Private student lender stocks jumped following the federal government's decision last week to bolster the market, but their longer-term prospects are clouded by fretting among legislators and schools that students rely too heavily on unsubsidized lending.
Policy makers and education advocates have thus far offered lukewarm support thus far for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, which will provide up to $200 billion to finance the purchase of asset-backed securities secured by a variety of debt, including student loans. The facility, unveiled by the Federal Reserve and Treasury last week, is intended to provide liquidity for private lenders, so that they are freed up to make more loans, benefitting borrowers.
"We hope that this new program will work as intended: To get credit markets flowing again and make loans more accessible and affordable for students and families," committee Chairman George Miller (D., Calif.) said in a statement last week. "We look forward to learning more details about this proposal so we can be assured that it will operate in the best interests of America's college students, their families and taxpayers."
A committee spokeswoman declined to elaborate on Miller's statement. But schools and legislators want students to borrow more from the government -- and, in turn, less from private sources -- than they are currently doing. The Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 increased federal loan limits in order to "reduce borrowers' reliance on costlier private college loans," according to a statement on the Web site of the House Committee of Education and Labor.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV