Category Archives: Student Debt

What students owe and why it matters.


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…


In Clinton’s Higher-Ed Agenda, Expect Echoes of Past Plans on Student Debt

Hillary Clinton, the heavy favorite among Democrats running for president, plans to announce key planks of her higher-education platform on Monday at an event in New Hampshire, Politico reports. When she does so, student-loan reform will be the dominant theme.

That’s not a surprise. The specter of student-loan debt has hovered over the early stages of the Democratic campaign, as The Chronicle’s Kelly Field reported in June. Both of Mrs. Clinton’s challengers for the Democratic nomination, Sen. B…


Financial-Services Company Is Accused of Misleading Students

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has filed a complaint against a financial-services company, Student Financial Aid Services Inc., that it says illegally misled students. The federal bureau announced on Thursday that it had filed a proposed consent order that, if approved by a federal judge, would require the company to pay $5.2 million back to consumers.

The bureau alleges that the company, which provides assistance in filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or Fafsa) a…


Student-Loan Servicer Is Ordered to Pay Back $16 Million to Borrowers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered a private student-loan servicer to refund nearly $16 million to borrowers after the federal agency found evidence of illegal practices. According to a consent order filed by the bureau, Discover Bank overstated in billing statements the minimum amount borrowers had to pay, engaged in illegal collecting practices, and did not provide necessary tax information to borrowers.

“Discover created student-debt stress for borrowers by inflating their b…


Martin O’Malley Has $340,000 in Parent PLUS Loans

The Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley is set to outline his plan for debt-free college on Wednesday, joining the chorus of lawmakers proposing similar measures to lower the cost of a higher education.

Mr. O’Malley is no stranger to debt resulting from a college education. The Huffington Post reports that his family has borrowed nearly $340,000 in Parent PLUS loans for his two daughters’ college educations. (One went to Georgetown University, the other to the College of Charleston…