Stupid Students Become Stupid People. More At Eleven…

A recent email from “Student Loan Justice” has moved me. Yes, I have been moved to pity these poor hapless oafs who were duped into thinking that a student loan was in actuality a charitable gift. Poor, poor… idiots.

I took many student loans back in the ’80s to complete my undergrad work. I also worked , on average, two jobs to help fund my collegiate habit. This made for a slow-go as you cannot heap on many credit hours when carrying such an outside load.

Upon graduation, the hounding for repayment promptly began from The Loan Servicing Center in Lawrence, KS (yes, they made such an impression on my then-young mind that I recall EXACTLY where things were handled from 20 years later) – they greedily demanded I repay my loans, and craftily provided a payment coupon book to facilitate the task. The evil, greedy bastards! The payment book sitting on my desk silently chided me to pay… pay… pay them off. So? How did I respond? I got a job and paid them all off as quickly as I could, that’s how! Unfortunately, during that same time, many of my contemporaries chose to ignore these loans and defaulted on them. Their irresponsibility is what precipitated the changes in the laws (ca 1997) to allow collection of penalties on these loans. Oddly enough, the highest percentage of Student Loan Skippers are also those who landed the highest paying jobs. Huh! So just who are the greedy bastards and who are the wounded victims in this case? I’m confused.

Here’s the bottom line, kids: when you take a loan of any type, it is a loan; not a grant. It is a responsibility. It is YOUR responsibility to repay these loans. Unfortunately, our society currently does not accept responsibility and accountability as valuable tenets. We think it is “OK” to sign contracts, then default on them. And we don’t think there should be any repercussions for our careless actions.

The recent laws now punish all. It used to be that those few who defaulted on their student loans did not burden the system to the point that lenders were unwilling to issue these loans. These were usually the folks upon whom some hardship or other had fallen – back in the day when accountability and responsibility were cherished. In my era, it became just about everyone who took a student loan and something had to be done to protect the lenders and preserve the program. As a RESPONSIBLE ADULT who took advantage of student loans, accepted the responsibility of them and promptly repaid them, I accept what the loan industry has done as right and in measured response to the situation. Otherwise, low-cost (to those who act responsibly) educational loans would have dropped out of existence.

Banks aren’t charities. If they cannot recoup the loans, they lose money. No bank doing this as a matter of course would exist for long. Go and default on a car or home loan and see what happens (or, in this economy, just watch your neighbors – I’m sure someone nearby is in foreclosure or having possessions repossessed). At least there, there is something to repossess. What are they to do for defaulted student loans? Repossess you brain? Apparently, based on the arguments at StudentLoanJustice.org, there’s no value there; that brain isn’t worth much to start with…

It is a shame. It is a crying shame that this is what our society has come to.

-Pateratic

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