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You’re Delinquent On Your Student Loan, Now What?

Career

Millions of Americans need financial help to make the American dream become a reality. Thus, Americans are bogged down by student loan debt more than ever. Attaining student loans are always presented as the obvious option to choose when eager college-goers need money to finance school.


Of course, student loan borrowers have every intention to repay their loans when they graduate and land a job, but unforeseen circumstances may get in the way. So you missed a payment; and this means you’re now considered delinquent. As soon as you missed a payment, your student loan status changes from current to “delinquent.” With federal student loans, you have up to 9 months before you go into default and it gets reported to the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). You don’t want to go into default as once this happens your entire student loan balance will become due! If you have private loans, you need to act quickly. When you miss a payment on a private loan, most of the time those get reported 30, 60 or 90 days past due. The timeline of how a missed student loan payment gets reported will vary from lender to lender. In either case, don’t let your delinquency ride out as it could potentially remain on your credit report for up to 7 years, affecting your financial future in a negative way.

Here is a list of steps to help you recover after you’ve become delinquent on your student loan.

Make Your Payment

The easiest way to get out of delinquency is to make your missed payment as soon as you can. As soon as you make your payment your status will switch from delinquency to current. Of course, there is a reason you missed your payment. If you missed it because you didn’t have enough money to make the minimum payment, you might want to consider creating a budget or if you already have one, take time to re-work it.

If you missed your payment because it simply slipped your mind, do your best to pay off your outstanding monthly payment as soon as possible. If your financial situation allows, you may want to consider making more than the minimum payment. This will help you get back on track with your student loans, and your payment will go towards the interest and principal payment.

If you missed your payment because it simply slipped your mind, do your best to pay off your outstanding monthly payment as soon as possible. If your financial situation allows, you may want to consider making more than the minimum payment

Call Your Lender

Once you are delinquent on a student or personal loan, your lender will try to get in touch with you typically within the first fifteen days of a missed payments. If they try to contact you, use this to your advantage! If they haven’t called you yet, make the first move and contact them. You want to be on good terms with your lender. Explain to them the situation, and listen to what they recommend so you don’t become a repeat offender of missing payments.

You should consider talking to your lender to see if there is a better way for you to repay your student loans. For example, an income-sensitive repayment plan is based on your total gross monthly income, which can help to ensure that you make your monthly payments. If you aren’t in too deep with your delinquency, then you may be able to qualify for deferment or forbearance. These two options will allow you to completely stop making payments for a period of time; however, with forbearance, your interest will still accrue. Additionally, when you speak with your lender, ask them if your delinquency has caused any late charges or fees on your account. If fees did accrue, you may want to cut back on some of your non-essential expenses to help pay this down.

Prevent Missing another Payment

You may want to consider signing up for automated payments to ensure you stay on track with your loans going forward. Depending on the lender, if you choose this option, you might also qualify for a lower interest rate. If you do decide upon automatic payments, be sure to check that you have enough funds in your account each month to make the payment. Consider setting a reminder on your phone to help make timely payments. If you don’t want to make automatic payments, consider changing the due date of your payment to one that lines up better with your payday.

Don’t get too worked up, becoming delinquent on your student loan isn’t always the worst case scenario. There are ways you can recover if you take action quickly and don’t procrastinate when it comes to missing a payment. It’s essential to avoid defaulting on your loans which generally happens after 270 days of consecutive missed payments. Consider speaking with your lender or loan servicer and figure out the best way to make your loans current and your payments more manageable.

7min read
Culture

The Middle East And North Africa Are Brimming With Untapped Female Potential

Women of the Middle East have made significant strides in the past decade in a number of sectors, but huge gaps remain within the labor market, especially in leadership roles.


A huge number of institutions have researched and quantified trends of and obstacles to the full utilization of females in the marketplace. Gabriela Ramos, is the Chief-of-Staff to The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an alliance of thirty-six governments seeking to improve economic growth and world trade. The OECD reports that increasing participation in the women's labor force could easily result in a $12 trillion jump in the global GDP by the year 2025.

To realize the possibilities, attention needs to be directed toward the most significantly underutilized resource: the women of MENA—the Middle East and North African countries. Educating the men of MENA on the importance of women working and holding leadership roles will improve the economies of those nations and lead to both national and global rewards, such as dissolving cultural stereotypes.

The OECD reports that increasing participation in the women's labor force could easily result in a $12 trillion jump in the global GDP by the year 2025.

In order to put this issue in perspective, the MENA region has the second highest unemployment rate in the world. According to the World Bank, more women than men go to universities, but for many in this region the journey ends with a degree. After graduating, women tend to stay at home due to social and cultural pressures. In 2017, the OECD estimated that unemployment among women is costing some $575 billion annually.

Forbes and Arabian Business have each published lists of the 100 most powerful Arab businesswomen, yet most female entrepreneurs in the Middle East run family businesses. When it comes to managerial positions, the MENA region ranks last with only 13 percent women among the total number of CEOs according to the Swiss-based International Labor Organization (ILO.org publication "Women Business Management – Gaining Momentum in the Middle East and Africa.")

The lopsided tendency that keeps women in family business—remaining tethered to the home even if they are prepared and capable of moving "into the world"—is noted in a report prepared by OECD. The survey provides factual support for the intuitive concern of cultural and political imbalance impeding the progression of women into the workplace who are otherwise fully capable. The nations of Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Jordan and Egypt all prohibit gender discrimination and legislate equal pay for men and women, but the progressive-sounding checklist of their rights fails to impact on "hiring, wages or women's labor force participation." In fact, the report continues, "Women in the six countries receive inferior wages for equal work… and in the private sector women rarely hold management positions or sit on the boards of companies."

This is more than a feminist mantra; MENA's males must learn that they, too, will benefit from accelerating the entry of women into the workforce on all levels. Some projections of value lost because women are unable to work; or conversely the amount of potential revenue are significant.

Elissa Freiha, founder of Womena, the leading empowerment platform in the Middle East, emphasizes the financial benefit of having women in high positions when communicating with men's groups. From a business perspective it has been proven through the market Index provider MSCI.com that companies with more women on their boards deliver 36% better equity than those lacking board diversity.

She challenges companies with the knowledge that, "From a business level, you can have a potential of 63% by incorporating the female perspective on the executive team and the boards of companies."

Freiha agrees that educating MENA's men will turn the tide. "It is difficult to argue culturally that a woman can disconnect herself from the household and community." Her own father, a United Arab Emirates native of Lebanese descent, preferred she get a job in the government, but after one month she quit and went on to create Womena. The fact that this win-lose situation was supported by an open-minded father, further propelled Freiha to start her own business.

"From a business level, you can have a potential of 63% by incorporating the female perspective on the executive team and the boards of companies." - Elissa Frei

While not all men share the open-mindedness of Freiha's dad, a striking number of MENA's women have convincingly demonstrated that the talent pool is skilled, capable and all-around impressive. One such woman is the prominent Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, who is currently serving as a cabinet minister in the United Arab Emirates and previously headed a successful IT strategy company.

Al-Qasimi exemplifies the potential for MENA women in leadership, but how can one example become a cultural norm? Marcello Bonatto, who runs Re: Coded, a program that teaches young people in Turkey, Iraq and Yemen to become technology leaders, believes that multigenerational education is the key. He believes in the importance of educating the parent along with their offspring, "particularly when it comes to women." Bonatto notes the number of conflict-affected youth who have succeeded through his program—a boot camp training in technology.

The United Nations Women alongside Promundo—a Brazil-based NGO that promotes gender-equality and non-violence—sponsored a study titled, "International Men and Gender Equality Survey of the Middle East and North Africa in 2017."

This study surveyed ten thousand men and women between the ages of 18 and 59 across both rural and urban areas in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and the Palestinian Authority. It reports that, "Men expected to control their wives' personal freedoms from what they wear to when the couple has sex." Additionally, a mere one-tenth to one-third of men reported having recently carried out a more conventionally "female task" in their home.

Although the MENA region is steeped in historical tribal culture, the current conflict of gender roles is at a crucial turning point. Masculine power structures still play a huge role in these countries, and despite this obstacle, women are on the rise. But without the support of their nations' men this will continue to be an uphill battle. And if change won't come from the culture, maybe it can come from money. By educating MENA's men about these issues, the estimated $27 trillion that women could bring to their economies might not be a dream. Women have been empowering themselves for years, but it's time for MENA's men to empower its women.