Regular visitors to this site know of my interest in solving the student debt crisis. It continues to hurt recent graduates’ ability to meet any financial goals. With big loan payments every month, these young people must put off buying houses and saving for their own future. At worst, their salaries don’t stretch far enough and they end up in default of their loans, which can be a long-term disaster.
But in 2018, some borrowers who are employed full time in public service jobs – including public or private colleges – got a break. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program forgave $5.52 million in loans – an average of $57,500 per borrower.
In a recent article for an in-house publication, I explained this program to employees of the Community College of Allegheny County. If you meet the criteria, this can be a huge benefit, but you have to invest some time and effort to restructure your debt to take advantage of it.
Stop the debt before it starts
It is also important for us to educate prospective college students on other ways to reduce their student loans, before they sign on that dotted line. For instance:
- Learn real-world money management as a college course.
- Set a budget and stick to it.
- Go to school part-time while working – it may take another year, but your salary will go further in the long run.
- Lower your tuition by doing a year or two at a less expensive community college before transferring to a private college.
This is a multi-generational problem. As the cost of education continues to climb, families are struggling to close the college cost gap. Some students live at home, instead of on campus. Others opt for an online degree. Parents often take out their own loans to pay a share of the tuition, sacrificing their own retirement savings to pay them back. I’m researching other ways to tackle the issue of student debt by analyzing national data sets with the National Center of Statistics. More about that as the project continues.
Guest post by America Saves
It’s always a pleasure to share my blog with like-minded friends. America Saves is a respected organization whose goal is to change as many lives as possible with their #SaveYourRefund campaign. With the 2019 tax season underway, America Saves reminds tax payers your tax refund is the perfect windfall to start or grow an emergency fund.
Please share with others the value of the SaveYourRefund campaign and learn how you can get involved, too.
Partner with SaveYourRefund to Promote Tax Time Savings!
Nearly half of all Americans don’t have enough savings to cope with even small emergencies. Yet more than 100 million taxpayers get refunds from the IRS each year. For many individuals and families, that tax refund is the largest check that they will receive all year, and the perfect windfall to start or grow an emergency fund.
In the 2019 tax season, SaveYourRefund will once again offer tax filers the chance to win cash prizes for saving a portion of their tax refunds. Now in its seventh year, SaveYourRefund is a partnership between Commonwealth and America Saves that provides fun and exciting incentives for Americans to save at tax time, when households making less than $53,000 claim $100 billion in federal tax refunds. A chance to win one of two $10,000 grand prizes or one of the 100 prizes of $100 is enough to turn a saving skeptic into a savings believer.
We encourage all of you to sign up as a SaveYourRefund partner for the 2019 tax season. Some Partners work directly with clients to offer free tax preparation services. Other Partners help us by spreading the word and promoting SaveYourRefund in their communities. By signing up as a Partner, you will receive communications about the promotion leading up to and during tax season, including information on trainings, promotional materials, progress updates (including data from entries from your tax sites), and inspiring saver stories.
Sign up to be a 2019 SaveYourRefund Partner today!