WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration's 2010 budget proposal in February to eliminate the lender-based guaranteed student loan program poured gasoline on the longstanding (and, to many, tiresome) debate over whether that program or the federal government's competing direct loan program is more efficient, cost effective, etc.
Not everyone would willingly choose to become the public face of the debt-ridden. Alan Collinge didn't exactly choose to do so, defaulting on $38,000 in student loans only after a series of missteps and strokes of misfortune, but he has embraced his situation with gusto, founding StudentLoanJustice.org to advocate for distressed borrowers and now writing a book, The Student Loan Scam (Beacon Press).
Congress's compromise budget resolution clears way for White House plan to push restructuring of student financial aid -- but signals lawmakers' skepticism of ending role for private and state lenders.
For all their talk about how damaging and risky the Obama administration's student loan proposal could be for students and the country, leaders in the student loan industry appear to be willing to live with the plan in its broad outlines -- or at least to have concluded that they can't do too much to derail it.