Monthly Archives: May 2017

Drowning in Student Loan Debt? Who Is to Blame?

What do you do when your child tries to make up her mind among different colleges she’s been accepted to? Would your conscience allow you to give up the best possible college for a cheaper college that wasn’t as good? Could you ever live with yourself in the knowledge that you didn’t give your child the best education you could? Isn’t an education an investment that will pay for itself many times over anyway? Perhaps that was how it used to be. Seeing education in this way is no longer something that can hold water though. There are many families today that find themselves in debt for close to $100,000 from having considered a child’s education an investment that can pay for itself. Many graduates who find themselves in a merciless job market that doesn’t pay a fraction of what they hoped it would, find themselves enrolling in night school three years just on the hope that they can keep creditors for their student loan debt at bay.

Does putting off paying your child’s student loan debt off really make sense? The longer you put it off, the more the interest accrues. Does all of this sound like déjà vu? This does sound like the mortgage crisis that brought on the recession two years ago. Just as homebuyers five years ago thought that they could just swing it buying a home that would appreciate in value and make it worth their investment, students and parents today are trying to buy an education that they really cannot afford. They just hope that the investment they make will appreciate in value and somehow bring them great returns. They’re finding out just as homeowners did a couple of years ago, that reality can be very different.

It’s all panning out exactly as it did with the housing loan crisis. Colleges are enrolling students no questions asked, for courses that cost $200,000 over the duration of four years. They bring on banks that will underwrite those loans, and they all hope just like that, that those students will graduate and go on to make fat paychecks. If the jobs market happens to be disappointing, they can’t just declare bankruptcy with student loan debt either the way they can with a home loan. Federal bankruptcy law makes sure of that. Far from opening doors, an education for these young people pushes them into years of debt they can’t possibly get out of.

Typically, families that get themselves into this kind of situation start off applying for a federal loan from Sallie Mae. But after a while, Sallie Mae by the time the child gets to the final year, rejects any further advances and directs parents to apply for a private student loan with a private bank. Typically, when an application for a loan s rejected on account of maxing out credit, that person should set red lights flashing. But it usually doesn’t, because parents naively see an education as something that is worth any kind of sacrifice. Perhaps more balance is called for.

Save My House – What Do You Do If You Can’t Afford A Loan Modification Specialist?

I hear a lot of people say “I’d really like to save my house” but it’s just not going to happen. These are good folk who have invested their lives in their homes. They didn’t buy it as a speculation to make money, they bought it because it was their dream. This is the home they wanted and never thought they could have. This is the home they thought they would raise their family in. This is the house they thought they would grow old together in. If it hadn’t been for the recession, most of them never planned to leave. What happened?

There are a lot of good folk out there that could care less if they owe more for the home than it’s currently worth. Most people don’t buy a home for its investment value, they bought it because they wanted it. The recession may have stunted their plans. They may have lost an income stream or not gotten promotions they were promised. Had everything remained the same, they could and would still be making the payments on time.

If you are in this situation, you already qualify for a home loan modification.

The key here was something changed that affected your ability to make the payments. Your first step is to write the story. Start with this is where you were financially when you bought the home. Explain why you assumed you would be able to meet the payment schedule. Then explain what changed to make the home unaffordable. Did your spouse get laid off? Did you know the payments were going to go up? Did your hours get cut back at work? Use anything you can think of and verify it with paystubs, W-2′s, P&L statements if you are self-employed, etc. What you have just done is to write a hardship letter.

You are well on your way to saving your home.

My advice would be to get someone familiar with home loans and specifically home loan modifications to help you. Bankers do have a type of code-speak all their own. It is paramount that you or the person you choose to represent you knows the lingo and the rules. You are trying to save an asset that is valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If it was in cash, I’m sure you would trust it to an uneducated person to invest for you, why would you trust your home to someone who doesn’t know what they are doing (you)?

Unfortunately good loan modification specialist don’t work free. You probably wouldn’t want to use someone who works for free anyway would you? What’s in it for them if you get approved? Nothing. So why would they work hard for you?

On the other hand, many people are in so deep they can’t afford a specialist. If you are in this category, at least invest in a course to teach you the basics. You want to arm yourself as well as possible if you are going into battle.