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10 Tips for Being a Smart Student Loan Borrower

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New Jersey Society of CPAs Develops Student Loan Checklist

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, With approximately $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the United States as of the first quarter of 2019, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, students and their parents need to more carefully understand loan terms and how to combat the rising cost of borrowing. As the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) looks to inform the public about making sound financial decisions, its Student Loan Task Force developed a borrower checklist.

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New Jersey Ranks 14th in the 2019’s States with the Most Student Debt

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, With several candidates for the 2020 presidential election proposing the cancellation or refinancing of America’s massive student debt load, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2019’s States with the Most and Least Student Debt as well as accompanying videos.

To determine the states that are friendliest toward student-loan debtors, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 12 key metrics. The data set ranges from average student debt to unemployment rate among the population aged 25 to 34 to share of students with past-due loan balances.   

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A significant decline in the number of NJ high school graduates who will be seeking college degrees should be a major concern for the next governor and other leaders

Daryl G. Greer

New Jersey will experience about a 20 percent decline in the number of high school graduates through 2030, according to a recent report, “Knocking at the College Door,” by the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE.) That will mean a drop to 90,000 from a current high of about 111,000 graduates annually, and more of these students will be from lower- income families and less-prepared academically for college.

That has important economic consequences for colleges, students, businesses, and the state — which need to be considered, now.

Historically, 70 percent to 80 percent of New Jersey high school graduates enroll in college. Obviously, fewer students paying tuition places stress on colleges’ financial operations. This is especially true, because about 70 percent of public colleges’ revenue comes from student tuition and fees. Add to this increasing competition for New Jersey students from surrounding states, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Massachusetts, which also face declining enrollments. Pile on another dilemma in a no-growth environment: New Jersey already leads the nation as the number one net exporter of college-bound students. We lose about 30,000 students annually to other states. Regional competition for well-prepared New Jersey students who are able to pay for college will be at an all-time high. Not every university in the state can compete effectively for students in this environment.

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President Obama’s horrible, terrible legacy on student loans


BY ALAN M. COLLINGE – 05/13/16 07:00 AM EDT

When he announced his candidacy in 2007, Barack Obama looked like he could be the one to finally stand up to the student lending system.  He was one of only two members on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee not to have taken money from the Sallie Mae PAC.  In this position he was privy to HELP Committee  and other reports detailing a broad swath of illegal and deceptive activities by the lenders, the universities, and even the Department of Education.

His rhetoric about making college “affordable” sounded great.  The deletion of most every standard consumer protection (like bankruptcy and statutes of limitations) from student loans had caused a hyper-inflationary market, and a systemically predatory lending system that was lives and livelihoods of millions of people. The nation’s student loan debt had skyrocketed to $450 billion, and the Department of Education had actually begun turning a profit on defaults.

So when Obama was elected, largely due to overwhelming support from young people, it was assumed that he would make things right. But he did nothing to bring back any standard consumer protections.  His administration did nothing to curb the predatory collection powers of the student lending system.  College prices increased faster than previously, and today the average undergraduate is now leaving school with $35,000 in debt, up from about $17,000 when Obama announced.

By the time Obama leaves office next year, the nation will have added $1 Trillion to its student debt tab.

What the Obama administration did do was great for the federal government, not the students.  Obama federalized the system to where the government now profitsimmensely from both interest on loans it makes directly to students, and defaults. To say that the federal government now sits atop the most predatory lending system in our nation’s history is not an understatement.

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7 Million People Haven’t Made A Single Student Loan Payment In At Least A Year

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/22/2015 11:43 -0400

Perhaps it’s all the talk about across-the-board debt forgiveness or maybe the total amount of outstanding student debt has simply grown so large ($1.3 trillion) that even those with no conception of how much money that actually is realize that it’s simply never going to paid back so there’s no point worrying about, but whatever the case, the general level of concern regarding America’s student debt bubble doesn’t seem to be at all commensurate with the size of the problem.

And it’s not just the sheer size of the debt pile that’s worrisome. There’s also the knock-on effects, such as delayed household formation and the attendant downward pressure on the homeownership rate, and of course hyperinflation in the rental market.

Of course one reason no one is panicking – yet – is that the severity of the problem is masked by artificially suppressed delinquency rates. As we’ve documented in excruciating detail, if one excludes loans in deferment and forbearance from the numerator in the delinquency calculation, but includes those loans in the denominator then the delinquency rate will be deceptively low. In any event, as WSJ reports, even if one looks at something very simple like, say, the number of borrowers who haven’t made a payment in a year, the picture is not pretty and it’s getting worse all the time. Here’s more:

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Student Loan Facts They Wish They Had Known


A troubling picture of clueless teenagers and frazzled parents

If I knew then what I know now 

The problem with a lot of the advice that teenagers and their families get about higher education debt is that it’s totally, utterly bloodless.The federal Department of Education takes its shot in its role as the de facto provider of advice to people borrowing their first federal student loans and repaying them. That counseling is mandatory for borrowers, but because the topic is dense and the department’s content is devoid of anecdotes, it’s tough to make the lessons stick.

So in my column last week, I asked readers to share their own stories and offer the most important thing they wish they had known before they borrowed money and began to repay it. The comments painted a troubling picture of clueless teenagers, frazzled parents and college administrators who may not always take students by the shoulders and question their debt levels.

Not one person suggested that college was a mistake (though a few regret going to law school). Borrowing too little is dangerous if it leads to dropping out or never attending in the first place, and undergraduates who borrow from the federal government without taking on additional private loans are unlikely to get in trouble if they manage the repayment process well.