“And, It Comes With a Money Back Guarantee”

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”

Negotiating an Aid Award

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

How America Pays for College

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

Fee Increase for Struggling Student Loan Borrowers

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.

Tax Season Tip: Income

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.