4 Simple Steps for Student Loan Voters

4 Simple Steps for Student Loan Voters

 It’s Time to Get Out The Vote!  Today, Americans will cast their ballots. Will you commit to being a student loan voter? It’s easy – follow these four simple steps and you’ll have everything you need to make your voting plan.    ✔︎ Step 1: Find Your Polling Place. ✔︎ Step 2: Make informed decisions by creating a personalized voter guide. ✔︎ Step 3: Make a voting plan: Are you voting in the morning, afternoon or evening? How are you getting to your polling place? ✔︎ Step 4: VOTE!   Extra Credit: Share your “I Voted” selfie on Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook using the hashtag #StudentLoanVoter.                 If you experience voter intimidation, have comments and concerns, or have any questions about confusing laws please, call the numbers below:   English: 866-OUR-VOTE Spanish: 888-VE-Y-VOTA Asian Languages: 888-API-VOTE Arabic: 844-418-1682   The SDC Election Survey results are in! We asked our members to tell us how significant a factor student debt plays when casting their vote.   ...
Why college debt should be a prime campaign issue

Why college debt should be a prime campaign issue

 Too many student loan borrowers are being left behind due to breakdowns in the federal programs  College debt, which more than 43 million Americans carry, is among the reasons for widespread economic anger in this vitriolic election year. Many of those who are saddled with this $1.3 trillion albatross are barely moving ahead economically. Congress is doing almost nothing to help them. Many graduates who should be saving for retirement, buying homes and starting families are unable to do so because of the financial anchor of college loans. Most of them should be able to refinance or lower their borrowing burden, but they don’t know about government programs designed to help them. In reviewing more than 5,500 complaints against student loan servicing firms in a recent report, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that borrowers were uninformed on how they could reduce their loan payments and avoid default, which damages their credit ratings. This report offers further evidence that industry practices and needless red tape can turn a student loan into an unbearable burden. Where is the government failing when it comes to student loans? Here are some glaring trouble spots: Communications with borrowers on how they can avoid defaults is awful. “The Department of Education estimates that more than 8 million student loan borrowers have gone at least 12 months without making a required monthly payment and have fallen into default,” the report found…   Continue Reading at CBS...
A Conveyor Belt of Dropouts and Debt at For-Profit Colleges

A Conveyor Belt of Dropouts and Debt at For-Profit Colleges

For-profit borrowers accounted for nearly half of all student loan defaults As college attendance has risen and investment in public institutions has flagged, the United States has relied increasingly on for-profit colleges, with disastrous consequences for many students. For-profit enrollment surged during the weak job market of the last recession, when college was a particularly appealing alternative. Increases in the generosity of the federal Pell Grant and education tax credits helped drive demand, but public colleges were unable to absorb the flood of students. Because their tuition prices do not cover the cost of education, these public schools rely on state funding to defray expenses. Yet state tax revenues plunged and states cut funding, just as millions of additional students were trying to enroll. Students turned to for-profit colleges, which were happy to take their financial aid dollars. Growth rates in the for-profit industry were staggering, with enrollment jumping 21.5 percent from 2007 to 2008 alone, compared with growth of less than 4 percent for public and private nonprofit colleges. For-profit enrollment peaked at 2.4 million students in 2010 and remains above prerecession levels. While for-profits were traditionally a sidebar in discussions of college policy, they are now central to the narrative. With growth has come considerable pain. Graduation rates at for-profits are extremely low. Further, their students borrow heavily and default at high rates. During the recession, for-profit borrowers accounted for nearly half of all student loan defaults… Continue Reading at the New York...
Young People Spend One-Fifth of Their Income on Student Loan Payments

Young People Spend One-Fifth of Their Income on Student Loan Payments

60% of Millennials now say they expect to be making payments well into their 40s How can Millennials ever think about getting a home loan when they are already drowning in debt from their student loans? Research reveals that most recent college graduates carrying student loans have grossly underestimated the burden they would face, with monthly payments that are so substantial that they impact nearly every aspect of Millennial life. In the study fielded by Citizens Bank, Millennials with student loans say they are now are spending nearly one-fifth (18%) of their current salaries on student loan payments. 60% of Millennials now say they expect to be making payments well into their 40s. The study found graduates with student loans grappling with the trade-offs required to make their student loan payments every month: 54% have limited their travel 50% have limited their shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories 46% have limited their spending on entertainment and social events 45% have limited their spending on eating out 40% have limited the amount they can spend on rent or mortgage payments “The long-term cost of college continues to be a major challenge for Millennials, even after they have established themselves in the workforce and significantly improved their credit from where they were when they started school,” said Brendan Coughlin…   Continue Reading at Financial...
The psychological costs of student debt

The psychological costs of student debt

We are now translating student loan debt to actual psychological and emotional burden I’ve seen countless people with low and high incomes stressed about their debt load. And yet, folks pile it on anyway without fully realizing its impact through the years. Exhibit A: student loans. “A lot of people are pursuing a college education, which is a good thing,” said study co-author Louis Tay, a Purdue assistant professor of psychological sciences. “However, the financial cost of doing so also needs to be considered. . . . These large loan numbers can sometimes be thrown around without us actually realizing [the] day-to-day impact on our lives. We are now translating student loan debt to actual psychological and emotional burden.” Tay and fellow researchers Cassondra Batz, Scott Parrigon and Lauren Kuykendall culled information from the Gallup-Purdue Index, an effort supported by the Lumina Foundation to measure the well-being of more than 30,000 college graduates in five key areas, one of which is financial happiness. Their paper, “Debt and Subjective Well-being,” published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, found that the financial strain caused by debt does lower people’s sense of well-being. Among the study sample were 2,781 college graduates who have been paying off college loan debt for at least seven years. “We found that the level of college debt actually had almost similar levels of effects as income levels on financial worry and life satisfaction,” Tay said…     Continue Reading at The Washington...