The feudal overlord of thousands of naive and idealistic American college students who were susceptible to visions of grandeur about a great-paying job over the rainbow once they have a degree. Occasionally one out of hundred succeed paying off their debt, but most opt for deferments, and kicking the debt down the road in vain.
Dupes graduate with a bachelor's degree, and believe their misfortune, lack of income, and debt problems can be alleviated by borrowing more money and pursuing a graduate degree as they contract more debt. This usually proves vain.
Since student loan debt cannot be discharged legally in bankruptcy proceedings, the only solution for many students is getting a scarce gov't job with a loan forgiveness option, joining the military, committing suicide, or emigration to a foreign country.
The rationale for guaranteed loans emanates from the notion that the state subsidizing the cost of education somehow makes it cheaper. In reality, making gov't loan guarantees and six-figure credit ceilings available to a demographic of mostly 18 to 25 year-olds, who have limited work and credit history distorts the marketplace. If colleges had to take that demographic as they were without the gov't subsidized loans, colleges would be compelled to control their costs, and be more affordable. Cost inflation of tuition prices is institutionalized at 5-6% per annum.
Ryan screwed the pooch. He borrowed $80 grand from Sallie Mae to pay for his bachelors of art degree in Government. Then as his job fortunes worsened, he had this naive idea he could be an educator in the middle of a recession, so he got a masters of arts in history only to realize the colleges and public schools do not have any openings. Now he's going to have to move to Canada to escape his hopeless debt.