by Katie Orr
Private loans now make up about a quarter of all student loans. When students take out loans through the federal government, they're required to get entrance and exit counseling. That's not always the case with private companies.
But Democratic Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski is hoping to change that in California. He's introduced several bills related to private student loans. One would mandate the counseling for private loans.
"I'm not saying that people shouldn't enter the contracts," he says. "They should just have the financial tools and the basic education to understand, is this a good deal for me? Do I want to enter into it?"
Wieckowski is also proposing a bill that would prohibit private companies from garnishing a borrower's wages to collect repayment.
Additionally, Wieckowski wants california to do a better jobs of educating students before they head off to college.
"We're not providing basic education," he says. "(We are) one of four states in the nation that doesn't give any curriculum toward financial literacy."
Wieckowski says private loans often have higher interest rates and stricter repayment options. And the debt doesn't go away if a student declares bankruptcy.