Biden’s Student Loan Relief is Unfair. But it’s the Right Thing to do.
For much of my 20s, student loans were among my biggest problems. Yes, yes, along with my personality and wardrobe selection. No need to write to me!.
You see, I went to four years of college and three years of law school. That’s almost seven years of higher education. (Hey! I never said I went to math school). Back then, I was what some people call poor. Although, I preferred the term “under resourced” based on the recommendation of the various dating services I happened to accidentally join. Further, my father wasn’t in the picture and my mother’s interest in funding my educational endeavors could best be described as “scant”.
Thus, the only way I could obtain a higher education was through grants, scholarships and loans. I did get some of each, but I was forced to take out the then maximum allowable student loan each year. This paid the balance of tuition not covered by other sources, along with room and board, books and just enough spending money to keep me in Mad Dog 20/20 and High Karate aftershave. Hence, the dating services.
My first job after graduating law school paid $400 per week. That was $20,800 per year ($50,483 per year in 2022 dollars). The student loan payments came to a little over $800 per month. That was approximately half of my take-home pay. In addition, I had a 9% fixed rate interest payment which was heavily front loaded, which meant that if I had paid $800 in a given month, only about $40 would go towards reducing the balance due on the loan. Apparently, back then we saw our children as huge profit centers.
I obviously couldn’t make the payments I was supposed to make. Most months I could afford a partial payment, but some months, nothing at all. That is when Mr. Clark came into my life.
Mr. Clark was the loan collection officer for the bank that held my loan. He would diligently call me four or five times a week to inquire when he could expect a full payment. His voice was firm an expectant, as if the sheer weight of his committment to timely loan payments would overcome the mathamatical hurdles my checking account faced. I would unfailingly reply, “When my ship comes in Mr. Clark”. I can’t imagine that Mr. Clarke found this to be a very satisfying relationship.