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The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History and How We Can Fight Back

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  94 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The Student Loan Scam is an exposé of the predatory nature of the $85-billion student loan industry. In this in-depth exploration, Collinge argues that student loans have become the most profitable, uncompetitive, and oppressive type of debt in American history.

This has occurred in large part due to federal legislation passed since the mid-1990s that removed standard con
Paperback, 184 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Beacon Press (first published February 1st 2009)
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Dec 25, 2008 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wrote it, so I like it!
Nov 06, 2011 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'd give this book 1.5 stars. Reading this book reminds me of watching a Michael Moore documentary; the information is compelling but I'm still skeptical because it's such a one-sided story.
Collinge's book seems more like a plug for his website, which looks about as unprofessional as his book. Though I sympathize with students who took on debt in the hopes of using education for upward socioeconomic mobility, some people need to be realistic about the debt they accrue. My fiance is heavily in de
Jun 21, 2009 Jessie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't been able to find another book quite like this one, I'm so glad the author wrote this book! He exposes the unethical and shady ways that Salliemae dominates the market for student loans (paying universities to make them the primary lender, acquiring other companies, acquiring guarantors and getting the profit for payments made on defaulted loans, etc.). He also addresses how bad things are in the student loan world. Did you know that once you consolidate your loans, it is against the l ...more
Jul 25, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mmm, not the best advocacy piece on the student loan problem in America. It's far too repetitive, and unfortunately, doesn't use illustrative anecdotes as well as it could. Much preferred other books on this topic. That said, I'd recommend it to anyone still snowed by the idea of 'education,' and 'student loans' to that end.
Apr 14, 2010 Forgottendreamr rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
While the author has a point about corruption and immoral practices in the industry, I felt he ignored one very obvious point: when you take a loan, you have to expect to pay it back. You are not entitled to that money.
David Glad
Author kind of has a vendetta with lender Sallie Mae, but also too many valid points to be ignored. I do not have any student loans, so I am not among the victims. (However true the usage is.) Fun line too somewhere in the book about how even Oprah is fooled into believing student loans are "good debt."

Aside from the obvious fact a lot of students lack any understanding of what they are agreeing to (really is why you should avoid entering into such agreements), there also seem to have been quite
Long Le
Jan 22, 2013 Long Le rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the book repeats itself quite often, the author is trying to make a point. In this way, the book is almost like a circular argument.

As other reviewers have stated, the title of the book wreaks of bitterness, but after reading the content it is justified. The book focuses on borrowers of student loans who undergo hardships and have difficulty making payments. These borrowers end up defaulting on their loans or begin deferred payments(which penalize them) which in turn causes them to default
Kyle McCarthy
Feb 08, 2011 Kyle McCarthy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Before you touch those FAFSA forms read this book! Author and activist, Alan Collinge is kicking ass and taking names of those profiting off our never-ending student debt. In one of the most brilliantly written accounts of investigative journalism, it will only take the reader a few pages to realize why Collinge was named one of CNN Money’s “Financial Heroes”. Look out Sallie Mae, Collinge has your number and millions of millennials are ready to back him up.

Alan Collinge is i
May 31, 2009 Janelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Though "The Student Loan Scam" smacks of bitterness, it's not hard to see why if even half of the information within is true. Written mostly with an eye on student loan borrowers who have defaulted, it's still pertinent information for anyone who has or is considering loans for education. A key point for me was that not only are these debts undischargeable in bankruptcy but they also lack any other consumer protections that other types of debt would carry. It seems to me that if you're going to ...more
Paul Rhodes
Jun 26, 2009 Paul Rhodes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book would be useful to me if I were planning to go back to university. But I am not. The university already damaged my soul irrevocably my first go around, thankyou very much. Still, this book was a fascinating read. Not only does the university corrupt your soul (Read I am Charlotte Simmons) but will also, if you are not very careful, make you an indentured servant to a loan shark disguised as a friendly lending institution. And the universities are collaborators with these gansters. It se ...more
One of the many books that makes me glad not to be living in America. There are some real horror stories in this book. I very much support the cause but this book did feel a bit like an advertisement for the authors website which I have visited and seems awfully unprofessional. Overall though, it's a decent book.
Jun 11, 2014 Sabra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick indictment of the appalling state of student loans. The answer is publicly funded higher education.
Nov 25, 2012 Patricia rated it really liked it
Great book! So sad that the government is working against students/consumers and just helping Sallie Mae's executives get rich. This book is a must read for any student contemplating taking government or private loans. The behavior of loan agencies such as Sallie Mae, the financial aid offices at universities, and the Dept. of Education is truly despicable and unethical.
Tyrone Steele
Aug 16, 2009 Tyrone Steele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have - or plan on having - any student loan debt to Sallie Mae, you MUST read this book.
The legislation at current does not allow bankruptcy, collection or consumer credit protections of any kind. If you default once your loan will nearly double immediately.

You have to read this book.
May 10, 2009 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat informative, but lacking on the "How we can fight back" parts. This book did open my eyes to a few unknown practices carried out by loan companies, and how they are fully enabled by U.S. federal laws, that places all the control and ability to abuse debtors rights in their hands.
Oct 05, 2014 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is horrifying and eye-opening. Everyone needs to read this book!
Aug 02, 2013 Pilar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unbalanced reporting, but not inaccurate.
Mar 29, 2012 Ariellafaerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great look at the student loan machine.
Oct 23, 2008 Lisa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
(note to self)
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