s her hand turned the wheel she seemed not to have a care in the world. Midtown streets flowed like water through my peripheral vision. I was riding shotgun in the white Mercedes of one of my oldest homegirls.
She didn’t even take her eyes off of the street as she spoke- “I DON’T HAVE 90,000 TO GIVE THEM. Yet they call my house every other week. I Have NO JOB, what money am I supposed to pay you with? Unless you’re accepting monopoly money this week I don’t have any updates for you GOODBYE.”
I deal with my payments but it wasn’t until that car ride that I knew what she was dealing with. You can always ponder on peoples’ circumstances but until they open up and tell you, you would never know the day to day struggles of even your oldest and closest friends.
Im sure this isnt the first time you’ve heard of this situation, its turning into the elephant in the room in this country. Its Post collegiate-Its Pre-Marital and it’s a very very real issue with most of the people I know. Student Loan Debt.
StudentloanJustice.Org is a branch of FinAid.Org –( http://www.finaid.org/about/) a nationally recognized public service site that has become the go-to place for all matters of scholarship/financial aid. According to this site, and as was cited in the Wall Street Journal, Student Loan Debt has surpassed credit card debt nationally. As a whole, the United States owes about 830 Billion dollars in Student Loan Debt. Personally I find it difficult to wrap my mind around a figure like that so lets put it up against some other programs on a national level.
So… How Much is 830 Billion dollars?
THE BANK BAILOUT WAS EH, a little bit bigger (reportedly 20-25 billion more give or take). Its almost as big as every major bank being bailed out.
The toll of people losing their homes in the mortgage bailout? 52 Billion. (Chump Change right?)
The cost of aid for 9/11 workers with health issues? 7.4 million (A drop in the pan)
By my estimates, you could buy out every major luxury brand with that and still have enough to send 387 monkeys to the moon, live a life of continent jumping while drinking a shot of Louis the XIII every hour on the hour then bury yourself in a platinum coffin when its all said and done (more or less)..AND STILL
You would not charge up the amount of money we’re dealing with here.
So – we’re post college, most if not all are underemployed or UN-employed- what are we doing about it?
In short? Running home to mommy, defaulting or living on shoestring budgets. With job opportunities unequal to the stacks we owe in loans, the epidemic of basement living/ living with mom is WIDESPREAD. More importantly, this isn’t because we wouldn’t like to leave… it’s because another mountain of cash is needed to get into tjat apartment/condo/house in the area we want to live in. In short-survival is looking a hell of a lot like conquering Everest.
“I know some folks that have just stopped paying. They get calls and letters, e-mails and threats and just get on some Jimmy Durante/ 1940s gangster stuff – You’ll never take me alive copper!”
-Anonymoust Post Grad Student
UNFORTUNATELY: THISAINTAMOVIEDAWG! And in real life the hero sometimes loses. Big Time.
The bad news is with no one to turn to for help and amazing stacks being charged in interest- people just give up before they start. Some stop making payments because (and I know this personally) no matter how many double and triple payments you make that principal on the loan still looks like a million, and the interest is still laughing in your face. Ive heard horror stories from a couple of people- complete and total credit annihilation, garnished checks, and the biggest one- Callin YO MAMA.
That’s right – if you don’t pay, they can get your family members directly. Crazy I Know.
According to a press release from StudentLoanJustice.Org- there is some absolutely scary stuff that can be a result:
the lending system enjoys collection powers that no no equal. There is appeals process for defaults. About 20 cents of every dollar repaid by borrowers whose loans were defaulted are taken by these guarantors (or the federal government) before anything is applied to principal, interest, etc. Borrowers wages, Income tax returns, and even Social Security and disablility income are routinely garnished without a court order, and regardless of any legitimate claims they may have about the propriety of the default. Borrower’s ability to work in their field can be taken away through state professional license suspension, and other related state and federal policies regarding defaulted borrowers…In a very real sense, defaulted borrowers are given the choice of either finding a way to repay a vastly inflated debt, or face the rest of their lives as indentured, marginalized, second class citizens.”
-StudentLoanJustice.Org August 2010
RATING: 5/5 SCARY COLBERTS
Don’t know about you but this paragraph had me shitting bricks. No court orders needed, SSI and Disability, Income Tax Refunds can ALL be touched or completely stripped from you. The recovery of the debts give money back to the institutions – 25 cent for every dollar you owe- so your failure to make your payments are WINS for the lenders. THEY MAKE MONEY off of your failure!
Feels like Vegas to me. House Rules and the House ALWAYS WINS- Word to Casino and Sam Rothstein.
Until 2012 hits us with that big bang, Jesus resurrects, student loans go the way of legalized slavery, Obama works about 37 miracles, the country is conquered by socialists (FYI school is free in Europe folks), or your sugar daddy is Bill Gates…
Make them payments and Make em on time.
If not, put the number of the bank or borrowing institution in your iphone, blackberry or your droid and KIT- readjustments, restructuring, deferrals, and constant communication are key to navigating the debt wasteland. Debt and bad credit will never let you be great and that shit just aint baller.
Thankfully there are many wheels in motion to stop what happened to a lot of people our age from happening to our younger brothers, sisters, and children. Keep an Eye out when you hear the words “Student Loan Reform”, though what is to be done for us, the victims, is yet to be seen.
Love Peace and Student Debt Abolishment