Salon: Profiting off your student debt misery?: America’s little-discussed conflict-of-interest

Salon: Profiting off your student debt misery?: America’s little-discussed conflict-of-interest

Earlier this month, the Department of Education rolled out two major initiatives designed to help the millions of young Americans who have defaulted on their student loan debts, and provide better information regarding their loan payment options. (Recent estimates suggest that between 5 and 12 million young Americans fall into default after graduating college.) DOE also announced an ambitious plan to jump-start a massive public relations campaign raising awareness about the federal government’s Income-Based Repayment Program. The changes that DOE introduced this week are fairly comprehensive, ranging from stronger Family and Medical Leave Act protections for social workers on 10-year Income-Based Repayment plans, to programs that will help to rehabilitate the loans of individuals who’ve defaulted at a fixed, affordable rate. Most of these provisions are admirable, and they’ll undoubtedly provide current and former students with better information about their loan payment options, while protecting them from some of the worst and most abusive tactics employed by predatory lenders and loan collectors. And yet, when taken together, the new rules (and the P.R. campaign soon to follow) paint the troubling picture of a bureaucracy overeager to raise revenue, even at the expense of America’s most financially vulnerable age group. Continue reading at Salon.com...