Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The WSJ reports that with total US. student-loan debt topping $1 trillion, Moody's Investors Service says borrowers with private student loans are defaulting or falling behind on payments at twice prerecession rates handcuffing grads at all levels of the work force and having a sharp effect on people's lifestyles causing grads to delay marriage and the decision to have children. Most students get little help from colleges in choosing loans or calculating payments. Most pre-loan counseling for government loans is done online, and many students pay only fleeting attention to documents from private lenders. Many borrowers "are very confused, and don't have a good sense of what they've taken on," says Deanne Loonin. The implications last a lifetime. A recent survey by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys says members are seeing a big increase in people whose student loans are forcing them to delay major purchases or starting families. "The federal student loan system has become predatory due to the Congressional removal of standard consumer protections and congressionally sanctioned collection powers that are stronger than those for all other loan instruments in our nation's history," says Alan Collinge, founder of StudentLoanJustice.org, an advocacy group. When borrowers default, collection agencies can hound them for life, because unlike other kinds of debt, there is no statute of limitations on collections and while other kinds of debt can be discharged in bankruptcy, student loans must still be paid barring "undue hardship," a legal test that most courts have interpreted very narrowly. According to estimates by the White House Office of Management and Budget, the government is expected to collect roughly $111 on every $100 of defaulted direct loans and $122 on every $100 of defaulted guaranteed loans in 2011. "The Department of Education makes a lot of money off of defaulted loans," says Collinge when asked why the department masks the true default-rate picture."