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Personal Finance Appointments

Personal Finance Appointments

Components of the Student Loan Debt Cancelation Sweep:

The Biden administration has already canceled nearly $32 billion of the $1.6 trillion in outstanding federal student debt by expanding existing forgiveness programs for public-sector workers, disabled borrowers and students who were defrauded by for-profit colleges. Here is a breakdown of some of these components:

PSLF Waiver

The “limited PSLF waiver” refers to the time-limited changes to Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program rules that allow borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF. This opportunity ends on Oct. 31, 2022.

Key Points: PSLF Summary of Changes

  • For a limited time, you may receive credit for past periods of repayment on loans that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF.
  • If you have FFEL Program loans, Federal Perkins Loans, or other federal student loans, you’ll need to consolidate your loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan to qualify for PSLF, both in general and under the new time-limited rules described on this page. Before consolidating, make sure to check to see if you work for a qualifying employer. Learn about consolidation and the pros and cons of consolidating your loans.
  • Past periods of repayment will now count whether or not you made a payment, made that payment on time, for the full amount due, or on a qualifying repayment plan.
  • Forbearance periods of 12 consecutive months or greater, or 36 cumulative months or greater will count under the waiver. In fall 2022, ED will begin making account adjustments to include these periods. Forbearance periods provided by the COVID-19 emergency relief flexibilities are not included toward these months.
  • Months spent in deferment before 2013 will count under the waiver. Additionally, ED will include economic hardship deferment on or after Jan. 1, 2013. ED will apply these periods of deferment to your account in fall 2022.
  • Periods of default and in-school deferment still do not qualify.
  • ED is looking at long-term changes to the program such as allowing more payments to qualify for PSLF including partial, lump sum, and late payments, and allowing certain kinds of deferments and forbearances – such as those for Peace Corps and AmeriCorps service, National Guard duty, and military service – to count toward PSLF.

Note: The qualifying employment requirement has not changed. To determine if your employer qualifies for PSLF, use our employer search tool.

To find out more information or to fill out the waiver, you can go to www.studentaid.gov/pslf/.

If you need assistance understanding PSLF requirements and procedure, you can schedule an appointment with the Personal Finance Program at www.BoulderCountyPFP.org.

IDR Forgiveness

The Dept of Ed (ED) will be conducting a one-time revision of IDR payment counters to address past inaccuracies (including automatically discharging loans for eligible borrowers) and permanently fixing IDR payment counting by reforming ED’s IDR tracking procedures going forward. ED will begin work on implementing these changes immediately, but borrowers will not see the effect in their accounts until fall of 2022.

Key Points: IDR One-Time Count Revision

  • As part of this initiative, ED will conduct a one-time revision of IDR-qualifying payments for all William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program and federally managed Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans.
  • ED will conduct a one-time account adjustment to borrower accounts that will count time toward IDR forgiveness, including
    • any months in which you had time in a repayment status, regardless of the payments made, loan type, or repayment plan;
    • 12 or more months of consecutive forbearance or 36 or more months of cumulative forbearance toward IDR and PSLF forgiveness;
    • months spent in deferment (with the exception of in-school deferment) prior to 2013; and
    • any time in repayment prior to consolidation on consolidated loans.
  • Any borrower with loans that have accumulated time in repayment of at least 20 or 25 years will see automatic forgiveness, even if you are not currently on an IDR plan.
  • If you have commercially held FFEL loans, you can only benefit from the IDR account adjustment if you consolidate before we complete implementation of these changes, which is estimated to be no sooner than Jan. 1, 2023.
  • If you have made qualifying payments that exceed forgiveness thresholds (20 or 25 years), you will receive a refund for your overpayment.

ED is undertaking an effort to display borrower IDR payment counts on StudentAid.gov so that you can view your progress yourself. Additionally, ED is working on regulations to revise the terms of the IDR program to further simplify payment counting, which includes proposals to allow more loan statuses to count toward IDR forgiveness, including certain types of deferments and forbearances.

What to do now: IDR waiver changes are automatic. You don’t need to do anything unless:

  • You have an FFEL loan. Then you will need to consolidate your loan into a Direct Consolidation loan ASAP (before end of 2022). You can do that here: https://studentaid.gov/app/launchConsolidation.action
  • If you had less than 12 months consecutive forbearance or less than 36 or more months of cumulative forbearance, you do need to submit a complaint at studentaid.gov to have them look at your individual account. They will give credit for these forbearances too.

To find out more information: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/idr-account-adjustment

Targeted Debt Cancellation for Repayment Transition

To address the financial harms of the pandemic by smoothing the transition back to repayment and helping borrowers at highest risk of delinquencies or default once payments resume, the Department of Ed (ED) will provide targeted student debt cancellation to borrowers with loans held by the Department of Education. Borrowers with annual income during the pandemic of under $125,000 (for individuals) or under $250,000 (for married couples or heads of households) who received a Pell Grant in college will be eligible for up to $20,000 in debt cancellation. Borrowers who met those income standards but did not receive a Pell Grant will be eligible for up to $10,000 in relief. The Department will be announcing further details on how borrowers can claim this relief in the weeks ahead.

  • Nearly 8 million borrowers may be eligible to receive relief automatically because relevant income data is already available to the Department.
  • The application will be available no later than December 31, 2022.
  • Undergraduate loan payments will also see a change. Payments will be capped at 5% of discretionary income.
  • Other income driven repayment plans may also see a payment reduction.

There is nothing you need to do right now to access new SL forgiveness of $10,000-$20,000. Sign up for updates at https://www.ed.gov/subscriptions.

Fresh Start for Defaulted Borrowers

Borrowers with federal student loans in default will be able to reenter current repayment status and have other federal student aid benefits and protections restored that will increase their long-term repayment success. On April 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced it would eliminate the negative effects of default for borrowers with defaulted federal student loans. This will enable approximately 7.5 million borrowers with defaulted federal student loans to return to repayment without any past due balance, just like every other borrower.

Loans Eligible for Fresh Start:

  • Defaulted William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans
  • Defaulted Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans (both ED-held and commercial held)
  • Defaulted ED-held Perkins Loans

Commercial-held FFEL Program loans that defaulted after March 13, 2020, through the duration of the payment pause, will be returned to current standing through ED’s action to expand COVID-19 flexibilities. Because these loans will be returned to current standing, they are not eligible for Fresh Start benefits.

Loans Not Eligible for Fresh Start:

  • Defaulted school-held Perkins Loans
  • Defaulted Health Education Assistance Loan Program loans
  • Student loans remaining with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Direct Loans and commercial-held FFEL Program loans that default after the end of the pause on student loan payments and collections

For more information: https://fsapartners.ed.gov/sites/default/files/2022-08/FreshStartFactSheet.pdf

Proposed IDR Reform:

In addition to the 5% discretionary IDR cap for undergraduate loans, the rule would also increase the amount of income that is considered “non-discretionary income” so no borrower earning below 225% of the federal poverty level will have to make a monthly payment. AND

  • For borrowers with loan balances of $12,000 or less, loan balances wouldbe forgiven after 10 years of payments instead of the current 20-year mark, under the proposed new income-driven repayment plan.
  • To help prevent a borrower’s loan balance from growing while the individualmakes monthly payments, under the proposed rule the Biden administration would cover unpaid monthly interest, even if the monthly payment is $0 due to the borrower’s income level.

Pending Long Term Student Loan Actions:

  • ED is taking steps to reduce the cost of college for students and their families and hold colleges accountable for raising costs, especially when failing to deliver good outcomes to students.
  • The Department has already re-established the enforcement unit in the Office of Federal Student Aid and recently withdrew authorization for the accreditor that oversaw schools responsible for some of the worst for-profit scandals.
  • Proposals include publishing an annual watch list of the programs with the worst debt levels in the country and requesting institutional improvement plans from colleges with the most concerning debt outcomes that outline how the college intends to bring down debt levels.
  • The Biden-Harris Administration is also trying to reduce the cost of higher education by working to make community college free and doubling the maximum size of the Pell Grant.

Assessment

  • Are you considering refinancing your mortgage?
  • Have you thought about consolidating debt into a home loan?
  • Are you worried about making next month’s mortgage or HOA payment?
  • Do you think that your house payment could be more affordable?
  • Are you behind on your mortgage or HOA payment?
  • Are you paying your mortgage later in the month than usual?
  • Does your home need energy efficiency upgrades or repairs?
  • Are you a homeowner over age 62 and having financial worries?
  • Have you considered a reverse mortgage?


If any of these apply to you, we would love to talk to you more about options and resources available to you.


During hard times, paying for your mortgage can be challenging and stressful. We can help you make a plan to get back on track.

How we can help:

  • Develop a realistic spending plan to help you decide next steps
  • Become knowledgeable and confident in making choices to avoid foreclosure
  • Understand options available with your mortgage company
  • Get tools to work effectively with your lender

If you are considering refinancing or taking out an additional or different mortgage there are a lot of considerations. What to feel more confident about your decision? We can help you:

  • Develop a spending plan to decide on next steps
  • Review loan documents as an objective professional
  • Discuss advantages, disadvantages and alternatives

Questions?

Email: personalfinance@bouldercounty.org
Phone: 720-564-2279

Schedule AppointmentSolicite una cita

Helpful Resources:

If you’re a homeowner over age 62, a reverse mortgage can allow you to access some of the equity in your home while you continue to live in the home without monthly mortgage payments. We currently offer this service to Boulder County residents only.

We can help you to:

  • Understand what a reverse mortgage is and how it may impact your unique circumstances
  • Know the costs and advantages and disadvantages of using a reverse mortgage
  • Understand alternatives
  • Receive the counseling certificate required to apply for this loan.

Questions?

Email: personalfinance@bouldercounty.org
Phone:720-564-2279

Schedule AppointmentSolicite una cita

Purchasing a home can be an exciting and complicated opportunity. We can help you make informed choices and better understand the process to become a homeowner.

We offer two options. You can take advantage of one or both of these resources.

OPTION 1: Homeownership Class

(CHFA Approved)
You can attend our Homeownership class to learn about the homeownership process. This class gives you a great knowledge base. Topics include:

  • Determine how much home you can afford
  • Gain perspective on the upfront and ongoing costs of being a homeowner
  • Identify how your credit impacts your buying power
  • Become confident in figuring out mortgage loan options and documents
  • Increase your skill and knowledge for working with a realtor
  • Boost your understanding of home inspections


OPTION 2: Individual Homeownership Counseling

(Does not meet CHFA requirement)

We also offer individual counseling on the topic of home purchase to discuss your unique circumstance.

During your appointment, we will work with you to:

  • Address your individualized situation and create a plan for your path to homeownership
  • Determine a mortgage amount you can afford
  • Create a spending plan that supports homeownership
  • Become knowledgeable and confident in navigating the home buying process
  • Review and improve your credit to qualify for the best loan possible
  • Establish connections with local affordable housing resources that support your path to homeownership

Questions?

Email: personalfinance@bouldercounty.org
Phone: 720-564-2279

Schedule AppointmentSolicite una cita
  • Do you feel that your student loan payments could be more affordable?
  • Have you considered consolidating your student loans?
  • Are you unsure of what kind of student loans you have and how much you owe?
  • Are your student loans in deferment or forbearance?
  • Are you not taking advantage of income-based repayment plans?
  • Have you received offers of plans to consolidate your loans?
  • Do you want to explore loan forgiveness options like public service loan forgiveness or teacher loan forgiveness?


If any of these apply to you, we would love to talk to you more about options and resources available to you.


There is 1.2 trillion dollars’ worth of outstanding Federal student loan debt in the U.S.

  • Many repayment plans exist and continue to be developed to help borrowers. There are also a lot of debt relief offers that can bump you off track.*
  • Our counselors are trained to help you navigate the repayment options and process.

We will partner with you to:

  • Figure out what kinds of loans you have
  • Approximate potential repayment plans and amounts
  • Navigate methods to get out of default
  • Help determine if loan consolidation is a good option for your situation
  • Inform on existing government loan forgiveness and deferment programs
  • Discuss how student loans impact your credit
  • Examine how student loans affect buying a home


*American Student Assistance. (2013). Many consolidation and repayment plan offers are solicited to borrowers. Many of these plans consolidate federal student loan debt into private debt. By refinancing into private loans you may lose some important and helpful forbearance, deferment, and loan forgiveness options.

Questions?

Email: personalfinance@bouldercounty.org
Phone: 720-564-2279

Schedule AppointmentSolicite una cita

Helpful Resources:

  • The best source for up to date student loan information is StudentAid.gov.

Assessments:

Are you Financially Fit?
How much do you know about credit?


Financial well-being is the ability to live your life with low stress around your money. Each person’s financial reality is unique and we can help you to create your individual path to well-being.

We will partner with you to:

  • Establish financial goals that are meaningful and attainable
  • Develop a realistic and workable spending plan
  • Define savings goals and strategies
  • Review and improve your credit
  • Create a focused payment plan to get out of debt
  • Develop sustainable financial knowledge, empowerment and confidence

Questions?

Email: personalfinance@bouldercounty.org
Phone: 720-564-2279

Schedule AppointmentSolicite una cita

Contact Us

Housing & Human Services

Phone: 303-441-1000
TTY: 1-800-659-3656
Fax: 303-441-1523
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Mailing Address
P.O. Box 471
Boulder, CO 80306

Boulder Location

3460 Broadway
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Fax: 720-564-2283
Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM - Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Longmont Location

515 Coffman Street
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Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM - M-F

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