Here are the best articles from around the web this week talking about student loans…

For the week ending Friday December 06, 2013

Student Loan News:

1. Durbin pushing bill to ease struggle of repaying private student loans: 

U. S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Tuesday he is introducing a bill when the Senate convenes next week to protect students from getting overwhelmed by private-loan payments that grow out of control without explanation.

The bill would ensure that students who take out private loans, which carry no interest-rate limits and offer few alternative repayment plans, understand repayment options, the resources available to them and that they be treated fairly by financial institutions servicing the loans. Private loans are different from federal loans, which already have such consumer protections in place. Details here:


2. Student loan oversight expanded: 

The federal consumer finance watchdog is expanding its oversight to Sallie Mae and other companies that collect student loan payments.

A rule issued Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau extends the agency’s supervision to nonbank companies that manage large volumes of student loans on behalf of lenders.

The bureau already oversees banks that service student loans, but it says most student loans are serviced by nonbank companies. It says the scrutiny is needed to ensure servicers comply with consumer laws at a time when more people are falling behind on their student loan payments. Main site:

3. Student loan debt for college graduates continues to rise: 

College graduates who borrowed for bachelor’s degrees received in 2012 had an average student loan debt of $29,400, according to a new report released today from the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access and Success.

The organization, based in Oakland, is an independent nonprofit that works to make higher education more available and affordable.

The average student loan debt for Missouri graduates was $23,030, which ranks 38th in the nation, according to the report. Sixty-three percent of Missouri graduates had loan debt, which ranks 16th in the nation. The national average was 71 percent. Browse more:

Student Loan Blog Posts:

1. After Years of Troubles, Largest Student-Loan Servicers Get Stepped-up Oversight: 

Sallie Mae and other large student-loan servicers — the companies that act as a go-between for borrowers and lenders — will soon be getting some regular oversight from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the watchdog agency announced this week.

ProPublica and others have long documented student borrowers’ troubles with the companies that handle the day-to-day collection of student-loan payments and communicate with borrowers.

“Student loan servicers can have a profound impact on borrowers and their families,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said Monday in a call with reporters. “Given how quickly this market has grown and the recent uptick in delinquency rates, it is important for us to ensure that borrowers receive appropriate attention from their servicers.” More information:

2. Feds to monitor student debt collectors: 

Companies that collect and process student loan payments are about to be placed under the eyes of the federal government.

On Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – a key creation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed in 2010 – announced it will begin regulating the seven largest companies that process federal student loan payments. This list includes the Department of Education’s primary loan servicers: Sallie Mae, Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, and Nelnet Servicing.

The CFPB will be primarily concerned with ensuring that companies are complying with federal consumer financial law by providing borrowers with accurate information, refusing to charge unnecessary fees, and confirming that they are processing student loan payments as requested by borrowers. Explore more:

3. U.S. regulator to keep an eye on largest student loan servicers:

The U.S. consumer financial watchdog will soon start supervising the seven largest student loan servicers to ensure they treat borrowers fairly and comply with federal consumer laws, the agency said on Tuesday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken a broad interest in the burden of student loan debt, which it says now totals $1.2 trillion and saddles many borrowers with debt that takes years to repay.

More than 40 million borrowers with non-bank student loan debt depend on companies that manage borrowers’ accounts and process payments. Read more: Around The Web: