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Should student loan debt (USA) be forgiven?

diamondseeker2006

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@msop Great point about grad school loans. I think loans should only be given when the profession will likely result in an income that can realistically afford the loan repayments (such as yours). My niece graduated from optometry school and started out making triple what a beginning teacher makes and can easily make her payments. I know others who borrowed for expensive grad school for lower paying professions, and they may never pay it all back. That's unacceptable.

As far as undergrad goes, work-based scholarships should come before loans in addition to the things previously mentioned.

Oh, and one more thing. Two year tech/trade schools would result in higher pay for a LOT of people over a 4 year degree.
 

Slick1

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A couple of weeks ago while discussing college tuition with my colleague, who’s daughter is a HS junior, I was stunned to see how much the price has risen in such a short time.

My DD’s private liberal arts school in NY went up 38% since 2009-2012
My DS’s private college in NY went up a whopping 48% since he attended in 2011-2015.

That’s the facts. I thank goodness we were able to send them to their schools of choice, but don’t know if I could do it now especially since our incomes haven’t grown that much. Sad...
 

msop04

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@msop Great point about grad school loans. I think loans should only be given when the profession will likely result in an income that can realistically afford the loan repayments (such as yours). My niece graduated from optometry school and started out making triple what a beginning teacher makes and can easily make her payments. I know others who borrowed for expensive grad school for lower paying professions, and they may never pay it all back. That's unacceptable.

As far as undergrad goes, work-based scholarships should come before loans in addition to the things previously mentioned.

Oh, and one more thing. Two year tech/trade schools would result in higher pay for a LOT of people over a 4 year degree.
I agree with you 100%.
 

Arcadian

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along with @Karl_K only with a twist. Forgive loans for teachers who have been on the job more than 5 years...yes. Teachers get the short end of the stick as it is, and have heavy requirements for ongoing education. They teach our kids for heaven sakes so yes, they should have their loans forgiven. Portion after 5 years (lets say 50%) the rest after 10 years.

I have to also admit I would like to see more emphasis on trades.

Lots of trades are dying in the US and not because they're not needed, its because there's not enough people to backfill for them. Youth need to see that its perfectly OK to go into a trade because college isn't for everyone.

Lastly, college education needs to be realistically priced. Its a runaway train just like healthcare and pharma....
 

AprilBaby

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No, fix tuition costs and shady loans.
 

House Cat

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Yes. Student loans are another form of predatory lending. An 18 year old doesn’t know the impact of taking out loans in these amounts...how crippling to their future lives it will be. If they knew, they might not take out so much money. If they knew that borrowing that much money would keep them from buying a home or having children, they would think twice, but they have no idea because they only just graduated high school. The banks are preying on a very vulnerable population in our society and it is our kids.
 

elle_71125

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No! I think we are each responsible for the choices we make. I’ve seen a lot of kids hop into a nice expensive college with their only thought being how great it will be to get out of their parents house...and how many parties they can attend once they get there. It’s not fair to let that same person off the hook just because they didn’t “understand” what they were getting into with student loans.

I’ve ready so many stories about this lately and all they do is make me mad. A man takes out a loan for school. Then he joins the army / navy...all the while making no efforts to pay his debt. Then he goes back to school to be a lawyer (adding more student loan debt)...only to decide he didn’t like the job. So he quits...and then decides he shouldn’t have to pay it back because he doesn’t have the expected high paying job anymore.

Or a woman who took out student loans, in order to advance in her career (and make a better paycheck). She graduates, makes that extra money and then complains she shouldn’t have to pay the loan back. So she proceeds to sit on it for over 20 years, without paying a penny, and then claims the interest is too much to bear and she shouldn’t have to pay any of her loan.

It’s called personal responsibility. I was a young 18 year old once too and I still managed to understand that if I borrowed money, I’d have to pay it back. That’s just common sense. I worked my a** off at a full time job (and lived at home) just so I could afford to go to school. Was it easy? Hell no. But it is doable. My husband (the freaking genius that he is) went to a trade school for pennies of what a college education costs...and he makes more than most the people we graduated with. College degrees don’t necessarily come with the payout you’d expect these days. Life is what you make of it and we all have to be responsible for our choices.

Having said that, a college education is ridiculously expensive. There’s no reason a book needs to cost hundreds of dollars (especially when you can only sell them back for $20). And I think loan interest needs to be more reasonable.
 

Karl_K

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along with @Karl_K only with a twist. Forgive loans for teachers who have been on the job more than 5 years...yes. Teachers get the short end of the stick as it is, and have heavy requirements for ongoing education. They teach our kids for heaven sakes so yes, they should have their loans forgiven. Portion after 5 years (lets say 50%) the rest after 10 years.
Yea, I agree for some sort of program for teachers and other public service professions.
Not sure on the % and payment schedule makes the most sense but i'm down with it being paid off at the 10 year point.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Most 4 yr college bound kids have parents who DO understand debt and loans. So I am not buying that kids and their parents were just taken advantage of by the loan people. I feel the same way about people who didn't have the income to buy expensive houses and then ended up getting foreclosed. Yes, it's bad the banks approved them, but still, it only takes simple math to add up your monthly expenses to know you can't afford something. I do agree with what someone wrote above about needing a mandatory Personal Finance 101 course in high school. It would be more useful than many of the classes they'd take!
 

elle_71125

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Most 4 yr college bound kids have parents who DO understand debt and loans. So I am not buying that kids and their parents were just taken advantage of by the loan people. I feel the same way about people who didn't have the income to buy expensive houses and then ended up getting foreclosed. Yes, it's bad the banks approved them, but still, it only takes simple math to add up your monthly expenses to know you can't afford something. I do agree with what someone wrote above about needing a mandatory Personal Finance 101 course in high school. It would be more useful than many of the classes they'd take!
Absolutely agree with this! When my DH and I started house hunting, we sat down and tallied up what we could afford to spend on a mortgage. So when the nice loan officer offered us twice the amount we could afford, we just laughed and laughed. Needless to say, we bought a house we knew we could pay for (and managed to survive through the recession that started the very next year).
 

bludiva

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Most 4 yr college bound kids have parents who DO understand debt and loans. So I am not buying that kids and their parents were just taken advantage of by the loan people. I feel the same way about people who didn't have the income to buy expensive houses and then ended up getting foreclosed. Yes, it's bad the banks approved them, but still, it only takes simple math to add up your monthly expenses to know you can't afford something. I do agree with what someone wrote above about needing a mandatory Personal Finance 101 course in high school. It would be more useful than many of the classes they'd take!
That wasn't the case for most of the people I went to high school with - lots of 1st time college students, no college counseling, and having to figure it all out on their own. I think it's unfair assume that all college bound kids have parents who are knowledgeable and interested in their education.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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That wasn't the case for most of the people I went to high school with - lots of 1st time college students, no college counseling, and having to figure it all out on their own. I think it's unfair assume that all college bound kids have parents who are knowledgeable and interested in their education.
Agreed. When I went I was the first in my family to go. My Mother had a very low income and I qualified for all grants and scholarships for my first year. Because of that I went to a private college (best program in the area for my major). I still commuted and worked full time while going to pay my other expenses like books, my car, phone, insurance, and life in general. Then she got married. Her income went up (not that mine did) and I lost all of my financial aid scholarship. I was already one year finished and kept going. If I had known all of that I would have just gone to a state school from the beginning. Neither of us realized that her getting married would basically screw me over. Cost me about 60k in the end.
 

msop04

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Yes. Student loans are another form of predatory lending. An 18 year old doesn’t know the impact of taking out loans in these amounts...how crippling to their future lives it will be. If they knew, they might not take out so much money. If they knew that borrowing that much money would keep them from buying a home or having children, they would think twice, but they have no idea because they only just graduated high school. The banks are preying on a very vulnerable population in our society and it is our kids.
Nope. I don't subscribe to this at all. Kids don't need anymore excuses - they need to be taught that there are consequences to their actions.

For entire generations, students applying for loans have understood that borrowed money must be paid back. My 6th grade nephew grasps the concept easily.

We have GOT to hold kids accountable for their actions (which, let's be honest... 18 year olds are hardly "kids"). To think a high school graduate (or older) can't possibly comprehend this or have him believe that it's the "bank's fault" he can't/won't pay back the loan he took out is ridiculous. This is the type of coddling I detest. Seriously, feeding kids this victim mentality has got to stop.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My first year in pharmacy school was super tough on me. I'd call my dad about every other week or so during the first semester, crying that I hated it/couldn't do it/wanted to quit. It only took a couple of calls until the conversations went something like this:

msop04: "...dad, I just can't do this. I've been studying and I don't get it... I feel like I'm gonna fail out - seriously."

dad: "Well, take a break, go outside, and have a good cry. Then come right back in and keep studying, because you can't afford to fail."


At the time, I thought that that was so harsh of him to say. But he was absolutely right... and I'm a better person for hearing it.

True story.
 

bludiva

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Agreed. When I went I was the first in my family to go. My Mother had a very low income and I qualified for all grants and scholarships for my first year. Because of that I went to a private college (best program in the area for my major). I still commuted and worked full time while going to pay my other expenses like books, my car, phone, insurance, and life in general. Then she got married. Her income went up (not that mine did) and I lost all of my financial aid scholarship. I was already one year finished and kept going. If I had known all of that I would have just gone to a state school from the beginning. Neither of us realized that her getting married would basically screw me over. Cost me about 60k in the end.
I honestly think we'd be better off if college wasn't socially mandatory for work (for most office jobs you can learn on the job) and people took more time to figure out what they want to do, where they want to go, how best to accomplish it given their financial situation.

It's ludicrous also that not having money places so many barriers on a child's education. How many geniuses does society lose out because they don't pursue the spark of a talent in math, science, whatever because they fear they can't afford to? I people who didn't pursue med school for that reason and no surprise we have a shortage of primary care physicians. It's frustrating considering we live in a country that can afford to solve these problems. :/
 

msop04

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Agreed. When I went I was the first in my family to go. My Mother had a very low income and I qualified for all grants and scholarships for my first year. Because of that I went to a private college (best program in the area for my major). I still commuted and worked full time while going to pay my other expenses like books, my car, phone, insurance, and life in general. Then she got married. Her income went up (not that mine did) and I lost all of my financial aid scholarship. I was already one year finished and kept going. If I had known all of that I would have just gone to a state school from the beginning. Neither of us realized that her getting married would basically screw me over. Cost me about 60k in the end.
What kept you from transferring to a less expensive state school after you lost your student aid? Choosing to stay at the more expensive school cost you $60K... transferring may not have been what you'd planned or wanted necessarily, but it would've saved you a ton of money. You knew the private college was going to be more expensive... especially at the point you found out the aid was no longer available due to your mom's increased income. No one "screwed" anyone.

I hope you don't misinterpret this post as me being mean or insensitive to you, because that's not how it is intended. I've had a couple of friends that ended up having to transfer to a state school or junior college for the same reason - they didn't want to have such high student loans to pay back after graduating.
 

eapj

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I’ve worked in higher ed for 24 years, albeit not in financial aid. This issue has many, many sides to it and the traditional 18 year old often mentioned in this thread isn’t the majority student anymore. Students 24 and over are, according to most data, although many of the earlier points still apply.

I’ve chosen to work at schools that serve all (community college, open enrollment 4 year (although there are competitive admissions master’s and doctoral programs, etc.)) and have lots of stories I could tell. I could go on and an about some students who don’t understand what they’re getting into, about some students aren’t really prepared for college and drop out with no degree and tons of debt, about some students who bust their tails to pay for as much of it as they can out of pocket, about students who get refund checks because they live off of the loan money that doesn’t pay for tuition, about students who are in school only for the loan money, about students who have or are learning good financial habits, etc. We could get into the tuition-related topics of the consumer-minded student, which helps drive up costs at more traditional schools because students expect it and there is crazy competition for enrollment or the cut in funding for state schools.

There are as many different scenarios as there are students. This is my life’s work so I won’t bore you with more but I don’t think that across the board forgiveness is the answer as there isn’t enough known about how it would work (and I say that as someone who has some student loan debt from my doctorate) but I do think income, chosen profession, etc. should play a factor in forgiveness (and there are some cases where this is already happening). It would be great for loan balances to suddenly disappear but I don’t if that’s realistic.

Like so many things, this is a complex issue and a broad statement by a presidential candidate about loan forgiveness won’t do much. And I’m a Democrat. :) But man, I’d love to be a task force looking at realistic options!
 
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GliderPoss

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I’m not across the US system but here in Oz we have a HECS/HELP system where essentially the government will loan you the money to cover your uni fees (not sure about textbooks etc) then as soon as your earn over a certain about (maybe $40k?) small repayments are automatically deducted from your wages to pay it back. Also any yearly tax returns are deducted as well. There is NO INTEREST on the loan ever so it won’t grow after you finish your education. It’s not a perfect system but does help kids from all backgrounds get though uni. Took me about 4-5 years to pay mine off but I didn’t even notice the small amount gone each month. Overall the money does get paid back to the state but obviously at a delayed rate.
 

nala

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I’m actually surprised by most of these responses. To me this loan forgiveness seems like it would help the middle class more than anyone since most of my lower income students get 90 percent of their college free thru fafsa whereas the middle class has to pay out of pocket or with loans. The argument that I paid for it so they should also seems as petty as: I pay for my food so don’t give the poor food stamps. I paid for my college so don’t give the poor financial aid. Etc. Plug in any liberal financial policy to help the poor and all arguments would apply and seem petty.
I’m amazed that most here who have Loans don’t support a program that might help you now or your kids in the future.
Disclaimer: I don’t have loans. Paid outright for my kid and I’m not sitting her regretting that I didn’t put all her college on loans so that I could benefit from this if It were to happen. I’m grateful that I had the means to help her graduate loan free and I’m not envious of those who will benefit. I think that as liberals compassion is more important than greed.
Now. I’m only referring to the question posted here. I don’t know the specifics of any of the actual plans. I just felt it necessary to chime in and remind liberals that Obama implemented loan modification and he is still a highly regarded president. So I guess that’s why I’m confused. And no. I didn’t ever have the need to loan mod.
 

rocks

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Yes. Student loans are another form of predatory lending. An 18 year old doesn’t know the impact of taking out loans in these amounts...how crippling to their future lives it will be. If they knew, they might not take out so much money. If they knew that borrowing that much money would keep them from buying a home or having children, they would think twice, but they have no idea because they only just graduated high school. The banks are preying on a very vulnerable population in our society and it is our kids.
I wasn’t that stupid. I was barely 17 when I graduated from hs and understood very well how loans would impact my life. I had student loans and had to plan accordingly. I had something called a regents scholarship....it was a purely academic award, and a requirement was that you attend school in ny. My dad said that he wanted me to take advantage of it; if I didn’t, I was financially responsible for the differential. My parents paid for 80% of costs to attend a very prestigious liberal arts college. Vacation time? No, i went home to work. As for grad school... my father said, it’s on you. I have an mba from a top 20school....I was accepted at a top 10, but when I politely turned down the top 20, they came back with a generous offer...that I accepted. I was lucky enough to be able to live at home and get my loans paid off. The commute was brutal. Sometimes the school of hard knocks provides the best education.
 

msop04

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I’m not across the US system but here in Oz we have a HECS/HELP system where essentially the government will loan you the money to cover your uni fees (not sure about textbooks etc) then as soon as your earn over a certain about (maybe $40k?) small repayments are automatically deducted from your wages to pay it back. Also any yearly tax returns are deducted as well. There is NO INTEREST on the loan ever so it won’t grow after you finish your education. It’s not a perfect system but does help kids from all backgrounds get though uni. Took me about 4-5 years to pay mine off but I didn’t even notice the small amount gone each month. Overall the money does get paid back to the state but obviously at a delayed rate.
That's very interesting. I like the idea of garnishing wages - that's a good way to ensure repayment. Who pays the debt of students who'll likely never earn the set amount?
 

msop04

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I’m actually surprised by most of these responses. To me this loan forgiveness seems like it would help the middle class more than anyone since most of my lower income students get 90 percent of their college free thru fafsa whereas the middle class has to pay out of pocket or with loans. The argument that I paid for it so they should to seems as petty as: I pay for my food so don’t give the poor food stamps. I paid for my college so don’t give the poor financial aid. Etc.
I’m amazed that most here who have Loans don’t support a program that might help you now or your kids in the future.
Disclaimer: I don’t have loans. Paid outright for my kid and I’m most sitting her regretting that I didn’t put all her college on loans so that I could benefit from this if It were to happen. I’m grateful that I had the means to help her graduate loan free and I’m not envious of those who will benefit. I think that as liberals compassion is more important than greed.
Now. I’m only referring to the question posted here. I don’t know the specifics of any of the actual plans. I just felt it necessary to chime in and remind liberals that Obama implemented loan modification and he is still a highly regarded president. So I guess that’s why I’m confused.
Food is a necessity. Taking out loans for college is not.

It's not that people don't want their student debt to disappear. It's that we know that's "pie in the sky" thinking, because someone (i.e. taxpayers) will have to pay for it. It also sets a bad precedent for upcoming generations.

It's not about lack of compassion... it's about the importance of personal responsibility and being held accountable for our choices.
 

nala

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Food is a necessity. Taking out loans for college is not.

It's not that people don't want their student debt to disappear. It's that we know that's "pie in the sky" thinking, because someone (i.e. taxpayers) will have to pay for it. It also sets a bad precedent for upcoming generations.

It's not about lack of compassion... it's about the importance of personal responsibility and being held accountable for our choices.
How do you know college loans are not a necessity? You mentioned you have a balance. So if you didn’t need the loan, why did you take it?
By your rationale, professional graduate degrees are not a necessity. Do you realize that without college loans, only the rich would become doctors. Lawyers. Etc. Talk about elitist.
 

kenny

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I have no degree whatsoever, not even a 2-year from a community college, and of course never took out a loan.
I did fine.
No, I did well.

Hard work ... good work ethic ... a good attitude, and living modestly all helped.

You can google up successful people without degrees, and Ph.Ds flipping burgers.
 
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nala

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I wasn’t that stupid. I was barely 17 when I graduated from hs and understood very well how loans would impact my life. I had student loans and had to plan accordingly. I had something called a regents scholarship....it was a purely academic award, and a requirement was that you attend school in ny. My dad said that he wanted me to take advantage of it; if I didn’t, I was financially responsible for the differential. My parents paid for 80% of costs to attend a very prestigious liberal arts college. Vacation time? No, i went home to work. As for grad school... my father said, it’s on you. I have an mba from a top 20school....I was accepted at a top 10, but when I politely turned down the top 20, they came back with a generous offer...that I accepted. I was lucky enough to be able to live at home and get my loans paid off. The commute was brutal. Sometimes the school of hard knocks provides the best education.
Do you define the school of hard knocks as a brutal commute? Do you realize not everyone has parents who can provide their grown children free room and board so that the grown children can pay back loans?
 

msop04

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How do you know college loans are not a necessity? You mentioned you have a balance. So if you didn’t need the loan, why did you take it?
By your rationale, professional graduate degrees are not a necessity. Do you realize that without college loans, only the rich would become doctors. Lawyers. Etc. Talk about elitist.
Because going to college isn't a necessity. It's a choice. Anyone can take out loans, if that is what they need to do to pay for higher education, but they also need to understand that they are responsible for paying it back. That's not elitist, it's being an adult.
 

nala

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Because going to college isn't a necessity. It's a choice. Anyone can take out loans, if that is what they need to do to pay for higher education, but they also need to understand that they are responsible for paying it back. That's not elitist, it's being an adult.
And yet. You didn’t address my questions. Like I said. I’m shocked because most posters here define themselves as liberals. I expect republicans to disagree.
 

nala

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I have no degree whatsoever, not even a 2-year from a community college.
I did fine.

Hard work.

You can google up successful people without degrees, and Ph.Ds flipping burgers.
How about your doctor? Have you ever needed a lawyer? I guess you think that you live in a society in which only the ultra rich can access these careers. And your are ok with that because hey, you did fine. Love that argument. Human nature can be so petty sometimes.
 
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