March 29, 2007

Everything You Need to Know!

Posted in Misc at 12:48 PM by kpops


So many students today just don’t have the knowledge required right now to make educated decisions on funding the cost of education. There is so much to know from Scholarships to Federal Aid, different types of loans from private loans to federal loans. It is near impossible to know everything especially with all the changes to legislations that occur so frequently.

We can certainly help to better educate the world with our informative Financial Aid Newsletter!

For a free online subsricption please email me and I will make sure to sign you up. Also, please do not hesitate to reach me via phone at 877-328-1565 Ext. 210 for additional information on Federal Student Loans.

For your free subscription email me at KPopsie@StudentLoanNetwork.com or contact me at 877-328-1565 Ext. 210.

The Student Loan Network: Stafford Federal Student
Loans
, Parent PLUS Loans, Student Loan
Consolidation
, Private Student Loans

Loan Forgiveness

Posted in Misc at 12:24 PM by kpops


Federal Student Loans may be discharged/canceled under specific circumstances set forth by the Department of Education. As applies to the Stafford Loan, these circumstances include death, permanent disability, school closure, and teaching in a Low Income School. In the case of a Perkins Loan, these circumstances are if you work in certain professions such as Law Enforcement, Nursing or Child Care.

You will need to contact your lender directly in reference to Loan Forgiveness. If you are unsure who your lenders are, your school will have this information on file.

It is possible to have your student loan debt discharged (canceled) or reduced, but only under certain specific circumstances, including death or permanent and total disability; school closure; working as a teacher in a low-income school or in a teacher shortage subject area; or in the case of Perkins Loans, certain other professions (law enforcement, nursing, etc). Your loan cannot be discharged because you were not satisfied with the education that was offered, because you did not complete the program of study, or because you did not get a job after completing the program of study.

The Student Loan Network: Stafford Federal Student
Loans
, Parent PLUS Loans, Student Loan
Consolidation
, Private Student Loans

Details on the lawsuit against the Dept. of Education

Posted in Consolidation, Student Loan News, The Financial Aid Process at 9:26 AM by Joe From Boston


Here’s an article you all should read from the Forest Lake Times regarding the lawsuit against the Dept. of Education that began last week:

Frustration fuels local woman’s role in lawsuit

Cliff Buchan
News Editor

Dr. Brenda Pfeiffer wonders how many former students are in the same boat as she is when it comes to student-loan payments.

For 10 years she has wondered, but now the owner of Pfeiffer Chiropractic in Wyoming is hoping a legal challenge against the U.S. Department of Education will shed light on a federal system that she says is not right.

Pfeiffer, 41, made national news last week when she became the lead plaintiff in a class action suit filed against the DOE in federal court in Washington, D.C. The suit accuses the DOE of illegally charging late fees and interest payments against loan holders even though loan payments were made on time.

Pfeiffer sparked the lawsuit after several years of trying to talk to DOE officials about her situation with little satisfaction.

Now, as the suit enters its first phase, Pfeiffer wonders how many former students may be in the dark and unaware of the DOE’s billing system.

Pfeiffer’s story

A native of South Dakota, Pfeiffer went back to college to earn her doctorate of chiropractic after teaching mathematics. By the time she earned her chiropractic degree in 1994, she was faced with a $90,000 debt load.

She financed her post-graduate degree through the DOE’s Direct Loan Program and received funds for her education from the income contingent repayment plan, or ICR, she said this week.

Three years after graduation, she did what many college students do — she consolidated several college loans to ease the repayment schedule. There began the trouble, but it took Pfeiffer several years to figure it out.

Under the loan payment plan, Pfeiffer’s monthly payment date was on the 21st. According to the suit, she made payments on time and sometimes early.

However, the DOE attached a penalty to Pfeiffer for not making a separate payment for the time between June 21 and June 30, even though her next payment was not due until July 21. In her case, that meant a penalty attached from June 21. And in fact, she said, the penalty was capitalized and added to the principal of the loan.

It was the ever-growing year-end balances that triggered Pfeiffer’s alarm.

“I started investigating it in 2002,” she said. “I didn’t discover it at first.”

But after hours of review, second reviews and mathematical calculations, she finally understood what was happening.

“This thing took me a while to pull out,” Pfeiffer said. “I spent a lot of hours trying to determine where that money was coming from.”

Over months and months, she wrote and called DOE officials to point out the problem and argue that she was being unfairly penalized by the system.

During the course of her talks with the DOE, Pfeiffer says she was told that it was a computer misstep and that it shouldn’t happen. But yet the problem continued.

After numerous conversations with the DOE, Pfeiffer said she was left with the frustration that the federal agency would take no action because “‘That’s the way the system is.’”

The frustration swelled, she said, because she had acted in good faith to point out the problem. “Why they wouldn’t change it, I don’t know,” she said.

When Pfeiffer finally sought legal help in 2005, she was convinced that the DOE was “going to do it again and again.”

Pfeiffer says in the suit that over the past five years more than $1000 was incorrectly billed to her. She will be required to pay interest on that sum over the life of the loan if the issue is not resolved, she says.

Pfeiffer says students should be able to place trust in federal loan programs, but when situations like this arise, the trust is breached.

The case

According to the suit, the DOE computer billing system may have caused more than 3 million student loan holders to be charged hundreds of millions of dollars more than they owed. The suit contends the DOE is breaking the law in doing so.

The suit contends that the complex billing system used by DOE has impacted students and former students with consolidated loans that total more than $72 billion.

Mara Thompson, an attorney with Sprenger & Lang, which has offices in Washington and Minneapolis, said Monday there has been no response yet from the DOE.

If the education department wants to litigate the issue, Thompson said it could take more than two years to resolve the case. “If that is the case it will take that long,” she said.

The suit calls on the DOE to end the billing practice and return the money it incorrectly billed to student loan holders.