NOBA welcomed Heather Jarvis, Student Loan Expert, on March 6th to discuss how law school graduates can better manage their student loan debt. Heather started off the CLE by explaining whether or not borrower's qualify for President Obama's Pay As You Earn repayment plan or Income-Based Repayment, as well as the benefits for each. How you file your taxes is an important aspect in the sense that the higher your adjusted gross income, the higher your payments. Married student loan borrowers have a different set of circumstances when filing taxes because they must decide to file jointly or file separately. Heather went through different scenarios to give attendees a better sense of what she was discussing and provided spreadsheets comparing how much tax you would pay filing jointly or separately. She offered insight on what forms you should file when doing your federal tax return and tax issues specific to student loan borrowers. She evaluated the different consolidation options as well as how student debt affects credit reports, credit scores, and credit qualification. Attendees were able to not only see the federal student loan interest rate adjustments that have been made since 2006, but the proposed changes to student debt relief programs. It was extremely beneficial when Heather went over the five steps to public service loan forgiveness: making the right kind of payments, the right kind of loans, working in the right kind of job, repeating 120 times, and proving it. Often times people don't understand the importance of where you work and when you make the payments, so Heather made a point to stress that.
If you are interested in getting more detailed information about student loan debt and focusing on what matters, this seminar will be available as an online CLE soon.