As college costs rise, loans become harder to get

The upheaval in financial markets did not just eliminate generous lending for home buyers; it also ended an era of easy credit for students and their families facing the soaring cost of a college degree.

Part V: Regional Effects

Charlotte prospered over the last two decades, its growth propelled and gilded by Wachovia and its cross-town rival, Bank of America. Now the city is suffering, as the financial crisis left many of the survivors struggling to recover.

Part IV: Pensions

The financial crisis has blown a hole in the rosy forecasts of pension funds that cover teachers, police officers and other government employees.

Part III: New Financial Center

The axis of financial power is shifting to D.C. as firms navigate a life more closely connected to government aid and oversight than ever before.

Part II: Mortgages

The government's newly dominant role -- nearly 90 percent of all new home loans are funded or guaranteed by taxpayers -- has far-reaching consequences for prospective home buyers and taxpayers.

Part I: Banks

The crisis may be turning out very well for many of the behemoths that dominate U.S. finance. The survivors have emerged from the turmoil with strengthened market positions, giving them even greater control over consumer lending.

About This Series

One year after Wall Street melted down, the Washington Post looks at the impact of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, exploring how that trauma continues to shape America even as the economy shows early signs of recovery.

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