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ever used to market MTA
Editor: Elizabeth A. Bejoian
The MTA Advantage is published three times a year as
a supplement to MTA Today by MTA Benefits, Inc.
utstanding student loan balances in the United States climbed to $1.2
trillion by the end of 2016. Student loans have surpassed credit cards
and auto loans to become the second-largest form of debt in the
country — outdone only by mortgages. Twenty years ago, roughly half of all
graduating students left college with about $10,000 each in debt. Now, that
figure has tripled and exceeds $35,000. To pay off a debt that size through a
10-year standard repayment plan, graduates would have to make payments of
approximately $351 a month.
For teachers and other public servants, however, there are many opportunities
available to repay student loans.
Teacher loan forgiveness
You may be eligible for forgiveness of as much as $17,500 of your subsidized
or unsubsidized Direct or Federal Family Education Loan Program loans.
In order to be eligible:
• You must have qualifying loans: Direct or FFEL Program loans.*
• You must not have had an outstanding balance on Direct Loans or FFEL
Program loans as of Oct. 1, 1998, or on the date you obtained a Direct Loan
or FFEL Program loan after Oct. 1, 1998.
• You must be a full-time teacher in a low-income elementary or secondary
school for five years OR be a full-time worker in an educational service
agency for five years.
*Please note that PLUS loans are not eligible for this option.
Public service loan forgiveness
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program encourages individuals to seek
employment with government and nonprofit organizations by offering loan
forgiveness after borrowers have made 120 qualifying monthly payments
under an eligible repayment plan while working full time. These 120 payments
do not need to be consecutive. Let’s break this down:
• Qualifying loans — Any loans received under the William D. Ford Federal
Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program.
• Loans received under the FFEL Program or the Federal Perkins Loan
Program do not qualify for public service loan forgiveness, but they could
become eligible if they are consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan.*
• Government employment could be at any level: federal, state, local or tribal.
• A nonprofit organization is one that is tax exempt under Section 501(c)( 3)
of the Internal Revenue Code.
• Qualifying payments are those made after Oct. 1, 2007, under an eligible
repayment plan for the full amount due on the bill and no later than
15 days after your due date.
• Full-time work could be the employer’s definition of full time or at least
30 hours a week, whichever is greater.
*Please note that consolidation will restart the 120-payment clock, so consult with a
counselor before considering that option!
MTA Benefits has partnered with the Financial Counseling Association of
America to provide an online portal for members. Using the portal, you
can receive an in-depth report on the programs you are eligible for with
instructions on how to pursue them. With the report in hand, you may speak
to a certified credit counselor who will help you review your options and
answer your questions. Visit mtabenefits.com/student-loan-counseling.htm
today to get started!
Life insurance is expensive. Many people overestimate the cost of life insurance. When you’re
researching what kind of policy to purchase, think about why you need the coverage and what the money
would replace. Depending on your answers, a lower-cost plan that carries minimal coverage might be ideal
for you. Compare quotes to ensure that you’re getting the best deal. Keep in mind that the buying power
of large groups such as the National Education Association can help make coverage more affordable.
I’m healthy. I don’t need life insurance. The best time to buy life insurance is when you are young and
healthy. Premiums only increase as you age and have more health problems. Even if you are healthy today,
you don’t know when the unexpected, such as a car crash, could happen.
Keep in mind that all insurance is not alike. A financially sound company will more likely be there to pay
claims when needed. Visit www.mtabenefits.com for more information.
Six myths about life insurance Continued from page 1
* Source: http://www.limra.com/uploadedFiles/limra.com/
Sheet.pdf, LIMRA website, 2015.
Life Insurance coverage is issued by The Prudential Insurance
Company of America, Newark, N.J. 0286516-00001-00