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July 31, 2012

Sen. Harkin Report Blasts For-Profit Colleges

Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, confirmed what Heather has been warning students about for a number of years - For-Profit Colleges are a risky investment for borrowers and account for more than half of all student loan defaults, according to Mr. Harkin's report.   Wrapping up a two-year investigation into for-profit colleges, Sen. Harkin blasted the industry for "...overwhelming documentation of exorbitant tuition, aggressive recruiting practices, abysmal…

By James  |  Category:    

July 20, 2012

Private Student Loans Boom & Bust: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Report

I have a generally low opinion of private loans, as they are typically risky and expensive for borrowers.   Unfortunately, higher education is so expensive that many of us cannot cover the costs of our dream school while still avoiding private student loans.    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today released the most comprehensive study of private student loans we’ve seen, including a large set of quantitative and qualitative data. The study was informed by data provided by lenders in the marketplace, existing…

July 17, 2012

New Student Loan Regulations Introduce ICR-A

The Department of Education today published proposed regulations implementing a better, faster, and stronger repayment option for student loan borrowers.  Formerly known as President Obama’s Pay As You Earn initiative, it shall now be known by the absurdly non-descriptive name of ICR-A.  [sigh]   In spite of the stupid name, the new repayment option ROCKS (if you can get it…) There is fine print of course, but here’s the gist: Annual payments are capped at 10 percent of “discretionary income” (IBR’s…

July 17, 2012

Credit Suisse’s Top U.S. Economist Explains Current Student Loan Crisis in 9 Charts

Neal Soss, Credit Suisse's leading U.S. economist recently published a report entitled, "A Lesson on Student Loans," in which he laid out the current student loan crisis in nine charts.  "In the past few years, the volume of student loans has increased dramatically, reaching almost $1 trillion by the end of Q1 2012," wrote Soss.  "Student loans outstanding have surpassed credit cards and auto loans as the second largest form of consumer debt, following mortgages."  This much we've known for some time.  What is troubling…

By James  |  Category:    

July 10, 2012

A Shared History, a Shared Future?

As Americans around the world celebrated last week their forefathers' courage to throw off British rule and give birth to a new country 236 years ago, we must also recognize that our relationship with Great Britain is a complicated one.  Our legal systems, the English Common Law and the American Legal System, share many core tenets.  In terms of military cooperation, trade and commerce, economic activity, nuclear weapons technology, and the sharing of intelligence, you would be hard-pressed to find any two world powers more closely…

By James  |  Category:    
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