Let me pay my student debt in peace, thank you

Tiana Meador

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Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, decided he wants to try to ruin people’s lives with a new economic plan. Earlier this month, Alexander proposed a plan that could affect over 40 million people, with his new ideas to overhaul to the student loan system. 

In plain terms, the proposal could actually protect borrowers and streamline the current system, which currently offers 14 different repayment plans. The national student debt is still projected to swell upwards of $2 trillion by 2022. The plan has two choices, one of which decides that the borrowers bills would be capped at 10 percent of their discretionary income, the other would spread the payments across a decade.

For one, “Borrowers with tight budgets that need to be navigated on a monthly basis, forced automatic payroll withholding may mean diverting money away from rent, heat or food in order to pay their student loans,” reads a report by the National Consumer Law Center.

These mandatory deductions in Alexander’s first plan could mean the difference between being able to afford a surprise medical bill and paying off debt for an already outrageously priced education system.

Speaking personally, when my parents attended school, the cost of their entire education was easily equivalent to one year of mine. Although this gives nearly no premise to this argument, it is still valid to consider when imposing a law that could take even more from students.

I am paying to build myself a future, not to get a good job that turns into a mediocre wage because a law said I can’t earn until I pay, college was my decision, and I should be able to decide how I pay it off. Point blank period.

And before we highlight that second plan, the little caveat that makes Alexander seem less of a money hungry devil, let us consider that his first plan could enlighten your employers on the debt you have accumulated.

“This is a system rife with fraud and predatory lending,” said Barmak Nassirian, director of federal relations at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. 

Your employer knowing the details of their debt. Let me restate, for an in-state (live on campus) University of Minnesota Student, who pays an average of $25 thousand a year, your brand-new employer, straight out of college could be enlightened that you are $100 thousand in debt. Lets not mention, that is for in state.

Could this affect employee-employer relations? Obviously this first plan needs tweaking, but proponents are already saying there is a high chance this could be put into place.

What a spicy brand new idea!

I mean, we could obviously consider what Allie Conti said, writer for Vice, “These are legitimate concerns, though it’s worth noting that a much-worse version of this kind of garnishment already exists. If you default on your loans, the entire balance is immediately due in full, plus collection charges up to 24 percent of your balance. That also means the federal government—a.k.a. the world’s most powerful loan shark—can just take up to 15 percent of your paycheck. Not quite a baseball bat to the kneecaps, but potentially crippling nonetheless.”

In my opinion, I would rather have the choice to rather than just be told to- but that could be my immature 19-year-old mind telling me more money is better money. Just does not seem like a fair thing to impose upon the most debt-riddled people.