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Education


Cordray's agency looks for help in reining in student debt
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says lessons learned in the mortgage mess may apply
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
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Nine months ago, Ohio’s former Attorney General Richard Cordray acknowledged his new agency had a lot of work to do on student loans. Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed part of its plan. But as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, it’s a small incremental step.

SCHULTZE: Reigning in student debt

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The average student-loan debt in Ohio is nearly $29,000, seventh highest in the country.  And nationally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has logged more than 3,000 complaints over student loans. Nearly two-thirds of them accuse private lenders of making it hard to renegotiate new terms or lower interest rates. 

Now the agency is asking lenders, colleges, students and others for evidence of how big a problem the student-loan debt can be, what options borrowers have now, and what alternatives seem to be working.

The bureau’s Rohit Chopra says the agency is especially interested in lessons learned by the mortgage industry. 

“Many borrowers who have obtained employment and are earning good money wonder why they’re not able to refinance their student loans and lock in a lower rate, which we’ve seen a lot of a number of homeowners across the country be able to do and put those savings to other uses.

Chopra acknowledges that because there’s no collateral, student loans differ from home loans.

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