While the country’s unemployment rate has been steadily shrinking over the past few months – now at approximately 8.5 percent according a study by the Department of Labor – a large number of college graduates are struggling to find entry level positions. As a result, many young people have been forced to request forbearance on their student loans as they continue to search for employment.
However, private lender Sallie Mae has recently begun charging a $50 fee for graduates requesting loan forbearance. This extra charge has sparked a wave on controversy among young borrowers who feel slighted by Sallie Mae. In response, Stef Gray, a recent college graduate, launched an internet campaign against the additional fees with her website, Change.org. The site has gained more than 50,000 supporters from around the country.
“For Sallie Mae to tack on these extra fees just to pad their profits is to kick people like me when we’re already down,” said Gray. “Charging a forbearance fee is wrong, and more than 50,000 people who agree are standing with me.”
Furthermore, interest rates on student loans could increase later this year if Congress does not extend the 2007 rate reduction, which will expire this July, the Huffington Post reports. The current figure at 3.4 percent could double to 6.8 percent.