Monday, February 25, 2008

Student Loan Updates

Courtesy of Alan Collinge, www.studentloanjustice.org

Join the new Student Loan Justice Facebook Group!

Hey Everyone,

Welcome to the new members. I hope everyone is doing well, and taking actions to bring attention to the astonishing lack of consumer protections for student loans. I have seen an increase in blog entries regarding student loans, and so that is a good thing. Also, our facebook group is now up to 170 members. My hope is that we can get it up to 25,000 or so in the next 6 months, so please check it out, and help spread the word about it.

I am still very concerned at what the Blue Dog Democrats did to Danny Davis's amendment to return bankruptcy protections to private student loans. I hope that you all will check the list of BDD's who voted to kill this amendment, and if one is in your state, call them, and let them know your feelings. Her is the list of BDD's who voted to kill the amendment:

Baca, Bean, Berry, Bishop, Boren, Cardoza, Carney, Chandler, Costa, Davis, Donnely, Ellsworth, Giffords, Hill, Holden, ampson, Mahoney, Marshall, Matheson, Melanon, Moore, Murphy, Peterson, Ross, Herseth Sandlin, Schuler, Space, Taylor, Wilson

You can find their contact info at:

www.bluedogdems.com

Also, the private loan industry has asked the Feds to consider a bailout for their private loans (these are the high interest, non federally loans that have become hard to resell in the current credit crunch). I find it irksome that Congress is willing to consider this, and at the same time is unwilling to consider returning standard consumer protections to student loans. At every opportunity on Capitol Hill, the borrowers are relegated to second position behind the banks. This is what we need to change, folks. Now more than ever, your activism is needed.

Also, I've been asked alot recently to give an endorsement for the democratic presidential race. From my perspective, this is very easy to do. Hillary Clinton did more to restore standard consumer protections to student loans than any other member of Congress in the last Congress with her Student Borrower Bill of Rights (S.511), and so of course my endorsement goes to Senator Clinton. Ralph Nader, who recently entered the race, has written excellent pieces on this issue also, I should add, but has not specifically advocated for the return of consumer protections for student loans to date. Senator Obama has not done or said anything to my knowledge on this issue, nor has Senator McCain.

Having said that, it is incumbent upon us to make this a presidential campaign issue, regardless of who the candidates are. It appears to me that thus far, no candidate has been eager to discuss the astonishing lack of consumer protections for student loans. We can change this. I encourage you all to get with your state chapters, and see what you can do together as the campaigns come through your state. I think we've demonstrated pretty strongly that affecting media stories about the problem is the most efficient way to go about this, but please don't be limited to just this.

I know you all are struggling, and appreciate that. However, we have to devote our efforts to this issue. So please, don't get discouraged, and keep fighting!

Regards,

Alan
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