Lenders shut out of student loan database

Steve Henn Apr 18, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: The country’s student lenders have been cut off from a government database. This database has personal information on million of students who borrow money for college. But the Department of Education says until this student loan scandal is resolved, these companies cannot get access to the information. More now from Stephen Henn in Washington.


STEVE HENN: The Department of Education’s decision came just days after the Washington Post reported some banks were mining students’ private information in violation of federal law.

GEORGE MILLER: Clearly the Education Committee in the House, we are going to have to step in on this matter.

George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee says last night’s move was long overdue..

MILLER: The oversight by the department on all aspects of the student loan program has just been so lax. You know a letter went out a year ago to lenders expressing concern about their use of the database.

In a letter to congressional leaders, Education Secretary Margret Spelling defended her department’s oversight noting that it had already suspended 261 users who were suspected of abusing the system.

Shutting down that database even temporarily could interrupt the flow loans and financial aid to students. Spellings promised to minimize disruptions.

In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

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