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Our Student Loan Debt Problem Is Getting Worse

4% increase from 2014 to 2015 for those with bachelor's degrees from public, nonprofit private schools

(Newser) - How much students are borrowing for higher education is still creeping up—and the numbers that are coming in are probably conservative. The Institute for College Access and Success , a nonprofit, reported Tuesday that the average student loan debt for 2015 for those receiving a bachelor's degree was $30,... More »

Aetna Doing Something About Workers' Student Loans

Employees offered up to $10K in matching payments

(Newser) - Competition for talented university graduates appears to be heating up: Health care giant Aetna has become the latest big company trying to woo young workers by offering to help them pay off their mountains of student debt, USA Today reports. Full-time employees who have earned degrees within the last three... More »

Can You Pass a Basic Test on Finances? Probably Not

The vast majority of Americans answered barely half of the questions correctly

(Newser) - When it comes to finances, Americans are doing generally better than during the recession. But when it comes to financial literacy, the picture is grim. According to a new survey of 27,564 Americans called the National Financial Capability Study that was put out by the FINRA Foundation , roughly two-thirds... More »

Google Bans 'Deceptive' Ads for All Payday Loans

Some lenders say it's unfair to punish entire industry for predatory 'bad actors'

(Newser) - In a move that earned Google a big "huzzah!" from Wired , the company took a big step Wednesday against predatory lending practices. Starting July 13, no more ads will appear on the site for what it calls "deceptive" payday loans, the AP reports—the first time it'... More »

Cops: Man Shackled Teen as Collateral for Loan to Her Dad

She was able to free herself and text for help

(Newser) - Police say a Pennsylvania man kept a 15-year-old girl in shackles as collateral for a loan to her father, the AP reports. Thirty-year-old Christopher Wiley Brown of Brownsville was jailed Thursday on kidnapping, indecent assault, and other charges. The Herald-Standard reports that the girl agreed to care for Brown's... More »

Cruz Didn't Disclose Up to $1M in Campaign Loans

He says he'll amend the 'filing error' as necessary

(Newser) - Banks loaned Ted Cruz as much as $1 million during his first Senate campaign in Texas back in 2012, but you wouldn't know it from campaign finance reports. While Cruz eventually disclosed the loans from Citibank and Goldman Sachs—each valued at $250,000 to $500,000—to Senate... More »

Feds Aiming Crackdown at 'Chameleon' Lenders

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau steps in to end 'black hole' of debt

(Newser) - Payday loans can lead to what one borrower describes to the New York Times as a "black hole," with one high-interest short-term loan leading to another as borrowers struggle to repay the money. While state laws have targeted the problem, federal agencies have stayed out of the matter—... More »

Payday Lenders Outnumber McDonald's in the US

At about 20K to 14K

(Newser) - What could possibly be more ubiquitous than McDonald's? Payday lenders, according to an article running in Inside the Vault , a newsletter put out by the St. Louis Federal Reserve. By its count, there are roughly 20,000 payday lender locations in the US, which works out to one for... More »

Why Your Credit Score Might Be Going Up

Change in way they're calculated will be more forgiving of medical debt

(Newser) - A modification to how one of the most common credit scores is calculated will mean better credit ratings for many Americans, reports the Wall Street Journal . Fair Isaac Corp. said yesterday that it won't place as much emphasis on medical debt when calculating consumers' FICO scores and will turn... More »

How One Company Sues US Military Around the World

USA Discounters offers loans that some experts consider predatory

(Newser) - On the bright side, the Virginia-based retailer USA Discounters offers loans to customers who have no credit. The downside? Those loans may be predatory, and customers who fail to pay will get sued in Virginia courtrooms no matter where they live, Pacific Standard reports. An added wrinkle: Many of the... More »

This Is What Happens When You Apply for a Payday Loan

Pam Fessler got dozens of calls, for months

(Newser) - If you've spent much time on the Internet, surely you've seen an ad for a payday loan service, promising a quick cash advance. Pam Fessler decided to click on one of those ads, and what happened next astounded her. She applied for a $500 loan using mostly fake... More »

Rejected for a Loan? Blame Your Facebook Friends

Some startups using social data to assess loan risk

(Newser) - You're already concerned about your credit score; one day you may also have to be concerned about your Facebook friends—because a few tech startups are using social data when determining whether to loan you money. Lenddo checks out whether your Facebook friends list includes anyone who's ever... More »

Goldman's New Gig: Actually (Gasp) Lending Money

After punishing quarter, Goldman to lend more to wealthy

(Newser) - Goldman Sachs is expanding into a new business frontier: traditional banking. Goldman is building an in-house private bank that will lend out money to rich people and corporations, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to jack its private loan business from $12 billion to $100 billion. Part of the... More »

New Lending Boom: 'Fertility Finance'

Doctors fear predatory lending for in vitro procedures

(Newser) - Poor economy or not, families want children—and with bank credit tight, a specialized industry is reaping the benefits. "Fertility finance" firms provide loans for in vitro fertilizations, which regularly cost more than $20,000. The business looks set to soar this year, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal... More »

One Trend Among GOP Freshmen: Debt

Not the national kind, the personal kind

(Newser) - Republican freshmen in Congress say they're serious about tackling the US debt—but when it comes to their own personal debt, many have what the Washington Post amusingly calls “a more nuanced view.” At least 30 out of 87 had debts of $50,000 or more last... More »

FDIC's Failed Bank Tab: $9B

But officials and execs cite successful effort to battle bad loans

(Newser) - The 165 banks that toppled like dominoes in the financial crisis have stuck the FDIC with a hefty tab to the tune of $9 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. Regulators have helped shoulder the burden of bad assets and loans at the failed banks; the loss-sharing agreements encouraged healthier... More »

1 in 4 Americans a Credit Risk

Credit scores sink to new lows

(Newser) - Thanks to the Great Recession, the credit scores of millions more Americans have sunk to new lows. New figures show that an astounding 1 in 4 households are now in the lowest credit category, boosting the number of those considered poor lending risks to 43 million. Even more consumers are... More »

Lending Falls at Fastest Rate Since 1942

Boatload of bank failures likely in 2010

(Newser) - Banks tightened credit last year at what the Wall Street Journal calls an “epic pace,” recording their biggest full-year decline in loans outstanding in 67 years. The figure comes from a new FDIC report that paints the picture of a banking industry that, apart from a few top-tier... More »

US Bank Lending Falls at Fastest Rate in History

Figures spark renewed fears that feds are at a loss

(Newser) - The US bank lending rate has fallen its fastest in history, sparking renewed fears that the government hasn't done enough to prop up the economy and that America's troubles are far from over. Lending has plummeted $100 billion just since January, which amounts to a 16% annualized drop. Some $740... More »

China Lenders Step Up as Western Banks Struggle

Overseas loans soar as China moves beyond US debt

(Newser) - China's state-owned banks tripled their lending this year, even as Western banks were scaling back, becoming the principal engine of global recovery and life-savers for many international corporations. Beneficiaries range from Southwest Airlines to Dubai's Civil Aviation Authority to Foster's brewery in Australia, the Washington Post notes, in what seems... More »

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