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Two Student Loan Studies Everyone Missed

Education Next – Jason D. Delisle

“Novel research that focuses on student loans tends to receive considerable attention these days. Yet two recent studies with big implications for the federal student loan program have gone largely unnoticed. Perhaps that is just a coincidence. Or perhaps it is because these studies contradict popular narratives about student debt that imply the loan program ought to be more generous and lenient. Each paper is summarized below, followed by a discussion of what the findings imply for policy reforms.”(more)

How freezing credit after Equifax will shut you out of some student loans

USA Today – Susan Tompor

“Here’s something student loan borrowers don’t want to hear: The Equifax data breach now could cast a shadow on applying for some college loans, too. After the Equifax data breach hit in early September, many consumer watchdogs —including the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. PIRG — advocated that consumers consider putting a freeze on their credit report if they felt their Social Security number and other data had been compromised.”(more)

Winners and Losers in President Trump’s Student Loan Plan

Education Next – Jason D. Delisle and Alexander Holt

“President Trump proposed major changes to the federal student loan program in his first budget request to Congress. These include reforms to the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program and the interest-free benefit on some loans for undergraduates. This paper offers a first look at the likely net effect of these changes proposed for undergraduate and graduate students (excluding the effects of eliminating the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program). We use hypothetical borrower scenarios to compare how much borrowers with different loan balances would pay under the Trump proposal as compared to the existing program. Generally, we show that undergraduate students would receive a net increase in benefits relative to the current program due to earlier loan forgiveness. Those benefits are largest for borrowers with above-average debts and relatively higher incomes in repayment. The analysis also provides a reminder that graduate students can receive generous benefits under the current IBR program without having to earn a low income. The Trump proposal would substantially reduce benefits for graduate students below what they could receive under the current IBR program and even under the original 2007 version of IBR.”(more)

The Tangled World of Teacher Debt

Education Next – Alexander Holt and Jason D. Delisle

“Say you’re a 3rd-grade public school teacher with $50,000 in student-loan debt. The federal Stafford Teacher Loan Forgiveness program sounds like a great idea: teach for five years while you make monthly payments right-sized for your income, and the government will forgive $5,000 of what you owe. But then comes the fine print. Accepting the $5,000 resets a different loan-forgiveness clock—the one that would have erased your outstanding debt entirely after 10 years, since you’re a public employee. To access that benefit, now you’re stuck with another decade of payments, or 15 years in all. It’s hard to follow, and would be even if the explanation were not buried in Section 8 of the “Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification” form in the third paragraph of the subsection titled ‘Other Important Information’.”(more)

Class of 2017: Get a jump on adulthood with these 7 tips

USA Today – Teddy Nykiel

“College prepares students to be everything from accountants and teachers to government workers and health care technicians, but not all students learn basic money management skills. Here’s advice for this year’s graduates on how to succeed financially.”(more)

Graduating? Here’s What to Know About Your Student Loans

The New York Times – Ann Carrns

“Whether the speaker at your college graduation is the Apple chief executive Tim Cook (M.I.T.) or the actress Eva Longoria (Knox College), the event signals the end of your undergraduate career — and moves you that much closer to having to repay your student loans. Most federal student loans come with at least a six-month grace period, a time during which you don’t have to make monthly payments. For spring graduates, that means repayment is likely to begin sometime in November or December. That gives new graduates some breathing room — to find a job, rent or buy an apartment, or buy a car — before starting to make payments. But many borrowers, despite studying hard to earn a degree, are uneducated about the type of loan they have, how long it will take to repay, what their monthly payment is likely to be and other important details, according to research from Prudential Financial. So they may be caught off guard when it comes time to begin repayment.”(more)