10 Ways Student Debt Is Blocking the Economic Mobility of Young Americans | Demos: "It’s time to renew our commitment to an accessible and affordable higher education system in the United States. Debt is not financial aid—it allows students to pay for college but also raises the cost of a degree because all student loans, especially private loans, include interest charges and origination fees. The need for student loans has also created a very lucrative market for the private lenders and banks who, until 2010, profited from guarantees through the federal student loan system and who are benefiting today from the demand for financing beyond the federal loan program.
As activists across the country protest the debt-for-diploma system and its $1 trillion mark, below are the top ten reasons why our nation must embark on a new strategy to make college affordable as opposed to merely financeable through student loans."1T Day: As U.S. Student Debt Hits $1 Trillion, Occupy Protests Planned for Campuses Nationwide:
PAMELA BROWN: That’s absolutely correct, and that’s a big problem that we have in terms of having people understand the true situation. The government only recently began to take on the majority of direct lending. So that’s only in recent years. The vast majority of the $1 trillion worth of student debt is actually held by Wall Street banks. And those banks actually securitize these loans, and they sell them off, and they make enormous profits from them. Furthermore, even the loans that are held by the government are ultimately securitized. Companies are paid. They’re compensated for servicing these loans. Because so many people are actually unable to pay them, we have a crisis where we have about five million people who are actually in default. And then there are companies that make enormous profits off of collecting on these loans. And these are Wall Street companies.
DAVID HARVEY: Well, it’s true, in a sense, that the costs of higher education have been escalated in this—I mean, way, way beyond the rate of inflation, tuition rates have been going up. But even in the City University of New York, which is—we haven’t imposed higher tuitions, because austerity comes from Albany and says we have less money from the state. And so, you know, again, it’s putting the costs of education onto the people who are being educated. And they’re long-term costs, as you mentioned, a trillion dollars now. And you kind of go, this is unacceptable. This is debt peonage for a large chunk of the population.