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The Student Loan Scam

The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History—and How We Can Fight Back

Author: Alan Michael Collinge

An in-depth exploration and expose of the predatory nature of the student-loan industry

The Student Loan Scam is an expose of the predatory nature of the $85-billion student loan industry. In this in-depth exploration, Collinge argues that student loans have become the most profitable, uncompetitive, and oppressive type of debt in American history.

This has occurred in large part due to federal legislation passed since the mid-1990s that removed standard consumer protections from student loans-and allowed for massive penalties and draconian wealth-extraction mechanisms to collect this inflated debt. High school graduates can no longer put themselves through college for a few thousand dollars in loan debt. Today, the average undergraduate borrower leaves school with more than $20,000 in student loans, and for graduate students the average is a whopping $42,000. For the past twenty years, college tuition has increased at more than double the rate of inflation, with the cost largely shifting to student debt.

Collinge covers the history of student loans, the rise of Sallie Mae, and how universities have profited at the expense of students. The book includes candid and compelling stories from people across the country about how both nonprofit and for-profit student loan companies, aided by poor legislation, have shattered their lives-and livelihoods. With nearly 5 million defaulted loans, this crisis is growing to epic proportions.

The Student Loan Scam takes an unflinching look at this unprecedented and pressing problem, while exposing the powerful organizations and individuals who caused it to happen. Ultimately, Collinge argues for the return of standard consumer protections for student loans, among other pragmatic solutions, in this clarion call for social action.
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“Think credit-card debt is a problem? Take a look at the lives ruined through the corporate thug tactics, usurious fees and vicious harassment employed by some of the nation’s largest student-loan providers in this shocking expos‚àöv†.… [Collinge] reveals that since lenders make far more money from defaulted loans than they do from borrowers in good standing, they go to extraordinary—and illegal—lengths to force borrowers into default.…[He] urges Congress to restore standard consumer protections to student loans, concluding with a call to arms for progressive changes, refinancing rights and a plethora of practical advice for borrowers. Comprehensive and stirring, this extraordinary book is whistle-blowing at its finest.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“That Collinge writes from personal experience makes The Student Loan Scam passionate and informed.” —Rich Barlow, Boston Globe

“Alan Collinge has lived through the national student debt crisis, and he has an astonishing tale to tell. Read and be outraged.” —Anya Kamenetz, author of Generation Debt

“Students and parents planning to borrow money to finance a college or technical school education should read Alan Collinge’s warnings and advice before they sign any loan papers.” —David Cay Johnston, author of Free Lunch and Perfectly Legal

  • Click here to read a recent featuring Allan Collinge
  • Alan Michael Collinge is profiled on as one of the financial heroes of 2008

  • Read about Alan Michael Collinge in the New York Times

  • Listen to Alan Collinge's appearance on WBUR's On Point

  • Read a Q&A with Alan Collinge in Inside Higher Ed

  • Alan Collinge has a new story in The Daily Kos about how his book fits in with President Obama's new plan for college tuition

  • Alan Collinge is interviewed in Forbes
  • Watch Alan Collinge in an interview on Democracy Now

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The Student Loan Scam

ISBN: 978-080704231-1
Publication Date: 2/1/2010
Pages: 184
Size: x Inches (US)
Price:  $20.00
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.