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Student debt relief with Heather Jarvis

Do you have student loans? Are you thinking about borrowing money for grad school?

These episodes of the Idealist Grad Schools podcast takes a closer look at two student debt relief programs established by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

  • Part Two focuses on Income-Based Repayment, a crucial component of PSLF that is available now and that allows you to make even $0 payments to your loans, if that's all you can afford. Any qualifying federal student loan holders can access income-based repayment now, even AmeriCorps members and Peace Corps Volunteers who usually don't pay loans during service.

But the program requirements can be confusing.

Idealist's Amy Potthast chats with Heather Jarvis of about a step-by-step approach to understanding both programs.

A former capital defense attorney saddled with $125K of law school debt, Heather Jarvis now dedicates her expertise to helping student loan borrowers make better decisions so that higher education can be a reality for all - not just those who can afford it. She has contributed to student debt relief policy for the House Education Committee and others in Congress, and spent more than six years advocating for public service loan forgiveness, which allows more recent graduates to dedicate their careers to the greater good. Just as we were editing this show, President Obama announced changes to the way current and future students can repay student loans. Learn more on Heather's site. Heather's favorite resources for more information — mentioned on the podcast:

  • Student Loan Borrower Information about repayment options, avoiding and getting out of default, and dealing with collections agencies.
  • Project on Student Debt State-by-state data, research, and policy analysis.
  • Clear information about Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Check out the groovy animated student debt monster!
  • FinAid! The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid An online resource for comprehensive information about all aspects of financial aid.
  • GL Advisor A financial advisory firm designed to help students and young professionals manage their student loan debt. Heather recommends their Free Personalized Student Loan Assessment.

Learn more about financing grad school in the Idealist Grad School Resource Center. Finally, meet schools that will help you make a difference with your career at the Idealist Grad Fairs taking place across the South in early November 2011.