Skip to comments.Student loan debt a growing threat to the economy
Posted on 04/21/2012 7:00:52 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Move over, mortgages. Get out of the way, Greece. Another economic doomsday scenario is emerging.
Student loan debt has reached about $870 billion, exceeding credit cards and auto loans, and balances are expected to continue climbing, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said last month. In February, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys referred to a "student loan 'debt bomb'" and wondered if it was shaping up to become "America's next mortgage-style economic crisis." Such a burden could crimp an already weak economy.
"Student debt poses a large and growing threat to the stability of our economy," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan testified March 20 before a U.S. Senate judiciary subcommittee hearing in Washington on the looming student debt crisis.
"Just as the housing crisis has trapped millions of borrowers in mortgages that are underwater, student debt could very well prevent millions of Americans from fully participating in the economy or ever achieving financial security," Madigan said.
In January, Madigan's office sued for-profit Westwood College, claiming it misleads students enrolled in its criminal justice program, puts them deep in debt and awards a nearly worthless degree. She told the Senate last month that since filing the suit, 1,000 former and current Westwood students have come forward to complain about their experiences.
A spokesman for Westwood said Thursday that a motion to dismiss the case is pending.
The hearing was convened by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who is pushing legislation, the Fairness for Struggling Students Act, which would allow students who borrowed from private lenders for their education to wipe out that debt in bankruptcy proceedings, just as credit card borrowers and many other unsecured debtors may do.
(Excerpt) Read more at articles.chicagotribune.com ...
The real threat is the overpaid professors and administrators.
How much of that ‘student loan’ stuff is from trucking schools, beauty schools etc. The kind that give cash rewards for ‘finders’ and tells kids they don’t have to show up for classes - ‘here’s your cash’... Lots of education scams out there.
Another handout for Obama’s FSA.
Here’s an alternate concept: don’t take out a loan for studying something that will NOT lead to a good-paying job.
MoreOn is also agitating for this. It’s like mortgages: the deadbeats get relief, and those of us who were responsible and paying off our loans get stuck with the bill. . .
In my observation many students take excessive loans not only to pay for their education but also to maintain lifestyle (pizzas, beer, trips and so forth). Pay your debt, you slacker bums.
To put this into simple language. Stan finishes four years at a out-of-state college. He owes $96k on his loan. The best he can do after graduation is a $34k job, which he accepts and in five years....he’s pulling in $40k.
Stan is limited on expenses because of what he pays each month. He can’t afford more than a week of vacation at some 2-star hotel near Myrtle Beach, SC. He has a gal that he’d like to marry (at age 28) but between the two of them...they both $138k on college loans.
They marry in a quiet and small ceremony...taking a honeymoon to a nice two-star hotel for a week. No purchasing of a house in their plans for the next ten years, because they owe so much. Their preference for cars? $15k Honda cars.
Somewhere around age 35, they agree that they can have kids now because their student loans are down to $60k. They would still be living in an apartment but Stan’s parents have passed on and left him their ‘old’ house.
Around age 44, Stan and his wife have finally paid off their student loans. They have virtually nothing in a 401k, and the house really needs renovation...so they pour their money into that. Around age 49, they finally can afford to start a 401k .
By age 65, Stan and his wife have around $100k in their 401k. It’s not much, for two people who have degrees, but they owed so much on the student loans. They retire on social security and $400 a month from the 401k they have. Life is fairly miserable but they have a good education to appreciate.
By 2030, a quarter of the nation would fall into Stan’s category. I don’t see much for the housing market, the investment market, electronic sales, tourism, or the banking sector. Other than the educational sector and the loan sector....everything else in America is stalled.
Is there anything wrong with this picture?
All of the early experience students I’ve had and the last student teacher I had do not have jobs. They finance all of their education at our local private university. When did people quit working their way through college?
I think you have hit the nail on the head.
I’ll take Medieval Literature, Alex for $60,000. For Final Jeopardy I won’t have any money after 5 years including dropping out of grad school and can’t even get a job at Starbucks, because all the overpriced and out of work MBAs got those plum gigs.
I would add another thing here.
You go off to some private college like Occidental in CA, and pay $100k over two years of college for tuition, room, board and books.
Then you go off to some private college like Columbia University for two years and pay $130k over two years for tuition, room, board, and books.
You skip around for five years and discover a passion for law, and enroll at Harvard Law School for two years ($130k for tuition, room, board, and books).
You end up as a part-time college instructor, a community organizer, state representative and US Senator. Most of those never pay nothing much.
So by age 40, if you were a normal American....you’d owe $350k...more or less....to some college loan....if you were a normal American. You’d never be able to pay that back....if you were a normal American. But then....some folks just aren’t that normal, and don’t have a student loan issue.
I am Stan. Except I went back to school last year for an MBA. At $52000.
The infusion of federal government money destroyed the health care system, the two-parent black family, the housing industry, and the trade schools, to name just a few.
Now the destruction of the college level education system itself is well underway and the root cause is once again government attempts at social engineering. The infusion of government money into the college loan industry is just another effort to pick winners and losers.
Every aspect of our society and culture the federal government touches becomes poisoned and is eventually destroyed.
“How much of that student loan stuff is from trucking schools, beauty schools etc.”
No question about that - we need them to go to real colleges and universities, where they can learn subjects that have a value in the real world. Things that will make America more able compete with the world. This is the kind of learning I’m proud to see us go into debt over:
1. The Phallus
Occidental College. A seminar in critical theory and social justice, this class examines Sigmund Freud, phallologocentrism and the lesbian phallus.
2. Queer Musicology
UCLA. This course welcomes students from all disciplines to study what it calls an unruly discourse on the subject, understood through the works of Cole Porter, Pussy Tourette and John Cage.
3. Taking Marx Seriously
Amherst College. This advanced seminar for 15 students examines whether Karl Marx still matters despite the countless interpretations and applications of his ideas, or whether the world has entered a post-Marxist era.
4. Adultery Novel
University of Pennsylvania. Falling in the newly named gender, culture and society major, this course examines novels and films of adultery such as Madame Bovary and The Graduate through Marxist, Freudian and feminist lenses.
Occidental College. Critical race theory and the idea of post-blackness are among the topics covered in this seminar course examining racial identity. A course on whiteness is a prerequisite.
6. Border Crossings, Borderlands: Transnational Feminist Perspectives on Immigration
University of Washington. This women studies department offering takes a new look at recent immigration debates in the U.S., integrating questions of race and gender while also looking at the role of the war on terror.
7. Whiteness: The Other Side of Racism
Mount Holyoke College. The educational studies department offers this first-year, writing-intensive seminar asking whether whiteness is an identity, an ideology, a racialized social system, and how it relates to racism.
8. Native American Feminisms
University of Michigan. The womens studies and American culture departments offer this course on contemporary Native American feminism, including its development and its relation to struggles for land.
9. Mail Order Brides? Understanding the Philippines in Southeast Asian Context
Johns Hopkins University. This history course cross-listed with anthropology, political science and studies of women, gender and sexuality is limited to 35 students and asks for an anthropology course as a prerequisite.
Cornell University. Cornells art history department offers this seminar looking at art produced under the influence of feminism, post-feminism and the Internet.
11. American Dreams/American Realities
Duke University. Part of Dukes Hart Leadership Program that prepares students for public service, this history course looks at American myths, from city on the hill to foreign devil, in shaping American history.
12. Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism
Swarthmore College. Swarthmores peace and conflict studies program offers this course that will deconstruct terrorism and study the dynamics of cultural marginalization while seeking alternatives to violence.
lenders would be more careful if they knew their loans could be discharged in bankruptcy.
This is a set up for a massive bail out of student loans in return for their votes to Obama.
So a moronic lefty (but I repeat myself) takes one or more of those courses and shockingly...shockingly!...can’t find a job, and they expect me to pick up the tab as a taxpayer?
This is no different from that Fluke womyn and her demand that others pay for her birth control. The students want other people to pay for their adventures. Instead of birth control, it’s playtime at college. It would actually be a double whammy against the American public: the students take worthless, socialism-laden courses demonizing and slandering the things and people that made America great, and then make the American taxpayer pay for it. No thanks.
Caveat emptor, potential students.
It's like the 'back pain' clinics that are pill mills... the ones that don't care about 'back pain' just pain pill addiction and the cash it brings.
I'm also with you on the 'real college' stuff - elite liberals are running the places - and the classes you write about are undoubtedly real... another scam ...
I say we assess all University professors a special tax to pay off those loans, since that's where the money went.
The new welfare scam is 'disability' - the 'disabled' get to dump their student loans... Fake schools that offer nothing except to 'split the money' are making out like bandits ...
Oh and the disability scams are destroying a system that was designed to protect the disabled. When scammers crash the program, they'll go on to the next scam. Those who really are disabled will die.
I see the obamedia is falling right in line behind their butt buddy.
Unfortunately it’s virtually impossible for a student to work through school anymore because of the cost of tuition combined with cost of living. When I was in school ( graduated 2010) I was making $13/ hour working 32-40 hours per week as a security guard. Not a lot, but better than a lot of other people I know. But with rent, car payment, insurance, utilities, gas, groceries, etc, all very reasonable expenses for a person living on their own, it was impossible to pony up an extra $2,500 for tuition every three months during the school year. “Financial aid” (loans/grants) were the only option.
The story of my life....I’ve paid my home loan and car loans and education loans faithfully every month because I signed on the line that said I will pay ‘X’ back if some lender would ‘front’ me the cash for my (at that time) immediate need that I didn’t have the cash for. Now that I’m within 3 or 4 years of having all my debt paid off, I’m expected to pay for the ‘forgiveness’ of other people’s irresponsible behaviors.
Is this a great country or what?
Guess I’m a suckar for playin’ by the rules of responsibility that I learned growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Feeling fortunate: 4 kids...no college debt. They all attended local Junior College first and lived at home. All lived on a shoestring for sure. One only attended long enough to be certified with a practical skill, but no degree. Two now has a PhD. Three is now a stay-at-home Mom with a four year degree. Four, has a four year degree, and has never used it... instead by following a passion.
My husband was determined that we would give our kids a debt free 4 year degree (in state) as his parents and mine had done for their children. It wasn’t easy for them nor was it for us. There was a real learning curve on the value of dollar and how to best stretch it. Side jobs helped provide ....
Not quite. Most schools provide financial aid. And the less you and your family have, the more aid you get. Especially at the Ivies. My son has accepted admission to Harvard for the fall term. I make a decent income. But my projected costs to send him to Harvard for four years are nlnness than one year's tuition, room and board there.
With no loans.
As well, Occidental and Columbia may cost $50+K TODAY, but not 20+ years ago.
The Kenyan anti-Christ DID graduate with student loan debt, as he has said. But no “normal” person who went to Occidental and Columbia in the 1980s and Harvard Law it the 1990s would have incurred anything close to $350,000 in student loans.
nlnness = less
“This is a set up for a massive bail out of student loans in return for their votes to Obama.”
There you have it! Anyone care to guess who will end up paying for it?
The sad truth is that many of the young people who take these loans are impressionable and poorly educated on how interest works. They certainly weren't taught about it in high school. These loans are marketed as "instant money now, worry about it later" and shoved in their faces from the moment they set foot on campus. It's funny that we tell our 18-year olds that they're too irresponsible to drink a beer but we'll allow them rack up debt equivalent to a home mortgage in four years.
Pay your debt, you slacker bums.
They would if they had jobs. Leaving college $100k in debt with a job at Starbucks or some temp agency waiting for them isn't going to provide salary to let them pay off these loans if they tried. How's the saying go? You can't draw blood from a rock. Little wonder so many college grads are moving back in with mom and dad. This balloon is going to burst and it ain't gonna be pretty.
Well said @12
The infusion of government money makes more people dependent on government. The inflation of education costs rewarded the foot soldiers of progressivism with inflated salaries and increased the number of Americans that would be programmed.
One of the things that is often missed is that student loans were CREATED simply to allow idiot courses like the ones I listed to exist.
Before there were student loans, when going to college for most families meant really skrimping and saving to get a kid through college, mom and dad had a real interest in what junior was going to take. If dad was having to go without a new bass boat so that junior could take,”Queer Musicology’, all hell would break loose.
Since it is now junior going to school on “his” loan (should be “our” loan)nobody cares what he takes. When somebody actually has the balls to start talking about cutting student loans, it is always the liberal arts wing of education that screams the loudest. There is a reason why.
(BTW, I''m fine with forgiving college loans for time spent in the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. 1 year for 1 year.)
I attended an undergraduate program at The University of Wisconsin, paid for to a large extent by my parents. I worked part time during my Junior and Senior years in retail, just for spending money.
5 years later I attended graduate school and took out $7,500 in GSLs. I completed a master's degree in business in 3 semesters. When what would have been the 4th semester rolled around I was contacted by the bank which wanted me to come and pick up my disbursement for another increment of GSL debt. I had to argue with them for an extended time to get them to understand that I was not enrolled, that I was done, graduated. I think in those days (mid 1980’s) the programs were so loosely administered they would have disbursed the check anyway.
I attended law school as a part time student in the late 1980’s to mid 1990’s. I worked full time and attended classes part-time, during my lunch hour and in the evenings. It was a long slog, but I emerged from law school with a JD and no debt (my employers had generous tuition reimbursement programs which covered books and tuition, and even provided “academic leave time” which accrued during the semester and gave me a nice break to study before final exams.)
I paid off my GSL in the mid 1990’s.
I have taken bar exams for admission in several states, most recently in FL in 2010. I was in a crowd of about 3,200 test takers, waiting to be admitted to the examination facility. While in line waiting to get in, it was nearly impossible not to notice that a) at 53, I was 2x the median age of the crowd, and b) everyone in line, mostly fresh law graduates, were talking about their accumulated student loan debts. I was hearing lots of numbers just south of $100k, then a few in the $110K-$130K range. It was as if they were playing “”Can you top this?” with their loan balances.
Simply amazing, an amount of debt the equivalent of a mortgage on a modest home, except there is no home, no tangible thing that was purchased.
Now, the point of all these “Looming student loan debt bomb approaches!” stories is to soften up the public’s thinking on this subject and to allow the Obama administration to introduce the idea of bankruptcy code reforms which would allow student loans to be discharged. This is merely taking the irresponsibility of some of these students and foisting it on the taxpayers, who guarantee these loans. So, farmers in Kansas and factory workers in Vermont, and all sorts of folks who don't get the benefit of Junior’s M.F.A. from Yale, get to pay for it.
Student loans, at present, are not dischargeable under the Bankruptcy Code. In the rarest of situations, so rare that you could say it is practically impossible, one could theoretically qualify for a hardship discharge. But we are talking about perhaps 1 in every 10,000. So, student loan debt is forever. If you default, ultimately the Department of Education will sue and get a judgment which can then be used to garnish pay, lien on real property, and levy against personal property. So, the transition from being a “performing” loan to a “non-performing” loan is merely a change in nomenclature. It merely means that the DOE will go to court, get a judgment (which will include filing fees and attorney's fees) and then a different process will begin to collect that. So it does not go away, and nothing blows up, nothing goes off a cliff.
These conspicuous and increasingly frequent warnings about “ticking time bombs” are background plants from the Obama Administration. They are going to attempt to curry favor with young, heavily education-indebted voters by moving the costs of their, perhaps unwise over-investment in education, onto the backs of a broader population.
> Now the destruction of the college level education system itself is well underway and the root cause is once again government attempts at social engineering. The infusion of government money into the college loan industry is just another effort to pick winners and losers.
> Every aspect of our society and culture the federal government touches becomes poisoned and is eventually destroyed.
>Well said ...
A little secret is that graduates of the "elite" colleges that have huge endowments don't graduate with huge piles of debt. In essence if mom and dad are successful and/or prudent they pay a "tax" in that they pay full price for tuition. Otherwise, the tuition is heavily subsidized and discounted. That BA & MFA from Yale shouldn't have a lot of debt when he or she goes to work. The big culprits here are the for-profit schools and the second and third tier of private colleges. I'd say "caveat emptor" with full disclosure (in large print) with earnings prospects of technical and non-technical major graduates and put a ceiling on the amount of the loans. Noting that the median household income in the US is $44,389, tuition is waaaaaaaay out of line. My kid's college had an official "College Arborist". Pretty campus, but -- wow!
Great job Mom - hats off to you.
Liberals push up the cost of education by mandating liberal social studies courses for all students as a graduation requirement. People don’t pay for race and sex hate classes without a graduation mandate. Perry is trying to get rid of this system of self serving liberalism at State Universities.
“...allow students who borrowed from private lenders for their education to wipe out that debt in bankruptcy proceedings...”
In other words, the parents must co-sign. At first, I was furious. But after further thought, yes, let the parents go down with em. Now the parents will be paying off the stupents debt WHILE they are living at home. This will also cut the steady flow of cash to the teachers/profs/universities.
You said it.
Heres an alternate concept: dont take out a loan for studying something that will NOT lead to a good-paying job.
A couple of my kids are cs & engineering majors, and in order to earn a BS in these subjects, they are required to take social & behavioral science and "diversity" courses (on top of the more typical art & humanities requirements)- none of which have any relevance to their core programs.
The frivolous requirements are embedded in the degree program structure at this point, thanks to the influx of gov't $$ that enabled the establishment of these useless, impractical courses (courses which most students seeking technical degrees and endeavoring to keep their education costs down would otherwise eschew). Students are between a rock and a hard place.
I'd add, "OR will get you admitted to a graduate professional school -- that will lead to a good paying job." Major is probably a lot less important than grades and test scores when applying to law, medical and business schools.
Yes, there are lots of education scams out there, such as “education” degrees, psychology degrees, queer studies degrees, black studies degrees, sociology degrees, hispanic studies degrees, etc.
First, they are college students and supposedly can read. Shouldn’t they read what they sign (or is that asking too much?)? Shouldn’t they educate them selves about interest? I guess everything is so dumbed down and expectations are such that they are know-nothings so should be forgiven for being ignorant.
Second, they are then college graduates. For Goodness sake, be creative. Work two jobs. Do what you have to do to pay your obligation. Work a crummy job. Move. Do something “beneath” your status.
Toughen up and survive with some integrity and grit. Life isn’t a vacation or an easy stroll down the lane. Did anyone think about working while in college? You are only in class about 15 hours per week. Let’s stop making excuses for slacking. This is America. Work hard. Meet your obligations. Is this now a country of wimps??????
This would be fine for loans issued AFTER the legislation becomes law, and is something I've also been advocating. Student loan issuers would simply stop issuing loans to students who are not likely to earn enough from their degree to pay off their loans. These students would be disproportionately minority, so look for the screaming to start.
I would also want the schools to issue at least part of the loan, so that if the student fails to pay off the loan, the school has to eat it.
One daughter is going into nursing. Local community college has a good program, tuition is about $8K/year. After two years you get your associates degree, and can get your RN license. Then another two years to get your BS in nursing, while working as one on the side. Hope to see her get her BSN with little or no debt.
If he can do it, maybe other states will try... Thanks for sharing.