Student Debt: long-Simmering fury/depression/despair finally surfaces at Fannie Mae

One of the young ones in my extended family is over $100,00 in student debt. A young man in here in Bloomington told me that his life plan requires student debt forgiveness. Another with a large student debt, knowing he may not be able to repay it in his lifetime, plans to leave the U.S. if necessary. A fourth, a woman in her 30s and still $40,000 in debt from her B.A. degree, works as a $7.50 retail clerk. She feels depressed to me — no surprise there.

While I might ponder the circumstances in each case that led them down what may be a primrose path, I see no way this generation can more forward without debt forgiveness. If the .001% thinks Occupy was an annoyance last year, that was the warm-up act. Let’s face it. With no future, these young ones have nothing to lose.

Excerpted from Common Dreams.

March 26, 2012

36 students arrested at headquarters of student loan provider Sallie Mae

Dozens of students were arrested this afternoon at the Sallie Mae headquarters demanding forgiveness of student loans. The protest comes after recent reports show $1 trillion in student debt burdening borrowers.

The high amount of debt is good news for debt collectors, however. A Bloomberg report shows that debt collectors made nearly $1 billion in commissions from aggressivley pursued student loan collection efforts.

“Student-loan debt collectors have power that would make a mobster envious,” said Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren.

* * *

NewsiT: Students arrested at Sallie Mae during college loan protest

About three dozen student activists were arrested Monday during a protest outside the Washington headquarters of student loan provider Sallie Mae, according to participants.

The demonstration was part of an annual legislative conference by the U.S. Students Association, which ended Monday with a “Lobby Day.” That event usually consists of a march to Capitol Hill and meetings with congressional representatives, but because of the outcry over student loans and the challenges of student debt, the protest at Sallie Mae was added to the schedule.

Deseret News: Debt collection intensifies for student loans

Debt collection is intensifying for student debtors as the U.S. Department of Education ramps up its collection efforts

The Education Department has contracted a copious amount of debt-collection companies in response to the $67 billion of student loans in default, according to Bloomberg.

The government contracted debt collection agencies and helped the Education Department recover $11.3 billion last year. Government contracts and Education Department data show that debt collectors made about $1 billion in commissions for the recovered $11.3 billion. […]

“Student-loan debt collectors have power that would make a mobster envious,” Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, who helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is now running for a U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts, told Bloomberg.

* * *

Campus Progress: Student: Congress, Don’t Let My Loan Rates Double

Unless Congress takes action, college students and graduates might have to pay thousands of extra dollars in loan repayment.

As a college student without a steady income, this is highly concerning. President Obama put it bluntly in a recent speech at the University of Michigan: “That would not be good for you.”

It’s true—it wouldn’t.

Congress initially cut student loan interest rates in 2007, when they voted to chop the subsidized Stafford loan rate in half—from 6.8 percent to the current 3.4 percent. But these provisions were only put into place for five years and will expire on July 1, causing the loan rates to double to the original rate of 6.8 percent.

While the interest rate has been lower for the past five years, total student loan debt carried by Americans has skyrocketed to new heights, surpassing credit card debt for the first time in American history and, by some estimates, already topping $1 trillion. According to the Department of Education, six years is now an acceptable amount of time to finish an undergraduate degree, meaning a potential two more years of loans for some student borrowers.

With the kind of increase in student debt we’ve seen recently, today’s graduates are taking drastic measures to repay their loans. A simple Google search of “student loan debt” reveals tales and statistics that seem like folklore. One graduate was allegedly willing to sell a kidney to pay off his student loan debt so he could start his professional life with a clean slate. Others have turned to services like Seeking Arrangement to find well-off people willing to help pay their loans in exchange for companionship.

Yet some members of Congress don’t seem too concerned about students, but rather with how the interest rates are affecting the federal government. At a recent Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Innovations in College Affordability, Sen. Mike Enzi (R, Wyo.) said that if Congress doesn’t increase the loan rate it will cost the government $2.4 billion dollars.

This entry was posted in 2012, new economy, Reality Ramp-Up, Uranus square Pluto, visions of the future, waking up. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Student Debt: long-Simmering fury/depression/despair finally surfaces at Fannie Mae

  1. bastet694 says:

    Just as you couldn’t get a job for a good portion of the 20th century without a high school diploma, this century requires the you have a college diploma. Competition in the job market practically requires that you have a graduate degree as well. I definitely agree that a well educated person that has been provided with the opportunity to gain tools by which to make better decisions (key word opportunity) is good overall for the nation. However, the current legislative position seems to be okay with the reality that obtaining such tools it beyond the reach of the average citizen. The youth have taken on the burden of incurring unsurmountable debt such that they are competitive when entering the job market. Wow, amazing that in a culture that requires as well as rewards those with higher education, allows such is be practically unattainable.

    What a contradiction.

    Are we surprised given that our culture also rewards debt, and dissuades savings–promoting, “spend, spend, spend,” super consumerism. I think that some of the fault also falls on the shoulders of the students as millions of dollars worth of scholarships go untapped every year. Nevertheless, if students really want to address student educational loan debt they should gather a collective voice and produce an advocacy group to expose and put pressure on the congresspeople of their home states. They should expose those representatives and senators that have not placed the ridiculously high cost of education on the legislative agenda. Both private and public institutions receive federal funds. Pressure on institutions to find innovative ways to make the cost of higher education more manageable or risk the loosing critical federal funding (especially research one institutions) might produce better results than getting arrested in front of Fannie Mae. As long and we students (I’m a current grad student with MAD DEBT) chose a path that allows for congress to ignore placing the cost of a college education high on its agenda, we can continue to expect the same results from year to year.

    The youth were instrumental in placing the current president in the White House, image if we sued the same collective energy. Imagine everyone in college, on their way to college or graduates paying off loans (and parents that have incurred debt as well) bombarded the phones, faxes and emails of congresswo/men for a month demanding that their voices were not only heard but action was taken to address the issue. Imagine if we used all of our technological savvy to blog, tweet and tumbler to expose congresswo/men who don’t give our issue the proper amount of attention. Imagine if we collaboratively walked out of classes on every campus in every city and town sitting in absolute silence with t-shirts that read, “Debt first. Jobs later. Unacceptable.” This generation is one of the most creative generations yet and have such power that it has become standard practice that employers should expect young employees not to stay in s position for more than 5 years without providing a path for career growth and salary increase; they kow-tow to our expectations so that they can attract and keep the young, innovative, driven and intelligent workers entering the market every year. We have the power… we just have to learn the best way to use it. Don’t accept the debt. Demand that our government address and find solutions to relieving students from the burden of “Debt Before Employment.” Cuz putting, “arrested rallying for a cause” is not something you can put on your resume.

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