Home > Personal Finance > This Week in Credit News: Student Loan Woes

Comments 0 Comments
Advertiser Disclosure


This Week in Credit News
The biggest credit news this week is all about student loan interest rates and debt as thousands of Americans graduate college and face the reality of their student loan payments.

How to Pay Student Loans You Can’t Afford

Once the six-month grace period that most student loan borrowers have expires, they’re faced with a choice of how to start paying back the debt they’ve accrued. For many, their starting salaries make it difficult for them to afford their student loan payments. Luckily for federal student loan borrowers, there are some programs that can help ease the burden.

Gerri Detweiler, our Director of Consumer Education, walks through the four main programs — deferment, forbearance, income-based repayment and income-contingent repayment — and what the qualification requirements are for all of them.

@GerriDetweiler @CreditExperts

Student Loan Interest Rate Is Set to Double: How You Can Prepare

With the battle over student loan interest rates still being waged in Washington, D.C., it’s no wonder that students are trying to prepare for the worst-case scenario — a doubling of the interest rate on Stafford subsidizes loans.

DailyFinance’s major tip for dealing with the rate change is to focus on the things you can control — the amount of debt you accrue while in school. Try to find cheaper housing options and cut food costs and other expenses to make your total balance when you exit school even just a tiny bit smaller.


Millennials’ Student Loan Debt Up 76% in Just 5 Years

When it comes to the stark reality of just how much millennials are being impacted by student loans, the numbers from FICO’s Banking Analytics Blog paint a pretty astounding picture.

The amount of student loan debt this age group took on ballooned to $11,444, up from $6,490 just five years earlier, representing an increase of 76.3 percent. Meanwhile, all other kinds of balances — including credit cards, mortgages and car loans – dipped appreciably. For instance, auto financing experienced the smallest drop, falling just 14.9 percent to $4,226, while credit card debt dropped by slightly less than $1,000 to just $2,087. Mortgage balances also dropped 38.1 percent to $14,100 (though this was likely due to the lack of financial freedom many younger people experienced during this time).


Image: iStockphoto

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team