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Home > Author Archives: Steve Rhode (page 11)

Author Archives: Steve Rhode

Should I Payoff My Navient Student Loans or Save for Retirement?

retirement

“Dear Steve, I’m 34 years old, single, graduated a college when I was 26. Currently I have 2 student loans: 1. Navient Student Loans: $ 25,387.21, 5.25%, monthly payment of $ 235.41 2. AES Student Loans: $17,152.33, 5.125%, monthly payment of $ 186.68 I have about $10k in a saving account (with 1% interest), and a rollover IRA with about ... Read More »

    They Tell Me My Parent PLUS Loans Are Not Eligible for Help

    Drowning swimmer

    “Dear Steve, My children were living with me when they filled out their FAFSA forms. I ended up with over $20,000 in Plus parent loans as a result even though my only income at the time was child support. Can parent student loans (PLUS loans) be either transferred to the now adult children or be discharged in bankruptcy? Being parent ... Read More »

      Identity Thieves Con the Department of Education Out of Student Loan Money

      mans hands behind bars in jail or prison

      We’ve heard a lot in the news about people stealing information on people and using that personal information to file for tax refunds. It’s a growing form of identity theft. But in a new twist, Ronzell and Stephanie Mitchell were using stolen personal information to scam the Department of Education out of $270,000 of student loan money. According to WJLA ... Read More »

        Half Million Dollars of Federal Student Loans Discharged in Bankruptcy

        bankruptcy-1

        So many people continue to assume student loan debt can’t be discharged in bankruptcy. Even bankruptcy attorneys perpetuate this myth as well. In previous articles, that you can find here, I’ve shown specific examples of both federal and private students loans discharged. I’ve even pointed out broad niches of student loan debt not protected by bankruptcy, in this article. But ... Read More »

          California Fair Debt Buying Practices Act Gives Consumers Rights

          law books

          If you are being hounded by a debt collector over an old debt and you live in California, you need to pay attention to the Fair Debt Buying Practices Act. Under that new California law the buyer of old debts who is now attempting to collect on the debt has certain hurdles to jump over before you have to pay. ... Read More »

            Cell Phone Provider to Pay Millions for Throttling Data. Refunds Available.

            blank screen mobile in woman hands

            TracFone, the largest prepaid mobile provider in the U.S., has agreed to pay $40 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that it deceived millions of consumers with hollow promises of “unlimited” data service. The FTC’s complaint against TracFone alleges that since 2009, TracFone has advertised prepaid monthly mobile plans for about $45 per month with “unlimited” data ... Read More »

              Attorney Mitchell Stein Gets 204 Months in Federal Prison. Refunds to Begin.

              time and money

              It’s hard to believe it has been nearly four years I’ve been writing about Mitchell Stein, an attorney out of California who, at the time, was involved in the mass joinder approach of selling consumers hope they could sue their mortgage company. Stein seemed to be at the forefront of the movement that was selling litigation to consumers all across ... Read More »

                Discover Bank Debt Consolidation Offer Review

                Discover Debt Consolidation Offer 2

                Is your mailbox getting stuffed with offers from creditors? Here is a recent offer from Discover Bank that appears to be a debt consolidation loan to pay off debt. In order to help people better understand the offer, I’ll break it down for you below, page by page, and point out what I think are the important points. While the ... Read More »

                  Consumers in Debt Starting to Default a Bit More

                  process

                  Data through December 2014, released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, continued to show an increase in default rates. The national composite posted a default rate of 1.11% in December, up four basis points from November 2014. The first mortgage default rate rose ... Read More »

                    When I Retire Will My Social Security Be Reduced Because of Student Loans?

                    calculator

                    “Dear Steve, I took out Parent Plus loans for both of my children while they were in school. Each of them also have unsubsidized student loans which they are paying off. Once both children were out of college, I consolidated the Parent Plus loans into one and have been paying them regularly for the past 10 years. I am 63 ... Read More »

                      Outlook Email Migration – Scam Alert

                      scam email screen

                      Beware of the following email being sent out that appears to come from an official government source. The email reads: “From: Cook, Bryant D Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 2:18 PM To: Cook, Bryant D Subject: Help Desk Dear Email User, Please be prepared for all systems to be offline for maintenance today. We are currently Migrating your outlook account ... Read More »

                        UK Individual Voluntary Arrangements to Set Record

                        UK IVA

                        By Andrew Smith Last year I predicted it would be a record year for IVAs. There had already been more than 40,000 Individual Voluntary Arrangements, the most-used personal insolvency procedure in England and Wales, in the first nine months of the year and here at ClearDebt we were pretty confident the total for the year would top 50,000. Well, on ... Read More »

                          Pay Off Debt A Growing Canadian and U.S. Concern

                          Pay Off Debt searches in Canada

                          According to a HuffPo article, it seems our friends in Canada are beginning to worry a bit more about their personal debt levels. Data by Google shows the search term Pay Off Debt has been trending for Canadian searchers. From the looks of the chart though it is an on again, off again interest for Canadians who have hit a ... Read More »

                            Tell Me How to Stop the Social Security Garnishment for Student Loans

                            social security card

                            “Dear Steve, My husband receives social security disability and his monthly check is being garnished for student loans. I am unemployed and my husband receives $1,013 per month in disability. Of this amount $30 is withheld for repayment of an overpayment from his initial payment from social security and $150 is being withheld for his student loans, which began in ... Read More »

                              Financial Help Services in the News But in the Wrong Way

                              BBB Financial Help Services

                              A reader sent me a story about a Ft. Lauderdale debt relief company, Financial Help Services. It appears the Bobby Blackmon company has run into what is either an issue of not paying creditors for his Debt Management Plan clients or a serious case of poorly explained client expectations with creditors. In a bizarre move, Blackmon spoke to WSVN television ... Read More »

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