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By Liz F. Kay | liz.kay@baltsun.com | April 3, 2010
A data security breach at a nonprofit student loan company compromised the personal information of 76,939 Maryland residents, according to the identity theft unit of the state attorney general's office. A form of "portable media" was stolen in March from Minnesota-based Education Credit Management Corp. containing data including names, addresses and Social Security numbers for about 3.3 million people nationwide. Under Maryland law, businesses that keep your personal information are required to notify you if that information has been compromised.
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NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | September 4, 2014
Noting that student loan debt in the U.S. has ballooned to roughly $1 trillion, Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin spoke with students at Bowie State University on Thursday to draw attention to a proposal Democrats will push next week to allow borrowers to refinance their student loans. "In this country you can refinance a yacht but you can't refinance your student loan," Mikulski said. "We want students to have a fair shot at lowering their debt interest rates. " The bill, which would allow people to refinance federal and private loans issued before 2010 at a rate below 4 percent, is not likely to gain much traction in this Congress.
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NEWS
March 22, 2010
I usually agree wholeheartedly with Eileen Ambrose, but this time she has gone too far in advocating for the hijacking of the student loan program by the federal government ("Student loan industry's 'takeover' by federal government is overdue," March 21). And attaching this proposal, with its wide-ranging effects on our banking and student loan system, to the proposal to remake the health care system by the feds is tantamount to slipping a "mickey finn" to the citizenry, who will wake up with thousands, no, likely tens of thousands of new government jobs with their wonderfully high-cost pension and health schemes, of which private employees can only dream.
NEWS
By Anwer Hasan | July 29, 2014
Student debt has grown to over $1 trillion in the United States and is continuing to climb. In fact, seven out of 10 undergraduates graduated with some form of student debt in 2012. Such enormous debt is likely to trigger another financial crisis as young adults and recent graduates struggle to pay back their loans. The federal, state and local governments have taken a number of steps to provide aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and repayment assistance programs. In Maryland, for example, the state's Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program provides loan repayment assistance for graduates working in high needs areas in targeted fields such as medicine, education and law. In Fiscal Year 2013, 193 awards were made through that program; loan repayments totaled more than $1.2 million, with an average award of roughly $6,400 per recipient.
NEWS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | May 28, 2012
A Baltimore County woman had about $340,000 in student loan debt discharged by a federal bankruptcy judge this month because Asperger's syndrome prevents her from holding a job. Carol Todd of Nottingham pursued college degrees "as a stepping stone toward a measure of liberation … and perhaps to help her achieve something closer to a normal life," according to the May 17 opinion of Judge Robert A. Gordon, a bankruptcy judge for the District of...
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose Personal finance | March 21, 2010
T he federal student loan program has gone through many changes in its 45-year history, and now it's time for the next big step: cutting out the middleman. That's what the Obama administration proposes to do starting in July. Students now get federal loans through a private lender or directly from the government. Obama wants all federal loans to come straight from Uncle Sam, which would create a net savings of $62 billion through 2020, according to figures last week from the Congressional Budget Office.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | September 12, 2011
About 320,000 student borrowed who started to repay their loans in 2009 were in default by the end of 2010, according to the latest figures from the Department of Education. The department said that 8.8 percent of borrowers who started repaying loans in 2009 were in default by the end of last year. In comparison, 7 percent of students who started repaying in 2008 were in default by the end of 2009. Debbie Cochrane, program director at the Institute for College Access and Success, says the problem is more severe than these figures suggest.
NEWS
March 5, 1992
The federal college student loan program is in need of reform, say 258 of 299 callers to SUNDIAL (86 percent). Forty-one callers (13 percent) think not.A congressional proposal to have colleges lend the money and have the Internal Revenue Service collect the payments goes too far, say 144 of 293 callers (49 percent), while 149 callers (50 percent) say it does not go too far.
NEWS
By Knight-Ridder News Service | June 14, 1991
WASHINGTON -- The nation's most notorious student loan maker, the Bank of Horton in rural northeast Kansas, failed yesterday and was closed, but not before its bad loans cost taxpayers $250 million.In the late 1980s, the bank in Horton, population 2,177, was the country's second-largest originator of government-guaranteed student loans. Many of those loans were funneled to questionable trade schools and fly-by-night academies, forcing taxpayers to swallow huge losses when students didn't repay the money.
NEWS
By Andrew Cuomo | October 22, 2007
College students from across the country are back in school. Many of them cannot afford the sky-high cost of college without loans. As a result, countless students are going to spend decades after they graduate paying off enormous debts to student loan companies. Just as the right degree presents a student with new opportunities, the wrong loan harmfully restricts where their education can take them. With the stakes so high, we need to make sure every student can easily choose the loan that is right for him or her, and is protected by his or her school and the government from unfair lending deals.
NEWS
September 3, 2013
In "college town" Towson, even the sports bar needs our tax money to build up and sell more booze ("State board OKs Greene Turtle loan," Aug. 22). The Green Turtle got a state-approved loan in 1995. Now, it borrows $893,000, $240,000 from Maryland, to add 60 roof seats to 120 enclosed seats. Interesting that the previous day's newspaper reviewed a legislator arrested for drunken driving ("Del. Dwyer charged with driving under the influence," Aug. 21). Greater Baltimore Medical Center helped me in 1992, guaranteeing to the bank 100 percent of my independent medical practice loan of $50,000.
NEWS
August 23, 2013
In "college town" Towson, even the sports bar needs our tax money to build up and sell more booze ("State board OKs Greene Turtle loan," Aug. 22). The Green Turtle got a state-approved loan in 1995. Now, it borrows $893,000, $240,000 from Maryland, to add 60 roof seats to 120 enclosed seats. Interesting that the previous day's newspaper reviewed a legislator arrested for drunken driving ("Del. Dwyer charged with driving under the influence," Aug. 21). Greater Baltimore Medical Center helped me in 1992, guaranteeing to the bank 100 percent of my independent medical practice loan of $50,000.
NEWS
By Ron George | August 8, 2013
It is time for our state to have independent audits of all departments and agencies. The appalling misuse of federal education funding discovered earlier this year is already well known. Baltimore City and Prince George's County schools wasted over $540,000 of federal stimulus money and funds intended to educate some of our poorest populations. Instead of putting more teachers in the classroom or updating textbooks and supplies, the money paid for parent/teacher harbor cruises, makeovers, theater tickets, watches for administrators and catered dinners.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | August 2, 2013
With the start of classes just weeks away, Maryland financial aid directors sighed with relief that Congress has finally reached an agreement on student loan interest rates that will lower costs for borrowers this academic year. "We have been getting calls from students," said Zhanna Goltser, director of financial aid at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore. "It's great that it will save money for students who are borrowing now. " "Now" is the key word. Under a new formula created by lawmakers, the rate on certain federal loans could go up significantly in a few years.
NEWS
July 24, 2013
After months of partisan haggling and finger-pointing, the Senate is scheduled to vote today on a bill that would keep interest rates on college student loans from doubling. Actually, the rate already has doubled - from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent - because Congress missed a June 30 deadline to avoid an automatic increase in borrowing costs that was scheduled to kick in if lawmakers didn't act. Now senators and representatives are rushing to play catch-up before students report to campus, in hopes that they won't be blamed for yet another failure to act in the national interest.
NEWS
July 5, 2013
Because Congress couldn't get its act together last month - not really all that surprising given the partisan gridlock in Washington - interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford student loans rose from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on Monday. That's bad enough for college students trying to figure out how they will repay the debts they incur to finance their educations. What's worse is that practically nobody in Congress - neither Democrat nor Republican - wanted rates to go that high, yet lawmakers seemed powerless to prevent it. Democrats and Republicans both agreed the government should continue to subsidize college loans for the country's neediest students.
NEWS
By N.Y. Times News Service | June 11, 1993
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee has approved a modified version of President Clinton's proposal to put the federal government in the business of lending money directly to college students.The plan, which is now almost certain to be enacted in some form, is intended to cut costs both to students and to the government, which now acts as a guarantor of student loans made by private financial institutions.The most immediate saving would be to students, who now pay fees of as much as $80 for every $1,000 borrowed.
NEWS
By Justin Draeger | August 17, 2007
Recently, lawmakers and the media have focused on potentially improper relationships between student financial aid administrators and certain lenders, even going so far as to propose eliminating the position in college student aid offices. These proposed measures could have harmful, unintended consequences for students and parents attempting to finance higher learning. Without an objective third party, consumers would be more prone to manipulation by direct-to-consumer marketing by unscrupulous lenders.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2013
Financial aid directors at Maryland colleges hope that members of Congress will return from their July 4 recess and reverse the doubling of the interest rate on new federal loans for financially needy students. "I am actually hoping they come to their senses and make the interest rate lower for our students," said Angela Hovatter, director of financial aid at Frostburg State University, where nearly half of students receive subsidized federal loans. "It's bad enough for them to find jobs in this economy and be able to pay back their student loans without adding additional money to that.
NEWS
June 13, 2013
A recent article in The Sun lamented the scheduled interest rate increase on student loans ("Student loan rates set to rise, barring Congress cram session," June 7). Cancellation of this program would be of benefit to all future students. The increase in college tuition is directly related to the availability of student loans. If an individual or family can afford $18,000 in annual tuition and charges and the government will provide another $2,000 in cash or as a loan, the cost of tuition and charges will increase by $2,000 or $2,500.
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