07.24.12 | This Week in Financial Aid

Posted in Financial Aid, News, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

This week has seen some interesting news in the financial aid community. From a new private loans report to a college shopping sheet unveiling, here are some of the hot topics in financial aid right now:

CFPB’s “Private Student Loans” Report Released

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection bureau released a 131 page report on the state of private student loans. This is the first time a report like this has been issued and it has produced some interesting findings. Read the full report or check out some highlights of the report below:

Stats:

  • 90% of all student loans in 2011 were cosigned and required school certification
  • In 2008, 42% of undergrads at for-profit schools received private loans, compared to 14% of all undergrads – Less than 15% of all outstanding loans are from private student loans
  • More than 40% of students don’t exhaust their federal aid before seeking private loans
  • The mean interest rate for private loans in 2011 was about 8.5% (down from about 10% in previous years)

(more…)

07.18.12 | Jane Lynch Chats About Student Loans

Posted in Financial Aid, News, Private Student Loans, Repayment, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

You may recognize Jane Lynch from the wildly popular TV show GLEE where she plays Sue Sylvester, cheerleading coach. Well what you may not know is that she wants to help families and students be smart about paying for college. In the video below, Lynch talks about how student loans have impacted her family, and encourages families to research loan options, saying “going forward, we have to go in there with our eyes open”.

Couldn’t agree more, Jane!

Hear more from Jane in this interview from Fox Business:


06.29.12 | Financial Aid Changes for 2012-2013

Posted in Financial Aid, Graduate Loans, News, Repayment, Stafford Loan, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

With all this talk of the impending Stafford Loan interest rate hike, many other regulation changes have been overlooked. Starting July 1, there are a handful of other updates to federal loan programs that borrowers should be aware of. These changes will not affect loans that were originated before July 1, only loans originated for 2012–2013.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect to see for this upcoming academic year:

Subsidized Stafford Loan Changes

No more subsidized loans for grad. students — Just like undergraduates, graduate students were previously able to receive both subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Starting this year, only unsubsidized loans will be available for grad. students at a 6.8% interest rate.

Elimination of interest subsidy for grace periods — Subsidized Stafford Loans were less expensive than their unsubsidized counterparts because 1) the interest rate was lower and 2) interest was subsidized while enrolled in school and during the 6 month grace period after leaving school. Starting this year, there will be no interest subsidy during grace periods, however, the subsidy will still exist while enrolled in school at least half-time.

UPDATED: Extension of reduced interest rate — As I’m sure most students have heard, a bill was set to expire this year, doubling the rates for Subsidized Stafford Loans to 6.8%. Luckily, Congress just passed a bill to keep the rate at 3.4% for the 2012-2013 year. Learn more about Stafford interest rates, past and present.
(more…)

06.27.12 | Political Cartoon: Student Loan Scam

Posted in College Life, Financial Aid, News, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Loan Scam
 
Thanks to Peter J. Reilly at Forbes for sharing this!

 

06.22.12 | The Freshman’s Guide to Saving Money: Saving Money During the School Year

Posted in College Life, financial aid tips, News by CollegeKid

Welcome back readers.  For those just tuning in, I’m a student who recently completed his freshman year of college.

Student with Empty Wallet

College is a blast, but it’s also expensive.  After breaking the bank this past year, I’m here with advice on how to have a great time in college without spending your entire summer paycheck.

Purchasing tickets to shows/sports events

  1. Look for student discounts – When purchasing tickets to a concert, movie, sports game, etc., always see if you can get a student discount. Many such shows offer tickets at a discounted price to students.
  2. Buy cheap seats - You may really want first row seats to see your favorite team, but for the price they charge, it may not be worth it. When going to shows or sports events with friends, buy bleacher seats – You’re still going to see your favorite athlete and have a great time.

(more…)

06.06.12 | UPDATE: Stafford Loan Interest Rates

Posted in Financial Aid, News, Stafford Loan, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Recently, the U.S. Senate rejected President Barack Obama’s plan to maintain the 3.4% interest rates on federal student loans. If both parties are unable to agree on terms by the July 1 deadline, the rate will jump to 6.8%.

Both parties agree that the rates should remain at 3.4%, but paying for an extension of this proposal would cost $6 billion. So the question is, where will this money come from?

The Democrats are proposing the money come from shutting down a Medicare loophole that business partners can currently use to save money, while the Republicans suggest that eliminating a preventative health fund could provide the funding.

Background

In 2007, when interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans were 6.8%, the Senate approved a law that temporarily reduced the rates to 3.4% for low and middle-income students. While the rates are expected to return to 6.8% on July 1, President Obama is urging legislators to keep those rates at a more affordable level for students and their families.

Learn more about Stafford loans so you can prepare for the upcoming semester.

05.09.12 | Stafford interest rates still in limbo

Posted in Financial Aid, News, Stafford Loan, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

On Tuesday, the Senate voted on the future of Stafford Loan interest rates. The rates for subsidized loans are currently at 3.4%, but without action from the government, will jump to 6.8% come July 1, 2012. A majority of 60 votes were needed to pass the bill which would lower these rates, unfortunately, the votes were split 52/45.

The issue between parties is not lower interest rates — most are in agreement that they should be lowered — it’s the how that’s keeping the bill from passing. The bill, written by the Democrats, attempts to close a tax loophole for high-salary workers in order to fund one more year of low-interest loans. However, the Republicans rather see this money come from elsewhere.

With both parties locked in a stalemate, it’s unclear how this issue will be resolved, but to learn more about the bill, check out this recent article from The New York Times.

04.26.12 | President Obama slow jams the student loan news

Posted in College Life, Financial Aid, News, Stafford Loan, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

I’m pretty sure the title of this post just about says everything I need to say about the following video. Obama + Student loans + music + Jimmy Fallon = Magic. Pure magic. Oh, and what’s even better? It’s actually informative if you want to know more about what’s happening in the world of Stafford Loans right now.

Well done Sirs, well done.

04.23.12 | Obama urges Congress to lower student loan interest rates

Posted in News, Stafford Loan, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

You may have noticed in the news recently, student loan interest rates have been getting a lot of attention. On July 1, 2012, the interest rates of Subsidized Stafford loans are set to climb back up to 6.8%. Here’s why:

In 2007, congress passed a bill, lowering these interest rates for the next few years. Unfortunately, this bill will expire after June 31, and rates will go from 3.4% to 6.8% once again. Congress is now looking for ways to keep this interest rate hike from happening, though nothing solid has happened as of yet.

Last week, Obama spoke out about this issue and what he wants to see happen. Check out the video below to learn more.

03.15.12 | CFPB now taking your student loan complaints

Posted in News, Private Student Loans, Repayment, Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

OmbudsmanIf you have had any issues with your federal student loans, you may be familiar with the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman office. This office is responsible for mediating issues with your federal student loans or financial aid office. Students weren’t lucky enough to have this luxury for private student loans, that is, until now.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created a private student loan Ombudsman office to handle consumer complaints with loan lenders, servicers, and collectors.

What does it really mean for you, the borrower? Well, for starters, a single federal agency is now responsible for overseeing private student loans, which will hopefully provide easy answers to families seeking assistance. This new office will allow families to file complaints, at which point the office will contact the loan lender to help resolve any issues. These could be issues such as you were billed while loans were in deferment, or your payments were not applies as specified. The CFPB will now be able to help resolve loan repayment issues between you and your private loan lender.

While this office does handle complaints, they are also available to answer questions you may have about borrowing a private student loan. For more information or to submit a complaint or question, visit http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ or call 1-855-411-CFPB.