Students smothered by loans

Photo by Sarah Calvello
Photo by Sarah Calvello

By Calindra Revier

The Guardsman

I suspect that many students feel hopeless and undoubtedly confused as they trudge through the winding  and dark path that is student loans.

It starts simple.

The current 4.66 percent interest rate, elevated outrageously from 3.86 percent just last year before, is expected to almost double in the next few years.

By 2017, cited projections from the Congressional Budget Office state that the student loan rates should top at 6.8 percent and rates for graduate students and parents will exceed their old rates as soon as next year, according to The New York Times article.

All that must be completed to take a student loan out is completing one of easiest forms you will ever fill out for a money loan, attending a short 45 min Q and A information session in the Multi-Use building and clicking a few boxes online.

Then print, give paperwork to the financial aid office and wait for the money to roll in.

Unfortunately this process, although simple in terms, does not fulfill the necessary “I’ve got your back” approach by the government. Instead it seems that most Government Senators and House members would rather protect their own economic interests than help students out from underneath they’re heaping pile of student loans.

I am interested to see what the economic state of our country will look like when everyone graduating from college is already far in debt.

Back in June congress blocked the Obama backed ‘Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act.’ Pushing for the bill was Sen. Elizabeth Warren who said “This debt is crushing our young people and dragging down our economy,” Warren (D., Mass.) said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Perhaps not surprising, congress disagreed on the bill, and once again our country seems to be politically gridlocked. At four votes shy of the needed 60 votes, the final tally was 56 years (mainly Democrats) to 38 no (primarily Republican).

My teacher in high school warned me about student loans. On a teachers salary, hers were at about $50,000 and she explained that she often felt stressed by this load and warned me to be mindful while I contemplated borrowing one to pay my college expenses. .

I thought to myself that this would not be an issue for me. I would simply work hard, take out a few small loans, graduate and immediately start a well-paid job that would allow me to live comfortably while also paying the Federal Government back.

The grace period for paying back student loans is 6 months after the last day of class you complete, either at City College or a higher University.

That’s 6 months to figure out a steady job (hopefully in your field) that pays enough to support your costly San Francisco rent, pay for your car that just broke down, muni pass, health insurance and that cavity you need to fill which won’t be covered by your health-care provider because dental isn’t on your plan anymore.

Despite my multiple jobs, I am no less in debt. I struggle like many students to afford the sharp expense of living in the Bay Area and simply being in the City. Really I am lucky that I have multiple jobs to begin with.

The Economic Policy Institute reported that the new graduate unemployment rate reached a staggering 16.8 percent, leaving many students to wonder if the investment in our education is really worth all the debt.

With the midterm elections coming up the focus should be on creating barriers which will protect students from the government profiting off them and they’re already overwhelming debt.

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