Sunday, September 02, 2007

Predatory lending works for some people

I promise to change topics, but making the college process difficult for the people who are just trying to get ahead really bothers me.

The latest article about the college loan scandel in the New York Times, Reeling in the College-Bound, affirms my beliefs and position on student loans. It bothers me that they prey on those of us who don't know and don't understand the process...and they have no qualms about doing that. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that they once needed loans and now they're offering loans, making lots of money, and no longer need loans...so it doesn't matter to them what happens to the people on the other end.

The beginning of the article focuses on a man who spends most of his time on his yacht that he bought with a portion of his fortune earned through the pioneering the student loan industry:
"But his knack for numbers allowed Mr. Meyers to unearth riches by marketing loans to college students who needed financial assistance after they had exhausted less expensive options offered through federally subsidized loan programs."

I'm always surprised and appalled that people can feel absolutely no guilt or remorse for capitalizing on other people's misfortunes.

What can you do about it? First of all, if you know a kid planning on college and you have a good relationship with them, pass this information along. Second, if you have some good insightful information about the whole loan process...which ones have high interest rates, how you can tell, how to be sure you're signing up for cheaper, federal loans first, etc., PLEASE contact me and help me understand!!! Me leading these kids through the college process is like the blind leading the blind. The only difference is that I ask more questions and am more skeptical. But when it's all said and done, the loan is signed no matter what...because the goal is getting into college...and you can't do that without money!
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