Women Hold Nearly Two-Thirds Of America’s Student Loan Debt

Are you a college-educated woman who is being buried under a pile of student loan debt that devours your paychecks and gives you heart palpitations at 2:30 a.m.? Well, take heart — at least you’re not alone!

 

According to a depressing new report released this week by the American Association of University Women, women hold nearly two-thirds of this country’s student debt or a whopping $833 billion in outstanding loans. (And that’s probably a lowball estimate because the report does not capture women who enroll and take on a whole lot of debt but don’t graduate.)

 

Oh, and female graduates also have a significantly harder time paying those loans off making it clear that the student loan crisis is now most definitely a women’s issue.

Time spent in college now sometimes means unmanageable student debt that drags down those seeking greater opportunity, especially low-income women, women of color, and women who drop out before completing a degree or credential, Patricia Fae Hoe, board chair of the AAUW an advocacy and research group wrote in a forward to the report.

So why are women hit hardest by student loan debt? First, it’s because women are simply more likely to go to college. In 2016, 56 percent of people enrolled in colleges and universities were women.

But women also tend to take on larger loans to finance that education.

In a given year about 44 percent of women enrolled in undergraduate programs take out loans compared to 39 percent of men, the report says. Women enrolled in undergraduate programs take on an average of about $3,100 in student loans per year about $400 more than the average man. By graduation, the typical woman receiving a bachelors degree in 2011-12 had an average of about $21,000 in student loans, $1,500 more than the typical man.

The reasons behind that are complex. Men are more likely to attend public institutions, which cost less, so that’s definitely one factor. But even when women attend public schools, they still tend to take on larger loans. And that is in part because the gender pay gap is already working its evil magic. Male and female students are just as likely to work while they’re in college, but women generally earn about $1,500 less per year a difference that is not totally explained by a difference in the number of hours they work, the report argues.

 

Unfortunately, black women are hit particularly hard by all of this. Roughly a third of black women who got a bachelors degree in 2011-2012 left with more than $40,000 in student loan debt, versus just 16 percent of Latina women, 10 percent of white women and 8 percent of Asian-American women.

 

And overall, women of all races and ethnicities take longer than men to pay off their loans thanks (yes, again) in large part to the persistent gender pay gap, which means they tend to earn less than men throughout their careers, even after spending all that money on an education. Women with a bachelors degree who worked full time in 2016 earned 26 percent less than men with a bachelors degree who worked full time or $354 less per week, the report says.

 

Add all this to the long list of things that suck about being a woman in 2017.

 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/women-hold-nearly-two-thirds-of-americas-student-loan-debt_us_59259721e4b0650cc020cc61

Paying off that student Loan- What You’ll Actually Be Doing After You Graduate, As Told By Your Zodiac Sign

Probably the least exciting thing about graduating college is having to answer the question of what you’re going to do after you graduate. It feels like some kind of a test of your self-will. The more you get asked the question, the more you want to throw a chair.

We all have high hopes for ourselves after graduation, and that’s a good thing. But often times, life throws you curve-balls, and things are not exactly how we dream they’ll be, and it’s good to keep a sense of humor about it.

So think of this as a handy realistic guide that outlines exactly what you will ACTUALLY be doing after you graduate, based on both your zodiac sign and real-life, post-college expertise.

You now have an answer for when people ask you what are you doing after you graduate?

Here’s what it is:

Aries: Losing your mind at the slow crawl toward success.

Aries will be incredibly shocked that they aren’t experiencing the meteoric rise to success that they had been planning for themselves immediately after college.

They’ll be ready to hit the ground running, but what they won’t expect and will have no patience for is a number of obstacles that are outside of their control, like an inflated job market and the pressure of student loans. Remember, success takes time.

Be patient and keep pushing.


Taurus: Asking to work from home the first week of your first job.

After four years in a dorm room, most Taurus peeps will be more than happy to move back to the comfort and luxury of their parent’s house. Everything is paid for and there’s unlimited salami. You might take a good amount of advantage of this situation before realizing it’s time to get a job.

Unfortunately for your parents, you’re so good at getting what you want, you’ll probably be able to land one that allows you to work from their couch.


Gemini: Probably having a crisis of conscience.

Knowing the Gemini personality on a deeply personal level, I have first-hand knowledge of the fact that most of them leave college and spend the next six months trying to get a job while still wondering if they even chose the right major.

It’s very difficult for them to make a decision or commit to one thing since they really want to have their cake and eat it too. It’s OK to change your mind Gemini, but if you change it too many times, maybe its commitment you’re avoiding, not making the wrong decision.


Cancer: Crying in public a lot.

There is nothing more upsetting to Cancer than being separated from their inner circle of friends and thrown out of a living situation they’ve become accustomed to. We all spend a lot more time crying in our early 20s than they tell us we will, and that’s OK.

Remember that whatever happens next, friendship and the support that comes with it is important to you, so begin to build new ones wherever you go. That’s your lifeline.


Leo: Killin it and bragging up a storm on social media.

Leos aren’t meant for college life. They’re ruled by the fifth house of education and creative endeavors, so they make their life their school and they learn best hands-on. Youll most likely is the friend that immediately gets successful in the real world, and you’ll be wondering why you even went to college in the first place.

I’d never tell a Leo not to brag on social media, but remember, you could be attracting haters, and a smart business person knows to keep their enemies close. Stay humble.


Virgo: Sticking to a very strict plan of action.

One advantage Virgos have over other signs is an ability to make a plan and stick to it.

They won’t get caught up in the post-grad anxiety that other signs have to fight through. They know there’s no shitty feeling that checking items off a to-do list can’t get rid of.

It’s this ability to execute a plan that guarantees a steady climb to success in the real world.


Libra: Immediately looking for your soulmate.

Of course, your career is important to you, OF COURSE. But first things first: Find and take a lover, hold onto them tightly, marry them, and secure their health insurance.

Nothing is worth doing if you’ve got no one to share it with, right Libra?! You’re the sign of partnership, for the love of Christ.


Scorpio: Taking a million side jobs to pay off your debts.

Scorpio is ruled by the eighth-house of inheritances, debts, sex, and mystery, so these are the themes that seem to surround their lives. If you’re a Scorpio, you’ll have an old-soul wisdom about the amount of debt you have to pay off and you’ll waste no time starting to pay it off.

You know that debts haunt a person, and you’re not going to be controlled by it. Ego won’t play a part in the number of jobs you’ll take to free yourself from the grips of Sallie Mae.


Sagittarius: Travel the world to find yourself.

Sagittarius is ruled by the ninth-house of expanded education and travel. Just because you’ve finished your formal education doesn’t mean you’re finished learning. In fact, your personal education has just begun.

Sagittarius is the most likely of all the signs to make that post-college trip around the world, expanding on their personal experience because they know it’s just as valuable as work experience in the long-run.


Capricorn: Starting from the bottom.

Capricorn is the sign symbolized by the goat pushing a rock up a hill, and like the symbol for their sign, Capricorns will leave college prepared to take any job they can get and ready to climb the ladder toward success.

Your sign is determined to leave and impact on the world, and you won’t get stuck comparing yourself to others along the way. You have all the inner resources to do it, too.


Aquarius: Changing the way your generation is stereotyped.

Aquarians are the most likely sign to show up at their new job and defy the expectations of everyone there. Millennials have been stereotyped as an entitled generation, but the Aquarians desire to learn and their curiosity in the workplace can completely change that.

Not only are you happy to learn more, your advanced and innovative ideas will prove your value to everyone you work with. You can expect to advance pretty quickly in the real world.


Pisces: Either drinking/working a lot, it’s a toss-up.

When they say Pisces is a water sign, it’s good to think of that as a suggestion to hydrate, because Pisces know how to drink everyone under the table. Because they’re symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite directions, toward heaven and hell, submerged under the ocean in their dreamy world, Pisces live in a fantasy world.

The way they choose to escape will make or break them in the real world. Put all that dreamy energy in the right place.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/life/youll-actually-graduate-told-zodiac-sign/1960877/

Behind the dizzying student loan game Navient allegedly played

Image: AP/Butch Dill

The U.S. government’s $1.3 trillion student loan program has a dizzying array of repayment plans that can overwhelm borrowers. That’s one of the things loan servicers are supposed to help with.

Navient, the nation’s largest student loan servicer, handles accounts for more than 1 in 4 Americans who owe money for their higher education. The company sends borrowers their monthly bills, collects payments, and counsels them on their options. Government lawsuits filed on Jan. 18 accuse Navient of taking shortcuts that minimized its costs. They say that hurt some borrowers who could have paid off debt more quickly, while simultaneously putting distressed borrowers in more debt by steering some into plans that put off payments leading to ballooning balances instead of income-based repayment programs. Regulators estimate that households debt burden may have been inflated by billions of dollars.

Navient has called the allegations unfounded and agenda-driven, noting in a statement that the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureaus case was filed just before the end of the Obama administration. Along with the CFPB, the attorneys general of Illinois and Washington state also sued. Authorities say they reviewed thousands of pages of company documents, analyzed thousands of consumer complaints, and listened to recordings of hundreds of phone calls between the company and consumers during a years-long investigation.

Student loan servicing is a low-margin, high-volume business: It doesn’t cost much to service an account for a borrower who pays automatically through her bank account. For those who are late on their payments, however, a servicer can rack up expenses that are many, many multiples of the average servicing cost, Steven McGarry, chief financial officer at student lender Sallie Mae, told investors on Jan. 19. Navient was split off from Sallie Mae in 2014.

Image: Google Finance

Borrowers with federal loans are eligible for help, but a servicer may have to go the extra mile to get them in the most appropriate program and keep their paperwork up to date. Dilu Nicholas’s troubles with Navient began after he enrolled in a plan that allows a struggling borrower to make payments pegged to earnings rather than loan balances. Borrowers must annually recertify their income information to stay on the plan.

Nicholas, of Louisville, attended one year of college in the early 1990s before dropping out to care for his ailing grandfather. After working steadily for more than a decade, he began school again, graduating from a state college, but found he couldn’t afford his monthly student loan payments. The income-based plan was a godsend.

Nicholas, now 42, missed an annual deadline, resulting in the addition of $7,000 to his federal loan balance, now almost $80,000. Navient did send e-mail reminders about deadlines. Nicholas remembers one that told him to retrieve a message on the company’s site, but its importance wasn’t clear.

The lawsuits allege this was common for Navient. Over more than four years, e-mail reminders directed borrowers to log on to their account without telling them why. For almost three years, reminders in the regular mail didn’t provide borrowers the date of their deadlines. The company changed its e-mail practices around March 2015. Since then its income-based plan recertification rate has more than doubled, the consumer bureau says.

Another problem at Navient, authorities claim, was that people ended up in plans that didn’t make the most financial sense for them. A borrower who sees a drop in pay could, like Nicholas, ask to switch to an income-driven plan. A person in those plans can earn credit toward eventual loan forgiveness, and if their income is low enough the monthly payment could be zero. A borrower can also simply ask to postpone payments. That’s an easy idea to understand. But the borrower may accrue more interest and eventual forgiveness is not part of the deal.

The CFPB says borrowers were steered into such short-term forbearance too often. It estimates that from January 2010 to March 2015, as much as $4 billion in extra interest charges was added to principal balances of loans repeatedly put in forbearance. The reason, authorities claim, was simple: Postponing payment is easier and cheaper for the servicer. Navient chose to shortcut its obligations, said CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a conference call with reporters.

In 2013, before Sallie Mae split off its servicing business as Navient, its chief executive officer said in an earnings call that its very expensive work, for example, to enroll a borrower into something like an income-based repayment program which we are doing. But we don’t actually get paid for outperformance in that side of the equation. The CEO, Jack Remondi, now leads Navient.

The state of Illinois lawsuit claims that Navient for years promised higher pay to its customer service representatives to rush borrowers off the phone. One former, unnamed employee is quoted saying that bonuses were paid for calls that lasted less than six minutes. A review of call recordings by investigators showed that plans that postponed payments were frequently mentioned in the first six minutes of the typical call. Half the time, Navient employees didn’t bother to mention income-based repayment plans.

Navient argues that this description is wrong. Many of the loans it services is owned by the government, which in 2010 became the only issuer for loans with federal backing. Of the four major servicers used by the Department of Education, Navient, at 40 percent, has the second-highest share of loan balances enrolled in income-based plans, according to the most recent government figures. The company also receives much less pay from the government for borrowers who postpone payments, debunking claims that servicers have an incentive to place borrowers in forbearance rather than income-based plans, according to a Navient statement.

That pay structure has been in effect only since September 2014. The earlier contract, which covered the previous five years, mandated that the government pay almost the identical amount to servicers for borrowers current on payments and for those postponing their payments. Navient has a similar arrangement for loans owned by private investors.

The lawsuits represent potentially billions of dollars in fines and restitution. But the CFPBs future in a Donald Trump administration is a wild card. Many investors have already bet that Washington may become a friendlier place for Navient. The day after the election, the company’s stock shot up 17 percent, and even with the lawsuit it’s kept most of that gain.

This article originally published at Bloomberg here

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/26/navient-dizzying-student-loan-game/

SoFi confirms $500 million in new funding as it pushes beyond lending

Online finance startup SoFiĀ got its start refinancing student loans but gradually has been adding other services to members.To expand into new regions and move closer to becoming a full-service financial services company, SoFihas confirmed that it raised an additional $500 million in equity financing led by Silver Lake.

The new funding round, which previously had been reported by Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, brings total equity financing to $1.9 billion. Other investors in the round include SoftBank and GPI Capital.

SoFi is best known as an online lender targeting so-called HENRYs (high earners, not rich yet) with student loan refinancing and other financial services. Rather than look strictly at FICO scores as a measure of credit-worthiness, SoFi also takes into account factors like income and cash flows as it evaluates potential members.

Starting with student loan refinancing, SoFi quickly added personal loans and mortgage lending options for its members. But each of those products is limited by the lack of frequency with which users need them, which led SoFi to begin offering a wider suite of financial services.

Nowadays SoFi members can buy life insurance and use wealth management tools the company has added, and soon they will be able to get more traditional banking services from the company.SoFi acquired banking start-up Zenbanxin a deal valued at around $100 million to round out its portfolio with banking, debit, payments and money transfer services.

Over time, SoFi has caught some flak for cherry-picking customers and not being more inclusive with who can take advantage of its services. That exclusivity has also meant a somewhat limited addressable market, which can be seen in its user numbers.

While SoFi more than doubled from 100,000 members in 2015 to 225,000 at the end of 2016, that’s still a very small number relative to the size of the U.S.financial services market.

With the acquisition of Zenbanx and the addition of SoFi-branded banking services later this year, the company should be able to capture more customers in the U.S. Who knows maybe by giving them a bank account, SoFi will be able to identify customers who might not have applied for their loans.

In addition to offering more services, SoFi is also looking beyond U.S. borders. The company says it plans to expand service offerings to Australia and Canada by the end of the year.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/24/sofi-500m-silver-lake/

The female faces of student loan debt

Image: Shutterstock / Myroslava Gerber

Student loan debt may not be exclusive to gender, but women have a tougher time paying it off than men.

Women earn just under 80 cents on the dollar compared with men, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and they’re paying more out of their pockets to service debt.One year after graduation, 47% of women working full-time were using more than 8% of their earnings to repay their student loans, compared with 39% of men, according to a 2012 report by the American Association of University Women. Eight percent or less is, according to the report, how much borrowers could reasonably manage to pay toward student loan debt.

Women with student debt

Five women spoke with NerdWallet about their relationship with student debt and their studies. They also shared their perspective on a future when they’re finally free of student debt.

Image: Sumner Dilworth

Occupation: Import manager at Baron Francois, a wine wholesaler, and importer in New York

College: Bachelors degree in French language and literature at the University of Maryland, College Park (2009)

Total borrowed in student loans: She estimates $80,000

Location: Jersey City, New Jersey

Lourdes Arena is embarrassed to admit she doesn’t know her exact student loans total. I’m in the dark, she says. I know I have loans, and its definitely a combination of private and federal. My mom was the main co-signer of these loans, so I wasn’t very clear how the loans work.

Arena attended community college for two years before paying out-of-state tuition at the University of Maryland, College Park. After graduation, she deferred her loans while working in the service industry, saved enough to move out on her own and began paying more attention to her finances. I’m not the best saver in the world, but I hate the feeling of owing money, so I just want to get things paid off, she says.

On attending community college first: I would have owed more if I didn’t go to community college and play sports and go for free for two years of my life, despite me not wanting to be home. Community college probably put me in a better position than most.

Occupation: Program manager for NewBoCo, an Iowa startup accelerator

College: Bachelors degree in political science and international studies from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa (2016)

Total borrowed in student loans: $27,000

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Molly Monk is a recent graduate who lives a frugal lifestyle to pay down her $27,000 federal student loan debt. I didn’t want to have to move back in with my family to pay off my loans, so that led me to think about where can I live so I can pay off my loans and still have a comfortable life, she says.

Monk pays $500 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, across the street from her job at a nonprofit. Going into nonprofit work, she knew salaries would be lower, but, she says, Living in a city that’s affordable made doing that work possible for me. She also picked up a part-time job and sends every paycheck from this directly to her loans.

On advice to other new grads: Living in a city that might not seem as glamorous can make your life a lot easier, and you can live a lot more comfortable. I can have my own apartment instead of having to share with three roommates. I would like to eventually live somewhere else, but right now, living here makes a nice quality life. Give Iowa a try.

Occupation: In between work at a production company and waiting to hear back from a job in her field

College: Bachelors degree in journalism, minor in Spanish language and culture at Purchase College, State University of New York (2014)

Total borrowed in student loans: $27,000 in federal loans

Location: New York City

Alina Suriel is more organized than most when it comes to paying off her student debt. I have a whole chart about my student loans and the interest that I’m charged every month and the payments I’m expected to make, she says.

Suriel was aware of the burden of student debt before she went to school, which is why she chose a public college with a lower price tag. After graduation, it was challenging for Suriel to make minimum payments on her $27,000 federal loan debt while she was earning $25,000 a year, but she made it work. She makes additional payments on her loans and is on track to eliminate them earlier than the standard 10-year repayment term.

On the value of her degree: I come from a place where a lot of people don’t have degrees, so it really was a gateway to a life that I wouldn’t be able to have otherwise. When you apply to jobs now, they expect you to have a degree.

Occupation: Bakery manager

College: Bachelors degree in theater studies and a certificate in women and gender studies from Ohio University (2011)

Total borrowed in student loans: $28,000

Location: Lakewood, Ohio

It wasn’t until Bethany Francis reached her senior year of studying theater at Ohio University that she realized she didn’t want to be an actor. I feel like I shot myself in the foot, because what are you going to get a job in with a theater degree? she says.

Francis deferred her federal loans for most of her post-grad life and has been able to make only sporadic payments. She now works part-time at a bakery in Lakewood, Ohio, where she lives with her husband. She is not making payments, and her interest is still growing.

Francis says if she could go back in time, she might have skipped college or chosen a different major. I wish I could have gotten something that projected me into a career instead of a lot of debt.

On her ability to pay off student debt: I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be able to pay it off. Even if I paid $50 a month for every month, I wouldn’t pay it off unless I was close to retirement. For me, it looks pretty bleak. I’m kind of resigned. I don’t even see that as a reality.

Occupation: Account supervisor at ICR, strategic communications and advisory firm in Norwalk, Connecticut

College: Bachelors degree in public relations from Quinnipiac University (2008)

Total borrowed in student loans: $300 left on a $20,000 federal loan

Location: Norwalk, Connecticut

Some $3,000 of Kate Ottavio Kents $20,000 in student loans were paid thanks to competing in the Miss Connecticut pageant in 2010. The Miss America pageant markets itself as the nations largest scholarship organization for women. I always joke, I was first runner-up, so I got a lot of the benefits of having won, but I could focus on my career trajectory, Kent says.

When Kent graduated from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, in 2008, she felt totally terrified. But within three months of graduating, she found a job in public relations, her field of choice. Shes paid off nearly all of her loans and has just $300 to go. Kent says shes proud to have owned some of her education costs.

On the prospect of being debt-free soon: Theres something about making that last $60 payment that will be celebration-worthy.

How to make student loan payments more manageable

There are 44.2 million stories of student loan debt, including these womens. While everyones circumstances are different, there are options available to those who are struggling to make monthly payments.

For federal loans, income-driven repayment will cap your monthly payment at a percentage of your income and extend your standard 10-year loan term to 20 or 25 years. Your monthly payments will be lowered, but over time youll pay more in interest.

If you have private loans, student loan refinancingcould replace your existing loans with a new, private loan at a lower interest rate. To qualify, you need stable income as well as a credit score in the mid-600s or higher. If you refinance federal loans, youll sacrifice federal protections, including loan forgiveness, more lenient deferment or forbearance and access to an income-driven repayment plan.

For more on these women and additional stories of student debt woe and triumph, follow the Faces of Student Loan Debt series.

This article originally published at NerdWallet here

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/22/female-faces-of-student-loan-debt/

Nicki Minaj is helping studious fans pay their college expenses


A most benevolent diva.

Image: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com

Fans of Nicki Minaj piled on with internet praise this weekend after the artist offered to pay college-related expenses for students with straight A’s.

Minaj responded to dozens of requests on Twitter from fans seeking hundreds or thousands of dollars to pay down student loans or cover the costs of books or online courses.

People tweeted photos of their stellar report cards and explained their financial circumstances.

The generous giveaway grew out of a separate contest on Minaj’s Twitter feed. The rap superstar had asked fans to send videos of themselves singing along to her song “Regret in Your Tears” via the instant music video app Musical.ly. The winners will be flown out and have a chance to hang with Minaj.

When Minaj clarified that fans from any country in the world could participate, one user responded, “Well you wanna pay for my tuition?”

Apparently she does.

Minaj’s spontaneous Twitter “scholarship fund” comes only weeks after Chance the Rapper helped launch a fund for arts and literature education within the Chicago Public Schools system.

In late March, Chance announced that NBA basketball team Chicago Bulls had donated $1 million to the fund as part of the rapper’s effort to raise $215 million for students across the Windy City.

Minaj ultimately promised financial support to more than two dozen fans, though she vowed to start another campaign “if I have any money left” by the end of the first one.

Minaj reportedly earned $20.5 million in 2016 alone, making her the sixth-highest earner on Forbes “Hip-Hop Cash Kings” Top 10 list last year.

That should be enough to cover fees for a few students, at the rate college tuitions are going.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/07/nicki-minaj-surprise-fans-students/

Nicki Minaj Says Shell Pay Off Fans College Tuition If They Have Good Grades, And Heres How People Reacted

Need some help paying your college tuition fees or student loans? Nicki Minaj can help! Seriously.

Saturday night, the award-winning rapper was on Twitter telling her fans that she would pay international airfare for contest winners (who would get to spend time with her at the Billboard music awards in Las Vegas) when a US student popped an important question: “Well you wanna pay for my tuition?” Surprisingly, Nicki not only agreed but she also extended the offer to her other fans in need! The only catch was that Minaj needed verification of 4.0 GPAs and confirmation from their schools. Throughout the evening, the rapper helped a total of 30 current and former students with their college tuition, students loans, and other education-related fees. Plus, she promised to respond to more requests from fans in a month or two!

Need some help paying your college tuition fees or student loans? Nicki Minaj can help!

Saturday night the rapper was telling her fans that she would pay international airfare for contest winners

When one fan asked if she would pay for his college tuition, and then it all started…

Minaj spent the night paying off her fan’s education-related fees as long as she got verification of 4.0 GPAs and confirmation from their schools

She helped with eveything from college tuition

To student loans

And other education-related fees

The award-winning rapper spent the whole evening helping fans

And she helped a total of 30 of them

Some of which were former students

While others were current students

With the amount of money varying for each student

We must say, Nicki was more than generous Saturday night

Plus, she promised to respond to more requests from fans in a month or two

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/nicki-minaj-paying-off-fans-college-tuition-student-loans/