Published: Oct 25, 2011 4:45 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - A House Republican who chairs a panel that oversees education says the federal government has failed to adequately protect college students' personal information since it began directly issuing student loans.
    
Rep. Virginia Foxx made the comments during Tuesday's hearing on the Education Department's direct student loan program.
    
Foxx says the department's direct loan website crashed earlier this month and users were able to see other students' personal and financial information. She said customer support is also down.
    
Congress passed a law last year that generally stripped banks of the ability to originate loans to students in favor of direct lending by the government.
    
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, a Democrat, says overall the transition has been smooth.

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