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Blogger Behind ‘The Student Loan Report’ Was Fake

The “expert” behind The Student Loan Report—who has been quoted in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and CNBC—is fake, according to a report from The Chronicle of Higher Education. A student-loan refinancing company, LendEDU, that was actually behind the blog confirmed that the The Student Loan Report’s founder and writer Drew Cloud wasn’t real. LendEDU CEO Nate Matherson said that Cloud was a “pseudonym that a diverse group of authors at Student Loan Report LLC use to share experiences and information related to the challenges college students face with funding their education.” That wasn't clear on the site, which featured a picture and bio for Cloud, who would often pitch stories to journalists via email. When The Chronicle tried to reach Cloud by email, the newspaper was told he was “traveling and had limited access to his account.” The company scrubbed Cloud’s existence from the blog on Monday, deleting his bio and replacing all of this bylines with “SLR Editor.” Until this week, the company never revealed it’s affiliation with The Student Loan Report, even though many posts on the blog would tout services LendEDU offered. On the new homepage of The Student Loan Report, Matherson wrote he “really regret[s]” not disclosing that Cloud was a pen name, while insisting there was “editorial separation” between the blog and the company.