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Volume 3 Issue 2February 2012

Wipe Out Your Student Loan Debt


Here are two things you need to know about student loan debt:


1. There's no magic wand that makes it easily disappear.


2. The more desperate you are, the fewer options you may have for relief.

The rising default rate on federal student loans reflects these realities. The U.S. Department of Education in September said 8.8% of borrowers had defaulted in their first two years of repayment, up from 7% the previous year.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. When the window is expanded beyond the first few years of repayment, the default rate soars. One in five federal student loans that entered repayment in 1995 has gone into default, according to a review by the Chronicle of Higher Education. 

Still, most people have better options to deal with their education debt than to simply stop paying it. A smart repayment approach can get you out of debt faster or at least make your loans more manageable as you build the rest of your financial life.

Here's what you need to know to start planning your escape from student loan debt:



 Ronald Bradford 
  Ronald Bradford
Congratulations to Ronald Bradford of Pocola, OK!  Ronald has sucessfully completed the Choctaw Asset Building (CAB) program.  Ronald used his CAB funds to purchase a lap top for his education. "I appreciate this program very much.  It has allowed me to save toward a goal to complete my education goals in order to graduate," says Ronald. 


Costly College Myths, part 2


Our vision of college no longer matches the reality for most people. Consider that:

Only one in four students attends a residential college -- the kind with dorms and fraternities. The rest attend commuter schools, community colleges and trade schools.

Forty-five percent of students attending four-year schools work 20 or more hours a week, while 60% of community-college students work at least that much.

Twenty-three percent of college students have dependent children.

Given how different most people's college experiences are from the myth of toga parties and ivy-covered buildings, maybe it's not surprising that so many other college fables have taken hold.


Over the summer I dealt with three common misunderstandings in "3 college myths that will cost you":

  • "Saving for college will hurt my child's chances of getting financial aid." (Reality: If you can save, you should.)
  • "College costs too much." (Reality: Not attending could cost you a lot more.)
  • "A public school will be cheaper than a private college." (Reality: Budget cuts and crowded campuses mean it could take you years longer to complete a degree at a public school.)

Now I'll tackle three more higher-education myths that can set you back financially. Starting with:

Big Five Community Services will provide FREE income tax preparation and electronic filing for Choctaw Employees and Tribal Members whose household income is less than $50,000 a year.
You can get your tax return back in a little as ONE week without any cost to you.
 DATE:  January 19 - March 22, 2012
LOCATION: Choctaw Nation Career Development
                      South Campus Computer Lab
                      2807 Enterprise Blvd
                      Durant, OK
                           Social Security Cards
                           DOB's for everyone in household
                           All W2s, 1099s, 1098s, interest,
                           daycare expenses, etc.
                           Married filing joint -- taxpayer and
                           spouse must come together
** For Direct Deposit you will need a voided check with routing and account info**
CAB Coach Questions

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In This Issue
Wipe Out Your Student Loan Debt
CAB Client Spotlight
Costly College Myths, part 2
College-aid Seekers face New Hurdle
The Best Banking Deals for College Students

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College-aid Seekers face New Hurdle


College financial aid season has just kicked off, and experts say students seeking state grants had better act fast.


At least six states, including Illinois, Kentucky and North Carolina, now have "until funds depleted" policies on grants, meaning late filers risk getting nothing. Other states are shrinking the application window. Oklahoma, for example, moved its grant application deadline to March 1 this year, two weeks earlier than last year. Oregon's Feb. 1 deadline is the earliest of any state for the second year in a row. "It's essentially a technique for reducing the number of students who qualify because not everyone will (apply) on time," says Mark Kantrowitz, who publishes and


States defend their actions. Thanks to growing budget deficits and rising demand for financial aid, they say they're running out of grant money earlier and earlier each year.









The Best Banking Deals for College Students
While banks have peeved plenty of customers this year by hiking fees on checking accounts and killing debit-card rewards programs, they've also been courting one group with better perks and benefits: college students.

As students head back to campus this year, banks are pitching them products with better terms, including longer zero-interest promotional periods on credit cards, no-fee checking accounts and more flexible debit-card rules. And in most cases, these perks are attached to credit cards and checking accounts that the banks have designed exclusively for college students. While data doesn't exist on the growth of products aimed specifically at students, banking experts say the number of deals is clearly growing -- and will continue to do so. "College students are fortunate that for the time being they're still on the list of things banks do value," says Richard Barrington, an analyst at, which tracks bank rates.