Federal Student Loans Are Choking PeopleBy: Mike Tuttle - July 7, 2014
Here is a startling statistic that you may not be aware of. Outstanding student loans have surpassed credit card debt in this country. They stand at $1 Trillion. The Federal Reserve has determined that this level of debt keeps borrowers from buying homes, saving for retirement, and engaging in consumption that helps drive a healthy economy.
Senator Elizabeth Warren argues that the Federal government is using student loans as a money-maker. This year, the federal government will make $34 billion on student loans. The government even makes money on its loans to low-income students – 36 cents, on average, for every student loan dollar it puts out.
The average student leaves college $29,000 in debt after earning a bachelor’s degree. Then they head out to work at entry-level positions and have to jump right in to paying those loans, right when they should be focusing on starting homes, careers, and businesses.
Warren has argued that the government should loan money to students at the same rate that it loans to banks, less then 1%. Her bill to forgive student loan chunks and allow for lower interest rates has stalled in the Senate. But proponents vow to keep fighting for it.
In the meantime, others look for alternatives to help pull their debts down lower. One common alternative is refinancing and consolidation of loans. Students commonly have more than one loan, or perhaps multiple loans in a household. Consolidating those loans through a private lending institution at a lower rate is an attractive offer for some.
Brendon McQueen, the founder of student loan debt management app Tuition.io explains, “On the federal consolidation side, they take a blended average of your existing interest rates and fold them up into a single federal loan. In certain instances, if you have a loan with an incredibly low interest rate, you may not choose to include that loan in your consolidation package because it would affect the interest.”
In other words, treat this debt like any other. Look for better interest opportunities and take them when you can find them.
Whether an answer comes from legislative channels or through market possibilities, everyone agrees that student loans are strangling people just as they come out of higher education and try to take their place in society.
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