Thursday, November 5, 2009

Covering college-tuition loans -- somebody give me some credit!

Posted by Nick Porcell

With two daughters in college, tuition loan repayments were stacking up, and my wife and I felt the weight of multiple monthly payments kicking in. We began to realize what a job it was to keep track of all the loans, and figured there had to be a better way.

Remembering we'd gotten good advice from the credit union on retirement accounts and mortgage refinancing, and eager to avoid any lender that smelled like last year's banking industry meltdown, we called our adviser to set up a new strategy for squeezing tuition payments into the family budget.

The good news came quickly. "Call the loan office in the morning," our adviser said. He agreed that using the equity we'd built up in our home to pay tuition bills would liberate us from the structured federal loan programs. If things went as expected, it would allow us to repay on our own terms, at 3.99 percent (I know!), and 'defer' if we needed to, by making only minimum payments in tight months.

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