How College Grads Can Get Sucker-Punched with Double Jeopardy

Education is, without a doubt, one of the most highly-sought-after goals for most individuals nearing the completion of their high school careers throughout America. From a very young age, it is driven into us that we need to get a post-secondary education if we want to survive in the world of tomorrow. In most instances, I would be inclined to agree.

But that education, of course, has a price.

Robert Borosage with the Campaign for America’s Future (co-director) was recently on The Young Turks, an online progressive news/commentary program which is primarily featured on XM satellite radio. During an interview with the host, Cenk Uyger, Mr. Borosage brought up an interesting point that at first seems like it should be completely ludicrous, and should not under any circumstances be allowed. But it isn’t quite so strange, because it turns out he’s absolutely right.

When a college student receives loans for their education, there are not only the budgetary concerns, the academic concerns, and the social concerns waiting for them upon their arrival on campus, but in the future, when they’ve either graduated or failed to on their own merits, they must start repaying those loans. The loans are insured for the banks by the government, so that if a student should default, the money is guaranteed to the lender. The student must still pay their own loan off as well, however, meaning that the banks can double-dip for the same singular loan.

It gets worse, if that can be believed. No longer can filing for bankruptcy save the prospective graduate from the depths of the kind of debt that will be heaped on them. Even after declaring that you can’t possibly pay off these debts, the loan institution is still allowed to come after the student for the loans, even though they’ve been paid off on the account by the government, and the student has themselves admitted that they just can’t do it. The interest alone can in many cases be crippling, and this matters not one whit to the banks/lenders. They want only to protect their own bottom line.

Some of these very same lenders were up the creek, as it were, until the bailouts came along to save their hides. So long as they can fleece you, they will. If you’re a student, it’s just that much easier to do it. But what can one reasonably expect to do in order to get that post-secondary education if they don’t take out those loans? Strike out on your own as a small businessman? Get a regular low-income job that doesn’t require the degree? Maybe two or three of those jobs to survive?

In the long run, the options for the average American looking to get that sought-after education aren’t very many, or very attractive.