Kristen Kuchar is Managing Editor and Content Strategist for Savingforcollege.com. She has covered personal finance issues with a focus on student loans and college savings for the last decade for a wide variety of publications. Kristen is passionate about creating content that eases the stress of paying for college and managing student loans. She graduated from Columbia College with a B.A. in Journalism.
How to Go to College for Free
Before you stress about the high costs of college, consider options to go to college for free or at a reduced cost. While it may not completely be free, there are options to lower the price tag for college and to reduce student loan debt. Here’s how to lower your costs of college or potentially even go to college for free.
Student Loan Borrowers Sue Over Continuing Wage Garnishment
The CARES Act automatically stopped federal student loan payments and stated it would suspend wage garnishments and other collection activities for those borrowers in default. However, the U.S. Department of Education continues to garnish the wages of tens of thousands of borrowers.
Are Private Student Loans Eligible for Income-Based Repayment?
Income-driven repayment plans allow student loan borrowers to make monthly payments based on their income and family size, as opposed to the amount they owe. However, this benefit is available only for federal student loans. Most private student loans do not offer income-based repayment options.
What Credit Score Do I Need for Private Student Loans?
The credit score required for a private student loan varies by each individual lender. In general, most lenders require at least a credit score of 650 to get approved for student loans. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to be approved for a private student loan.
What is a Qualifying Payment for Student Loans Forgiveness?
If you are pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) to eliminate your student loan debt, you have probably heard the phrase “qualifying payment.” Borrowers are required to make 120 qualifying payments, among other criteria, to receive student loan forgiveness.
Free Stuff for College Students
College is expensive, but fortunately there are many student discounts you can take advantage of. There are even many things you can get for free just for being a college student. You should always ask if there is a student discount on anything you are buying, from a new computer and clothes to dinner and movie tickets. These are items you can get for free as a college student.
ChangEd App Review: Pay Off Student Loans with Spare Change
The ChangEd app could help student loan borrowers pay down their debt faster. The app links to your student loans – both federal and private – and puts extra money towards your student loan balance. Learn how the ChangEd app works and if it's right for you.
Don’t Refinance Federal Student Loans During the COVID-19 Crisis
There are pros and cons to refinancing student loans. But federal student loans are much different than private student loans, especially when it comes to refinancing. Federal student loans come with a slew of benefits that you will lose if you refinance. Now especially is a time to think twice about refinancing federal student loans during the coronavirus crisis. Here’s why you shouldn’t refinance federal student loans right now.
These Companies Will Help You Pay for College
More companies are offering tuition reimbursement for employees to help pay for college. Taking advantage of an employer tuition assistance program is a great way to help pay for college and reduce the amount of student loan debt you’ll owe. Companies are also offering student loan repayment assistance as well. Learn which companies offer tuition reimbursement, how it works, and what you should know.
Senators Want More Student Loan Relief During Coronavirus
Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and several other Democratic senators are requesting student loan relief during the Coronavirus crisis for the millions of borrowers who do not qualify for the automatic payment pause, including private student loan borrowers.
LGBTQ Community Faces Greater Challenges with Student Loans and Paying for College
LGBTQ students often face additional obstacles when it comes to paying for college and dealing with student loan debt. We turned to David and John, husbands and authors of the blog Debt Free Guys, to weigh in on this issue and share their expertise.
New Details Released on the Coronavirus Student Loan Payment Pause
President Trump signed the CARES Act into law on March 27, 2020. Federal student loan borrowers learned they would be able to stop making payments on qualified federal student loans due to coronavirus. Here are new details on how this payment pause works and who is eligible.
A Safe Way to Save for College During the Coronavirus Pandemic
With a scary stock market and an unpredictable economy, investing can seem like the last thing you want to do right now. You might be hesitant to invest in a 529 college savings plan right now in the midst of the coronavirus-induced bear market. However, an FDIC-insured 529 college savings plan could be exactly what you’re looking for.
How to Get More Financial Aid for College Due to Coronavirus
The financial aid you receive is based on your family’s income from two years ago. But, with coronavirus and millions of jobs being lost, your family’s ability to pay for college could have changed drastically. If your financial situation has changed due to coronavirus (or any other reason), you can appeal to get more financial aid to pay for college.
Fun Things to Do at Home During to the Coronavirus Crisis
We've gathered dozens of fun and productive things you can do while you are at home due to the coronavirus. This list has options for the entire family, from how to keep the kids busy at home to money moves you should make while you're at home.
Your Coronavirus Stimulus Check – How Much You’ll Get and How to Use It
The coronavirus stimulus checks will be $1,200 for individuals earning under $75,000 per year. For married couples, you’ll get a check for $2,400 for adjusted gross incomes under $150,000. We explore the best ways to spend your money.
These Companies are Hiring During the Coronavirus Crisis
It’s estimated that millions of jobs could be lost during the global coronavirus emergency. Losing your job is a painful experience, especially if you’re dealing with student loan debt. Many college students who worked on campus or who had to move back home, are now without a job. These companies are hiring right now.
Democrats Propose Emergency Student Loan Relief Due to Coronavirus
In light of the coronavirus and the havoc it is wrecking on the economy, Democrats are proposing legislation to cancel student loan payments during the pandemic emergency. The emergency student loan payment and relief plan would provide relief to all federal student loan borrowers (not private student loans) by pausing monthly student loan payments for the entire duration of the coronavirus emergency.
NEWS: New York Suspends Student Loan Payments
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Attorney General Letitia James have temporarily paused collection of defaulted student loan debt owed to the state and referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection. They are also suspending any interest from accruing on these loans.
How to Pause Student Loan Payments during the Coronavirus Outbreak
The coronavirus has created a wave of chaos. While health is the priority, it’s hard not to worry about how COVID-19 will impact our finances and our jobs. If your income has been impacted for whatever reason due to the coronavirus, here is what how you can pause or lower payments on your student loans.
Complete Guide to College and Coronavirus
The spread of coronavirus has impacted the entire world – even down to college savings accounts and student loan interest rates. If you are a current college student, odds are your life has been turned upside down. How will I get home when my college closed? Will I be reimbursed for room and board? What if you have nowhere to go? What if I can't make student loan payments right now?
How to Protect Your 529 College Savings Plan Right Now
With the uncertainty of our economy, the coronavirus, and the scary trends of the stock market, there is no doubt that anything you have saved for college can be impacted right now. Here is how you can protect your 529 plan and what you should do if you have a child ready for college.
You Could Win $40,000 (or More) Towards Your Student Loans
There are many ways you can reduce student loan debt. You may qualify for student loan forgiveness, be able to discharge your student loans or even have an employer who is willing to offer student loan repayment assistance. However, there are also some unconventional ways you might be able to eliminate student loan debt. There are a variety of contests and sweepstakes that could pay your student loans.
10 Cool Benefits from Sallie Mae Offers (Not Just for Borrowers)
Sallie Mae is known as one of the most popular lenders for private student loans, parent loans and graduate loans. But the company provides much more than student loans. From free scholarship searches to free tools to increase your savings, these are unique features Sallie Mae offers.
Which Jobs Qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) is a program that forgives the remaining balance on Direct Federal Loans if you are employed full time by a U.S. federal, state, county, local or tribal government or not-for-profit organization. These are the jobs that qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the jobs that do not qualify.
What are Origination Fees?
When it comes to student loans, an origination fee is an upfront fee charged for processing your student loan. These fees can cover the cost of processing your student loan application, underwriting the loan and funding the loan. Origination fees are typically a percentage of your student loan’s total. Private student loan lenders generally don’t charge an origination fee. Instead, they factor the cost of loan origination into the interest rate. However, federal loans do charge an origination fee.
Joe Biden's Plans For College Affordability and Student Loans
Former Vice President Joe Biden and presidential hopeful is rolling out a plan to help make college more affordable and ease the student loan crisis, especially for low- and middle-income families. Here is Joe Biden's plan for college affordability and student loans.
How will Coronavirus Impact Your College Savings and Student Loans?
The Coronavirus has triggered fear for many of us. We want to keep our families safe and healthy and protect them from disease. But it also can cause fear for our financial future. Here is how coronavirus may affect your college savings and student loans.
Pros and Cons of Student Loan Refinancing
Refinancing student loan debt means you essentially trade your current student loans for a brand new loan. People refinance student loans to get a lower interest rate, which helps save money and pay off your student loan debt faster. However, student loan refinancing isn’t for everyone and there are pros and cons of refinancing student loans. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of student loan refinancing.
What Bernie Sanders Wants to Do About Student Loans and College
Of all the Democratic presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders has introduced the most ambitious proposals for eliminating student loan debt and making college more affordable. The Senator believes that college education is an inalienable human right and that going to college should not force students to borrow. He proposes to implement tuition and debt-free college for all and completely cancel student loan debt – all $1.6 trillion of it. Here is his plan and how he will pay for it.
What Mike Bloomberg Would Do about Student Loans and College Affordability
Mike Bloomberg is newer to the presidential race than his fellow Democrat contenders, but he has released his proposed plans for dealing with student loan debt and making college more affordable. With the nation’s student loan debt at $1.6 trillion, it’s no surprise all of the presidential candidates are weighing in on college financial aid.
How to Save Money and Eliminate Student Loan Debt: 75 Simple Tips
Dealing with student loan debt can add financial stress to your life. Fortunately, there are ways you can cut costs to save money to pay off your student loans faster. There are also many easy ways you can save money every month to make making student loan payments doable or to throw extra payments at your student loans to be done with them sooner. Here are 76 ways you can save money.
Debt Snowball VS Debt Avalanche Method When Repaying Student Loans
Roughly 70% of U.S. college graduates have student loan debt. When it comes to repaying student loan debt quicker, you have to consider what is the best way to attack it. There are several debt repayment methods – the debt snowball method, the debt avalanche method and the debt snowflake method. Let’s take a closer look to see how each of these works and determine which is right for you.
Should I Cosign for My Spouse Refinancing a Student Loan?
Deciding to refinance student loans as a married couple could be a smart move to improve finances, especially if one spouse has much better credit. Refinancing a student loan may result in a lower interest rate, which saves money. This could help alleviate financial stress and allow you to reach other financial goals, such as buying a home, saving for vacations and saving for retirement. But, when your spouse is refinancing a student loan, should you cosign? Consider the pros and cons of cosigning and decide whether cosigning is right for you and your relationship.
Should I Cosign a Private Student Loan?
Cosigning your child’s private student loan can help them get approved. Having a creditworthy cosigner can also mean your child will qualify for a lower interest rate. However, cosigning a student loan can have severe consequences. Cosigning a loan means a responsibility and commitment until the loan is paid in full, which could take several years. Here are the pro and cons of cosigning a student loan and what you need to consider.
Borrowing and Refinancing Private Student Loans with Earnest
Earnest offers private student loans for undergraduate students, and private student loans for graduate and professional students (such as private student loans for medical school, business school and law school). Earnest also refinances federal and private student loans.
What Pete Buttigieg Wants to Do about Student Loans
Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg could make history as the first president elected with student loan debt. The South Bend, Indiana mayor and his husband Chasten have a combined total of $130,000 in student loan debt. Buttigieg does not propose student loan debt cancellation like some of his opponents, but he does offer solutions to easing the student loan crisis.
Anthony Oneal Tells Us How to Get a Debt-Free Degree
Anthony ONeal is a best-selling author and speaker helping students make smart decisions about his money. His latest book Debt-Free Degree details how you could earn a college degree with no student loans. Anthony shares advice on how to avoid student loans and for those who already have student loan debt, how to manage.
How to Pay Off Student Debt with Debt Discipline
The blogger behind Debt Disciple now shares how he eliminated his six-figure debt in 50 months (and how you can do the same). He also shares advice for parents and college students borrowing student loans as well as those dealing with student loan debt.
Elizabeth Warren Confronted Over Student Loan Proposal by Father Who Saved for College
Senator Elizabeth Warren was confronted by an angry man this week in regards to her proposal to eliminate student loan debt. The father of a current college student said he had worked double shifts, diligently saving for college, so he could pay for his daughter’s education without the need for student loans.
How to Borrow Student Loans Responsibly
When you hear about the student loan crisis and the more than a trillion dollars of student loan debt, it is likely you could be scared to borrow student loans. While a debt-free education is ideal, in many cases, student loans are necessary to pay for college (more than two-thirds of college students graduate with student loan debt). There is a positive side to student loans. If you borrow smarter, loans help you earn a college degree, which could result in a bigger income, more job security, a ticket to a career you love and enough money to repay your student loans.
Borrowing or Refinancing Private Student Loans with LendKey
LendKey offers private student loans for undergraduate students, private student loans for graduate and professional students (such as private student loans for medical school, business school, law school and dental students), and private parent loans. LendKey will also refinance student loans.
How to Lower Your Student Loan Payments
Student loan borrowers pay an average of almost $400 per month to repay their debt. Depending on how much you borrowed to pay for college, that number could be in the thousands for the 2.5 million borrowers with a six-figure debt. Whether you are struggling to make payments or simply want to free up money for other financial goals, these are ways you can lower your monthly student loan payment.
Why Student Loans are Causing Marriage Problems (and How to Avoid This)
Dealing with student loan debt can cause anxiety and stress, and relationships are certainly not immune. In fact, student loan debt is to blame in one in eight divorces and fighting about money is the second leading cause of divorce. Learn why student loans are causing relationship problems and how you can avoid this.
Free Tax Return Filing for College Students and College Graduates
Filing taxes for college students and recent graduates can feel overwhelming, but it’s an important task. There are many credits you may be able to take advantage of as a college student or recent college grad, including the Student Loan Interest Deduction, American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. Fortunately, most college students and recent college graduates have simple returns, and there are free options for filing taxes for simple returns.
How to Get an Emergency Student Loan
College students can receive an emergency student loan in the event of an unforeseen disaster – a death in the family, loss of job, accident, auto repairs, unexpected loss of funds or a natural disaster. Many colleges offer the opportunity for currently enrolled students in good standing to receive a short-term emergency loan if they are experiencing a financial hardship.
Borrowing or Refinancing Private Student Loans from SoFi
SoFi offers private student loans for undergraduate students and graduate students. SoFi also offers private parent loans and will also refinance federal and private student loans. Learn is SoFi is the right student loan refinance lender for you.
How to Make this the Year You Pay Off Student Loans
Getting out of debt regularly ranks in the top three most popular New Year's Resolutions every year. And it's for good reason. Debt, especially student loan debt, cause stress and delay borrowers from reaching other financial goals, such as buying a home or saving for retirement. Instead of just accepting your student loans, make this the year to pay them off for good (or greatly reduce them). Here's how to make this the year you pay off student loan debt:
How to Help Your Children Reduce their Student Loan Debt
Saving for college is the best way you can reduce student loan debt. But with more than three-quarters of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, sometimes saving for college seems out of reach. Regardless of your income, you can help your kids reduce the amount of student loans they will need to borrow.
What Buddy the Elf Can Teach Us About Saving Money and Tackling Debt
Whether you’re trying to pay off student loans, save for your child’s college education or simply want to improve your finances, the holiday season can be a challenging time of year. Luckily, we can learn valuable financial lessons from a favorite holiday movie, Elf. Despite living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, Buddy the Elf manages to display great financial moves to inspire us all. Here are five ways Buddy the Elf can teach us about saving money and tackling debt.
70 Ways to Pay Student Loans Faster
Paying off student loan debt can seem daunting, especially when your minimum payments aren’t making much of a dent. To reduce student loans faster, there are several paths to explore, most of which involve freeing up more money to make bigger payments. You can earn more money, reduce spending, manage your loans better and even find someone else to repay your student loan debt. We have more than 70 ideas to start paying down student loans today.
What Can I Pay for with Student Loan Money?
If you have borrowed student loans, you may be wondering what exactly you can use that student loan money to pay for, besides tuition and fees. Can you pay for living expenses with student loans? Can you buy a new car with student loan money? Can you use student loan funds to pay for rent or buy a new computer? Here’s what you need to know about what you can do with student loan money.
How to Sell Your Stuff to Help Pay Down Student Loans
Dealing with student loan debt can be overwhelming, especially if you’re struggling to make payments or just making the minimum payment every month. If you’ve made your budget and still don’t have money to put towards your debt, it’s time to find ways to make extra money. One way to get out of student loan debt faster is to sell your unwanted things for extra cash.
Gift Ideas for People with Student Loan Debt
We buy gifts for the people we love around the holidays because we want to give them something to make them happy and improve their life. If you have someone in your life that's dealing with student loan debt, you know the burden they carry. Instead of giving them a sweater or a picture frame, why not give them something that can help them deal with their student loan debt. These gifts are great for anyone dealing with student loan debt.
How to Give to Charity When You Have Student Loans
Student loan debt can be overwhelming. Studies have shown that carrying student loan debt delays or blocks big purchases, such as buying a car, paying for a wedding or buying a home. When you’re making large student loan payments every month, the idea of donating to charity could seem impossible. Hey, every extra penny needs to go to your student loans, right? But there are ways you can give to charity even when you have student loans.
Why You Should Be Thankful for Your Student Loans
Hearing those two little words – student loans – can make us feel stressed, regretful and overwhelmed. Carrying the burden of student loan debt can truly have a negative impact on your life, including causing anxiety, financial hardship and delaying you from saving for retirement or making other big purchases. The student debt crisis is a serious one, but for some people, there is a bright side to those student loans. Here are some reasons you might be thankful for your student loans.
How to Keep Your Money Safe While Studying Abroad
Studying abroad gives college students an incredible and memorable experience. The fact that some countries offer free tuition and you can use a 529 plan to pay for studying abroad (with some restrictions) is even more of a reason to go. While attending college in a foreign country, you need to be smart with your money.
How to Make a Budget After College
Life after graduation is a drastic change from life in college. Outside of swapping class with an actual grown-up job, the biggest change is your finances. You (hopefully) are earning an income with your first job, but there are several costs that will inevitably increase with graduation, as well. The first step to is to create a monthly budget.
These Countries Offer Free College Tuition For International Students
There are ten countries that offer free college tuition for international students and thirteen countries that offer free college tuition to residents. Sounds pretty tempting, right? Of course it does, especially considering a private U.S. college could cost upwards of $46,000 for four years.
How to Cut College Costs
How to cut college costs is a hot topic whether you’re currently in college, dreading those student loans payments or a parent looking for ways to avoid going broke paying for college. Fortunately, there are ways you can save money on college costs, whether you’re in high school or already on your way to earning a degree.
Small Changes Can Speed Up Student Loan Repayment
Even small changes can help you repay your student loans faster. Student loan debt can feel like a huge weight on your shoulders preventing you from saving money or enjoying life to the fullest. Start these simple steps today to pay down your student loan debt even faster.
How to Reduce Student Loan Debt and Lose Weight at the Same Time
Trying to get rid of student loan debt is a lot like trying to lose weight. Just as with those extra pounds or other unhealthy habits, the student loans you carry didn’t just appear overnight. Making a positive impact on your student loans and your health won’t happen that quick either. Both take patience, dedication and clear goals. Fortunately, here’s how you can save money and reduce student loan debt and lose weight at the same time.
Can You Pay Living Expenses with Student Loans?
College students can pay living expenses with both federal and private student loans. This is a relief for many, since the cost of attendance includes much more than just tuition alone. Student loans can pay for rent, food, health care and even a computer, but it’s still important to borrow wisely. Learn what you can and can't pay for with student loans.