Wednesday, March 14, 2012

$ Forgiveness?

Maybe because it's because I'm hyped up on Diet Pepsi at 12:30 a.m. and can't sleep (had to have something to help me grade papers), or maybe it's because I'm tired of people complaining.

I've written before about student loans, and how I feel about people complaining about them. So when there's a petition on FB for supporting the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, I just want to smack people over the heads.

Sure, in theory it's a great idea. But in practice, I just can't get behind that.

This link summarizes what it says. And, honestly, I don't care for mumbo jumbo.

I just know that I signed up for loans. Willingly. For a private education. And I paid them off. I spent two years working with AmeriCorps to get money for it. I worked two to three jobs most of my post-college time in order to make ends meet. But I did it. It's not impossible. I just had my priorities screwed on straight.

But I also didn't take out loans to live on, or use any excess for premature standard of living increases. You know, I might be willing (but not likely) to support the forgiveness of loans that were used solely for direct-education costs like tuition and books, and possibly even on-campus living. But I KNOW people who took out loans (both private and federal) and then used the excess to pay off their credit cards (which then got charged up again), or bought themselves a new (to them) car, or designer clothes, or techy gadgets, or expensive phones, or weeks of dining out at restaurants, and it really ticks me off to think that people want the government to pay for that junk.

I'm a taxpayer. And this is infuriating.

I hear people say they had to take out loans to go to school. No. You didn't have to, because you didn't have to go to school. Both were choices. All choices have consequences. When do people learn about their responsibilities?

Convert private loans to federal loans? More federal debt? Aren't we already complaining about our debtload? And with this plan, it's not even going to be paid back, so it's a loss for taxpayers. It's more debt. Period. The 10/10 plan (as outlined in the link) is maddening. So, if 10% of a person's "discretionary income" (whatever they're using to calculate this) is less than 10% of the loan over 10 years, the government should forgive the other 90%? What? I just don't get how this "promotes fiscal responsibility."

Look, I know people are in over their heads and are looking for a way out. But this is not the answer. A compromise, maybe, a break in payments or interest for a little while, maybe, but not this.

I know people who took out loans and never intend to pay them back. Ever. And they never had those intentions, even from the beginning. Defer. Forbear. Repeat. I just don't think this irresponsibility should be rewarded.

Off my soapbox now.



stephanie said...

Agreed--I do think the ballooning cost of higher education is an issue that needs to be addressed, but loan forgiveness isn't the way to do that. (and don't get me started on for-profit "colleges". ugh.)

Craig-Jen said...

You know I agree!