Support H.R.4170 - The Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012
  • Petitioned Sen. Tammy Baldwin

This petition was delivered to:

Sen. Tammy Baldwin

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

    • Sharon Karcz GERMANTOWN, WI
      • almost 2 years ago

      Usury, under any other circumstances, is still a crime in this country, is it not?

      The fact that our own government legalized the crime of usury for the personal enrichment of Albert L. Lord, Richard George, Michael J. Barrist, the campaign coffers of lobbyist beneficiaries etc, isn't lost on us.

      An entire generation of citizens who sought to give back to the economy, their communities and the future of this country have instead, been charged, convicted and ordered to pay restitution in endless perpetuity, for participating in the crime of seeking a college degree. For working harder and contributing more to the society in which we live, we will be punished for the rest of our lives.

      As long as greed continues as our national moral compass, there is no "forward" in any realistic sense for anyone other than those already firmly institutionalized within the ruling class.

      Hope, that "thing with feathers" has flown away for an entire generation.

      This is a human rights violation that has been ignored long enough.

    • Shawna Rohda WAUKESHA, WI
      • about 2 years ago

      I am a single mom and I cannot get ahead with these bills on my shoulders. They are a great burdon and havent allowed me to advance.

    • Ann Pulvermacher MCFARLAND, WI
      • about 2 years ago

      I am a single parent of one, who is entering his senior year of high school. When I went to school in 2002-2003, the goal was to get educated, graduate, start a career in the health field. I had a teacher who, when grading the final exam decided because I got one too many wrong, basically kicked me out of the program. It was up to the teachers descretion if they wanted to put you through or not. I have over $7,000 in student loan debt. I have been working a parttime job for the past six years and to make the payments they want is going to leave me broke and unable to keep afloat. Please, I beg you, help us get a handle on this for ourselves and future college students like my son. Thanks you for taking the time to read this.

    • Ardith Richter MILWAUKEE, WI
      • about 2 years ago

      Iam 62 have 18,000 in Student loan that will never be paid why.. because my job went to India.. help a million of us that were trying and then forced to have a roof and feed the family or live in the street..


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