Quantcast

Hansen Clarke: Congressman Introduces The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012

Share your college loan debt story with us?

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:
<
[ Life]

Student loan forgiveness is a hot button issue in America right now and there are many voices on each side. One side believes that given the state of the economy and the vanishing of middle class job opportunities, we need to shift towards a more forgiving approach such as loan forgiveness or Income Based Repayment (IBR). On the other side you have people who believe that students should be able to pay back their debt and be responsible despite oppressive external factors.

Here are some not so fun facts from the U.S. News Student Loans Ranger blog about student loans and the necessity of going into debt to function as an American citizen:

Total outstanding student loan debt officially surpassed total credit card debt in the United States in 2010, and is on track to exceed $1,000,000,000,000 during 2012.

Excessive student loan debt is impeding economic growth in the United States. Faced with excessive repayment burdens, many individuals are unable to start businesses, invest, or buy homes.

Because of soaring tuition costs, students often have no choice but to amass significant debt to obtain an education that is widely considered a prerequisite for earning a living wage.

On March 8, Congressman Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) introduced H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012.

Clarke exclaimed that the bill, “provides that if a student loan borrower makes payments equal to 10% of their discretionary income for a period of ten years the balance of their federal student loan debt will be forgiven. This provides student loan borrowers with a second chance for those who have been struggling financially and by cutting this debt to freeze up the money to invest on that will create new jobs across the country.”

The congressman had the House’s full attention as he passionately stated, “It’s time for congress to stand for the rights of student loan borrowers. It’s time to forgive student loan debts.”

Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the fact remains that student loan debt has been destroying an entire generation: “an entire “lost generation” is not starting families, buying cars, getting mortgages or otherwise contributing economically in the ways previous generations did. And by all accounts, the problem is actually way worse than even shrill news reports indicate- young people are drowning in a sea of debt before they ever have a chance to pay back the first cent.”

If the bill is passed interest would be capped at 3.4%, half of what it is currently, and would go into effect later this year.

It is thought that this bill would still hold borrowers responsible to pay back their loans and create opportunities for the 25-40 crowd to stimulate the economy.

Besides, if the economy really is getting better and the elusive good paying jobs resurface, then borrowers will be able to pay back most of their debt, right?

One person who was fortunate enough to receive a full ride is really ticked about the plan and posted on YouTube:

“Wow, good thing I did the responsible thing and got both my degrees on full scholarships. If I’d known about this garbage, I’d have gone to an Ivy. So much for personal responsibility. Maybe I’ll go risk all my savings in stocks I don’t understand. Surely Obama/Bernanke will come to my rescue. Most of us are taught personal responsibility when we’re growing up. Then we get older and realize most of the adults who taught us these values were busy ripping each other off our entire lives.”

But another person fired back after finding this individual to be a bit snooty:

“Lucky you. Lots more of us hardworking folks that had 4.0s all through college, have a decent sum of student loans and pay over 60 percent of our monthly income to student loans highly disagree with you. It’s not like it’s a free ride, it still requires ten years of payment. Please get off your high horse and have some empathy for honest work.”

Where do you stand on the issue? Do you think that most people are capable of finding good paying jobs to pay back their debt without reforms such as this one? Do you have a personal story that you would like to share?

Hansen Clarke: Congressman Introduces The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • mary mac

    I think the point that is important to point out is that college tuition is continuing to increase every year, while the economy and high-paying jobs are decreasing. In generations before us, there wasnt a need for loan forgiveness and educational debt relief because there were higher paying jobs and college tuition was significantly less expensive. I think the person touting they were “responsible” to get full scholarships is offensive and is extremely privelaged. Clearly, they dont have the perspective that full scholarships are rare and competitive. I was lucky enough to have a full presidential scholarship for my undergrad, but finding full scholarships for my Master’s degree was difficult because there are so many sub-specialties out there and their are less scholarship programs to fund professional master’s degree programs. I accrued over $35K in debt and I “responsibly” pay my debt with my full-time public service job. My husband is also a public school job and is sadly underpaid. We do our jobs with integrity and passion and we struggle to save enough money to buy a home or to feel comfortable starting a family. If I were able to get my loan forgiven than the $600/month I put toward that could go toward improving the economy. I take full responsibility for my loans and plan to pay every dime, but I realize that there are a lot of individuals out there who dont have the ability to afford their loan payments. My husband as a middle school public school spanish teacher would be one of those people if we didnt live on two incomes. It is sad state when the teachers who are teaching our children cant afford to pay for their own education.

    • Roseanne Brumit

      Help! I took out student loans. Worked for a year and a half, and then was injured on the job. My injuries were so severe that I ended up on Social Security. I have letters from doctors, psychiatrists and vocational rehabilitation saying that I am permanently and totally disabled. My primary care doctor filled out the paperwork twice for Total Permanent Disability and was rejected twice, so he refused to fill the paperwork out again. I am trying to find a doctor that will fill out the paperwork and am being treated like a “leper” finding out that no one wants to deal with me. Please help me??!!!!

  • Bill D

    All I know is that I will not be having kids, buying a home, or buying much of anything discretionary for that matter for the next 30 years thanks to my $120k of federal direct student loans with 6% interest (which comes out to about $800 a month). Personally, I don’t believe that the average 18-21 year old has enough financial experience to understand what they are giving away, in terms of their financial future, by signing-up for onerous student loans…I know I sure didn’t. Without some sort of interest reduction, forgiveness, significant wage inflation, or hitting the lottery, you can count me out as a consumer for the next three decades…at which time I will likely have no savings/retirement, no assets, and probably no Social Security at the rate things are going. You think the recession was bad…just wait.

    • http://webpronews.com Tom Tom

      I am a single parent over 45 who has worked since the age of 15 and was always told that education will open doors of opportunity for you. So during a terrible divorce, I had to do what I thought would be best for my child and I. I stayed enrolled in school graduated received a BA and later an MBA. Needless to say, I make less now with the degrees than I did without them and I work 2 jobs. If I knew then what I know now, I would never gone back to school. My debt is over $150,000 and I make 1/5 of that. My mother is disabled, over 65 and the government is still taking her student loan payments out of her social security. I don’t advise anyone to attend college now there is no guarantee for good job. And in the long run if you are plagued with student loan debt before you can get a job that is decent enough to allow you to live and pay your debt; the stress will wear you out and depression will follow.

      • Susan

        I’ve worked in underserved communities for over 8 years and thought that I would be eligible for loan forgiveness (or at least a reduction in the total amount owed = $138,000). Howeverm when I called to inquire, I was told that I “make too much money”. Despite an annual salary of $125,000, student loan payments = $800 month. A loan forgiveness would be welcome and well-deserved. What would I do with this income? Probably buy a small and modest home (the American dream that I’ve never been able to afford), and save for retirement (I’m 50 years old).

  • christopher fiesel

    I have been paying on a $43,411.77 student loan since 10/14/96 with an interest rate of 8.0%. I have been making a monthly payment of $387.31 since that time which translates into 185 payments for a total of $71,652.35. I currently have a balance of $36,310.66.

    This loan was for a masters degree, allowing me to secure a higher paying position. I have worked steadily in non-profit public services for over 12 years, and will have worked for the State of Oklahoma for 10 years this May. Both positions were as either a programs manager for child abuse and abuse prevention or as a regional director or executive director providing public service presentations at schools and child care facilities.

    My comment is that having repaid my original loan plus an additional 60% and having only paid approx. 17% of the original loan, I will never pay off this debt. I was originally told by Oklahoma City University that the loan would be for 12 years. I did not understand that the interest rate would be relative to the current outstanding balance, not computed as a finite amount based on the original principle.
    I am 61 years old and will probably not be able to retire due to this debt. Any help with forgiveness options would be appreciated. If you need official documentation of what I’ve described, I would be glad to submit.

    • christopher fiesel

      By the way, to the fellow above who “did the responsible thing” by getting a free ride, I graduated with honors at a 4.0 in my masters program. There was no consideration of forgiveness of my loan because of that. Also, througout the years, I’ve tried to at least negotiate a lower interest rate and was shuffled back and forth between the U.S. Dept. of Ed. and the bank through which I secured my loan, each one pointing to the other as the entity responsible for negotiating some sort of reduction or forgiveness. I obviously had no success with either.

    • mary mac

      are these federal loans? If so you would probably qualify for public service loan forgiveness program at this point. You only have to pay 120 payments to qaulify and work in public, non-profit sector

      • christopher fiesel

        Mary Mac, how does one get information about this? I have had two banks own my loan, and it is now with Sallie Mae. I have written to them but they appear reluctant to help me settle this cash cow account, and have not responded with any information on what you’ve suggested. I have heard there was assistnce for having worked as I have in public service, but no one seems to be willing or able to provide direction. Any help would be appreciate.

        • Russell Becker

          The forestated public service forgiveness isn’t really forgiveness. I work in federal law enforcement and did some research to figure out how to relieve my student loan debt. According to the rules stated at the exit interview for my Stafford Federal loans and subsequent laws passed since that time, I must pay for 10 years (120 payments) starting after October 2007 for the public service provision to take effect. Since I have been paying starting in 2000, this doesn’t help me as I will have finished paying off my loans before 10/31/2017. Also, all your loans must be consolidated through Direct Loans. Perkins Loans are considerably different, but they are usually not for the larger amounts necessary for grad. school or even four years of undergrad.

          • Christopher Fiesel

            Thanks for information, Russel. Apparently I still have another 5 years of payments according to your information. Where would I go to get the information you provided. As I mentioned, Sallie Mae appears to be reluctant to give out information that might result in them losing the cash cow my loan represents.

  • Dale E. Francis

    My 90 year old wheelchair bound father passed away on December 17, 2011. I have cared for him for the past 11 years in my home. Meanwhile, my student debts have been deferred (thank God), but I am now struggling with trying to support myself and, with the economy in the position it’s in, I just can’t make it. Student loan debts in this day and economy should be forgiven.

  • http://shinobu-kokoro.livejournal.com/ cherbear

    This story describes the situation I am in perfectly. I did the so-called right thing went to college and even spent time in graduate school, and where did all my years of education and even studying abroad get me? Nowhere absolutely nowhere. In fact the only job I have been able to get is a part-time minimum wage job without any benefits. A job that doesn’t even require a high school education is all I have been able to get. Yes, I too am now stuck with this tremendous student loan debt that I will probably never be able to pay back.

    As the guy said in the video lenders are essentially loan sharks they hound you constantly even if you tell them that you are unemployed or cannot make the payments. They do not care all they want is money that you do not have.

    I plan on outsourcing myself. What I mean is that I plan on moving to another country and finding work. This is absolutely absurd that a person like myself who is educated and has a squeaky-clean background cannot simply find a job that at least requires a college education. I am not trying to find a fulfilling life-long career that dream ended the day I graduated college and began looking for a job. I am going to work overseas probably teaching English in Asia or something. At least I know that they will hire because all you need is a degree and a clean background.

    I cannot sit around waiting for more rejection emails and no responses for the hundreds of jobs that I have applied too.

    I think its really sad and pathetic how we as a society reward so-called celebrities and these trashy reality-stars with millions of dollars for their trashiness and subjective talent, but yet people like myself who are out here trying to make an honest living and go and do the right thing get crapped on. We cannot find work and as the video said cannot afford to buy a home, get a decent car or make a living because this job crisis.

    It’s just sad that there seems to be more opportunities in other countries than there are here in our own.

  • Pat D

    I graduated with an Associates Degree in 1982 and a $5,000 student loan debt. It took me 20 years to repay that loan due to economic hardships and the economy. Obviously, an Associates Degree did not provide me with a career, therefore, I worked 2 jobs for many years to support myself & repay my debt.
    I agree that something should be done to assist people with these debts, but DISAGREE with forgiveness! How about restructuring the loan repayment terms to make monthly payments more affordable & reasonable? How about making college tuition & books more affordable to reduce the amount of money that students are forced to borrow?

    • Jeff

      sure – make them more reasonable – sign them for life – what maybe over 50 years to make them reasonable?

    • j

      5000.00? 1982? BIG difference to what students are required to pay now. Seriously, people are struggling to repay thier loan when they’re getting paid minimum wage.

  • Adam

    This is what happens when the goverment subsidizes college tuition. Now a college degree is not worth much more than a high school degree was 20 years ago, except for high school was free and college costs $80,000+.

  • Melody

    I think the loans should be interest free and that students should have to pay them back. There are too man career students out there making a living off student aid an student loans. It’s become a steady source of income. I have a sibling in her 50′s who says she will take a class every semester so she never has to repay her loans. She hasn’t worked in over 15 years, she is a freeloader and she is not alone. When you say forgive the entire debt, you are telling those of use who pay taxes to the government (that funds those loans) that we’re not going to be repaid. People need to have reachable goals when they go into college and need to work while they’re going to school. Welcome to the real world.

    • Julie

      Melody, May I ask what “real world” you are living in? I am not saying anyone should be given a “free ride”, but many things have changed and tons have jobs that used to exist have been given overseas or depleted. More and more students are dropping out of school all together for fear of not being able to find a job, or at least one that pays enough. As for your example; it os physically impossible for someone to live off of a Stafford loan…they go straight to the college, and Pell Grants cannot exceed just under $6000.00 for an entire year!

    • CM

      but but but… if they dont charge interest, how will the banks exploit student naivete for their own personal profit? That’s the whole point of this industry isn’t it? Boomers lining their yachts with gold and promising their kids and grandkids the same life while they saddle the entire generation with crippling debt so they can die like kings…

      If you dropped interest, sure I’d have no complaint about repaying my principal. 50% of every payment I make goes to interest and by the time I’m done (if I’m alive) I will have paid nearly $200k on a $120k student loan. And I got through undergrad with no debt due to scholarship, all my loans were for a law degree, supposedly a safe one!

      This is such a racket it’s sickening. For every one story you have of a career student leech I’ll give you 20 stories of decent people that thought they were doing the right thing (and were assured by parents, relatives, teachers, counselor, presidents, etc) by going to college and found their dream was a lifelong nightmare of staying one step ahead of the worst creditors this country has seen.

  • Annie Ross

    I am a teacher. I have struggled to make ends meet,after a divorce and raise a child alone. I had to defer payments, which doubled my loan amount. My payments are high despite my salary shrinking. Not everyone makes large salaries. It is an impossible situation.

    • http://webProNews Larry

      I do’nt think the economy has turned around enough at this point in time to say that students can find higher wages and take care of the responsibility of repaying their student loans.There is still much work to be done to improve the economy and put more people to work.It takes a lot more to make it these days with gas
      and food prices continuing to rise.I do’nt think students are asking for total loan forgiveness,I think most just want the opportunity to beable to make decent wages so they can repay their loans.I believe that restructuring loans is a good idea.I would like to see the Department of Education step in and start checking on some of these schools that try to sale you on their school by saying you can afford to attend our school and when you tell them that your just trying to pay your rent and you ca’nt afford to go to school,They try to lay some trip on you like oh your not really serious about attending college.I have had many schools act like money just falls from the sky.A lot of schools hook you up knowing full well that you will struggle with repaying the loans.

  • Enoughisenough

    What ever happened to working your way through college? Where were the parents when the students took out these loans? $120K? Really? And you had no idea how much that actually was? And now you think you’re entitled to my tax dollars? Boo-hoo.

    • Everybody

      Who are your tax dollars entitled to if you don’t mind me asking?

    • christopher fiesel

      You are right in that working your way through college is admirable and preferable. I worked a 40-hour a week job plus a weekend part time job while earning my masters degree. My 2-year coursework was on campus, not a virtual classroom, and accomplished completely at night. The loan was necessary because of the high tuition costs, and the university I went to offered the coursework with a schedule I needed. I anticipated a 12-year repayment, but, as I mentioned, that did not turn out to be the case. Sometimes a loan is necessary even while working.

    • CM

      I was on full scholarship in undergrad and worked 2 jobs anyway. I took out my loans to pay for law school and most law schools, especially top tier ones like the one I attended, don’t even ALLOW you to “work your way through.” So now I have $120k in debt (and that’s after getting half my tuition paid by scholarship) and a supposedly marketable degree from a top notch national law school… still can’t make the payments.

      It’s not the amount owed that’s a problem, it’s the monthly payments and NOBODY in any financial aid office in the country will EVER tell you what your monthly payment will be at graduation. There’s no way to figure it out either, unless you work for one of the lenders. The principal isn’t the issue, it’s the fact that they split the loans up, resell them, alter interest rates, and jack your monthly payment up. $120k over 10-20 years? Doable. A $1300/mo payment before I even make rent or pay utilities? Who can afford that?

    • W T

      Lucky you…You obviously had parents to foot your bill. My parents made too much money for me to qualify for student aid,and would not help me with tuition. As an 18 year old waitress and hotel maid, I could not pay rent, eat and pay for tuition too. It must be nice to have parents give you a free ride. Now I am a public school teacher and without any real raises in years, I can’t repay my loans. Not everyone has had your good fortune, so why are you so bitter. It seems that you were one of the privileged who got to attend college and participate in all of the fun then and now.

  • isacollegegrad

    The situation is a combination of of things. The high cost of college and the lack of responsibility on students and parents. Here’s the reality…If you can’t afford it – you shouldn’t do it. My parents were very very nervous about my student loans and my ability to pay. I received grants and loans and a small amount of $$ from my parents the first year for college. After that…during the summers- I worked 60 hours a week to save $$$ for living expenses (rent, utilities) at school.I graduated 21 years ago when the job market was as bleak as it is today I paid the loans back on in just under 10 years. When I first graduated, my loan payment was equal to one week’s take home pay. I worked hard at jobs that I HATED because I knew I had to pay up. Loan forgiveness is wrong. The banks etc… who took on the debt need to take a haircut on the interest rates. That seems fair to me.

    • CM

      The job market in 1991 was not even close to what it is today. I’m so sick of this garbage from people like you that say “I did it back in the day, so you can do it now.” You were looking for work before Clinton/Bush/NAFTA. You have no idea.

  • http://deleted Enoughisenough

    Everybody: Point well taken.

  • katie S

    I know this is a radical concept but I think public college educations in this country should be free. When my father graduated from college you could go on to have a good career with a high school education. Now there are almost no good paying jobs that will take someone who has not gone to college. If college is a necessity shouldn’t it be a continuation of the public educations system. Private schools would still be there for those who can pay.

    • christopher fiesel

      Well, Katie, nothing is free, nor is anyone “entitled” to a higher education. I went back to school of my own accord knowing it was going to cost me, but that it would pay off with a better chance of landing a higher paying job. (Notice I said “chance” of a better job; I am not entitled to any guarantee of that regardless of my loan cost.)I agree with enoughisenough in that people need to take responsibility for themselves. I have done that, making the mistake of trusting my alma mater’s explanation of the conditions of my loan. I have paid back far in excess of the original principle of my loan, and now want only some relief for the never-ending situation I am in.

  • Daniel Ketchum

    Education from kindergarten to a PhD should be entirely free in this country. If the people in government had any sense at all, they would realize that this would give us the best trained and best equipped workforce in the world. China wouldn’t have a chance.

    • Zonda

      That would be great Daniel. Then we could capture the potential of all those beautiful minds out there that could greatly contribute to society as a whole and add to the productivity that normally wouldn’t get the chance or think they could because of costs.

  • Joe Fotenyots

    Sign the petition:

    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=272847&id=37590-19575745-tL%3DITox&t=2

  • karl

    If your smart enough to go to college and get good grades , then you also should be smart enough to realize the current job market conditions and accept responsability for your student loans , having said that I do agree that they should lower interest rates and restucture the loans so the payments are more affordable .

    • CM

      If YOU’RE smart enough to figure out student loans, you should be smart enough to decode the legal system, so don’t get an attorney to draft your will or review your mortgage or anything, because you can just figure it out, right? Oh, what’s that? Despite your intelligence, you lack the specialized training and knowledge of law school necessary to take that risk? Weird… kinda like how I’m smart enough to have gone to law school and excelled, but I just so happen to lack the specialized training and knowledge to just “figure out” how the financial nuance of one of the most confusing and complicated loan systems ever created would affect me once I passed the bar.

      Oh yeah, the job market for lawyers was very different when I enrolled in 2006. Guess what happened by graduation in 2009? The entire economy collapsed. Only a tony fraction of economists saw that coming… how exactly was I supposed to know those “market conditions”?

  • John K.

    I think this is a sham introduced to help illegal aliens go to college. If you forgive student loans, it will only be passed on to the taxpayer. Instead of forgiving loans, why not lower the cost of college tuition and textbooks and stop paying the liberal “professors” so much to indoctrinate your children?

  • Kevin

    I’m able to make the over $1,500 per month student loan payment between mine and my wife’s loans. We are responsible and pay our debts. No problem there.

    However, the congressman is right about one thing: The money we spend on paying student loan interest prevents us from buying a better house, buying new cars, and spending our money on other things that would benefit the economy. I’m sure there are many of us out there.

  • CollegeStudent

    I think this bill is beneficial to me and all the student that are not bless to have scholarships. I am an African American student that goes to The University of Oklahoma. As a minority I had to take out loans in order for me to receive an education. I figured they’re would be more opportunities for me to receive scholarship being that I graduated from the top of my class in high school and was a minority. The scholarships are very competitive especially if you consider the amount your are applying for. My family income is not large enough for them to pay over $28,000 a year for my education. For people that disapprove of this ACT, I would ask for you to consider yourself in the foot of a person wanting an education, limited to no scholarships, and not having the help of your family to pay tuition. We would still have to pay 10% of our income for 10 years and if I am blessed to have great financial stability then this ACT wouldn’t apply to me. But if its hard making ends meet coming out of college then this would be great for me.

  • CollegeGrad

    Dear “Enoughisenough” stop being ignorant. Many of us college grads who took out these loans to pay for a good education in hopes of having a good life, took them out during a time when interests rates weren’t through the roof. I also think part of the problem is the lack of education that younger kids get regarding financial responsbility. A lot of seniors in high school don’t understand how installment loans even work. Personally I took out my loans in 2005 when my rates were a lot lower, and I did pay some of it back while I was a student. Now they’re close to 100,000 dollars due to interest rates that I don’t control. I’m lucky enough to have a full time, salary paid jobs with benefits, making about 50,000 dollars a year. However, my loan payments are more than half of my disposable income. I do what I can, but asking for close to 2000 a month in loan payments is absolutely ridiculous. I’m not saying BOOHOO PITY ME I didn’t know what I was doing, cause I knew very well what I was doing, I’m not stupid. But there are many external factors that come into play here. I plan on paying back my loans, I don’t expect a free handout, but I do expect that during harsh times these greedy loan companies at least provide income-based payments so that these people who are lucky enough to even have a job can afford them. The workforce is highly competitive, only the best of the best can get jobs now. I’ve heard of college grads getting rejected for maintenance jobs. What kind of world do we live in? Where education no longer has any value? How can you expect millions people to put every cent they earn toward their loan payments. Don’t you hear these people saying they will not buy homes, cars or raise families? They physically CAN’T. And they are good, honest hard working individuals who are taking responsbility by making such sacrifices. Pass this bill, and every American will reap the benefits, not just those with the debt.

    • christopher fiesel

      To CollegeGrad: Your articulate post makes a good argument in favor of this much needed bill. I am not a proponent of affirmative action towards minority preference in lending or in hiring practices, nor am I of the generation of “entitlement” fanatics, but I certainly agree with your point about personal responsibility and the struggle to simply make restitution for the educational burden one assumes in hopes of creating a comfortable lifestyle. It is not unreasonable to require student lending practices to be reasonable and honest,because of what you and others have said. It is good for the economy.

  • Zonda

    When I first graduated from high school, tuition at the college I wanted to go to was $300 per semester. But due to fighting between my parents who were divorced, it was not possible to go until many years later when I had a family. I made it through half of my undergrad without getting any student loans. I had to go awhile and then work awhile while raising my family, so it took time. My last two years I went straight through and had to take out 20K in order to support my 5 children while I finished. I worked in research for almost seven years, but couldn’t make enough to properly provide for my family or pay that back. Upon getting custody of two grandchildren, I knew I needed to go back to college and get an MS in order to earn enough to support all of us (I still had two kids at home too). Tuition at this point was $5,000 per semester (same college). Because I couldn’t get any help with the added expenses with the little kids (childcare and such), I ended up borrowing 60K to get through the two years of grad school even though I had an assistantship that paid for my tuition, books and a small living stipend. Everything is more expensive when there is 5 or more of us to provide for. After graduation, I did get a job making more than I was before going (about 10K more), but still haven’t gotten to the point that I can begin repaying my student loans. I hope to do that in the next couple of years. In the meantime, while they were in deferment, they added another 20K in interest. I will be long retired by the time I can pay this off with the current system.

  • Anon.

    Been paying faithfully for 12 years on $73K in student loan debt and I’ve not even managed to pay off half of it. 8.25% interest on the consolidated Federal portion, plus a variable interest rate that’s gone up to 9.75% at some points on the private portion have made paying down the principal on a non-profit job salary extremely difficult. I have no other debt but these loans, so I’m definitely not financially irresponsible – just made one huge youthful mistake that destroyed my whole monetary future. Forgiveness would be great, but even a cap on these outrageous interest rates would allow me to make some headway that I otherwise wouldn’t. Do I wish I’d done things differently when I was younger and been smarter about my borrowing? Of course I do! 20/20 hindsight is always great.

    • Zonda

      I agree Anon. If they could just be interest free, that would be fair. Then the taxpayers would get their money back and we could have our education. But the student loan people also need to look at each person’s predicament in their ability to pay them back. They only allow so many forebearances (I think it is 5 years). So if you are in hard economic times and really need say 7 years to get on top of things and be able to start paying – too bad. You are a bad person now and they will hound you to death.

  • NoSympathy

    I wanted a new car but if I cant afford it I dont go out and buy it. Stop crying and repay your debts.

    • CollegeGrad

      It’s not about whether or not we can afford it. It’s the idea that we’ll be able to start a career in our field of choice while earning a reasonable salary. That’s the idea that’s driven into young people for the past few generations. This concept wasn’t hard a couple of decades ago. I know people who graduated college over a decade ago and within a few years of working they paid off their debts. Did I also mention that they WERE able to find jobs right after graduation? Not an entry level crap job that you’re underqualified for that pays a salary a little bit above the poverty level? These times are hard, and different, people are working so hard to pay their debts but they’ve been dealt an unfair hand. Let me also remind you that nowadays, it’s hard to even get a job without a college degree or some kind certification that REQUIRES education. When I graduated from high school, we were told you HAD to go to college if you wanted to succeed or go into a specific field. Employers today will laugh in your face if you apply for a job without at least a BA. When I applied for my loan, the interest rates were so low that I would’ve been able to pay it off by now, but now they’re at almost 10%, and I didn’t ask for that to happen, nor did I anticipate it. So unless you’ve been in this situation, don’t judge.

      • NoSympathy

        Once again if you want that career and it cost a lot of money to get that career and you cant afford it choose something else. So stop crying and repay your debts!!!!

  • GiveMeARefund

    Let’s address the quality of the education being provided. When I purchase a car and the safety of the automobile is called into question resulting in a recall I get the car fixed for free. When my refrigerator breaks before the warranty expires, I have a legal remedy and when I fall victim to crocked board of directors who steal shareholders monies the SEC steps in…where is my recourse for a bad education? I knew the expense of college when I entered. I even did my research on the most valuable degrees and was fed a continuous dose of rejection from one corporate HR rep to the next that without a degree I couldn’t show I was intelligent enough to perform the job in question. I now have the degree, BSBA in MIS but the institution that proudly accepted my monies is still decades behind the times in their efforts to teach a current, useful, marketable curriculum. I don’t however see an opportunity to request a refund. I have yet to see a career counselor provide truthful statistics on the success of the school’s program and to date the syllabae of this and many other institutions I have evaluated for both undergraduate and graduate programs alike are still the best kept secrets in the education ponzi scheme! I wasn’t made aware until my junior year that I would be taught programming languages that were 10 yrs outdated and worthless to employers. US News and World reports should retire its college campus reports and students who can prove they were sold a marketing bill of goods worth the equivalency of confederate money should be given a full refund!

  • Laura

    People call themselves “responsible” for not having student loans? I graduated high school almost 6 years ago when student loans where still a good investment. My parents didn’t give me the option NOT to go to college because that WAS the only responsible thing to do. I thought getting a higher education would give me a financially stable future. Not the other way around and doom me financially forever! I graduated in 3 1/2 years and worked part time, but still have 25k + in loans. As mush as I want to believe having a degree is worth it in the end… I’m definitely not seeing any advantage right now. All I can be thankful for is that I have a 30k a year job which allows me to pay the minimum loan payments and barely survive. 30k was not what I expected to make with a college degree, but then again I never thought having a degree made me irresponsible.

  • john

    I blame Obama.

  • Andrew

    This is a travesty. I have $13k remaining on my student loans and I think its disgusting that people want loan forgiveness. Education is an opportunity not a right. What about those people who worked two jobs and didn’t take out student loans? What about people like my sister who didn’t take student loans and got all the way through a Masters program? What compensation are you going to offer them? Our national debt is already $15.5 Trillion….you want to add another Trillion on top of that for something that will create ZERO jobs?! I understand the appeal of this loan forgiveness program…it would be wonderful to have my debt disappear…but at the end of the day it was MY choice to go to college…it was MY choice to take out loans…and it is MY duty to pay back those loans. I have no sympathy for those who over extended themselves and lived beyond their means whether it be education loans, home loans, or credit cards. You are not deserving of a bailout just because you made poor decisions.

    • bikerboyz4569

      i agree with Andrew in every way. It took me roughly eight years to earn my RN degree in nursing. I worked here and there throughout college, not even as a nurse, to REPAY my students loans. i finally have my degree and license to work as a nurse, and i am debt free. i do not drive a mercedes, i do not live in a 500,000 house, nor do i have any debt on credit cards. i live with-in my means, and i spend wisely. YOU took out that loan to pursue a degree in art,,, just so you could do the norm and attend college with your friends and party away, well now it is time to REPAY what you borrowed. And no i did not have any financial aid or anything; i borrowed for my education, which i studied my azz off, and i paid back everything i borrowed.

  • NoSympathy

    These excuses are funny, (I was at someones deathbed, interest rates were low when we got our loans etc, etc, etc) everybody has a story. You BORROWED money repay it back like you said you would when you excepted the money cause the guy lending it didnt fold on his end of the deal so dont fold on your end!

  • NoSympathy

    Gas prices were a $1.24 a gallon when I bought my house 30 miles from work. Should you feel sorry for me cause I have to pay more for gas now than I did when I first got the loan for my house?

  • James

    There is no way I could have completed, or even started, my education without the help of student loans. Now those loans are killing me. I suppose that makes me an irresponsible, little cry-baby. Well, at least according to the pompous atom-splitter who got both degrees on full scholarship (btw, I’m very proud of you). Be that as it may, the predicament our country is presently in is certainly not the fault of generation X, nor Y. One would have to look just a tad bit further back in time in order to find the culprits. I don’t think it’s such a horrible idea that those in power now, the same ones who dug the very ditch we’re all sitting in, throw us a bit of rope so that we may, one day, be able to climb out and live the same dream they did. Rewarding hard-working people who sacrificed much to achieve a certain level of education doesn’t sound like such a dumb idea when you compare it to the idea of rewarding greedy, bloated banks for putting all their collective eggs in one basket, now does it?

    • No Sympathy

      Once again just cause you went to college does not entitle you to anything. No one said you had to go to a bank and borrow money, YOU chose to do that therefore repay what you agreed too!!!! Stop trying to come up with all these excuses as to why I shouldnt have to repay my debts.

      • jessica

        Not quite sure you get this point. Some of us have paid our loans 2x over and still owe half the balance. Where and when did you ever get so mean? What happened to you in this life? Obviously something pretty bad and that sucks. I’m sorry.

        • bms

          @Jessica, I think NoSympathy wants our entire country to be a bunch of uneducated ignorant people that will fall behind in competition of the global market which will ultimately lead to our economic demise. If this entire issue of higher education keeps up the way it’s going and nothing is addressed, in the future there will be no doctors, no teachers, no nurses, no leaders, etc. These are all noble professions that we need to keep future generations going. Nosympathy thinks that if you can’t afford it, you should skip college and subject yourself to minumum wage job, living paycheck to paycheck just to avoid loans. If this same concept is true, no one should take out a home loan and no one should buy a car. Everyone should just be stagnant and not strive for more – which is exactly the economic trend that’s happening now. Everyone IS taking responsbility and paying their loans back and by doing so they are sacrficing other things like making large purchases, investing, opening new businesses, etc., all things that contribute greatly into making the economgy a strong one. I guess that’s the kind of world that NoSympathy thinks we shoud live in. A stagnant place where people are controlled by how much money they make, not their dreams or aspirations.

          • bms

            My whole point is that people take out loans because they can’t afford things. If they COULD afford it, then obviously they wouldn’t be taking a loan in the first place. They take them out with the idea that they will be able to pay it back. The economic trends have made it nearly impossible for people in this particular situation to pay back their loans. People don’t invest in things just for the hell of it, it’s usually because they believe they’ll see a bigger return. That’s not the case here.

  • Jeff

    The interest rates on student loans are outrageous and they refuse to allow you to “refinance” the loan. This must be changed.

  • Maggie

    Why do nasty people care when people who work and are struggling actually get cut a break. None of these nasties care as much when someone rich gets breaks at an exponential rate that they can’t even conceive of. We worship hierarchy in this country.The more you have, the more you deserve. It’s sickening.

    • bms

      It truly is sickening how ignorant some of these people are. And what they fail to notice is how this problem affects everyone. Not just the people with the debt. Have they not noticed how horrible our economy is? How the price of everything is through the roof? Excuse me if you’re too fortunate to notice that, and it’s not a myth that the middle class is vanishing, it’s fact. If nothing is done the problem will get worse. Parents who helped their children get loans had MONEY and stable jobs that payed a reasonable amount, promising their kids some stability, now some of these people have lost their jobs and drained their savings and can’t be a backup for their kids anymore. It’s also not 100% the fault of the student borrowing the money. These loan companies shouldn’t have ever let students incur so much debt. You’re supposed to get approved for how much you’re capable of paying. And in my opinion they handed out money too easily. AND if there were more options for publicly funded education, more federal scholarships, and more emphasis on making higher education easily accessible, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. And the problem is that the way the economy is now, what might have been a good salary 10 years ago is now a low salary. There are less jobs and less money to be made, yet the rates are growing more and more. And yes, nobody put a gun to your head and forced you to go to college, but what? Are you just supposed to not follow your dreams and deprive yourself of a possible good life? Might as well not live at all then! In today’s world, if you don’t go to college, you’re subjecting yourself to a life of poverty by today’s standards. You’ll be earning minimum wage and trying to live a full happy life? I doubt it. Yeah gas might have gone up but gas is ONE SMALL expense compared to these loans. So I don’t see how that can even be a comparison.

      • bms

        Its not like the gas prices grow drastically with each passing day

  • george

    I’ll be happy if they just got rid of the interest. When I graduated from med. school in 1993 the interest rate were very high and I have been paying my loans since then religiously however the more I pay the more I had to pay. I have paid my original loan, but with the interest accumulating I’ll have to pay even after I am dead. Something needs to be done!

  • No Sympathy

    You borrow a neighbors shovel and that shovel will represent a student loan. You go about using that shovel and happen to break the shovel and return that shovel to the neighbor in pieces granted you returned what you borrowed but its broke and the neighbor cant use his shovel now. How is that fair to the neighbor you borrowed the shovel from?

    • bms

      stop making all these stupid comparisons

  • thatswhathappens

    This is what happens when the government gets involved. The government should get completely out of the business of education. if colleges just had to deal strictly with the students who are paying to attend there school and none of the education was subsidized by the government then colleges couldn’t get away with jacking up the tuition to unaffordable rates because we would refuse to pay it. why does the president of any school need to get $500000 a year. It’s ridiculous. I’m not saying they should not get paid but i thought that teachers went into teaching because they wanted to touch lives and make a difference…not to play golf at high society clubs with wall street bankers and oil tycoons.

    • Gordon

      I completely agree with this comment. Well said! How about a discussion about the solution to the actual cause of this catastrophe rather than harper about pouring more and more money into a bad idea in the first place.

      I am university educated in Canada and to my knowledge this problem doesn’t exist there. Post-secondary education is targeted there at just that, education! No one goes to college in Canada to play volleyball or football. College isn’t driven by the sport business as it is in the US. And look how many foreign educated people have to be brought in to the US to fulfill the technical educational needs. Could there be a connection between these three things:

      1) Wrong focus of US colleges: too much sports and not enough learning
      2) Endless government sponsored loans to students so tuitions can be raised endlessly without affecting enrollment
      3) Untenable student loan situation because not enough college grads can get jobs and pay off exorbitant loans.

      Naaaaw,… can’t be a connection. I am just typing craziness!

  • No Sympathy

    I agree with all of you about all of this stuff. The only problem is when you borrowed the money you agreed to the terms of that agreement regardless of what has happened to you in your lives. regardless of what you have been told your whole lives. If someone has been beating it in your head that the sky is green and you can look up and see the sky is blue are ya gonna blame them for that cause that’s what you were told your whole life?

  • Gordon

    Things that annoy me about discussion like this are glaring pieces of missing information. Like,.. um,.. i don’t know,.. how about,

    1) Who is going to pay for the forgiveness??
    2) What qualifications will be required to qualify?

    Surely not everyone should get their terms altered if they can otherwise afford it. If the cost of this program is just going to be added to a national debt which is likely to already rob retire people of their social security entitlements and proper health care, then this at a minimum needs to be discussed openly. I consider it irresposible reporting when the benefits of a program are touted but there isn’t a single word about its cost and impact on other people in the present or future.

    • Gordon

      Addendum:
      Another question unanswered (thank you bad reporting!) is who holds these loans. The portion held by private firms should be legislated to make the loans payments manageable by those who hold the debt. Firms shouldn’t be making big profits when people are being crushed by debt they never had a hope of repaying. The debtors should be allowed to default after a reasonable amount of time of payments (10 years or less) and they should learn not to lend so much that it can’t be repaid. Just like the subprime lenders have learned! Greek bond holders had to take a 75% loss,… maybe so should the private lenders who are letting graduate languish in financial prison at the lenders gain.

      Why is it okay for the public sector to keep piling on debt yet private businesses get bailed out after making continual bad decisions for years. They should fail. That is the free market!

  • http://www.webpronews.com Workaholic

    Well congrats to the RESPONSIBLE (????) man with a chip on his shoulder that sits on his high horse with his FULL RIDE SCHOLARSHIP & FANCY DEGREE. Look buddy, not everyone can get a full ride. I was a 4.0 high school student, was also an exceptional athlete in 3 sports and nominated for Who’s Who in America. Did I mention also did very well on my ACT’s. I happen to be a woman and guess what…let me tell you…90% of the full ride scholarships are given to guys who are as dumb as a box of rocks but are good in 1 sport, another 5% of the scholarships go to the exceptionally gifted scholastic kids, and 4% of scholarships get divided & go to kids that do not get a full ride but are thrown a bone of $1500 per yr. Last but not least 1% of scholarships are given to girls that have to be gifted scholastically and athletically. I went through college received a degree only to find myself still paying after 17 yrs. due to the racket that the lenders and the government have going on. I have 2 kids that will be college age next yr. and I would love to help them go to college. But I have heard the discouragement in conversations with their friends. They ask: Why go to college so you can get a degree to be in debt for half of your life. Get your head out of the clouds MR. and come visit the real world. The only difference between you and me is you got LUCKY! Feel fortunate…but don’t crap on everyone else just because you caught a break and some of the rest of us didn’t!

  • http://esehriverloanlendingcompany001@gmail.com Mrs Walter Kerter,

    My Name Is Mrs Walter Kerter, From USA, An X-Scam Victim and how i get back on my feet and be a personal business owner with cars and landed properties…. This is to announce to the general public about a legitimate lender online.

    HERE IS MY SUCCESS STORY:

    I was in a critical search of a genuine loan lending company were i can obtain a loan of $150,000.00USD some lender’s that Came to me sheep clothing i never know they where fraud until i was given the terms of their loan and i agreed eventually i was scammed they scammed me of my hard earn money up to four lender’s that scammed me the sum of $80,000.00USD and i though that all is over that there can never be any other genuine lender until my Husband’s Friend Mr. Garrett Lugard the general manager of Cotsat and cotsat company told me that there is a genuine lender that he obtained a loan of 1.5 Million Dollars At 3% interest rate From that makes him own a private business and a house of his own he Referred me to a company Mr.Eseh Bade Loan Company ,E-mail: esehriverloanlendingcompany001@gmail.com Where he obtained the loan of ($1.1 million Dollars) i told them how referred me to them i applied for a loan of $200,000.00USD after my application and i sent to them the useful information for them to process my loan after 4hours i received a notification From their company that my loan has been approved and processed in the next 4hours my loan of $200,000.00 Dollars was transferred into my account. And i promise them for coming to my rescue i am going to spreed the good news to the entire world ABOUT ESEH LOAN COMPANY IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD.

    And tell them, i Mrs Walter Kerter, referred you to them and your wish will be fulfilled…

    Mrs Walter Kerter,

  • viviane

    Hey why not? The gov’t has bailed out companies why not people. I think this is great.

  • KP

    I am a really big fan of this idea. Ideally we would all receive scholarships or have our parents pay for us to go to school. Unfortunately, more often than not these scenarios are the exception and not the rule. I am a single mother of two. I have 80k in student loans at an interest rate of 6.5% and a mortgage. I make fewer than 50k and am having a really hard time. I have been laid off once in the brokerage business and am facing a layoff in the mortgage industry. I really dislike the fact that the person awarded the scholarship feels like we the majority are beneath him and have a lack of personal responsibility. I am not looking for a “bailout”, I am looking for relief. How can I break the cycle and save for my children to go to college if I spend my entire life paying the interest on my education? I’d be happy without the forgiveness if the interest rate could be cut down to like 2%. Either way, it is refreshing to see a politician in tune with the struggles of the American people.

  • Carla Rogers

    I am a licensed Social Worker in the state of Oklahoma and make a small enough annual income I qualify for financial deferrment. I need help to pay off the rest of my student loans. I have not been able to pay on my loans because I don’t make enough to live on here. I was awarded help through HRSA but still have significant debt. I would appreciate any help available. I live and work in my hometown and we need people to stay locally in this rural area I live in. Each year I think about moving to the cities so I can make better money. The people of my area would suffer so I haven’t.

  • Helen Geller

    I am 60 years old now and still paying for student loan. I am only able to pay interest only so the balance never goes down. The education I received did NOT get me a better paying job like I believed it would and I do not encourage my 5 children to go into debt for an education they will be paying for the rest of their life. I support this bill!!!!!!!

  • http://yahoo nana

    a parent takes out a student parent loan not realizing that they are responsible to repay because the student just said ma sign here the student should pay back the money it’s been so many years that I have been stuck with this bill and the student has graduated as a register Nurse years now and has never taken the payments or offered to pay or even given toward the loan,this has been such a hardship, the student hasn’t kept in touch for over twenty years and the mother has retired.

  • http://yahoo candy

    they should do away with student loans

  • Arcub68

    I make a good living as a RN. I would not have the standard of living I enjoy without the student loans I took to get my degree. I would not be fair to expect my loans to be forgiven and I would not ask for it. My only complaint is that half my monthly payment of almost 700 dollars goes to interest. It feels like I will never get it paid off. I just wish more of my student loan payment went for the balance, rather than the deep pockets of the financial institution holding the note!!!

  • John Gaines

    For people with so much education there is an alarming lack of intelligence demonstrated in this forum. If you want to have your student loans discharged you must find a disabling condition for which you can qualify. Here’s a hint: Chronic anxiety or depression or better yet chronic anxiety and depression. Have your shrink sign the discharge form (in triplicate) and send it off. There are a couple of caveats: You must stop working and have no earned income for the next 36 months and you have to wait that long for the debt to be discharged. After the debt is discharged you can go back to work.

  • Can relate

    I have just begun hearing about this bill, so I am sure that I would need to research it more before deciding whether I truly support or do not support this. I can sympathize with all of the other people who are struggling to pay off loans, as I am in the same boat. I was lucky enough to finish high school with a 3.9 average and received a full scholarship for my first two years of undergraduate courses which I attended at a community college. I was unable to receive a scholarship for the last two years of my undergraduate loans and chose to take two years off with the hope of receiving more aid as a full time independent student. I also was working full – time at the age of 16, so I did not have any financial support besides myself. I received little help in obtaining aid, so I chose to take out loans for my last two years. These loans were around $12,000 and I began paying on them once I began teaching. After my husband was in a almost fatal accident, I had to default on my loan repayment, as I was forced to work three jobs while he was in recovery (11 months). I had no idea how bad the payments would become by defaulting and choosing to put these loans in forbearance.
    Fast forward 13 yrs. later – I have been a teacher making a almost poverty level salary and there is no money at the end of the month to even make a student loan payment. My husband and I barely can make our bills each month and we don’t have anything extravagent – we have a mortgage, one car payment, utilities, typical American dream. We can only afford one child, although we wanted more, so we’ve decided no more children. Can’t afford the $500+ in daycare. I had to take courses to renew my teaching certificate – couldn’t afford classes on my salary, so chose to attend school full-time and got my Master’s. More student loans…. so now, I owe approx. $60,000 with payments around $700 per month. Can I afford that? Absolutely not! Are they deferred yet again? You better believe it. Am I worried? Just about every day…. I wonder what will happen if I can’t pay them back. I’m thinking that maybe I can pick up an evening job just so I can begin to make payments. It’s very scary and there’s a lot of uncertainty. If I could go back in time, I would have chosen another profession where at least I wouldn’t be at poverty level, but what’s done is done and can’t go back. I had no choice, it was student loans or no education. Of course, now I realize that I probably would be making more money without the education….. I think that this is a great idea for those who have already made ten years of payments; I just wish there was something for people in my position also…..

  • Bill

    So the federal taxpayers (that’s only about 50 % of us) are suppose to finance another bailout? How are the loan forgiveness programs working out for those who bought more house than they could afford? Exactly what bad decisions are people still held responsible for? Is forgiving student loans fair to the millions who’ve lived frugally & paid their loans? Is it fair to the tens of thousands who financed their education by military service, or going to a less expensive community college, or working and going to school part time? I had my first loan (an auto loan) when I was the age of many of these students. I was smart enough to know how much I was borrowing, how much was interest and how much was principle. I also knew how much money I’d save by paying the loan off early. I understood the ramifications and I’m not any smarter than many of these students. I chose to educate myself about what I was doing and I knew to always be wary of any deal anyone was offering me when it came to $$$. Finally I wonder how many of those belly aching about their student loan payments have cable bills greater than 100.00 a month and/or spend $60.00 or more monthly at Starbucks.

    • Cindy Kirby

      I can honestly say as a mother of a graduate that is struggling with loan debt that he DOES NOT spend over $60 at Starbucks and DOES NOT spend over $100 on cable. He does not have cable due to his commitment to paying off his loan. It is sad that children of struggling single parents have to into to debt to afford the best education that is offered.

  • Cindy Kirby

    My son is a graduate of Baylor University. He did receive finanical aide but it wasn’t enough to cover the entire cost of his education. I was a single parent struggling to survive on a teacher’s salary. I wanted the very best education that Texas had to offer. He was a 4.0 student in high school and graduated in the top 10% of his class. Even this was not enough to ensure the most money for college. However; his Baylor education has afforded him many opportunties. We could have certainly chosen a less expensive education. But why should my son have to sacrifice an elite education just because we could not afford it. He now carries a massive student loan debt (90K) and has not bought a house, bought a new car or gotten married due his enormous debt. He is now 27 years old and doesn’t see any light at the end of his student loan tunnel. He pays over $800 a month toward his debt each month. He has in the last five years been able to pay off $10,000. But it is a struggle to make that loan payment each month. I totally agree with the loan forgiveness program. It would certainly be a relief for one Baylor Graduate.