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Cracker Squire

THE MUSINGS OF A TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN DEMOCRAT

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Location: Douglas, Coffee Co., The Other Georgia, United States

Sid in his law office where he sits when meeting with clients. Observant eyes will notice the statuette of one of Sid's favorite Democrats.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Student-Debt Forgiveness Plans Skyrocket, Raising Fears Over Costs, Higher Tuition - Some Law Schools Advertise Their Own Plans to Cover Loan Repayments

From The Wall Street Journal:

Government officials are trying to rein in increasingly popular federal programs that forgive some student debt, amid rising concerns over the plans' costs and the possibility they could encourage colleges to push tuition even higher.
 
Enrollment in the plans—which allow students to rack up big debts and then forgive the unpaid balance after a set period—has surged nearly 40% in just six months, to include at least 1.3 million Americans owing around $72 billion, U.S. Education Department records show.
 
The popularity of the programs comes as top law schools are now advertising their own plans that offer to cover a graduate's federal loan repayments until outstanding debt is forgiven. The school aid opens the way for free or greatly subsidized degrees at taxpayer expense.
 
At issue are two federal loan repayment plans created by Congress, originally to help students with big debt loads and to promote work in lower-paying jobs outside the private sector.

The fastest-growing plan, revamped by President Barack Obama in 2011, requires borrowers to pay 10% a year of their discretionary income—annual income above 150% of the poverty level—in monthly installments. Under the plan, the unpaid balances for those working in the public sector or for nonprofits are then forgiven after 10 years.
 
Private-sector workers also see their debts wiped clean—after a longer period of 20 years—reflecting a government aim to have no one, wherever they work, paying down student debt their entire working life.
 
An independent study estimates the future cost of the 2011 program, known as Pay As You Earn, could hit $14 billion a year.
 
The Obama administration has proposed in its latest budget released last month to cap debt eligible for forgiveness at $57,500 per student. There is currently no limit on such debt.

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