Free Yourself from Student Loan Debt: Get Out from Under Once and for All

Free Yourself from Student Loan Debt: Get Out from Under Once and for All

by Brian Oconnell


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Free Yourself from Student Loan Debt: Get Out from Under Once and for All by Brian Oconnell

The average American college student owes about $17,000 in loans after graduation. Quadruple that amount for the average grad school graduate. An estimated seven million Americans have accumulated nearly $81 billion in student loan debt over the past 30 years. Not all of these borrowers are fresh out of college; many are in their late 20s, 30s, and even 40s. Indeed, the amount of student loan debt facing Americans is pervasive, if not problematic.

Fortunately, a number of creative ways exist to pay off this financial burden that, for many, goes on for years and years. In Free Yourself from Student Loan Debt, business writer Brian O'Connell outlines the best ways to do just that-as quickly and painlessly as possible. He guides readers through often over-looked but perfectly legitimate loan management techniques, including how to:

* "Consolidate" loans for easier (and lower) payments.

* Defer loans with no penalty.

* Take a "break" from student loans through a mechanism called forbearance.

* Get out of default status by making as few as six minimum payments.

* Fix problems that result when a loan isn't paid, with no lasting impact on credit or finances.

* Convince financial institutions to "forgive" loans.

* Fight the government and financial institutions that claim student loan debts weren't paid years after they were.

With wit and wisdom, O'Connell backs up his guidance with case histories, anecdotes, information boxes, sidebars, and colorful industry profiles-all packaged together in one lively, user-friendly book. As a bonus, he offers 50 surefire tips to eliminating student loan debt.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780793187959
Publisher: Kaplan Publishing
Publication date: 05/28/2004
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Art of Digging Outix
About the Authorxii
1.Getting Organized1
The Cold, Harsh Reality of Student Loan Debt2
Know Your Debt3
Those Credit Card Blues5
Breaking the Credit Card Cycle8
Building a Budget9
Cool Online Budgeting Tools14
Before You Pay Off Your Student Loan, Build a Personal Finance System17
Create a File System17
Chapter Review21
2.Know Your Rights, Know the Players, Know Your Loan23
Digging In24
Your Responsibilities24
Your Rights as a Borrower27
The Players29
Types of Student Loans30
Loan Lingo36
Chapter Review38
3.Time to Pay the Piper39
Framing Your Loan Picture40
The Life Stages of Your Loan40
Preparing to Pay42
Know Your Promissory Note43
Not Paying? Sorry, Not Your Best Option44
Paying Off Your Loan45
More Tips on Student Loan Payments52
Chapter Review57
4.Debt Tragedies, Payment Strategies59
The Cost of High Debt60
Essential versus Nonessential Debt61
Facing Debt Head-On62
Calculating Your Student Loan Debt67
Establishing a Budget69
Take Advantage of Your Relative Youth70
Should I Pay Off My Student Loans or Invest?72
Take Advantage of Tax Law Changes74
Chapter Review74
5.What to Do When You Can't Pay: Deferment, Forgiveness, Cancellation, and Discharge75
How We Get into Default Trouble77
The "I Just Didn't Know" Factor79
Preventing Student Loan Default79
How Much Money Will You Need to Pay Your Loan and Stay Out of Default?81
Default: A Primer82
Criteria for Default84
Getting Out of Default85
Canceling Your Loans91
Dealing with Collection Agencies92
Some Good News93
Chapter Review94
6.Debt Management 101: Anatomy of a Loan Consolidation97
What Is Loan Consolidation?98
Is It for Me?99
Do I Have Other Options?99
What Are the Benefits and the Drawbacks of Consolidation?100
Eligibility Requirements102
What Consolidation Can Do for You: My Take102
Who Offers Student Loan Consolidation Programs?103
What's the Big Deal about Interest Rates?104
How Do I Apply?106
What Are My Repayment Options?108
Last-Minute Tips110
Chapter Review112
7.Debt Management: Do It Yourself or Go to a Pro?113
Recognizing the Red Flags That Lead to Debt115
What Is Debt Management?117
Debt Management Job One: The Importance of Knowing Your Credit Score118
Correcting Credit Report Mistakes124
Should You Handle Your Own Debt Management Issues?126
Getting Professional Help129
My Take131
Chapter Review132
8.Other Smart Financial Moves for Student Loan Borrowers133
Setting Your Long-Term Financial Goals134
The Advantages of Investing Early137
Building Blocks139
A 401(k) Survival Guide141
Some 401(k) Advice You Can Take to Heart (and Then to the Bank)142
Commonly Asked Questions about Your 401(k)145
Investing in Index Mutual Funds147
Make Sure Your Children Don't Have Big Student Loan Problems149
Summing Up153
Chapter Review156
9.Web Savvy: Must-Have Resources for the Student Loan Set157
Overall Student Loan Repayment Resources158
Student Loan Government Publications160
Paying Your Student Loans Online161
Difficulty Repaying Your Student Loans?161
Loan Discharge and Cancellation162
Where to Find Your Student Loan Information162
Information on Different Types of Student Loans163
Student Loan Debt Consolidation Programs164
Financial Aid Programs and Resources165
Managing Credit165
Finding a Student Loan Ombudsman166
Student Loan and Debt Calculators170
Happy Hunting170
10.Fifty-Plus Student Loan Debt Tips you can Take to the Bank171
Money Management Tips172
Student Loan Repayment Tips180

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