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Are Student Loans Guaranteed By The Government

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Increased Demand For Student Aid

Government to blame for America’s mounting student loan debt?

Increased demand for student aid was likely not a result of greater access to credit from the switch to direct lending. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center , there is no evidence that borrowers lacked access to FFEL lenders during the Great Recession despite the reduction in the number of participating institutions because the Department of Education purchased loans to enable private lenders to continue offering credit. However, the switch to direct lending did create access to more favorable terms for borrowers and expanded loan forgiveness and repayment programs, which may have incentivized individuals to borrow, or to borrow more, than they otherwise would have.

Some Want Biden To Forgive $50000 In Debt

While student loan forgiveness would be a major win for the Biden administration and Democrats heading into the 2022 midterm elections, some have called on Biden to forgive up to $50,000 of student debt. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been an advocate for up to $50,000 in debt forgiveness and has said he will continue to fight and persist to cancel that amount, according to Business Insider. In June, the AFL-CIO, the largest workers union in the U.S., along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Ayanna Pressley to cancel more than the proposed $10,000 of student debt forgiveness.

The Maze Of Student Loan Processing

It is possible for your student loan to have been originated by one institution, be owned by another, guaranteed by yet another, and possibly serviced by a fourth or even fifth agency. This can make it very difficult to track down who owns your debt and how. Much also depends on the type of loan you took out, although it is safe to say the federal government was involved in some way.

Most lenders are huge institutions, such as international banks or the government. After a loan is originated, however, it represents an asset that can be bought and sold on the market. Banks are often incentivized to move loans off the books and sell them to another intermediary because doing so instantly improves their capital ratio and allows them to make even more loans.

Since almost all loans are fully guaranteed by the government, banks can sell them for a higher price, because default risk is not transferred with the asset.

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Why Did The Federal Government Get Involved In Student Loans

Skyrocketing student debt has generated significant discussion about ways to improve the financing of higher education in the United States, including proposals for debt forgiveness and other reforms. A key part of understanding the complex dynamics at play is unpacking the federal governments role as a direct lender how that role has evolved over time and its effect on student aid, government costs, borrower experience, and the nations finances.

For more than 60 years, the federal government has played a major and growing role in helping students finance higher education by extending access to credit through loans and loan guarantee programs. Over time, federal policy changes have expanded the governments role, enabling greater administrative flexibility and improved access to more favorable loan programs at a potentially lower cost to the borrower. However, those enhancements have also led to rapidly rising student debt, which can have costly implications for the federal budget and place serious economic burdens on borrowers.

Federal Student Loans Are Binding And Real

Student Loan Relief Under the CARES Act

If you are under the impression that student loans are somehow less serious or not a big deal, you are mistaken. It’s important that you take the loans seriously. Although it may be years before you begin repayment your financial future depends upon your diligence following repayment requirements and adhering to all of the loan terms.

Federal student loans are just as serious and just as binding as private lender loans. It is important that you take your loan seriously and give due attention to the requirements you will face as a borrower before agreeing to the final loan agreement. Although it may be years before you begin your repayment schedule your financial future depends upon your diligence in following payment requirements and adhering to all of the lenders terms.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson [email protected]

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Applying For A Consolidation Loan

You do not have to pay a fee or pay someone to help you get a government consolidation loan. Be wary of companies charging a lot of money for a free government program.

The Department generally requires all borrowers to apply for Direct Loan consolidation using the web site. . The Department strongly encourages borrowers to apply on-line, but you may also download and print a paper application to submit by regular mail.

You can find out more about how to apply for a consolidation loan here. This is the section of this web siteabout consolidating out of default, but you do not have to be in default on your loans to consolidate.

Good Credit Not Require & Can Help You Build Credit

Finally, federal student loans dont require a good credit score andbecause of thisare a great option for those with bad credit.

In addition, federal student loans may help build your credit over time. As long as you make on-time payments in the minimum amount due, federal student loan servicers report your payment history to the three major credit bureausEquifax, Experian, and TransUnioneach month.

This helps you establish a strong track record of responsible money management, which aids in getting new credit in the future.

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The Bottom Line: A Federal Government Loan May Help You Reach Your Homeownership Goals

Government-backed loans often allow borrowers with lower credit to get the financing they need. Especially if youre a first-time home buyer, a government home loan can give you the chance to become a homeowner.

Get started today with Rocket Mortgage and see what government home loans you may qualify for. You can also give one of our Home Loan Experts a call at 326-6018.

Take the first step toward the right mortgage.

Apply online for expert recommendations with real interest rates and payments.

Figure Out The Net Cost Of College

Cawthorn’s take on student loan forgiveness

Start by calculating the cost of attendance at the school of your choice.

A good rule of thumb is to determine the net college cost and the amount of income and savings currently on hand, then subtract whats available from the net price.

For most students and parents, borrowing 125 percent of this difference is a good gauge of what is needed from student loans. Its easier to determine the net cost of college because all colleges and universities eligible to receive federal financial aid are required to provide an online calculator through their websites.

Part of the calculation also comes from figures in your federal student aid package. After the FAFSA is complete, a financial aid package is generated for each applicant.

Within that package, you are provided details regarding the type of aid offered, including all federal student loans you may be eligible for, federal work-study programs, supplemental educational opportunity grants, scholarships, and Pell Grants.

Based on the unmet need, you can determine what you may need to borrow to fund your education.

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The Evolution Of Federal Student Loan Programs

The first federal student loans were issued directly to borrowers under the National Defense Education Act of 1958 to help ensure the availability of highly trained Americans in scientific and technical fields. Since then, federal student loan programs have been significantly restructured twice.

First, in 1965, the federal government began subsidizing and guaranteeing student loans issued by private lenders through the Federal Family Education Loan program. Through FFEL, lenders received federal subsidies to extend low-interest loans, with the government agreeing to cover most losses if the student defaulted on the loan. Then, in 1972, lawmakers established the government-sponsored enterprise Student Loan Marketing Association to facilitate liquidity in the loan market. Sallie Mae originated federally guaranteed student loans under FFEL and worked as a servicer and collector of federal student loans.

What Is A Government

The term government mortgage loan can mean a couple of different things. In most cases, however, the general concept is the same.

Definition: A government-backed or insured mortgage program is when a private-sector lender issues the loan to the borrower, and the government insures or guarantees it. The insurance / guarantee means that the mortgage lender is protected against losses, if the homeowner fails to repay later on.

The term government-insured mortgage loan is used to distinguish these programs from conventional home loans that do not receive any kind of government backing.

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But There Is A Workaround For Ineligible Ffel Loans

Borrowers eager to know where their FFEL loans are held can go to and sign in with your FSA ID. Then go to the “My Aid” tab, and search for your loans.

Even if your FFEL loan is commercially held, all hope may not be lost.

A spokesperson for the U.S Department of Education said borrowers with those loans can call their servicer and consolidate them into the Direct Loan Program to become eligible for forgiveness.

There’s currently no deadline by which they need to do this, but presumably there will be one. As a result, experts recommend borrowers in this situation act quickly.

The broad student loan forgiveness is available for the same loans as are eligible for the payment pause and interest waiver. It does not include commercially held FFEL loans.Mark Kantrowitzhigher education expert

Federal Direct Plus Loan For Parents

Student Loan Debt in America Is Higher Than Ever

The Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Parents is a credit-based alternative loan program specifically designed to provide low cost loans to parents of dependent college bound students. Parents can secure a loan up to the value of the cost of their student’s attendance less any other financial aid their child has been awarded. Repayment of the PLUS Loan begins as soon as the loan is fully disbursed and students must sign a promissory note guaranteeing repayment if the parent or guardian defaults at any time.

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‘about Half’ Of Ffel Loans Are Commercially Held

The federal government began lending to students on a large scale in the 1960s. Back then, however, it didn’t directly give out student loans. Instead, it guaranteed the debt provided by banks and nonprofit lenders under the FFEL program.

That program was eliminated in 2010 after lawmakers made the case that it would be cheaper and simpler to directly lend to students. Nearly 10 million people still hold FFEL loans, according to higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz.

Today, Kantrowitz said, “about half are held by the U.S. Department of Education and about half by commercial lenders.”

There are two reasons the government may now hold FFEL loans. When these loans go into default, the private companies that previously owned them transfer them over to a guarantee agency that services the debt on behalf of the federal government, Kantrowitz said. The other reason is that the government bought back some of the loans during the 2008 credit crisis.

Borrowers eager to know where their FFEL loans are held can go to and sign in with their FSA ID. Then, go to the “My Aid” tab, and search for your loan details.

How To Apply For Federal Student Loans For College

Applying for federal student loans is free. All you need to do is complete the . In addition to determining eligibility for federal student loans, the FAFSA also determines whether you may qualify for other federal student aid like grants and work-study. You need to submit the FAFSA every year youre enrolled in college to receive federal student aid.

The easiest and fastest way to file the FAFSA and check your eligibility for federal student loans is online. Your application will be processed within 3-5 days. You can also mail in a paper application, but processing it will take about 7-10 days.

Submitting the FAFSA is totally free. If youre asked to pay, that means youre in the wrong place.

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From Sputnik To Sallie Mae: A New History Of Federal Student Loans


Runaway college tuition. A quarter of borrowers in default. Rising balances. Up to $500 billion in toxic debt. And millions of Americans clamoring for their student loans to be forgiven.

How did we get here?

The Debt Trap: How Student Loans Became a National Catastrophe is Wall Street Journal reporter Josh Mitchells answer to that question. Mitchells account of federal student loans 63-year history is far more engaging than such a history ought to be. The Debt Trap tells the story of people who set out with an earnest wish to educate Americas youth. Yet six decades on, most consider the result of their work to be an unholy mess.

The origins of federal student loans

Federal student lending began when the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik and kicked off the Space Race. Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, who had benefitted from a student loan himself, pushed the federal government to create the first student loan program, which would promote science and technology education among Americas next generation. Seven years later, now-President Johnson signed into a law a successor program which he hoped would allow young people from all walks of life to attend college. Modern student lending was born.

But the program soon morphed into what Mitchell calls the quintessential form of crony capitalism. It privatized profits and socialized losses.

Creating the modern loan program

Moving forward

Direct Loan And Ffel Programs

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There are two types of Federal student loans available to college bound students:the Federal Direct Loan program and the Federal Family Education Loan program. Both are key components of a successful financial aid strategy.

Federal student loans should be the very first step you take in the financial aid process:

  • The Direct Federal Loan program is administered through the U.S. Department of Education who also acts as lender for the program.
  • The Federal Family Education Loan Program, or FFEL, includes the Stafford Loan , the PLUS Loan and Federal Direct Consolidation Loan. FFEL makes Federal loans possible through private lenders, such as Sallie Mae and Nelnet. When private lenders work with Federal college loan programs more students have access to post secondary education.

Federal student loans are guaranteed by the government, which means if you default on the repayment of your student loan the government will back the lender financially for the loss. Federal loans also offer some of the lowest interest rates available making them more affordable for students struggling to find the money to attend college or university. So, what sets Federal student loan programs apart from private lenders and other types of loans?

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Differences In Repayment Options For Guaranteed And Direct Loans

The most important difference between guaranteed and direct loans is the availability of repayment programs. The federal government offers several repayment plans for low-income borrowers like the:

  • Income Based Repayment Plan
  • Income Sensitive Repayment Plan
  • Pay As You Earn , and
  • Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan .

Some of these plans are available to certain FFEL borrowers. Generally, the repayment plan options are more generous for direct loans than for FFELs.

To determine whether you have FFEL guaranteed or direct loans, access the National Student Loan Data System.

Potential Consequences Of Student Loan Debt

While college grads earn about 70% more than people with only a high school degree, student loan debt has been associated with a number of social, economic, and psychological consequences including:

  • having to choose less satisfying work that pays more
  • lower credit ratings from missed payments that may disqualify borrowers from work opportunities given poor payment history
  • reduced wealth accumulation

Organizations that advocate for student loan reform include the Debt Collective and Student Loan Justice.

Some pundits proposed that colleges share liability on defaulted student loans.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced legislation in 2017 to “make public colleges and universities tuition-free for working families and to significantly reduce student debt.” The policy would eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees at public colleges and universities, lower interest rates, and allow those with existing debt to refinance. Sanders offered a new proposal in 2019 that would cancel $1.6 trillion of student loan, undergraduate and graduate debt for around 45 million Americans.

Senator Brian Schatz reintroduced the Debt Free College Act in 2019.

In 2020, a majority of economists surveyed by the Initiative on Global Markets felt that forgiving all student loans would be more beneficial to higher income earners than lower income earners.

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Who Is Eligible For Student Loan Forgiveness

Bidens plan would forgive up to $10,000 of student loan debt for individuals making less than $125,000, according to the details of his plan. The plan would forgive an additional $10,000 for those who received federal Pell Grants, bringing the maximum total forgiveness one could receive to $20,000.


Borrowers with student debt who are employed by non-profits, the military, or federal, state, Tribal, or local government may also be eligible for forgiveness of all their loans through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Certain eligibility criteria have been waived through Oct. 31.

In addition to the debt forgiveness, the government will extend its pause on student loan repayments with interest rates at 0% until January. The pause, which was set to expire on Aug. 31, was first put in place in 2020 and has been extended multiple times. Biden said this is the final time student loan repayments will be extended.

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