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Do student loan borrowers opportunistically default? Evidence from bankruptcy reform
Bankruptcy reform in 2005 eliminated debtors? ability to discharge private student loan debt in bankruptcy. This law aimed to reduce costly defaults by diminishing the perceived incentive of some private student loan borrowers to declare bankruptcy even if they had sufficient income to service their debt. Using a unique, nationally representative sample of anonymized credit bureau files, we examine the bankruptcy filing and delinquency rates of private student loan borrowers in response to the 2005 bankruptcy reform. We do not find evidence that the nondischargeability provision reduced the ...
An Experiment on Information Use in College Student Loan Decisions
There is ample concern that college students are making ill-informed student loan decisions with potentially negative consequences to themselves and the broader economy. This paper reports the results of a randomized field experiment in which college students are provided salient information about their borrowing choices. The setting is a large flagship public university in the Midwest, and the sample includes all nongraduating students who previously borrowed student loan money (~10,000 students). Half of the students received individually tailored letters with simplified information about ...
WHERE DO STUDENTS GO WHEN FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES LOSE FEDERAL AID?
Recent federal investigations and new regulations have resulted in restrictions on for-profit institutions? access to federal student aid. We examine the enrollment effects of similar restrictions imposed on over 1,200 for-profit colleges in the 1990s. Using variation in regulations linked to student loan default rates, we estimate the impact of the loss of federal aid on the enrollment of Pell Grant recipients in sanctioned institutions and their local competitors. Enrollment in a sanctioned for-profit college declines by 53 percent in the five years following a sanction. For-profit ...
Strategic Default Among Private Student Loan Debtors: Evidence from Bankruptcy Reform
Bankruptcy reform in 2005 restricted debtors? ability to discharge private student loan debt. The reform was motivated by the perceived incentive of some borrowers to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 even if they had, or expected to have, sufficient income to service their debt. Using a national sample of credit bureau files, we examine whether private student loan borrowers distinctly adjusted their Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing behavior in response to the reform. We do not find evidence to indicate that the moral hazard associated with dischargeability appreciably affected the behavior of ...
Student Loan Repayment and College Accountability
Student loan debt and defaults have been steadily rising, igniting public worry about the associated public and private risks. This has led to controversial attempts to curb defaults by holding colleges, particularly those in the for-profit sector, increasingly accountable for the student loan repayment behavior of their students. These efforts attempt to protect taxpayers against the misuse of public money used to encourage college enrollment and to safeguard students against potentially risky human capital investments. Recent policy proposals penalize colleges for students? poor repayment ...
Federal Student Loan Servicing Accountability and Incentives in Contracts
Student loan servicers play a critical and underappreciated role in federal student oan programs. The federal government contracts out to servicers an array of many of the most critical functions related to student loan repayment, including account management, payment processing, and the provision of information about payment plans and solutions for distressed borrowers. In fact, most borrowers’ interactions with federal student loan repayment are almost exclusively with their servicer. We aim to improve upon the scarce research literature about federal student loan servicers by exploring ...