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Anti-Student Loan Industry Leafleting in Front of AAU

Wednesday, September 01, 2010
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Academy of Art University
79 New Montgomey St
San Francisco, CA 94105

Student loans are non-dischargable in bankruptcy court because that's the way the student loan industry wants it. Many lives are ruined by unsustainable debt accumulated in pursuit of an education. Unmanageable student loans particularly impact the lives of poor and working class people.

Please help leaflet in front of Academy of Art University. This week is orientation week at AAU and the school's "Financial Aid" Workshop in on Wednesday, so this is a good day to warn as many students as possible about the perils of taking on enormous student loans in pursuit of an art degree.

Pamphlets will be provided.

Text from the Pamphlet:

Student Loans Destroy Lives

Andrea is 26 years old. She graduated from a private college five years ago with a degree in Industrial Design. She used student loans to pay most of her tuition. After graduating she sent out nearly one hundred resumes, but was unable to find a job in her field.

Unfortunately, Andrea did not realize that a college degree is the least important prerequisite to finding a job. Family connections, personality, and assertiveness are far more important. And some fields have too many new graduates for the very limited number of salaried positions available.

No one told her this. In fact, her high school career counselor and all her teachers told her to reach for her dreams, that she could be anything she wanted, and that education was the best investment a young person could make. Her college professors and financial aid counselor all said the same things.

Andrea took a clerical job paying just above minimum wage to make her rent payments and to buy food. She requested and received a deferment on her loans, but when the first loan payment came due, she could only pay a small portion of it. Her loans went into default. They immediately began to accumulate interest and penalties. The balance grew faster than she could pay it. The balance was growing (and continues to grow) at almost 10% per year. Today it has snowballed to over $100,000. Andrea is harassed constantly by debt collection agencies.

Andrea will never be able to repay this loan. Her wages were being garnished at 10%. After taxes and garnishment, she did not have enough to live on, so she quit her job and moved back with her parents.

Andrea cannot declare bankruptcy because student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy court due to laws passed by Congress at the urging of the student loan banking industry. Andrea’s credit is ruined. She feels that her life is hopeless and without value. She faces a lifetime of indentured servitude only because she followed her dreams, believing the lies of her educators.

Bankers, politicians, and educators have created a rotten, vicious system that exploits young, naïve students from impoverished backgrounds.

Here is what each person gives and receives in this corrupt system:

Students receive a fantasy for four years that they are working towards a rewarding career. Students pay with a lifetime of misery and indentured servitude.

Educators receive generous salaries paid for with students’ (borrowed) tuition fees. Educators give lectures and grade homework.

Bankers lend the money up front … but it is guaranteed by the Federal Government, so it is not really at risk to the bankers. Bankers also give campaign contributions (legal bribes) to the politicians. In many cases the bankers have been caught giving kickbacks to the educators. Bankers receive a very long stream of interest payments from the students (or the taxpayer should the student default). The student loan industry has a history of very high profits.

Politicians receive campaign contributions (legal bribes) from the bankers. Politicians give up their time passing laws making student loans non-dischargeable in bankruptcy court. And they make the taxpayer guarantee the loans as well.

Taxpayers supposedly receive a good feeling that comes from supporting education … but do they know what a rotten system it has become? Taxpayers repay the loans when students default.

Student loans are the only Federally guaranteed loans that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy court. Small Business Administration loans, FEMA loans, and farm loans are dischargeable in bankruptcy. Defaulting students are now in the same category as deadbeat dads and criminals ordered to pay restitution. This has been true only since the 1970s when the student loan industry had the law changed to their advantage.

Defaulting students, and only defaulting students, have been targeted by their own government for financial destruction. A certain real estate mogul has declared his business bankrupt twice, costing bondholders millions of dollars. Wall Street banks went bust in the latest credit cycle and received a trillion dollar bailout. Where is the bailout for defaulted students? Outstanding loans should be repudiated and discharged.

Tuition in the 1950s was often less than a thousand dollars and students paid their way with part time jobs and no borrowing. Federally-guaranteed non-dischargeable loans have poured money into the system and, predictably, tuitions have skyrocketed. Colleges add on every amenity imaginable to the “college experience.” Professors, advisers, counselors, coaches, and administrators are all getting on the gravy train.

What should you do if you are currently financing your college education with heavy borrowing? Unless you are studying a high-demand field, such as law, medicine, or computer science, you should quit immediately. Do not borrow another dollar. You were conned by a group of slick educators, bankers, and politicians. Get out and cut your losses. Start working now to pay down what you already owe. If you conclude that the situation is not recoverable, then finish your education with more borrowing, but be prepared to face the need to expatriate yourself to another country where you are not targeted for financial destruction by the government. Do not turn to selling drugs or prostitution. There are less severe alternatives, such as living on a commune where debts are irrelevant and you will be appreciated.

Good luck to you.

Andrea is a composite character.

Copyleft 2010. Photocopy and redistribute freely.


For more information about the student loan industry, you may want to visit the following website, but note that they are not the sponsor of this protest.
Added to the calendar on Sun, Aug 29, 2010 3:33PM
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