Student Loan Debt is becoming more and more the responsibility of the student, and less that of the parents. According to a Discover student loan survey, only 52% of parents said they were going to help their kids pay for student loans. That’s down from 58% last year.
This news comes as student loan debt is skyrocketing and one in 10 student loans across the nation are at least 90 days delinquent.
Danny Ray, the president of Discover Student Loans, doesn’t know why more parents are refusing to help their kids with their student loans. Could they be more confident in their child’s ability to pay them back or could they be just plain ready to say “no” and let kids learn to deal with student loan debt?
Outstanding student-loan debt hit $1.08 trillion, up $114 billion over the course of 2013.
For those who cannot pay student loan debt, there are many repayment options that you could exercise before you go into default. Options such as the consolidation or income-based options are readily available. Also, Obama has recently extended the Pay As You Earn initiative that could benefit many students that are exiting college and trying to find steady work.
Pay As You Earn helps those with mounting student loan debt, as it caps your payment at 10% of your income.
If you lose your job or have a major life change that effects your ability to pay, deferment or forbearance could help by hold off payments for a period of time until you can get back on your feet.
However, forbearance should only be a last resort to keep your student loan debt from going into default according to Abby Harper, spokesperson for Upromise by Sallie Mae. Forbearance allows you to stop your payments for a time, but interest continues to build up.
As parents, if you do plan to help your kids pay back their student loans, it’s a good idea to sit down with them and write up exactly what you expect to do and exactly what is expected of your student.
If you don’t, you could at least be sure they know all of their options so that student loan debt doesn’t ruin their bright future!
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