Smart Borrower Blog

Wall Street Reform Inpacts Student Loans

Jun 29th, 2010 @ 8:55 AM by Debbie Dragon

Last week legislators reached an agreement to overhaul the financial system, providing the biggest changes seen since the 1930s. The legislation, does not appease everyone, but does make some significant changes that are meant to prevent another financial crisis. The proposal can be found in a 2000 page document.

The plan is calling for amongst other things, a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be developed, regulators to watch out for major risks to the financial system, tougher regulations to prevent another economic meltdown and government power to seize and break up companies that are at risk for hurting the American economy.

One area being impacted by the reform will be the private student loan industry. Currently there is little protection to consumers taking out private student loans. Students and families that are looking to fund college are many times left with no other option than private student loans.

These new regulations will help to protect consumers of private student loans, as all private student loans would be regulated under the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

“We congratulate House and Senate conferees for reaching agreement on historic financial reforms, including a much-needed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with authority over risky private student loans and other financial products,” Pauline Abernathy, vice president of the Institute for College Access and Success, said in a news release about the legislation.

With the changes a student loan ombudsman position would be created within the new Protection Agency. Many feel this is a long overdue need, as there has always been little protection or help for those that choose to fund their college educations through private student loans.

This position would allow private student loan borrowers a “central place to go,” Abernathy said, “to someone who is looking at all the issues, and who can flag the issues [for the bureau’s regulators and members of Congress], and draw attention to them.”

As a final note, some student loan advocates were disappointed that a provision requiring private lenders verify with the prospective student’s college or university that the student was indeed eligible for the loan was not included. This provision would have given schools the opportunity to council students and make sure that they knew all of their lending options before going with private loan funding.

About Debbie Dragon
Debbie Dragon is a full time freelance writer and the co-owner of

One Response to “Wall Street Reform Inpacts Student Loans”

  1. Cris says:

    I like this article, although I am a little confused. I am glad that something is finally being done with the Private student loan industry, but what about recent college graduates that are already dealing with their loans? What help is available for us? Last I checked, no banks or lenders are consolidating private loans. Therefore, I am stuck with a huge (understatement) monthly student loan payment. The largest student loan lender, (no need to mention the name,) does not offer “Income based repayment plan” for private student loans. The only option when in financial need, is Deferment. Which the interest still capitalizes on the principal payment. What a mess! No one can get ahead if you have private student loans.

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