Student Loan Podcast March 3, 2015

When we talk about federal student loan debt, it often centers around the wrong issue – the total balance due. If we think a little bit, it seems as if that’s the wrong conversation to have. Listen to today’s episode to hear some thoughts on the better discussion for us to have.

From The World Of Student Loan And Higher Education

Montana legislator tries to entice employers to pay student loans. Montana, like the rest of the nation, is plagued with student loan problems. In fact, 66 percent of graduates from the Big Sky State are in debt, with an average of $27,568 each. Montana House Representative Bill Harris is trying to change that with a new bill that would allow employers to get a tax credit of up to $450 per employee annually for up to three years against either their corporate or individual tax income, if they kick in $1,800 directly to lower their employee’s student loan debt. Seems like a good idea to us.

Faith-based college opts out of federal student loan system. The Wyoming Catholic College Board of Directors has decided that the university won’t be participating in federal student loan and grant programs anymore because they don’t want to deal with the regulatory requirements. Students will still be able to get a host of merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, and student loans funded internally through gifts to Wyoming Catholic College’s new St. Thomas More Fund.

Erie to use grant money to benefit students. Lake Erie College, a private liberal arts college approximately 30 miles east of Cleveland with an enrollment of about 1,200 students, announced late last week that it had received a $100,000 grant from Fifth Third Bank, Northeastern Ohio through the Charles E. Schell Foundation to help provide students with interest-free educational loans.

Student loan debt collector busted. And finally, if your federal student loans are being handled by Pioneer Credit Recovery then this is for you. Up until February 20, 2015 Pioneer was one of only 17 collection agencies that had a lucrative contract with the US Department of Education for the collection of overdue federal student loans. Then the government pulled the contract, citing violations of collection protocol including allegedly misleading borrowers about collection costs being waived following federal loan rehabilitation. Those accounts will eventually be moved to one of the other collection agencies working on behalf of the Education Department. As a result of the loss of the contract, Pioneer will be laying off 400 employees – which of course means some of them will be on the receiving end of some collection calls.

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