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

For the week ending Friday November 08, 2013

Student Loan News:

1. Focus on Better Student Loans: 

Too much attention is paid to scholarships for people who are already on a path to college, and not enough is given to improving student loans and preparing younger students for college.

For students who are ready for college but cannot afford it, there is a simple solution: what economists call consumption smoothing. This can allow one’s older self to finance investments in one’s younger self. (Another example is pensions, which redistributes from one’s younger working self to one’s older retired self.) Consumption smoothing requires a good system of student loans. Official site:


2. Study: Student Debt Increasing for Four-Year Graduates 

This October, the U.S. Department of Education released the brief report “Degrees of Debt.” The report compares the effects of student debt on three cohorts of students who received a bachelor's degree over a 15-year period, and has some interesting – and in one case surprising – findings.

The three cohorts examined in the report graduated in 1992-1993, 1999-2000 and 2007-2008. The 2007-2008 cohort graduated during the Great Recession, which may influence some of the numbers. Details here:

3. New Student Loan Rules Add Protections for Borrowers:

If you are a former student having trouble paying back college debt, you may be relieved to hear that the Education Department has created new rules that will bolster borrower protections for federal education loans.

The new regulations will make it easier for distressed borrowers to get out of default and repay their loans, said Pauline Abernathy, vice president of the nonprofit Institute for College Access and Success, which supported the changes. For more info:

Student Loan Blog Posts:

1. 4 Things You Need to Know About Repaying Your Student Loans: 

When it comes to repaying your federal student loans, there’s a lot to consider. But, by taking the time to understand the details of repayment, you can save yourself time and money. This should help you get started.

When do I begin repaying my federal student loans?

You don’t have to begin repaying most federal student loans until after you leave college or drop below half-time enrollment. Many federal student loans have a grace period. The grace period is a set period of time after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment before you must begin repaying your loan. The grace period gives you time to get financially settled and to select your repayment plan. Note that for most loans, interest will accrue during your grace period. Understand more:

2. Student Loan Lingo You Need to Know: 

When you were deciding how to finance your education, you probably became intimately familiar with the jargon and acronyms involved with student financial aid — FAFSA, EFC, Pell grants, disbursement, etc. At the time, you may have just been eager to finance your education and didn't worry too much about the details. If you've now started paying on loans, or payoff is in the near future, there’s an entire glossary of words you’ll want to become familiar with.

Consolidation: You may be able to combine your Direct Federal student loans into one consolidated loan, which could mean one payment that may be less than the payments for each loan separately. Consolidating loans may also extend your loan period, which could mean lower payments but more interest being paid in the long run. Browse more:

3. Coping with student loan repayment: 

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found many of the same types of loan servicing problems that affected consumers in the mortgage market are now affecting student loan borrowers. Just as troubled homeowners were often unable to pay their mortgages, refinance their loans, or receive timely assistance from loan servicers, many student loan borrowers are now experiencing many of the same difficulties. Although the report focuses on private student loans, some of the servicing problems identified also affect federal student loan borrows.

“Unfortunately, with few refinancing options, many student loan borrowers tell us they feel stuck in loans with high rates, well after they've graduated and landed a job,” said Rohit Chopra, CFPB’s student loan ombudsman. Click here: Around The Web: