In his editorial “Fear and Loaning,” Steve Mosco addresses the hardship placed on an individual to repay a student loan. However, the situation is more complicated than “the government.” Most student loans involve private sector banking institutions in one way or another. High interest rates are certainly due to private sector influence. I have read that there are individuals whose accrued interest debt now exceeds the original principal of their loan.
Lending (banking) firms have lobbied over the years to make it essentially impossible to declare bankruptcy to escape the weight of student loans. Certainly, it is easier for a presidential candidate to declare bankruptcy. Student loans have become a significant sources of revenue to corporate coffers.
Estimates of student loan debt, across the nation, are on the order of a trillion dollars. Yes, this is a national disgrace. For comparison, this baby boomer had a relatively easy time paying a student loan equivalent to three years of tuition at a private engineering school. But the terms were more reasonable back then and there were fewer hands in my pocket. So place blame where it belongs—private sector lending institutions and government complicity.
Beyond casting blame, this does seem to be an issue that has come to the fore in the present race for the White House. Let’s pay attention.