END Student Debt
As the largest private profiteer of student debt — owning $162.5 billion of student debt and servicing over 4 million Department of Education loans — Sallie Mae has the power to set industry-wide trends for student loan interest rates, debt collection practices, and standards set for all servicers. A publicly traded corporation, Sallie Mae is only accountable to its shareholders – not the government or students.
In 2010 something unthinkable happened – student debt surpassed credit card debt as the largest form of debt in this country, passing $800 billion dollars. In 2012 more history was made as the amount of unpaid student debt surpassed a staggering $1 trillion dollars.
The ripple effect that this has on our economy is crushing: students and recent graduates are forced into low-wage jobs in order to immediately start making payments back to banks and lenders; instead of stimulating the economy by spending millions of dollars, students and graduates are pinching pennies to just try to keep up with the interest on their loans; and the privatization of colleges and universities are expedited as the same loan agencies use the profit off of students to lobby for lower tax rates, forcing budget cuts to higher education in an economy where recent graduates struggle to find jobs.
If we do not solve the student debt crisis the students of today will suffer, but the students of tomorrow may never have the opportunity to a college education. A generation of students will pay the hefty price of their student loans; but we must not forget that we will also pay the debt of an entire country ignoring the burden placed on those working to better their lives and communities by obtaining a college degree.
Learn more about Sallie Mae by watching this video!