Sunday, March 29, 2009
Private Lenders ready to fight for student-loan role
Written by Robert Tomsho
Posted by Amina Isakovic
With the Obama administration proposing to cut private lenders out of the federal student-loan business, financial companies are intensifying efforts preserve their role.
Private lenders in the so-called Federal Family Education Loan Program, or FFELP, have lent more than $56 billion in the current school year. The federal government has lent about $20 billion directly. In his budget, President Obama says the government, which pays billions of dollars of subsidies to FFELP lenders, would save money by eliminating the program using private companies.
The latest skirmish in the contentious political battle erupted Thursday when the U.S. Department of Education released preliminary data comparing FFELP loan-default rates with those in the federal direct loan program.
The data indicated a 5.3% default rate in the direct lending program for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2007, compared with a 7.3% default rate for FFELP, which has been the primary source of college financial aid since it was launched in the Johnson administration during the 1960s.
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