The College Student Relief Act (H.R. 5), recently approved in the U.S. House of Representatives, currently is awaiting approval by the Senate. The act, which proponents claim will benefit taxpayers, may not have the impact that backers claim. Essentially, H.R. 5 encourages schools via incentives to go with the government’s Direct Lending Program over the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).
This is being pushed even though the Direct Lending Program has been operating at a deficit since 1997. Currently, the Direct Lending Program only has $89 billion in student loans, but owes the government $105 billion, a shortfall of $16 billion. Opponents of H.R. 5 are concerned, as they realize that taxpayers ultimately will end up picking up the $16 billion tab.
FFELP Saves Students Thousands
The FFELP, established by Congress more than 40 years ago, allows students to choose lenders based upon such criteria as customer service, incentives such as interest rate reduction, and other factors. Private lenders, including savings and loans, credit unions and banks, provide federally secured low interest student loans for college students that include: Parent Student Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS), Graduate PLUS Student Loans, Federal Subsidized Stafford Student Loans, Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Student Loans, and the Federal Student Loan Consolidation Program.
Through subsidies provided by the federal government, private lenders pass on savings to students in the form of student loan incentives. These benefits form the basis of competition in the student loan industry, offering potential savings of thousands over the course of a student’s loan in order to win a borrower’s business. When private lenders compete within the context of the FFELP, students win with greater savings. For instance, NextStudent, the Phoenix-based premier education funding company, provides a 1 percent LOCKED interest rate reduction once a borrower has made 36 on-time consecutive payments, one of the most aggressive benefits in the industry.
College Student Relief Act Doubles Costs
If the College Student Relief Act becomes law, students may be adversely affected. It will cut in half the subsidies paid to FFELP lenders, effectively doubling the cost required to service these student loans. Over time this will reduce the number of FFELP lenders, and ELIMINATE competition. This will negatively affect customer service, information about financial aid, and benefits passed on to students through student loan incentives.
Many students and their parents until recently were not aware of the adverse effects of the College Student Relief Act. Some have decided to take action, and, in essence, fight for their rights to save by contacting their senators, and asking them to vote against H.R. 5. Find your senators’ contact information here: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. Every little bit helps to protect the integrity of quality financial aid in the United States.
NextStudent believes that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and it is dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding simple. Learn more about student loans and student loan consolidation at NextStudent.com.
This article is distributed by NextStudent. At NextStudent, we believe that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and we're dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding as easy as possible. We invite you to learn more at http://www.NextStudent.com.
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