Sustained Outrage

Students overcharged for loans

studentloanscam.jpgIn Sunday’s paper, we have a review of Alan Michael Collinge’s new book, The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History — and How We Can Fight Back. The book details how private loan companies are exploiting millions of students with interest rates much higher than federally financed loans charge.

Easing federal regulations over the past decade has made it easier for private loan companies, such as Sallie Mae, to charge annual interest rates of 19 percent, or even higher, Collinge documents.

In addition, Collinge operates a website, called StudentLoanJustice.org, where borrowers and students can share their stories with other students and find more resources.

Some interesting additional studies and resources are also available online, including:

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s Democratic Staff and the Senate Democratic Policy Committee released a report titled: The College Cost Crunch: A State-by-State Analysis of Rising Tuition and Student Debt.

Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., who chairs that committee, issued this statement when the report was released on June 28, 2006.

The Office of the Inspector General released an audit report in September 2006, titled: Review of Financial Partners’ Monitoring and Oversight of Guaranty Agencies, Lenders and Servicers, that reveals schemes by private lenders to defraud the federal government of money.

The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee issued two reports about marketing practices under the Federal Family Education Loan Program on June 14, 2007 and on September 4, 2007.

Professor Sherry Lincoln, of The Center for Working Class Studies at Youngstown State University published a recent report detailing problems students face with rising tuition costs and costly loans, called: “Working Class Education and Economic Stimulus.”