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College Talk Blog

Student Loan Debt

New Student Loan Interest Rate Hurts Recovery

In the midst of our emergence from the worst economic downturn in nearly 100 years, why is it necessary for Congress to raise student loan interest rates significantly above what it actually costs to borrow the money? This policy hurts our recovery particularly for students graduating from college into what is being called a "jobless recovery". Graduating college students saddled with extra debt take even longer to arrive at the point where they can buy cars and homes, marry and start a family.

How Students Can Get Even with Congress

It has not escaped student and parent consciousness that Congress is paying more attention to internal political battles than the people who elect them. Last week those we elected chose not to act to prevent the doubling of student loan interest rates for undergraduate students at a cost of an additional $4,000 or more in student loan interest per student.  This is troubling on three fronts.
 
  • The first is the impact of doubled interest rates on the ability of students to repay their loans and move on with their lives, buy homes and have children of their own.

Declaration of Independence from Student Loan Debt

In the US, where we desperately need graduates in a variety of scientific and technical fields such that we have to import talent from other countries, Congress has allowed student loan interest rates to double as of Monday, July 1, 2013. Interest rates  for future student loans provided by the government through the William T. Ford Direct Student Loan Program increased this week from 3.4% to 6.8%. Most consumers are unaware that the goverment will pocket an anticipated profit of 4% of the interest charged.

July 1 interest rate increase is significant

On average, kids graduate from college in the US with $23,000 to $27,000 in student loan debt. They graduate into a slow but improving economy where pay is often lower than their expectations. Their student loan payments take a healthy bite out of already low paychecks.
 
Student loans are an important resource for students allowing students from all socioeconomic groups access to post high school education. At the current 3.4% interest rate, the subsidized student loan is a good deal.

Welcome to Chateau Mom and Dad

Students are graduating from college with record debt levels. The average amount borrowed for a four year degree now ranges between $24,000 and $28,000. The impact of the debt is that it is carried forward into their 30's which can affect when they will be able to afford a home, save for retirement or start a family. 
 
Much is being written about parent fears that their new college graduate will move back home to live in the basement after graduation. Rather than fear it, parents can be proactive and welcome it.