Is a college degree worth the debt?

This is a tough question to answer.
First let’s recognize the fact that some college degrees are absolutely useless or worthless white others are highly valuable.

The value of a college degree depends on many factors including but not limited to:

How much money will you really earn with the college degree you are considering pursuing?
How much student debt will you get into paying for your college education?

I have a friend whom is considering borrowing money to pay for her college education so she can be a mental health counselor. After helping her research different career paths and our talk on student loans, debt and maintaining good credit she is now considering pursuing a different degree now that she sees that the average mental health counselor in Philadelphia Pennsylvania makes anywhere from $30,000 a year to $36,000 a year salary which is insulting. For some reason she assumed that just having a 4 year college degree would make her all kinds of money. Unfortunately this is simply now how it works in the real world.

The average undergraduate leaves college with more than $30,000 in student debt then tack on another $35,000 + to finish graduate school. So she would go to school for 6 solid years just so he can earn a mere $30,000 salary not to mention getting herself into $65,000 + of debt from student loans.

According to a study done by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia Pennsylvania , the absolute worst graduate degree to have is a degree in meteorology. Once you get yourself into student debt for a degree in meteorology you might be paying your student loans off until dooms day. After you earn a graduate degree in this field you will be lucky if your salary goes up 1% every year. A degree in studio art may sound fun and rewarding but again don’t expect to make a decent living and be honest with yourself and realize you will get yourself into a mountain of debt just so you can earn enough peanuts to pay off your never ending student loan while living like a pauper.

On the other hand there are many valuable college degrees that are worth the time and money involved in earning them.
Such degrees are petroleum engineering, oceanography, public relations, pharmaceutical science, healthcare administration, law and some social sciences. I am positive there are many other highly financially rewarding college degrees worth pursuing and it’s best to do your own research to help you determine if the college degree you are considering pursuing is worth the debt of a student loan.

A good rule of thumb to determine how much a specific college degree is really worth is to start with determining how much you can really expect to get paid your first year out of college and how long will it take you to pay off your school loan while living comfortably. College students should not borrow more than they really expect to earn their first year after graduating college. This means if your chosen career path is only going to pay you $30,000 a year then it is not a good idea to borrow more than $30,000 for your college education.

The best advice I can give is to choose your career path and education wisely so you don’t bury yourself in a mountain of debt and student loans. Speak to a career counselor and speak to real people in the industry you are considering getting into to help you determine if your chosen path is a good investment or a waste of your time and money.

 Are graduate degrees worth the cost?

Should I Refinance?

Refinancing could help you or hurt you. Here are six questions  to ask before deciding to refinance.

1. Will I qualify for the rate I’m looking for?
This all depends, between your credit score, the type of refinancing you are looking for, will determine what interest rate you will qualify for.  Search around and get quotes from a few lenders, but be careful, some may quote you just about anything to get your business. You may want to check with the lender who you financed your original mortgage with if they are someone you trust.  If you can’t qualify for the rate you want, you may not want to waste your time refinancing.

2. How do I make sure I don’t go from a good loan to a bad loan?
If you haven’t done your research, and are easily talked into things, or aren’t great with making solid financial decisions, refinancing may not be the way you should go.  If you are already satisfied with your current loan, you may just want to stick with it, if you aren’t satisfied, you may not want to chance refinancing only to end up with another bad loan.  Also you do run the risk of a lender offering you one rate on your quote, and then when its time to sign actual paperwork changing their story.

3. Will refinancing help me come out ahead?
Predicting whether or not you will come out ahead in a refinance can be tricky to determine.  There are several factors that can come into play.  You may relocate, a natural disaster may occur, any number of unexpected events could happen that could make refinancing not in your best interest. It depends on whether or not you can afford that risk. So consider this carefully in your decision making.

4. Do I have enough free time to spend refinancing?
Depending on the demands on your time, having the time to research and carefully weigh out your options for refinance is crucial.  If you don’t have the time to carefully consider a new finance plan, it may not be a good time to make a wise decision about your mortgage.  Wait until you have time to spare and prepare when concerning refinancing your home.

5. Do I have the control to not roll other debt into my mortgage?
It may sound like a great idea to consolidate your debts for one monthly payment instead of several at the same interest rate. Look at these kinds of opportunities carefully.  Do the math, even though your payments may be lower monthly, stretched out over a longer length of time may result in you paying more once interest is added in.

6. Lending standards have become more strict, will I qualify?
Demands for more information to determine if you qualify have become more strict. You may be required to have a higher credit score than the first time you financed a mortgage, and additionally be required to provide detailed financial records such as pay stubs, bank statements, your most recent tax return as well as other proof of financial stability.

These are all things you should carefully consider when thinking about refinancing.

Bills In Collection

Unexpected  debt can be a hard to deal with especially once they have gone to collections. Here are 4 solutions to help dig yourself out a debt that has gone to collections and remember creditors and collection agencies can take you to court and obtain a court order ordering  you to pay your debt, garnish your wages, and some creditors and collection agencies may even try to coerce you to pay more than you are able monthly. Not to mention letting your unpaid bills and debts go to collections will harm your credit score and is not something you should take lightly. If you feel your unpaid bills & debts are out of hand then seeking the advise and guidance from an experienced Credit Attorney  is highly recommended in situations such as these.

1. You have the right to negotiate a fair debt settlement with a creditor or collection agency.  Write a letter to the creditor or collection agency and offer to settle your debt. This is much better then ignoring your debt. Just don’t forget to document that you sent a letter to the creditor or collection agency.

2. Depending on the amount of your debt, you may qualify to file for bankruptcy.  If you don’t have any valuable assets then you may be able to qualify for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you have valuable assets such as a home or estate of some sort, you may qualify for a chapter 13 bankruptcy.  You may want to seek out an experienced Credit Attorney to assist you with this, some cities have nonprofit organizations that are able to help advise in these situations.

3.  If you own a home and are having trouble paying your debt, another option is to get a reverse rate mortgage. This way you are not in danger of losing your home over a bad debt. A reverse rate mortgage would provide a way for you to cash in your assets and pay your debt back monthly with the money you receive from this type of mortgage.

4. If you collect social security benefits, certain Fair Credit Law Firms offer services to protect the checks you receive from being garnished. You can set up with a lawyer for your social security wages to be deposited to a special bank account that is protected from having a creditor court order you to have payments taken out.  Research your local bankruptcy lawyers to see who is able to help you most effectively and quickly.

If you have gone through this then you probably are going to need to repair your credit along the way. The most important thing to remember right now is do not just ignore your unpaid bills and debts and instead figure out a way to do the right thing and  pay your debts off and if necessary seek the help of a credit attorney that specializes in credit and collection laws.