Many students heading off to college or vocational schools in coming days will learn a tough, if timely, lesson in economics: The credit crunch has made some education loans harder to get.
"Most of the lenders, if not all of the lenders, are making private loans more difficult," said Fred Lockhart, executive director of the Arizona Private School Association.
Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of finaid.org, a well-known, financial-aid Web site, said that about 130 lenders have suspended participation in federal loan programs and that 29 have stopped issuing private education loans.
About 47 percent of families borrow money to help get kids through college, according to a study released Wednesday by lender Sallie Mae and Gallup.
The study affirmed that federal loans are easily the most popular source of borrowing.