The Crazy-Season for Student Loans is Nearly Here . . . Again!


By Donald L. Swanson

The crazy-season is when millions of people incur easily-obtained student loans they can’t afford, for another semester of college.  That time is nearly here, again, as a new school semester begins after the turn of the year.

An even-crazier part is this: the U.S. Government guarantees payment of those unaffordable loans—which is why such loans can be easily obtained.

The craziness of it all re-focused for me, this past year, with the following four developments:

1. I saw a father of college-age progeny agonizing over the pressure he feels from society and family to send those progeny to expensive colleges by taking on loans he can’t afford.

2. I learned of a non-traditional student paying monthly-minimums on a too-big-to-pay student loan. This student will be seventy years old [that’s right . . . 70!] before becoming eligible for a write-off of remaining debt—which write-off, under current law, will create a tax liability that can’t be repaid either.

3. I see that high-price / unaffordable colleges are still being ranked by high-profile services as, “Best Value.” And such colleges are still the beneficiaries of easily-obtained student loans that keep them afloat—on the backs of their students.

4. On July 30, 2019, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to grant a “hardship” bankruptcy discharge to Vera Thomas, a sixty-something, who lives every-day / all-day in pain from a diabetic nueropathy condition, is unemployed and subsists on a combination of public assistance and private charity. Ms. Thomas had been working at a call center for $11.40 per hour with benefits but enrolled in community college to improve her career prospects and incurred $7,000 of student loans before her health declined. The Fifth Circuit declares: “Ms. Thomas has not met her burden of showing undue hardship under the controlling standard in the Fifth Circuit.”

There is so much wrong with all of this! It’s getting worse . . . and there is no solution or end in sight.

It’s crazy. That’s all.

** If you find this article of value, please feel free to share. If you’d like to discuss, let me know.

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