By Robert Kelchen JUNE 7, 2016
Nearly 10 million students and their families took out almost US$100 billion in student loans from the federal government in the 2014-15 academic year, pushing outstanding student loan debt to more than $1.2 trillion by the end of 2015.
The traditional way to repay student loans is to make the same monthly payment each month for 10-20 years, similar to how mortgages work. But this isn’t always the best setup for students, particularly as college doesn’t always pay off immediately in terms of increased earnings.
Newly released government data show that many students are having difficulty repaying their loans after leaving college. About 40 percent of students had not been able to pay any part of the principal within three years of entering repayment.
TAKE ACTION: Seeking progress and innovation in education A new idea in paying for college in the United States is Income Share Agreements (ISAs), in which students agree to pay a percentage of their future income to a private company or lender in exchange for additional money to cover college expenses.