Anya Kamenetz on the ‘debt generation’

Anya Kamanetz, a staff writer at Fast Company and the author of the books “Generation Debt” and “DIY U,” joined host Ray Suarez to talk about the student debt crisis. Kamanetz told Suarez that students are being given advice that leads them into permanent, overwhelming debt.

 

Comments

  • Merle Kaufman

    I thought this was a very good and informative segment, but left out one very obvious thing: the role of the lobbyists of big banks to get the law passed that they did, making student loans exempt from bankruptcy protection.  I remember when that passed; it was given very little attention in the press, but intuitively felt shocking and corrisive to me, locking students alone into a situation they would never be able to escape.  It would be good if Need to Know did a follow-up segment, focusing on the politics behind that bill, which was another clear give-away to the Big Banks.

    Merle Kaufman
    New York City

  • Truth Has No Agenda

    Liberal professors at liberal college/universities are pushing a lie to parents & kids saying you NEED a college education to be anything in life. That is a LIE.  If you look at the richest most successful people who are billionaires a lot of them did not go to college or dropped out. They went on to have a few little companies like Microsoft, Facebook etc.

    So the liberals push the lie to the parents/kids & the government to give away taxpayers money to make the colleges & professors even more rich & powerful.

    Not everyone needs to go to college or should go to college. You can still be very successful without it.

  • Truth Has No Agenda

    You are blaming the wrong people. The banks are not the ones making the most off this scam. It’s the college/universities & professors. There is no reason to have costs of colleges go up more than the cost of healthcare everyone is screaming about. (It did look it up). 

    The scam is the colleges. The education is getting worse but costing more why? The lie that has been pushed for the past 20 years. Not everyone should even go to college. Some of the most successful billionaire did not go to college or dropped out and created little companies like Microsoft &  Facebook. 

    You are buying the lie the liberal college professors & Obama is pushing that it’s the banks fault. 

    How are they scaming anyone - THE BANKS DO NOT SET THE COLLEGE PRICES DO THEY?!? They just loan money. 

    You ask for $100,000 loan paid back over 10 year at some interest rate. YOU AGREE BY SIGNING THE CONTRACT! Why blame banks??? 

    You make no sense. You have bought into the liberal lies.

  • Truth Has No Agenda

    You are blaming the wrong people. The banks are not the ones making the most off this scam. It’s the college/universities & professors. There is no reason to have costs of colleges go up more than the cost of healthcare everyone is screaming about. (It did look it up). 

    The scam is the colleges. The education is getting worse but costing more why? The lie that has been pushed for the past 20 years. Not everyone should even go to college. Some of the most successful billionaire did not go to college or dropped out and created little companies like Microsoft &  Facebook. 

    You are buying the lie the liberal college professors & Obama is pushing that it’s the banks fault. 

    How are they scaming anyone - THE BANKS DO NOT SET THE COLLEGE PRICES DO THEY?!? They just loan money. 

    You ask for $100,000 loan paid back over 10 year at some interest rate. YOU AGREE BY SIGNING THE CONTRACT! Why blame banks??? 

    You make no sense. You have bought into the liberal lies.

  • Noahsnani

    Not everyone needs to go to college….but when you are in a job & a job opening comes open that states that a degree is required & you see that you won’t ever get considered for a higher position, you reach for that carrot & seek financing….wanting to improve your situation/finances is a natural thing.

  • Thofer

    There is one major reason for the increase in the cost of higher education in the past decades.  States have significantly reduced their funding of public universities.  In order to make up for that lost revenue, universities have been forced to raise tuition.  Public institutions are in fact all becoming private institutions, with the students paying nearly the full cost of the education services they receive.  This model has changed considerably over the years, from the days when higher education was valued by society and considered an investment in our economy and our society as a whole.See http://www.jsonline.com/news/e… for a graph showing tuition costs and state contributions to higher eduction in Wisconsin (in real terms, meaning correcting for inflation).  The decrease in state funding accounts for nearly all the increase in tuition being charged to students.This issue was never even brought up during this piece on the high cost of education and student debt.  To leave this out of the discussion is irresponsible, to say the least, and extremely poor reporting of the facts.  Note, I am not discussing private universities here, but rather “public” institutions that are supposedly supported with taxpayer dollars for the betterment of all.  That support has been dwindling for decades – hence higher costs to the students.  That is the reality.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Like everything in life, people can paint more than one picture of the same event.

    Here is the bottom line, the Universities and Student Lenders both benefit from the cost increasing. 

    When you follow the money, it is always important to follow the bigger money.  The Student Lenders win this one by far.  This is particularly true because they convinced Congress to pass a law fixing interest rates at above market rates AND got their debt treated differently then every other type of debt.  Adding those two things up creates a low of money for the Student Lenders.

    It is true that not everyone should get a liberal arts degree.  There are some extraordinarily rich people who did not finish college.  However, everyone knows those are the exceptions that prove the rule.  The average and median salary of college grads is muvh higher than high school grads.  Further, those billionaires were highly educated, extraordinary intelligent, and very lucky — these are not things to bet a individual or country’s future on. 

    If we want our country to compete in the 21st century, then we need a very educated population.  We need to attack this problem on all fronts including reducing the cost of education to students and providing more options for education.    

  • Guest

    If one majors in Geography, even with an advanced degree, why would anyone be surprised if a job would be hard to find! The real crime here is colleges do not provide advice to students about the type of majors where future demand & opportunity. Our daughter got a nursing degree & now earns over 100K per year…

  • Ktokarska

    I want to stress the importance of supporting H.R. 2028 to reinstate bankruptcy protection to PRIVATE student loans. Lax lending hurts us in the long run, not just the borrowers. Mortgage lending drove real estate prices beyond what the economy can support. I see no difference between that and what the private student lending is doing to tuition and our educational system. 

  • Ruth Canaway

    I have heard about students getting a degree, for example, a teaching credential, only to find out on their first job that they did not like teaching.They were stuck with a load of student loan debt.Our parents warned the boys of my generation that they should go to college so as not to become ditchdiggers or garbagemen. The girls, of course, were warned not to marry someone who had not gone to college.

    These  scare tactics combined with the carrot of an imagined middle class income com to help create the student loan debt crisis.Prevention: The current loan counseling offered by the colleges is not adequate to keep from leading young people up the garden path. A more thorough method should be employed.True, many people attend college and succeed in their chosen field. Still, the statistics do not support justification for the current discrepancy between expectations and reality.

  • Ruth Canaway

    I don’t believe the student load debt crisis is the fault of the professors (except, perhaps, for tenured professors as private institutions earning big bucks, and often not even showing up for class six months out of the year). Most professors at public institutions  are just individuals caught up in the system, trying to make a living.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Like everything in life, people can paint more than one picture of the same event.

    Here is the bottom line, the Universities and Student Lenders both benefit from the cost increasing. 

    When
    you follow the money, it is always important to follow the bigger
    money.  The Student Lenders win this one by far.  This is particularly
    true because they convinced Congress to pass a law fixing interest rates
    at above market rates AND got their debt treated differently then every
    other type of debt.  Adding those two things up creates a low of money
    for the Student Lenders.

    It is true that not everyone should get a
    liberal arts degree.  There are some extraordinarily rich people who
    did not finish college.  However, everyone knows those are the
    exceptions that prove the rule.  The average and median salary of
    college grads is muvh higher than high school grads.  Further, those
    billionaires were highly educated, extraordinary intelligent, and very
    lucky — these are not things to bet a individual or country’s future
    on. 

    If we want our country to compete in the 21st century, then
    we need a very educated population.  We need to attack this problem on
    all fronts including reducing the cost of education to students and
    providing more options for education.

  • Ruth Canaway

    Correction: That was to say “core faculty at some private institutions.”

  • Glien

    As a couple thinking about a new car, when I heard that the average debt was $34,000 I thought that was the price of a nicer car.  Though I don’t facts to back this up, it seems to me that when I went to college 35 years ago, it was kind of in the same range – the price of a nicer new car.  So I guess what needs to be determined is the debt relative to other products over time.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MQIOZICHS2ZWEUB5F57N4U2MTQ Bob

    Why don’t these “smart(?)” kids go to a Community College for 2 years, TRANSFER their credits to a four year school that recognizes those credits, and then GET A JOB BEFORE going to “grad” school?  THAT would be a “sensible” way to do it–Phoenix University comes to mind–”online” courses, etcetera.  Now THAT would be SMART!!!  Having student debt is just plain DUMB!  It MAY take longer to reach your goal(s), BUT–when you DO, you WILL NOT be “mired in DEBT!”  DUH?!?

    In my state, (Michigan) the Community Colleges are “gearing up” to offer four-year degrees–that would be a VERY SMART move for any young person to make.  Of course, it wouldn’t carry the “prestige” of a well-known university–(U-M).  Then again, it supposedly costs $100,000 for a four-year degree there.  To do it the way I have suggested, you would have LITTLE/NO debt–With the “interest” savings ALONE, you could put a down payment on a house!!!  Meanwhile, the FOOL(S) who went to that “well-known” school, would be saddled with so much debt that they would be LUCKY to be able to afford an apartment.  All the while, YOU would be “building equity” in your house!  Who’s REALLY better off?  Again, DUH?!?!!!!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MQIOZICHS2ZWEUB5F57N4U2MTQ Bob

    Stef Gray was complaining about being an 18 year old, and “not knowing” about all the ramifications of “student debt.”  She WAS NOT applying for “grad school” as an 18 year old!  She SHOULD have “taken stock” of her situation BEFORE signing up for “grad school.”  One would THINK that she was “smarter” after graduating from a four-year program than she was BEFORE she entered college.  It would appear such a belief would be a MISTAKEN “assumption” on MY part!  Oops–MY BAD–Sorry!  Patience–is something that today’s youth has NO understanding of–they want it, and they want it RIGHT NOW!!!!   They SHOULD suffer ALL consequences of such FOOLISH behavior–let their parents “bail them out.”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MQIOZICHS2ZWEUB5F57N4U2MTQ Bob

    Almost forgot–liberals ALWAYS find a way to have it be “somebody ELSE’S fault!  Ridiculous!  Accountabilty is something these people (and their children) NEED to learn about–as John Wayne said–”life is TOUGH– it’s even TOUGHER if you’re STUPID!!!  And here we ARE!!!!!!!!

  • Hamitchell

    The PBS/ Need To Know show about college debt is outstanding.  As government aid for college was replaced by easy government loans for college, it went from an aid program to a virtual loan-sharking program.
       
    Since Obamacare has co-opted the loan action profits from the private banking industry, to help pay healthcare costs, it’s now the government that is bleeding our students and families. The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should investigate the current administration, for predatory lending practices. While the government has been lending every other major segment of the economy money at 0%, college loans, now bigger than credit card debt, still cost 8.5%! Compared to common savings interest rates, that’s loan-sharking.  And, even bankruptcy protection, horrible as that is, was taken away from college debt in 2005.  So AIG, GM, Chrysler, big banks, foreign countries, et al, can stick the American public with their debts, but not our own students!
     
    If all one is ever going to get is a bachelor’s degree, which is fine, it really doesn’t matter that much where you got it.  Go to the over-priced undergraduate state school, get your best GPA, and then go to the obscenely overpriced private graduate school, if you still want to.     

  • Null0007

    Loansharking is just the right term!  I’ve had  about 100k of loans & have had no trouble paying them along with my mtg, working, raising a familiy, etc. but it’s been disgusting trying to keep the student loan servicers from changing my loan terms w/o my knowledge against my will, not providing 1098E statements to me & the IRS, lying etc.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time battling with them over something that if it were my mortgage or credit card, would not even be legal and I could sue.   I have not missed one payment but the loan servicers work against that so thay can charge more fees.
    I had had to resort to some ridiculous methods  – you would think I was dealing with street corner thugs. I feel for those who for whatever reason cannot pay – I can see from the last night’s show what happens – it’s unacceptable in the US. Probably another case like the Madoff scandal where eyes were closed until the collapse.

  • Null0007

      I have not missed one payment but the loan servicers work against that so thay can charge more fees.
    I had had to resort to some ridiculous methods  – you would think I was dealing with street corner thugs. I feel for those who for whatever reason cannot pay – I can see from the last night’s show what happens – it’s unacceptable in the US. Probably another case like the Madoff scandal where eyes were closed until the collapse.show more show less

  • Null0007

    I’ve had  about 100k of loans & have had no trouble paying them along with my mtg, working, raising a familiy, etc. but it’s been disgusting trying to keep the student loan servicers from changing my loan terms w/o my knowledge against my will, not providing 1098E statements to me & the IRS, lying etc.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time battling with them over something that if it were my mortgage or credit card, would not even be legal and I could sue.   I have not missed one payment but the loan servicers work against that so thay can charge more fees.
    I had had to resort to some ridiculous methods  – you would think I was dealing with street corner thugs. I feel for those who for whatever reason cannot pay – I can see from the last night’s show what happens – it’s unacceptable in the US. Probably another case like the Madoff scandal where eyes were closed until the collapse.show more show less

  • Null0007

    It’s not the tuition or the loan amounts but it’s the lack of consumer protection laws – there are none. I’ve had about 100k of student loans no trouble paying them along with my mtg, working, raising a familiy, etc.  I have not missed one payment but the loan servicers work like crazy  against that so thay can charge a myriad of  sky high fees. It’s been disgusting trying to keep the student loan servicers from changing my loan terms w/o my knowledge against my will, not providing 1098E statements to me & the IRS, lying etc. If it were my mortgage or credit card,  it would not even be legal and I could sue. It’s like dealing with street corner thugs rather than a lender and servicer. Don’t let the show fool you and other viewers over the real issue. Not all of the people who are complaining are poor past due borrowers. I’m concerned that the PBS show tiptoed around the true issue. You have to wonder who some of their funders might be.

  • Null0007

    It’s not the tuition or the loan amounts but it’s the lack of consumer protection laws – there are none. I’ve had about 100k of student loans no trouble paying them along with my mtg, working, raising a familiy, etc.  I have not missed one payment but the loan servicers work like crazy  against that so thay can charge a myriad of  sky high fees. It’s been disgusting trying to keep the student loan servicers from changing my loan terms w/o my knowledge against my will, not providing 1098E statements to me & the IRS, lying etc. If it were my mortgage or credit card,  it would not even be legal and I could sue. It’s like dealing with street corner thugs rather than a lender and servicer. Don’t let the show fool you and other viewers over the real issue. Not all of the people who are complaining are poor past due borrowers. I think that the PBS show tiptoed around the true issue. You have to wonder who some of their big funders might be.

  • Null0007

    It’s not the tuition or the loan amounts but it’s the lack of consumer protection laws – there are none. I’ve had about 100k of student loans no trouble paying them along with my mtg, working, raising a familiy, etc.  I have not missed one payment but the loan servicers work like crazy  against that so thay can charge a myriad of  sky high fees. It’s been disgusting trying to keep the student loan servicers from changing my loan terms w/o my knowledge against my will, not providing 1098E statements to me & the IRS, lying etc. If it were my mortgage or credit card,  it would not even be legal and I could sue. It’s like dealing with street corner thugs rather than a lender and servicer. Don’t let the show fool you and other viewers over the real issue. Not all of the people who are complaining are poor past due borrowers. I’m concerned that the PBS show tiptoed around the true issue. You have to wonder who some of their funders might be

  • ariel

    I am not sure how much i currently owe. i have been told different numbers by different people. i couldnt even continue to finish the degree i had cause i could no longer make payments cause i have no job and no longer does my father. im scared that i may lose my dreams all together and i dont know where to go for help.

  • tiffany

    I completely agree, and I am one of today’s youth (20).  I work to put myself through college, and it was the best investment I have ever made. I am now graduating from my program a year and a half early and heading to grad school and the law school and I know the ins and outs of every single bit of financial aid that I am taking out to pay for those instititutions.  If the youth of today cannot figure out how to keep themselves ahead of the game then a community college course is only about $150 maybe you should take one in finance?