Pennsylvania AG sues largest student loan provider

READING, Pa. - The countdown is on for some high school seniors and their families.

"Basically where to go. I don't know what I'm doing, so I don't know what college to go to or anything like that," said Fleetwood Area High School senior Emily Pinnix.

The question for some isn't just where to go, but for those in Muhlenberg Township for a financial aid seminar organized by Pennsylvania state Sen. Judy Schwank and local college representatives, it's also how to pay for it.

For Tammy Bieber, the mother of a high school senior, it's hard not think about cost when shopping for the right college.

"I think things are a lot more expensive now than they were 20 years ago," Bieber explained.

For her, current costs seem more in line with a house payment.

"I don't want her to get out of school and have a mortgage payment for school."

"We know that the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvania students are carrying a student loan and their average debt is almost 35 thousand dollars," Schwank said.

With college costs on the minds of parents and students, the state's attorney general has just filed a lawsuit against the nation's largest student loan company, Navient, citing "abusive practices" and "risky and expensive" sub-prime loans. 

As of September, AG Josh Shapiro said more than 1,000 complaints have been filed by Pennsylvanians.

Shapiro said Navient -- and its predecessor, Sallie Mae -- grew using practices that repeatedly harmed borrowers.

He said the company made predatory loans to students attending for-profit or nonprofit colleges with low graduation rates, knowing many students would not be able to repay them.

Navient called the allegations unfounded.

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