I’ll preface this story by noting that I didn’t need a student loan. My parents saved the money because they felt education was a priority over vacations, personal comfort, etc. Later, my father rose from upper middle class to wealth as his business grew.
My brother and sister started college in the Carter administration, at a time when guaranteed student loans were available to just about everyone. AFAIK, the interest rate was negligible, unlike what today’s students face.
I started college at the end of Zombie Reagan’s first term when those loans were no longer available. Luckily I chose a public school (UVM) and even the out of state tuition plus board was about half of what I would have had to if I had attended the smaller liberal arts colleges to which I had applied like Kenyon, Colby, Wesleyan and Emory.
My wife had a different background. She was the only member of her family to go to college. She enrolled in the Nursing and Northeast program and graduated with honors.
Sadly, she didn’t get to work long before she injured herself on the job, just four years after graduating. Until then, she was making double payments on her loan.
Even worse, his injury was a workers’ compensation case. She herniated her disc; blew his knee; and had one of his corneas burned trying to stop someone else’s patient from walking on freshly waxed floors.
Worse still, she was forced back to work before she could fully recover. The hospital aggravated her injuries by refusing to transfer her to a less strenuous ward than the floor of the hospice where she worked, which had only one Hoyer cushion for about 20 patients.
It therefore went from repaying most of its debt to being unable to repay its loans. During this time, the interest accumulated, and then his debt increased considerably.
At the same time, his herniated disc worsened as the hospital felt putting a law firm on bail was prudent and they fought it all. They called acupuncture quackery despite their own acupuncture clinic. They made it impossible for any competent back surgeon to operate on him because of the comp. problems. They hired a private detective to follow her from her mandated visit to the hospital’s hand-picked team. doctor.
She had two partial disabilities, back and knee. She could not do work that required standing, lifting, or any other type of physical activity.
Eventually, she started making jewelry. It started as a therapy to make him forget his herniated disc. She got pretty good at selling her parts and could teach a class. That said, she has never won any real money. His net income was not even high enough to file tax returns.
AFAIK, there have always been loan forgiveness programs after someone is injured, disabled, sick, etc. This never happened for her. Instead, its debt continued to be sold.
Every time a new debt collector got her account, she sent him her medical records. Each time they claimed they never received them, even when they were all sent in a way that left a trail of paper and required a signature. Each time this happened, his debt increased, as did the harassment, threats and humiliation.
When we got married, we filed jointly. Yoink, our refund has been pocketed and given to the company handling the debt. In the end, we paid off the rest of his loan. It took several years, but we did it, even though getting documentation that she no longer owed any money was like pulling teeth.
The endless point here is that people’s circumstances change. She went from being able to almost repay her loan to default.
Senator Warren is right. Students should be able to get loans for the same 0-1% that we lent to Wall Street companies. Student loans have a grip on young people today. Interest is obscene. One wonders if higher education is even worth living in debt for a lifetime.
President Biden was right to do what he did. The money that would have been used to pay off this debt will either be spent elsewhere or saved for future purchases such as a car, a house, a vacation or even retirement. It no longer goes to the parasitic sector of the economy.
IMO it is a worthwhile investment in current and former students. I just wish Biden offered more relief. Judging by Qconservative’s reaction, the swooning couches are out and the beads are clutching in fake outrage because these people are getting a break and not the ‘job creators’ and big corporations getting another unnecessary tax reduction.
My wife is happy that Biden is helping people. She doesn’t see the need for others to have to endure what she’s done because she’s not an asshole.