Support H.R.4170 - The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012
  • Petitioned Rep. Gary Peters

This petition was delivered to:

Rep. Gary Peters

Support H.R.4170 - The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012

    1. Petition by

      Aging With Student Debt

We, the undersigned, fervently urge you to support H.R.4170: The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, introduced on March 8, 2012 by Rep. Hansen Clarke (MI). And more than support, we encourage you to co-sponsor this important, life-changing bill.

H.R.4170 is a fair repayment plan. This 10-10 plan proposes 10 years of repayment at 10% of the borrower’s discretionary income (discretionary income is defined as 150% of poverty level). At the end of repayment, any remaining balance is forgiven and is not considered taxable income.

For younger borrowers this will afford them the opportunity to better plan for their futures, knowing there is an end in sight, they can manage their student loan payments rather than be enslaved by them.

For older borrowers it means they have the hope of actually repaying their loans before retirement age and not fear garnishments to monthly Social Security checks; for many in this economy SS may be their sole source of income at retirement.

While the word “forgiveness’’ in the title of this bill describes a legal action, the moral implication of the word is inaccurate. Student loan borrowers have done nothing requiring forgiveness. We have fulfilled our side of the social contract and, in return, have become enslaved to a lifetime of debt.

FACT: Since 1980, average tuition for a 4-year college education has increased 827%

FACT: Since 1999, average student loan debt has increased by 511%

FACT: In 2010, total outstanding student loan debt exceeded total outstanding credit card debt in America for the first time ever

FACT: Total outstanding student loan debt now exceeds $1 Trillion

FACT: This debt impacts the lives of individuals of ALL ages. In March 2012, the Federal Reserve Bank of NY released student loan balances by borrowers age:
• Under 30   33.9%   $295 billion
• 30 to 39     32.8%   $285 billion 

• 40 to 49     16.4%   $142 billion 

• 50 to 59     11.3%     $98 billion 

• 60 & over    4.2%      $36 billion 

• Unknown    1.4%      $12 billion

FACT: Consumer protections have been stripped away. Unlike other unsecured consumer loans there is no statute of limitations, these loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, nor can they be refinanced. With credit card debt, account holders in good standing often enjoy reduced interest rates—not true of student loans. These debts follower borrowers to their graves.

FACT: Also unlike other unsecured consumer loans, the interest on student loans is capitalized--this practice is exempt from State usury laws. It is these industry practices that make managing payments unreasonable and impossible.

More facts here:

In short, student loan debt has become the latest financial crisis in America and, if we do absolutely nothing, the entire economy will eventually come crashing down again, as it did when the housing bubble popped. Reasonable minds can disagree as to the solutions but they cannot disagree on the existence of this ever-growing crisis, as well as the unsustainable course we're on toward financial oblivion.

As a result of more than 30 years of treating higher education as an individual commodity, rather than a public good and an investment in our collective future, we find:
• Those buried under the weight of their student loan debt are not buying homes or cars
• They are not starting businesses or families 

• They're not investing, inventing, innovating or otherwise engaged in any of the economically stimulative activities that we need all Americans to be engaged in. 

If we're ever to dig ourselves out of the giant hole created by the greed of those at the very top, this must be remedied!

This bill, and the wrongs it proposes to right, is not a political bargaining chip. 
It is not a right vs. left, nor a party issue—it is a human issue!

Please, show us that you are more concerned about the citizens who elected you, and that you swore to represent by upholding the constitution, than you are about enabling those responsible for increasing profits for a corrupt system that continues to oppress millions of student loan borrowers.

We respectfully request that you do the right thing and support H.R.4170.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 10 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Andrea Smith ROCHESTER HILLS, MI
      • about 2 years ago


      I am currently a student that has a student loan amount of over 35000 that is being charged interest the moment it is applied to my tuition. I had to take out extra bank loans just so I could pay for the rest of my tuition since the 3500 of unsub. loans from the government per semester ( only Fall and Winter Summer does not get any funding) was not sufficient enough. I live with my parents in order to save on housing. My 35000 debt is purely for tuition that has been climbing drastically. Within only two semesters my tuition has risen from 350 to 370. I can not transfer to another college without loosing over 20 credits . Since I will attend medical school in the future this is only the beginning of crushing debt. Please help us student!

    • David Nowak BIRMINGHAM, MI
      • about 2 years ago

      My children can't afford a college education without student loans. Hopefully, they will find jobs where they will have the ability to pay these loans off. But they may not. I don't want to see their lives ruined by debt before their adult lives truly start.

    • Alexandra Nowak BIRMINGHAM, MI
      • about 2 years ago

      Because there is nothing more important to our country than educating our people. Education must be affordable to all people for us to succeed as a nation and complete globally.

    • Loe Oel REPUBLIC, MI
      • about 2 years ago

      If the United States wants its students and peole to be able to compete worldwide and better represent and benefit the United States in the world and actually do something with the degrees they work so hard to manage to obtain, the United States should not shackle them with so much loan that they must forsake using their degree as intended and must settle for finding any job (related to their major or not) which might possibly enable them o pay back these loans and survive in the world.

    • Lauren S BIRMINGHAM, MI
      • about 2 years ago

      I graduated from university one year ago with a B.A.. This B.A. cost me almost $100,000 in student loan debt, the majority of it is in private loans. In total, I'll be expected to pay over $1,000 per month in a couple of years for 11 years because I had no better options. With job scarcity and the low income of work that I actually have managed to find, this just won't be feasible, and it's not right.

      Please, help me. Help all of us.

      You, our representative, are the only one who can.


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