Paying For College Student Loans Or Credit Cards-若槻ゆうか

Personal-Finance Research conducted by student loan company Sallie Mae shows that in 2010, about 5 percent of college students paid an average of more than $2,000 in tuition and other educational expenses using a credit card to avoid taking out student loans. The same study showed that 6 percent of parents used credit cards to pay an average of nearly $5,000 in educational expenses for their college children. Is using credit cards a smart way to avoid college loan debt? Financial advisors are in near-universal agreement that the answer is no, but that isnt stopping thousands of families from using credit cards in place of parent and student loans . Some families might think that all debt is equal; others might think that they wont qualify for college loans. So what advantages exactly do education loans offer over credit cards? 1) Availability Particularly in the last few years, as credit card companies have tightened their credit requirements in a retraction of the lax lending that led to the foreclosure crisis, credit cards have become harder to qualify for, available mostly only to consumers with strong credit. Many consumers with weaker credit have had their credit lines reduced or eliminated altogether. Federal college loans, on the other hand, are available with minimal to no credit requirements. Government-funded Perkins loans and Stafford loans are issued to students in their own name without a credit check and with no income, employment, or co-signer required. Federal parent loans, known as PLUS loans, have no income requirements and require only that you be free of major adverse credit items  a recent bankruptcy or foreclosure, defaulted federal education loans, and delinquencies of 90 days or more. In other words, dont turn to credit cards simply because you think you wont qualify for school loans. Chances are, these days, youre more likely to qualify for a federal college loan than for a credit card. 2) Fixed Interest Rates While most credit cards carry variable interest rates, federal student and parent loans are fixed-rate loans. With a fixed interest rate, you have the security of knowing that your student loan rate and monthly payments wont go up even when general interest rates do. Many credit cards will also penalize you for late or missed payments by raising your interest rate. Federal school loans keep the same rate regardless of your payment history. 3) Deferred Repayment Repayment on both federal student loans and federal parent loans can be postponed until six months after the student leaves school (nine months for Perkins undergraduate loans). With credit cards, however, the bill is due right away, and the interest rate on a credit card balance is generally much higher than the interest rate charged on federal school loans. If youre experiencing financial hardship, federal loans also offer additional payment deferment and forbearance options that can allow you to postpone making payments until youre back on your feet. Even most private student loans   nonfederal education loans offered by banks, credit unions, and other private lenders  offer you the option to defer making payments until after graduation. Keep in mind, however, that even while your payments are deferred, the interest on these private student loans, as well as on federal parent loans and on unsubsidized federal student loans, will continue to accrue. If the prospect makes you nervous of having deferred college loan debt thats slowly growing from accumulating interest charges, talk to your lender about in-school prepayment options that can allow you to pay off at least the interest each month on your school loans so your balances dont get any larger while youre still in school. 4) Income-Based Repayment Options Once you do begin repaying your college loans, federal loans offer extended and income-based repayment options. Extended repayment plans give you more time to repay, reducing the amount you have to pay each month. An income-based repayment plan scales down your monthly payments to a certain allowable percentage of your income so that your student loan payments arent eating up more of your budget than you can live on. Credit cards dont offer this kind of repayment flexibility, regardless of your employment, income, or financial situation. Your credit card will require a minimum monthly payment, and if you dont have the resources to pay it, your credit card company can begin collection activities to try to recover the money you owe them. 5) Tax Benefits Any interest you pay on your parent or student loan debt may be tax-deductible. (Youll need to file a 1040A or 1040 instead of a 1040EZ in order to take the student loan interest deduction.) In contrast, the interest on credit card purchases, even when a credit card is used for otherwise deductible educational expenses, cant be deducted. To verify your eligibility for any tax benefits on your college loans, consult with a tax advisor or refer to Publication 970 of the IRS, Tax Benefits for Education, available on the IRS website. 6) Student Loan Forgiveness Programs Whereas the only way to escape your current credit card debt is to have it written off in a bankruptcy, several loan forgiveness programs exist that provide partial or total student loan debt relief for eligible borrowers. Typically, these loan forgiveness programs will pay off some or all of your undergraduate and graduate school loan debt in exchange for a commitment from you to work for a certain number of years in a high-demand or underserved area. The federal government sponsors the Public Loan Forgiveness Program, which will write off any remaining federal education loan debt you have after youve worked for 10 years in a public-service job. Other federal, state, and private loan forgiveness programs will pay off federal and private student loans for a variety of professionals  veterinarians, nurses, rural doctors, and public attorneys, among others. Ask your employer and do a Web search for student loan forgiveness programs in your area of specialty. About the Author: By: akansha tyagi – Recently there has been a frenzy of activities in Thane real estate market with properties in Thane on the rise. With the soaring property rates in Mumbai city and the increasing population woes, more and more people are now moving t … By: Arwind Sharma – A small article on how to ensure smart buying. Read the article for more information. By: Mike Flowers – Small entrepreneurs who dream to set-up their business but lack the resources often find themselves unable to follow their dreams. The entrepreneurs who dare to set up their business have to resort to bootstrapping, which means that … By: Connie H. 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