How Big Money Corrupts
College Loans
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College loans cost more. A student borrowing $20,000 will pay $700 more in interest over the lifetime of the loan because the banking industry, which contributed more than $17 million to federal candidates and parties in 1997 and 1998, lobbied Congress to keep it from drastically cutting interest rates on guaranteed student loans. The 1993 Budget Act had called for a substantial cut in rates, but before that took effect, in the spring of 1998, the banks struck back, neutralizing that cut and bumping the effective rate up significantly. Two weeks before this change cleared the House Education Committee, it's chairman, Representative Bill Goodling (R-PA), raked in $14,250 from 48 employees and lobbyists of the USA Group - the nation's largest student-loan guarantor - at a fundraiser hosted for him by the company's president.

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