President Obama--Forgive Student Debt.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on February 11, 2009

In all the discussions under way to stimulate the economy now and prepare for new kinds of growth for the future, no one is talking about one obvious option—forgive the enormous debt of America’s students. Washington is pumping trillions of dollars into banks and corporations to make them liquid and whole and that’s OK, but I strongly suggest Congress relieve the burden on its youngest citizens who are being crushed by huge tuition costs and stupendous debt loads.

I just came from a discussion session of Parsons’ students working on their research projects for my lecture series, Design at the Edge. They are amazingly smart students. They’ve broken up into groups of five or six. Each group is about to do ethnographic research on their own Gen Y generation and create a design brief for a project/service/experience that will help their cohort get through these tough times.

In their early discussion, one of the most dominate and defining themes is the enormous amount of tuition and debt that defines their generation. They worry about how this debt will limit their future choices and reduce the amount of risk they can take. There are all kinds of differences between the Boomer and Gen Y generations but debt load is one of the most striking. Gen Yers are paying much higher tuition than the Boomers and their debt loads are much, much heavier. Yes, I realize that many Boomer parents are paying the tuition for Gen Yers, but it is amazing how responsible, if not guilty, their children feel about this burden. And for a huge percentage, borrowing is the only way they can get through school.

So why not have the federal government take on the debt of these students. We’re breaking all the rules at the moment to survive, why not do this and help the American, Korean, European and all the other kids studying at US colleges and universities? Declare a debt holiday on our college students.

Where can we find the billions to relieve students of their debt? Start with the billions of tax-payer money that was transferred as bonuses to Wall Streeters. That should come to around $20 billion. Throw in the $70 billion in the Senate Stimulus bill for the AMT—Alternative Minimum Tax. It gives upper income middle income tax payers money back on federal income taxes. In other words, it’s a tax break for Boomers. Better to give the break directly to Gen Yers. They are, after all, the future.

Reader Comments

Chance

February 11, 2009 10:28 PM

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Chris Loughnane

February 12, 2009 12:03 AM

I think this is a wonderful idea. I will spare you the details of my financial situation as I don't want to open those flood gates. I just wanted to chime in and say it's great to hear someone who (presumably) isn't under the burden of student loans championing the cause. I hope to see this idea come to fruition in one way or another

bobestes

February 13, 2009 2:38 AM

You know, there are plenty of very fine state schools. Don't have to go to Parsons. Just sayin'.

Greg

February 13, 2009 3:47 AM

Paying off student debt is a fantastic way to build credit and responsibility.

Jen

February 16, 2009 5:34 AM

The student research projects sound very cool! I hope we get to hear more about the findings. As part of the cohort saddled with all that college loan debt, I need the suggestions! BTW, I did go to a state school, and my debt's still pretty substantial.

gabriel

February 16, 2009 4:31 PM

In a study from 1991, Edward Roberts revealed that the primary source of startup seed capital was overwhelmingly personal savings (74%) rather than from outside investors..and that 77 percent of a survey of 110 startups had been launched with $50,000 or less.

According to the American Council on Education, the average student loan debt of students attending:
Public 4-year = $26,119
Private 4-year = $29,000

Anyone know what the exact outstanding student debt to the us dept of ed is?

hmmmm...I'm guessing this would bump personal savings up a ton. and then if you believe the accounts that mark the generation paying back loans a particularly creative one I think you might fid some growth in there somewhere...or at least the ability to take some risks.

Elisabeth

February 17, 2009 12:28 AM

This sounds like a great idea for now. The bigger question I would like to see addressed is why college tuition is increasing well beyond the inflation rate. The Average College Prices 2008-09 for private four-year $25,143 (up 5.9 percent from last year) and a public four-year $6,585 (up 6.4 percent from last year).1 While the average inflation rates hover between 2% to 4% with the odd month where it goes over.

One of the liberties of the United States is that anyone can go to College unlike in many other countries where it is only provided to those who test well enough. America’s current culture places College as an expectation for success with little value granted to trade schools educations. Colleges are by nature academic educations and do not always train students for the Job Market.

Is college even still worth the price? Most of the value came for me once I went onto Graduate School and also came with more debt. With almost everyone having an undergraduate degree, employers don't seem to find much value in it. It seems to be equal to what a high school diploma use to be for the Baby Boomer Generation.

According to Financial Aid dot Org, “A good rule of thumb is that tuition rates will increase at about twice the general inflation rate.” This is criminal for something that is no longer considered a privilege but rather a necessity.

Furthermore, I have doubts about the average student loan debt sited by the American Council on Education. If the average cost per year for a Private College is $25,143 then that equals $100,572 for four years. Are they arguing that the majority of students have obtained grants or other ways to make up the $71,572 difference? Personally, I don't know anyone who has gone to a Private 4-year college with as little as $29,000 in debt.

How can people new to the work force and at the bottom of the pay scale, still be consumers, when they walk away from college with debt close to that of a home and the expectation often to pay it off within 10 years, unlike a mortgage. If the cost for college continues to increase at this rate then it wont is available to anyone anymore, will it?

References:
http://www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/add-it-up/4494.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/23/education/23tuition.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/19/education/19tuition.html
http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/20/pf/college/college_price.moneymag/
http://www.amsa.com/policy/resources/stats.cfm
http://www.finaid.org/savings/tuition-inflation.phtml

Gault

February 17, 2009 6:52 AM

If tax dollars can be pried back from the AMT and bank bailouts - these funds should go back to the taxpayers who paid for them in the first place. Loans are contracts, they should be honored. This "bailout everyone mindset" is not helpful in the long run.

Charlsie

February 18, 2009 3:38 AM

I have $800/month student loan payments... My total loan values are about $50-60K. I had to take out Federal Stafford loans for my NP program, which was only 18 months... and about $34K, then my BSN program was $10K, and I had undergrad/ADN debt of about $10K. We picked the highest monthly payment so overall, we would pay less interest.

My husband and I made over $145K last year and did not feel a bit of it. I feel like I have worked SO hard to get where I am and have nothing to show for it. Especially now that the economy is kinda rough... we are living paycheck to paycheck nearly. I brought home more as an associate prepared RN, than a masters prepared NP. And that just isn't right.

Sure I am highly educated, that's fine. But it's just not fair. I agree that forgiving student loan debt would help improve the economy. I guarandamtee you that my husband and I would be boosting the economy if we didnt have to pay so much per month.

It's very sad... and I know that other people have it worse off than I do, but I just can't help but feel a little selfish because I've worked hard to be where I am... just like many of you have as well. It's nice to find others that feel the same as I do.

justacoolcat

February 19, 2009 8:56 PM

Interesting idea, but I think you need to read up on the AMT - Alternative Minimum Tax

Sarah

February 21, 2009 4:02 AM

I think this is a horrible idea. I am a college student now and have had to work and stay in my home town and go to the local college as to not have debt or loans. I was accepted to Butler and Notre Dame, but did not go because they cost upwards of $50,000 a year in tuition. If someone chooses to take on debt, they should be responsible for their debt. I know like is not fair, but I would basically be punished for my decision to go to a local public college with no debt, while everyone else has their debts forgiven. That is ridiculous.

Thomson Comer

February 24, 2009 6:27 AM

Dear Representatives of the United States,

The poor decision-making of US banks has caused the federal government to allocate $800 billion dollars in bailout money, forgiving corrupt businessmen, corrupt business practices and preserving the same institutions that caused the current financial crisis.

Every year, 1.5 million students exit US academic institutions with a $24,000 average student debt. With a 15 year repayment plan, these debts account for $45 billion dollars every year paid to the same corrupt banking institutions that have caused the collapse of global economy.

My wife and I are both graduates of upper academia. Our combined student debt amounts to $76,000. Unless we sacrifice our relationships with our children and both work full time, we will provide nothing new to the US economy for 28 years. 1.5 million new citizens are subtracted from the US economy in the same way each year.

Resurrect the US and global economy by forgiving all student debts. The $45 billion that is being dumped into corrupt institutions will instead go toward new commerce, consumption, and productivity.

Thank you,

Thomson Comer
Graduate Student at Colorado State University

lucy

February 27, 2009 2:12 AM

I agree, forgiving student loans would be an excellent move on Obama's part. Like many of my generation, I exited college weighed down with student loans, if student loans were to be forgiven, imagine the possibilities and growth our generation could foster in this economic downtown. We are a generation, eager to get out into the work force, eager to start our lives, buy homes, and build futures for ourselves but are handicapped by the immense student loan bills hanging over our heads. My student loan bills are almost seven hundred dollars a month, my partner's is the same amount, and I know that to some, my student loan bills are minuscule but imagine the money we could invest in something else, instead of being tied into this bill for the next ten years or so. The money could go elsewhere, and we could really start our lives.

CCA+D GEN Y'er

March 3, 2009 9:16 PM

I agree one million times over, and over, and over again. I think if it is not, than it should be an outrage. It disgusts me how much the people of my generation and future generations to come have to spend to go to a good 4 year institution.

Please keep in mind, my comment from here on is purely based on design... I am not sure about photography, fine-art, business schools or other fields and I am speaking from my own experience and in my own profession.

I went to the Corcoran College of Art + Design where I graduated with my BFA in Graphic Design. I even come from a single parent home and you would think my situation would open up doors in the financial aid-department, but it didn't.

I borrowed over 120,000 to go to school for four years. I wouldn't have done it any different because I have friends that went to State-School for graphic design, I even know some people that did the whole internet college thing and I have seen their portfolios and I have seen their assignments and it is all very cookie-cutter and generic, the same 10 or 12 projects you see in everyone's portfolio. There is no depth in the assignments and most of it looks to be foundation work like color palette and composition and lacking real concept and thought process. I have to say my portfolio directly out of school is way better than it would have been 4 years out of Rutgers University and that is not the instutions fault it is the teachers at the institutuion, so by all means if Michael Beiruit is working at Rutgers go ahead and study there but last I saw designers like Michael Beiruit, Paula Scher, Stephan Sagmeister, and Paul Rand were teaching out of Private Art Institutions like the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

I can say all this because I have a great portfolio that has gotten me a job where the business owners were looking for talent with 5 years of experience and I grabbed it with little as 1 year of internship. I am not saying my situation is unheard of, but I give a big nod to my education and my portfolio for my current situation and I have the teachers at Corcoran College of Art + Design to thank.

Out of the 24 kids in my Graphic Design Graduating class, I believe 15 of us currently hold a graphic design job at major design studios and firms. That is something I was not sure let's say a State-School like Rutgers or any On-line college would be able to help me achieve. I also say this because as a student in High School I knew I needed more aggressive attention where I would have a smaller setting and more focused on my studies.

I'm not knockin-down State Schools like Rutgers or Online Colleges. I was even thinking of going back to school and taking classes to learn web-design, HTML, Java and other things that will give me more opportunities to create design on other mediums. But I truly believe that State Schools and Online colleges do not give the same vigorous and heart-breaking critiques and conceptual assignments that you get at a private art institution which build a robust knowledge and foundation.

The main reason I feel this way is because at Rutgers I would have had to take a science class, a math class, and other classes for things that would not really be prevalent in what I needed for my portfolio and Design Firms are not exactly looking at my GPA. They are looking at my portfolio. So instead of being bogged down by a whole bunch of different classes so that I can complete my graduating requirements - I got to go to a college that let me take history classes, literature classes, psychology classes, even a class on film and cinema but all these things were more focused on art theory instead of being more generalized.

So as for Bobestes comment, I really think that it depends on the student and even the teachers at the State School. But there is no way on God's Green Earth that you can gaurntee that every State School in this country has an award winning graphic designer who has been published in design books and writing our design history as we speak, I want to learn from the Michael Jordan's of my profession not the guys who think they played like Mike back in their day. So you can't say there a kid out of high-school will go to one year at Rutgers studying Graphic Design from Joe-the-Plumber and come out like David Carson or Stephan Sagmeister. Those people are like the LeBron James' of graphic design and most likely they actually knew about design and took classes in High School or they had a family member who had that job prior to them knowing what they want to do after HS.

Bob

March 4, 2009 4:31 AM

Sarah, no one chooses to take on debt that they can’t pay. Schools promise more than they can deliver. I hope your degree works out for you, but for many people the degree is not worth the paper it is printed on. Many students have no choice due to the system. People in the 60 and 70s went to school and rarely needed loans. They had FREE government money to pay for school called grants.

Today, someone like you has to say...I will not go to Notre Dame. That is WRONG! Why didn’t people in the 50s, 60s,70s and even 80s do that? Because they had plenty of free government funding because at one time our society said getting a college degree was important enough that we as a society funded the degree.

Today, everything revolves around loans. Why has tuition gone up so high? SIMPLE, schools know they can charge whatever they want because students will just take out loans. When loans were not as prevalent schools kept their tuition in line with inflation. Do you really think that a massive amount of students would say…well, tuition went up I guess I will not go to school. Of course not--the student just takes out more loans. The schools know this as well.

Can yu think of another business that forces you to pay up front for a product that you have no idea if it will pay off? Do you think it is really fair that people take out 100k or more with the promise that they will have a better life, only to graduate into the worse economy in decades and have no possibility to even put the loans in bankruptcy?

What have we become in this society when we think that education should be a risk bigger than starting a business? Education should be a safe bet. Today, if you have an 18 year old kid with good credit, you are better off telling hin to get a personal loan and start a business than to go to college. Chances are that college student will be working in retail at 8 bucks a hour and that student will have loans that can’t even go on bankruptcy. However, that business owner gets to put that personal loan in bankruptcy and start a new life.

There is something wrong with our system.

Anne

March 5, 2009 12:32 AM

I agree, the economy would benefit more if student loan debt was forgiven. How are college graduates expected to purchase homes and cars when they are paying 10 years or more on student loans.

Sarah also makes a point. The forgiveness could be restricted to the tuition costs of attending a state university. Basically, every student would receive the same amount of forgiveness. Those students who elected to attend a private university would still be responsible for the difference.

Crissie

March 8, 2009 8:04 PM

It is just bloody wrong to bail-out thieves and crooks while people on the right track pay. Why oh why did the government hook them up and not us who were doing the Right thing with our lives? I cannot believe those predators got paid while we drown in debt, just so we can compete for a better life/income/earning!
Those who ripped homeowners off should have had to take responsibility for their GREED!

Rhia

March 10, 2009 1:47 AM

I agree that forgiveness of student loans it the right thing to do. It is criminal to punish people for wanting to excel in life by getting higher education. Indeed, as mentioned by Elisabeth, higher education is a necessity in life, not a privilege.

I applaud those students who can manage somehow to get through college debt-free. I find that amazing. However, not all of us have that ability. For whatever reason, it just does not work out that way and student loans must be taken. Sometimes, they are substantial. And one does not have to attend a private university to establish considerable debt. Nor does one need to go very far from home.

In addition, interest rates on some loans are appalling. I pay less interest on my car loan than some of my friends who are college graduates!

As has been repeated here a number of times - stop giving money to corrupt businesses and forgive student loan debt so we can become proper contributing citizens to our economy.

SmartDecisions

March 11, 2009 4:07 AM

Well if that's the case, then I want the government to write me a check for $20,000. I paid my student loans back and I did it in 1 year making $50k because I know how to manage money. What a bunch of crap. You people need to quit crying; you sound like the bankers. Do you realize that it is people like me who are financially stable that are going to pay your loans off? Basic rule of economics--nothing is free, everything has a cost associated with it and someone has to pay for it. Do what you have to do to pay it off i.e. wait to get married, move back with parents, get financially secure before you buy a home, don't use credit cards, drive your car until it absolutely dies, live at home while you attend school, work through school, don't spend all your money in the bars and shopping centers, and the list goes on....The government does not need to "bail out" irresponsible borrowers (that's what got us in this mess in the first place).
And for those of you bashing public schools, you need to wake up. There are very very good public institutions in this country to get an undergrad. Once you start making $$ or find a company that will pay for continuing eductions, then you can attend a private university for graduate school if you so desire. Just another way to lessen the debt.

ChubbyRain

March 12, 2009 2:33 PM

Perhaps this is the beginning of the "education" bubble breaking. I would have much rather gone to a private or out of state university myself, however, I went to what I could afford at an inexpensive state college, and graduated with no student loans, had I made the other choices I had before me, I would have been about 40-50k in debt as a recent grad, and 13 years later, probably still in debt. Because of that I was able to buy a house and car and be self sufficient- from making a real choice about future earnings and money. Instead of asking the government (and me the taxpayer who went to school on a budget) perhaps people should stop attending these overpriced colleges, and maybe - just maybe the prices will lower to where people can afford them. Paying off people's debts not only rewards iresponsible behavior by the borrowers, but would simply enable the colleges to continue with unchecked price increases. I look for young people to look more and mroe for options outside of attending college as the prices go up, the debt increases, and the starting job wages stagnate- you would be better off in many cases going to trade school and learning to be an plumber ror electrician at this point, and take out a loan to start a small business with vehicles and tools that have real value that can make money.

Amber

March 22, 2009 4:06 AM

This is such a tough situation. I graduated with about 40k in student loans. I had no other option but to take out these loans. I came from a single parent home where the parent had just recently filed for bankruptcy, not exactly on the top of the lender's approved list. So, I found what loans I could to get me through. My husband and I could have handled these payments and still been able to stiulate the economy a bit with smart budgeting as everyone should be practicing.

BUT

But I understand that not everyone was as blessed as I coming out of school for whatever reason. One income, a smaller household income, the inability to live within your means, and even just bad stuff happening. Just before Christmas, my husband left me and said he wanted a divorce. BOOM! Now I have to support the household bills and utilities and student loans. At this point, I feel it and it hurts. I am very much living paycheck to paycheck on a 32k salary. I am happy for those of you who came out with incomes starting higher than that.

I agree that there should be options to help students in debt but perhaps the best thing to do is not a student loan bail out? Perhaps the President should consider taking the billions of dollars that would bail out major corporations and banks and instead distribute that money among the American taxpayers? As crazy as this may sound, hear me out...

Consider this...you go to your mailbox and receive your bail out check in the amount of a million dollars for you as an individual taxpayer. Would we not stimulate the hell out of the economy with that money? We would pay off our mortgages, pay off our student loans, pay off our cars, buy new cars and houses, book vacations, etc. WE WOULD BAIL OUT THE MAJOR CORPORATIONS AND BANKS OURSELVES while at the same time, taking care of our households and debt and having a lot of fun along the way.

Crazy? Maybe. But I say bail out America as a whole by investing in the people for far less money than the major corporation/bank crap would take and watch us fix ourselves, student loans and all.

Bob

March 25, 2009 4:00 AM

Smart Decisions...GET A FREAKING CLUE!! 20k in debt is peanuts! YES, I could probably pay that off no problem as well! We are talking about students graduating with over 100k in DEBT! And, that has nothing to do with private versus public! I went to a state school. I obtained a PhD. I graduated with over 100k in debt.

My professors and the school (it is a very good one, the program is rated number 1 in the NATION!) promised that jobs would be plentiful. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA in my masters and a 3.85 in my doctorate.

I can tell you that at least 60k of my debt is due to nothing more than teh professors playing games and continually adding things to do on my dissertation! That happens very often in doctoral programs. Professors make it virtually impossible for students to graduate because the professors want to keep students around to do their research.

Speaking of dissertations, I do not want to write one here. However, I have a question for you. How do you feel about your tax dollars going to pay for free rides to foreign students to get masters and doctoral degrees, while American citizens and permanent residents are offered debt?

In case you don't know it, that is what happens. You see, top schools are into "international diversity". They will give foreign students a free ride to get that diversity. Foreign students do not qualify for student loans because the banks are worried that they will just go back to their original country. So, we citizens get debt that can't even be discharged in bankruptcy and your tax dollars "Mr. I know how to mange money" go to give a Chinese student a free education. NICE!

All I am really saying is at least allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy again. Make it retroactive to the time the laws were changed (I believe 1998). Then, at least people suffering from economic hardship could discharge their loans the same way that a business loan, a credit card loan, or a personal loan can be discharged.

20k in debt...YOU MAKE ME LAUGH!

James Colley

March 30, 2009 11:14 PM

I am a recent graduate of a small four year college. After receiving my Bachelors of Science for approximately $22,000 a year (4 years), I am now IN DEBT $150,000! This is because of INTEREST!! WHAT THE F$%^ IS GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY? I have been unable to find a decent job even with a high GPA and some industry experience. If there is anything that makes me suicidal it's my college debt. And that is not a joke.

Shelina Jenkins

April 1, 2009 4:14 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with comments regarding the U.S. allowing foreign students to come in & receive a free education. Additionally, they get a stipend, which really translates into free housing. Many are able to purchase cars outright, meaning no car note.

The government certainly should give us a bailout just as they have large corporations. Many of us are suffering financially as it is without having to pay back thousands of dollars that we don't have & will probably never get. Our credit will be ruined, if it already isn't & we will never get ahead financially.

Heywood

April 1, 2009 6:29 PM

I'm sorry but I am wholeheartedly AGAINST this proposition.

What about the thousands and thousands of people who did the responsible thing and paid off their debt?

Like in my situation, rather than going to UPenn and accruing $200,000+ in debt, I went to a state school and completed two bachelors degrees in four years. Moreover, rather than partying like an animal for four years, I worked 30+ hours per week so that I wouldn't accumulate too much debt.

Then the week after I graduated, I called up Citibank and asked them how much I had left on my loan. They told me I owed $12,000.

So rather than complaining like you all are doing, I did the responsible thing...I sent them a check for $12,000.

How is this proposition fair to all the people who are responsible? All that this proposition would do is continue feed laziness and irresponsibility of people...which will inevitably lead to more government bailouts decades from now. Teaching people how to be responsible does not come in the form of handouts and blank checks. I'm all for renegotiating student loan terms (ie lowering interest rates significantly), but straight up forgiving debt...give me a break! Sorry, but I am against paying for such a program via my tax dollars.

Mel

April 13, 2009 12:50 AM

I am so sick of people expecting the government to bail them out for making poor decisions. I don't say this lightly. I ended up with $60k in student debt, and I'm working a crazy job to pay it back as fast as possible. In a year and a half, my debt will be paid off. People need to quit thinking they are somehow ENTITLED to have the government (and thus everyone in this country who pays taxes) foot their bill. I know the student loan companies take advantage of students, and I know colleges charge obscene tuition, and those things need to stop. But the answer is NOT going to be found in more government bailouts, which in the end just put all of us further and further in DEBT.

Kristen

April 25, 2009 5:40 PM

If there was something th government could do to help LOWER tuition costs that would be great. I have already graduated with 2 BS degrees (paid out of state tutition) and now have $120k in student loan debt. I work very hard to pay my $1300 monthly student loan bill. I've been fortunate enough to have a job that pays me six figures, but know there are a lot of people out there in my same boat who are making 40 and 50k per year trying to pay on the same debt load. I think if ANYTHING they could lower tuition costs and maybe lower the interest rates substantially for people who have already gradtuated and are now in repayment. My rates on my private loans though Wells Fargo are 8.5% (consolidated) which is B.S.

Student loan debt is worst than having a mortgage payment!

Alice

May 27, 2009 7:22 PM

I live in Canada because I cannot afford to pay my student loans; when I entered my Private Liberal Arts College (where no grades were given so it was impossible to transfer to a state school)the cap on borrowing was $10,000.00 Ronald Reagan lifted that cap, and I was left with 28,000.00 of debt in a terrible economy where work was impossible to find. With the penalties that have accrued since 1993, my debt is more than 200,000.00 today. I would prefer to live in my natal country but that is impossible because of my enormous debt. After all, I am a teacher!

marjorie

June 5, 2009 12:02 PM

I am currently fifty years old. I graduated when I was forty-six. A single parent. I attended a private college on a scholarship award basis. During my four plus yrs, I also fell into the responsiblity of caring for my elder mother. Financially speaking, it destroyed me. I graduated with my Bachelors degree. I had taken student loans to help me survive. My personal assets were cashed in to pay my mothers way(everything in cash!). I came away with less than $25,000.00 in student loans. Due to caring for my aged mom, and working toward my goal of elementary school teacher, I was unable to pay on my student loans. I went further into debt trying to take care of my mom, myself and what little I could do for my daughters. Today, June 5, 2009, I am currently filling out bankruptsy paper work. Though I am employed, working two jobs, I cannot pay off my debt. It is depressing and I feel like a failure to my own self. My mother passed away two years ago, and I most recently finished paying off her debt. Now, I turn attention toward myself. It is challenging to crawl out of a deep financial pit. But I'm proud of the debt I created for myself. I earned my degree, I'm on my way to becoming a state certified teacher, and I've become healthy again. I say, forgive the student loans of those who went back to school at a more seasoned age because of necessity. My daughter, who is 29 yrs old. calculated that I would have my debts(not including my student loans) paid off by the time I reached 65 yrs old. I do not mind paying on my student loans, but with the acquired debt while caring for my mother, this is what has made finances a hardship for me. I would love some help in some way of reducing my student loans, but not altogether eleminated. Just wanted to share my thoughts thats all.

Heather

June 9, 2009 3:22 PM

I am a graduated college student who has more than $75 thousand dollars in student debts. I graduated more than 3 years ago and my major is basically useless because I have to pass a certification test to even put certain letters behind my name or to get a job in my field of study.... I have been struggling working a $9 an hour job, trying to save money even to take the test again, and juggling credit cards bills and student loan payments....I am recently defaulted on a couple of them because of the economy, its hard to get ahead...what irks me the most is that President Obama is bailing out these big companies, taking his wife out on the town for $25 thousand doll

Joseph

June 10, 2009 6:50 PM

All I hear is the self needs of those that would benefit from this lesson on irresponsibility. No one forced you to get this debt, this was your choice. You need to figure a way to pay that debt, and not rely on the government. What are we teaching our children, and what are the standards that are being set. Who pays for you debt? It will be the tax payers and your children’s children. It is a sad day to see the greed and corruption not only within the political parties, but within the people as well. I have lost the faith in the people of America. When our economy can no longer sustain all these bailout, what do you think is going to happen? Do you even care? Can you even look past your own sorrows to see what we are heading toward?

miki

June 11, 2009 6:10 PM

This would be a great idea. It would show the people that we are supported to obtain higher education. A lot of us our struggling to pay student loans and mortgages.

Susan

June 11, 2009 6:36 PM

I, too, paid off my student loans and agree with the people who are opposed to this wealthy attorney's proposed giveaway. It is incorrect to state that in the 60s and 70s that we all got grants because we did not. By the time a finished college and graduate school I had signficant debt (equal to two years salary at the time) which I paid off over the next 11 years - and at a salary that was a joke by today's standards. I did not have a car in college, my first car after college was a used Chevy with a dent, not a
BMW, no spring break trips to Mexico (or anywhere else either), no cell phone, no binge drinking parties, no IPOD, no designer jeans, I lived in an apartment until I was 29 and my first home was a one bedroom condo, not a four bedroom house which seems to be the current "have to have by 25 or I'll just die". This giveaway seems to be a continuation of the ridiculous philosophy currently in fashion that kids all get awards for playing soccer, parents go ballistic when their child is reprimanded for bad behavior at school, no one should have to STRIVE TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS. Well, I'm getting ready to retire in a couple of years, I own my home and my car, and invested and saved for a comfortable retirement. It is the outcome of working, planning, being responsible for myself and never expecting "the other guy" to pay my freight.

amy

June 11, 2009 6:45 PM

There are great points to be made on both sides of this argument. The problem is that when you are trying so desperately to finish a degree, that you think is going to get you a good paying job, sometimes the debt does sneak up on you. I have a new useless Masters degree, that thanks to the governments perspective that money should be spent bailing out companies that could not balance a regular checkbook let alone a corporate one rather than education or mental health, that has left me jobless and in debt. So what am I doing ---staying in school until I am 90 at this rate to keep my loans in deferment.
It is a sick cycle that I can't seem to find a way out of and I am sure others can't either. Bright side I will be very educated by the time I kick the bucket.

amy

June 11, 2009 6:45 PM

There are great points to be made on both sides of this argument. The problem is that when you are trying so desperately to finish a degree, that you think is going to get you a good paying job, sometimes the debt does sneak up on you. I have a new useless Masters degree, that thanks to the governments perspective that money should be spent bailing out companies that could not balance a regular checkbook let alone a corporate one rather than education or mental health, that has left me jobless and in debt. So what am I doing ---staying in school until I am 90 at this rate to keep my loans in deferment.
It is a sick cycle that I can't seem to find a way out of and I am sure others can't either. Bright side I will be very educated by the time I kick the bucket.

amy

June 11, 2009 6:45 PM

There are great points to be made on both sides of this argument. The problem is that when you are trying so desperately to finish a degree, that you think is going to get you a good paying job, sometimes the debt does sneak up on you. I have a new useless Masters degree, that thanks to the governments perspective that money should be spent bailing out companies that could not balance a regular checkbook let alone a corporate one rather than education or mental health, that has left me jobless and in debt. So what am I doing ---staying in school until I am 90 at this rate to keep my loans in deferment.
It is a sick cycle that I can't seem to find a way out of and I am sure others can't either. Bright side I will be very educated by the time I kick the bucket.

Christy

June 11, 2009 9:40 PM

Sometimes I feel like my student loans will never get paid off and I only have a two year associates degree. I graduated from college in 2001. I was a single mother of two children and after all my grants and what not my loans ended up being $9000. Now yes I did go into default cause I had problems trying to find a job to pay enough money to live on and to pay the loans but I worked my butt off to get them out of default and have been paying on them for over 3 years now and I still owe more then what was borrowed because of penelties and what not. I think that if people are making an effort to try and pay the loans then there should be a break in the penelties and interest. I don't mind paying back the money that was borrowed along with some interest but dang by the time I get done I will be paying more then double then what I borrowed. If all the money I have paid in the last three years went toward the principal of the loan it would be more then half way paid off by now. So it is very frustrating.

Robet

June 12, 2009 2:15 AM

It's one thing to take out a student loan to fullfil both a child's, and a parent's, dream of a better life when those less fortunate try to improve their chances at a better life. But when the student loan goes from the initial $20K to over $90K due to interest, capitalised interest and penalties, at 20 & 30% interest? That's when it becomes usery. That's when it becomes government funded and government approved indentured servitude.

Who ever said that slavery was abolished was lying. I'm sure there will be those that will be offended at what I've just said, but try not to be too shocked when they institute Prima Nocte.

aimee

June 14, 2009 3:37 AM

forgiving student loans in many cases is the best thing Obama could even consider- I went back to school to graduate with a bachelors 10 years ago- I had two small children to support (no child support paying dad in the picture) and had to max out most of my loans just to get by-
Now, 10 years later, I have nearly 70k in student debt and not a chance of paying even the minimum payment (960) I make 46k and am married to a man on ssi disability- i have a daughter yet at home- my entire paycheck is gone to housing and transportation not to mention medical bills- paying nearly a grand a month on a student loan payment with over 8 percent interest is not an option- well sure I could pay it if I lived on the street- stopped supporting my husband and child - sold my car (we have 1 old car) and gave every dime I made to the loans- I cannot refi (tried that) and the student loans are not willing to work with a (much) lower payment- so they are not getting paid- there are many people in my predicament and many that would gladly pay their loans if the lender were willing to work with them more than deferrments which do nothing but jack up what you owe by thousands more in interest=a much higher payment- it a joke and yes, we need help

Dee

June 22, 2009 9:14 PM

This is a WONDERFUL IDEA!!! MY SON GRADUATED FROM TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY, WITH A REMAINDING BALANCE OF $11,000; TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY WILL NOT RELEASE HIS DIPLOMA BECAUSE OF HIS BALANCE, HE CAN NOT AFFORD TO PAY THE BALANCE. IF WE AMERICAN DO NOT GET SOME KIND OF HELP WITH THE OUTRAGEOUS COLLEGE TUTITION THERE WILL BE MORE AND MORE KIDS NOT ATTENDING COLLEGE; PLEASE PLEASE PASS THIS BILL TO HELP THOSE THAT ARE TRYING TO ATTEND AND THOSE WHO JUST CAN NOT AFFORD TO PAY THE OUTRAGEOUS COST TO ATTEND COLLEGE.
MY DAUGHTERS AND MYSELF HAVE STUDENT LOANS THAT WE JUST CAN AFFORD TO PAY. HELP!!!!!

Karen

July 7, 2009 10:26 PM

As a recent graduate I definitely agree with this bill. The problem is going to arise when people start abusing this. For example, many students I went to school with had to do community service for PTI, yet they had their friends sign off on it or people they knew with some kind of power. If we can legitimately enforce this and truly make a difference, I think this would rock! And to the post about choosing not to go to Notre Dame because of the price of tuition, I feel you're just jealous of the kids after you that are able to take advantage of something great. I went to USC and only have $15K in debt. On top of that, I voted Republican and still support this!

Karen

July 7, 2009 10:26 PM

As a recent graduate I definitely agree with this bill. The problem is going to arise when people start abusing this. For example, many students I went to school with had to do community service for PTI, yet they had their friends sign off on it or people they knew with some kind of power. If we can legitimately enforce this and truly make a difference, I think this would rock! And to the post about choosing not to go to Notre Dame because of the price of tuition, I feel you're just jealous of the kids after you that are able to take advantage of something great. I went to USC and only have $15K in debt. On top of that, I voted Republican and still support this!

Joeseph

July 8, 2009 4:35 PM

I simply can't keep doing this. Forking over every penny that I make just to keep current on my student loans. I don't mind if I get the well paying career that I went to school for. Even if I was making $30,000 a year. But that is even near impossible to find in my field. I'm living with my inlaws, my wife and I are both working, and we are baredly able to sustain ourselves. We'd love to have kids one day, but we simply can't afford them. How pathetic is that!

billy

July 8, 2009 4:38 PM

This bill is great! I think it should pass with the requirement that if an individual is place with in the industry of his course of study for more than 1 year, his student loans are reinstated.

I have no problem paying off my student loans, if I am able to find a well paying career in the industry that I went to school for. But when your investment doesn't pay off, what is one to do? It's not like you can just give your degree back to the school and tell them to cram it.

Brandon

July 9, 2009 2:32 AM

Finally, someone got to see the big picture!! If you bail out the future, the present will get better. We all went to school to do big things in life, but everything comes to a halt when we graduate and cant even find a job in our field of study. I have over $22K in undergrad loans, and $14k SO FAR in grad loans. Americas future is more in debt than they think.

Citizen Jerrold Bey

July 14, 2009 9:10 PM

Have attempted since 1984 to repay student loans-even while a prisoner in the California penal system. At this point in my life I am a broken, homeless, sixty-year old saddled with a
$43,000 dollar debt. I cannot collect income tax, or have credits transferred
between schools. The present repayment
programs mean I would have to work until
I am 100 years old.Help me with this nightmare President Obama.

Trev

July 15, 2009 8:54 PM

This sounds like an excellent plan, but I am a bit weary of people possibly trying to abuse such a student loan forgiveness system. I feel that the government needs to enact community service programs as a way to encourage students to perform good deeds and receive student loan forgiveness. The Peace Corps is an excellent program, but it needs to allow for much more student loan forgiveness on the wide range of government educational loan programs.

I disagree with some comments stating that people are in debt due to poor judgment--if a student is qualified to attend the top universities in this nation, public or private, they should be able to attend without spending four years worrying about debts. When students are forced to choose between attending world-renowned colleges and mediocre colleges on the basis of money, this nation loses out on tapping into the best and brightest among us because these students must attend colleges that don't challenge them and offer opportunity to reach their fullest potential.

Schools like Harvard are offering full rides to students coming from low-income families. Harvard has an endowment equal to the GDP of a small country. Why is it the US, with all of our resources, cannot 'bail out' high-achieving students?

Trev

July 15, 2009 8:55 PM

This sounds like an excellent plan, but I am a bit weary of people possibly trying to abuse such a student loan forgiveness system. I feel that the government needs to enact community service programs as a way to encourage students to perform good deeds and receive student loan forgiveness. The Peace Corps is an excellent program, but it needs to allow for much more student loan forgiveness on the wide range of government educational loan programs.

I disagree with some comments stating that people are in debt due to poor judgment--if a student is qualified to attend the top universities in this nation, public or private, they should be able to attend without spending four years worrying about debts. When students are forced to choose between attending world-renowned colleges and mediocre colleges on the basis of money, this nation loses out on tapping into the best and brightest among us because these students must attend colleges that don't challenge them and offer opportunity to reach their fullest potential.

Schools like Harvard are offering full rides to students coming from low-income families. Harvard has an endowment equal to the GDP of a small country. Why is it the US, with all of our resources, cannot 'bail out' high-achieving students?

Sam

July 17, 2009 3:32 AM

I graduated with my BSBA a year ago from a private 4 year school and left with 100,000 in debt.(The interest I acrrued on this loan just KILLS me). On a positive note I make a decent salary for just graduating and I owe that to my private school. Although if I had been offered even just a small scholarship to go to a state school you bet I would have attended. However- I was offered generous grants to attend my private school- which at the time was 35,000 per year- Now over 40,000!

It was clear that the education and networking I could obtain from this private school was the best decision as far as investing in my future for just pennies more then a state school. I don't appreciate the comments regarding choosing a state school over a private because of better money mgmt or b/c it the hardworking "thing to do". I not only was a full time college athelete but I also worked 20 hours week. That went towards basic living. I feel bad for the person who gave up Notre Dame and couldn't find finicial relief through scholarships which at that level of intelligence I would think you could?

I typically get anxious with that massive bill comming at the end of the month-- I mean three. But I can't forget where it will take me someday. With that being said I feel that if someone wants to perservere and really make the most of there career then they should be willing to pay for what you recieve. However with the price to mke something of yourself these days I don't know how much longer I can stand by my original theory. Im sickened by my debt.

If this bail out system is put into place it Better consider not only current students but students that are in massive amounts of debt now. Furthermore students that have already endured the living with this debt.

grrrr

July 27, 2009 7:10 PM

I have student loan debt from the mid nineties. I have enough of it that it prohibits me from personally "stimulating" the economy on the daily. It is taking much longer than I ever anticipated to pay it back. Life happens! That all said, this forgiveness plan concept is just plain WRONG. Perhaps a plan where people can apply weekly volunteer hours or something like that to help size it down, perhaps caps on interest, limiting late fees etc would help but total forgiveness? that's why our country is hurting right now. essentially promoting lack of personal responsibility. welcome to the real world: you take on a debt, you PAY IT BACK.

Ann

August 2, 2009 12:29 AM

I owe a total of 26,000 and I have a Masters Degree. I could use some direction. My husband became disabled during the last year of my grad work, thank God I was able to complete my degree but an issue that I am faced with is 18,500 of my debt came from a stipend that I entered a contract stating I would work for a year after graduation in my field. I need to be home with him and my three children but may be faced with having to pay this money back due to the inability to secure a job according to what the contract stipulates. Does anyone have any suggestions??

The Devil's advocate ^_-

August 17, 2009 9:15 PM

It seems that many are willing to begrudge others the benefit of tuition assistance because they wouldn't have them. That's sad. :(

I applaud those who have completed their education with little or no debt. But many of us worked more than one full time job, went to school full time, and attended a public school (like myself) but are still in debt. Further, our "good jobs" aren't quite what they were made out to be, especially with the state of the economy. How is that? To be quite honest, it even baffles me! I did very little besides live and work and study, and there are many others like me, but I digress.

The fact is that this institution is broken. In a society where college is EXPECTED to succeed, why does anyone have to pay? We require high school, and few pay for that (unless they elect for private). While it would be nice for me to benefit from the relief of this substantial burden, I think the most important thing is to enact a change... even if I don't DIRECTLY benefit from it. If the education system continues to head where it's headed, I fear it will be a new version of indentured servitude (if it's not already).

steve

August 30, 2009 11:24 PM

Another great part of a plan like this is that it frees up all of that money that Gen Yers are putting into paying their student loans off every month. That would be millions and millions pumped back into the economy on tings that Gen Yers find important, helping to build the economy of the future.

barb davis

September 30, 2009 5:42 PM

I would like very much to take advantage of the loan forginess program. this is a loan that was taken out 17years ago. at that time i had a young
child because i was not working I could not pay off the loan. i found work
after awhile and when i file my taxes it was taken that happen for six years
i figure my taxis was paid in full. i just heard from them again i do not owe
the gov. nothing. those checks where 2,500.00each. the loan was only for 3,500.00dollars. Would you please give me an 800# where i can get information in order to resulve this matter. thank you.
distress in nm

Kelly Lewis

October 13, 2009 9:24 PM

I can't pay my student loans for my wife has MS and cannot work. She's on disability but our medical bills our over 500.00 per month. Their's no way I can pay them and not take care of my wife. I think something needs to be done before people like me and thousands of others who are just trying to better their lives are sunk!!

Struggling to Get ot of Default

October 15, 2009 5:26 AM

While the idea of bailing out people who over borrowed and overextended by taking out excessive loans causes resentment, if you listen to these stories and really delve into the workings of student loan industry, you will realize how impossible it can be to get your head above water and begin to repay your loans if, for whatever reason, you or your child have not been able to capitalize on the education you borrowed for.

There is so much wrong with this broken student loan system and there are so many basically good citizens driven into impossible, unrelenting debt without any recourse, that a massive overhaul simply must happen. I think it's worse than the mortgage crisis, especially because we didn't borrow simply to buy a bigger house than we could afford, yet there's no relief in bankruptcy. Moreover, compounded interest rates on student loans are fixed at high percentages that don't match our economy and are heaped on to original loans without any chance for adjustment. You just don't expect that you will be one of the unfortunate people who can't meet your obligations until it happens to you.

I really commend all those of you who worked very hard to pay back your student loans, but the very same tragedies, such as death, divorce, health crises, disability, hospital bills, unemployment and business failures that cause some to become bankrupt have hit some of us holding student loans. There are so many people with legitimately terrible circumstances that have made long term on time repayment impossible despite the structured forbearance periods, etc (in which you still rack up interest) . and so many thousands more who are barely able to meet the really high payments, yet some of the posters here on this blog seem to assume that the hundreds of thousands of us who ask the Department of Ed and our private lenders for relief but are getting none are all a bunch of undeserving cheats. It's not a few deadbeat individuals that are the problem, its a whole out of balance system in which people can't pay back these loans that is the bubble that's about to burst here.

I myself couldn't find employment upon graduation and then had some periods of forbearance until they were used up as I struggled through taking whatever jobs I could find, paying off my private student loan, and the unexpected loss of my partner and death of my whole family within a several year period in which I defaulted twice.

Now I am alone, unemployed again, and despite paying and having salary and tax refunds garnished for several years, am over $100,000 in student loan debt when I only borrowed 29,000 to fund my graduate education. Similar story, a friend of mine, who fell behind when his uninsured wife was diagnosed with a serious but not fatal illness many years ago after both borrowing for what they thought would be good careers.

I want to work, I want to repair my credit, I want to get back on track to be able to get a car or a house loan and to be a self sufficient contributor to society rather than a leech, but I can't make the $950 per month payments for the next twenty years or whatever that are required.

Wouldn't it be better for us all to let me work out a payment plan such as debtors can do in bankruptcy, write off interest and penalties and let me pay back the principal that I borrowed, rewrite the loan such as mortgagors are now doing, or to have congress either forgive my loan or grant student loan amnesty payback at a very low or no interest? I don't expect a magic wand to be waived and poof my debt is gone, but for myself and for others in this horrible circumstance, merely a way to reorganize debt and get a fresh start seems reasonable.

By the way, some of my fellow job seekers are telling me that some employers are beginning to summarily reject any applicants with student loan problems on their credit report. Great. Meanwhile AIG giving out another 198 million in executive bonuses from taxpayer bailout money reported in the news today

Sam

November 8, 2009 10:51 PM

I owe well over 150k in loans and i'll be paying this back for probably the next 15 years. it's miserable and discomforting. just wait until taxes go up too post stimulus/healthcare bill... that'll be just awesome!

Desiree

December 12, 2009 1:14 PM

I owe 35k in loans if I only make the minimum payments that were set it would cost me close to 80k because of the interest.

I initially went to a 2 year State college in Indiana to receive my AAS degree. This school advertised being accredited.

In my last quarter of the 2 yr program 4 of us decided we were going to continue on with the bachelors program at Indiana University, since the programs were alike with the exception of two courses and the fact the instructors taught at both locations.

One morning after class we drove over to the university and explained we were graduating at the end of the month and wanted to transfer over to their BA program.

The registration clerk said that's great but we may need to pick up one or two more classes; as she got up from her chair she ask to see the copy of the transcript we brought to better assist us,when she looked at the transcript that's when (LIFE)stepped in.

The Nursing and Business programs were the only two at that time was really accredited, all the others were not.

We went to the dean to voice our complaints that we had been lied to and the degree was of no good;all we got was an excuse,(I thought your advisor/ instructors informed everyone that was in electronics program).

Here we stand with (2)two remaining classes from graduation with a worthless degree.

We tried to fight but the bottom line is the school never stated the electronic's program was accredited just the college. Let's called this (The unforseen debt),of $19,000 was no fault of mine.

So now I starting back at ground zero with an empty education and a $19,000 debt. After that experience there was no way I would attend another local venue.

Fast forward since then I have been back to college twice graduated with a 3.85 GPA. to better my situation again like mos.

However; after graduation I landed a new & better job and this employer offers student loan repayment for two years in return for guaranteed service; which lessens what I owe.

Let me inject here due to a situations I still don't understand to this day,left me without monetary funds for 8 months.

I was transfering from one agency to another. Some how my records fell through the cracks; I waited until the 5 1/2 mark and then I submitted a claim because they original organization would not forward my records in a timely fashion so I was employed but didn't have a job. The claim was denied
reason given it was my decision to take the other offer. All true;however I was trying to sustain while they were playing games.

In the meantime the debt-is growing.

I didn't mean to be so long but I had to say all of that to say this the one's that is so adamant against the government forgiving the student loan debt to those who is literally drowing not only in the student loan debt but life itself; I have to say unless you have experienced what they are going through let's not compare ourselves with each other.

For those who mentioned they don't agree with the government forgiving the debt, because they chose to stay home and attend a local institution;let me ask you did you pay rent, or take care of a family, etc with out any support from family or friends?

Also you have to remember some of these people were actually doing fine and in a local learning institution, and then they received a notice same day we have to let you go without warning. These are people that have people depending on them. Is it there fault wall street bellied up. Were any of you single with taking care the elderly or children, all;by yourself wen you worked so hard to pay your loan off (NOT).What about making a choice to clothe & feed them-and sure they had medicine when there was no medical insurance, because your employer didn't offer it.

Or have any of you had to deplete your savings to take care of a love one or foot the entire funeral bill because they didn't have enough coverage while you worked so hard to pay off your debt.(Don't think so because if you ever you would have some compassion)

Every university is having is having claims filed against them by those that are still attending it is a nation wide problem. One last question to those who is against the government forgiving the debt. If they went across the board and forgave everyone 50% of what is owed which if you have already paid they would reimburse you 50% of your money.

You are trying to tell me that you are going to say no thanks uncle sam, I signed to pay x amount of dollars and I take responsibility for what I aggreed to, so don't send me the refund. Really!!!

I really want to emphasize, I am not coming down on those who are against the government possibly forgiving the debt one day, in fact I truly applaude them. I too have work 2& 3 jobs at a time working while working full time and going to school full time, that is no life.

Nor am I defending those who never attempted to pay there loans off.

I just want you all to see life is not black and white it's gray.75% of student loan debts are due to unforseen circumstances and majority of the75% does not represent the
traditional 17-21 student.


Some said they are okay with the forgiving but were afraid if the bill would pass some would abuse/misue it's attent.

As long as man breathes expect abuse & misuse; you cannot change what has been since the begining of time. This is why we are blogging here today.

I will leave you with this thought:

We(the people)are indeed the government you may not think so but we are. "You don't want to help your self?"

Some said they are okay with the forgiving but were afraid if the bill would pass some would abuse/misue it's attent.

As long as man breathes expect abuse & misuse; you cannot change what has been since the begining of time. This is why we are blogging here today.

Please don't be offended I am speaking from both sides of the track.

EXPERIENCE.

Highly Educated and High in Debt

January 5, 2010 1:27 AM

I would LOVE debt forgiveness or even some sort of income tax break. How awesome would it be to live without debt hanging over my head! I would finally be able to save some of what I earn and maybe be able to enjoy life a little.

I don't get all the chiding comments from people against debt forgiveness. I'm not asking for a hand-out, just a leg up. Not everyone's situation is the same. Maybe a $20,000 education worked for you, but many degree programs in other fields just cost more. Period.

You get what you pay for. I did the "responsible thing" and went to a state university, graduated debt-free but my undergrad hadn't properly prepared me for a career in design. The only job I could get paid a pathetic $19,000 a year and I was stuck living with my parents.

I decided to better my situation with an MFA. This time I picked schools based on job recruitment and successful portfolios. Most MFA degree programs don't offer grants or fellowships so I had to go with loans. My education at Academy of Art University was not a walk in the park. No sleep, hard critiques, and tough instructors but I got a lot out of it. I graduated in 2007 with a great portfolio... and $82,000 in loan debt.

I got a nice job 6 months after graduation that pays $50,000 a year (before tax). This would be great but San Francisco has a very high cost of living. I don't own a car. I take the bus. I live in a small, studio apartment in a sketchy neighborhood to avoid paying for the train and to be close to work. Even after renegotiating my rent last year, rent is insane.

Together with all other living expenses I'm barely paying off my loan. I couldn't even fly home for the holidays to see my folks this year. I'm a responsible person so I spoke to a financial advisor and they told me that I should pay $1000 a month to pay off the loan in 5 years. That's just not realistic!!!

I am good at my job and grateful for it. I want to ask for a raise but with the economy in the state it's in I'll never get it. I AM paying off my loans but the effort is killing me.

J.D.

January 25, 2010 6:31 PM

I am just another in the list of people commenting here with high debt and a high level of education. I am a recent graduate and I am grateful for my education. If I had known then what I know now I might not have gone to law school, but that ship has sailed and we must move forward. I hope that my degree will eventually pay off for me...only time will tell.

Due to the times, I am a J.D. working as an independent contractor. I pay my own health insurance, SS, etc. all because these times are hard and it is financially beneficial to my employer. I understand their position, but after looking for 'real' work for a year while waitressing and living with my parents, I'm not really in a position to demand better treatment. Few people these days can just go get a new job if they aren't making enough or are in an undesirable setting.

I want people out there to understand that those of us that support loan forgiveness are not looking for a hand out. I applaud those who were able to manage going to school without acquiring debt. That is, frankly, not an option for everyone, nor is simply choosing not to go. College is pretty much a requirement for professionally minded youth.

Please recognize that I have every hope and desire to pay off what I owe, but the reality is that I'm not sure if it can be done and still live. I am in economic hardship deferment with the hope that I am able to arrange my budget so that when I get higher rate loans paid off I can start payment on the rest. I am juggling, as are many, to honor their commitments and make a life. It makes me sick to see people take the righteous position, denying a legitimate policy option, because 'they didn't get any help so why should anyone else.'

Where is your sense of community? Where is your greater vision for economic progress? Do us all a favor and keep your sensibilities of building personal responsibility to those who aren't working their tails off and still not making it. If you happen to be one of those who are making it, good for you, and feel free to embrace policy decisions that will aid others in joining you!

Tired of paying for you

January 26, 2010 8:13 PM

How about this Gen "Y"ers? Instead of getting a free handout on someone elses work, how about you live up to the promise you made when you signed the loan document which provided you the education you need to earn a living. I PAID my student loan back WITH interest. Now, money gets taken out of my paycheck to pay for you! You're not my family. I have a family I try to support with the little that's left over after this out-of-control gov't takes it more than fair share to bailout the likes of you.

Hispanic Girl

February 4, 2010 7:35 AM

I believe it’s a great idea. I come from a Hispanic family my dad works in the field and makes $10 dollars an hour I work and make $12 an hour. I work part time and go to school part time. I borrowed 40,000 from Well Fargo connection loan. I commute one hour to school because I can’t afford tuition and living on my own near school rent is super high even if you stay on campus. I didn’t qualify for anything because I am part time student. I can’t be full time because I have to work and help out my dad with the bills and his medications. I just found out I owe 60,000. My dad can’t co-sigh the loan because he does not make enough or anyone I know what am I suppose to do. I was I suppose to put gas in my car, pay car insurance, medical bills and money. I need a computer, internet, cell phone, And books for school. I have a credit of 600 but I still can consulate my loan. Wells Fargo screws you over. Never get a connection loan. I plan to pay it off but how?

Krinken

February 4, 2010 8:12 PM

There are those who would criticize people with student loan debt. However consider that the educated class produces most of the resources and tax base. Imagine not having computers, modern medicine, iPods, the Internet, or the security of an advanced military. It is easy to assume people with mounting student loan debt made a bad choice or spent too much on college. Keep in mind academics have the lowest anti-social, or amoral tendencies of any measurable group. Also keep in mind financial aid limits the amount a full time student can work so the loans are needed just for living expenses. How much would you need to live for 4 years (rent, food, cloths etc...). $40,000 can easily balloon into over $100,000 in a decade even if you are making payments. Most students would never apply for the student loans if the interest and fees were properly explained. Most students would never apply for the student loans they knew they were giving up all consumer rights. Most students would never apply for the student loans if they knew how corrupt the system of lending is. Most students would never apply for the student loans if they knew there are no workable fail safes. Most students would never apply for the student loans if they knew they would be lied to and lead astray. Most people would not choose to be in debt until there were dead. Before passing judgment or writing this off imagine having to physically go the DMV every day and pay some fines; that is what it is like to be caught in the student loan sinkhole.

4 year degree = the new high school diploma

February 13, 2010 2:13 AM

Those that played by the rules should not have to pay for other people's stupid mistakes such as taking on too much unsecured debt with a worthless 4 year degree. Grow up. Pay what you owe. Did you really think that taking on thousands of dollars of student debt was a great idea? Now my taxes and hard work have to come to the rescue to fund entitlements like this. Everyone can't put on a suit and tie for work regardless of the amount of education that is handed out. Who is going to actually do the "work" of America if we all become highly educated professionals? Someone has to dig ditches.

Bill Smith

February 21, 2010 5:27 PM

Yet another welfare program.

Aaron

February 23, 2010 3:28 PM

I THINK THIS IS HORRIBLE!!!!!!!
Simple economics people.

Since we know tuition prices are not rising due to operating costs. Then they must be rising due to the ability of the consumer to pay, it doesn't matter that they cannot afford it, everyone has the ability to sign their life away with debt slavery. The government backing student loans is FREE money to the schools and will increase tuition prices further, because more people will be using it.

And on the other side, every student who was responsible with their debt and chose local school will now be paying for their peers education with their tax dollars.
What are you all thinking? Do you want economic suicide?

Marie

March 13, 2010 3:26 AM

Attending school is a choice. No one forced someone to go to a high dollar school. I can see forgiving medical expenses but absolutely cannot see forgiving college tuition. I have student debt and this encourages me NOT to pay my debt. Why not just leave it outstanding so I can get some free money? Man, I wish I would have taken out more rather than working my butt off and sacrificing things like a buying a house. I don't really think this is the attitude America wants citizens to have in this country.

Mike

March 20, 2010 8:37 AM

Us recent graduates are apart of the biggest "money heist" ever! We simply signed a promissory note that stated "you will be a slave for life" bc the money you are accepting is money that will never be able to pay back!

Tracy

March 28, 2010 6:57 PM

"Us recent graduates"?? Wow, I do HOPE that wasn't an English degree you claim you can't pay off, Mike! Somehow, I really don't believe that is what your loan contract said. Did you bother to read what you were signing, or were you too 'busy' to do that? And you people should be 'bailed out' just WHY?? Isn't this country financially irresponsible enough already, without these stupid 'rescue' plans which will REWARD people who didn't think BEFORE they signed those contracts, thus ENCOURAGING more & more people to stop paying off their loans?? This country is going down the drain 'excusing' all of you people who whine: "Wahhhh - it's not fair I can't have everything I want when I want it!" Economic train-wreck, here we come!

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