What is FSA ID?
The FSA ID, which replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN in May 2015, is the username and password you use when you visit certain U.S. Department of Education websites. When you type in
your FSA ID at these sites, you are saying either “Yes, it’s really me” or “Please accept my FSA ID as my signature on this online form.
What is FAFSA?
To apply for federal student aid, you need to complete the FAFSA® (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid).Completing and submitting the FAFSA® is free and quick, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college or career school.In addition, many states and colleges use your FAFSA data to determine your eligibility for state and school aid, and some private financial aid providers may use your FAFSA information to determine whether you qualify for their aid.
What is NSLDS?
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for student aid. It receives data from schools, agencies that guaranty loans, the Direct Loan program, and other U.S. Department of Education programs.What is loan consolidation and how do I know if it’s the right solution for me?
This is a very complex answer to give, not easy to just give a generalized answer. It has to do with so many factors…. Will take time if you really need it.
Which loans qualify for consolidation?
The following is a list of federal education Student Loans eligible for consolidation:
- Subsidized Student Loans for consolidation:
- Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Subsidized Federal Consolidation Loans
- Direct Subsidized Consolidation Loans
- Federal Insured Student Loans (FISL)
- Guaranteed Student Loans (GSL)
- Unsubsidized Student Loans for consolidation:
- Unsubsidized and Nonsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans, including Direct Unsubsidized Loans (TEACH) (converted from TEACH Grants)
- Unsubsidized Federal Consolidation Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Consolidation Loans
- Federal PLUS Loans (for parents or for graduate and professional students)
- Direct PLUS Loans (for parents or for graduate and professional students)
- Direct PLUS Consolidation Loans
- Federal Perkins Loans
- National Direct Student Loans (NDSL)
- National Defense Student Loans (NDSL)
- Federal Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS)
- Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
- Auxiliary Loans to Assist Students (ALAS)
- Health Professions Student Loans (HPSL)
- Health Education Assistance Loans (HEAL)
- Nursing Student Loans (NSL)
- Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
Which loans do not qualify for consolidation and what should I do?
Some loans are always ineligible for consolidation. While these loans may not be included in a Direct Consolidation Loan, they may be considered in the calculation of the maximum repayment period under the Graduated or Extended Repayment Plan. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Loans made by a state or private lender and not guaranteed by the federal government
- Primary Care Loans
- Law Access Loans
- Medical Assist Loans
- PLATO Loans
I can’t afford my loans, what should I do?
There are only two answers to this. One is you’re on the wrong program and need someone to review your situation and see if there are other programs which are better for you.
The other answer is that you live beyond your means and need to find a way to reduce your other expenses to be able to afford to make payments. If not you may find yourself in retirement having your social security check garnished 15% every month until you die. There are no easy ways out at that point. The thing is you took on this debt and are ultimately responsible to pay it back.
What happens if I don’t pay my loans or I’m in default?
Your principal (the amount of money you owe) may go up as much as 24% in penalties. Your interest rate goes up from the agreed amount you signed on by an additional 6%. This is the goal of many of the large loan servicing companies as they make very good profits from people who have defaulted. You also lose all your federal benefits like forbearance and deferment. As well, when you file your income tax return every year, your refunds may be used to offset your late fees and interest. Your credit is negatively affected and you won’t be able to make any large purchases such as a home or car.
What is the truth about President Obama’s Loan Forgiveness Program?
People speak about this all the time as a way of tempting people to call in for more information. The truth is there are many forgiveness programs available and have been. The specific program which Pres. Obama passed is called the REPAYE. This in a nutshell for those eligible reduces monthly payments and offers forgiveness 20 to 25 years later if there is a balance at that time. The biggest misunderstanding is that forgiveness comes after you make years of payments. The other biggest misunderstanding is that based on many factors, income being the largest, your payment may be as low as $0 a month. If you qualify for a $0 payment, this is considered a paid in full payment.
How do I become eligible for Forgiveness?
This is not an easy answer to give without being misleading. This is why our consultation comes with no strings. The first questions have to do with income and how much you owe. These two questions will help to answer if this is even possible. For example, as the shortest forgiveness program is 120 months if you only owed $4,000 and your monthly payment is $120…. It is clear to see there is no forgiveness.The best way to answer this question is to speak with a well trained person in a reputable company. The big loan servicers are not working for you and have no incentive to being both transparent and completely honest. You need someone who is both well trained and has the borrower in mind, not the government.
Do I have to re-qualify for my repayment plan each year?
Only those people on an income-based repayment program have to be re-certified annually.
Do you work for the government?
Student Loan Freedom is a private, for-profit company who does not work for the government. In fact, our priority is our Client. Unlike so many others who work for the government, we work hard to find the best possible federal programs which would give our Client, the borrower, the largest advantage. We are similar to a tax preparation company. They don’t work for the IRS but they know all the rules to save a taxpayer from having to pay more than they are required to pay for taxes. Then after consulting with the taxpayer, they know all the correct forms and legal jargon in order to get the work done in a way which the IRS recognizes. We do the same but only in regard to federal student loans.
Who is your typical customer?
Our typical Client is the young person who has quit school as they lost interest but they still have loans, it is the Doctor who has loans, can afford to pay what is required but yet, wants to be in control of their payments monthly, it is the retired teacher who is in default of their loans and now facing retirement fearful of their social security being garnished… it is all of those people and more.
What services do you provide?
We provide the service of knowledge of the system and all the possible programs available which will give our client the greatest advantage. We then provide all the work behind the scenes to ensure the loans are handled correctly so as a result the Client will come out in better shape with greater control of their loans and saving money each month and year.
Do you charge a fee for your services?
As we have to pay people to work, office spaces to work out of, computers, internet etc: Yes, we do charge a one time fee for our services. This fee is dependant on various factors such as amount of money owed and condition of loans… Default and Garnishment does cost more as they both have more work involved to get someone clear of those issues and back in good standing on the road to financial freedom.
Why do you charge a service fee and what does it include?
In order to afford to hire, train and employ staff who can diligently work to improve other’s lives, plus a professional environment to work out of, there is a cost to doing that. The only way we can afford to do this as we get no money for helping the government analyze and enroll people into the proper program is to charge a fee. If the government loan servicers were looking out for the best interests of the borrowers, we would not exist. The issue is this is not the case. So in order for a person to understand what the best program is for their specific situation and enroll properly into it, we have to charge a fee. Compared to the many thousands of dollars we save people, this fee is really insignificant in the big scheme of things.
Do you provide a free consultation and review of my loans?
We do this as this is the only way for us to know if we can help and how much help we can offer. We can’t help everyone and so it is person by person.
Can I do this myself?
YES, you can. The option to deal directly with the U.S. Dept of Education or with your current lender is, an option. Many of our clients have tried it and walked away frustrated by the bureaucracy, confusing and inaccurate advice and lack of caring. For these institutions, you’re just a ‘number’ among million of phone calls they take each year. Student Loan Freedom, using our expert loan advisers, identifies, processes monitors and ensures that you are on the best repayment plan and that you remain eligible for the life of your loan. While we charge a small fee for our processing and monitoring, it is money well spent given the options overpaying hundreds of thousands of dollars if you’re on the wrong plan.
Do you refinance loans?
Yes, in some cases we are arranging for a new loan with the Dept of Education. All the work we do are through Dept of Education loans and guidelines.
Are you rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
We have been consistently rated at A+ A rating. Currently, as common with updates and reviews by the BBB, the rating will show “Not Rated” until the standard updated review is updated. You can check the very long list of satisfied student loan holders on our Facebook page.
Do you guarantee your service?
Only in the event Client does not qualify for our services, Client will receive a full refund. The sole reason for failure to qualify for our services will be that the DOE will not allow consolidation of Clients loan(s), after taking into consideration the efforts that may have been taken by SLF to facilitate such