The latest on lower-interest student loans, medical debt forgiveness, and the cost of drinking to excess

The latest on lower-interest student loans, medical debt forgiveness, and the cost of drinking to excess

Here are some favorite personal finance reads from around the web this week.


Borrowing for college just got a little cheaper

–The Washington Post

Federal student loan borrowers will be charged less as newly lowered interest rates take effect. For the 2019-2020 academic year, new Stafford loans will be at 4.53% interest, decreasing from 5.05%. The interest rate on new Direct loans will decline from 6.6% to 6.08%. Parents who take on federal debt for their children’s degree will pay 7.08% instead of 7.60%.

Meet the 18-year-old who helped wipe out $6.7 million in medical debt


After being inspired by a high-profile article on erasing medical debt, 18-year-old Talia Zames launched a campaign to raise $15,000 in coordination with the nonprofit, RIP Medical Debt. The organization uses charitable donations to help forgive old, outstanding debts for pennies on the dollar, which allowed Zames to wipe out $6.7 million in medical debt for a “mere” $20,000.

How one person’s excessive drinking can create financial havoc for others


The economic toll of excessive drinking among Americans totaled $249 billion in 2010, stemming from workplace productivity losses, health-care expenses, criminal justice expenses and motor vehicle accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that federal, state, and local governments paid $2 out of every $5 for excessive drinking related costs.

At 75, taking care of mom, 99: ‘We did not think she would live this long’

–The New York Times

Americans are living longer and giving rise to a growing phenomenon: Children in their 60s and 70s caring for their parents who are in their 90s and beyond. Due to the cost of “aging together,” these children are taking a financial hit and spending their retirement years to cover the cost of their older parents who didn’t save enough because they didn’t think they would live as long.

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