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Mar 30, 2007

Jonh Chow's calculus class

You guys ever tried "make money online" query on Google? OK - I was in a mood for googling what "make momey online" can bring me and here you are - take a look at this make money online.jpg:

Now you see what? Title of the captured page reads "make money online" - that's one.
Address field of the captured page reads "make money online" - that's two.
My beloved Web 2.0 panel search field (at the captured page) reads "make money online" - that's three.
Google search field of the captured page reads "make money online" - that's four.
Web results bar of the captured page reads "make money online" - that's five.
Bolded phrase of the 1st search result block reads "make money online" - that's six.
And - ta-dam! - 2nd result (out of OMG 140 Mln!!! for the term "make money online") sports three (3) more hits for the phrase you've already seen somewhere today - right, that's "make money online".

And that "make money online" belongs to John Chow, it's his blog. You wanna know who the guy is? Come check the blog - it's pretty intriguing how he managed to achieve 2nd out of 140 Mln position ranking on the phrase which - I bet - you've seen in my post 10 (or was in 11? Darn it...) times by now - "make money online".

Cheers John - keep up the good work.

Mar 29, 2007

Reconsolidation loans were the last thing on my mind when I got into Uni

A student graduates from Georgetown University with about $63,000 in debt.

Student recalls: "Reconsolidation loans were the last thing on my mind when I got here. Just imagine - a new place and I'm on my own for the first time! It was very exciting. Yes, it seemed like college would last forever."

For seniors, Georgetown Uni is offering a series of financial literacy workshops, covering such topics as loan repayment and debt consolidation, reconsolidation loans basics, credit cards, spending, benefits and taxes.

"If only I'd known this when I was your age" - thats' what the professors and other financial experts leading the classes say.

You better learn these lessons while young, for you'll have a lot of time on the line.

Students are leaving college with more debt than ever, now that more of them have to rely on loans, tuition keeps rising and credit cards are being pushed on many campuses.

For full-time students at four-year colleges, the median education loan debt is nearly $20,000.
And you should factor in credit cards - more than half of students surveyed in winter 2007 had piled on more than $5,000 in debt in school. There is even more - one-third added more than $10,000 in credit-card debt.

Some students treat credit cards and student loans like found money, for spring break trips or betting on NCAA brackets. But many are struggling to afford college; nearly a quarter charge part of their tuition. And most need to get used to managing expenses, learning -- often the hard way -- as they go along.

"We get the sense that students don't really understand how money works," said Greg Pasqua. "People do things that aren't very intelligent with their money. Overdraw accounts six times on $2 purchases, and get hit with six fees for buying bubble gum. Or get reported to Equifax because you didn't pay your loan on time, and you're like, 'I'll get it next time.' "

"30 to 40 percent of students' proceeds will be taxed away - how come what some students don't know that?
Students shall know basic things - what 401(k)s is, or whether they should put money into the pretax retirement savings accounts.

So professors and other experts explained the types of benefit choices students'll be expected to make, how to figure out what their monthly loan payments and take-home pay will be, how to invest in their 20s.

It's not difficult stuff. It's just -- who has time to think about credit scores and interest rates when there's so much else going on?

Until a car loan or a lease is turned down because of a bad credit score, or late fees pile up.

So she didn't pay too much attention to the details of the loans she was taking out. "When I was a freshman, I was like, 'Loans, great! I don't have to pay them back 'til I stop going to school -- cool.' "

"It wasn't until senior year, when I had to pay my own rent and pay utilities, that I really understood what $60,000 was," she said, referring to her tuition debt.

The classes have already changed her mind-set, she said. She learned about interest rates and credit scores.
"If you go three years [paying] on time, you could have a 3 percent decrease in the interest rate -- which is amazing."

She doesn't regret taking out the loans; she had so many great classes at Uni that she kept switching majors, from pre-med to English and so on.

She might have taken out smaller loans, with less money for expenses. "I might have had more of a realization that all of that was [racking up] interest and would take a long time to pay back."

Now she has a better idea of how to manage loans and evaluate benefits and salary. The classes reminded her to budget carefully and put money away for retirement when she can.

Reconsolidation Loans - what's new in 2007

Reconsolidation loans statutory limitations would be eliminated - that's the core of The Student Debt Relief Act Of 2007 introduced by Senator Kennedy.

On January 22, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) introduced the Student Debt Relief Act of 2007 (S. 359) along with Senators Durbin (D-IL), Lieberman (D-CT), Mikulski (D-MD), Obama (D-IL), and Schumer (D-NY) as cosponsors.

"A new day has now dawned in Congress, and last week, our colleagues in the House showed they have their priorities right on college costs by cutting student loan interest rates in half," Kennedy stated in a prepared statement in the Congressional Record. "Now it�s our turn in the Senate, but we won�t stop there."

Kennedy, the Chairman of the Senate authorizing committee with jurisdiction over the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, outlined many of the bill�s proposed changes to the HEA that would provide additional support to students. Some of the more prominent changes include the following.

Increase in the Pell Grant

The proposed legislation increases the Pell Grant to $5,100 for the 2007-08 academic year, and increases it in incremental steps thereafter to reach a maximum of $6,300 in the 2011-12 academic year. The Pell Grant would increase according to the following schedule:

* 2007-08 Academic Year: $5,100
* 2008-09 Academic Year: $5,400
* 2009-10 Academic Year: $5,700
* 2010-11 Academic Year: $6,000
* 2011-12 Academic Year: $6,300

S. 359�s Pell Grant maximum award provisions are a striking departure from normal practice. In the past, it was customary for a bill increasing the Pell Grant maximum award to insert new and higher authorized amounts. But, a higher authorization is merely a fishing license to seek funds in the appropriations process to make the higher authorization a reality. Without the appropriated funds for such a higher maximum Pell Grant a higher authorization is merely a goal. In other words, you may have a valid fishing license, but that license does not guarantee you will catch a fish. Chairman Kennedy in this provision of the bill reverses field. He now wants the increases in the Pell Grant maximum award to be mandatory, entitlement funding.

Student Aid Reward Program

The bill contains the Student Aid Reward Program that offers financial incentives to schools to participate in the Direct Loan Program. Schools would receive payments from the government not to exceed 50% of the total savings to the government. Schools could use such payments to supplement the amount awarded to Pell Grant recipients or could use such payment for grants to low- or middle-income graduate students. Schools would be required to join the Direct Loan Program for five years from the date the first payment is made to qualify for the funds. Because payments will be contingent on available funding, schools switching from the FFEL Program to the Direct Loan Program would be paid first and, then, other DL schools, if funds remained, would be paid on a pro-rata basis.

Interest Rate Reduction

Interest rate reductions would mirror the House�s College Student Relief Act (H.R. 5), except that the final interest rate cut would extend through the 2011-12 academic year. The Student Debt Relief Act also differs from the House in that it does not offset these interest rate reductions through reduced payments to FFEL loan participants.

Fair Payment Assurance

Very similar to proposals made by the Project on Student Debt during the latest rounds of Negotiated Rulemaking, this provision would institute a partial financial hardship deferment, allowing Stafford or GradPLUS borrowers to limit their monthly student loan repayment amounts to 15 percent of borrower's income that exceeds 150 percent of the poverty line applicable to the borrower's family size.

Additionally, the Secretary of Education is instructed to cancel any loan after 25 years of being in an economic hardship, partial economic hardship, standard repayment, or income contingent repayment status. Finally, the proposed statute does away with the three year limitation on economic hardship deferments.

In a related provision and applicable to only borrowers with Direct Loans, borrowers employed in public service would receive loan forgiveness after 120 payments under the income contingent repayment plan.

Additional Tax Breaks

The proposed legislation would increase the current tuition deduction from $4,000 to $8,000 in tax year 2007 and then to $12,000 in tax year 2008. Maximum income limits to be eligible for the deduction also would be increased and indexed to the inflation rate.

Current tax deductions on student loans interest for would be turned into a tax credit, but would be limited to the first five years of repayment. Like the income tax deductions, the maximum qualifying income limits would be increased and tied to the inflation rate.

Consolidation Changes

In-school loan consolidation would once again be allowed under this legislation and "reconsolidation" statutory limitations would be eliminated.

Direct Loan Origination Fees

The Direct Loan origination fees would no longer be mandatory, giving the Secretary the discretion to charge the fee or not. Additionally, DL fees, under the terms of the bill, would be reduced another 1 percent as they are phased out over the next several years. No additional reductions were proposed for FFEL Program loan fees which are also being phased out. The Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005. mandated origination fees be totally phased out over five years for both FFELP and DL loans, but left in place a mandatory charge of one percent on DL loans that parallels a one percent default fee that may be changed to FFELP borrowers by guaranty agencies.

Mar 27, 2007

9 Tips On Taking Out a Loan For Consolidation and Wedding

I'm about to share with you some tips for taking out a loan.

Debt consolidation loan can serve different purposes. You can clear your credit card bills, medical bills, and make other outstanding payments. Besides these, the money drawn from the loan can be used to invest in business, make home improvements, plan out a vacation or - WEDDING. How's that?!

Weddings like most of the things come with a price tag. If the cost tends to eclipse your wedding plans, wedding loans can help you meet wedding expenses.

The cost of average wedding, per year is $34,000 and is continuously rising since the last five years. Taking out wedding loans is easy as long as you know how much you need and how much you can afford. When planning on wedding loans concentrate on making expenses on things that are important. Wedding photography, wedding dress, rings, bridal gown videos hotel reception and honeymoon – wedding loans can finance for all these expenses.

There is no better way to commence pre marital money talk than wedding loans. Make wedding loans an opportunity to know about your partner’s spending habits. Few people realize how important financial compatibility is for their wedding.

The tradition of parents paying for the wedding is loosing its ground. Thus, more and more couples are paying for their own wedding. Usually people can’t single handedly pay for the cost of the entire wedding. Wedding loans undoubtedly helps the one to expand its wedding cost thereby helping you plan a memorable wedding. However, parents who want to finance for the wedding of their children can also apply for wedding loans. Wedding loans exist in two forms – secured and unsecured wedding loans.

Wedding loans are a great way to borrow money by placing a security. The guarantee can be anything, you home, your car. Depending on loan amount you can also further alternative forms of security like stocks and bonds. Unsecured wedding loans require no security. Thus, tenants can apply for the unsecured wedding loans. With wedding loans you can borrow anywhere from $10,000-50,000. Employed, self employed, part time employed, unemployed – all have a choice with wedding loans.

A one page online form and there you are applying for wedding loans. The decision for wedding loans is made fast, within 24 hrs. Wedding loans are also possible for those who suffer from bad credit. People with bad credit should first get their credit report and then apply for wedding loans. There are loan lenders who will comprehend your situation and will offer you wedding loans accordingly.

Wedding loans according to your requirements and financial affordability are doable. In fact you first need to understand affordability with respect to your circumstances. Planning for repayment of wedding loans along with your wedding is a smart idea. Remember this as a rule – you should not borrow more than you can repay in three year.

Interest rates for wedding loans are reasonable. Usually wedding loans do not have any fee or pre payment penalties. With research you will be able to find better terms and rates. Don’t forget to compare loans cost online. It is important to look beyond monthly repayments while settling on wedding loans. Look out for total loan cost, terms and be sure to read the fine print. Read the terms carefully and make sure you understand the wedding loans contract before you make the final decision.

I was promising to share with you tips for taking out a loan, right?

These nine tips will help your loan process be as hitch-free as possible:

1. Compare options like refinancing and other loan options to determine if a wedding loan is the best choice.

2. Make sure you can tell lender what the purpose of the loan is. Your answer will help determine whether or not you are approved.

3. Check your credit report for errors and get your FICO scores because lenders will review your FICO score to determine your loan rates. Check "How to Improve Your Credit Score" for more information on cleaning up your credit.

4. Compare several wedding loan options. Discuss the loan programs with your lender and find the best loan for your situation. Getting a good interest rates isn't a bad idea either.

5. When applying for a loan, you will get a checklist from your lender containing the list of paperwork you need to close the loan, including:
• Copy of deed to property.
• Recent tax appraisal.
• Last two years' W-2's, tax returns and current pay stub, or two years' tax returns if self-employed. Be sure to include all schedules.
• Proof of income from alimony, child support, disability payments, lawsuit settlement, inheritance or other income source.
• Copies of your last 3-6 bank statements.
• List of all open credit accounts (account numbers, payment amounts, and balances).

6. Faxing documentation from the checklist will expedite the loan process more than mailing it.

7. Fill out your loan application thoroughly, or it may delay approval and loan closing.

8. Beware of bad loans. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns that you may be signing into trouble if the lender encourages you to falsify your application to get the loan, urges you to borrow more than you need, pushes you into unrealistic payment terms, shows up at closing with a different loan product than you agreed to, asks you to sign blank forms, or denies you copies of documents you signed.

9. Has your wedding loan application been rejected by a lender? Ask why it was rejected to find out what you need to do to secure wedding loan approval in the future. Sometimes paying down some credit cards can increase your credit score just enough to qualify.

Standing up for the rights of those seriously indebted under the Federal Student Loan Program 2007

PortFolio writes this week on regard of Federal Student Loan Program (2007):

Jennifer O’Donnell seems to be one of the few journalists who has the courage to stand up for the rights of those seriously indebted under the Federal Student Loan Program. We're talking here her fine writing ("Student Debt Mayhem"). Yes, it's about the the time for American students and their families to wake up to the chaos created by the 109th Congress.

Just imagine the uproar if homeowners were suddenly told that they can no longer refinance their homes. Then consider how American students and their parents feel - look, they are experiencing exactly the same problem with their federally insured student loan debt.

Read the full article here.

Mar 26, 2007

Clever Idea How To Consolidate My Credit Card Debit To Make One Payment With a Lower Interest

Elena writes:
"I earnestly wish to consolidate my credit card debit to make one payment with a lower interest, so I can pay this debit off more timely and not just be paying on interest and finance charges. This loan would also assist in paying medical bills from my pregnancy. I learned about Prosper from an evening news segment and it truly fascinated me – I wanted to journey this road if open to me. This is my second request and to those who bid on my first request, I am extremely grateful and wish I could thank you personally!"

You still havent got a clue what this about? It's a quote from description of Elena's inquiry for a loan at Prosper Marketplace.

She asked for $20,000.00 @ 11.00%, and by the time I stumbled upon this page she already got 73% funded - so my guestimate is what she'll get what she wants.

Quite an interesting resource, check it out - as Time Magazine put it, "for those more used to the Internet age, think of it as eBay meets your neighborhood bank."

Mar 12, 2007

Loan Consolidation For People Who Make Less Than 30000

Uhm...should I get a credit union loan?

I have less than $9,000 in credit card debt. I would like to have one bill but want to know what are the pros and cons to getting a credit union loan to pay them off this way. The cards are all in excellent standing but I do not use them anymore and I keep one for emergency purposes. Should I go for the credit union loan and pay them off or pay them individually like I am now?

Hmm...Credit Unions are easier to get loans from, and their interest is usually a little lower then banks.

But take this warning with you. Over the past several years, lots of people have been suckered into getting consolidation loans, home equity loans, or refinancing homes in order to pay off credit card debts. Then those people turn right around and charge up the now-empty cards all over again. They are now in twice the debt, with no hope of getting out. The end up filing bankruptcy.

Last year many thousands of people did just that.

If you plan to go this route, you MUST control your credit spending. Don't close your credit accounts, but rip up the cards so you can't use them for a while. Call and get the credit limits lowered to around $500, and don't let them jack them up again (they will, trust me).

This is exactly what has happened to many of the people I am trying to help out. Credit card companies make it so easy for you to get credit these days.

New Laws Reconsolidating Student Loans 2007

I made notice of following:

Q: Can married couples consolidate their loans together?

A: No. A recent change in federal law eliminates the ability of married couples to consolidate their loans together. The new law is effective for consolidation applications received on or after July 1, 2006.

Q: If home mortgages can be refinanced repeatedly, why can’t
federal educational loans be reconsolidated to take
advantage of the current low interest rates?

A: Home mortgages are quite different from federal educational loans in
a number of ways. First, mortgages are secured by the value of the
borrower’s property whereas educational loans are ultimately
guaranteed by the federal government. Second, there are usually
significant costs associated with refinancing a home, such as points,
appraisal costs, application fees, etc. No fees can be passed on to a
borrower on a Federal Consolidation Loan. Third, the interest rates on
mortgages are market-based and lenders recognize that many
borrowers will sell their homes before the end of the loan term. The
interest rates on educational loans have been written into law. Finally,
permitting borrowers to reconsolidate repeatedly would destabilize
the student loan market, which could make it difficult for current
students to obtain the loans they need.

More details

Borrower Benefits Statistics 2007

On my quest for Making College More Affordable :) I came across a 2007 EFC Borrower Benefits Stats book - the focus is on Not-for-Profit and State-Based
Student Loan Secondary Markets.

It's quite a study, I tell you. I got to know that regarding Borrower Benefits, UHEAA offers one of the nation’s most generous student borrower benefit programs to help keep student loan borrowing costs as low as possible. I learned that in addition to FFELP loans and private loans, some of the programs North Texas Higher Education Authority, Inc. (NTHEA) offers include Donation of Complete Computer System
to winner of a drawing at the annual FASFA conference in Texas. Each student winner receives a new computer complete with all peripherals to use for college work.

and so on. Lots of valuable information - give it a click.

ACFS Loans 2007 - ACFS invites you to share this free program with your friends, family and/or acquaintances

Just have read that ACFS Loans offer a new free program. In a nutshell, they say:

"we diligently strive to maintain our status as the industry leader in customer service. We invite you to share this free program with your friends, family and/or acquaintances. ACFS realizes that word-of-mouth referrals are invaluable. To demonstrate our gratitude, we provide you with $100 for each qualified referral who completes a Freedom Consolidation Loan with ACFS. To submit a referral(s), simply complete this form and return it to ACFS. Thank you for selecting ACFS as Your Answer to Student Loan Debt Management"