What is interesting about this article is that Harvard seems to have found a way to find loans for international students without a co-signer. Details of this program will be announced in the coming months.
Now that I have cast my absentee ballot, I hereby solemnly swear to not watch any more of the punditry until election night (phew, I feel better already). It must be all those red/blue maps that I endured on the five hour Jet Blue flight. No mas...
Here is NY Times article about the candidates and their position on student loans. I had posted earlier on what the candidates said during the debates about this topic.
The news in student lending land however was not so positive. Chase and Citibank followed Sallie Mae's lead and raised the pricing on their private student loans and in Chase's case also increased their underwriting standards. What the Fed has giveth, the lenders have taketh away. If there is any consolation regarding this news it's the fact that the peak borrowing season has passed, small consolation for those still scrambling to pay tuition bills.
Here is the article. The level is the lowest reading since 1967, which is when the Conference Board began measuring consumer sentiment. With consumer spending making up almost 70% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this does not portend well for the economy in the months ahead.
A Singaporean paper thinks so. It cites such factors as "However, learning how stock markets work, how unit trusts function, and
how to diversify your investments at different points of your life are
skills that everyone will need sooner or later." Also, "If we are made to learn about financial literacy, then maybe we won't
be caught in the situation of the many retirees who plonked their nest
eggs into a single risky structured fund without knowing that they
could lose it all."
I suspect that we may hear a growing chorus of the need for such education. I also think there will be a need to prove the effectiveness of such programs. Stay tuned.
My last post on Sallie Mae's recent increase in interest rates on their private loans got me thinking, I wonder what the other lenders are charging on their private loans. I turn to the SLA Private Loan Options, which lists the ten lenders that showed up most frequently based on an SLA analysis of over 700 school financial aid websites. We update the information on this chart based on pricing checks that we complete regularly through numerous calls to customer service (numerous since the reps. often contradict one another by providing differing rates) as well as website checks.
Starting October 27th, the maximum rate on Sallie Mae Signature Loans will climb to LIBOR + 11.25% (the LIBOR index is 3.375%) with the minimum rate set at LIBOR + 4.5% (or 7.875%) according to recent emails from Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae's website, which had not been updated as of this evening listed min./max. rates of LIBOR + 3.25% to LIBOR + 10.75%.
Update on 10/27/08: Sallie Mae's website has been updated as of 10/27/08 to show that the Signature Loan has a minimum interest rate of LIBOR + 4.0% and a maximum of LIBOR + 14% with disbursement fees up to 3% and repayment fees up to 3%. It would appear that the schools who had been notified by Sallie Mae of the pricing changes are receiving preferential rates as their maximums are 2.75% less than those listed on the Sallie Mae website. It is interesting however, that the minimums at these schools are 0.5% higher than the rates on the Sallie Mae website.
I was scanning the recent report that the Iowa Attorney General put out on Friday regarding the state agency, the Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation (ISL). Buried within the 88 page report, is an interesting disclosure regarding how PLUS borrowers were evaluated by the contractor that ISL's guarantor had hired to complete this task.
The damning paragraph from the report by Mark Kantrowitz for the attorney general (which he provided on a pro bono basis) reads as follows: