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Dennis Tubbergen Writes About the Toll from Student Loans

Tubbergen posts his radio shows on his website for those who miss a broadcast.


Grand Rapids, MI -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/16/2013 -- For those of us who are too busy to stay on top of events in the world's economy, financial advisor Dennis Tubbergen lends a helping hand.

Tubbergen is a financial advisor, author, radio show host and CEO of PLP Advisors, LLC. Tubbergen does his best to give brief updates when it comes to some of the latest significant events in U.S. and world economics and politics and how these events may impact the average American.

Whether people enjoy his monthly newsletter at or his blog at, Tubbergen can be counted on to share his viewpoints and opinions. On August 16, 2013 his blog was titled Student Loan Debt Taking Its Toll.

"According to an article published in U.S. News and World Report, half of all student loan debt is not being repaid," began Tubbergen. Below he quotes from the August 6, 2013 article.

Using data from the Department of Education and the National Student Loan Data System, the CFPB found that as of June 2013, more than 7 million borrowers were in default on federal or private student loans, meaning they are more than 90 days late on a payment.

"Defaulting on a federal student loan has serious consequences," Rohit Chopra, the bureau's student loan ombudsman, said in the report. "Unlike other consumer credit, borrowers in default on a federal student loan might see their tax refund taken and their wages garnished without a court order."

Of the nearly $1 trillion owed for federal student loans, $146 billion isn't being repaid because the borrowers are still in school, and just more than $90 billion is outstanding because the borrowers are in forbearance, meaning their payments have been temporarily suspended, but interest continues to accrue.

Another $90 billion is outstanding because the borrowers have defaulted on their loans. But the average amount of debt for defaulted borrowers is about $14,500 – far below the average of $27,000 that students typically amass throughout college.

Ben Miller and Alex Holt of the New America Foundation say that could be a sign that borrowers who end up in default may have dropped out early in their college careers and are not earning as much as those who finished their programs. Those who finished their programs pose a lower risk of default, despite having accumulated more debt.

"They may get a little bit of an earnings return for having completed some college, but not as much as if they'd finished," Miller and Holt wrote in a blog post on the data. "For that individual, they might actually be better served with more debt if that would help them complete."

And although millions of borrowers are still struggling to make payments on their loans, just slightly more than 10 percent of federal loan borrowers are enrolled in some sort of income-based repayment plan. Under the federal "Pay As You Earn" plan, for example, monthly payments can never exceed 10 percent of a borrower's income, and any debt left over after 20 years is forgiven. Less than 50,000 borrowers are enrolled in that plan.

Meanwhile, nearly 10 million borrowers are enrolled in the standard 10-year repayment plan, and 3.35 million are enrolled in extended or graduated repayment plans that drag out payments over a longer period of time, or gradually increase payments over time.

The low numbers of borrowers enrolled in repayment plans based on income suggests that many students may not be aware of the available options and that colleges, financial aid administrators and the Education Department need to do more in terms of outreach – a sentiment that numerous student loan experts and President Barack Obama have expressed as student debt continues to increase.

"If you know of someone struggling to pay student loan debt, you may want to pass this on to them," urges Tubbergen. "It may be possible to get payments reduced."

To read Tubbergen's blog in its entirety go to and select his August 16, 2013 entry.

Tubbergen’s syndicated radio show can be heard on metro Michigan stations WTKG 1230 AM and WOOD Newsradio1300 AM and 106.9 FM.

About Dennis Tubbergen
Dennis Tubbergen has been in the financial industry for over 25 years and has his corporate offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Tubbergen is CEO of PLP Advisors, LLC and has an online blog that can be read at To view Tubbergen’s latest Moving Markets? newsletter, go to

The opinions expressed herein are those of the writer and not necessarily those of USA Wealth Management, LLC. This update may contain forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements as to future events that involve various risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those that were forecasted. Therefore, no forecast should be construed as a guarantee. Prior to making any investment decision, individuals should consult a professional to determine the risks, costs, benefits and fees associated with a particular investment. Information obtained from third party resources is believed to be reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed.