As the Volume of Private Loans Soars, Students Feel the Pinch

The fastest-growing aid is easy to get but confusing and expensive to borrowers

For Kristin Hough, life has not worked out the way she imagined it would when she was a college student. While earning a bachelor's degree at Benedictine University, in northeastern Illinois, and a master's in public-service management and public policy at DePaul University, Ms. Hough racked up more than $60,000 in student-loan debt. Now she is not sure how she's going to repay it.

To make matters