Students’ futures are buried in debt before their careers begin


Student debt is toxic. It can contaminate personal finances for life, with little hope of escape.
Even catastrophic student loans are almost never forgiven in bankruptcy. Collection agencies will hound you, wages will be garnished and tax refunds intercepted. Buying a house could be impossible.
Bankruptcy is a fundamental right in America that is mentioned in the Constitution.
Debt has become an acceptable part of American life. In 2014 alone there were almost 1 million bankruptcy cases filed in the United States. Regardless of whether they classify themselves as rich, poor and middle class, a great number of Americans are indebted.
Growing up we are told that every successful person should have a plan.
Finish college.
Work for 40 years.
Only change jobs if better opportunities present themselves.
Do all of this the while seeking fame and fortune, and balancing family and spirituality.
It is nice to have a plan, but life rarely works out exactly as you plan it.
Life happens.
Economies crumble, companies implode and expectations whither.
In previous generations debt was actually difficult to accrue. Banks were the only major source of loans and in order to gain a line of credit you had to be in outstanding financial standing.
Not anymore.
Something has to change.
The lexicon needed to navigate the world of personal finance is immense. Too few of us can speak the language. “Sallie Mae,” “Stafford loans,” “collection costs,” “original fees,” “debt in collection” and “forbearance” are jargon most SWC students do not know, but should.
“If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring,” said political satirist John Oliver.
True that.
Student loans and debt are so ruinously high now that graduates might never dig out.
The Department of Education is expected to generate $127 billion in profit over the next decade from student loans alone, according to a report published by the Congressional Budget Office in 2014. This does not include money that will be generated by private loan entities. As long as the money keeps coming in, students be damned.
Current student loan debt outstanding, including both federal and private student loans, is estimated to be more than $1.2 trillion.
So buyer beware. Student loans can buy you a ticket to your future, but it might be a destination you do not like.


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