Looking for the latest news on student loans?

Find student loan articles to help you manage your debt and pay it off faster.

Student loans cause big problems for millions of Americans who borrowed to fund their education. People often wind up with more debt than most entry level salaries can afford to pay back. So, while a higher education may increase your lifetime earnings, it leaves you in a whole with debt.

With that in mind, Debt.com strives to provide the latest news on student loans. We keep you up-to-date on changes to federal repayment plans and student loan forgiveness. And we compare options and get expert advice to help you eliminate your debts as quickly as possible.

CFPB Says Low-Income Americans Are ‘Credit Invisible’

June 27, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Low-income consumers are 240 percent more likely to start their credit history with negative records, like a debt collection.

Debt News You Probably Haven’t Heard — But Should

June 26, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

This week: clueless about student loans, passionless about work, passionate about boycotts.

Students Relying Less on Parents to Pay for College

June 20, 2017 | Ryan Lynch

 Facing higher costs, teens are relying more on scholarships, grants and their own savings.

millennial with student loans

Student Loans: What America Doesn’t Know Is Killing Us

June 20, 2017 | Joe Pye

Most borrowers have no idea what they’ll owe in the future – or even how many years their loans are for

Millennials Out-Save Older Generations

June 16, 2017 | Joe Pye

They are more conservative with their money at younger ages than previous generations

How Do I Stop Being a Co-Signer On A Student Loan?

June 14, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

A reader wants to know how to stop being financially responsible for someone else’s debt.

What if I stopped paying my credit cards?

Middle Class Millennials Struggle With Employment

June 13, 2017 | Joe Pye

Having a credit score under 700 is related to difficulties holding onto jobs and living on your own.

student loan debt collection

How The Government Adds To Student Loan Debt When It Tries To Lower It

June 12, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

What happens when an obscure lawsuit sways a federal judge? Chaos.

prioritize debts

Are You Paying the Wrong Debt First?

June 6, 2017 | Dori Zinn

We’re paying off unsecured personal loans faster than auto loans, mortgages, and credit cards and we probably shouldn’t be.

moving back in with parents

College Grads Moving Back To Mom’s And Dad’s

June 6, 2017 | Joe Pye

College graduates value their degrees even though they can’t afford to live on their own.

biggest regrets of college students

College Seniors Struggle To Pick Careers

June 2, 2017 | Joe Pye

One reason: They focus too much on class and not enough on what else colleges offer.

Student Loans: Too Big to Fail? Or Too Much to Succeed?

June 1, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

The “student loan crisis” is so massive, we can’t even comprehend it anymore.

Trump circus

Donald Trump’s Student Loan Circus

May 25, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

He wants to ditch almost everything that helps students save money and manage debt in order to “prioritize students” and “empower parents.”

A team of 2 firefighter of a German fire brigade after an exhausting training session with protective gear

Can Volunteer Firefighters Get Student Loan Forgiveness?

May 24, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

A reader wants to know if you need a real job to get real debt relief.

Student loan debt crisis leaves millions strapped for cash

Man on the Street: What’s Your Take on the Student Loan Debt Crisis?

May 18, 2017 | Michelle Bryan

We hit the streets to ask people about the student debt crisis and how they hope President Trump may take action to provide relief.

student loan refinance

Why You Should Refinance Your Student Loans

May 10, 2017 | Dori Zinn

As college costs continue to grow, graduates should refinance their loans sooner to lower interest rates, which means you could pay off your loan sooner.

debt management plan

3 Steps to Become Debt-Free and Chase Your Dreams

April 28, 2017 | Robert Beiler

A little sacrifice can go just as far as hustle

How Do We Save For Retirement And Pay All Our Bills?

April 19, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

A reader wants to know how to survive “the sandwich” — without evicting his mother-in-law.

satisfied with savings?

The Most Depressing Headline I’ve Seen This Year

April 17, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

You’ll never guess what it is, because you probably haven’t heard about it yet.

trump student loan forgiveness

Could Donald Trump Snatch Away Student Loan Forgiveness?

April 13, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

Everybody wants their debt forgiven, but the people actually promised it could be screwed.

student loans

Student Loans Make Millennials Desperate

April 11, 2017 | Joe Pye

Nearly 90 percent of young employees would commit to an employer for 5 years – if it helped them pay back their debt.

rising interest rates

Interest Rates Are Going Up. Should You Be Worried?

March 30, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

It depends on whether you have debt, and what kind. If you’re rich, it’s strictly good news.

5 Smart Pieces of State Debt Legislation

February 23, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

If Congress needs help helping people, it should look to these state legislators.

The daddy bonus sucks once you consider childcare

Need College Money? Be a Sugar Baby

February 16, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Need to pay for college? Sugar Babies on this “not an escort” site go to some pricy schools around the country.

Betsy DeVos

25 Things I Learned About Betsy DeVos By Reading Her Own Words

February 9, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

Secretary of Education responded (sort of) to more than 140 Congressional questions beyond her confirmation hearing. But nobody talked about it.

Trump student loan plan

Trump Could Be Great for Your Student Loan Debt

January 19, 2017 | Brandon Ballenger

Or he could be horrible. That’s why I just applied for a new repayment plan while I still can.

Wedding budget of $5,000

Ask The Expert: Declare Bankruptcy Before Or After My Wedding? [video]

January 18, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

This week: A couple wants a clean slate, but are they mucking up their nuptials?

A mortgage is good debt. Credit cards can be, too, if used properly.

Ask The Expert: How Do I Tell My Fiancee? [video]

January 11, 2017 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

This week: A man has a dirty little secret he’s keeping from the love of his life.

Most Employees Don’t Get the Student Loan Help They Need

January 5, 2017 | Dori Zinn

Companies could be doing their employees a huge service if they offered some — and sometimes better — student loan repayment assistance.

Gilmore Girls and money

The 22 biggest money moments on Gilmore Girls

November 16, 2016 | Dori Zinn

As Netflix prepares to release more Gilmore Girls, we take a look back at the sometimes hard-to-believe spending in the original show.

discharge private student loans

Ask The Expert: Do I Have To Pay For My Ex-Husband’s Decisions?

November 16, 2016 | Steve Rhode

A reader is worried that her ex sent her son to a pricey college without telling her.

The Hardest-Working Woman In Scholarships

November 7, 2016 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Abby Marion never gives up, so we gave in. She’s the ninth Debt.com scholarship winner.

Reducing Student Loan Debt

5 Creative Ways To Reduce Student Loan Debt

October 26, 2016 | Debt.com

You don’t have to spend 15 years repaying your student loans and struggling. Here’s how you can do it faster.

source of debt

Americans Have a Ton of Debt

October 10, 2016 | Dori Zinn

Most people say they don’t have any debt, but do they know what debt means?

America Saves Week

Parents Are Saving Better for College

September 29, 2016 | Dori Zinn

Most parents are saving for their child’s education, and they’re saving more money.

Millennials can't save? Not true

What A Millennial Thinks Is His Generation’s Greatest Weakness

September 20, 2016 | Debt.com

It’s their dependency on their parents for financial decisions.

Student loan debt stays with you

ITT Tech Closes – How to Get Your Student Loan Debt Forgiven

September 9, 2016 | Steve Rhode

If you took out loans while attending ITT Tech and haven’t graduated, you need to read this.

How The Presidential Candidates Plan To Take On Student Loan Debt

August 24, 2016 | Treanna Lawrence

Find out how Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would handle your student loans, whether you’re a current student, struggling graduate, or someone who hasn’t taken classes yet

biggest regrets of college students

Don’t Put College On Your Credit Card

August 24, 2016 | Dori Zinn

Most public schools charge convenience fees that can put you out hundreds of extra dollars a year

Don't settle for high rent rates.

Ask The Expert: Should We Charge Our Daughter Rent?

August 24, 2016 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

A reader thinks it will teach her a lesson, but his wife isn’t so sure.

how to avoid financial stress

Almost Every State Is Stressed About Debt

August 22, 2016 | Dori Zinn

Most every state in the union is stressed about paying off debt. Here’s the complete breakdown, state-by-state.

biggest regrets of college students

Most Kids Expect Parents to Pay for Any College They Want

August 8, 2016 | Dori Zinn

Most kids already anticipate their parents paying for college, regardless of what institution it is.

student loans credit card

Off to College Next Year? Now You Can Apply for Aid Sooner

August 3, 2016 | Dori Zinn

You can now apply for financial aid a year in advance

student loan deferment

Most Everyone Thinks College Is Worth It

August 2, 2016 | Dori Zinn

Most everyone believes college is worth the investment, but a lot of Americans wish that it were free.

student loans credit card

Dvorkin On Debt: More Bad News About Student Loans

August 1, 2016 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Three new reports, three more things to worry about.

Federal student loan relief keeps cash in your hand

Ask The Expert: Can A Dying Person Co-Sign My Student Loan?

July 6, 2016 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

A reader thinks he found a loophole: Ask a relative with terminal cancer to co-sign his loan.

discharge private student loans

Ask The Expert: Co-Sign For My Kid’s Student Loan?

June 29, 2016 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

A reader’s daughter is pleading with him, but he’s hesitating till he hears from Howard.

America Saves Week

Dvorkin On Debt: Taking A Bite Out Of Debt

June 27, 2016 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

The seventh Debt.com scholarship winner has a superior brain but a suffering mouth.

Navigate through private student loan cosolidation

Ask The Expert: Do I Have To Pay My Student Loans If I Flee To Canada?

June 8, 2016 | Howard Dvorkin, CPA

A reader wants to move if either Trump or Clinton gets elected. And he wants to leave his debts behind.

Explore income sensitive repayment

Student Loan Debt Is Killing Our Careers

May 30, 2016 | Treanna Lawrence

Student loans are limiting career choices, and not just for millennials

5 Things to Know about Repaying Your Student Loans

#1: You may need 2 repayment strategies – federal and private

Not all student loans can use the same repayment strategies. That means you should really break your repayment strategy into two categories; you have one strategy for federal student loan debt and another for private.

This allows you to use federal repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs if you qualify. Those don’t apply to private student loans and you can’t include private debts in federal programs. Although you can use private loan consolidation on both types of debt, don’t do it! This converts federal debt to private, meaning you have fewer options available for relief.

If you have both types of loans, keep them separate and figure out the right repayment strategy for each.

#2: Interest rate reduction doesn’t really apply to federal loans

With many types of debt reduction – credit cards, private student loans and even tax debt – reducing the interest rate applied to your debt is a big part of seeking debt relief. The more you can reduce interest charges, the easier it is to repay your debt quickly. So, a higher credit score means lower interest rates and faster repayment.

But that really doesn’t work with federal student loans. Interest rates are not dependent on your credit score. Instead, rates are set based on which academic year you took out your loans. The Department of Education announces new rates each year; in the current system, rates are based on the 10-year Treasury Note Index.

When you consolidate your debt or enroll in a federal repayment plan, the new rate is set by taking a weighted average of the loans you include in the program. Unless you convert your federal loans to private (which we advise against above), rate reduction should not be your goal. Instead, you should aim for:

  1. The fastest repayment method possible
  2. The payment structure that fits your budget (i.e. monthly payments you can afford)

#3: Federal programs are subject to change

As with any federal relief program, student loan repayment plans and forgiveness programs are subject to change. Both Congress and the executive branch through the Department of Education can change or cancel these programs.

Congressional changes tend to be more drastic, but they take longer. Meanwhile the DOE can make small changes at their discretion, meaning adjustments happen much faster. But even those small changes can have a significant impact on how you repay your debt. For example, the DOE under Betsy DeVos have “tweaked” the eligibility requirements for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This led to people who had previously certified their eligibility receiving notices that they were no longer eligible.

The moral of the story is that you can’t wait around or procrastinate when it comes to student loan repayment. In most cases, if you enroll in a program that gets changed or cancelled, you stay in under the rules that were there when you signed up. But if you sign up the day after a rule change, things may be different. With that in mind, never wait on solving your student loan debt. If a program fits, get in before they have time to change it.

#4: You can’t discharge any student loans during bankruptcy

No matter whether you hold private student loans or federal, it doesn’t matter -neither can be discharged through bankruptcy. The federal government changed bankruptcy filing regulations to prohibit student loan discharge except in cases of extreme hardship. This is extremely rare.

Once those rules were in place, private lenders made sure that limitation would extend to private student loans as well. As a result, even private student loans taken out through a traditional lender can’t be easily discharged. You must prove that repayment of your loans will cause extreme financial distress – and given that you’re already sitting in bankruptcy court, you can imagine how hard that would be. Essentially, you have to show your loans would put you right back into bankruptcy and keep putting you there. And that no amount of payment restructuring or settlement is possible.

For what it’s worth, Rep. John K. Delaney (D-Maryland) proposed an amendment this year that would change this rule. It’s called the Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy Act of 2017. Unfortunately, we checked with our Senior Policy Editor Brandon Ballenger; after some checking, he says that the bill has a less than 1% chance of passing.

#5: Federal student loan default works differently, too

On a normal debt, when you default it leads to a negative item in your credit report; this occurs once the creditor moves your debt to “charge off” status. You also incur negative items for each payment you missed leading up to the charge off. These negative marks decrease your credit score, and they stick around for seven years from the date you incur them.

Federal student loans are different (again). But here the difference works in your favor. If you fall behind on a federal student loan, simply make payments on time for six consecutive months. This moves your loan back to a “current” status and erases any missed payments as if they never happened. You can eliminate the credit damage so it’s easier to borrow and get approved for new credit.

This only works on federal student loans. It’s also important to note that you lose that ability to erase credit damage by using a debt consolidation loan. You can use Federal Direct Consolidation Loan to consolidate student loan debt; it brings defaulted debt current automatically. However, it does not erase the credit damage caused by missed payments.