The sacrifices people make to meet their monthly student loan payments

A recent survey has found that over 80 percent of Americans with student loans have been forced to make sacrifices simply to meet their monthly payment. With the student loan debt growing by $2,700 every second and totaling over $1.3 trillion, AICPA conducted a survey to see the impact it is having on American’s and their ability moving forward in life. The numbers show that 81% of adults that have student loans say it has effected them financially, as well as the personal sacrifices due to debt they have. 

Our main purpose at LoanGifting is to give students and graduates the opportunity to not be a part of the 80 percent who are struggling each month to make their payment. We know first-hand the burden student loans can have on you, which is exactly why we created our platform to begin with. 

We are working overtime to make LoanGifting the future for paying off student loans and cannot wait to show you the new features we have been working on!

As always, we will keep you updated with student loan news and our progress as we get closer to launching!

Federal Student Loans Just Got Cheaper

 

The 2016-17 interest rate will be the lowest in a decade.
The interest rate for undergraduate students taking out federal loans will soon dip slightly, to 3.76%, based on new Treasury rates announced today. That’s down from a 4.29% rate this year.

For graduate students and parents who take out PLUS loans, the interest rate will be 6.31%, down from 6.84%, Graduate students can also take direct loans at a rate of 5.31%, down from 5.84%

Those rates take effect July 1, and they’ll be fixed over the life of any loans that are taken out during the 2016-17 academic year.

Federal student loan interest rates have been tied to the rates on 10-year Treasury notes since 2013, when Congress decided to have the loans reset every year based on market conditions..

While the decrease is generally good news for consumers’ monthly payments, the half-point change won’t lead to a drastic decrease in your monthly bills when you’re repaying your loans. Still, it is considerably less than the price students who borrowed just five years ago paid, when interest rates were more than 6%. Jason Deslisle, who has researched interest rates as the federal education budget project director at New America, said in a tweet Wednesday that the upcoming year’s loans will be a “record low.” (Rates were slightly lower in 2003-04 and 2004-05, but those were variable rates, unlike today’s fixed rates.)

 

This post was originally posted on Time by Kaitlin Mulhere and can be found here

Private Student Loans vs. Federal Student Loans

We all like to imagine that we’ll be able to pay for college or send our kids to college without taking out any loans or going into debt. Unfortunately, though, for the average American, that’s just not possible, especially not with the ever-rising costs of college tuition. If you are a parent about to send a kid to school or a student heading back to school yourself, there’s a fairly good chance you’re going to have to take out a loan or two, and, as such, it’s important that you understand the different types of loans available. Understanding what your options are, makes it easier to choose the right loan to meet your particular needs.

Private Student Loans

The distinction between private student loans and federal student loans is pretty clear. When asking what is a private student loan, the answer basically revolves around where the loan comes from. If it is a non-federal, i.e. non-governmental loan, then it is a private loan. These typically come from a bank, a school, a state agency, or a credit union but have no federal or government ties whatsoever.

Federal Student Loans

When asking what are federal student loans, the answer is even clearer. These are student loans that come from the government. Thus, if you want to know what is the difference between private and federal student loans, the answer boils down to whether or not the government has anything to do with the loan.

In the case of federal loans, which come from the government, there are harsher penalties for not paying or defaulting on the loan, including, in most states, potential garnishment of any wages earned. Typically, these loans also can not be discharged in a bankruptcy filing. While not paying back any loan can be serious and harmful to one’s credit score, not paying back federal loans is particularly damaging.

Paying Back Your Loans

Many other differences exist between federal and private student loans. One of the big ones is when, exactly, you are required to start paying back your loans. With most private loans, for example, you will be required to regularly make payments on the loan while you or your student is still in school. However, the payments are typically quite low and manageable and allow the student to graduate without facing a mountain of debt afterwards.

On the flip side, federal loans do not have to be paid back until you graduate. That means that you can get your education worry-free and just pay back the loans after you have received your degree. However, if you leave school or become less than a half-time student, as defined by your college or university, you will have to start paying back the loans you have received. Plus, upon graduation, you will typically have a large amount of debt to pay back.

Interest Rates

Another important distinction between federal student loans and private student loans is the interest rates involved. Typically, with federal student loans, you will enjoy a fixed interest rate, one that is, more often than not, somewhat lower than the interest rates on a private loan.

With that said, private loans do vary greatly in the amount of interest involved, and the interest may change if you fail to make payments as agreed upon. However, if you take care to find a reputable lender and make your payments as agreed upon, a private loan can be an excellent choice.

Of course, both options are viable and have their pros and cons, and many people require a combination of both in order to attend college or for their child to attend college. The point is simply to find the best option that works for you and your situation. As long as the end result is an education, it will be well worth it!

This post was previously published on Loan Cheetah

Why Great Emails Set the Stage for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

When you are beginning your LoanGifting campaign, you will be excited to get the word out about your campaign. Here are some examples why great e-mails set the stage for your successful campaign.

For the best success in writing your crowdfunding emails, we would suggest breaking it into the following three segments:

1) Capture Attention

You will want to ensure that from the moment your contact’s receive your email that you grab their immediate attention. Your introduction should be personable and strong. One point of view that could help you when trying to capture someone’s attention is to put yourself in their shoes. Think to yourself, if I was on the other end, what would need to be said that would make you interested? This will help you understand your audience and what may intrigue them.

Instead of sending one e-mail to all your connections at once, you should take the extra time to personalize each individual e-mail l to make it more personable. If you are sending an e-mail to someone who has already given you a LoanGift, this would be a great time to share the impact of the their previous gift that you received from them. Everyone wants to know where their money went, as well as how it has made a difference.

2) Explain your need

The best way to make your ask for a LoanGift is to provide your connections with the impact that each gift will have. For instance, “If I raise an extra $50 this month, the overall impact can shave four years off a 10 year loan!”. By focusing on the positive impact a small amount can ultimately have, you will emphasize how important their gift can be.

3) Be a Closer!

The people you know will not donate to your LoanGifting campaign unless they are asked. You will want to be sure to make a strong ask in each of your campaign invitations. Each time you send out a letter, you will want to be direct on what you are specifically asking for. If you remember that the more directly you make your ask, the more likely the people you are asking will donate to your LoanGifting campaign.

How Crowdfunding is Helping Students Pay College Debt

College students and graduates know all too well about the costs that come along with getting a college education. Right now the national debt continues to rise with no end in sight. The issue many are facing is that once they finish school, they now have to find a way to pay off their student loans. As a company that has multiple employees with student debt, we understand the burden that the loans have. We are here to tell you student loans do not have to be stigmatized as a negative. The fact you have taken the first step to pay off your loans is a positive, as well as raising funds to speed up the process of doing so.

The LoanGifting platform was created for students to have a credible source for the sole purpose of raising funds towards student loans. Crowdfunding is a billion dollar industry and there are outlets who have had major success with crowdfunding, but none were created specifically for student loans.

By creating this outlet, we are giving students a platform to start having a conversation about their student loans, which for some might be tough to do. When each user begins a campaign, it becomes their own personal platform to tell their unique story and opens the door to an open dialogue about debt with friends and family. It also offers the user endless opportunities to pay off their debt, depending on how dedicated they are in networking their campaign.

Our team takes great pride in establishing and maintaining relationships with our users, and are always available to help in any way necessary. Be sure to stay on the lookout for our weekly tips to ensure your profile is used to its full capacity.

Weekly Tips to Raise Money For Your LoanGifting Campaign

There are no doubts when asking someone to donate towards your LoanGifting campaign that this can be a stressful task. The anxiety that builds inside each of us when approaching the situation of asking someone to help you towards paying off your loan is no easy feat. By using these techniques, you will find it easier each time and it will begin to come natural to you as you continue to build towards paying off your student loans.

Below are our newest edition of techniques. Enjoy. 

1)   High Energy. Every Time. Every Approach. 

When making your approach, always be sure to keep the energy high. You want to be excited about your LoanGifting campaign.Talk passionately about the impact each LoanGift will make on your goal.

If you do not come off energetic about your campaign, what makes you think the person you are talking with will be either? If you do not exude the genuine energy about paying off your student loans, what incentive would your contact have to donate towards it? Get out there and get your gifts.

2)  Have a Conversation Instead of a Sales Pitch!

One thing most of us do not like is feeling pressured by someone asking for money. It is your goal to approach your ask as a conversation and not as if you are holding your hands out for a donation. If the person you are asking for a LoanGift is unable to donate at this specific time, that is ok, continue your relationship and hopefully sometime in the future that person will be willing to give when they are ready. 

3) Grasp Your Unique Approach Style

While you may believe you do not have have the natural ability to raise money for your student loans, we hate to break the news that none of us are born to raise money. Becoming a successful spokesperson for your campaign consists of repetitive practice and an understanding that it will take time. Something you have to strive to be is consistent and confident during the process.

Get out there and start practicing your own style!

The Art of Asking For a LoanGift

Asking for a donation towards your student loans can be hard. The process of reaching out and asking can actually be easier than you think if you remember these key concepts: relationships, planning, and process. We will go into more detail below.

Your Relationships are important!

As you are in the process of setting up a LoanGifting campaign for your student loans, you need to remember to build strong relationships with the people you are planning on asking for a donation from. Before you approach your contacts for a donation, make sure to reach out to each person and educate them about the LoanGifting campaign you are starting. Once you have introduced them to your cause to pay down your student loans, is when you should ask for the LoanGift. Each relationship you build, is one you want to make stronger and long lasting.

Planning Your Approach to Ask

Before you are ready to ask for a LoanGift there are some points on to touch on be ensure you’re ready:

1- Who are you asking? A family member? A friend? A coworker? Etc.

2- Be Prepared to Hear No: You have to understand that raising money is a numbers game. You will not connect with each of your peers to get a LoanGift, and that is expected, just do not let it discourage you and keep yourself motivated.

3- Explain How Each Gift Helps: People want to know that their donation is going towards something specific and trustworthy. That is exactly what LoanGifting is set up to do.

The Process: How To Ask

So here you are, you’ve maintained relationships, and planned out your approach with how to ask for a donation for your campaign. The question is, how do you complete the process of asking for the donation? 

1- Shift the Focus. Once you have gotten past the ice breaking part of the conversation, shift the focus so that the person you’re speaking with knows you have something important to talk about. You can shift the conversation by saying that you could use their help with your LoanGifting campaign.

2 – Conveying Why You Need A LoanGift. This is your selling point for why you’re specifically asking for a LoanGift in the first place.

3 – Making The Ask. The golden rule is to make your approach on requesting for a donation to be a question and specific. Each person will ask in their own way, but make sure to focus on your LoanGifting campaign and what the benefits are for you specifically.

This process may sound complicated at first, but after you practice, it will come naturally. Having a script or outline for your approach to ask can benefit you, so that when the situation does arise, you will feel more confident about spreading the word about your LoanGifting campaign.

Click here to start your own LoanGifting campaign.

Follow us on Twitter @LoanGifting and Facebook.com/LoanGifting

Telling Your Story

 

Telling Your Story

The Crowdfunding process starts with your story and the people you know. Your contacts are the basic starting point for the crowdfunding to begin. Without your contacts, you have no one connect with, and without people to connect to, you have no to ask for a LoanGift. The people in your life are a necessity to your crowdfunding effort.

Are you thinking about starting a project to raise money to pay off your student loans? Are you wondering what you would say to get friends and family to donate? Are you worried how they may perceive you? Your LoanGifting profile is where you have the ability to your contacts your personal story: who you are, how much you need to raise, and why.

The basic questions you want to answer:

Who are you? Even though you will be connecting with people you know, not everyone may know certain things about you, so get creative.

Why you need to raise money? The simple answer is that you need to pay off your student loans, you know that, and so do your contacts. Your goal is to answer the Why with your ability of explaining your aspirations and how your loans are holding you back.

At LoanGifting, we know all too well how hard it can be to pay off your student loans on your own and get on with your life. We hope our platform can make it easier for you to do so.

If you are having trouble getting your story on paper, feel free to reach out to our team and someone from our team will be glad to help.