Total outstanding college debt is estimated at $1 trillion dollars — and with costs still soaring, the burden on students and their families shows no signs of abating. We're examining how the complicated system of college debt is putting the squeeze on families.
As college costs continue to climb, families are turning to federal Parent Plus loans to fill the gap. But with no checks on their ability to repay, many parents are left overburdened, and others set up for failure.
In the run-up to the financial crisis, banks and other lenders made risky private student loans. In the years since, default rates have soared and borrowers are still suffering.
Despite the changes to its student loan program to help borrowers who've become disabled, the government declined to include a key reform.
The father, a gardener who earns $21,000, co-signed for his son's loans. Now, he can’t even find out who holds them.
A little-known legal provision forces the federal government to award contracts to qualifying nonprofit student loan servicers, putting them in charge of managing millions of loans. The shuffle has thus far caused problems for some borrowers.
President Obama has touted efforts to ease the burdens of student borrowers with federal loans, but some federally contracted collection agencies neglect to lay out borrowers’ best options.
The Education Department had promised to fundamentally overhaul its broken system for forgiving the loans of former students who've become disabled. Now the department says it can't and won't do it, leaving many disabled applicants stuck in debt.
After a ProPublica investigation, the Education Department has promised to overhaul its broken system for forgiving the federal student loans of disabled borrowers.
The Education Department has resisted a basic reform to its troubled disability review that its own ombudsman has recommended since 2008 -- shut the program down entirely and rely on Social Security to decide who is eligible.
Borrowers who become severely disabled are entitled to get federal student loans forgiven. But the program for deciding whether they qualify is opaque, dysfunctional, and according to government reports, redundant.