Monday, September 10, 2012

Loans and Responsibility

From a recent NY Times article

“I keep changing my phone number,” said Amanda Cordeiro, 29, from Clermont, Fla., who dropped out of college in 2010 and has fielded as many as seven calls a day from debt collectors trying to recover her $55,000 in overdue loans. “In a year, this is probably my fourth phone number.” 

While I know that student loan debt has gotten out of control in this country, what I don’t understand is how someone can completely disregard their responsibility to pay a loan? This woman is a single mother and obviously has a lot on her plate. But to change your phone number four times in one year to avoid the debt collectors? Ridiculous. Doesn’t she understand that a loan has to be repaid? It wasn’t a gift, a scholarship, or a grant. It is money that you must pay. 

I feel like people who refuse to pay their own debt make a mockery of those of us who do stand up for what we got ourselves into. I knew what I was taking on when I took out my loans and I knew I would have to pay for them. Because of this I now do everything I possibly can to get out of this debt and repay what I owe. I got a pretty big return on my investment - two college degrees and a world of knowledge and experiences that help me in my career and in my personal life. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I realize that I must now pay for it. 

Also, the federal government is making it easier for borrowers to avoid default by introducing such programs as the income-based repayment program and the public service loan forgiveness program. The above article mentions that debt collectors and loan agents are not quick to point out that these programs exist, which, in my opinion, is a travesty. But what is more of a travesty is that these people who are evading payment on their loans are not trying to find ways to pay them. What happened to personal responsibility and making hard choices? I don’t like that I owe all of this money, but what is the alternative? This debt is never going to leave me unless I force it out myself. Which I am working on doing 
At the end of the day, you can only be responsible for yourself, but it is a sad reflection on today’s society that taking out loans apparently doesn’t mean anything to many of the borrowers. I think it should.

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