STUDENT LOAN CRISIS!

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2 STUDENT LOAN CRISIS! Over 1.2 Trillion In Student Loan Debt There is an estimated $1.2 trillion in student loan debt in the United States and that number is continuing to grow by the minute! 1 in 4 Americans are burdened with this debt which they must deal with on a day-to-day basis. The good news is that there have finally been programs released that can help lower your student loan payments and possibly even forgive your debt completely. These new repayment programs are designed to combine one or more of your eligible Federal Student Loans into one new loan. More importantly, there are flexible repayment options available that are tailored to your own unique circumstance and financial situation.

3 WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS TO CONSOLIDATING YOUR STUDENT LOANS? Consolidating your student loans is the first step in gearing towards lowering your monthly student loan payments. A Federal student loan consolidation is the process in which you combine all your different Federal student loans into one loan, with one monthly payment. Some of the benefits of moving forward with the consolidation include the following: One Lender and One Monthly Payment The consolidation process will combine all your different Federal Student Loans into one loan with one payment. This will help borrowers get more organized and help manage their debt more efficiently. Flexible Repayment Options There have been multiple different repayment plans introduced which cater to different borrowers unique circumstances. These plans are designed to be flexible and tailored to your own unique circumstance and financial situation. They will be discussed in more detail below. Reduce Loan Balance There have been multiple different forgiveness programs that have recently been introduced that can eliminate your student loan debt completely! Depending on which forgiveness program you qualify for, you may get part of your student loan debt forgiven or the whole amount all together. These programs will be discussed in more detail below. No Minimum or Maximum Loan There is no required minimum or maximum loan balance to qualify for a direct consolidation loan! Get Out of Default/Stop Wage Garnishment If you have already defaulted on your student loans or are in danger of defaulting, a direct loan consolidation can possibly get you out of default and back into a current status. If your wages are being garnished, there are programs available to stop wage garnishment and get you back into a current loan status. Increase Your Credit Score Direct loan consolidations can help get you back on tract and current on your student loans which can have a positive impact on your credit score. Lower Your Monthly Student Loan Payments One of the immediate benefits of consolidating your student loans are the lowering of your monthly student loan payments. Depending on the repayment plan that you qualify for, these payments can possibly get lowered by more than 50%! For further information call: Phone: Fax:

4 What type of repayment plans are there? After you consolidate your loans, you will potentially be eligible for multiple repayment plans that can lower your monthly payments and/or reduce your term! Different types of Repayment Plans available Standard Repayment Plan Under the Standard Repayment Plan, you will be paying a fixed monthly loan payment (usually 1% of your loan amount) each month until your loan(s) are paid in full. Your monthly payments will be at least $50 for up to 10 to 30 years, depending on your student loan amount. Graduated Repayment Plan Under the Graduated Repayment Plan, your payments start out low and increase every two years. The length of the repayment plan is typically 10 years. This plan is ideal for borrowers who anticipate their income increasing steadily over time. Income Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR) Under the Income Contingent Repayment Plan, your monthly payments will be based on annual income, loan balance, and family size. Payments on this program are capped at 20% of your discretionary income with a maximum term of 25 years. Any debt remaining after the term will be completely forgiven! Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR) Under the Income-Based Repayment plan, your monthly payments will be based on annual income, loan balance, and family size. Payments on this program are capped at 15% of your discretionary income with a maximum term of 25 years. Any debt remaining after the term will be completely forgiven! Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAE) Under the Pay As You Earn Repayment plan, your monthly payments will be based on annual income, loan balance, and family size. Payments on this program are capped at 10% of your discretionary income with a maximum term of 25 years. Any debt remaining after the term will be completely forgiven! *In order to qualify for PAE, your loans must have originated after October 1st, 2007* Phone: Fax:

5 Who qualifies for the forgiveness programs? There are multiple forgiveness programs available that can forgive a portion of your student debt, or even the whole amount! The section below will cover eligibility guidelines and requirements. What are the different types of forgiveness programs available? Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is designed for borrowers who work full-time in the public service sector. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers. Some of the qualifying factors under the PSLF program include making 120 on-time, full, scheduled, monthly payments on your direct loans (only payments made after October 1, 2007 qualify). Moreover, those payments must be under a qualifying repayment plan. Last but not least, when you make each of those payments, you must be working full-time at a qualifying public service organization (call to inquire about which organizations qualify). Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPDD) Under the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge program, you may qualify for complete forgiveness of your student debt if you are totally and permanently disabled. You must provide documentation to prove your total and permanent disability (call us now to see what exact documentation is needed). Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program, if you teach full-time for 5 complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans (if you have PLUS loans only, you are not eligible for this type of forgiveness). * You must not have had an outstanding balance on Direct Loans or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans as of Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date that you obtained a Direct Loan or FFEL Program loan after Oct. 1, 1998* Phone: Fax:

6 Who is eligible for a Direct Consolidation Loan? To qualify for Direct Consolidation Loans, borrowers must have at least one Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) that is in grace, repayment, deferment or default status. Loans that are in an in-school status cannot be included in a Direct Consolidation Loan. Borrowers can consolidate most defaulted education loans, if they make satisfactory repayment arrangements with their current loan holder(s) or agree to repay their new Direct Consolidation Loan under the Income Contingent Repayment Plan or Income Based Repayment Plan. Borrowers who do not have Direct Loans may be eligible for a Direct Consolidation Loan if they include at least one FFEL Loan and have been unable to obtain a Federal Consolidation Loan with a FFEL consolidation lender or have been unable to obtain a Federal Consolidation Loan with income-sensitive repayment terms acceptable to them or intend to apply for loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Borrowers who have only a Direct Consolidation Loan cannot consolidate again unless they include an additional loan. Can I obtain a Direct Consolidation Loan if I don t have any Direct Loans? Yes, borrowers without any Direct Loans may be eligible for a Direct Consolidation Loan if they include at least one FFEL Loan and have been unable to obtain a Federal Consolidation Loan with a FFEL consolidation lender or have been unable to obtain a Federal Consolidation Loan with income-sensitive repayment terms acceptable to them or intend to apply for loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Can I consolidate a PLUS Loan? Yes, Yes, it is possible to consolidate Perkins Loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan if borrowers include at least one Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) in their request. Perkins Loans cannot be included in a Direct Consolidation Loan by themselves. Furthermore, all Perkins Loans consolidated into the Direct Loan Program will be included in the unsubsidized portion of the Direct Consolidation Loan. Borrowers should carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of including a Perkins Loan in a consolidation loan. While the borrowers gain the benefits of the Direct Consolidation Loan Program, they also lose the benefits associated with the Perkins Loan Program. We recommend that you consider the following points prior to making a decision: Perkins Loans are eligible for additional cancellation benefits, such as performing certain kinds of public service. This benefit is lost when a Perkins Loan is included in a Direct Consolidation Loan. Perkins Loans have a grace period of 6-9 months. When a Perkins loan is consolidated, any remaining grace period is lost. Interest does not accrue when a Perkins Loan is placed in deferment. Since a Perkins Loan is included in the unsubsidized portion of a Direct Consolidation Loan, borrowers are responsible for interest that accrues throughout the deferment period. Perkins Loans generally have a lower interest rate but have a less flexible repayment period of 10 years. Phone: Fax:

7 Can I consolidate my loans if I am enrolled in school? Yes and No. Effective for Direct Consolidation Loan applications received on or after July 1, 2006, borrowers who are enrolled in school cannot consolidate loans that are in an in-school status. These are loans that have not yet entered or used up the 6-month grace period entitlement. Borrowers still can consolidate loans that are in grace, repayment or deferment. Borrowers can add loans to an existing consolidation for up to 180 days after the Direct Consolidation Loan was first disbursed. If more than 180 days has passed, borrowers can apply for a new Direct Consolidation Loan. The new consolidation loan can include the original Direct Consolidation loan and must include another eligible outstanding federal education loan. Example: A borrower who has education loans stopped attending school for a year and the loans used up the 6-month grace period and entered repayment. The borrower returned to school and obtained a new loan. While enrolled, the borrower applies for a Direct Consolidation Loan. The Direct Consolidation Loan can include the first group of loans the borrower received, but not the newly received loans. Once the borrower leaves school again he or she can add these new loans to the existing Consolidation Loan or submit a new Direct Loan Consolidation application to combine the original Consolidation Loan and the other remaining loans. Can I consolidate an existing consolidation loan? Yes, under three conditions Borrowers can consolidate existing consolidation loans into a new Direct Consolidation Loan if they include at least one other FFEL or Direct Loan into the new consolidation loan. Borrowers can consolidate a single Federal Consolidation Loan if the loan is in default status or has been submitted to a guaranty agency for default aversion by the loan holder. Borrowers can consolidate a single Federal Consolidation Loan if they intend to apply for loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Can I consolidate my loans that are in grace? Yes, Borrowers who consolidate loans that are in grace may receive a lower interest rate on their Direct Consolidation Loans if they are consolidating variablerate loans. However, once grace status loans are consolidated borrowers lose any remaining grace period. Borrowers receive their first bills within 60 days after the new Direct Consolidation Loan is made. The timing in which an application is submitted is important: Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006 have fixed interest rates. While borrowers with fixed interest rate loans can consolidate while in grace, there is no benefit to do so since the interest rates for in-grace and in-repayment are the same. Borrowers with variable interest rate loans should apply for Direct Consolidation Loans while their loans are in the grace status in order for them to receive the possible interest rate benefit. Since repayment begins within 60 days of the day the Direct Consolidation Loan is made, borrowers should not apply too early in their loans grace periods; otherwise borrowers lose any remaining grace period. For example, if a borrower s loans are consolidated during the second month of grace, they would begin repayment within 60 days, thus forfeiting the remaining portion of the grace period. Therefore, borrowers should wait until about halfway through the 6-month grace period before applying for a Direct Consolidation Loan. Phone: Fax:

8 What special conditions apply if I am in repayment and just consolidating now? Borrowers in repayment who want to consolidate their federal education loans should continue making payments until their loan holder notifies them that their loans are paid in full. Can I Consolidate jointly with my spouse? No, Effective July, a married couple may no longer obtain a Direct Consolidation Loan as joint borrowers. Can I Consolidate a Defaulted Loan? Generally, federal education loan(s) in default may be consolidated in a Direct Consolidation Loan if borrowers: Agree to repay the loan(s) under either the Income Contingent or Income Based Repayment Plan. OR Make satisfactory repayment arrangements with the current loan holder(s). If, before applying for consolidation, borrowers who want to completely clear the default notation from their credit records, they may want to consider another option: loan rehabilitation. Borrowers should contact their loan holders to obtain more information about this option. Borrowers cannot consolidate defaulted loans under these conditions: If a judgment has been issued against a defaulted loan, it cannot be included in the consolidation unless the judgment order has been vacated (dismissed). If they are trying to consolidate defaulted Direct Consolidation Loans and do not include at least one additional eligible loan in the consolidation. Note: Borrowers with defaulted FFEL or Direct Loan Program loans may be liable for collection costs incurred to collect the loans. If the holder of the defaulted loan, which may be either the U.S. Department of Education or a guaranty agency, retains a collection agency to collect defaulted loans, charges imposed by the collection agency may be added to the amount borrowers owe. This means that the amount of the Direct Consolidation Loan may include collection costs of up to 18.5% of the principal and interest outstanding on the defaulted loan. For defaulted Perkins Loans and health professions loans, collection costs may equal as much as the amount owed at the time the defaulted loan is paid off through consolidation. Can I change repayment plans? Yes. Most borrowers may change repayment plans at any time. However, borrowers who are required to repay under the ICR plan must make three consecutive monthly payments before changing to another plan. There is no limit to the number of times borrowers may change plans. A borrower may change to the ICR plan at any time. After the change, the borrower s repayment period will be a maximum of 25 years. If loans are not fully repaid after 25 years of repayment, any unpaid amount will be forgiven. The maximum 25- year repayment period may include prior periods of repayment under certain other repayment plans, and certain periods of economic hardship deferment. The forgiven amount may be considered taxable income. (The ICR Plan is NOT available if you have a Direct PLUS Consolidation Loan(s) made before July 1, 2006 and/or a Direct PLUS Loan(s). However, you are eligible to repay any Direct Consolidation Loan(s) made on/after July 1, 2006 under the ICR Plan even if it includes a PLUS Loan(s).) A borrower may change to the IBR plan at any time. After the change, the borrower s repayment period will be a maximum of 25 years. If loans are not fully repaid after 25 years of repayment, any Phone: Fax:

9 unpaid amount will be forgiven. The maximum 25- year repayment period may include prior periods of repayment under certain other repayment plans, and certain periods of economic hardship deferment. The forgiven amount may be considered taxable income. If you choose to leave the IBR Plan at any time, your account will be placed on the Standard repayment plan. You cannot change to any plan other than Standard at any time after being on the IBR repayment plan. A borrower may change to another plan as long as the new plan has a repayment term that is longer than the amount of time the borrower has already spent in repayment. The new repayment term is determined by subtracting the amount of time a borrower has spent in repayment from the term allowed under the new plan. How long does it take to consolidate my loans once I submit my application? The consolidation process generally takes days. Using the Student Loan Education Center can reduce the amount of time it takes to consolidate a borrower s loan(s). Call today to speak to a qualified Student Loan Advisor with the Student Loan Education Center for more details. The consultation is free. When can I expect my first monthly payment to be due? Borrowers receive a 0.25 percent discount on their interest rate for as long as they continue to make payments using EDA. Borrowers must keep the Direct Loan Servicing Center informed of changes of address and to their names. Borrowers are responsible for making payments on time regardless of whether they receive billing statements. Borrowers should send payments to: U.S. Department of Education Direct Loan Payment Center P.O. Box Atlanta, GA Can I prepay on my loan? Borrowers may prepay all or part of the unpaid balance on any Direct Loan at any time, without an early repayment penalty. If a borrower makes a payment that exceeds the required monthly payment, the prepayment will be applied first to any charges or collection costs, then to outstanding interest, and last to principal. However, if a borrower s account has no outstanding interest, the prepayment is applied entirely to principal. If the prepayment is twice the borrower s monthly payment, the next payment due date is advanced unless the borrower specifies otherwise. The borrower will be notified of a revised due date. Borrowers will receive an initial billing statement from the Direct Loan Servicing Center within 60 days of the first disbursement of their Direct Consolidation Loan. Payments are due monthly. How do I make payments? Borrowers receive monthly billing statements from the Direct Loan Servicing Center, unless they enroll in the Electronic Debit Account (EDA). Phone: Fax:

10 WHY CHOOSE GRADS 1ST TO CONSOLIDATE YOUR LOANS? 1) QUICK TURNAROUND TIME here with us is nothing short of outstanding and Here at Grads 1st, we are firm believers that time is of pleasurable. Our dedicated staff is trained to ensure the essence. As soon as we receive your application, smooth sailing throughout the consolidation process. we begin processing your consolidation. The consolidation process will take approximately 3090 days to complete. You will be updated with the progress every step of the way. We have a dedicated staff here to service any and all your needs pertaining to your student loan consolidation. 4) OVER 50 YEARS OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE Our highly trained staff holds over 50 years of combined experience in the financial service industry! Rest assured that you have highly trained professionals in the industry facilitating your student 2) EXPERT STAFF Our highly trained staff here at Grads 1st is second to none when it comes to the student loan industry! Every staff member must go through our vigorous loan consolidation. We are dedicated to you and are here to service all your needs! training course and pass our in-house exam to 5) IMPECCABLE TRACK RECORD become a Grads 1st certified counselor. Grads 1st has an impeccable track record when it comes to consolidating your student debt. Our 3) SATISFACTION GUARANTEE expertise in the field can be tracked by our high Here at Grads 1st, we pride ourselves with the success rate in facilitating loan consolidations for utmost client satisfaction guaranteed. We take all thousands of people such as yourself. References and the necessary steps to ensure that your experience testimonial are available upon request. **Grads 1st is a privately owned company and is not affiliated with any government entity and/or loan servicing agency. Grads 1st does NOT service loans and strictly provides document preparation services. Grads 1st assists consumers by providing professional student loan consolidation preparation, filing and monitoring services. Like filing a tax return, you can file a student loan consolidation without professional assistance and without charge. Phone: Fax:

11 REFER-A-FRIEND PROGRAM EARN $100 for Every Qualified Referral... Do you have any friends and family who have student debt and can use our help? As part of our Refer-A-Friend Program here at Grads 1st, you will be paid $100 for every *qualified referral you send our way! Please fill out the list below with names and contact information for people you wish to refer. 1. NAME PHONE Referred by: NAME PHONE CLIENT ID # **A qualified referral is someone who qualifies for 1 or more of the consolidation/repayment programs who signs up for our services. Referral fee will be paid out once Grads 1st successfully completes a consolidation and/or repayment plan that the client chooses to accept. $100 referral check will be mailed out within 7 business days of consolidation/repayment plan completion and acceptance. Fax to: to: Mail to: 3435 Wilshire Blvd #1770, Los Angeles, CA 90010

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