I'm writing this post from beautiful, sunny Las Vegas, Nevada, where I just gave a talk and saved hundreds of dollars by not gambling. It strikes me that the casino business and the student loan business have something in common: the house can't lose.
Casinos offer their customers beautiful surroundings, free food and drinks, as well as the occasional jackpot. Student lenders offer their customers inducements and discounts on fees and interest rates.
In both cases, the businesses can afford to sweeten the pot this way and still turn a very, very healthy profit because they operate at virtually no risk, with the odds heavily weighted in their favor.