As President Barack Obama moves to take government loans out of the hands of private lenders and place them within the purview of Department of Education, what can students bank on when it comes to getting student loans?
“Access to federal loans, whether issued by a private lender or the government, isn’t in question,” says Allesandra Lanza of American Student Assistance.
But federal loans often don’t cover the bill. “[Private] lenders are primarily interested in low-risk loans” and students historically have a high default rate, notes Ken Borokhovich, who is a finance professor at Cleveland State University. Fewer lenders and greater risk equals higher interest rates and increased qualification standards. But he believes that employed part-time students who have good credit still will get loans. “It may be possible for students to borrow smaller amounts from a number of lenders and bundle them to cover the costs of education,” Borokhovich contends.