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

For the week ending Friday January 17, 2014

Student Loan News:

1. Fed Student-Loan Focus Shows Recognition of Growth Risk: 

Tiffany Roberson works for the state of Texas as a parole officer, teaches part time and is living with her parents after finishing a master’s degree. She’s held off marrying her boyfriend of four years and starting a family because she owes more than $170,000 in federal and private student loans.

“I’ve never gone into default,” the 30-year-old said. “What really hurts is people say I’m a bum for living at home.”

Federal Reserve economists are trying to determine whether people like Roberson represent a trend that will damage U.S. growth, partly by restricting sales of houses and cars. Student loans are one of the only deteriorating pockets of consumer credit, with balances and delinquency rates rising to record highs even as a strengthening economy allows Americans to reduce total borrowing. Go here:

Student Loans

2. 3 Potential Student Loan Changes to Eye in 2014: 

Student loans garnered a lot of attention in 2013. Interest rates on federal student loans became a political playing card – again – and debt loads and borrower default rates captured headlines.

The new year could be just as tumultuous for college borrowers. The pending reauthorization of the Higher Education Act could usher in myriad changes to federal student loan programs and interest rates for 2014-2015 loans likely won't remain the same.

Below are three potential student loan changes borrowers should keep an eye on in 2014. Learn more:

3. Repayment strategies for your student loans: 

Students graduating from college enjoy a six-month grace period before they have to start repaying their loans. But for the latest crop of graduates, that period is now over, and those who have loans are figuring out how to pay them off.

The good news is that these recent graduates have several repayment options. The bad news is that they have a lot to pay: The average amount a 2012 graduate with loans owed at graduation was $29,400, according to the Project on Student Debt, an initiative of the Institute for College Access and Success. How successfully they manage the process can affect their readiness to move on with key financial stages of life, from buying a car to taking out a mortgage and even getting married. Understand more:

Student Loan Blog Posts:

1. 3 potential student loan changes to eye in 2014: 

Staggering debt loads and default rates kept student loans in the news last year; and 2014 promises to be another disruptive year for borrowers, with a number of changes to loan programs on deck.

One of the biggest will be a swing in interest rates. Congress provided some relief last summer for government-backed student loans; but because the new, market-based costs are tied to the 10-year Treasury note, they eventually will climb as does the value of the bond. The rate for the 2014-2015 academic year will not be known until June 1; and while the projections range from 2.96 percent to 3.75 percent, the general consensus is that they will be higher. More outline:

2. Fellowships student loan forgiveness programs part of new nurses for wisconsin initative: 

Four University of Wisconsin nursing programs–including the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Nursing–are offering new fellowship and loan forgiveness programs to encourage nurses to pursue doctoral degrees or post doctoral training and assume nurse educator positions in the state.

The $3.2 million Nurses for Wisconsin initiative, which is funded through a UW System incentive grant, comes in response to predictions that Wisconsin could see a shortage of 20,000 nurses by 2035.

The shortage of nursing educators in the state and at UW Oshkosh greatly limits the number of students who can be accepted into nursing programs, said Rosemary Smith, dean of the College of Nursing at UW Oshkosh. More reason:

3. Student Loan Debt has moved passed credit card debt at over a TRILLION Dollars: 

Some interesting facts to consider before you think taking the time to plan for your educational investment and apply and seek out scholarships is too much trouble :

In the last 30 years, tuition has been increasing at four times the rate of inflation, according to the Consumer Price Index.

Approximately one-third of recent grads, if they could do it all again, would have pursued more scholarships or financial aid options, pursued a major that would have led to a higher paying job, or gotten a job while in college and started saving earlier. Read post: