Students who have taken out predatory loans that haven’t yielded results are taking matters into their own hands and launching a debt strike.
According to Democracy Now, at least 15 students from the for profit Corinthian Colleges system are refusing to pay back their predatory student loans. Another group of activists are also challenging loans taken out by Everest College, which is a subsidiary of Corinthian.
Corinthian has also been sued by the federal government for its predatory lending.
During an interview with Democracy Now, Latoya Suggs explained the reasons behind launching a student loan strike. In addition to the for profit college Suggs attended, she also blames the Department of Education.
“Not only did that sister school fail me, but the Department of Education failed me, as well,” Suggs explained. “I feel that the Department of Education failed me because it is your responsibility to make sure that these schools provide a quality education at an affordable cost and a scam-free school.”
Suggs, who attended Everest, says she was the victim of a bait and switch.
“Well, I did attend college, Everest, to better my future. I attended Everest to get a better job, land a better career, a better opportunity and what we call the American dream. And they lied to me about everything. There was no career placement after I graduated. They didn’t help me with interviewing, anything like that. They were just basically preying on me to get my money. And I don’t feel that I got a quality education out of attending Everest.”
She says schools like Everest prey on low income African-Americans who are trying to find a way out of poverty.
Filmmaker and activist Laura Hanna, also a part of the discussion, explained how government funding of a for profit college sets the state for scamming of students.
“It’s the same story over and over again, right, where they’re funneling public funds into this for-profit sector by what’s called the 90/10 rule. For-profits are actually funded—90 percent of their funding comes from federal loan subsidies,” explained Hanna. “Corinthian needed to just make up 10 percent of that amount of the business model, right?”
Since these were basically bad debts, both Hanna and Suggs believe it’s the job of the Department of Education to erase the student loan debts.