While loan forgiveness kicks in 25 years after graduation, Boston University alumnus Adam Minsky said a bill proposing to free students from debt within 10 years would provide a huge relief for graduates.
“This makes it affordable to have a high student loan debt on a modest income,” said Adam Minsky, an attorney who specializes in student loan law. “There is a big difference between paying for 10 years and paying for 25.”
If passed, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act in Congress would forgive federal and private student loan debt for those who paid 10 percent of their income toward loans for 10 years.
Teachers, some doctors, public service workers and those working for nonprofit organizations could have their loan debt forgiven after five years.
“The fact is that we hit a trillion dollars in student loan debt, more than credit card debt and auto debt,” Minsky said. “The earlier [people] can get rid of this debt, the sooner they can start living their lives again.”
BU students who borrow average about $36,000 in debt, said BU spokesman Colin Riley.
“We are very generous with our financial assistance,” Riley said. “Other schools in the area have some of the highest net price calculations.”
Minsky said the most significant improvement the bill proposes is loan forgiveness for private loans.
“The problem right now is that none of the existing programs are available for private student loans,” he said. “Private student loans are very inflexible, but [the] bill will consolidate private and federal student loans to make them both more manageable.”
School of Education sophomore Haley Jensen said if the bill passes it would serve as a great initiative to expand the education field if teachers know their debt will be paid off.
“BU has a great education program, but people tend to choose cheaper schools since they won’t be paid very much after college,” Jensen said. “They don’t want to take out loans they cannot pay back.”
The threat of student loans should not stop students from going to the best colleges and universities they can, said Sammi Saunders, a Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences freshman.
“If you have the ability to go to a good school, you shouldn’t have to pass it up because you can’t afford it or won’t be able to pay back student loans,” Saunders said. “You only go to college once.”
College of Communication graduate student Don Fisco said loan debt is a good enough reason to get a practical job instead of spending money on a four-year education.
“Student loans create mountains of debt and is basically another reason to go to trade school,” Fisco said.
Despite the potential benefits of the bill, Minsky said he is uncertain if it will pass in the near future because it stands as a Democratic proposal in a Republican House.
“I like the bill, but don’t get your hopes up,” he said. “The easiest counter argument is that you’re giving students a free pass, and it is unfair to people who already have student loans.”
I have a loan balance of over 100,000 dollars, and have reached the ripe age of 70 and also just retired from the federal government. I donot have the means to pay this. Is there anything that can be done?
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10% of my income over ten years…uhm…well, that’s all well and good for those who are successful and gainfully employed, but what about the rest of us? I can’t afford to pay a single dime towards student loans; its more important that I don’t freeze and starve.
What about just straight-up forgiveness in ten years, whether I’m able to pay or not, because I won’t be able to, now or then.
Is this retroactive, or does it only apply to those in college now? (I left college in 2008, would I hypothetically qualify?) Does it apply only to those who graduated, or anyone who has college debt?
And I’m sick to death of hearing that “Oh, its not fair” argument.
Personally, I don’t give a [email protected] if some oldster thinks its fair or not. It has no bearing on my life whether someone *else* was able to pay back their loans. I have my own set of difficulties and circumstances; everyone is different.
So because someone else suffered a hardship, that means I should have to as well?
That makes NO sense whatsoever.
But as they say, misery loves company.
I’m sorry you had such a b!tch of a time paying back your loans. And good for you for working five jobs, being in the military, raising ten kids, AND still making payments. I admire your strength and determination, and even can empathize with the frustration that people would be getting a free pass, when you had to scrimp and save.
But even though a bill such as this might not be “fair,” its more important that people swallow their pride, shut the heck up, and maybe think about making other people’s lives better.
How about you signed a contract to pay back the loans you took out. How about you honor the contract. Nobody forced you to take the money, MY money as a taxpayer.
It took me 10 years but I paid back every dime I borrowed. You made an adult decision to take the money now make an adult decision to pay it back.
Time to grow up, suck it up and deal with it.
How about when you graduate your are unemployed for 24 months and enter default for multiple 100s of thousands of dollars in student debt to get an advanced degree. You know to seek opportunity and help your country avoid brain drain? How about all those jobs that were expected to be available and even any semblance of comparable wages disappeared while enrolled?! Leaving you unable to pay your loans on TUITION that was INFLATED by private student loan companies making access to capital TOO easy, so that both the institutions and private loan industry would be able to get fat off this scenario while the job seeker was sucked dry and enters a market that doesn’t want his degree or skill set, where there is no longer any earning potential to tuition correlation and where these same institutions successfully lobbied congress to exempt their scheme from bankruptcy insulation or a ‘bail out’. If you sold a product that on the surface seemed to possess value and didn’t it would be considered FRAUD in any other industry subject to consumer and lemon laws.
These institutions made the decision to speculate on their recruits and get fat off unknowing eager for opportunity young adults who had no other access to higher education without taking on loans. They were adults and sucked these unwitting students dry with oppressive interest rates, credit risk insulation, and inflated tuition… NOW IT’S TIME THEY ARE ADULTS AND FACE THE END OF THE PARTY THEY WERE HAVING AT OUR EXPENSE, NOW THEY SHOULD FOOT THE DIFFERENCE IN BILL BETWEEN ACTUAL DEGREE VALUE AND EARNING POTENTIAL AND WHAT THEY CHARGED!!! You suck it up and deal with it. You’re the type of person to tell the woman who was raped that she should deal with it because she wore a skirt that night… Know what you’re talking about next time.
on . March 20th, 2012 at . 3:57 pm