Can't get a student loan? Take off your clothes

It hasn't gotten much press in the United States, but college students in the United Kingdom who rely on loans to pay their expenses are facing a serious problem: The Guardian reports that "Three-quarters of universities polled said they had made extra payments from their hardship funds to help students pay the rent, buy books and feed themselves while they wait for the Student Loans Company (SLC) to work its way through the backlog of tens of thousands of student applications."

The SLC took over student loan processing duties from local authorities this year and, evidently, wasn't prepared for the task. Students are being placed on hold for hours, and loan sharks are descending on campuses to cash in at the expense of students who need cash for rent, school supplies, and food.