The price of college tuition matched with a not-so-great outlook for jobs with the salaries to pay off big student loans is making students mad. The system is broken. And just like the thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters, students want to be heard.
The Occupy Student Debt Campaign is founded on 4 principals:
1. The single, largest step we could take to alleviate future student loan debt would be to guarantee tuition-free education for students enrolled at public colleagues and universities.
2. Student loans are not consumer loans, and they should not be packaged as if they were consumer credit debt.
3. Students at private and for-profit universities and colleges have a fundamental right to know how their tuition dollars are being allocated and spent.
4. The student loan industry has profited from borrower vulnerability through predatory lending practices such as compounding interest rates, high collection fees, and few consumer protections.
The campaign is asking borrowers to default on their student loan payments after one million individuals have similarly signed the debtor’s pledge. But before you decide to sign anything and default on your own debt, think about it. Perhaps the ideas of the pledge hit at your heart strings, but the reality of defaulting on your loans will have long-term effects including the garnishing of future wages and tax refunds and other penalizing tactics that could be huge roadblocks for building your life. It’s basically like a black mark.
The realistic lesson we can take from this? Do your homework before you sign for a student loan. Really understand what you are getting into before you sign your life away. The more informed you are about your finances, the more in control you can be.
Do you feel like your in control of your college tuition?