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Sallie Mae Rethinks Lending to Students with Low Credit Scores

January 23, 2008

by Paulina Mis

Faced with government subsidy cuts and a major slump in the mortgage loan market, Sallie Mae has decided to get picky about who they lend their money to.  For students, this may be either a scary setback or a much-needed lesson in wise financing. Most likely, it will be both.

Students who don’t receive sufficient financial aid from the government will soon find it more difficult to secure the funding they need to cover college expenses. This may force more students to opt for cheaper but not necessarily most desirable colleges and universities. If the problem becomes severe, a drop in the number of students who pursue a college education may be seen.

However, the rising number of student borrowers with overwhelming debt may make the news a benefit in disguise. Many students don’t realize the impact debt can have on their post-graduate lifestyles. Students who cannot quickly find high-salary jobs often find themselves either struggling to get by or sacrificing career goals for better-paid, less appealing jobs.

Because of Sallie Mae’s high standing in the business, their decision may be an early indication of what’s to come. Students who decide to take out loans frequently turn to Sallie Mae for help. The company manages almost $164 billion in student loans for 10 million borrowers and tops the list of most popular lenders. Troubles for Sallie Mae may portend ones for lesser-known student lenders.

This is not the first setback Sallie Mae has faced in the recent months. Over the past year, details of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s investigation into illegal actions within the lending industry have placed Sallie Mae in hot waters.  Along with a number of other lenders, Sallie Mae has been accused of paying college financial aid officials to place the lender’s name on preferred lender lists, lists students heavily rely on when making important and difficult borrowing decisions.

Luckily, loans are not a student’s only option. Those who cannot afford a postsecondary education and have not received enough government aid should take advantage of the numerous scholarship opportunities available to them. By conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com, students can gain access to information about more than 2.7 million college scholarships and grants worth over $19 billion. Just about everyone can find awards they will be eligible to receive.

Posted Under : College News, Student Loans

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