New Research, Movement on IBR

Community College Students Lack Access to Affordable Loans

A new analysis we issued today shows that at least one million community college students - one in 10 nationally - have no access to federal student loans. Almost a quarter of all community colleges do not to participate in the federal loan programs, forcing needy students to resort to riskier, more expensive options such as private student loans and credit cards, or to jeopardize their success in school by working too much.

Important New Resources for Borrowers

Important New Resources for Borrowers

We've been getting a lot of phone calls and e-mails lately.

Some of the calls are from borrowers asking about the two new programs that Congress enacted last year: Income Based Repayment (IBR) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The callers want to know how the programs work, if they will qualify, what loans are covered, and what steps they can take now. Perhaps the question we hear most often is: When will more information be available?

Important Opportunity to Simplify the FAFSA

A new proposed amendment to the House Higher Education Act reauthorization bill (H.R. 4137) -- which goes to the floor tomorrow -- would dramatically simplify the FAFSA for all students and families. It makes practical changes so that aid applicants can ask that the IRS provide their income information directly to the Department of Education. Once that information is automatically filled in, most applicants would only need about 10 minutes to complete the rest of the FAFSA.

Bankruptcy Reform for Private Loans Email Update

Let's Push for Bankruptcy Protection

The House Higher Education Act reauthorization bill is set to go the floor later this week. It includes much of our Private Loan Policy Agenda, but one important piece is still missing: the ability to discharge high-risk, high-cost private loans in bankruptcy like other kinds of consumer debt. An amendment offered by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) would add this provision to the bill. Even if you've written

New Information for Borrowers email update

There's a great new resource for borrowers, developed by the National Consumer Law Center with our support. Student Loan Borrower Assistance is a comprehensive, independent source of practical consumer and legal information for borrowers, their families, and advocates. The site features straightforward information about getting out of default, dealing with collection agencies, finding an affordable repayment plan, and other important issues. It also has valuable resources not found elsewhere

Iowa and Private Loans Email Update

Ever since our first report last year on student debts by state, policymakers in Iowa have been worried. What explains their high debt levels, second only to New Hampshire? Compared to the rest of the country, 27 percent more Iowans finish college with loans, and their average debt of $23,680 is 25 percent higher than the national figure.

What's Done and What's Next Email Update

Two years ago we asked researchers, student groups, college associations, lenders and others about ways to reduce the burdens of rising student debt. The outcome was our plan for affordable payment caps on federal student loans, based on income and family size. Congress heard the call, and a new federal Income Based Repayment program (IBR) -- modeled directly on our plan -- became law last month as part of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

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