Makeover needed: Student loans


Two-thirds of students have to borrow to attend colleges, according to FinAid. They leave campus on graduation day 2004 with an average $19,237 in debt, but some owe far more. About one-quarter borrow at least about $25,000, and one in 10 borrow more than $35,000.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were recently taken down for (among other things) taking advantage of the all the market had to offer for returns while meanwhile cashing in on a government backup for its loans. But their cousin Sallie Mae and lots of other private student loan lenders are still playing that game.

While some rates, even on existing student loans, have come down, many have not. My husband consolidated his law school loan shortly after graduating. He's stuck paying 9% for the rest of the loan.

Don't miss the rest of our series on Makeovers Needed!