Even as aides play down seriousness of credit crunch now, Kennedy hatches plan to give Congress flexibility to raise limits later on students' federal borrowing.
At House hearing on "credit crunch," partisan bickering obscures general consensus that federal intervention would be premature.
U.S. report on trends in student borrowing shows sizable uptick in who borrows and finds increases are heftiest among costlier unsubsidized loans.
A handful of colleges have left the guaranteed student loan program for direct lending. Whether many others follow may largely depend on how many more lenders bolt the market.
A growing number of colleges are offering seminars on how to manage money, deal with debt and pay for education.
As another leading lender leaves the federal program, lawmakers propose mix of increased Pell Grants, raised limits on federal loans, and offer of U.S. support for lenders struggling to raise capital.
Acknowledging little impact so far on students or colleges, Congressional committee takes first steps to help lenders and protect borrowers if capital markets constrict further.
Panelists before the Senate Banking Committee stop short of calling it a crisis, but they settle on a few policy options to avert one just in case.
More than a million students are enrolled in two-year institutions that choose not to participate in the federal loan program, report finds, leaving them to incur riskier forms of debt.
With agencies weighing alternatives for aiding student loan providers, lawmakers float plan to let lenders sell and repurchase loans without paying interest to U.S. treasury.
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