President Obama’s proposed overhaul of the student-loan industry has ruffled more than a few corporate feathers and elicited the dreaded “S” word from people not named Rush Limbaugh (though I’m sure Rush would oblige if you offered him some Vicodin), so it’s high-time we provided a curt rundown of what the President is talking about. The BS-free version:
Under the current system, students choose among three different types of loans: federal direct loans made by the government, federally guaranteed loans made by banks and other private lenders, and non-guaranteed loans from private lenders. The government currently subsidizes federally guaranteed loans given by private lenders such as Sallie Mae, the largest student lender in the nation, while guaranteeing the amount loaned—effectively cushioning the lender from virtually all risk associated with lending while allowing private lenders to reap a healthy chunk of change in the process.
In short, it’s a pretty sweet deal for lenders that get a piece of the pie (read: Sallie Mae), but abuses and inefficiencies in the student-loan industry have caused many to doubt the efficacy of the current system.
More financial nitty gritty after the jump.
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