Category Archives: Student Debt

What students owe and why it matters.


After Lawsuit, For-Profit College Will Forgive $15 Million in Ex-Students’ Loans

The for-profit Westwood College has agreed to forgive the student-loan debt of graduates of its criminal-justice program, amounting to roughly $15 million. The college reached an agreement last month with the office of Illinois’s attorney general, Lisa Madigan, to cancel former students’ debt from institutional loans, among other things, according to a copy of the deal provided to The Chronicle.

The attorney general sued the college in 2012, asserting it had deceived students and enrolled them i…


Education Dept. Releases 2 Sets of Rules to Simplify Student Borrowing

The U.S. Department of Education has unveiled two sets of final regulations governing its expanded income-based repayment program and efforts to rein in banks’ deals with colleges.

The revised Pay as You Earn plan, dubbed REPAYE, which is one of the department’s income-based repayment programs, appears similar to the one negotiators settled on earlier this year. The expansion of the plan, which caps monthly payments at 10 percent of borrowers’ discretionary income, comes more than a year after P…


Average Student Debt Climbed Higher in 2014, Study Finds

Average student-loan debt among graduates of four-year public and nonprofit private colleges who had incurred debt at the time of graduation climbed to $28,950 for the Class of 2014, up 2 percent from the Class of 2013. An annual report by the Institute for College Access and Success, released on Tuesday, found that at those colleges, 69 percent of graduating seniors had student loans, a rate that held steady from last year.

This is the institute’s 10th annual report on average student debt. The…


Complaints From Private Student-Loan Borrowers Rise as Few Enroll in Income-Based Repayment

The number of complaints from private student-loan borrowers to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau increased by roughly 20 percent in the past year, from 5,300 last year to 6,400 in the past year, according to the annual report of the bureau’s ombudsman.

Another key finding in this year’s report: A whopping 95 percent of borrowers with federal loans made by private lenders are not enrolled in income-driven repayment plans, an option heavily advertised by the Obama administration that allow…


Clinton Rips Free-College Proposals as Benefiting ‘Donald Trump’s Kids’

Speaking at a town-hall event in New Hampshire on Monday, the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she was “not in favor of making college free for Donald Trump’s kids.”

The remarks, which appeared live on NBC’s Today show, served as a rebuke to both Mr. Trump, the billionaire and Republican presidential candidate, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, her chief rival in the early stages of the quest for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

Mr. Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermo…


Borrowers Continue to Face Problems With Loan Servicers, Watchdog Says

Borrowers continue to report widespread problems with student-loan servicing, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The report, which is based on more than 30,000 comments that the federal watchdog received as part of its recent inquiry into the servicing industry, describes a range of practices that the bureau says harm borrowers, including poor customer service, mishandled paperwork, and “surprise fees.”

Tuesday’s report comes just two months …


Community-College Borrowers Who Default Are Those With the Least Debt

The community-college borrowers most likely to default on their student loans are those with the least amount of debt, according to a new report from the Association of Community College Trustees.

The report, which examines data from all 16 of Iowa’s community colleges, reaches several other conclusions, many of which repeat or support the findings of previous research. Among them:

  • Many borrowers who default — just shy of half examined in the report — don’t take any action on their debt.
  • Almost…

Borrowers Using Income-Based Repayment Plans Are Mostly Low-Income, Report Says

Borrowers using the federal government’s income-driven repayment plans are overwhelmingly low-income and much less likely to default, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. The report, which was requested by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate’s education committee, also encourages the Education Department to better spread the word about the programs.

The Obama administration began such an effort last year, and reported last month that th…


Education Dept. Reports Increase in Borrowers Using Income-Based Repayment

There has been a large increase in the number of borrowers enrolling in income-based student-loan repayment plans, according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday. The spike follows an effort by the Obama administration to better publicize the option.

According to the department, almost four million borrowers had enrolled in income-based repayment as of June 30, a 56-percent increase compared with that time last year. Also, the share of borrowers who are more tha…


Hillary Clinton Asked for Emoji-fied Takes on Student Debt. You Will Believe What Happened Next.

So there was no way this was going to end well, right?

Hillary Clinton’s social-media team, looking to keep her recently announced college-affordability plan in the public eye, took to Twitter to ask for a bit of audience feedback on student loans. This being Twitter, and the target audience clearly being Millennials, her staff decided, inevitably, to ask for that feed…