The student loan industry faces many challenges. Lately, Federal subsidies have been cut back. This means that companies offering Federal Student Loans are no longer seeing a profit. Administering Federal student loans is no longer a viable option for most banks and other institutions. If they can only lose money by offering Federal student loans, then why should they offer them?
Many banks and institutions complain not only of the lack of subsidy money from the government, but also about the credit crisis. Subprime mortgage lending has run many banks into the ground. People are defaulting more than ever on home mortgages and costing the banks an arm and a leg. The rates have been affected all around. Credit is sometimes only being offered to only the best candidates and at a premium rate. Variable rates may be bound to skyrocket and many people will just be turned down.
Luckily, Congress just passed a bill to increase Federal student aid. This should increase the amount of money available to students, but it could be harder to find. The government subsidy money paid to financial institutions for administering Federal student loans has been significantly reduced. The subsidies had to be reduced in order for the government to have the money to lend, but the result is that many institutions can no longer afford to administer Federal student loans. The subsidies have not been taken away all together, only reduced. This was done to eliminate the taxpayer funded inflated profit being made by the lending institutions.
Many institutions will still offer Federal student loans and private student loans, but they may come at a higher price, require higher credit ratings or you may need a cosigner to qualify. Interest rates may have to go up to cover the cost. These types of loans are normally backed by bond securities, which investors are now turning their noses up at due to the credit problems today’s market is experiencing. All of these things combined are affecting student loans through a virtual domino effect.
All of this just means that you will need to be more diligent in your search for the student loan that is right for you. Although incentives and special circumstance loans are waning, you can still find student loans that meet your needs and bridge the gap between what you have saved and what you owe. Many people are finding that the internet is an invaluable resource when searching for student loans. Now you can go to sites such as http://www.student-loans.net and compare loans from multiple lenders. Unbiased information may be hard to come by at an individual bank or school, so do your research before you take on a Federal student loans or private student loans.