Quote of the Day, July 25, 2012
Private student loans are riskier than federal loans, the study said. They often carry variable interest rates, which can cause monthly payments to rise unexpectedly. Federal loans offer fixed interest rates.
In many cases, if a borrower is unable to repay, federal loans can be postponed or reduced. Those options are rare for private loans, the study said.
Students often did not understand the difference between federal and private loans, the study said. That caused many to take out costly student loans when they were eligible for cheaper, safer government loans.
The study highlights a unique feature of student debt: Unlike other credit card balances and most other debt, it is nearly impossible to cancel student debt by filing for bankruptcy. That leaves many borrowers trapped, behind on loans that lenders are unwilling to modify, the study said. There are more than 850,000 private loans in default, worth more than $8.1 billion, it said.
– excerpted from an Associated Press report on how private student loans parallel sub-prime mortgage lending, according to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).