Economy

Why Posing as a Debt Collector Might be the Best Halloween Costume

Now that it's Halloween season, there are few things more haunting to millions of twenty-somethings than their student loans payments; this Funny or Die video makes that all too clear.

"You need to pay now or die," an ominous debt collector warns, "you are 168 days delinquent. If you can't get a job and contribute, then there's no reason for you to live..."  

 

 

Currently, 7 million Americans are in default on their student loans, meaning they are more than 270 days late on a payment. Millions more are delinquent, and to file for bankruptcy you must prove "undue hardship," which, in essence, translates to being severely disabled. 

The average college student who takes out loans graduates with an average of $25,000 debt. And the government is profiting tens of billions of dollars from federal student loan interest rates, which are projected to climb even more (up to 10.5% for graduate students) over the next five years. Watch U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren explain it here: 

 

 

Some background:

In July 2013, federal student loan interest rates were switched from a fixed percentage at 3.4 percent to a rate that varies with the market, allowing students to take advantage of temporarily low rates, but offering no protection for students when rates inevitably begin to climb, as the Congressional Budget Office projects they will. This borders on becoming predatory, and Warren herself even compared the system to the teaser rates on mortgages that caused the housing crisis.

Known as the "Bank on Students Act," Warren introduced legislation that would allow private and federal student borrowers to take advantage of market interest rates as low as 3.86 percent. According to the White House, which also supports the bill, it could save borrowers on average $2,000 over the life of their loan. A report from the Center for American Progress also stated that "refinancing [only] federal student loans with an interest rate above 5 percent would result in a savings of $14 billion for individual borrowers in 2013 and pump $21 billion into the economy in the first year alone." 

You can sign our petition in support of student loan refinancing HERE.