Getting to the bottom of private loan rates

October 30, 2007

In our testimony to the Iowa legislature's Government Oversight Committee yesterday, we recommended that the state seek details on the rates charged to students by the Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, the nonprofit lender created by the state. Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org, agrees with us and suggests additional information that should be disclosed by lenders....


Fair Loan Payment Proposal is Now Law

September 29, 2007

By strong bipartisan votes, the Senate and House of Representatives passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act in early September. On September 27, President Bush signed the legislation. Public Law 110-84 includes a new Income Based Repayment plan modeled on our Plan for Fair Loan Payments. Along with the substantial increase in Pell Grants, this is the most significant...


California Budget Gridlock Jeopardizes Student Aid

August 16, 2007

The budget stalemate in Sacramento is about to have serious repercussions for new and returning college students in California. Approximately 266,000 students are expected to receive Cal Grants to help cover fees, books, dorm costs and other expenses, but the agency that administers the Cal Grant will not have the funds for the scholarships until--unless--the state budget is...


Changing the Conversation

July 31, 2007

Private or alternative loans comprise a growing share of student loans, despite being more costly than federal student loans. Students and parents are often unaware of the differences between private and federal loans, and many borrowers don’t know which they have until they enter repayment. Unfortunately, despite required informational sessions about federal loans, the majority...


What a difference the interest rate makes

July 13, 2007

It is easy for consumers to forget just how expensive a few percentage points of interest really is. I made this point on Tuesday in my presentation at the annual conference of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Assume you have $10,000 in loans and the interest is deferred for four years of study, and then the loan is paid in equal installments...