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Home > Author Archives: Steve Rhode (page 10)

Author Archives: Steve Rhode

The Moral Hypocrisy of Avoiding Bankruptcy. It’s Good Enough for Your Church.

the truth smaller

Having lived through bankruptcy myself I find it very interesting to observe the camps of bankruptcy lovers and haters. Admittedly I was once in the avoid bankruptcy camp because I just wasn’t well prepared for the experience and didn’t have the right frame of mind. But recent news of the Catholic church filing bankruptcy yet again to deal with claims ... Read More »

    Should I Stop Making My Car Payments? I’m Depressed and Hate My Job.

    Calm boy praying against a white background

    “Dear Steve, I’m 27 year old single guy, currently working in an IT company, however these past few months has been a depressing experience, the first few months were fine and assuming that I will stay with the company, I bought a new car. The commute is almost 2 hours (one way). To cut it short, I hate the job, ... Read More »

      This is One Way to Get FFEL Spousal Consolidation Loans Forgiven

      Cure the disease

      “Dear Steve, I have been a government employee and/or public servant since 1991. I am now 45 and I hope to retire by age 72. In or around 2002, I consolidated my law school student loans with my then husband into both a FFEL subsidized and unsubsidized loan. The total amount consolidated was roughly $42,000. As fate would have it, ... Read More »

        FTC Reviews Credit Report Dispute Process and Reaches Conclusion

        credit good

        The Federal Trade Commission has issued a follow-up study of credit report accuracy that found most consumers who previously reported an unresolved error on one of their three major credit reports believe that at least one piece of disputed information on their report is still inaccurate. The congressionally mandated study is the sixth and final study on national credit report ... Read More »

          FTC Calls Debt Collector Commercial Recovery Systems, Bullies

          ftc

          The Federal Trade Commission has issued a complaint against a Texas-based debt collection operation and its current and former principals for illegally threatening consumers with false claims that unless they pay a debt, they will face legal action or wage garnishment. The complaint was filed in federal court on the agency’s behalf by the Department of Justice. “When it comes ... Read More »

            Can My Student Loans Be Forgiven After Ten Years?

            break free from prison pressure or quit job running away towards

            “Dear Steve, I have student loans that are more than 5-10 years old from undergrad and graduate school of $84,000 or more. I have made payments over the years but not consistently. recently my wages were garnished and created a financial hardship for me. After a least ten years or more could my loans be forgiven? I just read your ... Read More »

              Can We Release the Cosigner on Our Parent PLUS Loans?

              Student Loan Corkboard Concept

              “Dear Steve, My husband took out several Direct Parent Plus loans for our daughter’s education (federal loans). Because his credit wasn’t the greatest my father-in-law endorsed those loans. Now that my daughter has graduated we consolidated those loans. We only make about $60,000 a year between the two of us so we need a repayment plan with low payments. We ... Read More »

                Sallie Mae Won’t Help Me Lower My Interest Rate

                Mature woman confused

                “Dear Steve, Student loans from 1997 at 8.5% fixed rate when consolidated federal loans. I cannot get any help from Sallie Mae to reduce my interest rates. I don’t want to refi with a personal loan because I’ve been laid off three times during my career. I tried Income based for one year reduced my loan amount $100 but now ... Read More »

                  My Opera Singer Wife Will Never Get Out From Under the Student Loans

                  Women fighting

                  “Dear Steve, My wife has several federal student loans from grad school dating back to around 2005 She also took out two private student loans through Chase in 2005 and 2006 It has been sold several times and now is with AES. The interest is killing us. She sings opera, I’m a personal trainer. we simply don’t make enough. She ... Read More »

                    The Validation Center Mailer

                    oops

                    A reader forwarded me a mailer from The Validation Center. It came out sometime in the past year but as you can see it contains much of the same historic debt settlement pitch we’ve seen for years. The line about no 3rd party fees is interesting. I’m not sure if that means they don’t use an outside fund escrow company ... Read More »

                      The Best Way to Budget for Home Improvements and Renovations

                      Toolbelt-On-Handyman

                      A lovely reader asked me recently how to best budget for a home improvement project. She is in the middle of dealing with the garage addition to her property she wanted to know if early financial surprises in the project would be an indication of later pocketbook misfortune. Well it turns out I happen to know a very knowledgeable fellow ... Read More »

                        Student Loan Forgiveness Scams

                        Signs, Road Stencils

                        For those looking for legitimate student loan forgiveness help it seems there are bad actors and scammers just waiting to take advantage. Some of the most ridiculous scams I’ve seen seem to circle around misinformation and bad advice for ridiculously high fees. Don’t get me wrong, it is entirely possible for have federal student loans forgiven. I personally think the ... Read More »

                          We Have No Savings, an Underwater Mortgage, and the Car Just Died

                          Drowning swimmer

                          “Dear Steve, I have $11,000 in debt, no emergency fund; home seriously underwater; car died and employer just dropped our healthcare coverage, which looks like it will add another $500 to my monthly expenses. It looks like I need to address 3 of the aforementioned expenses immediately; how will this impact my credit score or what strategy should I do ... Read More »

                            How Can I Lower My Parent PLUS Loans for My Daughters Nursing School?

                            Ready to Collapse

                            “Dear Steve, I am a single mother and a NYC public school teacher who is retiring this June. I am 62 and I have been taking out Parent Plus loans and will have to take out more until my daughter graduates from nursing school in December 2016. My estimated Parent PLUS Loan will be around 70 max. by the time ... Read More »

                              How to Prevent a Tax Refund Intercept on a Defaulted Student Loan

                              IRS

                              “Dear Steve, I recently inquired to see if my defaulted student loan would offset my tax return. The FMS 800 number stated that my tax return may be offset for my debt to the US Department Of Education. My question is my husband and I file a joint return and we are now in a position to take care of ... Read More »

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