Category Archives: Student Debt

What students owe and why it matters.

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Education Dept. Plans to Improve Customer Service for Student-Loan Borrowers

The U.S. Department of Education has adopted a new set of policies to improve student-loan servicing, the agency said in a news release on Wednesday.

In a memorandum, the department said it would work with the Treasury Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to improve student-loan servicing systems to protect borrowers and help them avoid defaulting on loans. The memo highlighted five specific changes.

Among the most notable, the department will create economic incentives to bet…

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Hillary Clinton Pledges 3-Month Moratorium on Student-Loan Payments

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, promised on Wednesday to take executive action to offer a three-month moratorium on federal student-loan payments if she is elected president.

Under the proposal, borrowers would be given resources to help them save money on their loans and to sign up for the correct income-based repayment plans during the moratorium, her campaign said.

Mrs. Clinton has also promised to “eliminate tuition for working families,” a plan that inc…

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New Jersey Student-Loan Agency Hits Troubled Borrowers Hard, Article Says

New Jersey’s Higher Education Student Assistance Authority is the largest state-based student-loan program in the country. It’s also one of the most aggressive in demanding repayment from borrowers and their families, regardless of their circumstances, according to an article jointly published by the independent investigative newsroom ProPublica and The New York Times.

The agency’s loans, which currently total $1.9 billion, come with extraordinarily stringent rules, ProPublica’s investigatio…

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Nearly 1 Million Community-College Students Lack Access to Federal Student Loans

Nine percent of community-college students, or nearly one million people, attend institutions that don’t participate in the federal student-loan program, according to a study released on Wednesday by the Institute for College Access and Success.

According to the group’s latest report, some community colleges say they opt out of federal student loans to keep students from borrowing too much money. As a result, the report says, students feel pushed to take out more-expensive private loans or to re…

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Hillary Clinton Proposes Student-Loan Deferments for Entrepreneurs

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on Tuesday proposed allowing entrepreneurs to defer making federal student-loan payments as a way to encourage them to create more jobs, the Associated Press reported.

Mrs. Clinton told an audience at a rally in Colorado that, under her proposal, entrepreneurs and their early employees would be able to defer payments on their loans for up to three years.

Also under the plan, graduates whose businesses provide social benefits could…

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2 For-Profit Universities Will Cut Arbitration Clauses From Enrollment Agreements

Two for-profit universities owned by the Apollo Education Group will stop including mandatory arbitration clauses in students’ enrollment agreements, the company announced on Thursday.

Students at the University of Phoenix and Western International University will not have arbitration clauses in their enrollment agreements as of July 1, according to a news release.

The group has come under fire for its policy that does not allow students who say they’ve been defrauded to take the colleges to cou…

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Student-Loan Interest Rates Will Drop Again in 2016-17

Interest rates on new federal student loans will drop to their lowest level in a decade next year, Money reports.

The rate on undergraduate Stafford loans will drop from 4.29 percent to 3.76 percent for the 2016-17 academic year. The rate for graduate Stafford loans will be 5.31 percent, a drop from 5.84 percent this year. The rate on PLUS loans, which allow parents to take out loans to pay for their children’s college education, also dropped — from 6.84 percent to 6.31 percent.

Student-loan int…

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Education Dept. Plans Single Web Portal for Student-Loan Servicing

The U.S. Department of Education plans to streamline student-loan repayment by introducing a single web portal for borrowers, the department announced on Monday.

The web portal will allow borrowers to find information about their loans, payments, and benefits on one website and to avoid having borrowers kicked around to various loan servicers, according to a statement from the department. Along with the new website, the department rolled out plans to develop better customer service for borrowers…

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More Former Corinthian Students Will Have Their Debt Forgiven, Education Dept. Says

The U.S. Education Department has cleared the way for former students at 91 campuses once owned by the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges to have their loan debt forgiven, the department announced on Friday.

The campuses, which fell under Corinthian’s Everest and WyoTech brands, represent the largest swath of students to have been made eligible for loan forgiveness by the department, it said, although it did not specify how many borrowers could benefit.

The department also said on Friday that its “…

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After 3 Days of Talks, No Agreement on Rules to Protect Student Borrowers

Should students who say they’ve been defrauded by their colleges be guaranteed a chance to take their cases to court? When the U.S. Department of Education said recently that they should, advocates for student borrowers were encouraged. But now, after three days of negotiations over a rule intended to protect those borrowers, it’s still unclear whether such a guarantee will take shape.

At issue are the “mandatory arbitration” clauses that some colleges — chiefly for-profit institutions — ins…