Friday, September 12, 2008
I'm tired of student borrowers and prior borrowers being marked with a scarlet "W" for "whiners" and "D" for "deadbeats."
Whiners, eh? Whiners. Whiners who don't contribute to society, who default and live off tax-payers' money, who don't deserve basic consumer protections, and who have no say when they have been ripped off by loan companies, the government and schools? Yup, must be us all right.
I've told my own story again and again and again. Feel free to read it. Feel free to read other stories here, including the stories about former borrowers suffering so much under the weight of debt and depression that they turned to suicide. Yes siree, those folks certainly are deadbeats. Because now they are dead. Satisfied?
Now I will tell you why I am offended at being labeled a "whiner" and why Fox News and their bar-time bimbos deserve to be leveled into poverty and despair to get a little better perspective of the people they are calling deadbeats.
You want to hear the sad story of student loan woes along with being ripped off by an accredited academic institution given authority to disburse federal funds and loans? You want to hear a story in tangent with a school that wrote in my loan amounts without my signature? Sure you do. You know you are dying of curiosity. But be careful when you die because you will be right alongside the deadbeats.
I have two kids I dedicate myself to. I work for pay around their schedules. I advocate for the less fortunate. I fight racism and corrupt government. I volunteer and go to church and once in awhile, get my laundry caught up. I belong to civic groups, write poetry, scrapbook, make greeting cards, paint and clean cat pans. I wave at the kids on their school buses, do homework with them, cook mystery meals for dinner, and play with them in whatever ways they wish.
My kids have disabilities and so do I. I was the victim of a violent crime and have worked through that for the past three years. I've received poor medical care and earlier on, NO medical care. I've been the victim of sexual harassment and I've been threatened.
I have survived living below the poverty line, being forced out of places to live because I couldn't afford it, losing my means of transportation while pregnant, having to use food stamps and WIC, living in tenements, working for less than minimum wage, working full-time as an undergrad, and believing I would never, ever own a home. Thank GOD I got through this and my family life is stable because under these circumstances, I can only believe it WAS a god and "his" good people who got me here. I am here, and I can tell people it IS possible with the right kind of help.
But I am still fighting student loans and unethical schools.
I have written to every local, state and federal official and agency I could think of to get my rights and others' BACK because at the moment, no matter what our life circumstances, we have NO RIGHTS as prior student borrowers.
My student loans are at more than $100,000 because of this rip-off school that is allowed to continue to operate in spite of its history, reputation, federal mandates and license fraud across the country. I'm not in default. My next payment of, oh, I don't know, $600.00+ per month is due some time next year when the forbearance expires. The interest is accruing.
"Well you shouldn't have gone there. You should have done your homework." Yeah? Well guess what. When a school has accreditation and is approved by the Department of Education, one should be able to make the assumption that the school is decent. When one is referred there by a talented, fabulous grad school teacher, one should be able to believe in one's choice of institutions. One should be able to believe the testimonies the school publishes. And an award winning student with a Masters degree and a grade point average of 3.97 should be able to do well within any "academic" system, no?
This stuff goes on ALL THE TIME in higher education. I attended one of these schools and I've worked for three, all of them private. And I will give you a hint. The bad ones didn't include National American University. I could name the bad ones here, but they have lawyers and I don't. "How much justice can you afford?" Student borrowers can't afford any. For that matter, neither can most instructors who work for these predatory schools. And that's how these schools get away with financially ruining us.
When we are financially ruined, the bar-bimbos sit in front of their cozy cameras judging the rest of us who don't have make-up artists and producers. Why? Their taxes increase. They WHINE about it. But they aren't ruined half as much as we are because THEY won't fall into poverty. They are wealthy and far removed from the rest of humanity. They have their bubble-heads and news networks to protect them.
I'm not telling you this story so you will feel bad for me. Pity is a useless emotion. And I resent pity. I once wrote to a Dept. of Ed rep and pretty much told him where he could stuff his pity. We don't want pity. We want justice. The colleges won't give it to us. The Department of Education won't give it to us. The accreditors won't give it to us. The lenders CERTAINLY won't give it to us. The Ombudsman won't give it us (that office is notorious for telling students to pay up and shut up since they work for the LENDERS). So we are taking matters into our own hands no matter how ineffective they might seem right now. We are advocating for ourselves and for our future generations. We are protesting and writing and coming out from the shame the television bimbos of the world want to put on us. Our time is coming even if it's a long time in coming.
People with tough lives can do one of two things: they can struggle and fight or they can give up.
Take a wild guess which path I have chosen.