Student Debt Crisis Your One Stop Hub For Student Debt Issues Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:11:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Have Your Voice Heard at Department of Education Rulemaking Hearing! Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:07:30 +0000 Public Negotiated Rulemaking Hearing on Higher Education

East Coast: Oct. 23rd, 2014 @ U.S. Department of Education
Eighth Floor Conference Center, 1990 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC

West Coast: Nov. 4th, 2014 @ Anaheim Marriot
Grand Ballroom E, 700 West Convention Way, Anaheim, CA

The U.S. Department of Education is convening to consider new student loan policies for the upcoming year. They are reaching out to the public for your input on how student loan programs can best serve students.

You can get involved in two different ways:

1. You can attend the meetings in person, and share your opinion with the committee and other allies of higher education. Just email Provide them with your name, the location you would like to attend, and a general time at which you’d like to speak.

2. Submit your comments online using the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

* For the ANAHEIM hearing – please email with your confirmed speaking time.


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“America’s next generation is sentenced to debt”- Sen. Durbin Calls for Refinancing Bill Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:32:02 +0000 Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called on Republicans to allow a vote on a bill that would allow the refinancing of student loan debt.

“We cannot afford to stand by and do nothing while America’s next generation is sentenced to debt,” Durbin said Wednesday.

Durbin called for the passage of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) Bank on Student Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which Republicans blocked earlier this year.

“The bill, which I co-sponsored earlier this year, would help ease that burden by allowing students to lower their interest rates,” Durbin said. “I hope some of my Republican colleagues will reconsider and vote to move forward on legislation that will give struggling students and families a fair shot at a higher education without a mountain of debt.”

Durbin said 40 million borrowers are being crushed by the combined $1.2 trillion owed in student loan debt. The average college graduate owes nearly $30,000 after getting his or her degree.

“They do the right thing: they go to school to get ahead but end up with so much debt that it becomes impossible for them to ever pay it back, let alone get ahead,” Durbin said.

Find out more at the…

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A Guide To Paying Off Your Student Loans Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:21:26 +0000 It’s that dreaded time of year for recent graduates: the end of the six-month grace period on student loans.

Whether you owe $5,000 or $50,000, having a handle on your education debt will help you avoid fees, keep your payments affordable and safeguard your credit rating. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and check out these expert tips.

1. Know what you owe: Many lenders will mail you a notification with your required monthly payment once your loan is in repayment. The notice may come from companies with names like American Education Services (AES), Great Lakes or Nelnet. These are student loan servicers, the middle-men who collect your payments and apply them to your debt. Both private lenders — banks, credit unions and other financial firms that provide education loans — and the federal government use servicers to manage payments.

You can always be proactive and contact your lender or visit the Department of Education’s nifty student loan site ( that lets you look up your federal loans. If you still can’t find any record of your loan, contact your school. Once you have all of the information, make a list of all of your loans, with the lender’s name, balance, interest and repayment status, said Lauren Asher, president of the Institute for College Access & Success, an education nonprofit.

2. Study up on your repayment options: Ten years is the standard repayment for federal loans, but you can extend the timeline if the monthly payments are more than you can handle. Keep in mind that you will end up paying more interest over the life of the loan, so the lower monthly bill may not be worth it to you in the end.

Federal loans come with more repayment options than private ones, Asher said. If you have federal loans and aren’t making much money, you may qualify for income-based repayment plan. These plans cap your monthly payments to a percentage of your income and, in some cases, forgive any remaining debt after 25 years of payments. If you work in the public or nonprofit sectors, you may qualify for loan forgiveness after 10 years of payments. Check out for more information on income-based programs.

Private loans are not eligible for the government’s income-based repayment plans, but some lenders will allow you to make interest-only payments if you are struggling. You may encounter a fee to lower your payments and the service is usually offered for a limited time…

Read the rest of the tips at the Washington Post…

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Student Debt Crisis on CFPB Annual Student Loan Report Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:40:40 +0000 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16th, 2014
CONTACT: Natalia Abrams
310-365-1069 –

Student Debt Crisis on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Annual Report on Student Loans.

“We applaud the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for their recent report which outlines the struggles faced by private student loan borrowers. Their main finding being, there are little to no protections or loan modification options for those who hold private student loans; while Federal student loans have a variety of repayment options that are defined by law. In fact, there was a 38% increase in borrower complaints in the last year, most of which were directed at this problem. We are grateful that the CFPB is on the side of student loan borrowers, and we will continue to support them on their mission.”  Natalia Abrams – Executive Director

Student Debt Crisis has always drawn similarities between the student debt problem and the sub-prime mortgage bubble, as a way of highlighting how problematic our current system is. Our position is supported by the CFPB’s insistence that these complaints, “closely mirror problems found in the mortgage servicing market”. Student Debt Crisis has experienced this with our own borrower outreach, as we have talked with hundreds of borrowers who have been victimized by unregulated private student loan lenders.

We encourage the CFPB to continue their collection of consumer complaints, as their reports have brought clarity to this massive problem, and helped direct the efforts of Student Debt Crisis.

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Student Debt Crisis – Past Co-Founders and Officers Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:10:09 +0000 Robert Applebaum Robert Applebaum is an attorney from Staten Island, NY and the founder of’s predecessor organization,  Rob is a 1998 graduate of Fordham University School of Law and, thereafter, he served as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y. between 1999 and 2004. After 5 years of service as an ADA, because of his exponentially increasing student loan debt, Applebaum made the unfortunate decision to leave a public service job he loved for the private sector, where he remained for the next 5 years.

In late January, 2009, frustrated with countless bailouts of the very institutions responsible for the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, news of lavish vacations, exorbitant bonuses and office redecorations, Robert Applebaum authored an essay entitled “Forgive Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy” which he posted to a new Facebook Group by the same name.  Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Facebook group, Rob founded so as to advocate for both current and former students struggling under massive amounts of student loan debt.

Applebaum’s petition on the White House’s “We the People” site, which garnered over 32,000 signatures, resulted in a direct response from the Obama Administration, culminating in their introduction of the “Pay As You Earn” initiative in October, 2011.

Rob’s petition on, in favor of H.R. 4170, The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, garnered over One Million signatures and, on June 28, 2012, he presented his petition to Rep. Hansen Clarke, author of H.R. 4170, at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

Robert Applebaum has written on the topic of student loan debt for The New York Times,, The Guardian and The Hill.

He has been featured in BusinessWeek, The Economist, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Now on PBS, Nightly Business Report, RT America, PBS NewsHour and Default: The Student Loan Documentary.

Kyle McCarthy Kyle McCarthy, Kyle serves as a “people mobilizer” by utilizing social media to achieve measurable results for small businesses, nonprofits, and social change organizations. He is also the co-founder, a non-profit organization dedicated to fundamental reforms to the way in which higher education is paid for in America. For his work on student loan reform, Kyle was recently named a Democracy for America Netroots Scholar and was listed as one of “Ten Leaders Fighting for Student Loan Reform.” His writing on this topic has appeared in Huffington Post, The Nation, Buzzfeed, Yahoo News!, PolicyMic, IPF and more. Aaron Calafato Aaron Calafato, Aaron is a professional actor and storyteller.  His work specifically deals with using performance and storytelling as a social tool to instigate conversation, civil discourse, and social change.He is a recent recipient of a 2012 Emerging Artist Grant from The Puffin Foundation and  is currently touring his solo-piece FOR PROFIT as seen in:The Chronicle , Campus Progress, NPR,  WEWS ABC Channel 5 , The Fiscal Times, TheHill and Washington Monthly Jacob Willman, Video Editor | Steve Abrams, Webmaster/ IT ]]> 0
Scandal- Student Debt Thu, 09 Oct 2014 19:56:07 +0000 whatmore

Our members know how important the student debt crisis is! But for others, this issue has just begun to scratch the surface. Student loan debt reform is now capturing news headlines, filling shows like Real Time with Bill Maher, The David Letterman Show and now its even hit America’s favorite political drama- Scandal. If its not clear by now, the student debt crisis effects ALL OF US, even Olivia Pope!


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NBC News Talks With SDC About Borrowers Delaying Marriage Tue, 07 Oct 2014 19:28:25 +0000 I now pronounce you in decades of debt.

Student loans have hit a record high of $1.2 trillion, putting a crimp in The American Dream of owning a home and starting a family. And it’s affecting the broader economy too.

 “People cannot participate in the American dream because of student debt,” said Natalia Abrams, executive director and co-founder of
Cody Hounanian, 23, graduated from University of California, Los Angeles last year with about $30,000 in debt. He worked part-time at an In-N-Out Burger restaurant near campus throughout college and now works full-time as a manager at Whole Foods in his hometown of Santa Clarita, Calif. He is in the process of applying to law school.

He’s not married, doesn’t expect to be anytime soon and puts part of the blame on the burden of student debt.

“I’m sure there are people who say, ‘I don’t want to have a husband or a wife who is $100,000 in debt,’ but I think the real problem is more indirect. There’s almost not enough time to go out and start a family,” he said. “It’s an aspect that people forget. Planning and investing: forming relationships get in the way of that.”

“People cannot participate in the American dream because of student debt.”

Abrams said that even people with decent-paying jobs are delaying that walk down the aisle because of debt. “If you owe $100,000 to $150,000 in student loans, you’re paying $1,000 to $1,500 a month. It’s cost-prohibitive,” she said.

 “Everything from saving for a home to saving for retirement is completely off the table,” Abrams said.

Student debt isn’t the only reason young people are putting off marriage, of course. Women are putting significantly more time into earning advanced degrees. And jobs for less-educated Americans have withered, causing a longer search for a career that can provide a middle-class lifestyle…

Read the entire story at NBC News…

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SDC on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher Tue, 07 Oct 2014 18:01:07 +0000 is in the news again! This week, we were privileged to work further with HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on their continued efforts to #FlipADistrict. Student debt reform and predatory for-profit colleges have become headline news, and Real Time wants to lead the charge in Minnesota. For months, our members have answered the call to stand up to dishonest politicians who protect billionaires over student loan borrowers, and because of #FlipADistrict we are even closer to firing Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and other’s like him! We have been working closely with the Real Time crew to organize performances, voter registrations, and other events in Minnesota’s 2nd-district aimed at highlighting the student debt crisis in America. Recently, they invited Natalia Abrams for an exclusive backstage interview to give us all the student loan facts, and some simple ways that we can all get involved this election season!

Click here to view the embedded video.

Check out for more, and click “SPREAD THE WORD” to download your #FlipADistrict campaign poster and bumper sticker!

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Get Involved! Sign Petition to Expand Student Loan Repayment Options Mon, 06 Oct 2014 17:34:58 +0000 Its time to get involved! The Department of Education is going to change the rules, and allow more student loan borrowers to lower their payments based on their income. They are holding two public hearings to discuss expanding the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) repayment option.  The Department of Education needs help forming new policies, and they want to hear from YOU!

Take a second to get involved, and sign this petition asking that the Department of Education preserve the minimal protections already available to borrowers.

Here are many more reasons you need to sign this petition, and share your opinion with the DoE:

Student loan debt has surpassed $1.2 trillion, and many Americans are struggling to handle the burden of their education debt.

But earlier this year, President Obama signed an executive order that could make repaying student loans a lot easier for millions of borrowers. Now the Department of Education is asking Americans how the rules for the Pay As You Earn program (PAYE) to all federal student loan borrowers, lowering their monthly payments, reduces how much interest may accrue on their loans, and potentially reducing the repayment period.

You can help millions of people get student debt relief by signing on to our petition telling the Department of Education to make sure PAYE benefits as many people as much as possible.

PAYE is currently only available to recent borrowers, leaving 25 million borrowers ineligible for the program. For borrowers who owe more in student loans than they make annually, PAYE would:

  • Limit loan payments to only 10% of their discretionary income. Income-Based Repayment, the income-driven repayment plan for older loans, requires payments of 15% of discretionary income.

  • Reduce the amount of interest that can be capitalized, or added to, their loan balance. If borrowers’ reduced payments don’t cover the actual amount of interest that accrued on their loans for the payment period, the additional amount of interest would be eliminated rather than being added to the loan balance. Over the course of the repayment period, borrowers would be made to repay no more than 10% of the interest owed on the loan at the time of enrollment.

  • Forgive any remaining balance after 20 years. Currently, borrowers not in Public Service Loan Forgiveness must pay for 25 years before their balances are forgiven.

Extending this program to more borrowers would have a huge impact—putting more money back into borrowers’ pockets, alleviating financial stress for borrowers and giving the economy a boost.

The Department of Education has the chance to help millions of people with their student loans. We can make sure they do it right. Sign our petition now and join your friends and family in calling for real student debt relief!

Want to get involved directly? You can attend the Department of Education rulemaking hearings in Washington D.C. and Anaheim, CA!

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Voter Registration Event in Northfield, MN! Thu, 02 Oct 2014 19:00:39 +0000 Voter Registration Event
Tuesday, October 7th @ 4-6PM
Goodbye Blue Monday Coffeehouse
319 Division Street knows how important it is to have a voice, and our organization believes that voting is one of the most powerful ways that your voice can be heard by those with the power to make a difference! There will be a Voter Registration Event Tuesday, October 7th, at Goodbye Blue Monday Coffeehouse to help 2nd-Districters beat the pre-registration deadline. Make sure to be registered in time for the November 4th election, so that your opinion counts. With your help, and VOTES, we can be lead by politicians who truly care about America’s student loan borrowers!


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