Parents who take out loans to help their kids pay growing student tuitions may end up in financial straits, with debts growing quickly with each student. If parents don’t plan for college expenses, they can face decreased disposable income and having to skimp on retirement savings in order to pay home mortgages and student loan debts, experts said in interviews with IowaWatch. “As parents pay for their house and pay, or help pay, for their kid’s college, if they sign loans for one or two or however many kids, it could delay their retirement,” said Carol Jensen, author of "College Financial Aid: Highlighting the Small Print of Student Loans." Families often turn to private loans that parents co-sign or to federal parent PLUS loans taken out in a parent’s name when grants, scholarships and federal student loans aren’t enough to cover college costs.
A group of northeast Iowans effectively is keeping large frac sand mine companies from mining silica-rich sand in their county by building a consortium that set aside politics and focused on dealing with the matter locally, instead of with state intervention.
The number of sex offenders receiving treatment while living outside of prison walls on parole in Iowa towns is expected to almost double in two years. The dramatic increase is adding pressure for financial resources and people to supervise sex offenders on parole, a joint IowaWatch and Gazette investigation revealed.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has begun acting to rein in abuse, producing a report critical of the industry and requiring two payday businesses to provide refunds and pay million-dollar fines. The bureau also is drafting rules that could provide further protections for consumers.
Brian Curtis took out his first payday loan when he was 19. It took more than a decade before he got out from under it and the climbing interest payments that followed. “It’s a trap,” he said. Curtis, 37, and living in Davenport, said he had roughly $5,000 in payday loan debt after taking out loans for a $1,500 car repair while living in Florida, and then again when he moved to Missouri and needed a deposit for an apartment.