Student Loan Forgiveness News & Information

California vs. Navient, A Battle Of Giants In Court

California vs. Navient, A Battle Of Giants In Court

Sometimes it can feel like larger scale corporations are safe from repercussions, should they step outside of their legal boundaries. Fighting one large entity in court may seem only possible if another large entity was to take up the gauntlet. For borrowers who may heavily relate to that way of thinking, a recent turn of events with a certain loan servicer may have them feeling better about the situation in the long term. Navient, formerly known as Sallie Mae, is currently being sued by the state of California. What is being argued is that Navient has chosen to pursue its own interests above that of the client’s well being, in cases of failing to steer clients towards repayment options that better suit the client, which may lead into higher repayment than may realistically be affordable for the borrower. It’s pretty easy for most people to see that student loan debt has gotten out of hand. Some fault lies with borrowers, yes. But California is arguing that some of the problem lies with servicers, Navient in particular in this case. As the fifth largest economy in the world, California has the power to argue that sort of thing. For borrowers who have gripes with loan servicers such as Navient, this may come as a sign of potentially more positive things to come. It may open up the door for further actions in dealing with burdensome student loans. California is the fourth state to have sued Navient over issues like this, but only time will tell how the courts will handle such a... read more

Our Response to the Recent FTC Allegations

AFBC strongly denies the allegations in the FTC’s Complaint. The companies provide valuable services to consumers, and have successfully assisted well over 10,000 consumers enroll into federal student loan forgiveness programs. The Company is proud to have served, and continue to serve those consumers. AFBC has been trying to seek guidance from, and work with the FTC, for nearly a year and a half without success. In fact, AFBC and related Companies filed its own lawsuit against the FTC ten months ago in-which the FTC had refused to defend, that remains open in the Northern District of California. We disagree fervently with the unfounded allegations in the FTC’s complaint, and look forward to vindication in court. And, as always, we remain dedicated to transparency with our customers to ensure they receive the best service possible. If you would like to speak with us, call... read more
Parents Can Get Help For The Student Loans They Took Out For Their Kids

Parents Can Get Help For The Student Loans They Took Out For Their Kids

Good parents want what is best for their kids, but the best things are not always clear cut on what they actually are and have a tendency towards being expensive. In the case of furthering a child’s education beyond high school, it can get expensive very fast. Shoring up money when kids are younger can help get a head start on affording college, but it’s not an option for everyone or the money saved may not cover all necessary expenses. If it comes down to taking out a student loan to make college a reality for a child, it then figuring out who is going to take out that loan. Some parents will have their child take out their loans as part of their journey into adulthood, while others will take out the loans for their children. Sometimes the parents have promised their kids that they would pay for college. Prices for college, or anything really, can go up exponentially in eighteen years. Paired up with having more than one child, affording college even with student loans can be daunting. Once loans are taken out, at six months after the grace period comes repayment. Ideally, an established parent would not have too hard of a time paying the loan back. But ideals rarely work out in reality, and a parent now may be facing financial struggles that have the potential to follow them later into life, and could delay things like retirement. There are programs to help borrowers get potentially smaller monthly payments, based on their income. It can be important to parents that college be one less thing... read more
Troubles With Social Media And Missing Tile Syndrome

Troubles With Social Media And Missing Tile Syndrome

With social media being such a big constant in many people’s lives today, it can be a huge factor in how individuals view the world. It allows people to share ideas big or small, and do one of their favorite things easily: show off. But for people who feel like they may not have a whole lot worth showing, social media may be something related to depression. Now, there is a correlation in most cases, not causation, because people can be finding solace in social media when they already have depression, but for people struggling in life it may seem just a firm reminder that people around them are all leading better lives. Ultimately, feeling like everyone around you is leading a better life is something most people go through. It can feel like social media is just rubbing it in more frequently. For some people, it can be related to something called Missing Tile Syndrome, where even if everything else is perfect but one or two missing tiles, the focus is cast on the missing pieces. Someone may have a good job, a comfortable place to live, healthy connections with peers and family, but be focused on the lack of a partner or missing out on a long wished for vacation. It’s human nature to keep wanting what we feel is missing because that is what gives us drive to keep going so as to have a chance at whatever it is. But when it seems like others aren’t experiencing have-not thoughts, it may create this feeling of isolation alongside the missing tile syndrome. Sometimes limiting social media... read more
Catching the Next Wave: Student Loan Debt and the 2018 Elections

Catching the Next Wave: Student Loan Debt and the 2018 Elections

Catching the wave For the last three midterm election cycles, political waves have crested and crashed. In 2006, while President George Bush was in office, the waves were as blue as the ocean. In 2010 and 2014, the waves were crimson red.   What will happen in 2018? Of course, no one can say for sure, but if there is a blue wave, it will be driven by many concerns, including immigration, women’s reproductive rights, and significant for millions of Americans, student loan debt. Many of the youngest voters are either in college accumulating debt or recently out of school, weighed down by student loan debt. Older millennials are delaying buying houses, having children, and getting married because of student loan debt. And many of their parents and grandparents are either watching their kids struggle, caught up in trying to help them, or have taken on student loan debt themselves,  hoping to change careers later in life. Why does this matter? Riding the wave Waves are often driven by anger. People from the party out of power wave a finger at those recently elected. Many believe that the red wave that transformed Congress in 2010 was mainly propelled by fury over government expansion and spending. Now the tide seems to be turning again. At least part of the Democratic swell is over lack of disposable income. Housing costs and student loan debt, currently around $1.5 trillion, continue to outpace income and many people feel like they are barely treading water. Making waves A brief look at any recent news cycle will have reports of fired up Democratic candidates speaking... read more
AFBC Reminder: Student Loan Repayment is Solely On Borrower

AFBC Reminder: Student Loan Repayment is Solely On Borrower

When it comes to repaying federal loans, who is responsible? The borrower who signed the promissory note. While there might be a village of people assisting in the application for loans and in the repayment process, the borrower is the only one responsible for making payments. American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), a document preparation company that assists in applying for and maintaining enrollment in repayment plans, reminds clients that even when receiving assistance, borrowers are always in charge of loan payments. “At AFBC, we provide customized assistance to student loan borrowers when it comes to enrollment in repayment plans offered by the Department of Education,” said Brandon Frere, CEO of AFBC. “Depending on circumstances, we even get borrowers on track towards forgiveness. But our clients maintain their access to their loan accounts, and only they can make payments on their loans.” The income-driven repayment plans that AFBC specializes in assisting borrowers apply for  can potentially reduce a borrower’s monthly payment, since the plans require payments based on income and family size. Once in a plan, however, borrowers are the only ones responsible for making all monthly payments to their servicer. When it comes to students and their parents, there may be confusion about who is responsible for paying back federal student loans. Even if parents helped fill out financial aid forms, if the student signed the promissory note and the loans bear the student’s name, only the student is responsible. Similarly, parents can take out federal loans in their own names to finance their child’s education. These are Parent PLUS loans and the parent who signed the promissory note... read more
American Financial Benefits Center Cautions Federal Student Loan Borrowers About Refinancing

American Financial Benefits Center Cautions Federal Student Loan Borrowers About Refinancing

What happens when federal student loan borrowers refinance? Refinancing might be right for certain borrowers, but refinancing federal loans means losing out on certain borrower protections, including the opportunity for forgiveness. American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), a private document preparation company that specializes in applying for repayment plans, cautions federal borrowers when it comes to refinancing. “The things that are lost when a federal borrower refinances can be important,” said Brandon Frere, CEO of AFBC. “One of the biggest is forgiveness. Many people appreciate income-driven repayment plans because they know forgiveness is always an option at the end of the life of the loan.” Refinancing—which means a new loan pays off an existing loan or loans—is possible only in the private sector. This means a borrower must take out a private loan to replace the federal loan, so any protections that are exclusive to federal loans evaporate upon refinancing. These include, but are not limited to: Possibilities for forgiveness: Student loan forgiveness can come in many forms for federal student loan borrowers. One of them is forgiveness after a 20- to 25-year period if the borrower is in an income-driven repayment plan (IDR); another is Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) after at least 10 years of employment with a qualifying employer. There are various other federal programs that offer loan forgiveness. Opportunities to get out of default: There are a couple of ways for federal loan borrowers to get out of default that don’t involve immediately paying off the entire balance of the loan: rehabilitation and consolidation. Options for defaulted borrowers of private loans may be more limited and... read more
American Financial Benefits Center on When Side Hustles Aren’t an Option

American Financial Benefits Center on When Side Hustles Aren’t an Option

Student loan debt can cause individuals a lot of stress, which can have an adverse effect on their lives. Much of the advice on how to deal with student debt tells borrowers the best way to knock it out as quickly as possible. There are two ways to do that: decrease expenses or increase income, both with the goal of putting more money toward that debt. When decreasing expenses either isn’t an option or isn’t enough, many turn to side hustles. But what if a side hustle is not an option either? American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), a document preparation company focusing on applying for federal student loan repayment plans, reminds borrowers that there’s another way to deal with their student debt. “Life can be busy, and there’s only so much you can pack into a day,” said Brandon Frere, CEO of AFBC. “Everyone’s lives are different, with priorities competing for a limited amount of time. For side hustles to be effective, they need to be consistent, and that’s just not possible for everyone.” Side hustles often take a lot of time, and they require a specific perspective on work in order to be successful. To accommodate the additional work a side hustle entails, people often decline social invitations and work long hours — outside normal full-time hours and on weekends. However, not everyone can spend their time working like that. Some people may have other obligations, like volunteer work and other community involvement. They might have a family and need to look after kids or other relatives. They might have health issues that prevent them from working the... read more
American Financial Benefits Center Reminds Student Loan Borrowers: Check Out Income-Driven Repayment Plans

American Financial Benefits Center Reminds Student Loan Borrowers: Check Out Income-Driven Repayment Plans

The student debt landscape is filled with competing explanations about why debt levels are so high. To cover increasing tuition costs, students must borrow more and more money. But some say the abundance of federal loans is actually the culprit behind rising tuition, not the solution to it. Meanwhile, others wonder if rising student debt is even a crisis at all. While experts continue to analyze the situation and work on improving it for future borrowers, current borrowers who are struggling with student debt may need some help managing it. American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), a private document preparation company specializing in document preparation for federal student loan repayment programs, reminds borrowers that income-driven repayment plans offered by the Department of Education may lower monthly payments. Thanks to all the reports on student debt being published lately, it’s easy to outline what the modern student loan borrower looks like and who is struggling the most. While graduate students accumulate more debt than undergraduates, borrowers with less debt who did not complete a degree program default at a higher rate. Furthermore, debt levels may not be the most crucial factor when predicting default rates; instead, individual circumstances, like the school attended or family financial situation, can be more telling. “Every borrower has a unique financial situation that may benefit from federal income-driven repayment programs,” said Sara Molina, Manager at AFBC. “At AFBC, we’ve seen the impact those programs can have on individuals’ monthly budgets and encourage any federal student loan borrower struggling with payments to look into them.” All student loan borrowers begin repayment in the Standard repayment plan unless... read more
A Long Student Loan Repayment Period Can Still Mean Success, says AFBC

A Long Student Loan Repayment Period Can Still Mean Success, says AFBC

You might have seen the popular student loan stories where the headlines read: “This 30-Year-Old Couple Repaid $120,000 Of Student Loans In 3 Years” and “How this 28-year-old accountant paid off his $73K student loan debt in less than 4 years.” Those can be inspiring stories for people who can emulate them. But for many people, it’s not possible to copy them. And for some student loan borrowers, focusing solely on paying off their loans is not financially smart, either. American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), a document preparation company that assists people in applying for and maintaining enrollment in federal repayment plans, wants to let their clients know that taking a longer time to pay off student loans or achieve loan forgiveness is nothing to be ashamed of. “Some people may be able to pay off their loans quickly, but that’s really not the case for everybody,” said Sara Molina, Manager at AFBC. “Our clients find a lot of relief in staying in repayment plans that we help them enroll in, even if those make their student loan repayment longer. And there’s nothing wrong with that.” Taking a longer time to pay off loans is not indicative of failure; instead, it just means the education was expensive. Consider former President Barack Obama. In 2012, the President revealed that he and then-First Lady Michelle Obama had only paid off their student loans eight years prior. Both the former President and First Lady could attribute their success in part to their education, first as undergraduates at Ivy League schools and then as Harvard Law students, which was made possible by their... read more

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AFBC Client Testimonials

She makes me feel extremely comfortable and welcome to call her anytime I have any question or concern regarding my loan forgiveness process. I am so thankful I was referred to Christine by my husband’s boss thank you for all your hard work! You are …

Katelynne J., Palm Coast, FL