« Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 0 today (and 2 NFP) | Main | Environment - "Why do American farmers need some of the strongest anti-whistleblower laws in the land?" »

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Law - "A Beginner’s Guide to Repaying Student Loans"

The NY Times' Ron Lieber's "Your Money" column Saturday began:

Too many people, including plenty of brand-new college graduates, fall far behind on their student loan payments for no good reason.

How many? The Department of Education does not supply much data on late payments. But the student loan expert Mark Kantrowitz, using data from lenders, estimates that between one-quarter and one-third of borrowers are late paying their first student loan bill.

It can get worse as the days and years go by. Last year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, using 2012 data from the credit bureau Equifax, determined that 35 percent of people under 30 who were supposed to be making student loan payments each month were actually 90 or more days delinquent.

Whatever the numbers, they add up to a normalization of tardiness that can damage the credit scores of young adults. And one big reason it’s happening is the fact that many among the indebted simply aren’t sure how many loans they have, how and when to pay them back correctly and how to find and use programs for people who can’t afford the full payments.

Let us pause for a moment to state the plain fact that the entire college financing system is a national disgrace. College costs are high, universities don’t counsel undergraduates well enough, families get in over their heads, there are too many types of loans, the repayment options are dizzying, and lenders and the companies that collect the payments are sometimes bad actors.

But this column exists for the far-from-ideal world we have to live in today, one where if the trend lines that the New York Fed has outlined continue, half of all 25-year-olds who have credit reports will have student loan debt in a couple of years. This week, we’re introducing a new student loan calculator. It can tell you what the average student loan debt is at schools you’re considering, what sort of salary might make the debt affordable and how different repayment options could significantly affect what you ultimately spend.

What follows is a basic guide for rookie student-loan debtors that can keep people out of some of the most common types of trouble.

The story includes a Student Loan Calculator with a number of features.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 18, 2014 12:01 PM
Posted to General Law Related