Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Please tell me, that it doesn't end here . . .

As many of you know, we're embarking on the second letter writing campaign to the White House. So, if you haven't signed up yet, please do so now!

I am currently listening to Arne Duncan discussing Education live, and I am wondering: is SAFRA the end? If it is, that's beyond disappointing. At this point, nothing is being done for those who have private loans and for those who are in default. I am so tired of the fact that this Administration continues to ignore this huge problem. (I'd also like them to tell us where most of the money for Pell Grants will be going, because I am aware of who will be benefiting from that, and it's angering to know that fact).

I am also wrestling with a difficult prospect and it not only effects me but those of you who comprise the indentured educated class. I can't say a lot now, but will share soon. Suffice to say, I am anguishing over this issue.

To be continued . . .


Anonymous said...

As the Brits say, keep you pecker up.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the indenture retirees and disabled! Collection agencies also garnish their SS and SSI checks 25% while compounding interest at 24.99%.

This is lower than theft and ordinary crime, it is a carefully crafted repressive measure with the young, old and ill informed taking the brunt of the blow.
Let’s see how it plays out in this Depression.

Oh, when Obama was canvassing the public via the Internet for our greatest concerns (like anyone cares!), student loans hit number 13 on the list of things America wanted him to ‘change.’ Well, we have got change. Changing hands with my paltry SS check to privatized collectors. Am I missing something, or is there a way to live on the remaining $750 a month?


C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Duped -

I won't forget those who are older. No way. As I have argued and continue to argue, the student lending crisis is such that it effects those of any age. It is a cross-generational crisis. Our job must be to make it clear to Americans that it's severe. We must make it clear to those in the White House and on the Hill that it's severe and that educated Americans deserve some sort of help. We're asking for solutions. Thus far, there are no viable solutions on the table, and that's frustrating. SAFRA IS NOT ENOUGH.

Anonymous said...

SAFRA was only passed to make the numbers on the health care bill look good. Sad but true.

To Duped: If you are living on SS you should not have garnishment issues. Contact your local legal aid office.

Anonymous said...

The Obama Administration pushed through SAFRA, but in the process did a lot of back door dealing with Sallie Mae and other lenders to get it passed. Obama said from the beginning that there wasn’t much that could be done “looking back”. The Obama Administration, as you have learned, has no interest in helping those already struggling with debt; otherwise they would have used the FFEL savings to lower the interest rate on existing student loans. Instead, Obama and Arne increased Pell Grants. I think this sucks. What they are really saying is, it’s okay if students get screwed, as long as the government is doing the screwing. So, you have Student A and Student B. Student A has to borrow for college. Student B has to borrow for college. Except Student B now has a Pell Grant that allows him to borrow much less than Student A. I ask you, If A and B are both college eligible and broke enough to have to take out student loans, why is A forced to graduate with more debt than B? This makes NO sense whatsoever.

Why the silent treatment from Rep. Cohen on the private student loan bankruptcy legislation he promised to introduce “immediately”? Calls to his office for updates on whether he’s making good on his promise, not only are NOT returned, his snotty staff will not deign to even take a message unless you’re from his Tennessee district. Since Cohen has never authored any meaningful legislation, he probably got scared off by a student loan lobby that would have no trouble replacing Cohen if he steps out of line, given his weak legislative record.

Student loan debtors saw Obama’s election as a window of opportunity to obtain relief. They sat back and waited for the paid advocates (like all those nice people you met at the Cohen Hearing), to finally step up and make progress on their behalf. It’s not going to happen. Those advocates have had years and years to get something done, and what progress have they made in all that time? Let’s take a quick look…the bankruptcy code has gotten more and more restrictive, consumer rights have been slashed, and more people than ever in the history of the student loan program are defaulting on their loans. Does this sound like the work of successful advocates? Progress for loan companies certainly, but not for borrowers.

I would like to suggest that you and your readers join forces with other like-minded groups and initiate a relentless telephone campaign. NOTHING gets more attention in Washington than angry voters lighting up the ol’ switchboard. And while you’re at it, rattle AARP’s cage, too. AARP’s monthly glossy cover stories featuring wealthy, long-in-the-tooth rock stars like Paul McCartney and The Boss, or “Hank Aaron Talks About Arthritis”, or “Dating Tips That Work”, are not getting the job done for the average AARP membership. AARP has one of the strongest lobbies in D.C., but they squander their power on insignificant issues. Everyone over AND under age fifty should be making AARP’s phone ring off the hook over the student loan fiasco.

President Barack Obama: 202-456-1414
Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education: 202-401-3000
Rep. Steve Cohen: 202-225-3265 (Wash, DC office); 901-544-4131 (Memphis office). Call both!
AARP: 1-888-687-2277

Four telephone calls take four minutes. Multiplied by How many debtors currently struggling with student loan debt? I’d wager this will result in change you can count on.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Your points have been heard loud and clear. I think that you are absolutely right. We need to coordinate specific dates to flood these lines. I appreciate your feedback, and think this tactic is a good one. Thanks for sharing. (I have some bad feelings about the Pell Grants too - they will be going to schools like University of Phoenix and Kaplan. Way to help out students, right? Ha.)

Anonymous said...

Cryn...I failed to add a very important and influential name to the telephone list. Deputy Under Secretary of Education Robert Shireman. His direct number is 202-260-0101

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Thanks, Anon. My plan is to coordinate two days of calling, so stay tuned. You're going to be quoted when I send out a request to get involved in this calling campaign.