Today we released a new report, Getting with the Program: Community College Students Need Access to Federal Loans. It finds that nearly one in 10 community college students in the U.S. has no access to federal loans because their school chooses not to participate in the federal loan programs. While many community college students can and should avoid borrowing, those who need to borrow should have access to the safest, most affordable option: federal student loans.
Read the press release with a quote from Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter.
The Obama Administration is pushing for the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), which would protect consumers from risky financial products and services, including private student loans. A strong CFPA could help protect private loan borrowers from deceptive marketing and unfair loan terms and treatment.
The financial industry is lobbying hard against the CFPA, and consumers need to speak up before it's too late. Please tell your members of Congress that we need a CFPA with authority over all private student loans to protect borrowers and ensure private loans are only used as a last resort.
On September 23, TICAS president Lauren Asher testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee about the need to change the unfair treatment of private student loan borrowers in bankruptcy. A coalition of 18 student, consumer, college, and public policy organizations are advocating for this change, and prominent legislators pledged to draft and support legislation to treat private loans more like other consumer debt in bankruptcy. We will let you know when a bill is introduced, and your support and action will be critical for success.
(This message was sent to the Project on Student Debt mailing list on October 8, 2009.)