student loan debt, Student Loans

Bankruptcy Court Discharges $200,000 in Private Student Loan Debt for Colorado Couple

A major victory was scored for student loan borrowers after a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a ruling stating that a Colorado couple’s private student loan debt could be discharged in their personal bankruptcy case. The ruling allowed $200,000 of private student loan debt to be wiped out, breaking the long-standing stigma that student loan debt, particularly private student loan debt, is near impossible to discharge in a bankruptcy case.

The Colorado couple had taken out $200,000 in private student loans from Navient, one of the nation’s largest student loan issuers. The ruling comes after a similar bankruptcy case, where the borrower also had their student loan debt discharged. In that case, the loan servicer appealed the ruling.

student loan debt, Student Loans

What Borrowers Need to Know About the New Executive Order- “Continued Student Loan Payment Relief During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

A new executive order signed by President Trump is expected to give additional relief to student loan borrowers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is important that all student loan borrowers be aware of what these changes entail and how they can affect their outstanding student loan balances.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill, that included relief effort for numerous aspects of the economy. The CARES Act paused all federal student loan payments and stopped interest from being incurred on federal student loans. Additionally, the stimulus bill put a stop to all federal student loan collection efforts. However, this bill was passed at the beginning of the pandemic with the thought that relief would no longer be needed through the end of 2020 with the hopes that the COVID-19 crisis would eventually be subsiding. Given the fact that numbers of positive cases are growing, and states are struggling to manage the crisis, it has quickly become clear that additional relief was needed. The original relief offered through the CARES Act was set to expire on September 30, 2020.

student loan debt, Student Loans

5 Anticipated Student Loan Changes on the Horizon

Student loan debt has become a hot topic in Congress and on the 2020 presidential campaign. The current COVID-19 crisis further highlighted the issue, which has student loan experts anticipating several potential changes when it comes to student loan debt.

Temporary Pause for Payments

One of the more immediate changes comes with the federal stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This $2.2 trillion stimulus bill offered many different benefits, one of them being a pause for all payments due on federal student loans. This temporary stop is set to last through September 30, 2020. In addition, interest will not accrue on outstanding federal student loans during this period. However, this coverage only includes loans serviced directly by the federal government and not by private providers. If borrowers have loans that were originally federal but later consolidated through a private entity, no immediate pause will occur on these debts. This fact has not stopped many states from working out arrangements with student loan servicers to include private student loans in the temporary relief. Given the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be holding on, this forbearance period could potentially extend beyond September 30, 2020. The Heroes Act has already included a provision to extend the forbearance by one year, but it is not decided yet whether the extension will occur.

Debt Collection, student loan debt, Student Loans

How the Supreme Court’s Recent Decision Affects Student Loan Debt Collection

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has implications for how student loan debts will be collected.  This week, the court issued a 6-3 ruling that debt collectors collecting on government-owned debts cannot do so by robocalling mobile devices.

The ruling came from Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, a case involving a 1991 law banning the federal government from using robocalls to collect on debts. Specifically, the case was brought after a 2015 revision was made by Congress to the 1991 that allowed a distinct group of creditors to collect on government-owned debts, including defaulted federal student loans.

Debt Relief, student loan debt, Student Loans

President Trump Vetoes Student Loan Forgiveness Bill

A recent move by President Trump has student loan borrowers, as well as Veteran’s and Consumer groups, concerned and disheartened after he sided with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and vetoed the bipartisan Borrower Defense to Repayment legislation.

The Borrower Defense to Repayment program is a student loan forgiveness program that was created during the Obama administration as part of an effort to provide debt relief for students who were taken advantage of by predatory colleges and for-profit universities.  Many of the borrowers who fell prey to these predatory tactics were veterans.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, student loan debt, Student Loans

How Student Loan Borrowers Will Benefit from the Stimulus Bill

The recently passed $2.2 trillion stimulus bill provides several different forms of financial assistance for American consumers during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The new bill also provides options for student loan borrowers who are struggling to keep up on their loan payments, which comes as good news for the over 44 million borrowers holding more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

Borrowers who have federally owned student loans will not have to pay on their loans through at least September 30, including Parent PLUS Loans. This payment suspension will occur automatically and does not need to be requested by the borrower.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Entering Retirement with Student Loan Debt

An alarming number of Americans are entering retirement with student loan debt. Normally, student loan borrowers are between the ages of 18 to 39. However, a 2017 report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, showed that people over the age of 60 are the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. population carrying student loan debt.

More than 2.8 million Americans over the age of 60 are carrying some type of student loan debt. This figure has skyrocketed from the 700,000 individuals reported in 2005. Between 2012 and 2017, the balance carried by people over the age of 60 nearly doubled from $12,100 in 2012 to $23,500 in 2017.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Keep Our Graduates Working Act Gathers Support in Florida

A new piece of legislation has been introduced in the Florida State Senate which would protect the professional licenses of student loan borrowers from being suspended or revoked in the event they fall into default on their loan obligations.

The measure is Senate Bill 356, also known as the “Keep Our Graduates Working Act.” The bill expressly prohibits a state authority from suspending or revoking an individual’s professional license, registration, permit or certificate due to the person falling into delinquency or default on his or her student loan obligations.

Debt Relief, student loan debt, Student Loans

An Alarming Number of Student Borrowers Have Made No Progress on their Loan Balances

A disturbing number of student loan borrowers who began their repayment plans between 2010 and 2012 have made little to no progress towards reducing the principal balance owed on their student loans. According to a recent report from Moody’s Investor Services, 49 percent of student loan borrowers whose loan repayment plans began during that time have made no progress. Even worse, many of them have seen their balances grow.

This problem could be due to several factors, including poor job prospects and low salaries in their first jobs after graduation. Depending on the degree pursued by each borrower, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find a viable job that will allow the borrower to make appropriate payments to pay down their student loan debt.

Debt Relief, student loan debt, Student Loans

Changes Coming in 2020 for Student Loan Borrowers

Student loan debt has reached an all-time high in this country with an estimated $1.6 trillion owed nationwide. Student loan debt is a major issue being discussed in the 2020 presidential race, and it is also an issue being addressed in the current legislative session. The U.S. Department of Education is also considering changes for student lending. No matter how you look at it, major changes are coming in 2020 for student loan borrowers.

These changes come at the height of the student loan debt crisis. According to a recent study from Politico/Morning Consult, more than half of American consumers consider student loan debt to be a major problem facing the country. In fact, student loan debt has now surpassed both credit card and auto debt. With the average college graduate walking away with $30,000 in student loans, which is up from $10,000 in the 1990s.