I heard on the news this morning that the President is pushing for a bill that will help out school loans during this crappy economy. Check it out:

Bush pushes Congress to pass student loan relief bill
By TOM RAUM

WASHINGTON — President Bush said on Saturday that the credit crunch is
threatening the availability of student loans. He said his
administration is doing what it can to help with emergency loans but
prodded Congress for authority to do more.

"A slowdown in the economy shouldn't mean a downturn in educational
opportunities," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

He voiced support for a House-passed bill that would grant the
Education Department greater temporary authority to provide loans to
students unable to secure ones from banks or other lenders.

A similar measure by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., is pending in the
Senate.

The president urged Congress to get the legislation to his desk "as
soon as possible."

"A delay of even a week or two may make it impossible for this
legislation to help students going to school this fall," Bush said.

He noted that recently some lenders had dropped out of the federal
program that provides college loans to students who often have little
or no credit.

Without action on the legislation "many students may approach the
upcoming school year uncertain of when they will be able to get their
loans or where they will come from," Bush said.

Bush said the Education Department, through its "lender of last resort"
program, was stepping up efforts to make loans directly available to
students.

"But more needs to be done," Bush said. "Congress needs to pass
legislation that would give my administration greater authority to buy
federal student loans. By doing so, we can ensure that lenders will
continue to participate in the guaranteed loan program and ensure that
students continue to have access to tuition assistance."

The legislation passed the House 383-27 this month.

Dozens of lenders, making up an estimated 13 percent of the market,
recently stopped making loans under the federal program that subsidizes
and backs low-interest loans.

Some students relying on private loans, which are not federally backed
and can carry high interest rates, have had trouble getting those
nonfederal loans.

The House bill would raise limits on how much borrowers can receive
under the federal program.

It also tries to encourage parents to take out federal loans for their
children's education. The bill would allow parents to defer repayment
of those loans until after their children leave school, which is
currently not allowed.

Students are just starting to line up financial aid packages for
college this fall. Experts say the impact of the credit crunch on the
student lending market probably won't be entirely clear until this
summer.


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