Student Loan Payments: Drowning in a Sea of Debt 1

The Huffington Post has been doing a series of posts about the growing number of college students who are saddled with college loan debt.

Titled “Majoring in Debt” the Huffington Post, has been encouraging college students to share their stories. The post also seeks to uncover abuses in the student debt industry.

Excerpts:

It used to be that many college students finished school with little or no debt. But according to an ongoing project by the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, recent college graduates carry an average debt burden of $23,200.

And as college becomes less and less affordable, that figure continues to rise. The number of student loan accounts in the U.S., said Equifax, which compiles credit data, has peaked at 69 million — a 29 percent increase from two years ago. In total, students have borrowed $527 billion to go to school…[Read all of Majoring in Debt]

Reading these stories were quite an eye opener for me and it has lead me to ask the following:

What the HELL Were We Thinking?

  • Have we in the spirit of education opened the flood-gates and allowed the banks to have free-run at our children? Have we allowed the banks, to stick our children with debt they may never recover from?
  • Were we way too naive to think that the very group of people, who may very well be responsible for the near-collapse of this nation’s economy, would act responsible and do right by our children?

Banks the New “Den-of-Thieves”

By nature our children, our youth are quick to judge, quick to make rash decisions and are unstable in much they do.  Even the most mature 18 to 22 year olds are prone to making mistake and poor decisions.

Enter the banks bearing lots of cash with easy guidelines and lots of contracts with fine print, then add in young students (and some old ones) eager to sign on the dotted line and more than willing to mortgage their future for the dream of being able to attend the school of their choice, graduate and make lots of money.

Then all of a sudden faced with the reality of graduating into an economy that has few jobs or even worse not finishing school, but still left with on the hook for thousands of dollars in student loans, it all comes crashing down.

Some Radical Solutions to the Problem:

  • Students should not have to pay back a student loan if they graduate. Funds will flow back into the economy through them working and paying taxes.
  • Make it mandatory that all students young and old, be required to receive counseling prior to signing for a student loan and that the terms of the loan be reviewed by a trained financial professional.
  • Reduce the amount of the loan through public service such as teaching or other services.
  • Inflict SEVERE punishment (including criminal penalty) on any bank, or other lender caught engaging in misconduct.
  • Cap the amount of college tuition that colleges or universities can charge. We want bright minds but are we willing to sacrifice something for them. In the current only the Rich will be able to afford a college education.

Just my 2 cents, I was off on a tangent today… What are your thoughts about what can and should be done?

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