The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently put out the model for what it hopes will be the first step in bringing transparency to the college shopping experience.The “Financial Aid Shopping Sheet” is just a way to get the ball rolling for now, but it’s already garnered more than 20,000 comments from consumers weighing in on what they want to see, the agency says.
Student debt has ballooned by 57 per cent in the last decade, with U.S. students holding a staggering $865 billion in loans, primarily due to college tuition and fee hikes.
The CFPB’s idea is that if students and parents had a clearer idea of just how expensive universities and colleges were, they’d think twice before moving into the dorm. (See tips on how to start paying off student debt.)
Here’s what consumers say they want to see on the form:
• Estimated debt at graduation
• Estimated monthly payment after graduation
• Student’s’ ability to repay loans
• A complete breakdown of cost at school by category
• Whether students at this school have been able to repay loans
The shopping sheet won’t do current co-eds and graduates much good, but the CFPB hasn’t forgotten about them either.
It just launched a Student Debt Repayment Assistant online, prompting users with a few questions about their loan debt and then pumping out advice on how to approach repayment.
The tool is for federal and non-federal loan holders alike.
Clearly, the CFPB is all ears. Don’t miss the opportunity to sound off while you’ve still got their attention.