July 8, 2013 |
On July 1, the rate of a subsidized Stafford student loan doubled to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent, after Congress shut down for the Independence Day holiday without blocking a scheduled increase. If lawmakers fail to reach a retroactive agreement, the average Stafford borrower will have to pay back about $800 more than under the previous rate for every year of loans. The controversy in Congress reflects the magnitude of the challenge. Today, about 66 percent of students borrow for college.
July 6, 2013
By Stephen Stromberg Student-loan rates doubled on Monday. This is not a disaster, despite what you've heard. President Obama made the expiration of a 3.4 percent student-loan rate a big campaign issue last year, warning of dire financial consequences for struggling students. Congress extended the rate for a year. Now that extension has expired, and each side is bashing the other for allowing that 3.4 percent rate to adjust upward (though Republicans are yelling the loudest). "The divisions among the president and his own party," House Speaker John Boehner proclaimed on Monday, "are directly responsible for the current impasse that will now result in higher borrowing costs for students already coping with skyrocketing tuition bills.
July 3, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The interest rate on a key federal student loan doubled Monday, as expected, but it was unclear whether Congress would allow the increase to stand before the new school year got under way. Federal law has set the rate for new subsidized Stafford loans at 6.8 percent, up from 3.4 percent. The subsidy means that these loans, for undergraduates with demonstrated financial need, do not accrue interest while the students are in school. It is estimated that, for many borrowers, the rate hike would add about $1,000 in interest over the life of a loan.
June 26, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - The increasingly hostile debate playing out in the Capitol over payday lending may not reach biblical proportions, but the conflict is emerging as a saints vs. sinners struggle over working class access to cash. Religious groups are leading efforts to snuff out newly revived legislation to legalize payday lending - the short-term, high-interest loans for people with no credit and no ability to obtain traditional bank loans. Citing Scripture, they have characterized these storefront lenders - which closed up shop in Pennsylvania after a state Supreme Court ruling in 2010 set interest rates so low that the business was no longer profitable - as predators on the poor.
June 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Students applying for financial aid for the coming school year could find some comfort in a bipartisan student-loan compromise taking shape in the Senate that would prevent interest rates from doubling and set a single rate each year for undergraduate students, rich or poor. Interest rates, which would be tied to the financial markets, would rise slightly to 3.8 percent for low-income students receiving new subsidized Stafford loans this year but not double as they are scheduled to do July 1. Despite the increase, the rate is still lower than the 6.8 percent students would face absent congressional action.
June 19, 2013
BAD NEWS for Pennsylvania: The payday-lending industry, which we warned early this spring was making a return to the halls of Harrisburg, trying to gain entry into the state and thus the bank accounts of residents, is making progress. Predatory loans - characterized by high fees and interest rates, as well as a tendency for lenders to ensure repayment by gaining access to a borrower's bank account, rather than considering his ability to repay - are not currently allowed in Pennsylvania.
June 14, 2013
A 37-year-old South Jersey man pleaded guilty Thursday to loan sharking on behalf of the Philadelphia mob, federal prosecutors said. Robert Ranieri, of Glendora, admitted that he conspired with Philadelphia mobster Anthony Staino and others to make a usurious loan to an undercover FBI agent and then threatened violence to collect on the loan, according to federal prosecutors. Ranieri's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 25 and he faces a maximum 40 years in prison. - Robert Moran
June 13, 2013
Quicken Loans 400 Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Mich. When: Sunday, 1 p.m. TV/Radio: TNT/WNPV (1440-AM) Course: 2-mile oval Distance: 200 laps/400 miles Forecast: isolated thunderstorms, high 70s Last year's winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Last year's pole: Marcos Ambrose Track qualifying record: Ambrose, 203.241 mph (June 2012) Track facts: Dale Earnhardt Jr. led 95 laps, including the last 30, in winning last year's race.
June 8, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Senate deadlocked Thursday over federal student loan interest rates, with no consensus in sight on how to prevent rates on certain loans from doubling for about seven million borrowers on July 1. Amid a swirl of competing proposals from lawmakers and the White House, preliminary votes showed that no Senate bills have the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the Democratic-led chamber. Unless Congress intervenes, rates for new subsidized student loans will rise on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
June 3, 2013
SOME Washington folks must be ecstatic about the news that the TV melodrama "24" will be returning to air, because they sure seem to be fans of ticking-time-bomb scenarios down there. First, we had the debt-ceiling, then the fiscal cliff. Now, if you listen closely, you can hear a tick, tick, tick as we approach July 1, when - unless something is done - student-loan rates will double, hindering young people's ability to go to college or contribute to the economy by paying for anything but their student loans afterward.