Default: the Student Loan Documentary


Default: The Student Loan Documentary is a feature-length documentary chronicling the stories of borrowers from different backgrounds affected by the student lending industry and their struggles to change the system.

No matter when their loans were taken, many borrowers now find themselves in a paralyzing predicament of repaying two, three, or multiple times the original amount borrowed, with no bankruptcy protection, no cap on fees and penalties, and no recourse to the law.  The consequences are dire, with stories of borrowers in financial and emotional ruin.

Beyond these personal accounts, Defautl will explain the differences between federal and private student loans, a subject often overlooked by colleges and high school counselors.  It will also give detail on the rise of the private lending industry and of college debt.

While the media has focused on the disaster that sub-prime mortgages have turned out to be, only superficial attention has been given to financial giants which have been profiting by approving loans to low-income students with variable interest rates up to 25%.

As the National Consumer Law Center concluded in their March 2008 report titled “Paying The Price: The High Cost of Private Student Loans and the Dangers for Student Borrowers,” there are ominous signs that “the student loan market is headed for the same fate as the subprime mortgage industry.”

Director/Writer: Aurora Meneghello; Producer/Writer: Serge Bakalian; Director of Photography: Maria Victoria Ponce; Editor: Staci DeGagne; Music: Ben Flanagan.  For more information, go to <>.