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Friday, February 27, 2009

Student Loan Debt Consolidation

Most federal education loans are eligible for inclusion in a student loan debt consolidation loan, including subsidized and unsubsidized Direct and FFEL Stafford Loans, SLS, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Nursing Loans, and Health Education Assistance Loans. However, private education loans are not eligible for inclusion in a student loan debt consolidation loan.

A student loan debt consolidation loan allows you to combine your federal student loans into a single loan with one monthly payment. The repayments of a student loan debt consolidation loan can be significantly lower than the payment required under the standard 10-year repayment option. Under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, banks, secondary markets, credit unions, and other lenders provide the student loan debt consolidation loan. Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, the federal government provides the student loan debt consolidation loan.

To find out which loans can be included in a student loan debt consolidation loan contact the Direct Loan Origination Center's Consolidation Department if you’re applying for a direct student loan debt consolidation loan. Contact a participating FFEL lender if you’re applying for a FFEL student loan debt consolidation loan.

It is worth noting that you are still eligible for a student loan debt consolidation loan after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment. You can also get a student loan debt consolidation loan while you're in school. You must, however, be attending at least half time and have at least one Direct Loan or FFEL in an ‘in-school period’ which generally means that you have been continuously enrolled at least half time since the loan was disbursed. There are a number of conditions that need to be met for you to qualify for a student loan debt consolidation loan, especially if you are delinquent or in default and your loan holder will be able to give you all the necessary information.

If the same holder holds all the FFEL loans you want to consolidate, you must obtain the student loan debt consolidation loan from that holder, unless you haven't been able to get a loan with income-sensitive repayment terms that are acceptable to you. To be eligible for a William D. Ford direct student loan debt consolidation loan, you must have either a direct Stafford subsidized or unsubsidized loan that will be included in the student loan debt consolidation loan or have at least one Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program Stafford subsidized or unsubsidized loan.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tips to select the right bank for students

Banking offers the convenience of not having to handle large sums of money, thereby minimizing the chances of theft. Moreover, most of the financial institutions enable you to earn interest on your money deposited in a particular account.

There are a number of bank accounts and financial plans that are specifically designed for students. Today, students handle allowances that take care of all their financial requirements and if judiciously saved, could save them from debt in the future too. It is essential for students to select the right bank.

The following tips would help students in selecting the best bank for themselves:

- Services offered: It is essential to opt for a bank that meets your specific requirements and serves you efficiently.

- Convenience: Before selecting a bank, you should check the location, working hours and your accessibility.

- Insured federally: Always look for a bank that is insured. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDCI insures most banks. It indicates that even if the bank goes bankrupt, you would get your money back, up to $100,000.

- Bank fees: There are bank fees associated with the bank accounts. They charge fees on dropping below the minimum balance, overdraft protection, issue of checks and many more.

Requirements in setting up your banking services:

Financial institutions require you to submit certain important documents, for opening a bank account. They are as follows:

- Your social security number
- A photo ID, like a driver’s license, passport or student ID
- Proof of address
- Your signature on a card or form that is maintained by the bank

Essential banking services for students are as follows:

There are student and graduate accounts, with a number of attractive fringe benefits, designed especially for students. Students struggling to excel in their chosen fields usually cannot afford to pay back the money they borrow, within the expected time frame. Banks offer them the facility of special accounts, designed to increase their loyalty to the financial institution in good time.

Some of the essential considerations to be made, before opting for banking services are:

- Student accounts: A student account offers advantages like vouchers and discounts on branded articles and department stores.

- Overdrafts: Overdrafts enable you to pay your university fees without carrying liquid money. Therefore, it is essential to pick an account with an interest- free overdraft limit.

- Overall package: Though, the overdraft limit is necessary, you need to study the overall bank account package offered. You need to check the fees and charges applicable for certain services.

- Support: Before opening a student’s account, you need to ensure that your account provides you with dedicated support at time of crisis.

You should select a banking service only after conducting substantial research and analyzing the banks credentials.

Paying Back A Student Loan: step by step guide

In most of the cases, student loans do not require repayment until after graduation. Many fresh graduates do not find a suitable placement very quickly. However, after graduation, there is a six months grace period before the repayment schedule begins. Even though a student may identify a good job, he could initially be underpaid, leading to issues with the repayment of the loan.

There are several strategies that could be adopted to help you repay the loan. Student loan lenders and service providers offer several repayment options. You should check with your creditor to gather details on any such available plans. Repayment plans offer the following options:

- Graduated repayment: The payment is lower in the beginning and increases steadily over a period of time.

- Standard repayment: Interest payments and principals are due each month, throughout the repayment term.

- Income sensitive repayment: A percentage of the borrower’s monthly income forms the basis of calculating the monthly repayment, although this plan applies for certain account borrowers.

- Extended repayment: This incorporates lower monthly payments for an extended period of 25 years.

- Loan consolidation: You can consolidate several loans into one new loan, with a low interest rate and easy finance management opportunities.

- Prepayment: This can reduce your total cost of borrowing because most private student loans allow you to make payment of a part or your entire loan before the scheduled payment. This can be done anytime during the life of the loan.

In addition you should check:

- Your state might be offering programs that reduce or even cancel your loan if you perform certain services like, nursing or teaching. You can get in touch with the state agency for postsecondary education, to check if there are such programs available in your state.

- There are religious and civic organizations that provide certain benefits and aid in repayment.

- Your personal expenses may need to be analyzed and kept minimum. Try to keep your living expenses low initially.

- It is possible to apply for forbearance, deferment or any other payment relief programs.

Deferment: It is the temporary suspension of the loan payment if you re-enroll yourself in a school, are unemployed or facing any economic hardship.

Forbearance: This is also a reduction or postponement of the loan payment, temporarily, while you are in any financial difficulty.

Other forms: These may include graduate or income sensitive loans.

If you are facing financial difficulty and it is impossible for you to repay the loan immediately, you can always take refuge in these options. They not only help you to repay your loan easily, but also help you maintain a good credit report.

Students Federal Grants: Step By Step Guide

Grant Or Scholarship - What's The Difference?

The main difference between a grant and a scholarship is that a scholarship has far more restrictions placed upon it than a grant. Both grants and scholarships are non-repayable, that is, unlike a loan you don't have to pay them back when you are done your schooling. Furthermore, scholarships are for specific academic or athletic categories, whereas grants are awarded primarily on financial need only.

Raising Your Chances

There are a few things you can do to raise your chances of being elidgeable for financial assistance. The first and most important thing you can do is get good grades in school - good grades not only might qualify you for a scholarship, but they also make your chances a lot better of being accepted to the university of your choice.

Grants To The Rescue

Of course, what if youre not as smart as those students? What will you do to get into college by not spending a lot of money? The government can provide you money for college students who are in need of financial aid. This is called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. This is a form of grant that will determine how much your familys financial strength is. You can fill out a FAFSA form in your school or via the internet in the FAFSA website at Not only students who have financial difficulty should do this but everyone should do it. This will substantially decrease the amount you will spend to pay for college and can lessen the burden for your parents.

Have The Following Information Ready

- Social Security Number

- Latest W-2 forms and other records of money earned.

- Federal Income Tax Return of your parents.

- Permanent Residence Card if a non US citizen.

- Drivers license