With students now back in school after Christmas Break, let’s talk about student loans.
The Huffington Post referenced three potential student loans changes to keep an eye on in 2014.
1. PLUS loans
In 2011, the Department of Education made changes to the PLUS Loans by declaring that no loans be charged off or sent to collections. This change resulted in thousands of PLUS loan borrowers being denied.
“It left students scrambling in the middle of their academic careers, trying to find the funds to remain in school,” Rachel Fishman, a policy analyst for the New America Foundation, said. “That never should have happened.”
Now there’s question as to whether or not the department had the right to make such changes and Congress is set to take a stance on the issue next month. The result could go several ways including: making the changes official, blocking them or making other changes in eligibility.
2. Interest rates
Despite being lowered in 2013, the student loan interest rates will go up this year. With new federal direct loans tied to a 10-year Treasury note, as the note increases, so will the rate.
Though the exact rate hasn’t been determined, some experts predict the rate will rise as high as 3.75%.
The rate should be determined at the beginning of June.
3. Student loan counseling
Student loan counseling is mandatory for all federal student loan borrowers, but it’s nothing more than checking boxes and saying that you agree to certain terms, leaving no real education or interaction.
The Smarter Borrowing Act is a bill introduced by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin that could make counseling more comprehensive. This bill would require colleges to send annual updates, interest rates and repayment options to students. It would also require financial budgeting and literacy for schools with higher default rates.
Some of these changes will help student loan borrowers, some won’t, and some, we just don’t know what the outcome will be yet.
What we do know here at Darrell Castle & Associates, however, is that we don’t want the fear of student loans to hold people back from pursuing their dreams.
If you’re struggling to pay back your student loans, there’s help.
By filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can either delay or reduce your student loan payments.
Are you scared of what a bankruptcy will do to your credit? We understand, and we can help.
We offer a 14-week program that will teach you how to re-establish and rebuild your credit the right way. This program, “7 Steps to 720,” is free for our clients.
With a good attitude, the right lifestyle changes, patience and some hard work, you can come out of a bankruptcy stronger financially than you went in.
If you don’t believe us, we’d love to tell you more!
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy or if you have any questions, please contact us today, either online or by calling us at (901) 327-2100 and one of our experienced Memphis bankruptcy attorneys will be ready to speak with you, free of charge.