Some aren't even fortunate enough to have the option of moving home. For instance, on my Taegan Goddard post, one individual recently explained:
I wrote my congressman. I told him how I am a master's degree holding homeless person who lives out of my car because my payments are over 80% of my income. I explained that at no point throughout my education did I ever qualify for grants. His reply? "I support education. See if you can get a grant." .........um........ Clearly he didn't read my message, doesn't care and is completely out of touch with the common person. I have to rely on this individual to represent my interests and it scares me to death.These notes are beyond infuriating. Who in this office decided to send out a form letter about the Congressman supporting higher education? How is that, in any way, related to a person who is homeless with a master's degree, and has student loan payments that are over 80% of his/her income?!? This response illustrates how sorely out of touch most policymakers and politicians are in D.C. In the very least, the staffer in this office could have sent a letter expressing regret about this debtor's predicament. But I guess that's expecting too much, isn't it?
Cryn, you mentioned having hope for our cause after speaking with key people on the hill [sic]. I certainly hope your feedback was better than mine. We're dying out here. Literally.
That said, I do believe it is critical to hold onto hope. After all, this crisis could easily be solved. In my view, it is critical to remain focused on the solutions, rather than going on over-drive on the critiques. Of course, the critiques should continue, but they should be followed with a set of viable solutions. On that note, shortly after the elections in November of 2012, when strong leaders like Elizabeth Warren won, I wrote - yet again - a short, policy-oriented piece over at Spare Change News that offered sensible solutions for student loan reform. I'd like to know if any offices on the Hill are considering these approaches. After all, there are several that I know for a fact care about the student lending crisis. Surely, the topic is no longer too hot to handle, as it was several years ago when I made some of my first visits to the Hill. But perhaps I am mistaken . . .
One thing is certain, the focus on solutions is something you'll find in my forthcoming book, Higher Ed, Greater Debt.
How do you think we can solve the student loan debt crisis? What other plans could be implemented to help struggling borrowers?