Dear Commons Community,
Some 40 million Americans collectively owe nearly $1.3 trillion on their student loans. On Wednesday, a small group of volunteers announced they helped reduce unpaid student bills by a smidgen, thanks to public donations and a desire to help Americans live debt-free.
Strike Debt, a group of anti-debt activists born out of the Occupy Wall Street movement, said it purchased $3.9 million in delinquent private student debt and immediately canceled it.
The debt, which came in the form of unpaid tuition receivables from Everest College, a for-profit school operated by the Corinthian Colleges chain, was purchased in May for about $107,000, the group said. The purchase was funded entirely by donations. As reported in The Huffington Post:
The Rolling Jubilee Fund, a nonprofit formed by Strike Debt with the sole purpose of buying and abolishing debt, canceled an average of nearly $1,400 in debt held by more than 2,700 students. About 99 percent of the unpaid bills were from last year and 2012…
“We bought debt from this school [Everest College] in order to focus public attention on the grim consequences of allowing higher education to be used as a vehicle for private profit,” Strike Debt said in a statement. “The students at this college were conned. The schools are now being closed or sold off to other predatory companies, leaving students with no good options.”
About 90 percent of unpaid student loans are owed to the U.S. government. Corinthian Colleges students whose campuses are shut down can petition the Education Department to forgive federal student loans they took out to attend their closed schools. The rest will be forced to pay it all back.’
Although a drop in the bucket, this is a great idea. If some mega-billionaires and their foundations would pony-up sizeable donations just think how much good thery would be doing for many Americans enmeshed in student debt.
Thank you so much for this, Tony. I’m inspired!