The Parent Plus program allows parents to take out essentially uncapped amounts to cover college costs, regardless of the borrower’s income or ability to repay the loan. But default rates, while still modest, have nearly tripled over the last four years.
Student fees have been something of a known irritant for years, often criticized as a kind of stealth, second tuition imposed on unsuspecting families. But such fees are still on the rise on many campuses. There’s nothing funny about how they can add up.
Last year the government disbursed $10.6 billion in Parent Plus loans to just under a million families. The loans are both remarkably easy to get and nearly impossible to get out from under for families who’ve overreached.