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Nitro Knowledge. Your Guide to Paying for College.


What’s the secret formula to helping students avoid being crushed by student loan debt after graduation? Ken Ruggiero, the CEO of Ascent Student Loans, thinks he and his team of data scientists may have discovered a solution—and it’s probably not what you think it is.

Here’s the very short answer in two parts:

  1. If you need a private student loan without a cosigner, but lack sufficient credit history and income, Ascent has an option based on your future earnings potential, and
  2. If your lender doesn’t pony up all the money that you ask for, that might be a tremendous gift.
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The prospect of paying for college can be overwhelming, even for the most well-prepared students. Tuition costs continue to rise, even though parental and post-graduate incomes haven’t followed the same trend. So who should pay for college? Viewpoints vary as to whether students or their parents should be responsible.

Let's take a look at some common viewpoints. 

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Going to college is one of the biggest milestones in your life. Between the decisions on where to go, how to pay for it, what courses to take, and where to live, a number of huge, life-changing decisions hang in the balance.

It’s only natural that you and your parents are feeling the pressure ... and that, perhaps, you're driving each other a little nuts. How you handle the process with your parents can mean the difference between smooth sailing or a huge stress bomb that’s just waiting to explode. 

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The 3 steps you need to take to finalize your child’s college funding plan

If you’re in college-funding “crunch mode” right now, you’re not alone. A recent study reveals that late spring — in other words, right now — is when most parents feel the pressure to get their children’s college funding plans tied up for the fall.

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The option to defer federal student loans may feel like a safety net — even if you've never done it, you like the idea that you could if you needed to. Maybe that notion has even stopped you from refinancing to a lower interest rate with a private lender. That means you mean be paying more than you need to for a benefit that you may or may not use. 

So can you defer private student loans if you decide to refinance? The short answer: No, you can't defer private student loans in the traditional sense. But the long answer is much more nuanced. Many private lenders offer some form of assistance if you experience an economic hardship. 

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Two names that come up often when talking about student loans are Sallie Mae and Navient. Many people get confused over whether they're the same company or not. 

Here's the fast answer: No, but they used to be. These days, they are two separate companies. Sallie Mae is offers private student loans and Navient acts as a servicer for federal and private student loans. 

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