Student Debt Relief’s Graduation Speech:
Well, even though no one asked us to speak again this year, given that it’s graduation weekend around the country, we figured it would be a good time to give our commencement speech nevertheless.
Be warned, it is not as inspirational as many of these speeches, but nothing will change with people understanding the severity and causes of the student loan crisis
Here we go..
Let me start with a perfunctory, but sincere, Congratulations.
Today we close the book on a very formative chapter in your life. Hopefully, you maximized the involved time you had at (fill in your college here). Because for 70%+ of you, this formative experience will shape your path in ways no one explained to you when you got that shining acceptance letter that used to mean a ticket to an improved financial life. Unfortunately for you, your student loans have drastically changed this equation for an improved economic life.
Let me give you the honest truth here—you have been forsaken, sold out. Forsaken by the entire system. But rather than just blame some nebulous “system” let me make this MUCH more tangible. You have been sold out by:
Its administration and faculty and . . .
You’re probably asking, “If I’ve been sold out by this ‘system,’ who have I been sold out to?”
Answer: Banks, loan servicers, and the federal government! These institutions will profit for decades from money loaned to you that probably never hit your bank account. It went straight from the government or the bank, right into your school’s coffers. And what have schools done with this manna from heaven? They’ve spent it like drunken sailors, all on your newly diploma’s back.
See, the banks and the school both benefit from you signing away your financial freedom at age 18. The banks and government can load you up with a HUGE, nay, RECKLESS amount of debt because they know that they can make your life hell in perpetuity trying to get it back. Calling you, chasing you, and taking your (and for those of you with co-signers, your family’s) paychecks and tax refunds, while they collect late fees and tack on penalty interest until they shake every penny out of you that they can. Once that approach has fully run its course, they will get bailed out by the taxpayers.
For their part, the schools can keep raising administration salaries, add staff, increase program budgets, and literally build ivory towers all over campus—how else would cost of college outpace inflation so badly?
Because of this fun, the banks and schools have had to loan you money and then promptly to spend it, and now you have to spend the next 10-20 years paying it back,
it turns out the burden of student loans is so onerous that 40% aren’t being paid back on time, reckless lending at its most extreme.
Let that sink in. .40%!
What sane person would EVER loan money, knowing there was a 40% chance it wouldn’t be paid back—you think your Uncle Johnny would do this? They wouldn’t, that’s because sane people, and your uncle Johnny, don’t have the power or connections that the large banks, financial companies, and colleges do in this country.
Look around, in a few short years, 4 out of 10 your friends with student loans will be facing sleepless night because of the time you guys spent together here–not the fun kind of sleepless night you had over the last few years while getting your degree.
I’m talking the scary, isolating, embarrassed, harrowing, sleepless nights only people getting collection calls from sun-up to sun-down understand.
The system is rigged against you at every turn once you borrow that money. Student debt is a Thanksgiving sized feast for debt collectors because often they don’t even have to sue you take your paycheck, and it can’t be wiped out in bankruptcy—another gift from the government to the banks. Isn’t this just a beautiful relationship they all have at your expense?
So what can you do?
- Pinch pennies and make pragmatic career choices. I know it’s not fun to base your decisions on debt, that’s the reality. You owe a car’s worth of debt, but didn’t get any keys
- Educate yourself about student loan forgiveness options, their millions of people aren’t who taking advantage of them—get to know and understand the Income Based Repayment programs
- Vote and advocate aggressively and immediately for:
- Lower interest rates on all federal student loans
- Student loan discharges in bankruptcy
- Loan servicer accountability
- No tax on student loan forgiveness
- Outlawing for-profit higher education
I wish I had better news, but the best I can do at this point is give you the truth. Hopefully, you’ll pass this on to you little brothers and sisters before they sign their financial future away.
That’s the only good “paying it forward” than can come from this.
As all great, clichéd graduation speeches invoke children’s books, I will leave you as the famed Lorax did. . .
like Edward R Murrow used to say “Good luck and good night.”
(Disclaimer we’re always here for you 24/7)
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Student Debt Relief Loan Refinancing Advertiser Disclosure
College Ave: College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.
1 – The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as the borrower or cosigner, if applicable, enrolls in auto-pay and authorizes our loan servicer to automatically deduct your monthly payments from a valid bank account via Automated Clearing House (“ACH”). The rate reduction applies for as long as the monthly payment amount is successfully deducted from the designated bank account and is suspended during periods of forbearance and certain deferments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
2 – $5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees. Information advertised valid as of 04/26/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 – This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
ELFI: Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. To qualify for refinancing or student loans consolidation through ELFI, you must have at least $15,000 in student loan debt and must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from an approved post-secondary institution.
LendKey: Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
CommonBond: Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate.
Splash Financial: Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval.com
Earnest: To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest’s fixed-rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with autopay) to 7.89% APR (with autopay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with autopay) to 7.27% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms of 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 0.26% and 5.03% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 23, 2019 and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay Discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/23/19. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice.
Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 303 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, e-mail us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.