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7 Ways To Manage, Reduce, or Eliminate Your Student Loan Debt

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7 Ways To Manage, Reduce, or Eliminate Your Student Loan Debt Flickr/ KitAy


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1.) Pay-as-you-earn This program limits payments to just 10% of your discretionary income Any remaining balance after 20 years of on-time payments will be forgiven For more details, check out the fact sheet Wikipedia/ Mando vzl


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2.) Income-based repayment (IBR) This program limits payments to just 15% of your discretionary income For those who don’t qualify for pay-as-you-earn Any remaining balance after 25 years of on-time payments will be forgiven For more details, check out the fact sheet Flickr/ Andrew Schwegler


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3.) Take your time! Even if you don’t qualify for an income-dependent repayment plan, you can extend your payment plan’s timeframe up to 25 years You’ll pay more in interest over the life of the loan, but the payments will be more manageable Payments for $50,000 in student loan debt


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4.) Lower your interest rate If you have private student loans, now may be a good time to refinance and take advantage of low interest rates The better your credit, the lower your payment could be Lenders like Discover Financial are offering rates as low as 2.99% (variable) or 5.99% (fixed) Flickr/ 401(k) 2012


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5.) Teacher Loan Forgiveness Teachers in low-income schools can qualify for up to $17,500 in student loan forgiveness Full-time secondary and elementary school teachers can get $5,000 in forgiveness after five consecutive school years Highly-qualified mathematics, science, and special education teachers can qualify for $17,500 after five years


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6.) Do you work in the public sector? Public service employees may be eligible to have any remaining balance forgiven after 10 years of on-time payments Qualifying jobs include Education Law enforcement Healthcare (non-profit) Public libraries Public legal services More (see description) Flickr/ Dave Conner


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7.) Deferments and Forbearance A deferment is a period during which repayment of your loan is temporarily delayed May last up to three years during periods of hardship, such as unemployment If you don’t qualify for a deferment, a forbearance may allow you to stop paying for up to 12 months Unlike a deferment, interest will continue to accrue Should be used as a last resort


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Are you taking advantage of this tax loophole?


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