A trillion dollar anvil dragging us down By Van Jones, CNN Contributor


CNN) — The student debt fight is back — with a vengeance.

Once again, current students are facing the possibility of interest rates on Stafford Federal student loans doubling.

Once again, we are asking what our leaders are doing about a crisis that gets worse every year.

Once again, the answer is: Not much.

That is a huge problem — and not just for millennials, or young people born between 1980 and 2000. The approximately $1.1 trillion in student debt out there already constitutes a crisis for every one of us.

It is the only form of household debt that has continued to riseduring the Great Recession. It is also the only form of debt that cannot be discharged under bankruptcy or even death, as parents who have lost children hav...

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The Student Loan Bubble Looks Awfully Like the Housing Crisis, Top Bankers Say

By Alec Liu

The US’s tepid economic recovery could become derailed by yet another bubble. This time it’s student loans, warned the Federal Advisory Council, a group of a dozen bankers who meet quarterly to advise the central bank. Guess what? It smells suspiciously like the housing crash that precipitated the Great Recession only half a decade ago.

The Federal Advisory Council noted that recent growth pushed student-loan debt levels to almost $1 trillion, which “now exceeds credit-card outstandings and has parallels to the housing crisis” Bloomberg News obtained documents last week of the February meetings through Freedom of Information Act requests. The trend has only continued...

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Student Loan Debt: How Much Is Too Much?

Column by (@adam_k_levin) , Credit.com

May 12, 2013

Some call it the Student Loan Bubble — I call it crazy. And what better time to discuss student debt insanity than now, as countless soon-to-be graduates prepare to slip on their caps and gowns? An estimated 1.8 million students are graduating this year, many with degrees that perhaps aren’t worth a damn when it comes to actually getting a job. Nevertheless, many of them will soon be paying back the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars they borrowed to get those nice degrees, and I wonder how many will regret the decision to spend what they spent as they see their interest compound and principals skyrocket through cycles of deferment and forbearance...

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A better approach to student loans Washington Post Editorials, Published: May 5.2013

By Published: May 5

 STUDENT LOAN interest rates are going to double in July. And, no, that’s not nearly as terrible as it sounds.

Last year, President Obama promised to prevent such a scary-sounding outcome to whip up enthusiasm for his reelection campaign. In fact, only some rates were set to increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, and that would have been only on new loans, not existing ones. And even if certain rates had ratcheted up, the government still would have been giving students — risky borrowers, that is — a tremendous deal, and with very generous repayment terms to boot. Nevertheless, cowed lawmakers agreed to keep the lower rates in place for another year, cobbling together $6 billion to pay for it.

This year, the president is taking ...
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Economists: Student loan debt a concern, but is it next bubble?

Student loans are second-largest share of household debt

University of Iowa senior education major Molly Good (center) of Marion, Iowa, talks with graduate student financial counselor Sarah Lobb (left) and assistant director of student financial aid Sara Harrington (right) about her loan payment options during a meeting. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

That’s led to widespread speculation that student debt could be the economy’s next bubble — and the next bubble to burst — with comparisons to the housing market and dot-com bubbles, as well as to the growing number of auto loans.

But several economists and Iowa student loan officials said they believe the growing student debt, while troubling and having the potential to cause economic ripples, won’t be a bursting bubble that shak...

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Republicans’ near-term agenda: pipeline, student loan, debt bills May 3, 2013, 3:53 PM

House Republicans in May are planning to push legislation including bills that would speed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, tie student loan interest rates to market rates for federal borrowing, and ensure that Treasury bondholders are paid if the U.S. hits the debt ceiling.

And, said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a memo to Republicans, while no date is locked in, “I expect that the House will vote on full repeal of Obamacare in the near future.”

“I expect the House to have a full legislative agenda in May,” Cantor said in the memo.

House and Senate lawmakers return on Monday from a week-long recess.

Republicans’ ambitions are clear on a variety of economic issues, but outlook for passage of these bills is less certain...

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Public vs. Private Student Loans: Why the Differences Matter to You

by Bruce Watson May 1st 2013 11:51AM
Now that college acceptance season is well under way, the time has come to get focused on the next harrowing step on the road from high school to the dorm: Paying for it. As hard as it is to get into the college of your dreams, financing four (or more) years there can be even more difficult. And just as the college and major you choose can have a huge impact on the rest of your life, the way you choose to pay for your education can mean the difference between a manageable post-college debt and a crushing burden that will dominate your financial life for years after graduation.

For decades, college tuitions have been rising steeply. In fact, measured in constant dollars, they’ve more than doubled in the last 25 years...

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Student debt worries? Options for paying it off

USA TODAY – Opening up the mailbox to find those long-awaited college acceptance letters is one of the high points for high school seniors. Incurring student loan debt, however, is the reality for millions of these young students who need a way to finance their education.

According to a TransUnion study, student loan balances increased a whopping 75 percent from 2007 to 2012. The average debt per borrower increased by 30 percent to $23,829.

There is some good news, however, for those who have taken out federal student loans. The interest rates on those loans are lower than private loan interest rates.Borrowers also have more legal rights with federal loans than they do with private loans. Here are some important rights to be aware of:

1. The Right to Defer Payment...

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More bad news for student loan borrowers By Nin-Hai Tseng, Writer April 22, 2013: 7:00 AM ET CNN Money

Young, educated workers were once seen by banks as the most promising borrowers. That’s no longer the case, thanks to student loan debt.

unemployment-college-graduatesFORTUNE – Graduation season is upon us. It used to be that in the years after hopeful twentysomethings bid farewell to campus life, they’d start borrowing to buy many things typically associated with adulthood — namely, a car and a home. Many had college loans to repay, but that’s partly what made brainy go-getters so attractive to banks and lenders. They typically earn more over a lifetime, so they seemed like a safe bet.

They may still be, but times have changed. College debt may have once been the good kind ofdebt, but the scale has grown so big that in many cases it has become more burdensome than helpful.

For the first time in at least a decade, 30...

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Michelle’s Mailbag: Co-signing on student loans

By , Monday, April 22, 1:49 PM

This week I’m starting a new feature. I’ll be answering the questions I couldn’t get to during my weekly live chat. I’ll also be pulling from questions you send to me thorough e-mail (colorofmoney@washpost.com), Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/MichelleSingletary.com).

Kids’ “life happens” funds gone

I wrote in last week wondering if I should use my kids’ “life happens” savings accounts (for proms, summer camps and braces) to put a big dent in my $11,000 credit card debt that snuck up on me. It took me less than five minutes after your advice to empty the accounts and pay $7,000 on the debt...

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