The College Solutions Blog

Valuable insights from Lynn O’Shaughnessy
a nationally recognized college expert.

College loans
Featured image for “The Best College Loan for Students”
May 27, 2014

The Best College Loan for Students

As recently as the early 1990s, most students did not take out college loans. Today about two out of every three students borrow to pay for college due to the runaway cost of college. The typical student borrower is now leaving school with debt of $29,400. Just the outstanding federal college loan debt now exceeds credit-card debt. Is $29,400 a...
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April 27, 2014

We Are Done Paying for College

Last month, my husband and I sent off our final college payment. Bruce and I made monthly payments for seven consecutive years for our daughter Caitlin and our son Ben, who will be graduating from college in May. We did not take out any loans to pay for college and neither did our children. Our daughter Caitlin took the picture...
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August 7, 2013

Making Enormous Profits off College Loan Borrowers

Any day now President Obama is going to sign legislation that will at least temporarily lower the interest rates on federal student loans. This might sound like a welcome development, but it isn’t because the federal government will be continuing to make huge profits off parents and students who borrow. The legislation could eventually make the financial pain worse for...
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August 9, 2012

Look Who Is Borrowing the Most for College

The unrelenting cost of college is hitting upper-middle-class families hard. According to a front-page analysis today in The Wall Street Journal, it’s these families who are experiencing the largest rise in college-loan debt. In its analysis, the newspaper categorized upper-middle-income as households with yearly incomes in the 80th to 90th percentiles that range from $94,000 to $205,000. Among families with...
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November 3, 2011

States With the Highest and Lowest Student Debt

Student loan debt is at its highest level ever. That’s the conclusion of a new report released on Thursday by The Project on Student Debt. Two thirds of students in the class of 2010 graduated with college debt that averaged $25,250, which is the highest it’s ever been. Students mostly borrowed through federal loans, but at least 22% of the...
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October 28, 2011

How to Avoid a Student Loan Disaster

Most of the teenagers who visit my college blog aren’t thinking yet about how they are going to come up with the cash to pay off any future student loans. High school students and their parents are more focused on getting into good schools. I don’t blame them, but payback time is inevitable. And that’s when it’s going to get...
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June 23, 2011

The Nuts and Bolts of Stafford Loans

This is the time of year when colleges start sending their bills out to new and returning students. And that’s why this is also the time of year when parents and students begin inquiring about college loans. This is as good a time as any then  to answer some questions about Stafford Loans, which are the most popular federal college...
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March 25, 2011

Parents Borrowing for College

Are you a parent looking for a college loan? Most of the press attention is focused on college loans that students take out, but there are parent loans as well. Today, I’m going to focus on  PLUS Loans and home equity lines. PLUS Loan For  parents, the federal government offers PLUS Loans. At first blush, the terms won’t look so...
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February 17, 2010

The $555,000 College Debt Mistake

Recently I wrote posts that cautioned parents and students not to take on too much college debt. Why am I being a nag? College loan debt can be toxic. My Exhibit A is a family practitioner in Columbus, OH, Michelle Bisutte, who finished medical school with $250,000 in debt in 2003. Today her college loan levels have swelled to $555,000....
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