The Companies Collecting $370B in Student Loans Don't Help Students

By Lawler, Joseph | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, October 14, 2015 | Go to article overview

The Companies Collecting $370B in Student Loans Don't Help Students


Lawler, Joseph, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Student borrowers whose loans are managed by private companies face major difficulties repaying their debts, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warned Wednesday.

The consumer agency said in a new report that the companies that bill and collect payments on those loans do not do a good job helping borrowers pay on time and access special government programs to help pay off the debt.

Today, such loans are no longer made. As part of the law that passed Obamacare in 2010, all new government-backed student loans are serviced by the Department of Education.

Before then, however, many government-backed student loans were issued by banks and other lenders. There is still $370 billion in such loans outstanding, according to the consumer agency, about one- third of total student debt.

Of those borrowers, at least 30 percent, or five million, are delinquent, the bureau calculates.

Student debt is difficult to discharge in bankruptcy, meaning that if borrowers face obstacles repaying or restructuring their debt with their servicers, problems could persist for a long time.

The report analyzed 6,400 complaints about student loans and 2,300 debt-collection complaints related to student loans submitted by consumers to the agency over the past year. …

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