H.R.4170 - Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012

To increase purchasing power, strengthen economic recovery, and restore fairness in financing higher education in the United States through student loan forgiveness, caps on interest rates on Federal student loans, and refinancing opportunities for private borrowers, and for other purposes. view all titles (2)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: To increase purchasing power, strengthen economic recovery, and restore fairness in financing higher education in the United States through student loan forgiveness, caps on interest rates on Federal student loans, and refinancing opportunities for private borrowers, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Short: Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012 as introduced.

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Displaying 1-30 of 63 total comments.

AndyFiorello 03/13/2012 8:58pm
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+ 23

As a student who currently has about $80,000 in private student loan debt with an interest rate rivaling most credit cards, I fully support this bill. I could not get into my chosen career field when I graduated in 2009 and I was told I was overqualified to do menial work by managers at countless fast food and retail chains, because of my Bachelors Degree, so my debt doubled with forbearances and lack of payment.

I now work part time in a job with a schedule that constantly changes, leaving me without the ability to get a second job. I live at home with an income that I wouldn’t be able to support myself with even if I didn’t have this mountain of debt.

I was duped, like millions of other students, into believing that college would pave the way to a better future. All I got was a mound of debt I can’t get rid of, and piece of nice parchment paper that represents 4 wasted years of my life. So I support this bill, and the chance I might finally be able to get my future back.

AndyFiorello 03/17/2012 4:14pm
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+ 11
in reply to trm63 Mar 14, 2012 11:13am

This is no different than someone getting their loans forgiven under the Income Based Repayment plan, they are just shortening it from 25 years to 10.

As well, federal loans are one thing, but many students don’t qualify for those loans at those low interest rates, I know I didn’t. The majority of my debt is private, I did not ask the government for money to go to school, I went to Sallie Mae, a publicly traded corporation. However because of the changes to bankruptcy law in 2005, my private student loans can’t be forgiven under Chapter 11, but because they aren’t issued by the government, Sallie Mae doesn’t have to cut me any breaks like income based repayment or forgiveness. This bill is currently my only hope to get out of this debt.

Flash 03/21/2012 9:38am
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+ 10
in reply to AndyFiorello Mar 13, 2012 8:58pm

If you have a problem with being “duped”, go after the folks who duped you. I didnt dupe you.

I paid my student loans back, and it was not easy.

Your future is yours, stop feeling sorry for yourself and make it happen instead of looking for a handout and someone else to bail you out.

What has happened to this country? It is truely sad to see.

libbypw 03/11/2012 3:50am
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+ 10

What a load of socialist dreck and legal double talk intended to obfuscate readers. Why in the world would the Overseas Contingency Operations be responsible for students loans?

Restore fairness? WTH? What fairness is he refering to? The socialist notion that the government ‘owes’ higher education to the masses?

“Higher education should be viewed as a public good benefitting our country rather than as a commodity solely benefitting individual students.”
This premise is socialistic and unamerican.

If the unions and socialists weren’t involved, then a person wouldn’t need a master to teach a kindergartener and the expenses would have spiraled across the board.

All that and the bimbo with a masters that my son had in second grade did not smarts to understand how to figure out the perimeter of a square nor the sense to see she was wrong when it was gently pointed out to her.

chask70 03/20/2012 4:26pm

This Bill isn’t about ‘writing off the entire amount owed’ it’s about giving borrowers options. I am sure if you had been told you couldn’t refinance your home, your vehicle, medical debt, or credit debt to take advantage of more favorable interest rates you would be up in arms. Many of these people have been in repayment 12 years or more, and have been on time, and are current with payments. There are nuances to an Education Loan that most in opposition don’t understand or grasp. It isn’t socialist ‘dreck’, it isn’t people avoiding responsibility, it’s about people repaying, so that the worst, NO ONE PAYING, or writing off the entire loan through bankruptcy doesn’t occur. Or would it be cheaper for all of you to pay for that, or for an overstressed welfare system when these people who have no retirement saved because they are paying upwards of 1800.00 on a loan, then be my guest. I see real validity in this, and the benefits FAR outweigh the risks.

StrawberryFields 03/21/2012 10:48pm
in reply to Flash Mar 21, 2012 9:38am

It depends on what year and how much financial support you had going to school. Tuition has quadrupled. I didn’t get a degree in underwater basket weaving, I got a degree in Nursing, a degree that I thought would be easy to pay back, and no my parents didn’t pay my rent, food, or my school tuition. I am told due to budget cuts and experienced nurses coming out of retirement, no one wants new grads, it could cost up to 30k to train a new nurse. I only borrowed 50k and due to interest it has ballooned to 75k… something HAS to be done.

Before you jump the gun and say that you do not support this bill.. check the average tuition for 2009-2012 bet it wasn’t what you had to pay in the past. And how is this bill going after you? … Nothing will effect you if it passes.

You are right about one thing though, the future is ours, and it has to change or else student loans will be the next debt bomb.

trm63 03/14/2012 11:13am

A loan by it’s nature implies that it will be paid back. The interest rates on Federal Sub and Unsub loans are currently at very low rates. Why should I pay for someone who did not have the common sense to realize that taking out loans at higher interest rates or for amounts that they would not be able to pay back based on the field of study they pursued is not something I or anyone else should have to pay for. If a person ran up a huge debt and blames the institution for misleading them, then sue the institution. Unfortunately I have seen too many cases where student loans were taken out by students using them for international trips or study that I could not afford when I went to school so why should I pay for their vacations? If they need a loan to do these things then they should have to pay them back, not the taxpayers.

Keirnal1 03/14/2012 12:10pm

If the tax payer isn’t involved in your decision of which school you attend and what major you study, the loan you take and the interest rate you take the loan at, then the tax payer shouldn’t be involved in the repayment of your loan. Period. The tax payer should have no presence in any of these places.

ressy 03/15/2012 12:05am
in reply to libbypw Mar 11, 2012 3:50am

Why in the world would the Overseas Contingency Operations be responsible for students loans?

This confused me too. Aside from everyone’s various opinions on either student loans or the war on terror, why would the bill be written this way? It seems very odd to me.

Websurfer 03/24/2012 6:03pm
in reply to BacktoBasics Mar 23, 2012 12:35pm

Did you even read the bill? It only forgives $45,520 for NEW borrowers. Schools shouldn’t see this as a chance to exploit their tuition upon students, since the student loan debt bomb is about to go off.

In 10 years (say $350 a month for 10 years) you basically paid $42,000 debt repayments. So in essence it’s more so a “breathing room bill”, for those of us who took out loans, to invest in our retirements, start a family, buy a home, etc…things that boost the economy.

Sallie Mae and other private loan lenders will be happy because they’ll receive their money from the gov’t during consolidation. So the Republicans should be happy with this.

BacktoBasics 03/23/2012 12:35pm
in reply to StrawberryFields Mar 21, 2012 10:48pm

One thing that really concerns me about this bill is that it seems as though Universities are being mismanaged – why else is tuition spiraling out of control? Tuition is increasing much faster than wages…but why? These are the questions that need to be answered.

By coming up with a bill to forgive student debt it seems as though we are giving Universities a green light to overprice education without consequences. These institutions already seem to be spending black holes. What will happen once they know they can increase tuition as much as they want without scaring off potential students because students no longer need to worry about the cost because in the end they can stick it to the government.

In the end, the problem that needs to be addressed is tuition cost and ironically, since our Universities are not government run, this needs to be pushed by alumni, current students, parents and future students – ie. the people and not the government.

franhinkle 03/21/2012 4:55pm

As a democratic woman who works in the programming field and having wracked up approx. $47k in student loan debt, I have to say that I do not fully support this bill.

Sure, it would be wonderful for my loan debt to be dismissed or “forgiven” as it’s worded in this bill. But I knew full well what I was getting into when I signed those loan forms. There was a part of me that felt as though I had little choice given that scholarships only pay for so much, but I wanted an education and I was willing to accept the responsibility to pay for it (mostly private loans).

I do, however, support the concept of capping interest rates and more refinancing options for federal student loans — rates got pretty crazy there for awhile and have risen again in recent times. I was fortunate enough to take advantage of a consolidation program a few years back. It locked the interest rate of my federal loans and helped substantially with our monthly payments. For that, I am grateful.

tphill 03/26/2012 12:45am
in reply to AndyFiorello Mar 17, 2012 4:14pm

The problem with this bill is the premise that anyone deserves to have their debt forgiven. As trm63 said, the nature of a loan implies that it will have to be paid back. If you take out a loan, you are signing a contract that says you will give the holder of that loan a certain amount of money over a certain period of time. Regardless of whether or not you consider the terms fair, you signed it. It doesn’t matter if you won’t ever be able to pay it back, that’s your problem, not the government’s or the people’s. I realize that it’s not always your fault that you won’t be able to pay off debt you thought you could, things happen that no one could’ve planned for, but that’s part of life, it’s not the government’s responsibility to bail you out when that happens.

So I won’t support any bill that helps someone “get out of this debt.” You signed it, the only way to get out is to pay it off as per the terms of your contract.

BacktoBasics 03/23/2012 12:43pm
in reply to chask70 Mar 20, 2012 4:26pm

Debt forgiveness is very different from refinancing.

And why does someone who, for 12 years has made all their payments on time need forgiveness?

Websurfer 03/24/2012 6:15pm
in reply to ressy Mar 15, 2012 12:05am

That is where the funds are coming from.

only1ranger 04/18/2012 8:58pm

Undergrad loans: $40,000+ at 7.1% 1995 – 1998, $10,000+ at 5.7% in 1999-2000.
Racked up an addition $15,000 in credit card debt
Graduated and paid off all debts by 2006

Graduate school loans: $35,000 at 6.5% 2006 – 2008
Zero credit card debt (learned my lesson)
Graduated and paid off loan in 2012

Also worked part to full time during undergrad and grad school.

Success = picking a degree with a good ROI in a field I liked, stayed in state at a public school, worked my ass off, networked, got jobs within my field during school, got involved in on-campus groups related to my field.

easterly 04/17/2012 8:50am
in reply to AndyFiorello Mar 13, 2012 8:58pm

As a student with less than $2000 in student loan debt. I oppose this bill. Everyone makes their own personal decisions to accept a loan. You should fulfill your promise. It is not the job of the people to bail you out because you chose the wrong path.

Duped? No you didn’t make the correct choices and now you want everyone else to pay for it.

xpumasx 04/25/2012 10:37am

Very proud of all the folks who were able to pay their loans back. Congrats. Some of us were taken advantage of and misled by the lenders and financial aid offices of our schools. Not many 19 year olds truly understand what they are getting themselves into when they take out student loans. I was told, “everyone does this” and “they have a cap of how much they can ask you to pay”. BS. I have over $140k in private and federal loans going into a profession that does not support that kind of education debt. The laws passed in 2005 that protected the private student loans in the same fashion as federal loans are unconstitutional. No other lender in the world gets such protections. Imagine if every credit card company could go after you the same way Sallie Mae can, wage garnishment, insurmountable collection fees, taking away professional licenses, etc. The blame is partly my own but I cannot and will not take all of it. I was misled and deceived by a corrupt industry and I demand change.

BacktoBasics 03/23/2012 12:39pm
in reply to trm63 Mar 14, 2012 11:13am

You bring up a good point about some students. Some students are serious about education and preparing for the future…while some use University to party and live life to the fullest before taking full responsibility for themselves. University is suppose to be finished in 4 years, yet more and more are taking 5-6 years to complete a Bachelor’s degree.

As I mentioned above, I do not think this bill addresses the real problem, which is skyrocketing tuition which leads to large debt…solve the tuition problem and they effect will go away.

JoshRRogers 03/23/2012 6:18am
in reply to AndyFiorello Mar 17, 2012 4:14pm

Unless you’re talking about all of those “non-recourse loans” the federal government gave to wealthy individuals to spur investment. Billions in oil and farm subsidies, trillions in bank bailouts, billions spent killing terrorists, but we don’t have enough money to help out the actual people of this country.

spingus 04/26/2012 8:26pm
in reply to BacktoBasics Mar 23, 2012 12:43pm

Negative amortization. Can’t pay the full amount due? Pay what you can right? Then fees, then interest capitalization and the principal balance goes up putting the person deeper into debt.

Example: Undergrad+grad school in Biology =$132000 borrowed for one student. A couple layoffs, months of unemployment, debt goes into hardship forbearance at 7.5% interest and now equals $220000.

A person going into Biotech was told in the early 2000’s they could figure on making70-80k with their degree, but ended up with 38k. The loans go into extended payment that is negatively amortizing but gets ‘forgiven’ after 25 YEARS. The balance now is about 500k. THEN the former student owes a tax bill on the forgiven portion of the loan, likely has no retirement or other savings and is well into middle age.

All those years spent paying student loans and NOT building future security, patronizing business in their community or giving charitable donations and now what? Welfare. Welfare til they die.

Flash 03/21/2012 9:43am

Apparently, many of the folks supporting this bill did not understand the “nuances” of an Education Loan either.

In my opinion, this is the reason the government should stay out of it. If the government had not stepped in to make all these loans so easy to get, perhaps not so many people would have been “duped” or straddled with such debt.

Websurfer 03/24/2012 6:05pm
in reply to trm63 Mar 14, 2012 11:13am

And homeowners should get a bailout because they bought too big of a house and used their home as a retirement vehicle?

nwilson7871 04/24/2012 2:34pm
in reply to AndyFiorello Mar 13, 2012 8:58pm

Andy, I understand your concern and I feel for you. However, there is not one person that held a gun to your head and made you go to college that cost 80K. Looking for a job? Join the military. They have student loan repayment plans where they will pay off your student loans in its entirety for a commitment of 5 or 6 years. I am a veteran that saw this coming…(student loans). I went into the Army, served for years and got my GI bill. I didn’t ask for a “handout” as other people here have said you are looking for. Granted it is technically “government money”, however it is also an employment contract. You have guaranteed work for 5 years, student loans wiped out and you can go directly to OCS (officer candidate school). DI know you have said you were over qualified for fast food and I agree, but our military is in need of REAL leaders. I was there and I have worked for some pretty dumb officers. Make a change and join the military, doesn’t matter what branch!

nokonwod 04/25/2012 12:48pm
in reply to Keirnal1 Mar 14, 2012 12:10pm

The taxpayer is currently involved in all of this debt. Look at the numbers – the debt keeps climbing and none of it is being given back. people get crushed by it and can’t move forward. I agree there are lots of underlying issues that should also be dealt with, but this is a great way to get things back on track for millions of Americans. This is not the problem of a few, this is the problem of many.

nokonwod 04/25/2012 12:51pm
in reply to chask70 Mar 20, 2012 4:26pm

AGREED ! and well stated – it is unfortunate that we are in this position, but the solution is NOT to avoid solution. History shows, people cannot repay and feed their kids. Settling SOME of the debt is way better than none – why do you suppose so many creditors offer discounts on old debt ? It would be a huge step in boosting our economy.

evans69 05/02/2012 12:46pm

I think I am looking at this bill has as an economic booster, 10% of the income is towards the bill, I paying around 50% of my income towards my loans, so if I was only paying 10% as well as many others, there will be more economic activity, meaning increase in spending, such as houses, and in turn creates a better atmosphere for investment, lower risk, lower price in credit, I can even see the dollar increase in value, therefore making all American’s happy, not just a few. I think outside of the box, maybe it time for everybody seek ways of improving the economy outside of the box, is it a handout? Or is it an investment in our economy? That is the question here, I see it as an investment in our economy, making it better for all Americans, as the economy grows all social classes will benefit.

djjustice24 04/26/2012 6:29pm

I worked 2 jobs during school and that was to pay for my own housing gas and food. the basic necessities of life. i didnt have money for cars or anything. i went to college to get educated and find a decent job. i started school in 2005 and when i was done in 2010 with 2 degrees i had 23 thousand in debt. im so sick of seeing people blame us students or say we dont deserve any forgiveness. we dont want the debt to disapear i support this bill because i know how hard it is trying to pay ur loans back and this bill would give me the oppurtunity to do that. we took the loans because college is supposed to help u get a good paying job. but somewhere in the mix all the good jobs are now in other countries. college graduates cant get work service men lost their homes while they were oversees and all Republicans can say is “well those college kids shouldnt have gone to school if they couldnt afford it and those army men shouldnt have bought houses before they got shipped out”

evans69 05/01/2012 11:31am

I feel that this will give a boost to the economy, I really do not want a handout, bailout as with the car companies, but the economic situation as brought it on, as many graduates are underemployed or unemployed, 50% of graduates are, there is a need to be a way to give the economy a boost and this is a way. 10% of the income going towards loans gives more income for graduates to invest into the economy helping the communities, businesses and all Americans. It is similar to the bailout of the auto industry; it helped the car companies to realign to be more competitive, how a graduate is loaded down with debt able to obtain a position with a company that looks at your credit for employment. There has to be a solution, and I feel this is a good one.

tsroberson12 04/26/2012 7:13pm
in reply to only1ranger Apr 18, 2012 8:58pm

My degree is in Criminal Justice. There will always be crime but there will not always be job. I’m working my butt off to pay my loans. No, I don’t want my loans to be wiped clean but repayment options would help. I make 32K a year and I work 2 part time jobs. You must bring in 6 figures to pay off your debt in the amount of time. That is great and I am happy for you but not everyone has it like you.

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