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Sunday, July 14, 2024

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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Expert offers tips for smart student-loan repayment

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Wednesday, July 10, 2024   

Mississippians who have just graduated from college this summer may be celebrating now but they also just joined the millions of Americans facing student loan repayment, as their six-month grace period ends soon.

Mississippi residents share $16.2 billion in student loan debt.

Brian Walsh, head of advice and planning at SoFi, a personal finance company, recommended proactive budgeting and emphasized the importance of treating the loan payment as a non-negotiable expense.

"Build your budget as if you have that payment -- maybe you make payments when you don't have to, maybe you throw it in a checking savings account -- whatever it may be, build that budget accordingly," Walsh advised. "Then, figure out the best approach for you when it comes to paying back your student loans."

According to the website EducationData.org, just over 15.% of state residents, or about 447,000 people, have student loan debt, with an average of more than $36,000.

Walsh noted Mississippi college students who struggle with loan payments have multiple options for reducing costs, including processes like consolidation and refinancing.

"Consolidation is through the federal government, where essentially you would be combining however many federal student loans you have, and it makes one payment, makes things easier," Walsh explained. "You can adjust the repayment terms so you can lower your payment but your interest rate isn't going to change."

The Saving on a Valuable Education program, which is an income-driven repayment plan for federal student aid, remains in effect, as approved by the courts. Students can still sign up for the program, choose other income-driven repayment options, or consolidate their loans, according to the government website StudentAid.gov.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.


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