Debt Collectors Cash In as Students Struggle With Loans
News from CNBC.com:

At a protest last year at New York University, students called attention to their mounting debt by wearing T-shirts with the amount they owed scribbled across the front — $ 90,000, $ 75,000, $ 20,000.

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On the sidelines was a business consultant for the debt collection industry with a different take.

“I couldn’t believe the accumulated wealth they represent — for our industry,” the consultant, Jerry Ashton, wrote in a column for a trade publication, InsideARM.com. “It was lip-smacking.”

Though Mr. Ashton says his column was meant to be ironic, it nonetheless highlighted undeniable truths: many borrowers are struggling to pay off their student loans, and the debt collection industry is cashing in.

As the number of people taking out government-backed student loans has exploded, so has the number who have fallen at least 12 months behind in making payments — about 5.9 million people nationwide, up about a third…………… continues on CNBC.com

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Where Does Your Spouse’s Credit Card Debt Go When They Die?
News from DailyFinance:

By far, the saddest cases in my years as a financial advisor were assisting widows after their spouses’ deaths. Not only does a surviving spouse have a great deal to manage emotionally, but the financial burden can feel equally overwhelming.

Later in this article we’ll take a look at who’s responsible for a late spouse’s credit card debt, but let’s first address three important financial actions to take soon after the death of a spouse.

1. Alert credit agencies: Unfortunately, these days, the open, abandoned credit file of a deceased person is like a hand-engraved invitation for identity theft. So, the first step you should take in dealing with the deceased’s finances is to alert the three major credit-reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — of the death. Experts at LowCards.com also advise you to request that a “deceased notice” and the explicit statement “Do not issue credit” be added to the decedent’s file. To further protect your deceased spouse’s identity, LowCards.com recommends you ask to be alerted if any new credit applications are made in your spouse’s name. Make the requests in writing and include a certified copy of the death certificate. Keep copies of the letters for your records and send via certified mail.

2. Request a credit report: Get a copy of your spouse’s credit report…………… continues on DailyFinance

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