CliffsNotes Graduation Debt: How to Manage Student Loans and Live Your Life 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0470506899
ISBN-10: 047050689X
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Graduation Debt is different from the competition because it provides a step-by-step road map for effectively managing student loan debt and having a successful financial life. Yet, it’s completely positive. The focus is less on sacrifice and more on not wasting money, so readers can live better lives while paying off debt.

The book's content is divided into small subsections geared toward those neck-deep in student debt. The brevity of each section makes the book digestible to those who aren’t inclined to focus on their finances. Readers are encouraged to take action steps such as finding long lost student loans that may have gone into default, discovering payment plans they can afford, consolidating loans when it makes sense to do so, saving money on eating out and groceries, improving credit scores, tweaking their debt-to-income ratios that's needed to buy a home, discussing their student loan and non-student loan debt with their significant others.

By the end of the book readers will be on the road to managing all their debt and having extra money for vacations and other fun stuff, too.

How to Miss Student Loan Payments Without Hurting Your Credit
Amazon-exclusive content from the author

Worried your credit will take a nose dive if you miss federal student loan payments? Your credit won’t be dinged if you call your loan servicer and qualify for a temporary payment reprieve.

What steps do you need to get approval for an excused absence from making payments?

1. Write down your monthly expenses and your monthly income on a piece of paper. Your loan servicer is going to want to know why you need a break from student loan payments.

2. Peruse the Department of Education’s or your servicer’s Web site to see if there are special reasons you might qualify for a payment break such as military service or you’re returning to school. You’ll find the words forbearance and deferment. These are the terms used for an approved temporary break from payment. The difference between the two is that in deferment the government will pay the interest charged until your deferment expires.

3. Write down circumstances that apply to you that you found on the same piece of paper as your finances.

4. Find the contact information for all your student loans. If you don’t have your paperwork for all your loan servicers, contact the department of Education or pull up your loan list by logging in to the National Student Loan Data System Web site.

5. Click on each loan that shows a balance in the Outstanding Principal column. Scroll down to the contact chart and write down the name of your servicer and the contact number. Repeat for each loan on which you still have a balance.

6. When you call each of your servicers, tell them you need either a deferment or forbearance. Then tell them your circumstances as to why you need a payment break. There may be a brand new type of forbearance or deferment that may work better for you.

7. Don’t accept more time than the maximum you could need at once, especially if you qualify for forbearance instead of a deferment. Why? Your interest still accrues if you are granted forbearance. For example, let’s say you have $60,000 in student debt at a rate of 5 percent. You decide to take a six-month payment break. Six months later, your loan has grown to $61,500 because of accrued interest and no payments made.

8. Fill out any necessary paperwork asked for by your servicer (s). Wait a week after you submit paperwork to call and verify paperwork has been received.

9. To protect your credit, wait to stop making payments until you’ve received a notice in writing from each servicer with the exact date your deferment or forbearance will begin and end. Call each servicer to verify this date and the date you should start making payments when your deferment or forbearance ends.

10. Keep your loan information in a folder in a place where you will be able to easily find the information later.

Review

Rather than take a judgmental approach, Gobel acknowledges that young people make mistakes - the idea for the book came from her own botched approach to student loans -- and makes realistic suggestions to fix problems. --Foxbusiness.com, Money101

For a good how-to manual, pick up "Graduation Debt: How to Manage Student Loans and Live Your Life," by financial blogger Reyna Gobel.– Claudia Buck, Sacramento Bee http://www.sacbee.com/2010/06/27/2850627/digging-out-of-debt.html

Reyna Gobel has a message for college graduates who, like her, find themselves carrying around student loan debt the size of a small mortgage: Don’t wait until you pay it back to start living your life. – Kimberly Palmer, Usnews.com http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/alpha-consumer/2010/6/18/the-smart-way-to-pay-off-student-loans.html

True to the CliffsNotes brand, this compact guide walks you through the student loan labyrinth starting with "know what you owe." – Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/05/AR2010060500721_2.html?sid=ST2010060503047

Rather than take a judgmental approach, Gobel acknowledges that young people make mistakes – the idea for the book came from her own botched approach to student loans -- and makes realistic suggestions to fix problems. – foxbusiness.com, Emily Driscoll http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/personal-finance/financial-planning/college-education/break-free-gigantic-graduation-debt/

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Product Details

  • Series: CliffsNotes
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cliffs Notes; 1 edition (March 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047050689X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470506899
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #640,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Reyna Gobel, M.B.A. and M.J., is a forbes.com education contributor, author and professional speaker who's been quoted by Money Magazine, Real Simple, and The Washington Post, where Michelle Singletary chose the first and 2nd editions of "CliffsNotes Graduation Debt" as financial book of the month. She's also a continuing education instructor for the Borough of Manhattan Community College and guest educator for the Institute for Financial Literacy and an advice columnist and curriculum development specialist for iGrad, a financial literacy organization that provides a video and written course materials on financial literacy and repaying student loans to over 300 colleges and universities. You can submit a question to her by emailing askreyna@igrad.com or tweet her at @reynagobel.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Derek Freiley on April 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
Graduation Debt was the most helpful book I have read in along time. Debt is something that is far too easy to get into and much too difficult to get out of, especially when you are in college. I learned so much from the Student loan payment section and consolidation! It was exactly what I needed to know since I am a first generation college student. I enjoyed the book because it was very personal and the author drew from her own experiences and kept the book interesting and informative all at the same time. This is the perfect book if you are looking at applying for Student loans or if you have applied for student loans because it tells you what you can do to make your loans easier to pay back and not something you will be making payments on well into your forties. I think high school students could benefit from the book because the credit hole is easy to fall into once you graduate high school. I see myself using this book for years to come until I pay off my loans.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dan on April 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book is packed with easy to understand tips for how to maximize your tax return as a college student. The author does a terrific job of breaking down the basics of how to get out of debt- responsibily. This would make a GREAT gift for any student about to graduate this spring. Also a wonderful resource for parents who have kids that are about to graduate.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sree Chavali on April 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Understanding the ins and outs of students loans is not easy. I consider myself pretty financially illiterate, but this book broke things down into terms I could understand. She offers really clear directions for reducing your spending and paying off your debt. I found the budgeting workshops and the myth/fact sections especially helpful.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By anna on April 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book was very helpful in explaining not only how to manage debt but also create (and stick to!) a workable budget. I've avoided my personal finances for years but, with advice from the book, have now developed an actual, working budget. And the checklists at the end of each chapter lay out what you need to do in easy, digestible tasks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dog Lover on June 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Graduation Debt was an excellent primer in the benefits of personal responsibility. The burden of debt normally becomes so arduous that many choose to run and hide. This author developed a roadmap that made the jouney both both rewarding and exciting. Providing the references that are requisite for dealing with debt accumulated throughout college, Reyna Gobel has given us the resources to no longer make this an overwhelming burden.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By annMC on August 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a recent college grad, I find this book great for helping to figure out the terms associated with my student loans. The author gives concise information about how to consolidate and which loans to repay first. I definitely wish I would have had this book as a student preparing to graduate, but better late than never!
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