On the morning of Monday, Aug. 27, Seth Frotman told his two young daughters that he would likely be home early that day and will take them to the playground. They cheered.
He didn’t tell them why their dad, who often worked long hours because the student loan watchdog at the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, would be free for a day play date.
Frotman assumed that after walking into his office and, at precisely 9:30 a.m., hitting “send” on an incendiary resignation letter to lawmakers accusing the Trump administration of betraying student borrowers, he would promptly be walked out together with his things, and his career, during a cardboard box.
“Unfortunately, under your leadership,” Frotman wrote to his boss, Mick Mulvaney, “the Bureau has abandoned the very consumers it’s tasked by Congress with protecting. Instead, you’ve got used the Bureau to serve the needs of the foremost powerful financial companies in America.”
Frotman received this conclusion, in part, after he and his team reviewed thousands of borrower complaints the previous summer. One program kept arising , hurting and infuriating the very people it had been meant to help: the U.S. government’s effort to reward student borrowers for public service — for being nurses, teachers and first responders. this is often the story of Seth Frotman, the mangling of the program referred to as Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and what it says about America’s student loan industry.
Graduate Tuition Waivers Will Be Taxed
Graduate students usually get jobs at their university in exchange for a tuition waiver. These grads are usually managing on research, teaching in a classroom, and working to earn their graduate degree at the same time. The school will waive a part of their tuition, usually into the many thousands of dollars for their effort. The IRS does not view that tuition waiver as taxable income. For a graduate who makes a $25,000 tuition waiver and is in the 12% tax bracket, this would end in a tax bill of $3,000 dollars, while they may not even have an actual income. These are students working full time to get that waiver but may not have any actual income.
Private Student Loan Consolidation
Private student loan consolidation is available through various banks we work with to combine all your student loans into one new loan. Private student loan consolidation requires a good credit score and will often have better rates than the federal student loan.
American Opportunity Tax Credit Improved
The American Opportunity Tax Credit has been renewed by the Tax Cuts & Job Act. This is one of the major big deductions for student loans that allows up to a $2,500 deduction for fitted education costs for the first 4 years of higher education. The IRS reports show that 9m Americans used for this tax credit last year. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has raised the allowable deduction time to five years rather than four, except the fifth year is at a decreased $1,250 deduction. The deduction is measured as being 100% of the costs incurred up to the first $2,000, and then it’s 25% of the next $2,000 for a maximum of $2,500.
Lifetime Learning Credit Being Axed
This turns into a deduction of up to $2,000, which could be done for many years as you had education expenses. The big separation between the American Opportunity Tax Credit & the Lifetime Learning Credit is the latter allows for deductions based on vocational costs. By eliminating this tax credit it is harming those who want to develop their skill and gain valuable hands-on training in a field that may not be available at a traditional university
What should borrowers do, if Trump & DeVos would take Public Service Loan Forgiveness away?
For borrowers who are suited for PSLF, instantly guarantee that your loans are in the Direct Loan Program (consolidate your loans as important)
If you are in the Direct program (and suitable for PSLF) verify your employment status instantly.
These moves alone will not ensure that borrowers will get PSLF, but being in the program prior to any law reforms is expected to develop your chances of getting it considerably.
How can I sign up for student loan forgiveness?
Be sure your Trump Student Loan is enrolled in the right loan program. If not, combine them within the direct loan program. If they are Stafford loans you can view if you qualify for any of the Stafford forgiveness programs. Here is a full example to student loan forgiveness.
Will Trump lower my student loan payment?
You probably don’t need to wait for Trump to reduce your payment, you may be able to decrease your payment today. See Income-Driven Repayment programs or private loan consolidations today. Based on his reports so far probably he will stay with the Income-Driven Repayment program that supports borrowers reduce their payment to a flexible amount.