Advice: Read fine print on student loans
“The fundamental question is, ‘Does this benefit students?’ And the answer is, ‘Maybe,’ ” said Mark Rubenstein, vice president for student and academic services at UNH. “One of the problems is the complexity of repayment options.”
The payment plan calculator on the government website offers six other options, each providing for a lower monthly payment, extended repayment periods, or in some cases both. As is usually the case with borrowed money, lower payments and longer terms mean higher interest.
And there is a whole range of options in between, including one for graduates who expect some loan forgiveness due to their chosen profession in fields like public health, law enforcement, military, non-profit sector or teaching in designated school districts.
“This points to a larger challenge that we have as a country,” he said, “which is financial literacy. It would be helpful to have more information at the front end about what decisions we will face once we’ve accumulated the debt.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., on Tuesday said that she will introduce an amendment to that legislation, calling for a central online portal so students can review all their federal and private student loans as well as repayment options.
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