Some New Jersey Borrowers Now Forced to Make Loan Payments While in School
I think this is the most depressing story I’ve yet seen since the economic crisis really started hitting the news a few months ago. NJ.com reports that NJ Class Loans, a state-sponsored lending agency, will now require new borrowers to make student loan payments while they are still attending classes:
The state agency overseeing more than $1 billion in college financial aid will no longer allow students to defer payments until after graduation — a move that could affect thousands of students at a time when it is getting increasingly difficult to secure loans elsewhere.
I have heard of private loan companies doing this, but I’ve never yet seen this done in a loan program sponsored by the government, and I think it’s appalling. I worked between 10 and 30 hours a week nearly every semester I was in college plus sometimes as many as 50 hours a week during the summers, and I never would have been able to make it if I’d had to make loan payments while in school. My work money paid for rent, and books, and food. I don’t know what kind of money college students are making in the minds of these policy-makers, but when I was in school you were considered very lucky if you found something a dollar or two above the minimum wage. I think a lot of people are going to wind up dropping out of college if this becomes a trend. Very sad.