The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History, and How We Can Fight Back

By Alan Collinge | Go to book overview

Epilogue

After I'd finished writing this book, a number of important events transpired in the student loan industry that effectively shifted the public debate farther away from the critical need to restore standard consumer protections for student loans. It is likely that these events and the ensuing public discourse and legislative action will only exacerbate the stresses being felt by student loan borrowers caught in the student loan scam and make the need for consumer protections all the more critical. Without question, recent events significantly bolstered the arguments made in this book.

Also, the U.S. economy is headed for recession. The paralysis that gripped the home mortgage industry reverberated in the student loan sector. Indeed, the secondary market for both federally guaranteed and private loans seized up in spring 2007. Lenders' inability to sell their bundled loans to investors was cause for serious concern. Also, defaults on private loans increased significantly—despite borrowers' awareness that they no longer had bankruptcy protection. In light of this credit crisis, stock prices across the student loan sector fell, and fell abruptly. In a one-month period in late 2007, Sallie Mae's stock dropped by more than half, prompting margin calls against the holdings of its CEO, Albert Lord, who, at the end of a tumultuous conference call with investors was heard saying “Let's get the fuck out of here.”

Simultaneously, some lending companies, incensed by recent congressional action that made their loans less profitable, began announcing that they would be withdrawing from making certain types of loans. College Loan Corporation (CLC), for instance, announced in February that it would no longer partic-

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