Sunday, March 28, 2010
Στο νομοσχέδιο αυτό, υπάρχουν όμως και σημαντικές διατάξεις για τα φοιτητικά δάνεια που πέρασαν απαρατήρητες.
Προβλέπεται ότι οι εμπορικές τράπεζες δεν θα μπορούν πλέον να δίνουν φοιτητικά δάνεια με την εγγύηση του κράτους, περιορίζοντας έτσι το δικαίωμα αυτό μόνο στις κρατικές τράπεζες και μειώνοντας το κόστος των φοιτητικών δανείων. Μέχρι σήμερα, οι εμπορικές τράπεζες έπαιρναν εγγυημένες επιδοτήσεις από το κράτος για να δίνουν τέτοια δάνεια, ενώ η ομοσπονδιακή κυβέρνηση αναλάμβανε όλα τα ρίσκα των δανείων αυτών. Τα κέρδη των εμπορικών τραπεζών από την πρακτική αυτή ήταν τεράστια.
Η σχετική είδηση:
Ending one of the fiercest lobbying fights in Washington, Congress voted Thursday to force commercial banks out of the federal student loan market, cutting off billions of dollars in profits in a sweeping restructuring of financial-aid programs and redirecting most of the money to new education initiatives.
The revamping of student-loan programs was included in — if overshadowed by — the final health care package. The vote was 56 to 43 in the Senate and 220 to 207 in the House, with Republicans unanimously opposed in both chambers.
Since the bank-based loan program began in 1965, commercial banks like Sallie Mae and Nelnet have received guaranteed federal subsidies to lend money to students, with the government assuming nearly all the risk. Democrats have long denounced the program, saying it fattened the bottom line for banks at the expense of students and taxpayers.
“Why are we paying people to lend the government’s money and then the government guarantees the loan and the government takes back the loan?” said Representative George Miller, Democrat of California and chairman of the Education and Labor Committee.
Democrats celebrated the legislation, a centerpiece of President Obama’s education agenda, as a far-reaching overhaul of federal financial aid, providing a huge infusion of money to the Pell grant program and offering new help to lower-income graduates in getting out from under crushing student debt. Still, the final bill is less ambitious than the original proposal.
Congressional allies of the student-loan industry attacked the overhaul as an overreaching government takeover. The legislation substitutes an expanded direct-lending program by the government for the bank-based program, directing $36 billion over 10 years to Pell grants, for students from low-income families.
The legislation will make it easier to pay back student loans, by reducing the share of income that a graduate must devote to loan payments and by accelerating loan forgiveness — but not right away. Those who take out new loans after July 1, 2014, will have to devote 10 percent of their income to payments, down from the current 15 percent, and those who keep up their payments will have their loans forgiven after 20 years, reduced from the current 25.
“Income-based repayment is a fantastic addition to the Senate bill that will allow over a million students to avoid being crushed by unmanageable levels of debt,” said Rich Williams, a higher-education advocate at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
With the new legislation, students will have to take out their loans through their college’s financial aid office, instead of using a private bank.
In lobbying fiercely against the overhaul, the private banks argued that it would eliminate jobs, even though the government will hire many of the same banks on a contract basis to service the loans and perform other back-office administration. Furthermore, the banks said that with the government as the only lender, students would not get the same level of service.
Posted by ΙΩΑΝΝΗΣ ΠΑΝΑΡΕΤΟΣ at 5:51 am