Debt forgiveness group sends wrong message
Members of the Occupy Student Debt Campaign unveiled their plan for easing student debt woes this Monday in Zuccotti Park. Their plan calls for students to sign a debtors pledge in which they promise to stop making payments on their student loans after one million people have signed the pledge.
“There is no justice in a system that openly invites profiteering on the part of lenders. Education is a right and a public good, and it should be properly funded as such,” wrote the Occupy Student Debt Campaign on their website: occupystudentdebtcampaign.com.
While the group has some noble ideas, its members voluntarily took on the loans; there was no one forcing them to do so. Instead of taking on substantial student debt, these students could have attended cheaper universities or funded their studies themselves. There are many students who decide to work in college instead of taking on student loans. These students often spend longer in college, but when they graduate they are not in debt. It would be unfair to these students if the debts of other students were forgiven.
“There’s this very strong moral and ethical belief that people don’t walk away from loans they voluntarily assumed,” said Anya Kamenetz, the author of “Generation Debt,” in an article on The Huffington Post.
Although the system is obviously broken, these students need to claim responsibility for their situation and pay off their debt. Their situation should serve as a warning to future students that they shouldn’t take on more debt than they can manage.
Deciding to stop making payments on their student loans will only make the situation of these students more dire. The last thing a loan-laden college student needs in today’s job market is a black mark on their credit score.
As of Monday night, only 253 individuals have signed the pledge — an indication that Occupy Student Debt has a lot of work to do before they reach their goal of one million signers.