Thursday, October 11, 2007

More Dirty Tricks from Private Lenders

According to Andrew Cuomo, private student lenders are engaging in aggressive, deceptive marketing to push their expensive loans on students.
"Elite Financial Group, a lender in San Diego, has solicited business with letters from its “Federal Loan Division” on stationery with an eagle logo that looks very much like something the federal government might use. The letters warn that “failure to respond could result in higher interest rates and increased payments.”"

And Sallie Mae filed a New York Freedom of Information Law request (really!) to get SUNY to turn over the names, ages, graduating classes, majors, telephone numbers, home mailing and e-mail addresses of "all admitted and enrolled students for academic year 2007-2008."

The request came from the company's "Direct Marketing Division," suggesting they were planning to use the personal info to push private loans to students. (Thanks to New America Foundation for the scoop)

Why should private student loans be allowed to be marketed directly to students in the first place? Barnard's experiment proved that college financial aid officers can dramatically reduce the use of these loans with just a single conversation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The only way I made it thru college 35 yrs ago was with National Direct Student Loans, Scholarships, and part time jobs. The NDSL's had a rate of 3% that didn't kick in untill after I graduated. 3% was good enough back in the 70's when inflation was out of control -- why don't we just limit those private lenders to 3% and even then the contracts are only enforcable on the students if acquired thru the School's office of Fin Aid.