Chris Arnold

This story is based on an episode of Life Kit, NPR's family of podcasts to help you navigate life. Listen on Apple Podcasts., subscribe to the newsletter, follow on Twitter.

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The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says the Trump administration's Education Department is getting in the way of efforts to police the student loan industry. The revelation, in a letter obtained by NPR, comes at the same time that lawsuits allege that widespread wrongdoing by student loan companies is costing some borrowers thousands of dollars.

Nearly 2,300 teachers have just had a mountain of student loan debt lifted off their backs, according to previously unreleased figures from the U.S. Department of Education. The move follows reporting by NPR that exposed a nightmare for public school teachers across the country.

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Have you or someone close to you been struggling with medical bills you can't pay. NPR is doing a story about the best strategies for dealing with medical debt for a series on personal finance, and we want to hear your story! We'd also like to know if you found a good solution — for example working with a financial assistance counselor at a hospital or non-profit organization or some other strategy.

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Updated at 9:47 a.m. ET Thursday

Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard who made investing and retirement affordable for millions, died Wednesday at the age of 89, the company said.

Bogle transformed the way people invest their money when he created the first index mutual fund for individual investors in 1975.

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NPR is doing an ongoing series of stories about the troubled TEACH Grant program.

If you're one of the thousands of teachers who had grants converted to loans even though you were meeting the teaching requirements of the program — we want to hear from you.

There is now a fix underway to help teachers who lost their grants. If you can document that you are meeting or have met the teaching requirements of the program, the Department of Education says it will change your loans back to grants.

For public school teacher Kaitlyn McCollum, even simple acts like washing dishes or taking a shower can fill her with dread.

"It will just hit me like a ton of bricks," McCollum says. " 'Oh my God, I owe all of that money.' And it's, like, a knee-buckling moment of panic all over again."

She and her family recently moved to a much smaller, older house. One big reason for the downsizing: a $24,000 loan that McCollum has been unfairly saddled with because of a paperwork debacle at the U.S. Department of Education.

NPR is doing a series of personal finance stories with some looking at the best ways to make a budget and stick to it.

We want to hear from people who are having trouble managing their spending and need to find a better way, as well as those who think they've found the perfect budgeting system and want to share your tips on what's worked.

NPR is doing a series of personal finance stories, with some focused on the best way to invest for retirement.

Are you wondering if you're paying too much in fees or how to divide up your investments among stocks, bonds and real estate funds? Maybe you're thinking you might need a financial adviser, or are wondering how to find one who will act in your best interest. Or maybe, you're trying to find the best way to actually set aside money to save and invest for the future if money feels tight right now.

We are no longer taking responses to this callout. Thanks to all who participated.

NPR is doing some stories about credit cards and how to manage them smartly — without getting in over your head — while taking advantage of the best points and rewards programs. If you have your own strategy for getting all you can out of credit card points to help pay for gas or your next vacation, we want to hear from you.

If your credit card bills or other debt has piled up and you wish you had some good strategies for paying off these bills, NPR wants to hear from you.

Your responses may be used in an upcoming story, on air or on NPR.org. A producer may reach out to you to follow up on your response, too. Share your thoughts with us below — or here — and send us a voice memo.

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More progress this morning on trade negotiations between the U.S. and Canada.

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Even in a strong economy, many Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Forty percent don't have $400 to cover an emergency expense, such as a car repair. And many working-class people turn to payday loans or other costly ways to borrow money. But more companies are stepping in to help their workers with a much cheaper way to get some emergency cash.

Startup companies that offer better options for workers are partnering with all kinds of businesses — from giants like Walmart to little fried chicken restaurants.

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The Trump administration is taking aim at a law designed to protect military service members from getting cheated by shady lending practices.

NPR has obtained documents that show the White House is proposing changes that critics say would leave service members vulnerable to getting ripped off when they buy cars. Separately, the administration is taking broader steps to roll back enforcement of the Military Lending Act.

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There's been a lot of good economic news lately, something that President Trump isn't shy about pointing out.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday held off on raising its key interest rate, which plays a role in loans to consumers and businesses.

The Fed is sticking to the script it has been forecasting to financial markets, but it's expected to raise rates twice more this year — on top of the increases it implemented in March and June.

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President Trump has been pledging that his policies will ramp up economic growth. His goal has been to double the growth rate of recent years to about 4 percent sustained annual growth. Now, it happened, and it was announced today, and he's taking credit.

Updated at 10:07 a.m. ET

The U.S. economy had a blockbuster second quarter, with growth surging to a 4.1 percent pace, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was nearly double the first quarter rate of 2.2 percent and the strongest pace in nearly four years.

President Trump has been steadfastly claiming that his policies will catapult the U.S. economy into a much higher rate of growth — 4 percent over the next few years.

To see what a trade fight can do to exports, all you need to do is look at pork.

American ham and other pork products now face massive tariffs — between 62 and 70 percent – after two rounds of retaliatory tariffs by China. It's led to almost a standstill in pork exports to China.

"In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported zero weekly export sales of pork to China," says Mary Lovely, an economist at Syracuse University. "So our exports to the country have pretty much collapsed."

Democrats on the powerful Senate Banking Committee said Kathy Kraninger is not qualified to be the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency the White House has nominated her to run.

Republicans at her nomination hearing Thursday said her management experience at the White House Office of Management and Budget qualifies her for the job.

The economic tea leaves right now are getting hard to read. The latest measure of economic growth showed the economy expanded at a lackluster 2 percent rate in the first quarter.

Estimates for second-quarter growth are much higher, and that has the Trump administration claiming its policies are working. Still, despite that rosy forecast, more analysts are pointing to worrying signs that with the expansion at nearly nine years and counting, a recession could be looming.

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A powerful banking regulator appointed by President Trump could face tough questions in a Senate hearing Thursday about his efforts to allow big banks to make small, high-interest, short-term loans to consumers.

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