Money Matters – Stafford Loans and You
As of today, July 1, the interest rates on Stafford Loans are set to double from 3.4% to 6.8%.You’ll find some handy explanations of how this affects you over at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s blog.
Already on the hook for loans? This change only affects new Stafford Loans for undergraduate education. If you have loan that originated before July 1, 2013, or you are taking out a loan to finance your post-graduate education—such as dental school or a residency—you are not affected by this change.
The ADA speaks up. Increasing the cost of education is a big deal, so much so that the ADA sent a letter to the U.S. Senate, explaining that education debt plays a major role in postgraduate career planning and can influence whether a recent graduate will choose to enter private practice, focus on underserved communities or pursue a career in public service, teaching research and/or public health. Read more about the letter here. The interest rates could be revised retroactively, so it’s important to speak up. If you’d like to contact your legislator yourself here’s some information on how to do that.
Other Resources The ADA collects information on student loan repayment programs. Access a list of federal and state programs that offer loan repayment assistance, which are often in exchange for services in a healthcare shortage area. Download the free pdf here.
The ADA offers a free student loan contract analysis service to student members. Contact an ASDA chapter leader at your school and notify the ADA legal department at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a written analysis – in plain language – of your student loan contract. The service is available for unsigned contracts and all pre-doctoral and post-doctoral student members may take advantage of it. Here’s the Student Loan Analysis F.A.Q.