsidized loans. There are online calculators that can give you an idea of your EFC but it’s always worth filling in the FAFSA too, as there is often a discrepancy between the initial calculation and the final offer package.

  • Number Crunch

When you’ve got the figures about your financial aid options in your hand, take the time to sit down and make a thorough financial forecast before making a decision. What is the interest rate? Is it fixed or variable? Will you have to start repayments immediately? What’ the shortfall, or ‘gap’ between funding and the actual cost of attendance? And, most importantly, given your choice of degree and resulting job prospects, will you be able to meet the repayments? There are online calculators to help you answer these questions, such as the US Department of Education’s repayment calculator.

  • Speak to Your Financial Aid Officer

These are an invaluable source of advice and help when it comes to financial aid. Be honest about your situation and make sure you give them all the information you can. Financial Aid Officers do have some discretion when it comes to awarding funds, so if there’s something you feel wasn’t covered by the FAFSA, tell them about it and see if they can help. Don’t treat them like an adversary; instead let them help you get the financial aid that fits your situation.

  • Explore all the Options

Don’t write yourself off for a federal loan, scholarship or grant. The EFC is calculated using four factors: family size, total income, assets, and the number of children in the family attending college. It’s always worth checking if you’re eligible. Take the time to research possible scholarships, including private ones. Although these often don’t seem like much, they can help you on your way to getting funded.

  • Meet the Deadlines

Start your research early and get all your applications in well before the deadlines. Most colleges will have a finite amount of funds available, and although it’s not exactly first come, first served, once the money’s gone, it’s gone. Don’t forget to reapply every year, and ask for reassessment if your family’s financial situation changes in any way: unemployment or death of a parent, divorce, depletion of assets and high medical expenses may all change your eligibility.

Private Student Loans for College


Are you looking for covering your educational or graduation costs for college? In this situation, considering private loans for students is a wise decision. When scholarships and savings are not enough for financial coverage, private student loans will definitely do the job. These types of loans are designed to cover certain financial needs of a student attending a college, such as traveling to schools, tuition, apartments, college workbook, college food or studying abroad. The best thing about private student loans is the fact that you can apply for them faster, unlike federal government loans because there is less paperwork to be done with them.

Even if federal government debts are usually better deals for students attending college, these may only help you by a certain limit and that allowed amount to borrow may not be enough to cover all your costs. This is where the role of private student loans arises and helps you out.

How can private student loans help you?

Even if federal loans and saved money represent the best methods for covering college costs, these are unfortunately sometimes not enough. There are students unable to get qualified for a scholarship or simply can`t afford covering all educational costs. The disadvantage of federal government loans is the fact that these have an annual limit allowed to borrow by students, based on their overall educational performance history. When your parents don`t have enough money saved for covering your educational costs or you aren`t eligible for borrowing federal government loans, considering private student loans is your ultimate solution.

From all types of loans borrowed for educational purposes, private student loans are considered to be the cheapest ones, unlike personal loans, credit cards or other methods of borrowing. Keep in mind that these loans are especially designed for students and some of them may even exclude penalties, when you are late with repaying.

When should you apply for a private student loan?

You may need applying for a private student loan whenever the financial aid offered for you isn`t entirely covering your educational costs. The more expensive your educational costs are the more private student loan you may need. If you notice that the awarded financial aid is simply not completely covering your college costs, you should consider looking for the best private student loans, depending on your needs.

You can also consider this type of loan for graduation. This is a big life event and you will definitely need a lot of money. If your parents are unable to cover all your graduation expenses, it is a wise thing to start searching for your desired private loan.

Establishing your borrowing needs

When it comes to private student loans, you need to consider your needs and based on these, choose your desired private loan that best fits your list of borrowing needs. Before applying for the loan, you need to make sure that you`ve used all of your financial resources but these are still not enough for completely covering you college expenses. If you`ve made sure that you need to apply for a private student loan, the first thing to do is calculate the amount of money that you need.

Calculating and establishing precisely how much you need is important because it is useless to borrow more than needed. After all, you will only spend the remaining funds for useless things and you still have to suffer the consequences. Try to make the repayment method as easy as possible for you, by borrowing only as much as needed, not more. The amount of loan that students need varies from person to person.

It is also important to understand for every student apart that lenders don`t always allow them to borrow on their own. This is because two main aspects that represent reason of concern for lenders: from one hand, most of the students don`t have a steady income and from the other hand, they don’t have a long-term credit history. Therefore, by simply applying for a private student loan, it doesn`t mean that you are automatically awarded. Furthermore, if you have a stable income and a good credit history, you should still consider using a co-signer for your loan. Private student loan terms and interest rates are better for those who borrow with a cosigner, unlike students who borrow on their own.

Having all these thoughts in mind, it is time to establish if you need considering borrowing a private student loan at the right time.

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