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The New College Scorecard: How to Find Gold in the Data Dump #private #student #loans

#college loan interest rates

The New College Scorecard: How to Find Gold in the Data Dump

21 hours ago | Updated 21 hours ago

As if college admissions wasn’t confusing enough, now we have yet another ranking system to supposedly make it more transparent.

President Obama’s governmental plan to rate 7,000 U.S. colleges has been replaced by the new College Scorecard and greatly impacts college-going and college-interested students and their families. Tuition shaming. or perhaps more accurately, tuition transparency, is a concept that has gained an increasing amount of public interest in recent years. The College Scorecard does not necessarily score or rank colleges at all, but rather aims to provide information on annual college costs, graduation rates, and post-graduation salaries.

As the rating system and process was abandoned, the federal government utilized financial aid data and matched it with federal tax returns to assess post-graduation earnings (ten years later) for students who enrolled in college between 2001-2002.

For those who study higher education trends and data, and college students who live it, methodological assumptions overflow and concerns arise when reviewing the new College Scorecard. First, the College Scorecard employs data of federal student-loan borrowers only; other students, including students from families who did not apply for aid, and those who needed aid but did not apply, are excluded. Keep in mind that it’s precisely that group of students who started out with advantages that tend to earn more money so excluding all full payers skews the data. Second, data was collected for two years, 2001-2002, and with earnings assessments calculated ten years later, that places the salary review squarely in the midst of 2011-2012, a fairly significant time of a job crisis, an unemployment rate above 9%, and an underemployment rate of 16.1%. Some reporters have reviewed the College Scorecard negatively, citing it as a “data dump “, as non-federal aid borrowers were not included, field of study and post-graduation discipline are not factored in, college student retention was not considered, and many universities are missing from the Scorecard altogether.

However, there are pieces of the College Scorecard that will be helpful to students, their families, and those who study higher education. These include:

• the launch of a movement for colleges and universities to become more transparent with post-graduation salary data by field; • better informed families who may not yet be aware of posted tuition and fees information that colleges make available yearly (ex: MIT ); • greater student and family attention to financial aid borrowing, and federal loan entrance and exit counseling ; • and increased attention and self-prompted exploration of possible career fields prior to junior year, with the enhanced understanding that “with students’ future financial health on the line, discussions around major choice and career path are [presently] happening too late .

One helpful table we use all the time with our clients is the US News and World Report section (in the annual rankings issue) called The Payback Picture. This list ranks schools by most debt and least debt. Not surprisingly, colleges with huge endowments tend to have the least debt as most provide need blind financial aid – on the National University list we find Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Brigham Young, CIT and U of Houston in the top 5 and for liberal arts colleges, Berea, Louisiana State, UVA, Williams, Amherst, Pomona, etc. Those with most debt tend to be lower level colleges which may seem cheap up front, but they tend not to give as much aid – schools like Clark, U of Dayton, FIT and Barry lead the charge with St. Anselm, Green Mountain College, Dillard and College of St. Benedict on the liberal arts side.

We urge families to look beyond the basic scorecard and examine where students actually GO after graduating from a particular college. For example, a top research university might send a fair number of students into research or PhD programs – those students may have lower salaries in 10 years but still have the potential to boost their income as they advance in their field. Further, keep in mind students who eventually attend top business schools typically work for 5-10 years after college, so it’s important to look at the data well past the 10 year mark to see the salaries alums earn 15-20 years out. Of course we’d need to factor in ALL students, not just those who applied for financial aid in order for this info to be helpful.

Our job day in and day out is to make college and graduate school admissions more transparent and help students and their families navigate the complicated terrain so they have choices in their education. Even flawed rankings add to the conversation, add data to the process and bring up talking points families might not have considered previously.

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We specialize in securing all types of aircraft loans. Perfect credit and a perfect asset will secure low rate, long term competitive aircraft financing. Credit not so great? That’s ok! We also offer competitive asset based aircraft loans for all types of aircraft; Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, Citation, Cirrus, Gulfstream, Hawker, Learjet, Mooney, Bonanza, and some experimental aircraft. There is no minimum and no maximum on the aircraft loan amounts.

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The Student Loan Finance Corporation #fha #home #loan

#student loan corporation

The Student Loan Finance Corporation

Servicing Students and Lenders

Student loans are big business. In many instances, smaller lenders and student loan providers are challenged by integrating the resources necessary to manage an increasingly complex market. The Student Loan Finance Corporation (SLFC ) is known in the industry as a secondary market a kind of clearinghouse for student loans. It has a three-decade history in providing seamless account management of student loans, and works in tandem with community banks and hundreds of schools nationwide.

Whenever you are considering taking out a private loan, remember to exhaust all other resources first: federal loans, school financial aid, grants and scholarship opportunities. Private loans are based on your credit-worthiness and you may need a cosigner to obtain the loan. Interest rates are usually higher than the rates for federal loans, and come with variable rates that could change monthly. The advantage, of course, is that you can fill in the financial gaps when all of your resources combined just aren t enough.

Products and Services

Since the SLFC is a secondary market for student loans, the corporation is limited in what it can offer students directly. However, you can apply through SLFC for a number of private student loans, often also known as alternative student loans. Private loans are awarded according to credit status and, if approved, you can typically borrow as little or as much as you need to augment the financial backing you have already acquired. As with other providers, you will be expected to apply for federal student loans first before you apply for private loans.

The SLFC offers iHELP Student Loans that cover any college costs that aren t covered by the student s financial aid (scholarships, grants and federal student loans). Any full or part-time college student who has already maxed out their financial aid can qualify for an iHELP loan. The iHELP program is sponsored by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) representing nearly 5,000 banks of all sizes and charters in 23,000 locations nationwide. The ICBA sponsors the iHELP program through their member banks, and hundreds of schools work with the SLFC, so you need to make sure your school is eligible to accept and process iHelp loans.

In the past, SLFC offered affordable and easy student loan consolidations, but the program is no longer available.

Planning for College with SLFC

A feature of the SLFC is their online college planning tools. Do you need to know more about the nitty-gritty of financial aid? Are you confused about the types of student loans available and which ones are right for you? Access valuable how-to s on the federal loan programs, including grants and even scholarship opportunities.

Online planning tools guide you through the steps you need to strategize for college as early as your freshman year in high school, with savings tips and checklists. It offers advice on choosing a college, what to expect as an in-coming undergraduate or graduate, as well as career assessment advice. Calculators can assist you in estimating your college expenses and the final loan balances you can expect in advance.

The Ins and Outs of Military Car Loans #current #auto #loan #rates

#military loans

The Ins and Outs of Military Car Loans | by Ho Lin

So the time has come to purchase that vehicle you’ve had your eye on — but what kind of loan should you get to pay for it? Any quick search on the Internet brings up literally hundreds of companies that offer loans, and some also offer military car loans. What are these military car loans about, and what advantages do they offer? Read on.

The main differentiator between a military car loan and a regular car loan is simple: the military car loan is only for those who are currently serving on active duty, or are a military retiree (20 years or more served). But what sets them apart from the usual car loan?

Low Interest Rates – Military car loans generally have lower interest rates than other types of loans. Here’s a quick example about the power of interest rates: If you take out a $15,000 loan to be paid off within four years at a 10% interest rate, you’ll end up paying $380.44 a month, or $18,261.12 total when all’s said and done. If you have the same exact loan at a 7% interest rate, you’ll end up paying $356.19 per month, or $17,241.12 total. A few percentage points equals a few hundred bucks a year, which can make a big difference when you’re trying to balance your budget.

Low Down Payment – Military car loans can offer a lower down payment compared to regular loans, which means you’re required to pay less money up front. This can come in handy if you don’t have a lot saved up to buy your vehicle.

Easier Approval – If your credit rating is lower than average, or you have a limited credit history, you may have an easier time getting approval with a military car loan compared to a regular car loan. In most cases you can apply for a loan and get approved online.

Longer payment periods – Military car loans are also known to have relatively longer repayment periods, which means that you’ll have lower monthly payments.

Additional discounts and rebates – Some lending companies also have discounts and rebates if your car loan is used to buy a new vehicle.

The Cons

Having noted all the advantages of military auto loans, take heed: these loans may not be for you if you fall into one of the following categories:

If you have enough or nearly enough money to buy a car outright – If you can pay for the full amount for your vehicle up front without putting yourself in financial hardship, the amount you’ll save on interest rates alone ($7,000-$8,000 from the above example) makes it worth it. And if you almost have enough but not quite, it’s worth it to scrimp and save for a few extra months. Put yourself on a budget plan and contribute more money each month to your auto fund.

Loan Risks – They may call them military auto loans, but these loans are offered by private financial institutions, so you’re subject to the same rules and potential penalties as a civilian taking out a loan. On top of that, an auto loan, unlike an unsecured debt, cannot be written off by filing for bankruptcy. If you end up defaulting on your loan, it will severely damage your credit rating and ability to take out loans in the future.

Tips to Getting a Military Car Loan:

1. Know which vehicle you want to buy before applying for a loan. This will also help you determine exactly how much of a loan you want.

2. Do some comparison shopping – Don’t apply for a loan from the first institution you run into. Check a few places out, and see if they offer favorable terms for your specific situation.

3. Get your proof of eligibility in order – Make sure you have your military ID and proofs of service handy. You’ll also need your social security number and permanent address.

4. Your contact information – The institution you’re taking out the loan from will want to keep in touch with you, no matter where you’re stationed, so be sure you have several addresses where you can be contacted at (i.e. your family’s home, your base).

5. Your credit report — Get a credit report that you can hand off to the lending institution. Some lenders may do this for you, but you can also get a free credit report at

6. The sign-off – If you are out of the country or cannot sign your loan in person, be sure that you assign power of attorney to someone to sign on your behalf, as well as a copy of your driver’s license. Some states may also require notarization.

Some Military Auto Loan Providers

The best way to loan your child money to buy a home #student #loans #payment

#money to loan


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With real estate prices rebounding strongly in many areas and interest rates still low, now could be a good time for a young person starting out to buy a first home — before prices get out of reach.

But buying without some family assistance might be tough. Mortgage lenders may still demand substantial down payments, charge high fees, and offer unattractive interest rates to those with less-than-stellar credit. The solution? For parents and grandparents to step up and loan the adult child enough money to make the purchase. Obviously, this idea isn’t for everyone, but if you can afford to consider it, here’s what you need to know to avoid unwanted tax complications.

The current low-interest-rate environment makes the idea of loaning money to your child (or grandchild) to help with a first-time home purchase look really good from the borrower’s perspective. But time may be of the essence here, because there’s no guarantee that interest rates will stay this low for too much longer.

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Here’s the scoop on charging an interest rate that’s low enough to give your child (or grandchild) a smoking good deal, but not so low that it results in tax complications for you. The key is knowing the IRS-approved applicable federal rate (AFR). The AFR is the lowest interest rate you can charge on a loan to a family member without running afoul of the dreaded below-market loan rules. I won’t go into all the gory details about how these rules work, but they involve tricky calculations and having to pay federal income tax on phantom interest income that you never actually receive. So these rules are something to avoid when possible.

For a term loan (one with specified installment repayment dates or a balloon repayment date), the relevant AFR is the one for a loan of that duration for the month the loan is made. Right now, AFRs are still super-low by historical standards, so making a loan that charges the AFR is a great way to give your child (or grandchild) a very favorable interest rate deal without causing tax worries for yourself.

For example, say you make a $150,000 term loan this month (July 2014) to help your daughter buy her first home. You wisely follow my advice and charge an annual interest rate equal to the current AFR. For a loan with a term of 3 years or less, the AFR is a microscopic 0.31%. The AFR for a loan with a term of more than 3 years but not over 9 years is only 1.80%. The AFR for a loan with a term of more than 9 years is only 3.02%. These rates assume monthly compounding of interest, and they are all pretty sweet from a borrower’s perspective.

You can then continue to charge an interest rate equal to the AFR (whichever one applies to your loan) over the entire loan term, regardless of how interest rates fluctuate during that time. For example, if you make a 20-year loan to your daughter this month, you can charge the low 3.02% rate for the entire 20 years even if interest rates skyrocket in the future.

Note: AFRs can change every month, and they will go up if general interest rates go up. You can find the AFRs for the month you make a loan at the IRS website. Use the search feature, and enter: applicable federal rates 2014.

The bottom line

As long you make the loan while AFRs are still low and charge an interest rate equal to the AFR, your child or grandchild will get a good deal, and you won’t have any tax issues beyond having to report the interest income on your Form 1040. But don’t wait too long. The current super-low AFRs probably have a limited shelf life.

One more thing: be sure to put the loan in writing, and take the extra step of securing the loan with the property your child or grandchild buys. That way, your child or grandchild can deduct the interest under the home mortgage interest rules, and you are assured of getting repaid when the property is sold. You can find suitable canned loan documents on the Internet for free or for a low price.

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The Best Poor Credit Lenders #student #loan #consolidation

#best loans for bad credit

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Credit Cards

With poor credit, many people can only receive credit cards that have exorbitant annual percentage rates. According to Bank Lady, Orchard Bank and First Premier are two choices that are best for those with bad credit. Both report to the three major credit report companies each month, which will help improve your credit score. Both companies will extend to those with poor credit, and may be able to offer reasonable rates. Orchard Bank also has monthly payment reminders to help you stay on schedule with payments. Credit Karma cites Orchard Bank as “an excellent card for help rebuilding credit scores”.


If you want to buy a house but have poor credit, consider applying for a mortgage from Citigroup, Bank of America or Wells Fargo. According to the Forbes list, these three companies are among the top 10 best mortgage lenders to those who have had credit problems. When applying for a mortgage, be sure that you will be able to make the payments to avoid the risk of foreclosure, which will further damage your credit.

Auto Loans

There are many places that will extend a loan for a motor vehicle to those with poor credit. Expect to pay somewhere between 8 percent and 20 percent interest, and be wary of those who charge more. According to Cars Direct, someone with a credit score below 600 will probably get a rate between 15 percent and 20 percent. Shop around for auto loans. Sometimes a large dealer will offer you the best rate, as they work with many lenders. Other times, credit unions where you have a banking relationship may extend a loan with a good rate since it will be secured with the vehicle. Online sources such as Cars Direct may also be an option to consider.



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It can be difficult to obtain a mortgage with bad credit, but some lenders are better to work with and are more.

How to Get a Car Loan With Bad Credit. The Community Reinvestment Act was enacted in 1977 to encourage lenders to.

The fast-forward way to pay off your student loans #cheapest #car #loan

#quick student loans

The fast-forward way to pay off your student loans


When Tyler Williams graduated in 2009 with nearly $30,000 in student loan debt, he wanted to rid himself of the burden quickly.

“That anxiety gave me this laser focus to pay off that debt,” he says. “I just found that fire and stuck with it.”

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alum found a full-time job in New York City, but an entry-level salary coupled with sky-high rent wasn’t making it easy to pay off his debt. So he set an aggressive budgeting strategy to combat his loans.

“I would always pay double the minimum,” he says. “Doing that wasn’t always easy. It’s a lot of being thrifty—not buying a lot for myself, not going out for drinks or buying lunch with people … and taking meager vacations.”

Williams freelanced on the side and used bonuses to increase his monthly payments.

“As tempting as it was to play with that extra money, I threw all of it at my loans,” he says.

Williams, now a public relations and social media manager at Alterna Professional Haircare, found himself debt-free three years later. It’s an enviable position.

Seven in 10 college students today graduate with student loan debt, according to a new study from the Project on Student Debt.

In the class of 2013, borrowers owed an average of $28,400, up 2% from the $27,850 average for the class of 2012, according to the study. While some state averages were as low as $18,650, in six states the average debt was more than $30,000.

College graduates with standard 10-year repayment plans will end up paying thousands of dollars in interest that can prevent financial mobility for years to come. Here’s an example: If you had $30,000 in student loans at a fixed interest rate of 4.66% (the current fixed rate for a federal Stafford loan), you’d pay a total of $15,322 in interest over 10 years. If you paid the loans off in three years, your interest would total $2,175 — that s a savings of $13,147.

The faster you pay off that debt, the less money you’ll end up spending in the long run.

  Create a realistic budget—and stick to it

Paying back loans more quickly means creating a realistic budget. Take into account your total debt along with other monthly expenses, and then factor in your income sources.

Creating a budget that includes a hefty payment toward your loans may mean living frugally and using any additional income sources toward loans. It also may mean not taking out any other loans or racking up credit card debt.

Zina Kumok started a blog, after paying off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years on a $30,000 annual salary. She split living costs with roommates, avoiding any credit card debt and holding onto her 1999 Toyota Avalon instead of upgrading to a new car.

She threw every cent she received toward her loans, including every raise at work.

“If I got birthday money from my grandma, that went toward my loans. If I made extra income freelancing, that went toward my loans,” Kumok said. “I didn’t try to get a second job or hustle on the side, so when I did get an unexpected windfall, I put it toward my loans.”

Pay more than the minimum

Meeting only the monthly minimum on your loans ensures your payments will drag out for years, and you’ll pay more interest in the long run. Making larger and more frequent payments will lower the principal balance and reduce interest, says John Heath, directing attorney at San Francisco-based Lexington Law.

Making higher monthly payments takes “great willpower” for Alex Birkett, an Austin-based content strategist for lawn-care provider LawnStarter, who graduated in spring 2014 from University of Wisconsin with $30,000 in debt. His strategy for getting debt-free: paying three times the minimum each month.

“I tell myself I m saving thousands in interest in the future, and that makes it easier to contribute more than necessary.”

Find the right loan repayment option for you

Even if you want to pay off your loans quickly, it may not be the best option for you, depending on your financial goals.

There are several types of student repayment plans for federal loans:

Standard repayment —Set monthly amount every month for 10 years.

Graduated repayment —Payments are set lower initially, but then increase until paid in full.

Extended repayment —Set monthly amount to pay beyond the typical 10 years, usually for a period of up to 25 years.

Income-based repayment —Reduces your monthly payment amount to a percentage of your income, typically for a period of 20 to 25 years, depending on the specific plan.

Public service loan forgiveness —After 10 years of payments, those in public service careers can qualify for federal loan forgiveness.

Loan consolidation —You can consolidate multiple loans into a single monthly payment. This option can lower your monthly amount and extend repayment up to 30 years.

No matter what plan you choose—or how much time you take to pay off your loan—the worst mistake to make is ignoring the debt altogether, advises Erin Ellis, financial educator at Philadelphia Federal Credit Union.

“Just because you re only confronted with it once a month when the bill arrives doesn t mean the debt isn t there the other 29 days of the month,” she says. “It s important to keep your student debt in front of you.”

Anna Helhoski writes for NerdWallet, a website that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. NerdWallet  is a USA TODAY content partner providing general news, commentary and coverage from around the Web. Its content is produced independently of  USA TODAY.

The Dangers of Mortgage Refinancing #sky #loans

#refinancing your home

Common Dangers of Refinancing Your Mortgage

By Refinancing Right on September 13th, 2007

The main danger of mortgage refinancing comes from a lack of awareness. If your not aware of what you want from refinancing, and the pros and cons of a recommended deal, then you are open to being taken advantage of by unethical mortgage brokers.

Does this mean you shouldn’t use mortgage brokers? No, there are bad eggs in every industry. It just means you should make sure your are aware of the pros and cons of the deal you are being recommended. Mortgage refinancing is not for the uninformed. You need to pick your broker carefully.

You see to find the best mortgage refinancing deal you need to compare the pros and cons of a lot of different options, loans and lenders. To do this yourself would be overwhelming and very time consuming.

Your bank won’t do it for you, as they will defiantly be biased and recommend their loan products. That’s why it’s good that we have mortgage brokers to do this for us. It’s there full time job to do this well.

However, as I mentioned earlier their are bad eggs and bad practices. One such bad practice is called churning. Churning is where mortgage brokers refinance a loan even though the benefits do not outweigh the drawbacks for the borrower. They do this with total disregard too the borrower, just so they can get extra commissions.

Awareness is the key here. Just be aware about the pros and cons of a recommended deal. Also be aware of how these bad mortgage brokers operate. Read the following section, How Pick the Best Mortgage Broker. to have a good guideline to picking your mortgage broker. With the right guidelines and the right information this is an easy process.

The Cheapest States for Affordable Mortgage Rates #graduate #student #loans

#cheapest loan rates

10 Cheapest States for Mortgage Rates

Last year, most financial experts really, anyone who kept up with Fed moves were certain that interest rates would finally begin to rise in 2014. Now, eight months into the year, mortgage rates are still at record lows and surprisingly consumers aren t even taking advantage of them.

Mortgage originations have declined every quarter since 2012 ; but if interest rates only have one direction to go from here, why aren t more potential home buyers jumping at the chance to lock into low rates for decades?

How Low Mortgage Rates Can Save Home Buyers $200,000

There are many reasons locking into a low mortgage rate now is crucial. When it comes to 15- or 30-year mortgages, a 10th of a percentile can make a huge difference in terms of costs over the life of a loan, as well as month over month. And when rates do go up which they will, sooner or later home buyers will be looking at hikes of more than just a few basis points.

According to Freddie Mac, average mortgage rates reached a high of 16.63% in 1981, eventually dipping to pre-recession rates of 6.41% in 2006. At that percentage, total interest paid over the life of a loan (at the current median home price of $215,000) would amount to $215,718, with monthly payments of $1,301. Compare that to the 2013 average of 3.98%: Total interest would be almost halved, at $122,902, and the monthly payments would be more than $250 cheaper.

To demonstrate why 2014 is the year to take advantage of record-low rates and highlight where consumers can find the best interest rates in the country GOBankingRates partnered with RateWatch to survey average mortgage rates across the U.S. ranking the 10 most and least affordable states for taking out a home loan.

10 Least Expensive States for Mortgage Rates