26 minutes | Apr 13, 2021

The Billions of Dollars in Hidden Student Loan Debt

The impact of America’s $1.5 trillion in student loan debt makes a lot of headlines. But one team of reporters dug into a little-known corner of the student debt market and discovered a pattern of rule-evading and abuses that is destroying the educational opportunities and careers of tens of thousands of Americans. Sarah Butrymowicz and Meredith Kolodner of The Hechinger Report’s investigations team share insights from their new series, “Hidden Debt,” which looks at the how, why and devastating impact of, many for-profit colleges’ practices of packing their students up with private - in other words, non-federal - loans. These colleges typically load their students up with some standard federal loans, and then, to avoid some government regulations, the colleges themselves issue additional loans to the students. These private loans typically charge high interest rates and lack the consumer protections of the federal loans. Listen in to learn about this important, but little-covered aspect of the student debt crisis. And find out how you can investigate the for-profit colleges serving your community.
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