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To the editor:
A couple of things regarding the article on federal student loans (http://www.ausu.org/voice/articles/columndisplay.php?ART=2004). First off, who do we contact to complain? How about some e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, etc.? Rally us, just don’t stand there and wring your hands.
Secondly, I work for one of the Four Big Banks as a lender and investment specialist and it has been my experience of both federal and provincial loans that a fair number (the majority?) of students view these loans as “free money.” Some students get loans knowing full well they plan on going bankrupt once school is done so they can avoid repaying the loans. I have even had a student tell me its not fair that student loans cannot be included in a bankruptcy! I was pleased to hear that because whoever spends the money, needs to held responsible for its repayment. In addition, bankrupt, unpaid, delinquent, or “settled” accounts prevent a person from qualifying for loans of any sort, including vehicle and mortgages loans. The government was making these loans to help people go to school not so people could go to school for free.
In addition, to protesting as students we need to be looking for ways to earn a living, alternative financing for our education, and most of all fiscal responsibility. I am not a financial planner but I am willing to help those looking for financial counselling the benefit of my experience including directing them to reputable credit counseling services.
Here’s your rally call! Everybody, read Fedwatch! from September 3, 2003, v11 i36 (http://www.ausu.org/voice/archives/articledisplay.php?ART=1982&issuesearch=1136) for a call to arms and links to find your local government contacts so that you can take action. Make a pest of yourself 🙂
Also, I have a query: do readers feel that mature students view student loans differently from younger students?