Under federal law, colleges that record a student loan default rate of 30% or more for three consecutive years – or 40% in a single year – can lose their access to federal aid. While the rule is meant to weed out bad players and schools that don’t provide students with means for gainful employment, a new report shows that the government often intervenes, propping up schools just before they fail. [More]
Fifty years ago, Congress created the federal loan program as a way to help Americans realize their dreams of a better life through higher education. While millions of students have no doubt benefited from the program, millions of others have found themselves burdened by mountains of debts, fielding calls from debt collectors and loan servicers, and watching as their paychecks are whittled down by garnishments. Today, seven million former college students are in default with a record $115 billion in federal loans. While those figures may be oppressing borrowers, it’s providing a stream of income – and profit – for companies contracted by the government to collect payments from debtors. [More]
Last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau brought our attention to a relatively new phenomenon in which more and more private student loan borrowers found themselves placed in automatic default – even if they were up-to-date on payments – when their co-signer died or filed for bankruptcy. While the agency and consumer advocates urged these borrowers to seek co-signer release from their lenders, a new report finds that’s simply hasn’t been possible. [More]
By now we all know that for many consumers taking out private student loans is the only option when it comes to financing their higher education. We also know that many of those same borrowers will ultimately end up defaulting on their debt. A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests that it’s not borrowers’ lack of willingness to repay that lands them further in debt, but a lack of resources provided by lenders that drives consumers to default. [More]
We’ve all heard about magic trillion-dollar coins and other fantastical scenarios to save the U.S. government from finally smacking its head against the debt ceiling, but trying to really understand the whole thing and what we’re in for if something can’t be figured out is kind of intimidating. Which is why we’re really glad someone came up with a “choose your own adventure” type to see exactly what we could be getting into. [More]
Credit unions might be attractive alternatives to big commercial banks, but they’re not crisis-proof. OregonLive says about a fifth of the nation’s credit unions are having financial troubles right now. To get in better financial health, they’re introducing fees for services that have long been free, and even asking members to move their deposits to other institutions. [More]
HSBC warned today that the subprime meltdown is spreading into credit cards and other types of consumer loans, says the NYT. The bank announced that it will be taking a larger write down than it forecast, due to the spreading delinquencies.