May 26, 2009

Help on the way in May?

-Stories and opinions on President Obama's proposed financial aid changes from The Washington Post (and another), The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Miami Herald, Bloomberg, and The Washington Independent.

-A story on rising default rates from the Times-Herald Record.

-Stories on the burdens of student debt from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, USA Today, The Detroit News, The LaCrosse Tribune and Bankrate.com.

-Help may be on the way for teachers in the form of loan forgiveness. Could help also be on the way for all of us in the form of income based repayments? More here, here and here. Also Illinois Senator Dick Durbin has proposed legislationthat would reverse the bankruptcy law that excludes federal student loans.

-Check out this interview with Alan Collinge, author of The Student Loan Scam, at Inside Higher Ed.

-More shady hijinks appear to be afoot in the student loan industry - Phillip Day, former Chancellor of City College of San Francisco turned head of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, is being investigated for potential fundraising abuse/misuse of public funds. More here. Someone in the student loan/higher education industry having crooked dealings? The hell you say!

Student Loan Debt Clock: $580 billion.

April 28, 2009

NOW on PBS looking for borrowers in hardship

Hey everyone -

I received an email from a woman who works for NOW on PBS, looking for a borrowers in a fairly specific hardship situation to interview for a documentary. If you fit the bill below and are interested, give her a shout.

The national news show NOW on PBS is looking for a student graduate who is in debt, about $50,000 or more, and fits one of the following two profiles:

1) A recent graduate (0-2 years out, give or take) who has been unable to find a job in his or her chosen profession because of the recession and is having difficulty or is totally unable to make his or her student loan payments, or

2) Someone with an advanced degree who is about 5 years out of school and has been hit hard by the recession - possibly lost his or her job or is woefully underemployed, maybe trying to support a family, who is considering bankruptcy.

If you are interested in being interviewed for a documentary that will look at the student loan and recession crisis in the US, please contact us right away. The show will air on Channel 13 in late May, so we'd need to hear from you immediately.

Please contact Elyse Eisenberg at NOW on PBS - (212) 560 8567, eisenberge@thirteen.org - if you are interested in doing the interview.

Ms. Eisenberg has advised me that the show is mostly looking for someone who has mostly private loans and very high interest rates.

April 18, 2009

Spring awakening to debt reality

It seems that spring has finally sprung, and with it, more and more news about debt and the economy. Here are the stories we've been following:

-More on proposals to end subsidies to lenders: NextStudent, and the NY Times.

-Student loan forgiveness/cancellation: Business Week, Baltimore Sun, Florida Courier, NextStudent, and ISBA Bar News.

-Burdens of student debt: Boston.com, Democracy Now, NY Times, Huffington Post, Democrat and Chronicle, Tyler Junior College newspaper, SunSentinal, Credit.com, and Wall Street Journal.

-Defaults on the rise: Christian Science Monitor (and a follow up, including someone who got his debt discharged).

-In good news, those Kentucky teachers we told you about last month may get some help, Northwestern is postponing student loan payments for law grads until they get jobs, a bill has been proposed to help nurses who earn advanced degrees get their loans forgiven, and Consumerist has put together a big list of student loan resources.

-And in completely random news, Sallie Mae seems to be hiring, an attorney has lost his law license over unpaid student loans, another lawyer is using his monopoly championship winnings to pay student loans, Obama's Secretary of the Interior is still paying on his student loans, and Citibank isn't accepting extra money that borrowers send to pay off student loans.

Student Loan Debt Clock: $575 billion. It's a growth industry.