The roster of people carrying student debt is really just "a list of people liable to additional taxation after graduation"; in 2007, GW Bush signed into law the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program that would allow debt-haunted grads to earn loan forgiveness by foregoing the private sector and working for lower wages in public service for a decade.
In theory, thousands of people should be having their debts wiped away this year. In reality, less than one percent of the people enrolled in the program will see that happen. The rest are screwed.
The PSLF program is a bureaucratic nightmare of paperwork mountains that must be perfectly ordered, at all times -- despite the administering agency routinely losing and messing up its own records.
In addition, the eligibility requirements are incredibly confusing, resulting in many of the enrollees being signed up, even though they shouldn't be -- a fact they don't discover until their decade of service is up.
All that adds up to the fact that in about a decade, millions of people are likely to find themselves in the same position as Debbie Baker. She's a teacher in Oklahoma who had always been under the impression she was going to have her debt erased, only to find out to her horror that she had the "wrong type" of loan when she went to apply.
"I almost threw up," she told CNBC. "I've been teaching 18 years and I still don't make $40,000— and now I have to start all over."
You're Probably Not Getting that Loan Forgiveness You're Counting On [Allie Conti/Vice]
(Image: Donkey Hotey, CC-BY)
Smarter people than me have pointed out that "work-life balance" says the quiet part out loud, implicitly confirming that you stop living when you're at work. Miles Matrix's Dungeons and Deadlines makes all this much realer with acerbic wit and rockin' chiptunes. My spouse left me after five turns. (via Four Short Links)
The China Law Blog (previously) is one of my favorite sources of insight into the secret workings of the businesses that produce the majority of the world's daily-use goods.
About five years ago, I was trying to get a bunch of Big Tech companies to take the right side of an urgent online civil rights fight, and I called an old friend who was very senior at one of the biggest tech companies in the world; they told me that it wasn't going to […]
Hunting around for an outlet or a power battery when you’re trying to charge your phone or tablet is always an annoyance. But when you’re out in the world hiking or camping or traveling, finding an outlet might be more than a minor inconvenience…it might be downright impossible. Running low on battery power isn’t an […]
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” – Mahatma Gandhi Of all the skills you feel like you should probably know, yet likely don’t, coding might be one of the most intimidating. From the varied programming languages to the range of platforms to the sheer discomfort […]
Even though it feels like Amazon is a singular retail juggernaut crushing everybody else, you might be surprised to learn that half of Amazon’s $280 billion in revenue last year came from third-party sellers. According to numbers compiled by JungleScout, 86 percent of Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) sellers were profitable last year, more than […]