Kaitlin Cawley finished grad school with $95,000 in student loans,
including a $24,000 variable-rate loan that started at 9.4% and now
stands at 11%, a loan that the US government lender Sallie Mae brokered
for her when she was 20.
Sallie Mae’s portal makes it almost impossible to find out how much
you’ve paid into your loans; after a lengthy runaround, Cawley found
that she had paid back $18,000 of her $24,000 loan, but that she still
owed the full amount, thanks to sky-high interest and stiff penalties
the government assessed against her because she opted to save tens of
thousands of dollars by going to grad school outside of the USA.
Cawley comes from a working-class background and her family was not able
to substantially offset the expense of her university. She attended
anyone, convinced that postsecondary education was the path to social
mobility. Despite an advanced degree, Cawley lives in relative penury,
largely thanks to her student debt.
Americans owe $1.4 trillion in student debt. Student debts are largely
not dischargeable through bankruptcy, and is the only form of debt that
you can be forced to pay your Social Security into.
The President of the United States has declared bankruptcy six times.
His university defrauded its students of millions of dollars, which they
are still paying back. He enacted a policy that makes it impossible for defrauded students to escape their loans; while his Secretary of Education has killed the rules that prevented debt-collectors with a track-record of committing illegal acts from collecting student debts.
Last month, the student debt industry’s top expert was revealed to be an imaginary person, puppeted by industry executives.