At New York's colleges and universities, the arrival of a new school year brings anticipation tinged with anxiety. For many students, the second emotion is prompted by one nagging question: How am I going to pay for this?
Many of them won't be able to find an answer. The Higher Education Services Corp., which services and collects federally backed college loans in New York, has almost $2 billion worth of defaulted debt on its hands.
As of July 1, HESC listed 145,437 accounts with $1,983,922,931 in college loans that had gone into default. That's up from last year, when there were 144,216 borrowers for a total of $1,895,211,727 by the end of July.
A friend of mine told me over the weekend that his ex wife had defaulted on over $80,000 in student loans. Her profession? Teaching art. For about 10 years her payments were $380 a month even though interest was accruing at $550 a month. Huh?
Now she's in a world of hurt.
Apparently, she never did the cost benefit analysis that she'd be better off working as a cafeteria worker than ever repaying that debt as an art teacher.
Where are the congressional hearings looking to vilify the people responsible for screwing the financial future out of all these grads.