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Feb 23, 2007

Reconsolidation Student Loan 2007 - Many Lenders Provide Significant Discounts.

Although 90 percent of students have some type of financial aid, last year’s seniors racked up an average of $17,300 in student loan debt.

For many, taking out a loan is inevitable. Financial aid director JoAnn Laugel said the 60 percent of students who had federal loans last year requested about $5,500 each.

But taking out a loan is better than resorting to credit cards, she said, which often accrue more debt through higher interest rates. Loans are also debts to be repaid, Laugel said, but students cannot get a four-year interest-free loan for anything else.

The first step in the loan process—for undergraduate and most graduate students—is filing for the FAFSA. The Indiana deadline is March 10.

Laura Freeman, Old National Bank student loan administrator, said the FAFSA enables students to learn how much money they are entitled to in scholarships and grants, as well as if they qualify for a federal Stafford loan.

Federal loans are the best type students can get, Freeman said, because they generally have lower interest rates and fees than private loans.

Laugel said UE provides a preferred lender list for federal and private loans.

“There are thousands of players, that’s the reason we have six,” she said.

Lisa Rollings, Citibank senior account manager, said students should look closely at what lenders are offering as many provide significant discounts.

“Some benefits are only if you pay on time, and some are up front,” she said.

If students plan on consolidating their loans—taking out one to pay for others—the up-front benefits will work best for them. But, typically, Rollings said students who consolidate loans pay more in the end as interest from lower monthly payments adds up.

Although consolidation can be beneficial, Freeman said one of the biggest problems is students who did not consider the size of payments, often $200 per month for those with $17,000 of debt.

Laugel said that is why UE offers exit counseling for graduating seniors—some becoming financially independent for the first time—to help them learn about sorting their finances. Sessions will be set toward the end of the semester.

While balancing loan payments might be difficult for some, UE students have been above the national average for keeping up with payments, she said.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the national rate for students not making payments on time for the 2004 fiscal year was 5.1 percent. Laugel said UE had a 1.7 percent default that year, and the 2005 fiscal year was at 1.1 percent.

“Just that 1 percent defaulted,” she said. “It’s a sign students are getting good jobs with a UE education.”

And if students are having problems making loan payments, Rollings said they should contact their lender.

“Make sure you communicate with your lender,” she said. “If you move, if you have any updated changes like marriage, changing your name or financial situation changes, call.”

If students communicate with lenders, Rollings said most are more willing to give them options and even briefly accept lower payments.

But Laugel said loans are not the only way to help pay for college. Ongoing scholarships from outside UE are available for all students

Financial aid has a notebook of scholarships in the office and the list is also posted at

Feb 22, 2007

F.A.Q.: Reconsolidation Student Loan 2007

I'm browsing thru Federal Consolidation Loan FAQ and just making notes of what not to forget...OK, let's see:

What is a Citibank Federal Consolidation Loan?
A Citibank Federal Consolidation Loan combines several existing federal student loans into one new loan. You can enjoy the convenience of lower monthly payments, a single fixed interest rate and one monthly payment.

How can I consolidate my loan with the grace rate?

You have the option of consolidating your loan during your grace period and taking advantage of a rate as low as 3.50%. It is important to remember that you must indicate the month and year of your grace end date in #26 on the Consolidation Loan application if you would like to hold the processing of your Consolidation Loan until the end of your six-month grace period. The rates in effect at the time that you apply for your Consolidation Loan will be used in the weighted average calculation to determine the rate on your Consolidated Loan.

Will the reduced interest rate that I am receiving due to borrower benefits on my existing loans be used to calculate the fixed interest rate on my new Consolidation Loan?

No. Interest rate reductions received as borrower benefits on existing loans will not be considered when determining the applicable interest rate on your consolidation loan. For example, if the applicable rate on your existing loans is 6.80%, but you were receiving interest rate reductions as a borrower benefit that reduced the interest rate to 5.80%, the interest rate used to calculate your new Consolidation Loan will be 6.80%.

How can I find out what my Consolidation Loan payment will be?
To estimate what your payments and total amount of interest paid may look like, input various interest rates into our Loan Consolidation Calculator. After your application has been approved, the disclosure and monthly account statement will include your exact payment amount and interest rate.

Can I consolidate my loans while I am attending school? (!!! - NB)
If you are currently a full- or half-time student, you can apply for a Consolidation Loan upon graduation. For loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2006, the interest rate during the grace period is 0.60% lower than the Stafford repayment rate. By consolidating while you are in grace, you will have the opportunity to secure a lower interest rate and start paying down your student loans.

Can I get an in-school deferment on my Consolidation Loan? (!!! - DONT FORGET TO ASK ZEE !!)
If you are attending school at least half-time you will be eligible for an in-school deferment on your Consolidation Loan. Keep in mind that you will need to begin repaying your Consolidation Loan immediately upon graduating, withdrawing, or dropping to less than half-time enrollment status. Citibank offers a special Consolidation Loan four-month Lender Option forbearance that may be considered to help you ease into repayment.

loan help 2007 - my personal F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions on loan help in 2007 - that's the questions I ask myself, you know...+609 or -711 - doesnt matter.

Any ideas on how to handle it better? I'm just making a quick TODO list:

What is the benefit of a Federal Consolidation loan?
How much can I lower my monthly payments?
What is the interest rate on a Federal Consolidation Loan?
How can I lower the interest rate on my loans even further?
Do I get a grace period on my consolidation loan?
How long will it take for you to get my loans consolidated?

OK, now - Applying

What do I need to do?
How do I know if I'm eligible for a consolidation loan?
How much does it cost to consolidate my Federal Loans?
What if I don't know who currently holds my loan?
Will you check my credit before approving me for a consolidation loan?
Should I continue paying on the student loans that I am consolidating, while my application is in process?

Now, the core question - Repayment

Once I have taken out a Consolidation loan, can I add any new loans to it?
What are my repayment plan options?
When do I start repaying my loans?
If later I decide to switch to a different repayment plan, can I do so?
Can I pay more than the minimum loan payment required for each month?
Are deferments and forbearance allowed under a consolidation loan?

You guys know the right answer? Shoot me a message then.

2007: Interest Rate Reduction for Student Single Loan Holders

Gotta give a closer look to this:

American Collegiate Financial Services (ACFS) is now offering a variety of interest reducing programs through their Federal consolidation loan program.

Student single loan holders have the option of consolidating their Federal student loans upon graduating, leaving school or dropping below half-time enrollment.

Consolidating allows the borrower to obtain a fixed interest rate, lower monthly payments (uh-oh...) and take advantage of interest rate reduction programs.Interest rate reduction programs are incentives for automated and on-time payments.

The standard throughout the consolidation industry has been a 0.25% reduction for ACH, an automatically withdrawn payment from a checking or savings account and a 1.00% reduction for making 36 or 48 consecutive on-time payments.

"Unfortunately, borrowers planning to pay their loans off in a few years cannot fully benefit from the 1.00% reduction after 36 months because it takes at least three years to qualify," stated John Vis, President and CEO of ACFS.

Recognizing that student loan holders are individuals with unique financial needs, ACFS has launched a new incentive of a 0.75% reduction, awarded for 12 consecutive on-time payments.

The 0.75% reduction, along with the 0.25% reduction, is the most efficient interest rate reducing program available.

NB: loan cons direct loan for 2007

I've been looking for info on loan cons direct loan for 2007, found some:

"We're encouraging our students to consolidate in the Direct Loan Program very heavily," says Mohan Boodram, director of admissions and financial aid at the Harvard Medical School. There, student loans are serious business: The average debt of the class of 2007 was $91,000, approximately half of it federal loans. "There really is no downside to doing an in-school consolidation when interest rates are as low as they are today."

"There are some things the Direct Loan Program offers that the other programs don't offer," adds Susan Gilbert, associate director of MBA financial aid at Harvard Business School.

At the GSE, where last year's graduating doctoral students carried an average debt of $55,000, White notes an irony in all the loan consolidation information flooding students.

White encourages her students to learn as much as they can about loan repayment and pursue the plan that best suits their individual situation: often Direct Consolidation Loans, but sometimes, no consolidation at all. "The trick about consolidation is it's not one-size-fits-all," she says.

Financial aid professionals stress that students should consider the impact of consolidation on some of the benefits of their original loan, such as a postgraduation grace period on payments or special loan forgiveness circumstances, that may not transfer to a consolidation loan.

Reconsolidation Student Loan 2007 - A New Grad Question

I spotted an interesting exchange of opinions:

posted February 17, 2007
I'm a new grad, my grace period ends this June. I was wondering if any one on here has consolidated the loans from school, and if so what was the process like, are you glad, how long did it take and what the company name is.

Thank you

Buddy T DC replies back:

Consolidate and lock in the rate. It doesnt get much lower than it is right now. It's a no brainer. Shop around and see what rate and deals you can get. Some offer to drop the rate with 24 consecutive on time payments, some offer a certain percentage back up front when you consolidate. Figure out what's best for you.

Students of Izhevsk at long last are eligible for loan consolidation program offered by ElcomWest Bank

Russia, Udmurtia
February 22

ElcomWest Bank announce its new program

Do you need a sum to cover your tuition fees once you are a student?
ElcomWest Bank has special offer on student loans for you:

Who is the student loan for?
ElcomWest Bank student loans are devised for Russian citizens, who need to fund their tuition costs for:

Bachelor’s and master’s programs in Izhevsk;
Master’s programs abroad;
Secondary, high education and other educational courses.

Advantages The lowest interest rate - from annual 14% RUR/USD;

Fast application – the loan is granted in an hour;

Particular simplicity for the students rating I and II – minimum supporting documents are required;

Bonuses - VISA Electron card
- Internet banking
- ATM deposit service

Where to apply?
From February 22nd, apply to the students' service center opened specially for you.
Address: 245 Potemkina str., (II floor) Izhevsk.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am-5pm.
In regions outside Izhevsk apply to ElcomWest Bank branches.

ElcomWest Bank student loans – the first step on the way to your success in the future!

Loan Terms
Funding Bachelor’s programs in Izhevsk

Minimum loan amount 1000 USD

Loan term 1 to 12 months
Interest rate 14%-18%
Credit Bureau Fee 10 USD
Life insurance commission fee annual 0.72%
Collateral not required
Loan disbursement fee 1% of the loan amount, minimum 30USD

Funding Master’s programs in Izhevsk

Minimum loan amount 1000 USD
Loan term 1 - to 60 months
Interest rate 16%
Credit Bureau Fee 5 USD
Life insurance commission fee annual 0.72%
Collateral not required
Cost sharing a minimum of 10%

Repayment schedule in equal monthly payments (principal and interest)
Loan disbursement fee 1% of the loan amount, minimum 30USD

The student can obtain a loan him/herself for funding Master’s course on enrolment (upon the submission of the relevant document). As well as that, one of the family members of a student can be a co-borrower.

Student loan for funding Master’s course can be granted only if the eligibility of a school is preliminarily determined by the Bank.

Requrements for the borrower:

Length of service – minimum 1 year
Minimum amount of monthly income in case of:
salary - 500 USD

Funding Magistracy fees and accommodation costs abroad

Loan amount 200 – 25 000 USD
Loan term period of study + 66 months
Grace period period of study + 6 months
Interest rate 16%
Credit Bureau Fee 10 USD
Life insurance commission fee annual 0.72%
Collateral not required if the loan amount is less than 10 000 USD. In other cases, the loan must be secured by immovable property.

Cost sharing 0%

Repayment schedule monthly payment of principal and interest in equal amounts after the expiry of grace period
Loan disbursement fee 1% of the loan amount, minimum 30USD

The Humanitary and Art programs are not being funded.

Funding other courses

Loan amount 1000 USD
Loan term 1 – to 60 months
Grace period not allowed
Interest rate 6% - 23%
Credit Bureau Fee 5 USD
Life insurance commission fee annual 0.72%
Collateral not required if the loan amount is less than 10 000 USD. In other cases, the loan must be secured by immovable property.

Cost sharing 0%

Repayment schedule monthly payment of principal and interest in equal amounts
Loan disbursement fee 1% of the loan amount, minimum 30USD

Feb 14, 2007

A chance for students to win a $1,000 scholarship

That's right - a student loan company offers students a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship.

Just have heard of a nice contest you as a student could enter and win a $1,000 Scholarship - East Valley City News reports that a local student loan company offers students a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship. To enter the contest use the form at

Bruce Jacobs of KFYI radio station will reveal the winner's name during his show - drawing will be held on February 23, 2007.

As reported, Federal Student Loan Solutions offers this contest opportunity during a time of rising tuition for higher education across the nation.

Read the full story here.

Feb 13, 2007

Thoughts on missed opportunities on financial aid

Arthur M. Hauptman of Inside Higher Ed shares his thoughts on missed opportunities on financial aid.

Article's highlights:
- a bill to cut interest rates in half for some new borrowers (namely, students and their families)
- Pell Grant maximum award sees first increase in several years
- the students’ benefit from lower interest rates
- are the interest rate cuts limited to new borrowers in the subsidized student loan program?
- could the House-passed legislation provide help for the millions of borrowers who are currently having trouble repaying their loans because of high debt levels and/or low incomes?
- what would be a better approach to target increased awards on the lowest income students?

read the full article here.

Feb 2, 2007

Free Application for Federal Student Aid - is it still available?

Don't wait to file for student aid

By Marshall Loeb Of MarketWatch

| Attention high school seniors and parents: Have you submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

Students entering college in the fall need to complete the FAFSA to be eligible for any type of financial aid — that includes government loans and grants and various merit awards. And many schools award aid on a first-come, first-served basis, so once the 2007-08 FAFSA became available on Jan. 1, the race began.

According to Rob LaBreche, president of consumer marketing for the College Loan Corp., ''Students and families who complete the FAFSA first are putting themselves in the best position to benefit from federal aid.''

It's still early, however. And completing a FAFSA is simple. Paper forms are available at local libraries, high school guidance offices and college financial aid offices. But it's easier and faster to submit the FAFSA electronically. It's available at . (Be sure to get a PIN from the U.S. Department of Education first — .) Not only is the electronic version processed more quickly, but it also has built-in checks for accuracy.

In the FAFSA, you'll have to include tax information. Don't worry if you haven't received your W-2s yet — just estimate the information and correct it later. If the student expects to receive tuition payments from a college savings plan in the upcoming academic year, you will have to report the value of the plan as a parent asset (not as an asset of a dependent student as it was in the past.)

Don't forget to complete college-specific financial aid forms, which many schools require in addition to the FAFSA. Many private colleges and universities also require applicants to submit the College Board's CSS/Financial Aid Profile application. It helps private schools determine eligibility for nongovernmental aid. Visit for details.


Most of graduates leave school with $19,000 in debt - but there is a way out.

Shortly after graduation, many college students feel like they've been hit like a ton of bricks. Moving out into the real world and trying to secure a new career are hard enough without having to deal with a stack of student loan bills.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average college graduate leaves school with $19,000 in debt, a figure that can be overwhelming, particularly for someone just starting out; but it becomes more manageable when you consolidate.

College loan consolidation will not only provide you with more money at the end of each month, but help you secure long term savings as well. If interest rates are low when you consolidate your student loan, you will enjoy putting that extra interest you are currently paying back into your pocket for the life of your loan, or using it to pay off your loan faster.

How to make the most of your money in 2007

A short time sorting out finances could save hundreds.

Spending just a small amount of time to find the best student loan deals could save hundreds of dollars.

It's really important to shop around to make sure that you get the best deal on loan.

Tips on how to borrow wisely

If you do take advantage of the discount a store card offers, make sure you pay off balance at the first statement to avoid interest charges.

Check interest-free credit deals are completely free of interest.

A credit card charging zero per cent on new purchases is a wise way to borrow, but make sure you pay your balance before any high standard interest rates come in.

A credit card balance transfer could save money, and there are still some cards that do not charge the typical two or three per cent per transfer fee, but be careful not to be caught out by cards without a maximum transfer fee as some cards cap fees at $100 or $200.

Personal loans have some of the lowest interest rates but are best used when you want to borrow a large sum of money over longer periods, as rates are higher for smaller amounts. However, this needs to be balanced against taking longer to repay the loan which can result in paying more interest.

Watch out for payment protection insurance on credit cards and personal loans. It is unnecessary, expensive and gives limited cover.

Your home is at risk if you secure a loan against it. Use your home as security only as a last resort.


"...a pretty big rip-off": ramblings on Student Loan Consolidation and such.

"It turned out to be a pretty big rip-off..." - recalls a guy who finally finished paying off his student loans a few months ago. "All those loans that seemed like such a good idea as a wide-eyed, wet behind the ears college freshmen, turned out to be a pretty big rip-off" - that's what he's actually saying. In the end, he's even got a congratulatory letter from the student loan consolidation company.


Exclusive: 60 percent DROP-OFF on Student Loan Consolidation?

Phoenix-based firm says that recent graduates still have time to save when consolidating their student loans, but time may be running out to lock-in a little-known discount offered by the company.

Once a student graduates, a six-month grace period goes into effect during which time the borrower is exempt from making payments. Many borrowers consolidate student loans during this time, taking advantage of low interest rates, which have increased from historical lows prior to July 1, 2006.

Those who have not yet participated in student loan consolidation may still lock in rates as low as 4.5 percent, fold all student loans such as the federal Stafford Loan or Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loans) into one easy-to-manage package, reduce payments by up to 60 percent and attain significant savings and benefits.


Feb 1, 2007

Borrowers can save money by not consolidating loans

Federal Loan Consolidation May Not Benefit All Student Borrowers

WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 1 PRNewswire — Federal loan consolidation is an option that may help borrowers manage repayment of their federal student loans, particularly if they still have Federal Stafford/Direct Loans with variable interest rates. But, consolidation may not be right for all borrowers, particularly for those who now only have federal student loans with fixed interest rates. According to Jeffrey E. Hanson, director of borrower education services at Access Group, a nonprofit student loan provider, "Borrowers may be able to save money both in terms of their monthly loan payment and in the total amount they pay if they do not consolidate their fixed rate Federal Stafford/Direct and Federal PLUS loans."

There are three primary reasons why borrowers should weigh the benefits and costs before rushing into consolidation. First, Federal Stafford/Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2006, have fixed interest rates. Thus, the fixed interest rate structure of the Federal Consolidation Loan provides no advantage to borrowers who have these new fixed rate loans. Second, many graduate/professional student borrowers likely now qualify for the Extended Repayment option on their Federal Stafford/Direct and Federal PLUS loans. That option provides a 25-year repayment period, thereby allowing borrowers to reduce their monthly loan payment without having to consolidate. And most importantly, many lenders now offer on-time payment incentives on Federal Stafford and Federal PLUS Loans that are more beneficial financially than those offered on consolidation loans.

To see examples illustrating how borrowers can save money by not consolidating and to learn more about the pros and cons of the Federal Consolidation Loan program, go to FederalConsolidation.Org.

About Access Group
Access Group is a nonprofit organization that has specialized in providing graduate and professional student loans for more than 20 years. Its products include federally guaranteed (FFELP) loans and private loans for students financing their law, business, medical, dental, health, and other graduate degrees. Access Group also creates custom loan options and university-wide programs for schools to meet the unique needs of their students. The company offers flexible repayment options for all loans, as well as the Federal Consolidation Loan program. Access Group also provides borrower education materials and need analysis services for students and financial aid administrators. For more information, visit

SOURCE Access Group

Background Information On Consolidating Student Loans

By: Saul Spigel, Chief Analyst

You asked for background information on consolidating student loans, particularly reconsolidating or refinancing them, and what the General Assembly might do to help borrowers.

Federal law, the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), governs student loans and their consolidation; the General Assembly has no authority in this area. The law allows people who have borrowed money under various federal loan programs or from multiple sources to consolidate their loans after they leave school. Consolidation allows borrowers to merge several loans with varying repayment terms and interest rates into a single loan and extend repayment to up to 30 years at a fixed monthly payment.
The interest rate on consolidation loans is fixed. It is determined by the weighted average of the loans being consolidated. Rates are capped at 8. 25%. Under the “single holder” rule, a borrower whose loans are all held by one lender can, with some exceptions, ask only that lender for consolidation.
In most cases, a borrower can consolidate loans just once. Federal law prohibits “reconsolidation,” that is refinancing an existing consolidated loan. This means that borrowers who consolidate at a relatively high interest rate (although it may be lower than the rates on the original loans) cannot take advantage of future rate decreases.
Congress is currently considering legislation to reauthorize the HEA. The College Access and Opportunity Act (H. R. 609) would, among many provisions, allow variable rate consolidation loans, still with an 8. 25% cap. This would help future borrowers who consolidate at a high rate, but it would not help people who have already consolidated. But permitting reconsolidation would increase federal subsidy costs because the federal government guarantees private lenders a market rate return and must make up the difference between the rate the borrower pays and that guaranteed rate.


Eligible Loans
The loans eligible for consolidation are: subsidized (based on financial need) and unsubsidized Stafford Loans; Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS); Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS); Perkins Loans; and Nursing Student, Health Professions Student, and Health Education Assistance loans. A borrower must be in the grace period (the six months after leaving school) or have begun repayment on each loan he wants to consolidate. Loans in default can be consolidated only after the borrower makes satisfactory repayment arrangements with the loan holder or agrees to repay the consolidating lender under an income-sensitive repayment schedule (see below).

Consolidation Loan Terms
The above eligible loans have 10-year terms. A consolidation loan repayment term can be up to 30 years. The term is determined by the total consolidation loan balance plus the balances of other education loans as follows:
• less than $ 7,500—10 years;
• between $ 7,500 and $ 10,000—up to 12 years;
• between $ 10,000 and $ 20,000—up to 15 years;
• between $ 20,000 and $ 40,000—up to 20 years;
• between $ 40,000 and $ 60,000—up to 25 years;
• $ 60,000 or more-30 years
Consolidation loan interest is fixed. The rate is determined by weighted average of the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth (1/8) percent. Rates are capped at 8. 25%.

Consolidation lenders can offer four repayment plans:
• Standard: the monthly payment amount is fixed over the life of the loan
• Income Sensitive: monthly payments are based on, and change with, the borrower’s income
• Graduated: monthly payments start low and gradually increase over the life of the loan
• Extended: for loans over $ 30,000, borrowers can extend payments over 25 years under a level or graduated repayment schedule
A borrower whose loans are all held by a single lender must request consolidation from that lender. This is called the “single holder” rule. But a borrower with a single lender can seek a consolidation loan from another lender, but he must certify that (1) he sought and was unable to obtain a consolidation loan through the institution that holds his Stafford or PLUS loan or (2) the holder would not provide a consolidation loan with an income-sensitive repayment schedule. People who have borrowed from multiple sources can seek a consolidation loan from any eligible lender.

Consolidation Pros and Cons
Consolidating student loans presents both benefits and drawbacks.
By extending the payment period, consolidation lowers a borrower’s monthly payment. It also yields a single billing statement and removes the risk inherent if variable rates rise. But borrowers pay more in interest because of the longer repayment period and cannot benefit if rates drop after they consolidate.

Once a borrower consolidates loans, federal law prohibits him from reconsolidating, that is refinancing, them. But the law permits a borrower to obtain a new consolidation loan if (1) he has at least one outstanding eligible loan that was not included in the initial consolidation or (2) consolidated loans then borrowed again under an eligible loan program.

Congress is currently considering a bill to reauthorize the HEA. The current version of this legislation, H. R. 609, The College Access and Opportunity Act, would (1) allow variable rate consolidation loans, still with an 8. 25% cap, and (2) repeal the “single holder” rule, thus letting borrowers shop around for the best terms on a consolidation loan. But it does not include a provision to permit reconsolidation.
According to a recent Congressional Research Service report on student loan issues involved in HEA reauthorization, the reconsolidation debate is linked to the larger debate over whether to continue fixed rates for consolidation loans or switch to variable rates. Borrowers who consolidated at a fixed rate during high interest periods in order to lower their monthly payment lose (1) the more advantageous variable rates they may have had on the underlying loans and (2) the ability to take advantage of more favorable rates in the future.
Switching to variable rate consolidation loans, the path H. R. 609 takes, is one way to address this problem. But it does not help people who have already locked in. Another way is to allow borrowers multiple refinancing opportunities, that is reconsolidation. This path helps all borrowers, but, because the federal government guarantees private lenders a market rate return and must make up the difference between the rate the borrower pays and that guaranteed rate, it would increase federal subsidy costs.