Collecting Student Loan Debt Like It’s Child Support
By Y. (9/10/12)
With school tuition going up every year, it’s hard for students to go to school or even stay in school. Last year U.C. Tuition increased by 18 percent “and there is a plan to raise tuition 8 percent to 16 percent a year through 2015-16.” Many students find themselves working two jobs, earning just enough for rent, food and maybe tuition. When governmental grants diminish as the so-called budget crisis grows, more and more students are relying on loans. One of the biggest mistakes a student can make is take out a loan and use it toward living expenses and not tuition. “Amanda Cordeiro of Claremont, Florida, owes $55,000 in student loans. She has changed her number about four times in a year to avoid being found." Living paycheck to paycheck is now the reality for many people, most of whom have graduated and have some type of degree. There are about “5.9 million people nationwide” who have fallen at least 12 months behind in their payments. Once borrowers fall back in payments for 360 days and individuals are not found, popular collection companies like ConServe dig through public records to find information that can lead them to the borrower. This process mirrors what LA County does in collecting child support from deadbeat dads and moms. If mom or dad fails to pay, LA County has the power to garnish wages, withhold tax returns, and even cancel driver’s licenses or any professional license in order to collect money. For students, companies like ConServe, upon finding a borrower who refuses to cooperate, with the approval of the Department of Education they will withhold a government check or garnish wages.
Students usually are not aware of their options to pay off their debts. One of them is income-based repayment. No one takes the time to talk about options; everyone is just out to get the money. One can get an income-based repayment or a deferment that will buy you time, but ultimately the borrower will have to pay. It’s getting harder to pay off loans and nowadays high school seniors are holding off going to UC’s or Cal Sates and entering community college in hopes of saving money. Most students who go to community college end up being there for four years because the campuses are overpopulated and classes are shrinking and frequently impossible to get. When no one is worried about our future but us, is it fair to go after us? Shouldn’t we go after the government who, along with the rapacious loan companies, placed us is this sticky situation in the first place?