The Big Business of Student Loans

I read daily about the enormous burden our college graduates bear from the student loans they take out to pay for their education. I see it up close in the struggles my own sons make to repay their college loans. They thought they were bettering their lives, but it also has caused their lives to be worse.

There is a short (less than a year in my sons’ cases) time when student loan payments haven’t started yet. It’s that time when students are expected to be looking for and landing a job. It would be well and good, if the jobs were out there to land, but the jobs many college graduates find are lower in pay than what they expected to make with their college degrees. Still when that six month grace period ends, former students are expected to pay hundreds of dollars monthly to repay all the money universities charge for an education today.

I too carried student loan debt when I graduated from college. It was much more manageable than the amount today’s students face. My payments were reasonable and I was able to find a job in my field (education) within a year of graduation.

I wonder when universities and lenders got the bright idea to jack up the cost of education and lend out such large amounts of money to people barely out of high school? You can’t buy alcohol in this state until you are 21, but you can rack up enormous student debts long before that age.

Interest rates on some of the loans are large enough that if only the minimum payment is made, graduates will not be paying on the principle for a very long time. How frustrating is that?

I read today that many student loan holders have chosen to leave the country and work in other countries where jobs are and student loan payments are not. It reminds me of the guys who fled to Canada during the Vietnam War. It seemed over-whelming then and this seems over-whelming now.

I think student loans should not be such a huge burden. I think it shouldn’t be such a huge racket either. Banks and universities are getting fatter on the backs of those who cannot afford to support them.

It’s a racket. It was and it still is. If you look at a university class schedule, you’ll see Fall Breaks, Winter Breaks, early exams, and even the notion that if a professor is more than 15 minutes late to class, there is no class. You don’t get what you pay for.

I wish I’d gone to law school. If I had a law degree and a legal practice, I would spend my time trying to find a way to help yesterday’s students be out of debt less than 25 years after they graduate. That is no exaggeration. IF you pay your loans on time for years and years and years, after 25 years, the loan will be forgiven. That’s a long time to expect America’s best and brightest to struggle through. There should be more to life than a four year education that saddles you with little to few choices for decades after you get that piece of paper.

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