What Will Happen to my Student Loans Under Trump? | Let’s Talk | NPR

Recent college graduates who borrow are leaving school with an average of $34,000 in student loans The total loan balance in the United States has nearly tripled in the past decade, to $1

3 trillion Now, nothing's going to happen to the loan program without Congress’ signoff But we can read the tea leaves from the president’s budget request for cutbacks to the loan program — and regulatory moves from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos First, DeVos has pulled back on oversight of servicers These are the for-profit companies that manage your student loan payments

That’s an issue because these servicers have faced a lot of complaints, including lawsuits The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau alleges that one of these companies — [quote] “illegally cheats borrowers out of repayment rights through shortcuts and deception” There have also been allegations of misapplied payments, unclear communication and subprime lending So the advice for those chipping away at your loans right now: When you deal with servicers, stay organized, keep records of your calls and emails and letters, and do your own research and homework Second, if you were considering a program called public service loan forgiveness, there may be reason to be cautious

Public service loan forgiveness erases student loans after 10 years of employment for the government or a qualifying nonprofit Almost half a million people are enrolled in this program — teachers, doctors, lawyers — even some NPR employees But [President] Trump wants to cancel the program It’s unclear right now whether that would mean grandfathering in the people already enrolled And even the program’s advocates believe it could be downsized or capped

2017 is the year that the first enrollees in public service loan forgiveness are supposed to to start getting their loans erased So we'll keep watching to see the impact from the Trump administration