Financing College – Taking Time to Laugh

Financing college can be difficult and stressful.  If you are in the midst of putting together a plan to finance an education, take some time to laugh.  Here is a great clip from the Middle, a show that is a must-watch for parents of emerging adults.

Check out this clip from the Middle.

Here are some additional articles that talk about finances.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, and the Founder of the EA Network.  If he can help your community understand and minister to emerging adults, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

Bad News for low-income College Students

Federal financial support for low-income undergraduate students — in the form of Pell Grants will be reduced by 3.9 billion dollars if President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for 2018 is approved by Congress.

Here is the full article.

Pell Grants is money for college that does not need repaid, and goes to families whose income is less than 40k.  The maximum amount of the gift is $5,920, and many of the recipients have a household income less than 20k.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to minister to the needs of emerging adults.

 

What Comes After for-Profit Colleges’ ‘Lehman Moment’? Possibly an Education Crash

Image result for end of collegeJust as the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008 heralded a much larger economic crash, the September shuttering of the ITT Technical Institute chain of for-profit colleges signals a broad crisis in higher education. 

Read the entire here.

Highlights:

  • Since 2000, overall educational outcomes have fallen while debt and student defaults have risen. And for-profits have become ground zero for the student-debt crisis, representing roughly 75% of the increase in student defaults.
  • The $1.2 trillion student-debt bubble represents a much smaller part of the consumer-credit market than housing did on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis.
  • only a quarter of first-year college students can predict their own debt loads within 10% accuracy.
  • While it’s true that a degree ensures something more than a $15-an-hour future for most graduates, it’s no longer a ticket to higher social mobility for the poorest Americans. Many end up in second-or third-tier colleges, going into debt for dubious degrees.
  • In ITT’s case, the government may write off loans for current students. Though aimed this time at the right people, this new bailout could end up costing taxpayers $500 million, according to private student lender Sallie Mae.

Other articles that might interest you:

The Credit Card Debt of Emerging Adults

Credit Card from Flickr via Wylio

© 2015 GotCredit, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

When I was going through college, there would be a salesperson outside our cafeteria everyday trying to get us to register for a credit card.  In return for signing our name, we would receive a free t-shirt, a 2-liter of soda (usually Mountain Dew), or a $10 gift card for pizza.  Preying upon the innocent, their tactics were shady, and their persistence was relentless.

The Credit Card Act of 2009 eliminated excessive marketing of credit cards to young people. It prohibits companies from wooing students with T-shirts, free pizza and other free gifts at university-sponsored events.  This legislative act also requires those under the age of 21 to prove they have an independent income before applying for a credit card.

In spite of these safety provisions, emerging adults are racking up more debt than ever before.  Here are a few statistics:

  • The average credit card debt of college student is $3,173.
  • The average credit card debt of graduating students is $4,100.

Please Note:  These numbers only reflect their amount of credit card debt.  We haven’t even mentioned the average amount of educational debt which is more than 35k.  (Source)  Overwhelmed by this burden, many college students do not even know their current student loan balance.   (Source)

As someone who cares about emerging adults, it is time to begin discussing…

  • how to improve money-management skills of emerging adults.
  • how churches are consumers and contribute to this culture.
  • how living independently by means of debt is not independence, but the entryway to bondage.
  • how to battle consumerism in our lives.
  • how we can effectively teach Jesus’ teaching about money.

In our discussions, we must acknowledge that debt is not a problem of emerging adults, but is an epidemic that affects Christians of all ages.

Maybe the whole problem is that emerging adults have learned from watching us, and our inability to respond to consumerism.

Leave a comment below to express your thoughts or leave a link to a resources on finances.

Financial Resources:

profil pictureDr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to minister to emerging adults.

College Students and Credit Cards – Some Statistics

This article attempts to give an overview of student credit card use by presenting some statistics taken from Sallie Mae’s National Study of Usage Rates and Trends of Undergraduate Student Credit Card Use released in April 2009.   

Click Here to Read the Full Article!

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Millennials move towards Digital News – and they are willing to Pay for it.

NEW YORK — In a world flush with free information, some young people are still willing to shell out for news they read.

Smartphones from Flickr via Wylio

© 2013 Esther Vargas, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

A recent poll shows that 40 percent of U.S. adults ages 18-34 pay for at least some of the news they read, whether it’s a print newspaper, a digital news app or an e-mail newsletter. Another 13 percent don’t pay themselves but rely on someone else’s subscription, according to the survey by Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and the Associated PressNORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Older Millennials are more likely than younger ones to personally pay for news.

Here is the full article.

Here are some points to consider:

  • “The proliferation of free news online and new ways for advertisers to reach people has besieged publishers of newspapers and magazines.”
  • “Some popular news sites, particularly newer online-only outlets like Huffington Post and BuzzFeed, remain free to all.”
  • “Millennials have shown that they are willing to engage in content that interests them,” Herndon said (a professor of journalism).

What does this mean for the church?

  • Brand is often more important than price.  Millennials who are willing to pay money for news know how to obtain this same news for free from other sources.  These Millennials are interested in a specific perspective or “brand” of news.
  • Many churches spend resources on their on-line presence without examining the results of that work.  Does your church know who is utilizing your electronic media?  Many churches have gone with current technologies, but the content does interest Millennials (for various reasons).
  • I believe their willingness to pay for digital news is driven by their value of conservation of natural resources and their technology-driven lifestyle.  In the church world, the paper bulletin still reigns, but even its days may be coming to an end.  

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

 

How to Fix your credit after Falling on Hard Times

Scrabble Series Debt from Flickr via Wylio

© 2012 Chris Potter, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

A range of circumstances can damage your credit. Loss of your job, getting behind on various loan payments, and carrying a high balance on your credit card can contribute to bad credit. As you begin the credit repair journey, it’s important to stay positive and to focus on doing it the right way. By having faith and taking control of the matter in a mature and morally responsible way, you can get your credit score back up again.

Ways to Repair Credit After Bankruptcy

Dire circumstances can sometimes force us to file for bankruptcy. After doing so, you must first understand where you stand. Firstly, you should know your credit score, which can be obtained for free once a year from Annual Credit Report. Know that filing for bankruptcy deeply hurts your credit (from 130 to 240 points), so prepare to see a low number. Check for any errors on the report, and notify the credit bureaus if you find any. Credit reporting errors can seriously damage your score.

Not all types of debt can be eliminated in bankruptcy, such as tax debts and student loans. Make a chart of these debts and then highlight those that have high balances or high interest rates.

Once you have a clear picture of what you owe, you need to figure out ways to get your balances lower, as making payments on time and lowering balances is the best way to improve credit. Another option is to open new lines of credit and paying off your balance each month.

Credit Cards from Flickr via Wylio

© 2014 Sean MacEntee, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Change your financial habits as well. Repent for past mistakes by setting a financial plan for the future and having the willpower to stick to it. Have payment reminders sent to you so you know when money is due. Resist the temptation to spend on things you don’t need. Self-control can help a lot here, as you can put more money in your pocket each month with simple lifestyle changes, such as eating out less, renting movies instead of going to the theater, and carpooling to work. If you can, find extra work by using your networks in the neighborhood, at church, and within your family.

Ways to Repair Credit After Foreclosure

Anything from unemployment and underemployment to overspending can cause foreclosure. Losing your home is emotionally difficult, and sometimes it’s hard to focus on getting back on track.

The first thing you should do is make sure you and your family have a safe and affordable place to live. The monthly payment shouldn’t exceed 28 percent of your monthly income. Understand that you won’t be able to get a mortgage for three to seven years. Stay patient and positive, and work to rebuild your credit during this time.

Address your current financial situation and review all your debts. Plan to pay those with the highest interest rates and balances first. View your credit score, but don’t get too distraught even though it’s probably down anywhere from 85 to 160 points. Faith and the motivation to make positive changes are what you need, not negativity.

Work on ways to cut down on expenses and continue to pay down debt. Put those credit cards away unless you absolutely have to use them. Discipline is what you need right now.

Fixing your credit after falling on hard times takes patience, self-control, and willpower. It’s a long road, but the right blend of faith, lifestyle changes, and careful planning can put you on the bright road to credit recovery.

Jesse Woodhouse is a Team Lead at TopTenReviews. He is a proud husband and father and loves sports, music and the outdoors.

This Millennial Paid Off $23,375 in Student Loans in Just 10 Months

Jordan ArnoldI found a great article to encourage those who are facing student debt.  The average debt load is $29,400 for those who are graduating from college.  This amount of debt may seem staggering, but it can be conquered.

Some highlights from the article that we can all learn:

1.  Debt reduction became a priority.  This student took on a second job in order to help pay down his debt.  What steps can you take?

2.  Picture it.  Imagine the day you pay off your loans.  How will it make you feel?  I graduated from Seminary with $27k in loans, and I still remember the day when my wife and I paid them off.

3.  Take time to celebrate.  What are you going to do in order to celebrate your debt retirement?

 

Over Half of College Students do NOT know their College Debt Amount.

I still remember the number – 27,000.

There is no relationship between the number and my age, birthday, or anniversary.  It is not the number of comic books that I own (although, I wish it was).  The number seemed to follow me everywhere I went.  I began to feel a strange kinship with the number.

That number was my student debt total from graduate school.  I predicted the number even before I began my first year, and knew it was coming.  I still remember the day it was paid off.

Debt was a big deal to me, and I was aware of its weight.  Unfortunately, the concept of debt is lost among many students entering college.

I came across this article this week from the Washington Post.  A study was done among first year students about their perceptions of debt.

The study concludes that, “Students who do not have a good idea of their level of borrowing may make expensive mistakes that they will later come to regret.”  I have seen many students take out extra student loans for leisure trips or unnecessary expenses.

The study also states that “They are also likely to be surprised or even fearful when their first loan payments come due, which may impose an emotional burden on borrowers.”

That is an understatement.  The emotional burden of debt exists until the debt is paid.  Proverbs 22:7 states, “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.”  Here are some stories from those living with school debt.

Debt is real.  It has consequences for today, and for the future.

We must help emerging adults understand the ramifications of debt, and help them find cost-effective solutions while discovering a vocation.

david in hat - blackDr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.  He has a passion to help emerging adults and equip churches.  He is thankful for his wife Rachel who worked hard to pay off his school loans.

 

 

Life with big student debt: tales from four college graduates

 

I wanted to share an article with my readers about living life with student debt.

The average debt for a graduating student in 2013 was $32,500          (Source).  This number continues to escalate with the rise in college tuition.  This number includes an average of $3,000 in credit card debt.  

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, here are a few notes:

1.  Big-name schools are not always worth the big price tags.

It is important that you know that universities want your money.  They NEED your money.  As you step onto campus, please know that they are trying to sell you on their campus, their classes, and their reputation.  Many schools say that their rankings or reputation will instantly open doorways to higher-paying jobs.  In many situations, this is a marketing tool, and is not based upon real data.  Jenny Hecht says, “I didn’t know that once I had my [master’s degree] nobody would care where it was from.”

2.  Don’t take every loan that comes your way.

© 2007 Quazie, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Education financing is a big business, and there are many people who will gladly give you loans that you feel will lead you to your dream life.  However, many students are waking up from the dream, and realizing that being buried by debt is a nightmare.  Before you accept a loan, make sure that you have done your homework.

“At 18 years old, you don’t really know what you’re getting yourself into,” says Gorden, who wishes more advice had been available then. “Those last two years, I was approved for over $60,000 – for a 20-year-old, without a cosigner, with no job, no sense of a future job – and they just gave it to me.”  

As a emerging adult, you will be showered with money; however, none of it is free.

3.  Educational Debt can grow even after college.

While you can request loan deferment or refinance, your debt will continue to grow if you are not able to make your payments.  One student wrote that she owes about $5,000 more than she did when she graduated, due to a few years when she couldn’t cover all of the interest payments.  Delaying payments on a loan is a serious decision, and should not be based solely upon your dream of one day landing a higher-paying job.  

4.  Take time to think about how your debt will affect your future.

It is important that you take responsibility to think through your financial future.  Many students bury their heads in the sand, and ignore how debt will affect them.  “But you don’t really think about what it actually means to have a house worth of debt, on a higher interest rate than a mortgage, until you’re getting close to graduating and thinking about having to repay them.” There are financial on-line tools available to you to help you understand what your future loan payments will be, and how they will affect your budget.

Education is an investment.  Make sure that you make a wise decisions during the journey.