student loan debt http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5886/all en-US Is Student Loan Debt as Bad as It Seems? http://www.wisebread.com/is-student-loan-debt-as-bad-as-it-seems <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-student-loan-debt-as-bad-as-it-seems" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/student_loan_debt_184604055.jpg" alt="Learning if student loan debt is as bad as it seems" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College students are back on campuses across the country. For many, it's the first time they&rsquo;ll be on their own.</p> <p>Every year the first class begins with the professor asking something like, &quot;Is everyone here for Business Essentials?&quot;</p> <p>After a brief, awkward silence, one student inevitably raises his or her hand and says, &quot;Um, no, I gotta go. Where, exactly, is Crime and Justice in America located?&quot;</p> <p>This year the hand was attached to my grandson&rsquo;s arm. Ironically, he'd visited each classroom the day before just to be sure he knew where he was going. For a young man who grew up in the country hunting and fishing, it&rsquo;s remarkable he could be so directionally challenged.</p> <p>But there&rsquo;s a lot on a college freshman's mind. What line do I stand in first? Where do I sign next? Who cares about reading the document I'm signing? How do I meet that cute girl or handsome boy in the next line?</p> <p>For many, like my grandson, the biggest concern is just getting to their first class on time. How they&rsquo;re going to pay for that class, and the rest of their education, usually isn't at the top of their list of things to think about &mdash; or even on it. That's what parents and grandparents worry about.</p> <h2>Student loan debt has topped $1.4 trillion</h2> <p>And we worry a lot for good reason. Student loan debt has reached $1.4 trillion. According to the <a href="https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/college-costs/college-costs-faqs" target="_blank">College Board</a>, the average published cost of a four-year degree is $129,640 for a private college.</p> <p>But have hope. It may not be as bad as it sounds. There are students and parents with overwhelming student loan debt facing tremendous financial crises. But when you look at the big picture across the population, it isn't necessarily as bleak.</p> <p>An <a href="https://www.experianplc.com/media/news/2017/student-loan-state-of-credit/" target="_blank">Experian study</a> found that the average total student loan balance is currently $34,144. That&rsquo;s pretty close to the College Board survey results that found the average cost for an in-state education for a four-year university is about $37,600.</p> <h2>Student loans versus car loans</h2> <p>Compare the student loan numbers with those for car loans. Auto loan debt reached $1.1 trillion in 2017, according to Experian&rsquo;s Q2 2017 <em>State of the Automotive Finance Market</em> report. The average loan amount for a new car is $30,234. The length of auto loan terms also is creeping up, with a third of new vehicles being repaid in six to eight years. The repayment period for student loans is typically 10 years.</p> <p>Another important statistic is that there&rsquo;s been a 10.1 percent decrease in late student loan payments since 2009. Late payments for car loans, on the other hand, have been creeping up.</p> <p>One last number. The average monthly payment for a new car is $504, according to Experian. Using a payment calculator from StudentLoanHero.com, the payment for that $34,144 average student loan debt would be only $373. So the average education is cheaper each month than the average car.</p> <p>When you look at the big picture, student loan debt doesn't seem so bad compared with what we spend in this country for new cars.</p> <h2>Student loans are the best investment</h2> <p>However, there's one metric I don't think should be used to compare student loans with car loans, and that's in the context of return on investment (ROI). I've talked with people for whom I have great respect who believe a student loan should have an ROI of five or six years and be treated like a car loan in terms of repayment time frames. I disagree.</p> <p>The reason? A car is a depreciating asset. It starts to lose value as soon as you drive it off the lot and at some point becomes worthless. An education, on the other hand, is a lifetime investment. Its ROI should be measured over the course of a career or a lifetime &mdash; 20 to 30 years or more.</p> <p>While a car loses value, research continues to show that a person with a college degree will earn as much as $1 million or more on average over the course of his or her career. When you consider that, you can&rsquo;t afford not to get an education, even if it takes student loans.</p> <p>There are ways to save significantly on the cost of college:</p> <ul> <li>Go to an in-state public school.</li> <li>Complete the first two years at a local community college.</li> <li>Attend a local school and live at home.</li> <li>Apply for scholarships and grants.</li> </ul> <p>If you're struggling to repay debts, there are options &mdash; especially for government-guaranteed student loans &mdash; including forbearance, deferment, and consolidation. I know each of them well because I used all three when I was repaying my student loans, which were about today&rsquo;s average &mdash; but that was almost 30 years ago. My education will always be the best investment I ever made.</p> <p>My grandson, I'm very proud to say, earned a full tuition scholarship at a small but very good college in Kansas. So he shouldn't face the student loan challenges I did &mdash; if he can just find his way to class.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fis-student-loan-debt-as-bad-as-it-seems&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FIs%2520Student%2520Loan%2520Debt%2520as%2520Bad%2520as%2520It%2520Seems-.jpg&amp;description=Is%20Student%20Loan%20Debt%20as%20Bad%20as%20It%20Seems%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Is%20Student%20Loan%20Debt%20as%20Bad%20as%20It%20Seems-.jpg" alt="Is Student Loan Debt as Bad as It Seems?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rod-griffin">Rod Griffin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-student-loan-debt-as-bad-as-it-seems">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt">12 Easy Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coming-to-terms-with-your-long-term-debt">Coming to Terms With Your Long-Term Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-single-mother-in-debt-over-200k-is-fixing-her-finances">How a Single Mother In Debt Over $200K Is Fixing Her Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-loans">8 Surprising Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management college fund managing debt school loans student debt student loan debt student loans Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Rod Griffin 2040127 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Careers That Offer Student Loan Forgiveness http://www.wisebread.com/5-careers-that-offer-student-loan-forgiveness <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-careers-that-offer-student-loan-forgiveness" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_69856403_XLARGE.jpg" alt="looking for a job with student loan forgiveness" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are like millions of other graduates, you might've experienced sticker shock when you received your first student loan bill after graduation. While taking out a student loan to complete your degree seemed like a good plan at the time, you might be having some regrets when faced with the monthly payments.</p> <p>Thankfully, there are a lot of careers that offer student loan forgiveness. Look into one of these fields to kiss your student debt goodbye.</p> <h2>1. Public Service</h2> <p>Federal Perkins loans can be forgiven if an individual qualifies through full-time employment and has not consolidated their loans. The loan forgiveness is not based on what job you do, but who you work for.<a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service"> Qualifying employers</a> include:</p> <ul> <li>Government organizations at any level (federal, state, local, or tribal);</li> <li>Not-for-profit organizations that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;</li> <li>Full-time positions at AmeriCorps and Peace Corps.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Doctor</h2> <p>It is hard to feel like a successful doctor when the majority of your paycheck goes to your student loan repayment. Thankfully, you can find a list of scholarships and Federal loan forgiveness programs through the&nbsp;<a href="https://services.aamc.org/fed_loan_pub/index.cfm?fuseaction=public.welcome&amp;CFID=1&amp;CFTOKEN=D3ADCE60-B544-6679-82EB218E8D3F6455">Associations of American Medical Colleges</a>.</p> <p>Many of the loan forgiveness programs for doctors require employment in a Health Profession Shortage Areas (HPSA) or a Medically Underserved Area.</p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.lrp.nih.gov/">National Institutes of Health (NIH)</a> offers up to $35,000 per year in loan repayment for highly qualified health professionals going into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers.</p> <p>You can also take your stethoscope overseas and qualify for loan forgiveness through the military service. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/medicine.html#ft-education-opportunities">Navy Financial Assistance Program</a> offers tuition coverage for current medical students, as well as student loan forgiveness or grants for those with their medical degree.</p> <p>See:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tax-tricks-to-try-if-youre-stuck-with-student-loans?ref=seealso">8 Tax Tricks to Try if You're Stuck With Student Loans</a></p> <h2>3. Teacher</h2> <p>Teaching is a calling, and many people feel the call to instruct the next generation. So it's only fair that the government helps lighten the debt load of those devoted to teach. Teachers can gain loan forgiveness through the same public service loan forgiveness programs mentioned above.</p> <p>Teachers also can qualify for the Federal Teacher Cancellation for Perkins Loans. For teachers with a Perkins loan, 15% of your loan can be canceled when you teach for one year in a low-income area. If you teach for five years, your full loan will be forgiven.</p> <p>Be sure to check with your state to see what special teacher loan repayment programs there are. Here are just a few:</p> <ul> <li><strong>California:</strong> <a href="http://www.csac.ca.gov/doc.asp?id=111">APLE</a></li> <li><strong>Maine:</strong> <a href="http://www.famemaine.com/files/Pages/education/borrowers/Maine_Loan_Programs.aspx">Educators for Maine</a></li> <li><strong>Iowa:</strong> <a href="http://www.iowacollegeaid.gov/content/iowa-teacher-loan-forgiveness-program">Teach Iowa Scholar Program</a></li> <li><strong>New York:</strong> <a href="http://www.teachnycprograms.net/">Teach NYC </a></li> <li><strong>Texas:</strong> <a href="http://www.hhloans.com/index.cfm?objectid=a85b6795-9731-b000-c93ca1848b604db8">Teach for Texas</a></li> <li><strong>Mississippi:</strong> <a href="http://riseupms.com/state-aid/mtlr/">Mississippi Teacher Loan Repayment Program</a></li> </ul> <h2>4. Lawyer</h2> <p>Tempted by earning big figures down the road, many potential lawyers take on huge amounts of debt to make their career dream come true. Luckily, there are a few student loan forgiveness programs available just for lawyers.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program</strong>: In order to retain lawyers in the field, current employees are able to apply for the assistance program. Only certain loans apply, and current employees must have at least $10,000 in federal loan debt to qualify. To see which loans qualify, visit&nbsp;<a href="https://www.justice.gov/oarm/frequently-asked-questions-0#c">Justice.gov</a> for more information.</li> <li><strong>John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program</strong>: For lawyers working in the public sector, the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.bja.gov/Funding/JRJStateAgencies.pdf">John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program</a> offers $10,000 to $60,000 in loan forgiveness to eligible lawyers working as public defenders.</li> <li><strong>Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program</strong>: This program awards 70 attorneys up to $5,600 in award money each year for student loan debt. This award comes with more strings than the other two. Eligible candidates must be employed by one of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lsc.gov/grants-grantee-resources/our-grantees">program's grantees</a> and have at least $75,000 in outstanding loan debt.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Dentist</h2> <p>Future dentists, here is something to smile about. You can also qualify for loan forgiveness on either the national or state level.</p> <p>National programs include service with the military. The Army offers the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.goarmy.com/amedd/dental/corps_benefits.jsp">Active Duty Health Profession Loan Repayment Program</a> (ADHPLRP) and the Healthcare Professionals Loan Repayment Program (HPLR). The Airforce offers Air Force Active Duty Health Professions Repayment Program (ADHPLRP). All of these programs offer up to $40,000 to $50,000 in debt repayment per year. Research each individual program to know about maximum caps, eligibility criteria, and other benefits.</p> <p>And the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Education%20and%20Careers/Files/dental-student-loan-repayment-resource.pdf">American Dental Association</a> has a full list of state-level programs that offer loan forgiveness.</p> <h2>Finding and Qualifying for Student Loan Forgiveness Programs</h2> <p>It's important to note that many of these careers cannot grant student loan forgiveness if your loan does not qualify. This means that if your loan is in default or in a grace period, or you are still attending school, companies may not be able to make qualified loan payments. Also, most student loan forgiveness programs are for federal loans only, and private student loans will not be forgiven. Finally, inquire with your college or university's financial aid department for more available loan forgiveness programs.</p> <p><em>Are you planning on using loan forgiveness for your student loans? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-careers-that-offer-student-loan-forgiveness">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-student-loan-debt-as-bad-as-it-seems">Is Student Loan Debt as Bad as It Seems?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt">12 Easy Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-leave-a-positive-impression-on-everyone-you-meet">How to Leave a Positive Impression on Everyone You Meet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-employee">12 Ways You&#039;re Being a Terrible Employee</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-great-side-jobs-for-book-lovers">6 Great Side Jobs for Book Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management career career path job hunting student loan student loan debt student loan forgiveness Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:00:04 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1736930 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Easy Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000070282971_Large.jpg" alt="avoiding student loan debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="126" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College awaits, but the shared dilemma all students face is agonizing. Should you go to college and let loans pick up the tab for the ever-rising cost of tuition? Or, join the workforce directly out of high school and risk earning far less than a college graduate? Decisions, decisions.</p> <p>According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), with a bachelor's degree, <a href="https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=77">you'll make 62% more</a> than you will with a high school diploma. Or, with a bachelor's you'll make $48,500 a year, versus $30,000 a year with a high school diploma.</p> <p>The high school grad who doesn't have a big chunk of change must weigh the cost of incurring debt against their projected earnings, and many have opted to risk the debt. Nationwide, <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/every-second-americans-get-buried-under-another-3055-in-student-loan-debt-2015-06-10">student loan debt is rising</a> at the rate of $2,726 per second, with a cumulative tab at about $1.3 trillion.</p> <p>But why does debt have to be the theme of a post-graduate life? You <em>can </em>go to college and avoid debt. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Grants</h2> <p>Unlike scholarships, grants are based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and financial need. Fill out your free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as you can. Grants from schools go to those who need them the most and those who apply for aid the earliest.</p> <p>You may be eligible for the Pell Grant, which the federal government awards to 10 million students a year. You may also be eligible for state grants: the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant, as well as grants based on your ethnicity.</p> <h2>2. Consider Crowd-Sourcing</h2> <p>There are now websites specifically set up to facilitate crowd-sourced funding for students to avoid loans, or to pay off loans. You'll do volunteer work in exchange for crowd-sourced funds, for example. Several options here are <a href="http://www.zerobound.com/">zerobound</a> and <a href="http://www.sponsorchange.org/">SponsorChange</a>.</p> <h2>3. Score Scholarships</h2> <p>Have you been a good student? Have you done extracurricular activities, excelled in sports, or are you willing to prove you're worthy of a scholarship? There are so many of these available that you can bet there's something for you &mdash; whether it's a $500 <a href="http://www.excel-university.com/scholarship/">accounting scholarship</a> or a $1,000 <a href="http://www.bulkofficesupply.com/scholarships-in-new-york">teaching, art, or entrepreneurial scholarship</a>. Sites such as <a href="http://www.fastweb.com/">Fastweb</a> and <a href="https://www.scholarships.com/">Scholarships.com</a> offer scholarship databases and information. The key here is to look into as many as you can and work hard at getting them.</p> <h2>4. Check Out Work-Study Options</h2> <p>If you qualify for federal financial aid, you may qualify for the Federal Work-Study Program. Work-study will gain you experience in your field of choice and will pay you to go to school, whether you're a part-time or full-time student. These positions get snatched up quickly, so check with your school's financial aid office as soon as your enrollment application is accepted.</p> <h2>5. Work a Part-Time Gig</h2> <p>Although this is likely to prolong the amount of time you spend in college, it will also lessen your debt. Consider looking into what the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites">gig economy</a> has to offer. You could <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-money-driving-for-uber-or-lyft">drive for Uber or Lyft</a>, you could do freelance writing, accounting, clean houses, or you could be a virtual assistant through <a href="https://www.zirtual.com/">Zirtual</a>. Gigs offer flexibility, options, and a safety cushion. There are cons, such as lack of benefits, but at least you can make your own schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-ways-to-make-more-money-this-year?ref=seealso">100+ Ways to Make More Money This Year</a>)</p> <h2>6. Talk to Your Employer About Education Benefits</h2> <p>If you're employed, your employer may be able to pay for your college education. Talk to your employer, because the IRS allows them to write off any reimbursement they make to you for tuition, no matter how much it is. They will be especially inclined to do so if your field of study is directly related to your job. If you're unemployed, or your employer doesn't offer reimbursement, apply for a job that does. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-pay-back-student-loans-faster?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster</a>)</p> <h2>7. Consider Community College</h2> <p>You'll be earning experience you can later apply toward your bachelor's at a community college. And on average, tuition and fees for <a href="http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-and-fees-and-room-and-board-over-time-2005-06-2015-16">community college are $3,435</a>, while they're $32,405 for university. According to the NCES, an associate's degree only earns you an average of about $11,500 less per year than a bachelor's.</p> <p>If you choose to go for a bachelor's degree, you'll be in school longer, but by the time you're done with community college, you'll be prepared for university. You may also be able to apply some of your community college credits toward earning your bachelor's. You may also have more money saved up for university tuition than you did when you got out of high school.</p> <p>There are also <a href="http://www.communitycollegereview.com/blog/community-college-scholarships">community college scholarships</a>. They can be merit-based, need-based, or entirely unique. Some schools, such as Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, offer an automatic, merit-based scholarship for the student with a high GPA seeking to transfer to a university.</p> <h2>8. Live at Home During College</h2> <p>Are you a high school graduate considering a college near your hometown? Most likely, your parents would be happy to let you to live with them if you're paying your way through college. If they are willing to put you up rent-free, you're good to go. You could work a side job at the same time. College isn't about partying and living in a dorm. Sure, it happens, but it's not a requirement. Living at home will help you concentrate on studying and saving money.</p> <h2>9. Forgo College Until You're Financially Ready</h2> <p>Be committed for the long-term when it comes to your career, and your life. The staggering <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">facts about student loan debt</a> put it into perspective. If you end up with debt, you could end up living with your parents after graduating, as 27% of graduates do. You could end up falling behind on your loan repayments, as 35% did in 2012. On average, it could end up taking you 20 years to pay off your loan.</p> <p>Commit to going to college after you've saved enough money, and your life will be a lot easier once you graduate &mdash; you'll be free to pursue what you want, instead of taking a low-paying job right out of college because you just need the money.</p> <h2>10. Talk to an Academic Advisor</h2> <p>Graduate as fast as you can by planning out your degree. This will minimize money you spend. In other words, decide what you want to major in before jumping into general classes, and find the fastest path to graduation.</p> <h2>11. Pay in Installments</h2> <p>Speak with the financial aid office at the college you want to attend about tuition installment plans. You have to be certain you can pay, but this will make it more like paying rent, which is easier than forking over lump sums. If you're budgeting wisely, living at home, and working part-time, meeting installments shouldn't be a problem.</p> <h2>12. Stick With Federal Loans Only</h2> <p>The Federal Direct Loan offers the most options for income-based repayment, including <a href="https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/repaye">REPAYE</a>, which fixes your payment at 10% of your discretionary income and forgives your debt after 20 years. The Direct Loan also offers debt forgiveness if you're working in a public service field and have made 120 payments without defaulting. Your interest rate will be fixed, unlike a private loan, which sticks you with a variable rate. Pay on the loan as you go through school, and make the biggest payments so you can to avoid paying too much on interest. When doing your taxes, write off interest payments. And be sure to use tax returns and other windfalls to make large payments.</p> <p><em>Any other easy ways to avoid student loan debt? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/daniel-matthews">Daniel Matthews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-student-loan-debt-forgiveness">8 Ways to Get Student Loan Debt Forgiveness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-student-loan-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/student-loans-how-to-make-post-college-decisions">Student Loans: How to Make Post-College Decisions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/share-your-thoughts-consolidating-student-loans">Share Your Thoughts: Consolidating Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Education & Training college college debt debt management saving for college student loan debt student loans Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:30:33 +0000 Daniel Matthews 1688980 at http://www.wisebread.com Student Loans: The Third Way to Ruin Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/student-loans-the-third-way-to-ruin-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/student-loans-the-third-way-to-ruin-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/uofi-alma-mater-5_0.jpg" alt="Alma Mater Sculpture" title="Alma Mater" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I've long said there are two ways people ruin their finances &mdash; loss of income or large uninsured expense. I've recently become aware of a third. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pre-career-advice">Pre-Career Advice</a>)</p> <p>The new way to ruin your finances is this &mdash; take on enough student loan debt to get a college education.</p> <p>This is new. It used to be that most people who ruined their finances did it one of the old fashioned ways:</p> <ol> <li>They suffered a sharp drop in income (such as by losing a job)</li> <li>They incurred a large, uninsured expense (such as losing a lawsuit)</li> </ol> <p>I suppose, in a sense, student loan debt is just a special case of the second, with the large expense being the cost of going to college. But student loan debt is special in a lot of ways.</p> <p>First of all, it's the only kind of debt still out there where lenders will send you money without any regard for how you might be able to pay it back. (And why should they care? Usually, the debt is guaranteed by the federal government. Plus, you can't escape it, even in bankruptcy.)</p> <p>Another way it's unusual is that the very first loan &mdash; often arranged before you even turn 18 &mdash; sets you on an irreversible path. Oh, it's not completely unchangeable &mdash; you can change your major; you can even switch to a different school &mdash; but if you change your mind and decide that you'd rather not go deeply into debt, you're left without the degree that was your main hope for earning enough money to pay the loan back.</p> <p>It's as if you'd borrowed money to buy a car without realizing that, in practical terms, you'd committed to buying seven more cars over the next four years &mdash; and if you decided you'd rather not, your first car quits running but you have to pay for it anyway.</p> <p>So, what are you're choices? Here are my thoughts:</p> <h2>The Old Usual Route</h2> <p>The standard advice has long been to pick the best college you can get into and borrow whatever it costs to get a good education.</p> <p>This may still be a good choice &mdash; particularly if someone else will pay a lot of the money, so that &quot;whatever it costs&quot; doesn't put you in debt for the rest of your life.</p> <p>So this is still a reasonable option for plenty of people. In particular, it's a fine option for rich people. (And we're not just talking about the 1% here. Probably the whole top 5% can afford to send their kids to the college of their choice with little or no borrowing necessary, if they want to bad enough.) It may also be an option for people with mad skills in one area &mdash; sports, music, anything that catches the eye of someone with scholarship money to dole out.</p> <p>If this is you, you hardly need my advice. Carry on.</p> <h2>The (Now, Sadly Risky) High-Reward Route</h2> <p>If you <em>really want</em> to do something that <em>pays really well</em>, you can just grit your teeth, borrow the money, and then hope that all goes well and you earn enough money to pay off your debt.</p> <p>There are a lot of jobs that will earn you enough money to cover those monthly bills. The old standbys of doctor and lawyer have the downside that you come out of college needing several more years of further study, but there are others. Any of several flavors of engineer will do the trick.</p> <p>Because the truth about student loan debt hadn't been so apparent until the last few years, a lot of people took this route without looking at how much money they could earn with degree that they'd spend all the money earning. This is why there are so many people out there with degrees in English or social work suffering the ungentle ministrations of our modern debt collection system.</p> <p>If this is you, my advice is that you only go down this route if you really want to do whatever it is you're being trained for. Don't do it because someone said petroleum geologists make good money; do it because you're really interested in rock strata. And then only do it if you're prepared to take the risk. If anything goes wrong &mdash; if you don't like the work, if you can't do it, if you guess wrong about there being good paying jobs a few years from now &mdash; you're screwed.</p> <h2>The &quot;Not Going to College&quot; Route</h2> <p>If you don't go to college, you can jump right in doing something to earn money.</p> <p>Of course, that's also the rub. How will you earn that money? If you jump in waiting tables, working at a gas station, or moving furniture, you'll start earning some money, but there's not really much of a path up from there.</p> <p>If you like the idea, try it for a summer. Then, look around. If you're where you want to be, fine &mdash; you're all set. If not, it's probably not too late to go to college.</p> <p>But what if you have some much more interesting way to earn money? What if you want to do something creative or artistic? What if you have a great idea for starting a business?</p> <p>In that case, it might well make the most sense to just jump right in and do whatever it is. Maybe you'll be able to make a living at it, and maybe you won't, but it's harmless to try. It's harmless, that is, unless you run up a lot of debt. Then you're screwed just like you'd borrowed the money to go to college, except you don't even have a degree.</p> <h2>The Cautious Route</h2> <p>Probably the safest thing to do is to minimize your borrowing by getting the <em>cheapest education possible</em> &mdash; go to community college for two years, then transfer to a state school where you can pay in-state tuition.</p> <p>This is not a bad option. It used to be that there were a lot of gradations of schools, with a wide range through the middle, but I think the advantages of a mid-tier school over a bottom-tier school are smaller than they used to be. (For a lot of reasons, beginning with the Internet.)</p> <p>You don't get a better education by going to a better school; you get a better education by using your time there as an opportunity to transform yourself.</p> <p>What you get out of going to a top school is mainly better contacts. Unless <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-go-to-college-to-learn">your plan requires those contacts</a>, don't bother.</p> <h2>Already Down that Road?</h2> <p>If you've already picked a route &mdash; or, more accurately, parents and guidance counselors and some high school kid picked a route and now you find yourself on it &mdash; your options at this point are limited.</p> <p>If you're still in college, you're on the &quot;potentially high reward&quot; route. If it's not too late, make it a priority to get a degree that will help you earn the money to pay off the debt.</p> <p>If you're out of college and &mdash; for whatever reason &mdash; you're not earning enough to pay your expenses and cover your debts, your options are limited. Do look into options for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/escape-student-loan-debt-slowly">restructuring the debt</a>. And don't forget that Wise Bread is full of tips on living large on a small budget &mdash; which is probably your best remaining option.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/student-loans-the-third-way-to-ruin-your-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt">12 Easy Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-wait-to-go-to-college">Should You Wait to Go to College?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unique-ways-millennials-are-dealing-with-student-loan-debt">7 Unique Ways Millennials Are Dealing With Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-student-loan-debt-as-bad-as-it-seems">Is Student Loan Debt as Bad as It Seems?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-definitive-guide-to-pay-as-you-earn-a-great-student-loan-repayment-plan">The Definitive Guide to Pay As You Earn — A Federal Student Loan Repayment Plan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Education & Training college education financial disasters student loan debt Tue, 19 Feb 2013 10:36:45 +0000 Philip Brewer 967917 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Wait to Go to College? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-wait-to-go-to-college <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-wait-to-go-to-college" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5561427203_2fa04b6cfc_z.jpg" alt="teen in chair" title="teen in chair" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many recent high school graduates, it&rsquo;s almost unheard of to consider <em>not</em> continuing onto college the following fall. There are some reasons people simply can&rsquo;t go to college &mdash;&nbsp; financial problems, etc. &mdash; but what if you were to have the time and money available, yet still opt out of the higher education route? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/college/college-resources">40+ College Resources for Parents and Students</a>)</p> <p>This isn&rsquo;t to say you should never go to college, but what about waiting a few years to decide what you truly want to do with your life (and get a little traveling or work experience in while you&rsquo;re at it)? Making a major life decision at the relatively young age of 18 isn't easy, and taking time off from school to delve into your true interests can help you avoid a major career change in the future.</p> <p>So, should you wait to go to college? Let&rsquo;s examine the consequences of this decision.</p> <h2>Avoiding Student Loan Debt</h2> <p>Americans <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/escape-student-loan-debt-slowly">owe over $1 trillion in student loans</a>. This is more than what they owe in credit card debt, and according to <a href="http://www.finaid.org/loans/studentloandebtclock.phtml">finaid.org</a>, the average load per person is $27,200. Some people even rack up over $100,000 in student loan debt thanks to high interest rates, and the worst part is that you can&rsquo;t unload this debt in case of bankruptcy. Not to mention the poor cosigners (such as parents) who are left responsible for the debt in instances where the recipient of a loan dies.</p> <p>In this economic climate, the path to a career is no longer as straightforward as merely getting a college degree and immediately getting picked up by a firm that&rsquo;ll pay you the $40,000+ per year that was advertised by your university in the job prospects section. In fact, a significant chunk of the American unemployed is recent graduates who are unable to find work due to a flooded labor market.</p> <p>So what does this mean for those who are thinking about or currently going to college? It's likely that spending thousands of dollars on an education won&rsquo;t guarantee you a job, possibly leaving you with the burden of debt payments for years to come (especially if you don't get a highly sought-after degree). But if you hold off on the college route, you could ride out the economic downturn and build up your savings in the meantime (allowing you to pay for an education without acquiring debt in the near future).</p> <h2>The Employability Paradox</h2> <p>A major problem faced by the teens and 20-somethings of today is the paradox of needing a job to get experience, but needing experience to get a job. Sometimes, extracurricular activities can give your resume a boost in this area, but if you only have education under your belt, you&rsquo;re likely going to have a hard time finding that first job that pays well. Even in instances of a job candidate with a bachelor&rsquo;s degree and one with just work experience, there&rsquo;s a good chance the employer will choose the latter.</p> <p>Take culinary arts, for example. You could have gone to the best school in the country and dropped $100,000 on your education (thinking you were going to be earning $50,000 right out of school). Unfortunately, like everyone else, you&rsquo;re going to have to start out at the bottom, making a meager hourly salary and wondering how in the world you&rsquo;re going to pay off all that debt you&rsquo;ve accumulated.</p> <p>One way to avert this problem is through the &quot;learn by doing&quot; approach through internships and apprenticeships. This way, you can acquire practical, real-world experience that not only furthers your knowledge in your field beyond classroom theory, but also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-ways-to-improve-your-resume-today">adds a lot of meat to your resume</a>.</p> <h2>Possible Alternatives</h2> <p>So if you&rsquo;re looking to wait a few years before college, what should you do in the meantime?</p> <p>If you had some sort of savings for college, one possibility is investing that money somewhere else. Real estate, stocks, mutual funds &mdash; you name it. Since a four-year education no longer guarantees you a steady job immediately upon graduation, investing the money is an excellent alternative and will really make your money &ldquo;work for you&rdquo; over the course of time.</p> <p>Aside from financial matters, you could pursue non-educational endeavors as well. Perhaps you can finally settle down and write that novel you&rsquo;ve had at the back of your mind. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">Travel cheaply around the world</a> while you&rsquo;re still young. Start a business using your college funds as start-up capital. Your options are limitless, and if you still want to go to college after a few years, that&rsquo;s an option as well.</p> <p><em>College &mdash; now or wait it out? What do you think? Discuss in the comment section below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-wait-to-go-to-college">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-a-college-education-will-improve-your-life">10 Surprising Ways a College Education Will Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/student-loans-the-third-way-to-ruin-your-finances">Student Loans: The Third Way to Ruin Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-employers-care-about-more-than-your-degree">7 Things Employers Care About More Than Your Degree</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-avoid-student-loan-debt">12 Easy Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-my-career-clueless-college-self">5 Tips for My Career-Clueless College Self</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training college education internships student loan debt unemployment Thu, 19 Jul 2012 09:48:20 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 941426 at http://www.wisebread.com Contributing to a Roth Versus Paying Down Debt http://www.wisebread.com/contributing-to-a-roth-versus-paying-down-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/contributing-to-a-roth-versus-paying-down-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/forest-steps_0.jpg" alt="Forest Steps" title="Forest Steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="263" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This post was prompted by a reader question, but it's an issue that many people face &mdash; we see versions of it all the time in the forums. So, I thought I'd walk through what I think is the best way to approach any problem of this sort. It starts with comparing interest rates, but it ends with a comparison to lottery tickets.</p> <p>The general solution to this kind of problem is to compare rates of return: Is the interest that you have to pay on your debts higher than the return that you can expect get on your investments? If it is (and it usually is), then pay down the debt.</p> <p>In fact it's even stronger than that, because there's the asymmetry between the interest that you <strong>have to</strong> pay versus the return you're only <strong>expecting</strong> to receive. It wasn't long ago that lots of people were expecting to receive 12% (or more) on their stock market investments.</p> <p>Based on that, here's my starting place on where your money ought to go, after you've covered your household expenses and the minimum payment on any debts:</p> <ol> <li>fund 401(k) enough to capture any corporate match</li> <li>accelerated payments on debts</li> <li>max out your Roth</li> <li>further fund 401(k) to the corporate (or IRS) limit</li> <li>regular old (after-tax) investing</li> </ol> <p>(Sometimes it makes sense to skip step 4 and go straight to step 5. I talk about that in my post <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-not-to-put-money-in-your-401-k ">When NOT to put money in your 401(k)</a>.)</p> <p>The reader's question, though, has to do with partially skipping step 2 (accelerated payments on debt) in order to get to step 3. Here's what she asked:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><p>Thanks to a recent promotion, my salary jumped to $100k. The one downside is that I may only be able to contribute to my Roth for 2009 and maybe 2010 (it's my understanding that the income limits to convert will be eliminated in 2010, but the limits to contribute will remain, and start at $105k for single filers). I'm aggressively paying down student loans and will finish by November, but since 2009 may be the last year I can contribute to a Roth, I'm thinking of stopping the extra loan payments for 3 months in order to contribute the $5k max to my Roth for 2009. I contribute 9% to my company 401k and receive an employer contribution of around 7%, my mortgage is my only other debt, and I'm late 20s. My overall retirement savings is lower than I'd like (the loans have been my priority), and I planned to max out contributions once the loans are gone.</p></blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>My answer is: Yes, it makes perfect sense to fund the Roth under these circumstances, even though it means that the student loan will take a bit longer to pay off. In fact, it might well make sense even without the special circumstance of having only this narrow window within which to contribute to a Roth.</p> <p>Usually it makes more sense to just get the debt paid off, which is why step 2 comes first. That's because the interest owed on debt is usually higher than you can reliably earn on your investments. But the Roth is a special case because of the tax advantages and the very long time-scale. Money invested in a Roth by a 20-something has the opportunity to grow tax-free for decades &mdash; and then you never have to pay taxes on the earnings.</p> <p>With those advantages, your gain in the Roth is very likely to match the extra interest you end up paying. On top of that, there's a real chance that, over a few decades, it'll do much better yet. To my mind, that tips the scales: Your cost is low and predictable (the extra interest) and your gain can be reasonably expected to match it &mdash; with a substantial chance of an outsized win.</p> <p>Here's another way to look at it. Investing instead of paying down debt is kind of like buying a lottery ticket. You pay $1 and can expect to win (on average) something like 50 cents &mdash; but with a small chance that you'll win thousands of dollars. Because of the unique advantages of a Roth, in this case it'd be like buying a ticket for $1 and expecting that your average return will be very close to $1 (the expected return on your Roth will be close to what you're paying on your student loan) &mdash; but you still keep the chance that you'll win thousands of dollars, because of the future decades during which your Roth has the opportunity to rack up tax-free gains.</p> <p>I think it makes good sense.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/contributing-to-a-roth-versus-paying-down-debt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/self-sufficiency-self-reliance-and-freedom">Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and freedom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-us-government-wants-you-in-debt">The U.S. Government Wants You in Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snowballs-or-avalanches-which-debt-reduction-strategy-is-best-for-you">Snowballs or Avalanches: Which Debt Reduction Strategy Is Best for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-single-mother-in-debt-over-200k-is-fixing-her-finances">How a Single Mother In Debt Over $200K Is Fixing Her Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-pessimism-can-actually-improve-your-finances">4 Ways Pessimism Can Actually Improve Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Debt Management debt debt reduction investment return Roth IRA Roth IRAs student loan debt taxes Thu, 07 Jan 2010 14:00:28 +0000 Philip Brewer 4503 at http://www.wisebread.com