As classes begin for thousands of students across Illinois this week, Illinois PIRG Education Fund released tips for college students to avoid the tricks and traps of campus financial products that can make the cost of college even higher.
Last week the U.S. Senate Banking Committee heard recommendations on campus banking and student loan issues from student advocates, including U.S. PIRG Higher Education Program Director Christine Lindstrom. The hearing also featured a spirited exchange between Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) and a bank witness concerning the failure of private student lenders to give student-consumers more options to re-finance or defer their loans, including in cases of extreme undue hardship, such as when the borrower dies suddenly.
Thousands of American students are using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) public Consumer Complaints Database to settle disputes about private student loans, according to a new report from the Illinois PIRG Education Fund
As the Senate debates student loan reform, congregations across Illinois are calling on Congress to make college more affordable. Congregations, including Wheaton Franciscans, New Hope Christian Community Church and First Congregational Church of Chicago U.C.C., are circulating petitions and mobilizing their members to urge Congress to stop the student loan interest rate from rising.
The resolution of the on-going national debate about whether or not to extend the low interest rate on federal student loans will have a sizable impact on Illinois’ economy. Without a new plan, on July 1 the interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans will double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
The media and the country are just waking up to the alarming fact that unless Congress acts by July 1, the interest rate on subsidized Stafford student loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Congress must not let that happen.