Private Student Loan Default
But Brazos once again suspended its education lending program late last month citing continued turmoil in the student loan industry. Brazos Executive Vice President Ellis Tredway said his organization simply "ran out of time to get everything in place" to issue new student loans for the fall. The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority which issued more than $500 million in college loans to 40000 Massachusetts college students and their families last year had already suspended its federal student loan program in April. Now MEFA has also pulled the plug on its non-federal private loan program which provided Massachusetts students with fixed-rate private student loans. "While we continue to pursue every possible option raising the necessary funds to offer fixed-interest rate private education loans is taking longer than originally projected and has become even more challenging" said Tom Graf MEFAs executive director. Students Face the Uncertainty of Switching Lenders With over 8 million students and parents having turned to federal college loans in 2006-07 according to the College Board the number or families that stand to be affected by the ongoing wave of lender departures this year is not unsubstantial.
For borrowers who are on the governments income-based repayment plan any outstanding federal college loans can be discharged prior to full repayment if the borrower has made her or his monthly loan payments for 25 years. Borrowers who go to work for the government or the public sector can have their federal college loans forgiven after 10 years. Federal college loans can also be forgiven in the event the borrower dies or becomes permanently disabled. Non-federal private student loans on the other hand arent required to offer any of these payment-deferment or discharge provisions. It is at the lenders discretion whether to offer a struggling borrower deferred or lower monthly loan payments and even whether to discharge the private student loan upon the borrowers death or permanent disability.
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Some of the benefits and advantages of federal student loans is given below. Unlike other forms of consumer debt student loans receive special protections under current laws ranging from collection to bankruptcy. This special status applies not only to the primary borrower (the student) but also to any co-signer on the loan. Student loans are one of the hardest types of debt to shake. Current U.S. bankruptcy law allows a court to discharge these loans in bankruptcy only in the narrowest circumstances. In fact the legal requirements for discharging education loans are so formidable to meet that most bankruptcy attorneys avoid student loan cases altogether. Since so few loan borrowers qualify for bankruptcy discharge under the law the vast majority of loan debt is carried until the borrower repays the loan or dies -- although some non-federal student loans even survive death passing the debt on to the borrowers co-signer.
Any accrued unpaid interest will be added to the student loan principal and capitalized when the borrower no longer qualifies for income-based repayment. Subsidized Interest and Student Loan Forgiveness For those borrowers who hold subsidized student loans or a federal consolidation loan that included subsidized Stafford loans or Perkins loans the government will cover any unpaid interest on those subsidized loans (or on that portion of a student loan consolidation thats comprised of subsidized loans) for the first three years that a borrower is in income-based repayment. The longest that a borrower can remain on the income-based repayment plan is 25 years. After 25 years of income-based payments the government will forgive any remaining principal and unpaid interest - although borrowers should note that under current tax law this forgiven student loan debt would be taxable.