From time to time, another fee-only advisor writes a post for my blog. This is from Warren Ward of WWA Planning & Investments. I hope you enjoy a new perspective!
Josiah Wedgewood founded his eponymous china company in 1759. He used a range of clever marketing strategies to promote his china across the Western world and among them was today’s title, a selling technique still in common use. These days, such a guarantee is almost assumed as retailers struggle to defend market share. As soon as one Continue reading “And, It Comes With a Money Back Guarantee”
My apologies if this is a little down-to-the-wire. Then again, you might do better waiting until the last minute to negotiate an aid award. If you’re planning to do so, here are a few things you need to know.
The first step is to determine what type of aid is being offered, need or merit (or a Continue reading Negotiating an Aid Award
If you have not yet filed the FAFSA for the coming school year, you may be stuck entering your income data manually. The IRS last week said they do not expect the Data Retrieval Tool to be available until the next FAFSA cycle begins in October, due to security concerns. Continue reading Update on IRS Data Retrieval Tool
Here is an article I wrote for another advisor explaining how grandparents might be most effective in helping to pay their grandchildren’s college expenses. Should you be among those fortunate enough to have relatives willing to help, you might want to take a look.
Sallie Mae’s annual How America Pays for College report has some good news: In the 2015-2016 school year, the average amount families spent on college went down slightly, to $23,688. The biggest decline came on spending for 2-year colleges; families with students in 4-year schools reported spending about the same as in the previous year. In Continue reading How America Pays for College
The Education Department has reversed an Obama administration rule that limited fees that guaranty companies could charge distressed borrowers. The new rule allows guaranty companies to charge borrowers 16% of their loan balance, even if they agree within 60 days to make good on their debt. This article on Bloomberg details the rule change and its impacts. You can read the Education Department memorandum on the change here. Guaranty agencies are state or private agencies that administer the federal student loan program. In addition to insuring lenders against default and paying them off when loans default, they also play a collections role with debtors.
On Wednesday the Fed raised short-term interest rates by 0.25%, with additional rate hikes expected over the course of the year. What does this mean for student loans? Several things.
First, federal student loans have fixed interest rates; those rates are fixed at the time of Continue reading Rising Interest Rates and Student Loans
If you tried to fill out the FAFSA this month, chances are it wasn’t easy. That’s because the IRS Data Retrieval Tool has been disabled. The IRS and Department of Education said in a joint statement last week that it will be several weeks until the tool is back online. Continue reading FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool
Since taxes seem to be top-of-mind for everyone, here’s a quick tip for bringing your income down on the FAFSA or CSS PROFILE: Don’t get a state tax refund. If you do, you have to report it as income. Check with your tax preparer to determine the right amount of state withholding that avoids both a refund and a penalty for underpayment. If you use tax software like TurboTax, it can calculate correct state withholding as well.
Do you need to report 1099 q income on your tax return? As long as none of the distribution is taxable (i.e., you have qualifying expenses to offset it), NO, you do not have to report it.
However, you should keep records of your qualified expenses. That’s especially true if the Continue reading Tax Time Reporting: 1099 Q