student loan debt, Student Loans

Former For-Profit College Operator Settles Bankruptcy Case with Department of Education

A settlement was reached between former for-profit college operator, FCC Holdings Inc., and the U.S. Department of EducationThe $8 million settlement is part of the company’s bankruptcy case and signifies the end of years of legal battles 

FCC Holdings formerly operated 41 for-profit colleges under various names. Before filing for bankruptcy, FCC Holdings sold 14 of their for-profit colleges to another company, International Education Corporation (IEC). IEC still operates 11 of these campuses in Florida and Texas under the name of Florida Career Colleges.

student loan debt, Student Loans

A New Loophole for Certain Kinds of Private Student Loans

Student loan debt has traditionally been extremely difficult to discharge in consumer bankruptcy cases. For those consumers struggling with insurmountable student loan debt, the ability to seek a fresh start through a bankruptcy case has been impossible for this reason. Even if they are able to successfully discharge most of their debts, they still walk away with a significant amount of  student loan debt, including both federal and private student loans. A new loophole could change this fact for borrowers who are struggling to pay their private student loan debts.  

A staggering 45 million American consumers owe a collective $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. Over one million borrowers defaulted on their student loan debt annually. The only method available to these borrowers to discharge their loans in bankruptcy is to meet the “undue hardship” test. Unfortunately, courts view this exception very narrowly and not all courts apply the test uniformly.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Half a Million Borrowers Petition President Trump to Have Their Student Loan Debt Cancelled

More than half a million student loan borrowers have signed a petition posted on Change.org, asking that President Trump sign an executive order that would effectively cancel all federally held student loans. This request makes up around 85 percent of all outstanding student loan debt.

The creator of the petition and founder of student loan advocacy group, StudentLoanJustice.org, Alan Collinge, stated he created this petition as he believes this would be the least expensive way, as well as the most effective way, to bring in trillions of dollars into the national economy. During a time of global pandemic, where the economy has taken a hit, he believes this would be the best way to give the economy a boost.

student loan debt

The Hidden Cost of Student Loan Debt

According to a recent report from the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC), student loan debt may lead to additional interest paid on other forms of debt, including credit cards and mortgages. Borrowers may not realize just how much their debt can influence these other payments and may be paying higher prices without even realizing it.

The effects of student loan debt are far-reaching. Approximately 44 million Americans carry a collective $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. Most of these individuals also carry other forms of debt, the most common of these being mortgages and credit card debt. According to this SBPC study, these individuals are also forced to pay up to tens of thousands more in extra costs when purchasing a home or car or even using their credit card.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, student loan debt

Tips for Keeping Student Loan Debt Under Control During Covid-19

Student loan debt was already a financial burden for many Americans, but the COVID-19 crisis has made it worse. It helps to understand what options are available for borrowers who are struggling to keep up with their student loan debt during this time of crisis.   

Federal Assistance and Forbearance

In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in light of the growing pandemic. The CARES Act includes certain provisions that lighten the burden carried by student loan borrowers. As of March 13, 2020, most federal student loans were put on administrative forbearance which means no payments were due, beginning March 13, 2020 and ending September 30, 2020.

student loan debt

What Borrowers Should Know About Refinancing Student Loan Debt

If you are facing reduced income as the coronavirus spreads, keeping up with your bills may become increasingly challenging—especially if you are among the more than 43 million people in the US who have student loan debt.

Student loan borrowers regularly receive email advertisements regarding the possibility of saving money on their loans by refinancing their student loan debt. The possibility of saving thousands in student loan interest paid on the debt is tempting, but not every refinancing option is legitimate. However, for borrowers who are paying on loans with rather high interest rates, refinancing through a reputable source can be an excellent way to lower how much interest they pay in the end.

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.

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.

student loan debt

The Student Borrower’s Bankruptcy Relief Act Would Make It Easier to Wipe Out Student Loan Debt in Bankruptcy

Discharging student loan debt in a bankruptcy case has been an almost impossible feat for most filers. That is, unless they are able to meet the undue hardship requirements.  However, a new bill named the Student Borrower’s Relief Act of 2019 could potentially remove those roadblocks that have prevented borrowers from receiving relief in the past.

Bankruptcy offers the filer a fresh start where the individual can rid himself or herself of financial burdens that have been weighing him or her down for years. These debts normally include unsecured debt, including credit cards, personal loans or medical bills. However, if the bulk of the person’s debt is student loans, the filer would normally end up in the same situation even after the bankruptcy was over. While medical debt and credit card debt may have been discharged, the borrower would end up still carrying a large amount of debt. It is for this reason that many borrowers might avoid bankruptcy, seeing it as a no-win situation.