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Student loans ruining potential marriages

student loan crushing

“Lisa J. B. Peterson, a financial planner with Lantern Financial in Boston, specializes in counseling young couples and has heard this story before. About half the people she sees are both bringing significant debt to the relationship, and about a quarter of the others have one person who has a pile of student loans.”

Its arguable that the reason education costs are as high as they are is due in part to government guaranteed students loans. With the exception of a couple of recent court cases it seems the only control mechanism in the system is an unhappy taxpayer left with the bill. Not a very effective control, so we create an oversight organization to attempt order through tyranny.

There is no compelling incentive for universities to control tuition costs, as students will simply borrow more monopoly money and the banks will trip over themselves to give it to them with visions of shareholder profits rolling in at prime + 6 or something ridiculous all guaranteed by governments in general.

tuition fees between 1990 to 2007

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So there are two solutions; make education affordable, like many progressive countries already do, by recognizing a net gain in an educated citizenry and the removal of education from the privilege of the wealthy. The second solution is to restrict the guaranteeing of student loans – the banks will stop lending money and tuition cost will fall to an affordable level.

usa college tuition increases 1978 to 2010

How Debt Can Destroy a Budding Relationship by New York Times

Nobody likes unpleasant surprises, but when Allison Brooke Eastman’s fiancé found out four months ago just how high her student loan debt was, he had a particularly strong reaction: he broke off the engagement within three days.

Ms. Eastman said she had told him early on in their relationship that she had over $100,000 of debt. But, she said, even she didn’t know what the true balance was; like a car buyer who focuses on only the monthly payment, she wrote 12 checks a year for about $1,100 each, the minimum possible. She didn’t focus on the bottom line, she said, because it was so profoundly depressing.

But as the couple got closer to their wedding day, she took out all the paperwork and it became clear that her total debt was actually about $170,000. “He accused me of lying,” said Ms. Eastman, 31, a San Francisco X-ray technician and part-time photographer who had run up much of the balance studying for a bachelor’s degree in photography. “But if I was lying, I was lying to myself, not to him. I didn’t really want to know the full amount.”

The Austrian Economics school’s perspective on making tuition affordable

One Comment

  1. PubliusEsq PubliusEsq September 24, 2010

    Support the Franken/Dodd bill (Fairness for Struggling Students Act (S 3219)) and the house version (Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act (HR 5043)) which will stop the discrimination against students and allow private student loans to once again be dischargeable in bankruptcy. HR 5043 has been voted out of subcommittee and is now in the House judiciary committee. S 3219 has also been voted out of subcommittee and is in the Senate judiciary committee. Call your Congressmen, Senators Franken and Dodd and members of the House and Senate judiciary committee to show your support. Time is of the essence.

    A good example of how the banks actually write legislation is the bankruptcy reform legislation of 2005. In the bill Congress produced, private student loans were no longer dischargeable in bankrupcty. The banks were able to write this bill because students have no organization or lobby paying favors to congressmen.

    I have seen it done with mine own eyes. The bank’s inside counsel draft the legislation and then pass it on to congressional staffers that they have quid pro quo relationships with, often the staffers and bank’s attorneys went to the same schools, and the bills are then introduced into committee in the form drafted by the banks.

    No national purpose was served by this legislation. In fact, the bill has served to cause many who tried to better themselves through higher education to wind up as indentured servants slaving away for banks. American’s families are impoverished and generations will live in poverty because the banks pay legislators lucrative rewards in the form of campaign contributions and high paying jobs.

    These private loans, because of little regulatory oversight, often become unpayable because the interest and fees increase to an amount larger than the original loans. The only reason former students are discriminated against in bankrupcy (other bank loans and even gambling debts are dischargeable) is because students have no lobby, and the corrupt political process favors the disproportinate influence of the banks which use the legislative process to do their own bidding.

    Americans should not have to live in indentured servitude because the economy cannot provide a job for them at a living wage, often because the banks and corporations use their undue influence in the political process to shape the economy for their own purposes, not for the good of the country.

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