As a Professor (of Communication and Media Studies) at Fordham University in New York City, I'm naturally always concerned about students and their future well being. But this documentary makes vivid an abuse which, while tragically all too commonplace, is way out of the ordinary in its destructive effects. Did you know, for example,
- that going into "forebearance" - getting a delay on when you as a student who has graduated must start repaying your loan - can result in astronomical increases in what you ultimately owe, to the tune of $20,000 borrowed requiring more than a $60,000 repayment?
- that even a lawyer who landed a job in the Brooklyn DA's office has been driven to financial collapse because of usurious "forebearance" charges?
- that even bankruptcy will not save you from loan repayment collectors?
To be clear - of course loans should be repaid, if at all possible. But life-destroying rates and the policies of some of the lenders to students are unconscionable, as well as deeply damaging of the future of our society.
I learned most of this in Default: the Student Loan Documentary. Its air dates have not yet been established. Keep your eyes out for it. In the meantime, check the documentary's Facebook page.