Student debt activists and education advocates Kyle McCarthy and Natalia Abrams are tired of the ‘silence and complacency’ that our elected (and duly bribed) officials exhibit in the face of overwhelming evidence of usury and millions of voices of the disaffected. At least two out of three of students take out loans for college and at least 1 out of 5 of those will default.
Via Huffington Post:
Since 1978, college tuition has skyrocketed by over 900%, while simultaneously, grants and scholarships continue to be slashed. The result? Students are forced to mortgage their futures with student debt, from which there is no escape. In 2010, student debt actually eclipsed credit card debt as the second largest consumer debt in the country (second only to mortgage debt, surpassing $1 trillionin total). The Atlantic recently reported that, since 1999, student debt has increased by 511%.
And who benefits from so many Americans bogged down with student debt? The lenders, of course. The nation’s largest student lender, Sallie Mae, a company that continues to lobby againstconsumer protections and which has poured millions into destroying Pell Grants, recently announced that they would be issuing dividends to shareholders, enriching themselves off of the backs of those who did nothing other than to seek out a better life through higher education. At a time when funding for education is being slashed at all levels, the lenders are flush with cash as our leaders stand idly by, refusing to do anything about this ever-growing problem.
These student lenders shower our leaders with millions of dollars, give them free rides oncorporate jets and, perhaps most egregious, the single largest recipient of campaign cash from the student lending industry, Speaker John Boehner, was rewarded by Sallie Mae for doing its dirty work by giving his daughter a job at General Revenue Corporation, Sallie Mae’s collections subsidiary. Yes, you read that right. Sallie Mae actually has its own collections agency. When a borrower defaults, he or she can be charged up to 25% of the principal amount owed, including capitalized interest. One could logically conclude that it’s in the lender’s best interests, and can make far more money, when borrowers default on their loans. Why else would the lenders be so unwilling to work with borrowers to come to reasonable repayment options?
Read the rest and make up your own mind. While you’re at it, check out the petition urging the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to hold hearings on H.R. 4170: The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012.