Entries in Students Loans (2)


University Promises to Reimburse Loans for Struggling Grads

Jupiter Images/Comstock Images(SPRING ARBOR, Mich.) -- A private, Christian university in Michigan has announced that it will help students pay back their student loans after they graduate if their income does not meet specific benchmarks.

Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Mich., announced Tuesday that all incoming fall freshmen in 2013 would be automatically enrolled in its Loan Repayment Assistance Program, made available through the Loan Repayment Assistance Foundation.

“We are providing a safety net for them,” said Matthew Osborne, vice president for enrollment management at the university, which was founded in 1873.

Students who are U.S. citizens or parents who are struggling to pay educational loans will be reimbursed for their loan payments, depending on their income, by the foundation. The students in the program must work 30 hours a week, which they’ll have to prove through pay stubs. The students can stay in the program until their loans have been repaid.

The foundation said that lower- and upper-income thresholds are $20,000 and $37,000, respectively, which will factor into how much assistance will be made available to the students.

“Spring Arbor University realizes that the education debt load is a real issue students are facing,” said Malachi Crane, assistant vice president for communications. ”It’s becoming a greater issue every year. We wanted to be as proactive as possible to address the needs of students and parents to come.”

This year, tuition is more than $22,000. Next year, it will increase to more than $23,000.

“The beauty of the program structuring is that it’s like a reverse scholarship,” Crane said. “For a scholarship, you know how much you will receive in four years.  This relief shows what happens afterward.”

The liberal arts university, which has more than 4,000 enrolled students, said the feedback for the program had been positive, except for a few grumblings from some current students and alumni who are not eligible for the program.

“The institution is in a position moving forward to make this commitment, but to try to address alumni from the past is not what we were able to do,” Osborne said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Man Pays Off $114K Student Loan Debt in Cash

Alex Kenjeev(LONDON) -- When Toronto resident Alex Kenjeev realized he was finally in a position to pay off more than $114,000 in student loans, he wanted to make it memorable. He did so by paying his debt all at once—in cash.

His feat went viral when he posted a photo of the receipt for $114,460 (US $111,350) on his Facebook page.

"I thought it would be funny, mind you, not for the world, just for me," he told ABC News. "I didn't expect it to go viral at all."

Kenjeev is the president of O'Leary Ventures, a company that invests in and supports start-ups. The company is owned by Kevin O'Leary, an entrepreneur who appears on ABC's Shark Tank. On the show, business hopefuls pitch their ideas to a panel of successful entrepreneurs, or "sharks," who decide if they will invest in them.

The debt was for Kenjeev's undergraduate degree from McGill University along with debts from law school and an MBA from the University of Toronto.

After finishing school, Kenjeev said he wasn't paying his debt "aggressively." Instead, he was putting most of his money into a software start-up. When he recently sold the "very profitable" start-up, he had enough money to pay the loan in one fell swoop.

He went to his local Royal Bank of Canada and asked to withdraw $114,460. The bank that held the loans was different than where he keeps his money.

"Their initial reaction was they didn't want to do it," he said. "Then they said, 'We can't give you this much.' And I said, 'What do you mean? I deposit my money here with the expectation that I can take it out. Is this not what banks have been doing for hundreds of years?'"

The bank told Kenjeev he would have to pay the transport fees to have the money delivered by armored truck. He asked them to make sure of that and went home.

The next day, he received an email from the bank saying that they could give him the money. He went back and they took him into a small window-less back room where they counted out the money.

"I put it into a grocery bag and walked a couple blocks to the other bank," he said. "I tried to play it cool."

He told the Scotiabank branch that he wanted to make a deposit in the account with a balance of negative $114,460.

When the teller asked how much he wanted to deposit, he said, "'Oh, the same amount that you see there. Here you go.' And I sort of plopped it down on the counter. She didn't want to accept it initially."

After more than an hour, the bank accepted the money and Kenjeev sauntered out debt-free.

"When I walked out of the bank, I was feeling pretty happy," he said. "I spontaneously snapped a photo of the receipt and posted it to my Facebook wall."

People on Facebook began commenting on the image, some congratulating him and others criticizing him for bragging. Someone put the photo on Reddit and it garnered thousands of comments, many of which were critical. Kenjeev said he had no intention of rubbing anything into people's faces.

"I really wasn't thinking about that, to be fair," he said. "It was a milestone moment in your life, when you become debt-free, and not everyone had a receipt, but I did because of the way I did it."

Kenjeev has been keeping busy preparing for O'Leary Ventures to launch their own wine and mortgage companies later this year, but has also been enjoying life as a debt-free man.

"It feels good," he said. "It feels like a weight has been lifted."

In the U.S., some $1 trillion in student loan debt is outstanding.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio