Student Loan Debt. Julie Shields-Rutyna Director of Early College Planning Kendra Lider Johnson Director of Integrated Communication and Education

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1 Student Loan Debt Julie Shields-Rutyna Director of Early College Planning Kendra Lider Johnson Director of Integrated Communication and Education

2 About MEFA MEFA is a not-for-profit state authority that works to make higher education more accessible and affordable through community education programs, college savings plans and low-cost financing options. MEFA created the U.Fund and the U.Plan college savings plans and has provided affordable fixed interest rate college loans for 30 years. MEFA has assisted hundreds of thousands of families in financing a college education. 2

3 Agenda Facts and Figures Resources for Making Good Decisions Minimizing Debt Managing Debt 3

4 Student Loans in the Headlines Student-loan debt tops $1 trillion WSJ, 3/22/12 Over 60 and still paying student loans Money MSN, 4/5/12 A generation hobbled by the soaring cost of college NYT, 5/12/12 Student loans have basically ruined my life Yahoo, 6/27/12 Student loan debt is worse than it seems CBS News, 9/5/12 Student loan debt hits record high, study shows NBC News, 10/18/12 4

5 Facts and Figures Of the private, not-for-profit 4 year colleges with the highest tuition costs 70 percent are in New England and the Mid-Atlantic area Of the private, not-for-profit 4 year colleges with the highest net prices 55 percent are in New England and the Mid-Atlantic area Of the 13 states with the highest average student debt, half are the 6 states in New England Within the United States, Massachusetts has the highest concentration per capita of colleges and universities that cost over $40,000 a year Sources: US Department of Education, Project on Student Debt,

6 Facts and Figures 25% of borrowers in 2008 graduated from 4-year colleges with at least $30,526 in student loan debt 10% of borrowers graduated with at least $44,668 in student loan debt 1.5% of borrowers graduated with at least $100,000 in student loan debt What will the percentages be in 2018? Source: Project on Student Debt, 2010; Kantrowitz, n.d.; Kantrowitz,

7 Expected Lifetime Earnings Relative to High School Graduates, by Education Level Sources: The College Board, Education Pays 2010, Figure 1.2; U.S. Census Bureau, 2009; calculations by the authors. 7

8 Estimated Cumulative Earnings Net of Loan Repayment for Tuition and Fees, by Education Level Sources: The College Board, Education Pays 2010, Figure 1.3; U.S. Census Bureau, 2009; The College Board, 2009; calculations by the authors. 8

9 Resources for Making Good Decisions Net Price Calculators Financial Aid Shopping Sheet MEFA s College Cost Calculator Retention & Graduation rates Gainful Employment Loan repayment rates Debt-to-income ratios 9

10 Financial Aid Shopping Sheet 10

11 After The Acceptance Regional Seminars Over 25 Locations Across Massachusetts in late March/April Follow-up to College Financing Seminar to provide key, timely information Topics include: Understanding award letters and bills Loan options (parent and student) Payment Plans Working with the Financial Aid Office for special circumstances such as job loss or other reduction of income Register for MEFA s to receive location details 11

12 Is Debt Manageable? Considerations College retention and graduation rates College graduate employment rates College major Career choice Starting salary Parent support Living choices 12

13 Strategies to Minimize Debt Before College Prioritizing saving Working a summer job (student) Applying for scholarships Using Net Price Calculators to identify affordable schools Appealing financial aid decision 13

14 True or False > Saving for college means no financial aid. False 14 14

15 Savings will help! Gives you more education options different types of colleges, payment for books, etc. Reduces or may eliminate the need to borrow loans Can work less and study more Minimum impact on aid eligibility Knowing a parent is saving for college is motivating to a child 15

16 Income & Asset Impact Family Size: 4 Income makes a far greater difference than savings! Family A Family B Family C Family D Income $40,000 $60,000 $60,000 $60,000 Assets $0 $0 $30,000 $60,000 EFC $231 $3,371 $3,371 $4,085 Difference $3,140 $3,140 $3,854 This example is an estimate only. Based on Federal Methodology (one child in college). 16

17 Saving vs. Borrowing Past Income Savings Other Assets Present Income Salary Payment Plans Future Income Parent Loans Student Loans *Based on 10 years at an interest rate of 7%. This example is an estimate only and market conditions may change. 17

18 Strategies for Saving Start saving as early as possible. Use time to your advantage. Time Value of Money Use automatic transfers Get the word out and let your family and friends know that they may contribute or open a plan up on behalf of your child $250, $200, $150, $100, $50, $ $ $0.00 $21, $51, $95, $156, $ $0.00 $7, $17, $31, $52, $50.00 $0.00 $3, $8, $15, $26, Have your child save too! 18

19 Loans Are a Reality 1. Start with federal student loans 2. Don t borrow more than you need 3. Don t borrow more than you can afford 4. Pay attention to fees, terms and conditions 5. Get the advice and support you need 6. Use a combination plan 19

20 Federal Student Loans Student is the sole borrower No co-signer or credit check No payments due while enrolled Federal Direct Stafford Loan Two types: Subsidized Fixed interest rate of 3.4% begins after graduation Unsubsidized Fixed interest rate of 6.8% begins immediately Federal Perkins Loan Fixed 5% interest rate begins after graduation Loan availability varies by college; not all colleges participate 20

21 Federal Student Loan Repayment Standard Most cost effective Graduated Useful if you expect a sharp rise in income over time Extended Useful if you need a lower monthly payment Income-Based Repayment Lowest monthly payment Consolidation 21

22 Strategies to Minimize Debt During College Using payment plan Graduating in fewer semesters Attending a less expensive college Choosing a specific major for its career prospects Working while in school Renting textbooks Living at home and commuting Parents working additional jobs 22

23 Strategies to Minimize Debt After Graduation Income-Based Repayment Loan forgiveness benefit at work Deferment Forbearance Considering income when choosing career Lifestyle choices 23

24 When Debt is Unmanageable Loan is declared in default when delinquent for 360 days 1 in 6 borrowers are in default- $76 Billion Long-term repercussions: Wages, taxes and social security can be garnished to collect loan payments Inability to borrow additional loans to finish education Student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy What students can do: Work with loan servicer to avoid delinquency and default- Don t avoid their calls Stay informed of repayment, deferment and forbearance options Contact Dept. of Ed and/or Ombudsman if you are having difficulty working with loan servicer 24

25 MEFA as Your Planning, Saving and Paying for College Resource MEFA.org MEFA semi-monthly service for parents E-books, online seminars, videos and calculators Link to financial aid apps & scholarship search engine Ask a MEFA Expert and Customer Service Center MEFA Like us on facebook! facebook.com/mefama Follow us on 25

26 Additional Reading Education Pays, The College Board: Federal Student Aid Loan Repayment Options: Financial Aid Shopping Sheets, annotated: Who Graduates with Six-Figure Education Debt? Mark Kantrowitz: Student Debt and the Class of 2011, Project on Student Debt: Choice of College Major Can Mean Millions U.S. Census Bureau: 26

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