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Student Debt Giant Tells Borrowers They're On Their Own and More in Politics Today

by Countable | 4.3.17

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1.Student Debt Giant Navient to Borrowers: You’re on Your Own

Over the past several years, Jack Remondi, chief executive of student loan giant Navient Corp., has gone out of his way to tout the company’s devotion to helping Americans cope with student debt.

He’s mentioned it in meetings with investors, on calls with Wall Street analysts, in testimony before Congress, and even on his Medium blog.

But faced with a potential multi-billion dollar lawsuit by the federal government for not living up to that mantra, Remondi’s company, formerly an arm of student lender Sallie Mae, sang a different tune in court filings.

Read more at Bloomberg.

2. Hospitals fought to get visas for thousands of foreign medical residents ahead of Trump’s immigration changes

They've gotten through medical school. They've applied to residency programs, and been offered a job at a US hospital.

But for some of the 3,814 non-US citizens who graduated from foreign schools and who won coveted residencies in the United States, it's unclear whether they'll be able to start work on time in the summer.

That's because a program that allows employers to fast-track H-1B visa applications for their employees has been suspended as of Monday.

Read more at Business Insider.

3. FCC Reverses Another Obama-Era Rule With Charter Communications Decision

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to reverse a requirement imposed under the Obama administration that Charter Communications extend broadband service to 1 million households already served by a competitor, a source briefed on the matter said.

The decision was a win for a group representing smaller cable companies that petitioned to overturn the "overbuild" requirement and marked the latest reversal of Obama-era requirements by the new Republican-led FCC under President Donald Trump.

Read more at Forbes.

4.Via Trump’s HHS, states will revamp their Medicaid expansions with conservative twist

The future of Medicaid under Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will soon become clear when the department decides whether Kentucky and Arizona can dramatically revamp their Medicaid expansion efforts.

Kentucky now wants an HHS waiver to impose a host of conservative policy changes, including work requirements for people using the program. Arizona’s waiver request seeks many of the same changes, plus a five-year lifetime limit on program benefits.

Read more at McClatchy.

5. Supreme Court hands victory to groups criticizing mandatory sentencing laws

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that a court may consider whether a defendant has already been given a mandatory sentence for one crime when determining an appropriate sentence for another charge.

The verdict is a victory for groups opposed to mandatory minimum sentences that were arguing for more flexibility for courts.

Read more at The Hill.

6. China Learns How to Get Trump’s Ear: Through Jared Kushner

When President Trump welcomes President Xi Jinping of China to his palm-fringed Florida club for two days of meetings on Thursday, the studied informality of the gathering will bear the handiwork of two people: China’s ambassador to Washington and Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

China’s courtship of Mr. Kushner, which has coincided with the marginalization of the State Department in the Trump administration, reflects a Chinese comfort with dynastic links.

Read more at The New York Times.

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(27)
  • Jennifer
    04/04/2017
    ···

    Why is Jared Kushner going overseas representing the USA? This is baffling and nepotism at its highest level. I trust nothing that is being done with Trump family taking jobs of people who know the government and cannot possibly get side deals that benefit only them!!! Awful!!

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  • AvidVoter
    04/03/2017
    ···

    Why is Trump meeting the Chinese President at his Florida golf club and not at the United States White House, the official US government residence of the US President???

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  • Mary
    04/04/2017
    ···

    We let those sleezey bankers get away with stealing billions and almost bringing the whole financial world down with a slap on the wrist. Yet our students are being held in a financial strangle hold saddled with loans at high interest rates. I don't know about you but if asked I would have thrown the bankers in jail and taken everything from them. I would be more inclined to forgive the student loan debt instead.

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  • Sabaah
    04/04/2017
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    I have to deal with Navient all the time. They refuse to allow me to pay based on my income and forced me to go on deferments because I can be charged fees and interest. I also pay interest on the loans but it's never enough for Navient. They constantly call saying that I need to fill out a form but never State which form or where it can be found. They are terrible and really don't care about assisting students. Federal loans should be handled by the a Government instead of an outside company like Navient, which was Sallie Mae.

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  • Carol
    04/04/2017
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    Student loan debt is out of control. The interest rates are obscene and grossly out of proportion to other consumer loans. Young graduates are unable to leave home and contribute to the economy because their student loan debt sucks up such a huge chunk of their earnings.

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  • Gail
    04/03/2017
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    This administration is so in league with corporations that I fear they will let this company get away with the financial rape of students. Where is the moral compass of people in large corporations? It is possible to care about society, the environment, employees and customers and make profits. There are plenty of green companies doing so, yet I remember when the world was full of naysayers when Social responsible investing first hit the scene. Human existence will require a new consciousness based on the brotherhood of man instead of the selfish, every man for himself attitudes we see in full display in this administration. History will not be kind to these people, who are indifferent to human suffering. There are intelligent and enlightened people of conscience and caring who could lead in a more humane way, moving humankind toward more inclusive, cooperative societies that lifts everyone up. In the meanwhile, people will suffer at the hands of these unconscious people. I think the Consumer Protection Bureau is very needed in he current business climate. Too bad Repubs do not care about us regular joes one bit until we have to vote.

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  • Marwa
    04/04/2017
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    Crippling debt is hardly the condition in which you want your young workforce. You know how reprehensible these statements by Navient leadership are, and we expect you to hold them accountable for their reckless and unchecked greed.

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  • Pam
    04/04/2017
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    Student loan debt is crippling our younger generation. Take action to improve the system!!!

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  • Jeffrey
    04/04/2017
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    Student loans are​ out of control. Perhaps we should look first at the education institutions tuition rates and at the earning potential of some degrees before villifing the financial institutions that allow students to get the education they can't afford. Responsibility is a two way street. Why are we only ever looking at the lenders for debt forgiveness, when the borrowers and the recipients of those loans are not expected to be responsible or forgiving.

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  • Lizette
    04/04/2017
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    This was really upsetting as I remember years ago the emotional and psychological stress Navient placed on me when I was going through some hard ship. My mother was ill, i had more expenses and my loans had just increased for my monthly payment and I was trying to get resettled again after moving. My sister insisted they should be able to decrease my monthly payment but when I called on more than one occasion asking them to please understand I'm going through unusual circumstances and otherwise I would be able to afford payments, they only had one suggestion. Opt for forebearance. I asked for all the details and refused the first time because I saw that I would just be in worst debt. Unable to deal with my sick mom and all the debt I had my own meltdown was unable to work. Things got worse and I took the forebearance. Eventually recooperating and getting an administrative job and helping to pay my moms medical bills while my school loans accrued interest because every time I called they could only offer me Forebearance. Luckily for me my family pooled some money together to help with my moms expenses and slowly I was able to get back on my feet. I am now finally getting close to finishing payments but I will never forget that horrible time period I went through in which Navient offered no real help. I know not everyone is as lucky and don't come out on the other side okay. If there really was another option and during my time of hardship beside forebearance and they denied me that option so they can make more money I hope justice will be served and Navient is made to pay

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  • Pat
    04/04/2017
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    Student debt interest rates should at least be lowered to current mortgage rates. But, the whole college system needs to be revamped so students can afford attend college without going into debt. Helping kids that can't otherwise afford attend college it is helping our country. Many states are now using the lottery to cover college tuition for students. I'm impressed with those states. Yeah Tennessee.

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  • Mary
    04/04/2017
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    Dear Representative Wenstrup, I urge you to help assist young Americans struggling with student debt! In my workplace, several 30 year-olds have debt that has doubled or tripled because of exorbitant interest rates. They are both musicians who work very hard by teaching and gigging. They have put off marriage and children because the debt they bear is beyond their ability to pay, ever, given their annual incomes. Please support erasing student debt after a given length of time. Mandate extremely low interest rates and caps on loaning - it is killing higher education, and the economic future of this generation!

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  • mhk0604
    04/04/2017
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    Student loans. It's an important point that doesn't get discussed enough in the right circles. I am currently paying monthly private student loan payments that are 50% higher than my mortgage. A mortgage that I was only able to get with my fathers assistance. I am financially cripple because of these loans and there is no end in site. Why do we allow our citizens to go into considerable debt for a degree that, in many situations, isn't exactly beneficial (political science, psychology, English, history, science, math, Etc). If you pick one of these majors you will have to spend even more money in graduate school to get a job in a field dealing with them, or you have to get an education degree also so you can work in a job where financial security is but a mere dream. Though they do receive some assistance paying off federally funded loans. Unfortunately, not all of us were considered "needy" enough after FAFSA to qualify for federal programs. I hope if I have children, their FAFSA will take the student loans I'll still be paying then into account.

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  • Deva
    04/04/2017
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    In effect, Sallie Mae and Navient have been able to borrow billions of dollars at what said were “astonishingly low rates” from a taxpayer-backed lender for next to nothing, purely to fuel the student loan giant’s growth. As it borrowed, Sallie Mae was also making loans to students at interest rates up to 40 times the rate the company paid to borrow from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. To Warren, the fact that taxpayers were subsidizing Sallie Mae and Navient’s profits was bad enough. But there also was an urgent public policy concern arising from the company’s relationship with the Des Moines bank: The government-backed lender and its regulator risked undermining their homeownership mission by helping finance more student loan debt.

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  • Leslie
    04/04/2017
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    I believe it is time to support individuals not cooperations.

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  • Joanne
    04/04/2017
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    We helped these big banks get out of debt and they won't help students get out of debt by lowering interest rates or even stopping interest. Make them pay and put a cap on interest they can charge. I will be dead before I will be able to pay them off.

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  • Stacey
    04/04/2017
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    If the federal government guaranties the loans which keeps Navient in business, the Navient owes an obligation to distribute all information regarding repayment and refinance poptions to prevent default.

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  • Richard
    04/03/2017
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    There is no moral compass when it comes to money.

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  • Pat
    04/04/2017
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    Fire Navient. They did keep their pledge to help students who have loans navigate a difficult system. Navient is being sued. Our government should not charge huge interest rates on student loans. Students should not finance the government with higher interest rates than a home mortgage or a car loan would cost. What is wrong with this picture? Why put it on the backs of students?

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  • Norm
    04/04/2017
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    Is this a part of the corporate swamp we should be doing more about: I think so. Please put pressure on this company to be the student advocate they said they would be, and because it's the right thing to do.

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