Topics: education, lending, real estate, search
We return once more to that awesome vacuum of curiosity that is the Punny Money search engine referral log. This week, I’ll answer the question:
It’s pretty obvious that you can have all the student loans you want (well, as many as banks will give you, at least). Perhaps this searcher wanted to know if it would be possible to consolidate multiple federal student loans into multiple student loans. The answer to that question is generally a big fat “no.” That’s because if all your loans are held by a single bank, the Higher Education Acts says you can’t consolidate them with a different bank unless your bank cannot provide “income-sensitive repayment terms.” What bank would admit that their repayment terms are not income-sensitive? Perhaps a very dumb bank would, but not any of the ones likely to have money in them.
But thanks to some incredibly crafty people over at the Fatwallet forums, there was a way to get around the single lender rule and reconsolidate with whomever you like. To summarize their strategy, you could take advantage of a loophole in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program that requires those income-sensitive repayment terms to be “acceptable to the borrower.” Thus you could obtain a Direct Consolidation which will allow you to reconsolidate your loans at the place of your choosing. For many people in that Fatwallet thread, that place has been the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority which offers incredibly attractive rates with discounts for automatic debit and 48 months of on-time repayments.
Sounds great, right? Well, it’s time to break your poor little student-loan-burdened heart. That little loophole was closed with new student loan laws introduced earlier this year. But that’s okay, because I’ve already written on how you can go to school with zero student loans. As for those of you already carrying loans, you can still find some fairly good deals on student loan reconsolidations if you look hard enough.
It looks like we have time for a bonus edition of Search And Ye Shall Receive. Next, let’s see what we can do about this person’s search query:
Normally I’d type the letters “H” and “A” repeatedly for about ten minutes at a question like this, but I figured I’d give it a shot anyway. Sure enough, there are about a half dozen new home communities in Maryland for under $300,000. Unfortunately, one of them just skirts the $300,000 range, two are really the same location, and one is actually in Pennsylvania!
That said, I hear you can pick up some new construction in lovely Phoenix or Miami for pretty cheap these days…