New York Federal Reserve officials have sounded the alarm over student loan debt.
Earlier this week, William Dudley, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, provided a press briefing on a New York Fed report about household debt, student loans, and the dangers of mounting student loan delinquencies.
Dudley believes student loans could contribute to sluggish economic growth and reduced homeownership.
The rise of student loan debt
According to the report, student loan debt has almost doubled in the last 10 years, totaling about $1.3 trillion in outstanding student debt today. As college becomes increasingly unaffordable for more students, there’s a strong potential for this bubble to burst at some point.
Students graduate with more than $37,000 in student loan debt on average; that number is likely to rise as tuition rates continue to climb.
The disappointing reality is that the increase of student aid and student loans is actually contributing to higher rates of tuition. A report from the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates a 106 percent rise in the cost of tuition from 1987 to 2010. Researchers argue that tuition keeps rising because colleges and universities know students can cover the costs — as long as they borrow money.
Student loan delinquencies on the rise
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the New York Fed report is the fact that more people are unable to make their loan payments on time. More than one in 10 borrowers are at least 90 days behind when it comes to their student loan payments.
Delinquency climbed to 11.2 percent in the final quarter of 2016 — the highest delinquency rate for all types of household debt, says the report. When grads decide which bills to pay first, they’re putting student loans at the bottom of the list, tackling them only after they pay their mortgages, credit cards, and utilities.
Additionally, the report claims that nearly one-third of 30-year-olds who left college with student loans between 2006 and 2011 had defaulted on their student loans.
Credit scores and buying a home
The report indicates that even with student loans, some grads are still willing to buy homes. College graduates have higher homeownership rates than non-grads, no matter their debt status, says the report.
By age 33, close to 50 percent of grads with at least a bachelor’s degree and student loan debt have bought a home. Even though the homeownership rate is higher amongst those with no student debt, it’s not a significant difference.
However, that doesn’t mean that upcoming grads are going to be able to achieve homeownership.
As New York Fed economist Donghoon Lee pointed out in a Bloomberg article, increased delinquency rates could negatively impact credit scores. With lower credit scores as a result of missed student loan payments, Lee explained, “it will be very hard for them to buy a home.”
Should college be free?
During the press briefing, New York Fed chief Dudley mused on the benefits of free college in the United States. He said that debating the policy about free tuition is reasonable, as rising student loan debt limits borrowers’ spending power and could contribute to slower economic growth.
He added that the absence of free college tuition in the United States is a political choice, rather than something that has been looked at as an economic policy.
Dudley’s comments came ahead of a bill introduced by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders aimed at offering tuition-free college and lower student loan rates.
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.82% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.43% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.21% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.45% effective May 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.43% – 7.21%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.43% – 6.59%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.44% – 6.87%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.46% – 7.08%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.93% – 9.67%6||Undergrad & Graduate|