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Student Loans

June 29, 2008 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
If you're facing years of student loan payments but aren't making much money because you're working in public service, the federal government has some good news for you. A law that takes effect Tuesday could allow you to have some of your college debt forgiven.
April 27, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I got a big tax refund this year and am trying to figure out what to do with the money. Right now I have school loans with a 4% interest rate that I do not need to make a payment on until 2024 with my current payment plan, but the amount I owe is pretty hefty and I know it's going to compound more over time. I also have a very low-interest car loan (1.9%) that will be paid off in 31/2 years. I also could put that money in the market in hopes that it will grow. I should add I am 27 years old. Any advice?
March 8, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I am a junior in college, and I might have to take out a loan my senior year because of financial cuts in the state. Is it really a bad idea to take a loan for college? Answer: No, it's not. You don't want to overdose on education debt, but a student loan that helps you get the right degree could be the best investment you'll ever make. Someone with a college degree will earn on average $2.3 million over the course of a working lifetime, which is $1 million more than the lifetime earnings of someone with just a high school diploma, according to a study by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University in Washington.
April 22, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
A new report released Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is warning borrowers of a catch that is pushing private student loans into default even if the loan is in good standing.    The federal consumer agency said that borrowers complain of being blindsided when their student loans automatically default when co-signers -- usually parents or grandparents -- die or fall into bankruptcy. When this happens, lenders demand that the full amount be paid immediately.
May 3, 2012
Re "The politics of student loans," Editorial, April 30 Although this editorial is about the interest on student loans, the controversy in Congress over this issue is representative of the way our legislators have been acting for a while. Even when the parties agree on a goal, they are so busy gaming the opposition that they cannot accomplish anything. This behavior makes the American people more cynical and convinced that Congress is corrupt and incompetent. This will only make our lawmakers irrelevant to our citizenry and make the laws they pass irrelevant too. This is exactly the prescription for the fall of the American empire.
June 28, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Congress racked up another F this week, failing to stop a looming increase in student loan interest rates that both parties say they oppose. Friday will be the last day for college students of modest means to obtain a federal loan at the ultra-low interest rate of 3.4%, at least for a while. The rate jumps to 6.8% Monday for new subsidized Stafford loans, a type of loan available only to students from low- and moderate-income families. Lawmakers missed the interest rate deadline despite the fact that they had a pair of thoughtful proposals for how to proceed.
December 23, 2012 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: We have a family member who recently was approved by Social Security for a complete disability claim. This person will never work again but has an outstanding student loan. The lender has a formal mechanism to apply for loan forgiveness, but is refusing to accept medical documentation of the disability. What appeal process is there and how can we force them to act? Do we need to retain legal counsel and incur additional expense to enforce a legal process and achieve loan forgiveness?
April 30, 2012
President Obama set off yet another cacophony of partisan bickering in Washington by warning that interest on some student loans would skyrocket if Congress didn't act soon. Last week lawmakers from both parties hinted that they were ready to solve the problem, albeit in a temporary and superficial way. But first they ginned up another meaningless political battle, leaving roughly 7 million students in the lurch. At issue is the interest on subsidized Stafford loans, which the federal government issues directly to low- and moderate-income students.
December 25, 1987
On the subject of delinquent student loans, it's been my observation that instead of public trade schools, young people must choose their vocational training from matchbook covers. So often training is just a rip-off but still it qualifies for student loans. Young people with stars in their eyes sign their names to financial contracts for stewardess training, acting schools, so-called electronics and computer training, script writing, you name it. A large percentage of these students default on these loans.
April 19, 2014 | By Tim Logan
Sarah Luna wants to buy a home in up-and-coming northeast Los Angeles before it's too late. At 31, she has a master's degree and earns more than $70,000 as a court reporter and freelance editor. She daydreams about trading the Glendale apartment she shares for a little condo, maybe in Echo Park or Highland Park. Just one thing holds her back: The $700 she's paid every month since 2008, after she graduated from the University of Southern California - with $75,000 in student debt.
March 16, 2014 | By Ronald D. White
Adina Jones has spent years immersed in logistics such as financial tracking, transportation organization, nutritional direction and healthcare supervision. In other words, Jones is a mom. And until shortly before her 14-year marriage ended last year, Jones was a full-time caregiver for her three daughters. "I wanted to give them the best start I could," Jones, 40, said of her career hiatus, which began in 2006. "I wanted to be there for them in all ways. " Now, Jones is trying to reenter the traditional workforce and finding it tough.
March 13, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
The Obama administration is preparing to crack down on some for-profit colleges, requiring them to do a better job of preparing students for work or risk losing access to federal student aid. Newly proposed regulations expected from the Education Department on Friday are designed to stop the flow of federal funds to poor-performing colleges. Students at most for-profit colleges rely heavily on federal loans and grants, and few programs could survive if the flow of federal money were ended.
March 13, 2014 | By Charlotte Allen, guest blogger
The one thing you've got to say about Miriam "Duke Porn Star" Weeks is that she's probably not racking up much in the way of student loans at Duke University. Or is she? The story on Duke freshman Weeks, who's "working" her way through college by flying regularly to L.A. to make porn films, oscillates between: 1) a lugubrious feminist narrative about an enterprising "sex worker" (nothing wrong with that!) who's being victimized by judgmental, patriarchal males who simultaneously condemn her and lap up (no pun intended)
February 23, 2014 | By Ronald D. White
Dashiell and Marya Talbot thought that their most pressing financial problem was the five-figure student loan debt that seemed to make home buying an impossibility. Then they learned that Marya was pregnant. The Los Angeles couple, both in their 30s, suddenly had a lot more doubt about their plans. Should they dip into savings to get rid of their debt? And were there things the Talbots - he's a lawyer, she's a costumer - hadn't considered yet? "It seems like the student loan debt is going to be with you for life," said Dashiell Talbot, who prefers the name Dash.
February 10, 2014 | By Sarah Amandolare
Last October, in between arguments over the debt ceiling, the federal government somehow found time to send me an email. My student loan payment was 70 days past due, the message read, so the government had negatively reported me to each major credit bureau and would continue to report me until my account was brought current. I'm betting the government sent out a lot of those letters to people like me: college graduates from middle-class families who didn't qualify for much in the way of scholarship aid and had parents who couldn't afford to pay for their schooling.
February 9, 2014 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: My wife of 34 years died five years ago. Her father is 94. He has accumulated a large amount of wealth over the last 40 years. I always made a point of staying out of financial discussions between my father-in-law and his daughters. He told us for years that upon his death all his wealth is to be divided between us (my wife and me) and her sister. Recently, a gold digger reappeared on the scene. My father-in-law and his late wife took her in at a young age when her parents died.
January 13, 2014 | By David Wharton
Her shoes are made special, with scores of tiny spikes to grip the ice, and they never seem to last long enough. The steel runners for her sled cost more than $6,000 and the airlines charge $100 each way to carry her equipment to international races. When American bobsled pilot Jazmine Fenlator sat down and calculated her expenses leading up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics - eight months of training and competition - the numbers added up quickly. "I'm in debt," she said. "People don't realize.
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