In conjunction with the government’s new campaign to email perspective students that could use consultation on debt incurred from loans, US College Assistance plans to extend a complimentary strategic effort by offering advice, explaining options, and fielding questions that may arise from the crisis. “We think there are lots of people who could benefit from our income-based repayment programs but haven’t signed up, and we want to get to them before they default,” said Arne Duncan, the education secretary. “The challenge is getting the word out.” To do that, the department is planning to send e-mails to those who seem most likely to benefit from the programs, explaining debt-relief plans based on the borrower’s income.
In order to avoid a continuation of last year’s 600,000 defaulted borrowers, USCA has launched a proactive campaign that it feels will have a noticeable impact on students, jobs, and the overall long term condition of our economy. “Extended hours, mass hiring, job creation and additional internships are just a few examples of the private sector push we plan on executing” – Steve Berg, CEO – USCA
As Forbes reported back in August, our $1.2 trillion in student debt has been given the deserved label of a National Crisis. With two-thirds of students graduating from American colleges and universities averaging $26,600 per student in obligations hanging over their head, solutions need to be addressed. Recent law lowering the current rates for undergraduates from 6.8% to 3.8% has aided students. However, as the market climbs, these rates will climb until they reach a cap of 8.25%. By TICAS calculation, this may cost families $715 million more over the next 10 years.
US College Assistance has established a two pronged approach to help students. By LOCKING in NOW – families can lower debt, interest rates & payments. USCA is also developing programs to address rising tuition costs. “We urge that ALL students with loans seek counseling to meet their needs for the future.” said Mike Abrami, President of US College Assistance.
Raha Wala, a 30-year-old lawyer for an international human rights organization, is facing $200,000 in student loan debt. But if all goes according to plan, most of that burden will be forgiven after 2020 under a federal program aimed at helping those who enter public service jobs.
“It’s enabling me to do the work that I love,” said Mr. Wala, who graduated in 2010. “It wouldn’t be possible, otherwise.”
The federal government is trying to encourage more participation in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which was created in 2007. The program and other debt assistance options have been underused because of complex rules and sometimes conflicting benefits.
The huge loans needed to pay for college are not only leaving young Americans with massive debt, it is also hurting their health.
A study by researchers at Northwestern University‘s Feinberg School of Medicine found that 24- to 32-year olds with high debt have a greater incidence of high blood pressure and depression.
“You wouldn’t necessarily expect to see associations between debt and physical health in people who are so young,” lead researcher Elizabeth Sweet said in a statement. “We need to be aware of this association and understand it better. Our study is just a first peek at how debt may impact physical health.”
With the total U.S. student loan debt nearing $1 trillion, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is rolling out an initiative to educate borrowers about their rights and options when it comes to repayment.
The effort is primarily aimed at the quarter of the U.S. workforce, 33 million people, who work in jobs which are defined as “public service.” The CPFB points out that the legal definition of public service is far broader than people realize: It includes members of the armed forces, teachers, social workers, emergency services personnel and others working for government as well as those working at 501(c)(3) non-profits ranging from health care to the arts.