george grombacher 0:00
Come on one letter, this is George G. And the time is right welcome today’s guest strong apart from Mary Jo Terry, Mary Jo, are you ready to do this?
Mary Jo Terry 0:20
george grombacher 0:20
let’s let’s go. Mary Jo is the managing partner of why refi through an organization helping to refinance student loans, when others will not marry Joe, tell us a little about your personal life some more about your work and why you do what you do?
Unknown Speaker 0:37
Well, I’ve worked in the student loan industry for about 20 years, assisting students, their parents, all the way from the very beginning of getting ready and preparing for college into the financial aid office, through the financial aid office process into repayment. And unfortunately, when people get into delinquency and default, so I have a real passion for helping people get a college education, as well as helping individuals that do get into a bad financial situation with their education loans, whether they’re direct loans or private loans, assisting them and getting them out of that situation. I’ve been lucky enough to help probably 1000s of students through this process, and why refi is a result of myself, as well as my business partner years of experience in student loans, and just constantly seeing a gap of individuals that fall into a situation where they just absolutely cannot make their student loan payments, whether it’s on the federal side or on the private side.
george grombacher 1:48
Nice, I appreciate that. What and I, I think that it is just one of the most terrible things in the world to have young people before our brains are fully formed, take on sometimes hundreds of 1000s of dollars of debt. I think it just sets us up for failure. And to your point, there’s a lot of people who fall into this gap of just they can’t afford to do it. What what what does the landscape look like today from maybe the total amount of debt or just people that are struggling?
Unknown Speaker 2:23
Unfortunately, the new data coming from the Department of Education has found about 7.7 million student borrowers. That’s just Department of Education that doesn’t include private education loans, that are in a delinquency or default situation. And with the Care Act, we got a reprieve from having to make the student loan payments, we also had a reprieve from interest accruing, but now we’re getting ready to have the Care Act in January of 2022. All these loans are going to go back into repayment. And so what we’re seeing is people are taking on more and more debt, the cost of education has gone up about 5%. It’s been going up year over year faster than inflation. And so oftentimes, what ends up happening is people take on too much debt, they graduate. And unfortunately right out of the gate, you get a six month grace period. But after that six month period, your all of your loans now go into repayment, well, you may have been in school for four or five, six years, depending on if you got a graduate degree. And now you’re in a situation where you can’t repay. And so part of what why refi does is we always encourage customers, or borrowers, the parents that cosign to really investigate what those options are, if you’re in a situation where you can’t repay. Because today, just getting out of college, I’m probably not going to be making as much money as I will five years from now, right? In a couple of years, I may be able to take on more debt and take on more payment. But at this at this point in period of time, I’m unable to do so. But oftentimes people ignore what that situation and ignore and put off, Hey, I can’t make my payment this month, I can’t do something when there’s tons of resources out there to assist them in getting into a situation where they can make a payment or they can postpone a payment for a period of time to get themselves in a better situation.
george grombacher 4:28
Nice. Alright, so that is it is so tricky, because we are just, there’s just too much information out there. Right. So how do I cut through it all? How do I know what’s actually going to apply to me in my situation? So when when there’s just tell me about some of those resources?
Unknown Speaker 4:50
Absolutely. There’s many steps you can do to prepare to resume payments both whether you’ve postponed your private loans or your direct line If you’re talking about your direct loans, the first thing you’re going to need to do is probably go to student aid.gov. Basically, what student aid.gov is, is it’s a single resource that communicates out with your loan servicer. So you could have one of five loan servicers in during the Care Act, loan servicers change some other things transpired. So the first thing you want to do is go to student aid.gov. and update your profile, lots of us have moved, do email addresses, possibly new cell phone, really update that information, as well as look at your repayment amount, right? It’s been over a year, you may not remember that you were paying $200 A month or $400 a month, you also may not remember that you might be on auto debit, right? What we don’t want to happen is in February, all of a sudden, money gets taken out of your account that you weren’t counting on or budgeting for. So if you go to student aid.gov, you can really look at what your payment is, who your loan servicer is, as well as trying to they have a tool called the loan stimulator where you can really find a repayment plan that can meet your needs. Now, keep in mind, you’re not calling anyone. So you can do this at 2am or 6am. Or when the kids are asleep, or whatever the situation is, it is really just kind of a first step to see where you’re sitting. There’s also any of your private education, loan lenders can also assist you. You can also call why refi why refi works with borrowers with federal and private loans all the time to try to figure out whether we can assist them or one of our partners can assist them. So in this in the education industry, we try to create partners, partnerships, that if we have a customer on the line, and they need help with their defaulted direct loans, or they need help with something specific that we have someplace we can transfer them. And you can always find us at www Why rifai.com. You can also call our 800 number 888-390-5284. But there’s a lot of things that we can assist you. Now if you find yourself where you get out on to the student aid.gov, you realize you can’t make that payment. Don’t get discouraged. That’s the first thing. The reason we’re going to tell you don’t get discouraged is there’s a lot a lot of other direct government programs that can assist you to get into repayment plan that you could afford, or unfortunately, because of COVID If you’re still unemployed, there’s unemployment deferments available. There’s income driven repayment plans, income driven repayment plans, takes into account how much you earn a month, and then adjust your payment accordingly. How much of your household expenses, they look at whether you’ve lost income, or gained income, or maybe you had a child during the pandemic, all of those things were taken into account, there’s actually four different income driven repayment programs. And that could assist you it could get you down to a reasonable payment that you can afford to make at any given time. The last option is you can always consolidate your loans. It sounds kind of cliche. The reason I say that is you may be paying on five years worth of direct loans. And if you consolidate those loans, it’s now into one payment, you probably extended repayment term, which lowered your payment. But the best thing about this program is there’s no prepayment penalties. There’s no prepayment penalties on private loans, there’s no prepayment penalties on federal loans. So in three or four or five years, when you’re in a better financial situation, you can actually up your payment, maybe your payment goes to $100 a month, and you realize, hey, I can skip that trip to Starbucks and pay an extra $10 Extra $15 that goes towards your principal. So let’s get these loans paid down and paid off as quickly as possible. Got it? Well, that
george grombacher 9:07
certainly makes sense. All right. So not getting discouraged. Understanding what your current situation is understanding what your options are. The that that that definitely makes sense to me. For the I know, that I’ve heard of after a certain amount of time loans are forgiven. Does that work for student loans as well?
Unknown Speaker 9:37
Yes, so if you go into an income driven repayment program, and you’re paying what you can every single month, the balance that’s left over, will actually get forgiven and will become forgiven debt, but isn’t a significant period of time in which you make those payments. It’s usually about 20 years before that debts forgiven. There’s also Public Service Loan forgiveness programs, which means if you’re a teacher any work at certain schools, or if you’re a firefighter or a police officer, if you work in the government sector, the list goes on and on the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program will actually assist you in they, they set a certain payment amount for you, once you’ve made the required number of payments, anything that’s left over your balance is forgiven. So there are options out there. That’s why we always encourage you to be proactive and say, Okay, so this is the debt I’ve got. This is how we’re going to approach it and take a positive stance forward. In order doing one thing, going studentaid.gov, calling your loan servicer take one step, and don’t procrastinate. Remember, there’s deadlines coming up procrastination, especially during the holiday season, when we’re all so busy, is a very easy step to make. And we don’t want to procrastinate, because the closer you get to the deadline, the busier everybody’s going to be. And we’d like to get you in a situation where you can repay, nobody wants a borrower or their parents to fail, because remember, there’s also Parent Plus loans. So we’re talking about parents. And we’re also telling talking about borrowers and private loans, you also have oftentimes have parents as CO signers. So you want to be proactive, whether you’re the you’re the actual student, or whether you’re the parent, the aunt and uncle, whomever, let’s see what we can do to get you into a situation. The Department of Education wants you to be not in a financial bad situation, on your loans. We also don’t want to see that hit to your credit. We’d like to be able to see you get a house, get a car and have something positive happen. You’ve worked so hard to get that college degree, whether you graduated or not. Let’s get you on the the plan to repay.
george grombacher 12:05
Yep, amen. Got to take ownership of it, it’s your responsibility to do it. And certainly if you are a parent who is CO signed to make sure that that everything is getting taken care of and so that everybody’s credit is good, and everybody’s happy and moving in the right direction. In terms of that forgiveness, is that is that, from your perspective, a viable strategy or one that people should consider?
Unknown Speaker 12:28
Well, it’ll take you about 10 minutes. Honest to goodness, maybe 20 minutes to see if you qualify for public service loan forgiveness, my recommendation is take your 20 minutes and find out. Realistically, it’s 20 minutes that could save you $5,000, it’s 20 minutes, that could save you $1,000. I know, when I was in college, if I had gotten a $500 scholarship for books, I was over the moon. So every little dollar counts, and just taking a little bit of time to see what’s available for you could definitely put you in a win win situation. But if you don’t look and you don’t ask, you won’t know.
george grombacher 13:12
Yeah, I appreciate that. So when when people go through this process, and this, okay, it looks like I’m, I’m I qualify for this. But just fundamentally, I’ve got, I’ve got, you know, $30,000 of student loan debt, and I just I’m not going to be able to make a payment. And so your organization actually can help somebody refinance, even though they may think they can’t.
Unknown Speaker 13:41
Absolutely why refi is a private education loan refinance company, we work with the CO signers as well as the borrowers. And what we do is we don’t look at somebody just based on their credit, we look at them holistically. And so when you give us a call, at 88839052841 of our student loan advisors will spend 30 to 45 minutes looking at your financial situation, the reason we spend such a significant period of time whether you do a transaction with us or not. We want to make sure that we can get you to the right partner or see if we can assist you directly. And so we work with parents who haven’t been speaking to their children. We work with grandma and grandpa who haven’t been speaking to their children because they’ve been put in a bad financial situation. And so with our program, we refinance private education, student loans. Bad credit doesn’t scare me shouldn’t scare you because we really want to look at the student and their cosigner situation. In all cases we do not require co signers in some cases we do require a cosigner depending on what your financial situation is, but it’s worth taking five minutes to give us a call or to go to our website and fill out our account. Contact Us form at why rifai.com That’s why refy.com so that we can contact you. And then we can walk you through your situation. If you just have federal loans, we can help you with those and and get you to someone who can assist you. If you have private loans, then we can also assist you whether they’re in good standing, their delinquency, or they’re all the way into default. So our motto is, really, if you can call one of our student loan advocates, if you can take five or 10 minutes, you don’t have to spend 45 minutes on the phone with us, we can at least March you in the right direction, whether it’s a wi refi loan, or if it’s directing you to one of our partners.
george grombacher 15:46
Got it. The one of the key takeaways here certainly is that you just need to take ownership of it, rip the band aid off, it’s probably been bothering you probably been worried about it. And now that the deadline is actually coming up. It’s just it’s, it’s it’s time to do it.
Unknown Speaker 16:05
And one thing you need to remember is you are not alone. My goodness, unfortunately, we speak to customers on a daily basis, that are genuinely upset and crying on the phone. And this isn’t something that should resonate through the holidays. Let’s just get it taken care of let’s jump out there. Let’s have a conversation. A conversation is usually the scariest thing. If you want to take a look at it at y refi. You can go to y rifai.com. And look at some of our testimonials, customers real individuals that we have been able to help get out of a bad financial situation and prove their credit, and then later be able to get a house or get your new car or get yourself into a better financial situation. Unfortunately, you probably took the dead on and to your point earlier. You took the dead on and you didn’t even really understand what you were taking on. And that’s scary.
george grombacher 17:06
Yeah, there’s no doubt about that. Well, time to take control over it. Mary Jo, thank you so much for coming on. Give us the website one more time.
Unknown Speaker 17:16
www dot y rifai.com.
george grombacher 17:20
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed this as much as I did show Mary Jo your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to y rifai.com. That’s the letter Y r e f y.com. Thanks. Give Mary Jo. Thanks, George. And until next time, fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai