WNYC Radio’s The Takeaway recently launched a year-long conversation about community colleges. On Thursday, November 19, 2015 I had the privilege of sitting down with John Hockenberry, the host of the show, to discuss a problem faced by those who decide to opt for a community college as a more affordable alternative than four-year institutions.
Nearly 1 million community college students don’t have access to the federal student loan program. For those who can’t afford the tuition bill, the primary solution is private student lending programs that offer fewer borrower protections.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that students, former students and their parents owe 150 billion dollars in loans from private lenders. As of the beginning of 2015, 5% of those loans were in past due. In addition, more than 90% of new private student loans require cosigners, which means default impacts more than just the student unable to make payments.
And with defaults climbing, lenders are increasingly suing people for past due private student loans. I’ve seen an uptick in clients being sued for private student loan debts, as have many of the graduates I’ve trained in The Student Loan Law Workshop.
You can listen to my interview with John Hockenberry below, or click here for the audio which will open in a new browser tab).