David Dulberg
September 2018

Radical Approaches to Student Loan Debt May Build Community, Hope

There is a radical fringe to the student loan debt fight. While national and state politicos spar over how to deal with student loan debt, and companies such as Ameritech Financial provide practical repayment navigational assistance, there are factions that urge more revolutionary tactics.

More than 44 million borrowers are paying pay back—or failing to pay back—more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. One group, Student Loan Justice, is currently lobbying to return bankruptcy protections to student borrowers. They assert that aggressive community engagement is important in terms of both policy and social connection.

Building Community

With active chapters in nearly every state, Student Loan Justice seeks to build a community for struggling borrowers through political agitation, local engagement, and storytelling. The group sees the overwhelmed borrower as a traumatized victim. They encourage each borrower to come out of the shadows and unite with fellow sufferers.

Eli Campbell recently wrote a manifesto invoking 1960’s radical, Mario Savio who spearheaded a massive on-campus act of civil disobedience at the University of California Berkeley. He calls for a national boycott of student loans.  The only way that powerful interests will take action, he says, is if there is large-scale default.

Outright Forgiveness of All Student Loan Debt

Perhaps these individuals and organizations seem too aggressive for your tastes? Even mainstream organizations such as Forbes, the Levy Institute, the Washington Post, Fusion, and CNN have published pieces discussing the forgiveness of all student loan debt. Not some debt. Not under certain circumstances. The articles and studies reasonably consider the financial costs and benefits for forgiving all debt for all student loan borrowers.

Even with the seriousness of the student loan crisis and its grip on millions of individuals and the U.S. economy, it remains startling that mainstream sources are calmly discussing a radical notion such as outright forgiveness of $1.5 trillion in student loan debt.

For borrowers, though, it is important to seek support. Finding others to share the stress of keeping up with high monthly payments and household bills is crucial. You need outlets to speak about living at home. Or, about delaying life plans such as marriage, having children, buying a home or car. Stressful isolation is unhealthy for body and mind and can only lead to increased suffering.

According to a recent article in Yes!, these radical calls for “collective action soothe the hurt of so many alienated debtors, breaking the taboos that allow them to say, ‘Me, too’ and admit openly that in this financial climate we all need each other to move forward.”

Options are available to help

Most people do not realize that there are programs designed to help those who may be struggling with their student loan payments. Thousands of borrowers have trusted Ameritech Financial to be their advocate. Click here to find out what options are available. Our services could help you get back on track.

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David Dulberg

David Dulberg lives with his wife in the coastal hills above a narrow creek, mid-canopy in a redwood forest. He has been writing for non-profits for many years, and volunteers as a pilot on the Baum Squad, a tandem bike riding program for the Earle Baum Center for the Blind. He does not have a pet. This does not make him a bad person.

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