5 young people explain why they refuse to pay their student loans
As the country waits to see what 2020 brings, five members of the Debt Collective tell Vogue teens why now is the time to end student debt, once and for all.
Sandy Nurse, student striker and New York City Council candidate:
“It’s an insane amount of debt that people are in debt that they are in, and it’s not like they’re there because they’re buying hot-rod cars… they’re just trying to learn how to get on with it. the society. ..[and] have the opportunity to do better. And people go into debt for it, and … they’re shackled by it.
“I’m having a hard time getting past the line where I can’t get unsubsidized health care a bit. So for me, if I wanted to pay off my student loan debt, you know I couldn’t pay for health care. And I live in New York City … I pay rent, and I pay low rent … but the cost of living here is out of control.
“We go into debt to learn how the world works, and then when we come out of that process, we’re like, ‘Wow, there are so many needs. What can we do? [But] we are not making enough money and we are struggling … And I think relieving everyone of student debt would be a sure way to jumpstart people’s livelihoods right now. “
Hannah Appel, Associate Faculty Director, Institute of Inequality and Democracy at UCLA, Co-Founder, Debt Collective:
“When we started, people laughed at us … People called us naive, they called us stupid … Kind of like people are talk to Greta Thunberg, [saying], ‘They don’t understand how the economy works….’ We are an organization that understands that as capitalism changes shape and moves towards financialization, it meant a debt contract. The other side of finance is debt. And so this has resulted in an increase in debt contracts for your medical care, certainly for your student debt, increasingly precarious housing situations … people who go into debt for their own imprisonment …
“[The majority of people] who are most affected are the people who are already in precarious financial situations in our racial and capitalist society. That is to say predominantly black and brown [people], majority women… I mean, the demography are just appalling … I think there is a mass movement behind it … people who need the power to change their financial situation. “
Thomas Gokey, Co-Founder, Debt Collective:
“Look for ways in which you participate in these systems of injustice, and then simply refuse to cooperate. And the way we cooperate with Wall Street is, every month we pay our debts … [not doing so] actually gives us a tremendous amount of power.
“The goal has always been to eliminate $ 1.7 trillion in student debt. All. Every penny is illegitimate. It shouldn’t exist in the first place. No one should have to mortgage their future in order to get an education and reach their full potential. Education is a public good. We all benefit when you go to school and reach your full potential. We’re all hurt when they charge the average graduate … [so much] tuition debt for an undergraduate degree.