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- I sent the following letter to my Senator to support the bill but call for more comprehensive reform. If you agree, feel free to cut and paste to send to your own representatives.
Dear Senator Nelson,
First, congratulations on yet another term in the Senate; you deserve it. I write to you today to opine on the state of the student debt crisis, the above referenced bill, and to encourage you to support much needed reform in this area.
As you are likely very well aware, student debt is ballooning out of control. It is being revealed that marketing practices in the past were deceptive and misrepresented the potential for obtaining upward mobility in the job market. Minors are being approached and encouraged to apply for college before even reaching the age of majority.
After graduation from a myriad of fields, former students often find that these days, their degree is just a fancy looking piece of paper and not much else. They are now well trained and capable of adding so much to our society, but being crushed by student debt and forced to work as waitresses, sales persons, and other jobs not requiring degrees.
Worse, as their debt to income ratio is so lopsided against them they are unable to obtain loans to purchase houses, cars, or even start a small business. In short, they are excluded from participating in the economy they were going to school to have the chance to participate in.
I partially support the Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2013, introduced by your esteemed colleagues, but I do not believe it goes far enough.
Meaningful reform does not just include a way out once higher education is complete. Such reform would only result in a custom forming where lenders would give funds for education and most students would bankrupt out upon graduation. Credit checks would soon ignore these bankruptcies as commonplace for degree holders.
No, true reform means reformation in multiple arenas, including lending practices and education itself. But that is a discussion for another day.
I encourage you to consider supporting the Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2013. In the short term, it will help rescue former students in danger of failing to participate and contribute meaningfully to the economy. In the long term it must be replaced by a more comprehensive reform package.
Do not condemn entire generations of Americans to miss out on the American dream. They have the education and skills needed to significantly impact our economy in a positive way. Cut them loose from the shackles of this inequitable debt burden. Their hunger to meet the challenge will only result in good for this great nation.
Jimmy Allen DavisFeb 23, 2013