Income-Driven Repayment Programs for Federal Student Loans are a Mess

Income-Driven Repayment Programs for Federal Student Loans are a Mess

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just published a report examining Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) programs and how they are being managed. The findings are not encouraging. The Department of Education approved forgiveness for a total of 157 loans under Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans as of June 1, 2021, but has not taken the steps necessary … Read more

Has Anyone Had Their Loans Forgiven Under IBR Yet?

Question: Dear Steve, I read your article on repayment plans, and it was fascinating. My Fed loans were taken out before 2014. Can you please let me know how many people have completed the Income-Based Repayment Plan using only the IBR I am eligible for? I believe it started in 2009, and if I am … Read more

How Many People Have Student Loans Forgiven Under the Income-Based Repayment Plan?

Question: Dear Steve, I have been trying to find out how many people have actually completed an Income-Based Repayment plan because the Dept of Education always argues this in an adversary proceeding. Any idea on how many people there are who have actually completed it? Rodger Answer: Dear Rodger, Nobody. Nada. Zilch, Zero. The Income-Based … Read more

Navient is So Unfair

Question: Dear Steve, In 1995 I took out a loan at Devry. 17,000 of unsubsidized and 17,000 of subsidized totalling 34,000 dollars. After Y2K companies didn’t need as many programmers as they suspected, which left me high and dry. I just couldn’t afford to pay down my load with Sallie Mae being unemployed. Plus, Sallie … Read more

Student Loan Assistance Companies on Notice Now for Inflating Repayment Plans to Get $0 Payments

A long implemented trick by some student loan assistance companies has been to tell consumers they can inflate the number of people they support in order to reduce the monthly payment on Income-Drive Repayment (IDR) Plans. Consumers have reported and I’ve covered stories where sales representatives of student loan assistance companies, sometimes pretending to be … Read more

My Ph.D. in Engineering Left Me With Student Loan Debt I Can’t Afford

Question: Dear Steve, I’ve accrued ~$450,000 of student loan debt in the pursuit of getting a PhD in engineering. My payments are around $4500 per month minimum from both private and federal loans. I can’t keep up with the payments, I’m slowly sinking into not being able to pay anything even though I have a … Read more

What Advice Should I Give My Prison Pen Pal About Student Loans?

Question: Dear Steve, My prison pen pal has been incarcerated since 1998, and will probably serve another 6 years. He took out Perkins Loans and a private college loan for the one year he was in college before he was incarcerated. He wants to know the status of these loans and/or how to get them … Read more

Judge Grants Discharge of Federal Student Loan Interest in Bankruptcy. Upheld.

Interest rate negotiation can result in a lower interest rate than you are paying now.

Vicky Jo Metz borrowed $16,613 back in the 1990s to attend a community college, but she never got a degree. Over the years, she filed for bankruptcy three times, but she continued making payments on her student loans under court-approved repayment plans. In fact, she paid almost 90 percent of what she originally borrowed. Nevertheless, … Read more

You Should Die Before You Pay Off Your Student Loans: Estate Planning for Elderly Student-Loan Debtors

Steve Rhode posted an essay yesterday titled “Make Sure You Die Before Your Parent Plus and Federal Student Loans Are Forgiven.” As Mr. Rhode explained, the federal government cancels all unpaid student loans owed by debtors who die before their loans are repaid. The canceled debt is not a burden on the deceased debtor’s estate. … Read more

What If We Just Fixed the Income-Based Student Loan Repayment System

Sandy Baum published a short essay yesterday in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled “Don’t Get Rid of the Income-Based Loan Repayment System. Fix It.” As she said in her essay, the federal student-loan repayment system as it now stands is “broken and at risk of collapsing.” I have a few reservations about Ms. Baum’s … Read more

Mike Meru Racked Up $1 Million in Student Loans to Go to Dental School

Perhaps you read Josh Mitchell’s story in the Wall Street Journal about Mike Meru, who took out $600,000 in student loans to go to dental school at University of Southern California. Due to fees and accrued interest, Meru now owes $1 million. How did that work out for Dr. Meru? Not too bad actually. He’s … Read more

I Haven’t Paid My Private Student Loans in Six Years

Question: I am currently in a massive amount of debt. I currently make 52k a year before taxes and my wife is currently unemployed. I have around $50k in private student loan debt that I have been paying for the past 6 years. I am currently 6 months behind on payments for these loans. I … Read more

I Don’t Have Anything and Won’t Have Anything But This Damn Student Loan Debt

Question: Dear Steve, I have like 150k in loans, most federal but about 30k private, I My degree was worthless, fine art. I sure wish I never went to graduate school, but thought it would lead to a college job, thanks 2008. I’ve been putting the loans off for 10 years now. making some payments … Read more