Blog Archives for May 2012

Student Loan Ranger: As Student Loan Default Rates Rise, Is the Law School Bubble Bursting?

May 31, 2012

Here at the Student Loan Ranger, we recently read about Educational Credit Management, a Minnesota nonprofit that is earning commissions of up to 31 percent for collecting on defaulted student loans. Seven of their employees earned more than $400,000 in 2010, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

Ironically, we just got an E-mail from a woman who defaulted on her federal student loans and is struggling to rehabilitate them. Like so many borrowers we talk to, she genuinely wants to pay back her student loans but is struggling to do so.

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Student Loan Ranger: Grads Have Options to Manage Student Loan Debt

May 25, 2012

Families, friends, and colleges across the country have come together in recent weeks to celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2012. And even as they cross the threshold and flip their tassels, many new graduates are preparing to undertake new hardships to manage student debt payments.

It seems these days we can't think of accomplishments like graduation without thinking of student debt. Last weekend's newspapers seemed to abound with articles on students' crippling debt and the resounding effects of student debt long after graduation. The New York Times even devoted its Room for Debate forum to the topic, Easing the Pain of Student Loans.

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Bringing Legal Aid to Veterans - Part 2

May 24, 2012

In yesterday’s post we wrote about the work Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow Lauren Peach is doing to bring legal aide to at-risk veterans in Northwest Washington State.  Recently, Lauren ran a mobile legal clinic (with the help of other Equal Justice Works Fellows, law students, and local attorneys), bringing legal services to veterans around the region. Lauren and Leo, a law school volunteer and veteran, brought the mobile clinics to four different sites over the course of a week. 

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Bringing Legal Aid to Veterans

May 23, 2012

Each year, thousands of soldiers complete their military service and return to civilian life only to face poverty and homelessness. According to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, only 8% of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly one-fifth of our country’s homeless are veterans.  There are thousands of veterans living in Northwest Washington, where Equal Justice Works Fellow Lauren Peach works for the Northwest Justice Project (NJP) in Seattle.  Many of the issues facing homeless and at-risk veterans – shortage of affordable housing, access to health care and benefits, lack of social support networks – are complicated and require legal assistance to resolve.

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One Year Later: Remembering the Joplin Tornado

May 22, 2012

One year ago today, an EF-5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, one of the most destructive tornados ever in the United States.  This month’s Equal Justice at Work newsletter featured an article about two Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellows working in Joplin: Zach Tusinger and Jamie Rodriguez. Zach and Jamie both call Joplin home, and they’ve been working tirelessly to bring legal assistance to survivors in Joplin.

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Student Loan Ranger: Colleges Can Reduce Risky Private Student Loan Borrowing, Study Shows

May 17, 2012

Your Student Loan Ranger has been talking quite a bit recently about the importance of disclosing information to student loan borrowers. Last week, we discussed how the focus on the interest rate increase on subsidized Stafford loans—which we don't favor—can obscure systemic problems such as reporting requirements designed to provide consumer information that aren't working well.

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Guest Post: Drug treatment or go to jail?

May 15, 2012

This is a guest post by 2011 Public Defender Corps Fellow Kate Benward, who is currently practicing at the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy in La Grange, Kentucky. She went to law school at the University of Washington, Seattle.

One day in District Court I was asked by a more senior attorney to go over a plea form with a client who was going to plead guilty to a drug related charge and report to jail as part of his sentence. Everything was done; I was just supposed go over the waiver of his rights with him.

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Student Loan Ranger: Obama's Slow Jam Obscures Student Loan Problems

May 10, 2012

One item that's been getting a lot of press attention lately is the interest rate increase on subsidized Stafford loans from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, scheduled to take place on July 1. The increase would raise the cost of repayment by an average of $1,000 each for around seven million undergraduates.

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Honoring Mental Health Awareness Month

May 9, 2012


May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which was founded with the intention of bringing more awareness to mental health conditions and their effects on those who suffer from them. 

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Student Loan Ranger: Young Americans Voice Concern Over Student Loans

May 3, 2012


What are some of the words you would use to define young Americans today? Optimistic? Hopeful? Fearful? In debt?

Young Invincibles' national bus tour team is asking young adults that question, among many others, as we trek across the country on our 20-state bus tour, listening to the struggles and ideas of our generation. The answers are nearly as diverse as this generation, but one issue comes through again and again in every community we visit: student debt. 

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