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The Higher Education Ripoff

Students are now paying outrageous amounts to pay off their private college loans. Unlike federal loans, which are limited to 6.8%, loans from private banks can have interest rates in excess of 20%. Graduating college students faced with a bleak job market are at a loss as to how to repay thousands of dollars in tuition debt. And students have no recourse to repayment. Unlike other loans for housing or cars, college debt cannot be forgiven in bankruptcy. If students cannot get a decent job and keep up their payments, they are faced with a mountain of debt that keeps growing because of high interest rates their entire lives. Students have reported in Congressional hearings of owing hundreds of thousands of dollars because of late fees and interest.Because Congress is lobbied intensely by banking interests, there are few Congresspeople interested in the problem of mounting student debt. Two senators who were willing, Senators Kennedy and Clinton, are no longer advocating for helping people who have been scammed by the private loan scandal. With mounting evidence from consumer groups (such as www.studentloanjustice.org and the new America Foundation, www.newamerica.net), we need other senators to stand up for the ordinary citizen and not surcome to lobbyists.

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