February 10, 2014 |
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.
December 23, 2012 |
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?
March 8, 2013 |
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.
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 |
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.
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.