Debate Magazine

Student Loans

Posted on the 22 October 2014 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

From the BBC
An activist group in the United States has been carrying out deeds that some might think the stuff of dreams - buying and cancelling other people's student debts.

Rolling Jubilee has purchased and abolished $3.8m (£2.35m) of debt owed by 2,700 students, paying just over $100,000 (£62,000), or as it says, "pennies on the dollar".
Blimey, that isn't much of a slice of the amount owed.
The group pulled off the deal to illustrate how cheaply the money owed can be sold on the secondary debt market, she says.

"We wanted to question the morality around repayment," she says.

"Your debts are on sale. They are just not on sale to you."
Which if true, is just terrible.
Many of Everest Colleges' debtors are single mothers and are on low income, she says.

"It is documented that they end up worse off and have no better chance of getting work than if they simply finished high school," she says.
Ah, right. So, the reason the debt was "pennies on the dollar" is because most of them took out student loans and are really bad risks. Single mothers on low incomes are not going to be paying back anything on their student loans, will struggle to get jobs that will mean they have to start paying back money or finding a rich man to pay it for them. A few will find something that pays well enough to start paying back and that's where the 1/40th of the original amount comes from.
Incidentally, I listened to a You and Yours program the other lunchtime about students saying they were worse off than their parents, that included a student complaining that she had to do a really boring job because there were no jobs for composers with her music degree (unlike Elvis Costello who worked as a data entry clerk and Mark E Smith who worked in a shipping office) and some freelance film bloke who for some reason had to be in London. Of course, the flip side was the idiots talking about how young people had lots of electronics, as though £600 for a phone is any more than a rounding error on people's costs compared to £250K for a house (I think when my father bought his Amstrad computer that it cost about the same as 2 months' mortgage).


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