Monday, November 19, 2012

SpareChange: Are There Viable Possibilities Now for Student Loan Reform?

Thanks to Spare Change News for inviting me to write an op-ed after the election results. This piece offers 9 solutions to solving the student lending crisis (mind you, that's the short list).

Here's the piece in its entirety, and below is a snippet:

It’s hard to avoid the clichéd statement—and every pundit has been saying it over and over again—this was truly an historic election. Not only was President Barack Obama re-elected, but a number of very progressive candidates, such as Elizabeth Warren, seized seats in Congress as well. It seems clear: the values of the American public are changing.

When it comes to people who are struggling or unable to pay off their student loans, Warren’s win is significant for several reasons. First, Warren is not a fan of student lenders. She was also behind the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is now working in earnest on issues relating to the student lending crisis. Moreover, Warren once said, “Student loan debt collectors have power that would make mobsters envious.” While Warren is a freshman senator, she is joining several colleagues who are genuinely concerned about Americans who are struggling or unable to pay off their student loans. If she, along with Senators Brown (D-OH), Harkin (D-IA), and others, can garner bipartisan support for legislation that will bring relief of some sort to distressed or defaulted borrowers, the indentured educated class might just see actual results in the coming years.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cryn,

The only way that could have been better is if it would have been longer!! I enjoyed your piece very much and didn't want it to end!

I'm one of those would-be mothers who can't have children - not for biological reasons, but because I sold my soul to banks as a young girl, thinking I was going to have the chance to provide for my kids one day... the kids I can't have because I tried to provide for their futures.

Thank you for advocating for us. I really appreciate you.

Anonymous said...

I have always voted Republican, but this time around I voted straight Democratic party all across the board.

All because of the Student Loan Issue.

I am not very familiar with Warren, but I do recall her being harshly criticised by the Conservative press (radio talk shows) not too long ago.

And I think the Clint Eastwood bit with the empty chair and the mockery of SL debtors finally made up my mind to vote for the Dems.

I hope I made the right choice.

Johnny

Anonymous said...

I used to be a Republican too, until the student loan issue became a reality for me. I could not believe the cold-heartedness that well-intentioned, hardworking people received from the Right when they began asking for reform. Are you kidding me? Where is the humanity?

I'm the recently homeless commenter. As if anyone cares, my status is that my relative (who I have been staying with in a hotel) is leaving town. My closest family is 266 miles away. Looks like my husband is going to be living on the Greyhound back and forth to and from work (literally not being able to come "home" at night) again. We have no choice but to go back. I think I'm going to throw up.

And just think, this is all because I allegedly took out massive private loans as a 22 year old under the influence of psychiatric medication... and I don't even remember doing it.

I never thought my life would look like this at 30 years old.

Cryn Johannsen said...

Readers - first, I want to thank all of you for having the courage to share your stories here. They are heartbreaking. But more than that, they motivate me to continue fighting for change, offering sensible solutions, and making my way back to DC to really make a difference.

Please be aware - you are not alone. I know that is not much consolation, but I am absolutely determined to see this change for all of us.

I am sorry, @Anonymous 11:48 PM, that you are in such a difficult situation. I am sorry that your husband has to commute and be away. Love one another. Hold onto him when you can. Make sure that you two support each other, and don't let this debt sour your relationship with him.

Who knows? We could see actual change for the better and sooner than later - that's my goal. I can't make any promises, but that is my goal.

-Cryn
Founder & Exec. Dir.
All Education Matters

Anonymous said...

Off Topic.

I'm not an economics person, but is this something to be worried about?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFP-2_iDYMU

Taylor74 said...

As a 56 year old special education teacher I must say that the prospect of any loan forgiveness or mitigation would come as welcome news.

The cost of my education is disproportionate with my pay by a factor of ten. I could use some relief as well...

Rtdezine.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Your recent post was a great story or parable!

I read something else into it maybe.

After the car was totaled, you had or have options I suppose, such as a lawsuit, an insurance claim etc.

I wonder if dropping a new engine in the car would be covered by either given the blue book value of the old car and friend vs the legal remedies.

A reflection on how our humanity conflicts with our economics I guess.

In other words, and I wonder though, that if you decided, come hell or high water, to keep your old, beloved car, if you would have any legal recourse for a repair, or an insurance claim.

Cryn Johannsen said...

@Anonymous Nov. 24th - please elaborate. Thanks.

-Cryn
Founder & Exec. Dir.
All Education Matters

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Cryn Blue Eyes:

If this doesn't express the lament that a person can feel for an old and loved family car put out to pasture by force and maybe by an Insurance Company, I guess nothing else can:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6wBxQVBozI

Gordon Wayne Watts said...

The Republicans who are 'OK' with tuition being super high are NOT true Conservatives: Tuition is a type of tax, let's not forget, and the bad GOP lawmakers are "for" high taxes here -- sadly the Republican Party is "just not right" in many ways.

Also, in the absence of bankruptcy protections, lenders are even more apt to make loans to students, since students can not defend themselves and are also on the hook with automatic wage garnishment -- another proof that the modern Republican party is NOT conservative.

My thoughts? Tell them (Republican Lawmakers) to 'be conservative,' and at least that's worth a try... some Republicans ARE honest, so we must try -and not give up!

Also, http://gordonwatts.com/Higher-Ed-Tuition-Costs.html

and

http://gordonWAYNEwatts.com/Higher-Ed-Tuition-Costs.html

have relevant research to keep you busy at solving the higher ed crisis.

Gordon Wayne Watts said...

The Republicans who are 'OK' with tuition being super high are NOT true Conservatives: Tuition is a type of tax, let's not forget, and the bad GOP lawmakers are "for" high taxes here -- sadly the Republican Party is "just not right" in many ways.

Also, in the absence of bankruptcy protections, lenders are even more apt to make loans to students, since students can not defend themselves and are also on the hook with automatic wage garnishment -- another proof that the modern Republican party is NOT conservative.

My thoughts? Tell them (Republican Lawmakers) to 'be conservative,' and at least that's worth a try... some Republicans ARE honest, so we must try -and not give up!

Also, http://gordonwatts.com/Higher-Ed-Tuition-Costs.html

and

http://gordonWAYNEwatts.com/Higher-Ed-Tuition-Costs.html

have relevant research to keep you busy at solving the higher ed crisis.