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Student Loans: The Debt You Carry For Life


Student Loans: The Debt You Carry For Life


Cross-Posted From The Roosevelt Institute’s New Deal 2.0 Blog

Put on your monocle and top hat and pretend you are part of the 1% for a minute. Your first task is to write a set of legal codes about the collection of debt in this country, specifically student debt. And you want to be kind of a jerk about it. What’s the one thing you could do for student debt that you don’t do for any other type of debt, one that would radically shift the relationship between student loan creditors and debtors both practically and symbolically?


  1. Maxie45 October 28, 2011

    It is too bad that we all cannot pay the loans back, anyway in a timely ma he cannner. Here in Michigan, the jobs are scarce. Yet if we do find a minimum wage job, you can barely eat. Now I am all for paying my bills and on time, but now my husband and I are paying our son’s student loans because he cannot pay them. When one day they are able to pay them, not only will this make their credit bad, still there will be nothing left. They need help in forgiving these loans so they will have a leg to stand on in the future. Tell the Republicans to stop just thinking of themselves, this is the United States for god sakes!

  2. Anthony October 28, 2011

    Has anyone done research on what the student debt load is on graduating sudent athletes? I would venture to guest that very few of these students have very little to worry about. Our system is skewd towards a diversion that offers no benefit to the majority after graduation.

  3. peteserb October 28, 2011

    No one has forced these people to take student loans. They should be resonsible for what they do. People in the recent past worked to get through college. These so called students want it all for free. Perhaps they should learn personal responsibility pays, not free loading off of the public.

  4. omgamike October 28, 2011

    The burden of student loans can be horrific, indeed. Back in ’85, I had 15k of student loan debt, which meant a payment of 300 a month. All well and good. Shortly after starting payments, a divorce ensued, which left me with her bills, my bills and child support, supporting myself by working two and three jobs, plus that 300 a month. For seven years I paid what I could each month. But by then, I had gone into default and by ’97, that 15k had risen to 33k, via collection fees, penalties, etc. I was one of the last who was able to declare bankruptcy to wipe out those loans, and paid the price for ten years of having a bankruptcy on my record.

    And what about the responsibility of the banks in all of this. When you have a guaranteed student loan, if you are the least bit short on a payment, the bank immediately defaults you. The fed then pays off the loan(s) and goes after you. The bank(s) have absolutely no incentive to try and work with the debtors, as they are guaranteed to get all their money back. Shouldn’t they be made to accept part of the responsibility of any default, by their refusal to try and help the debtor to continue making payments, even if it means a reduced payment and a longer term to repay it?

    And what about the schools that continue to increase tuition, year after year? The cost of higher education is totally out of control, and increasingly out of reach of all but children of the ultra rich.

  5. dcole November 13, 2011

    The comment by peteserb is mean-spirited. “No one forced them to get a loan” — that is not quite true. If people expect to get a good paying job which will allow them to raise a family, pay their share of the taxes, and contribute to the welfare of our country, they need a college education–which is becoming increasingly unaffordable for most families. Most of these students work while attending school and during the school breaks. There is just no way that they can earn enough to cover their expenses without getting grants and/or loans. Finding a job that pays a “living wage” after graduation is becoming more and more difficult. Some of the blame for the current predicament is poor guidance from the college. Choosing a major that will provide an income after graduation should be the focus of the counseling sessions. Too many are graduating with a huge college debt and no job opportunities in their field of study. Everything comes back to the need in this country to create jobs. I believe debts should be paid, but we can certainly work out a payment schedule that will be equitable. The student loan act should be expanded to include all who are struggling to pay past student loans because of the poor job market.


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