Way back in 1776, our forefathers wrote up a dandy little document – the Declaration of Independence – that declared our intent to break free from our oppressive mother country: England. Student loans are both an individual concern and a plague on our society that’s growing every day and crippling our economy. So too was the yoke of England a personal issue for every early American as well as a blight on the developing economy. In celebration of our nation’s first steps toward becoming the proud nation we are today, let’s compare throwing off the shackles of our colonial masters to vanquishing the tyranny of student loans!
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
In the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, the drafters wrote that we are born entitled to these unalienable rights: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Our British masters back in the day limited the way we could live our lives, imposed harsh financial strictures and sometimes took lives without justice, due process or any semblance of a trial.
Similarly, oppressive student loan debts can affect your liberty because in order to service them, they limit your ability to pursue the career of your choosing if it won’t sustain your debt. Educational debt can financially handcuff you such that you may not feel free to pursue or deserve happiness and can lead to depression. In some extreme cases, student loans actually take lives as well. The Economic Hardship Reporting Project wrote last year:
“Suicide is the dark side of the student lending crisis and, despite all the media attention to the issue of student loans, it’s been severely under-reported.”
The Establishment of an Absolute Tyranny
In the body of the Declaration is a less quoted section that is an indictment of all of the ills done to the colonists by their oppressors. To introduce this roster, the drafters wrote there is:
“…a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States”
Student loan practices – particularly those related to private student loans backed by banks, but also the student loan system as a whole – can feel like absolute tyranny to those suffering under the system.
Several on the list remind me of our student loan predicament:
#1 Refusing to pass laws necessary for the public good – case in point when it comes to student loans and legislation is our lawmakers refusing to reach an agreement and allowing student loan interest rates to double.
#2 Obstruction of the administration of justice – continuing to allow student loans to survive a bankruptcy filing, and even extending that courtesy to private lenders, has left bereft loan borrowers wallowing in debt and misery.
#3 Sending swarms of officers to harass people and eat their substance – you don’t even have to think too hard to get this indictment to apply to rampaging student loan debt collectors who often resort to aggressive tactics that harass broke borrowers.
#4 Repeated petitions met by repeated injury – it seems no matter how many protests, Twitter initiatives, email campaigns and appeals for improved lending practices, our lawmakers have offered no meaningful legislative relief for those languishing in student loan debt.
The Declaration closes with the statement that the colonies ought to be free of its oppressive parent nation once and for all. Unfortunately for student loan borrowers, drafting a missive to their lender or loan servicer declaring their independence from oppressive educational debt will do them little good – other than maybe making them feel a little sassy and empowered…
Instead, consider making a declaration to yourself that you will achieve independence from your student loans. Start a financial revolution and do battle with your debt and you’ll have it accomplished in no time! One of the best ways to gird your loins for your war against your student loans is to educate yourself. Check out Tuition.io’s free student loan management tool and use the robust interface to see where you stand, where you need to be and strategies for how to get there.
Then when you’re ready to develop your combat strategy, dig into our blog for tips and tactics to help you win your war on student loan debt: