Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Direct Consolidation Student Loan Repayment Plans

Direct Consolidation Student Loan Repayment Plans

StudentLoanDaddy would like to shine light on the Direct Consolidation Repayment Plans, show what they mean to you, and how they affect your loan repayment. Our goal is that you select the best repayment plan for your present situation. You can, at any time during your repayment, change to an eligible repayment plan better suiting your new situation. (Use the StudentLoanDaddy calculator to better evaluate where you currently stand.)

It is imperative that you are in the correct repayment plan, for your present situation, for the life of your loan! Thousands of borrowers are in inappropriate repayment plans, for their current situation. They soon find themselves either in delinquency, or worse – in default. A simple switch to a more suitable plan would avoid this nasty result.

First, there are two general types of repayment plans:

1) Repayment based upon your loan being repaid within a set period.

This type repayment anticipates that your loan will be fully repaid in a set number of months. There are four repayment plans of this type. They are:

● Standard
● Graduated
● Extended
● Extended Graduated

2) Repayment based upon your current income and family size.

These repayment plans are known as Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plans. Income Driven Repayment plans key upon your income and your family size, NOT your Direct Consolidation loan amount. These plans target your ability to pay, for a given year. An IDR plan does NOT target that your loan is repaid within a specified period. You may, in fact, have a payment of $0.00/month and be considered in good standing. This is the beauty of the IDR plans.

One other interesting attribute of IDR plans: It is conceivable that you could remain in an IDR plan for 20, or 25 years, with a payment of $0.00/month, or some other very low payment, for the entire repayment period! This brings up the question of what happens to my loan? This is where Student Loan Forgiveness kicks in. (Please read our blog on Student Loan Forgiveness for the complete story.)

There are three IDR plans. They are:

● Income Based Repayment (IBR)
● Pay as You Earn (PAYE)
● Income Contingent Repayment (ICR)

StudentLoanDaddy contains the exact formulas for each of these seven plans in its calculator. StudentLoanDaddy also calculates your repayment schedule and eligibility for each of these plans based upon your personal situation and your loans, instantly.

More Details on Each Plan

Let’s take a quick look at each of the seven repayment plans. (There are many other details of these plans and their eligibility requirements not addressed here, but inside the StudentLoanDaddy calculator. Please use the SLD calculator for your exact plan.)


The Standard Repayment Plan calculates your repayment based upon “standard” amortization used in repaying almost any loan in a certain number of months. The more you owe, the longer the repayment period allowed with this plan. This is the default repayment plan if you do not request a different plan. This is also the plan your loan will revert to if you do not provide the required annual documentation of income if you are on one of the three IDR plans.

Here is the allowed time to repay based upon indebtedness with the Standard Repayment plan.

< $7,500 10 years
$7,500 – < $10,000 12 years
$10,000 – < $20,000 15 years
$20,000 – < $40,000 20 years
$40,000 – < $60,000 25 years
$60,000 and above 30 years


The Graduated Repayment plan starts with interest only, for the first two years. After that, your payments increase every two years. This plan allows the same period as the Standard Repayment plan for your repayment.


This plan is designed for those borrowers with more than $30,000 in Direct Student Loan debt. Under this plan you will have up to 25 years to repay your loan. This plan is calculated the same as the Standard Repayment plan, except the term is 25 years.

Extended Graduated

This plan, as the name suggests, is a hybrid of the Graduated and Extended Repayment plans. You must have more than $30,000 in Direct Student Loans to select this plan. You start off at an interest only payment for the first two years, then your payments increase to repay your loan in 25 years.

Income Based Repayment Plan (IBR) (This is an Income Driven Plan.)

This plan requires demonstration of partial financial hardship (PFH). Your monthly payment is primarily based upon PFH and when you borrowed. In order to remain in this plan, you must submit an annual documentation of income to your servicer. StudentLoanDaddy will prepare this document for you. Use the StudentLoanDaddy calculator to see the exact payment, for your situation.

Pay as You Earn (PAYE) Repayment Plan (This is an Income Driven Plan.)

This plan is based upon your income, but is capped at a Standard Repayment plan payment. This plan is also only available for loans taken in a certain period. Use the full calculator inside StudentLoanDaddy for an exact calculation. You must provide annual documentation of income to your servicer. StudentLoanDaddy will prepare this document for you.

Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan (This is an Income Driven Plan.)

This plan’s calculation is probably the most convoluted of all the plans. However, for your purposes, the plan is based upon where you live and your discretionary income. As your income rises, so will your payments under this plan – up to double the Standard Repayment plan payment. This is the ONLY of the IDR plans not requiring demonstration of financial hardship. However, you still must provide annual documentation of income to your servicer. StudentLoanDaddy will prepare this document for you.

Please read our blog on Student Loan Forgiveness, too.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How to synchronize calendar from Lotus Notes to Google Calendar

I have missed several meetings scheduled in Lotus Notes in the past couple of days. Because I was fully relying on my iPhone to remind me of any upcoming meeting, and Notes Calendar's notification doesn't help that much at all.
So with our friend Google.com, I found the following solution, hopfully can make all we poor Notes users' life a bit sweeter:

1. Sync calendar from Notes to Google
Download this nice open source app from:
No install is required (do need .NET framework, which most of PC already have). Once it is started, simply enter your Google account and Notes login info, then pick a calendar you want to sync the data over (recommend to create a new calendar in Google). Then it can either automatically do the sync or let you control manually. Nice!

2. Sync to iPhone
Somehow iPhone only pick one calendar from my Google account by default. Since I created a new calendar to hold the Notes calendar, I need to let iPhone pick more than Calendar. And here's the solution:
Goto https://www.google.com/calendar/iphoneselect
Pick the calendars you want to sync to iPhone and save.
Magically, all the events from my Notes Calendar are in my iPhone now.

3. Reminder
Somehow most of my Notes events don't have a reminder. To let my iPhone remind me, Google allows me to setup a default notification for all event, unless reminder has been explicitly set. So I set my default notification to popup in 10 min, which will let my iPhone popup a little message 10 min before my meetings.

Now my life is back to perfection. Hope the tip helps you too.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

How to monitor Java app started as Windows Service

If you have a Java server running as Windows Service, such as Tomcat, JBoss, etc., it's not possible to run JConsole or JVisualVM to monitor those JVMs, because Windows doesn't allow those apps to see JVM started as Windows Service.

There're two ways I fund over the internet:
1. You can use Sysinternals PsExec.exe to accomplish this.
psexec.exe -i -s c:\visualvm\bin\visualvm.exe

2. Use interactive Windows Service:

1. Install a service using sc.exe - that will open a command prompt under local service account by executing this on cmd window sc create debugservice binpath= "cmd /K start" type= own type= interact 2. sc start debugservice [on a remote desktop session, this service has to be started only in console session for the command prompt window to pop up] will print message that [SC] StartService FAILED 1053: but will start a command prompt under local system account. 3. now navigate to %JAVA_HOME%/bin on the command prompt that got opened and type in jmap -dump:format=b,file=D:\temp\test.hprof  this will dump the heap to D:\temp folder. Be careful dumping heap on a live system as it will lock up the system for the duration of heap dump. 4. similarly jconsole can be started using that command prompt and connecting to the pid of the tomcat. Technical explanation: a. as tomcat service is installed under local system account, jconsole / jmap cannot connect to the service when these are started under the windows logged in user. b. So the command prompt interactive service is installed as a local system service and when that service is started, it opens the command prompt under local system account. c. And hence any process started from that command prompt will be started under local system account and hence be able to access any local system services.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Run Terracotta Server as Windows Service

Terracotta is a JVM-level Java clustering solution. Lots of Java frameworks and libraries, such as Ehcache, Quartz, Web Session, have been offering clustered version over this nice platform.

This document describes steps to install Terracotta Server as a Windows Service that can be managed and executed just as any other standard Windows services, including auto startup when Windows is started and management through standard service management UI and command.

Setup Procedure


1. Download and install JDK
    Goto http://java.sun.com to download JDK 1.6.
    As of now, JDK 1.6.0_u17 is certified and recommended.
    Install JDK to c:\java\jdk_1.6.0_17

2. Download and install Terracotta
    Open source version can be downloaded from http://www.terracotta.org.
    Enterprise commercial version can be downloaded by contacting sales@terracottatech.com.
    If download is in form of tar.gz file, untar it to c:\terracotta, such as c:\terracotta\terracotta-3.2.1_1.
    If download is in jar form, double click the file to start installation. Follow installation steps to install Terracotta to to c:\terracotta, such as c:\terracotta\terracotta-3.2.1_1.

3. If Terracotta License file is needed, copy it to Terracotta Installation Folder, such as \terracotta\terracotta3.2.1_1.

4. Download Windows Resource Kit Tools
    Go to http://www.microsoft.com to search and download Windows Resource Kit Tools that is suitable to the targeted Windows version.
    Run the installer and install it to the default folder.
    Copy anysrv.exe to c:\terracotta\terracotta-3.2.1_1\bin

5. Make sure sc.exe is included in your Windows installation. Otherwise, download it from Microsoft’s website


1. Create tc-config.xml to be used by Terracotta Server, place it to bin folder under Terracotta installation home folder.

2. Create Registration file
    Create a text file with any text editor, copy paste the following text into the file and save it as tcservice.reg.

"AppParameters"="-cp c:\\terracotta\\terracotta-3.2.1_1\\lib\\tc.jar -server -Xms4G –Xmx4G -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError -Dtc.install-root=c:\\terracotta\\terracotta-3.2.1_1 com.tc.server.TCServerMain"

If you need to pass more parameters to TC server, yon can do so by appending them to the AppParameters section. For example, if I want to specify a tc-config.xml and a server name, I can change the AppParameters to:
"AppParameters"="-cp c:\\terracotta\\terracotta-3.2.1_1\\lib\\tc.jar -server -Xms4G –Xmx4G -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError -Dtc.install-root=c:\\terracotta\\terracotta-3.2.1_1 com.tc.server.TCServerMain -f c:\\terracotta\\my-tc-config.xml -n Server1"

Install Service

1. Create Windows Service
    Open a command prompt window as System Administrator.
    Run the following command:
sc.exe create Terracotta binPath= “c:\terracotta\terracotta-3.2.1_1\bin\srvany.exe” type= own start= auto DisplayName= “Terracotta Server 3.2.1_1”
    It will create a new Windows Service named Terracotta which will be started automatically when Windows is started.

2. Modify service parameter, so it will start Terracotta Server
    In the same command prompt box, run:
regedit tcserver.reg
    It will modify the newly created service to run Terracotta Server as a Java application.


1. In Windows Service Management window, start the service. Make sure there’s no error popped up

2. Run dev-console.bat from Terracotta Installation folder and connect to server_name 9520. Developer’s console should be able to login and display the standard Terracotta management interface.

Trouble Shooting

1. Pay attention to quotation signs and garbage characters when copy&paste code snippet from this article

2. To test run the service manually
Since Windows doesn't provide any console based information when starting service, it could be very difficult to trouble shoot problems.
If your service does not start as expected, it is highly recommended to run the service manually just to make sure everything is configured correctly.
To do so, you can follow the following steps:

  1. Open a Commend Shell
  2. Go to folder defined by AppDirectory
  3. Run the Application with AppParameters
In my example, it will be:

CD c:\terracotta\terracotta-3.2.1_1
C:\Java\jdk1.6.0_17\bin\java.exe -cp c:\terracotta\terracotta-3.2.1_1\lib\tc.jar -server -Xms4G –Xmx4G -XX:+HeapDumpOnOutOfMemoryError -Dtc.install-root=c:\terracotta\terracotta-3.2.1_1 com.tc.server.TCServerMain

Friday, March 26, 2010

Install ColdFusion 8 on Snow Leopard

I need to test something in ColdFusion 8 on my MacBook Pro with Snow Leopard. After I downloaded and unzipped the installer, the installer simply did not run. I double click on the ColdFusion 8 Installer.app from Finder, nothing happened. I guess the Install Anywhere script which was used to create installer for CF 8 might have issue with Snow Leopard.

From internet, there're lots of articles about how run CF8 in Snow Leopard, no one really talked about installation part. Hope I'm not the only one that had this problem.

Anyway, I do managed to find a way to do the installation. Here's what I did:
1. Open a Terminal
2. cd ColdFusion\ 8\ Installer.app
3. cd Contents/Resources/Java
4. java -cp ./IAClasses.zip:Execute.zip:installscript.zip:. com.zerog.ia.installer.Main
5. Follow the steps and I was able to finish setup and run CF8



Monday, November 16, 2009

PHP cannot connect to mysql when run inside Apache

I ran into a very strange issue when Apache/PHP/MySQL.
What happend was my php code suddenly cannot connect to mysql on another machine any more. The error message is:
mysqli_connect() [function.mysqli-connect]: (HY000/2003): Can't connect to MySQL server on '' (13)
The strange thing was that if I connect mySQL from command line, even run the same code by php directly from command line, it worked just fine.

After searched around, I finally found the answer. Looks like it has something to do with SELinux settings.

To fix the issue, I only need to run:
setsebool httpd_can_network_connect_db 1

Before I ran the script, the file content of /selinux/booleans/httpd_can_network_connect_db was:
0 0

After I ran the script, content changed to:
1 1

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Trick to let iTune handle Chinese song names and tags correctly in Mac OS X

When play Chinese songs in iTune, it always tends to show the song information, such as name, artist, album, etc. as garbage text.

When I was running Mac OSX Tiger and Leopard, the trick I used was to open iTune application information by right-click and choose Get Info.
In the information windows, remove all languages except Chinese. So next time, when iTune is started, it starts in Chinese mode. And it handles all Chinese songs correctly.

In Snow Leopard, the language selection is missing in Get Info dialog. It took me a few weeks to find the new trick.
cd /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources
mkdir lang_bak
mv *.lproj lang_bak
cp -r lang_bak/zh_CN.lproj .

Then start iTune, you will get it in Chinese mode again and just as the trick before, all Chinese songs are handled correctly.

Hope these tricks can be helpful to Chinese Mac users.


BTW: If you speak other language and suffers the sames kind of problem, I guess you can try to delete all other languages other than your preference. Hopefully that will work for you too.