Support H.R.4170-The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012
  • Petitioned Rep. Terri A. Sewell

This petition was delivered to:

Rep. Terri A. Sewell

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% http://tinyurl.com/7ohxq5h

FACT: Since 1999, average student loan debt has increased by 511%
http://tinyurl.com/3gdfwnn

FACT: In 2010, total outstanding student loan debt exceeded total outstanding credit card debt in America for the first time ever http://tinyurl.com/3y9koxy

FACT: Total outstanding student loan debt now exceeds $1 Trillion 
http://tinyurl.com/2fegw9d

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

http://tinyurl.com/6uxncud

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. 
http://tinyurl.com/y46sw9v

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. 
http://tinyurl.com/2abz6fb

More facts here: http://tinyurl.com/cfeak78

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

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    1. Reached 25 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Monroe Monroe DANVILLE, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      I only have Social Security !

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    • Billy Greene BIRMINGHAM, AL
      • about 2 years ago

      I need help

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    • Katia Schvartz PHX, AZ
      • about 2 years ago

      This is in important because my wages are being garnished by these money vampires. How can I live if I don't even get a full pay check. I'm swimming in debt because I can't take home everything I work hard to make, including my income taxes every year. I'm even putting my mother into financial debt because she helps me out with my bills. I need help any way I can find it. And this bill sounds like a light at the end of the tunnel.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • James Kennedy HUNTSVILLE, AL
      • about 2 years ago

      This is an incredible stopping block to me and my future career. This not only inhibits me from spending money into the economy, this stops me from loving life and will always make me speak out against going to college. Unless this bill is signed into place, I will always be an advocate for staying out of college and not being trapped into a false future.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Benjamin Sanders HUNTSVILLE, AL
      • about 2 years ago

      If we can foolishly afford to bail out banks who were then too large to allow fail, and have now grown even larger, if we can bail out American auto manufacturers who were too important to the economy that ended up selling out to foreign interests. How about we invest in some people who actually have a chance at doing some good, let’s invest in college graduates and forgive the relatively minor amount of Student Loans while we revamp the US Department of Education and our foreign spending. Sanders for Senate 2014

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