Contribute Your Ideas to the College for All Campaign

We are all in this together. Debt Collective members have put together this campaign and included some suggested actions. But we want to hear from YOU. What are your ideas for how we can win a student debt jubilee and college for all?

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I am running for Congress on Long Island in NY. This is a major part of my platform, esp. our Financial Slavery to interest and debt. I will make this a louder voice


I went to a small private business college in the early 90’s, as a single mother. I earned my Associated Degree in legal assisting there, while having my brother bring my son into the classroom to nurse him.

The irony, is that school took all the federal loans, filtered it to wherever - and declared bankruptcy a year or so after I had walked proudly out of there with a 4.0 Summa Cum Laud AS degree.

Part of the deal when I signed up with this college was the promise that my credits would be accepted by another college to continue pursuing my BA and hopefully my Master’s Degree. I should have been a Phd by now.

But I’m not. And the reason I am not? Is because I went ON STRIKE people - a LONG time ago. I refuse to pay a single penny for the contract THEY broke. If they stole the money from the government and got forgiven for it in a court of law, via a bankruptcy - then why was I - THE VICTIM who did not receive what she was PAYING for - being made to pay?

Picture for a moment two jars. One is full of jellybeans, and all of these are given to the school, because it is my loan for paying the school. The other is empty, and has the label “administrative fees and interest” on it. Now, we have collector number one who asks me to agree to a repayment plan. Never mind how poor I am because I could earn more waitressing than the $8 an hour receptionist job I got at a criminal lawyer’s office with my degree. Never mind the cost of living and my responsibilities to my baby.

We have investors on wallstreet who have invested in the EMPTY JELLYBEAN JAR. It is being traded like a commodity! Now. Let’s say I do agree to a repayment plan. Here I come with a handful of jellybeans. Just 2 jellybeans get put in the principle loan jar. The rest get put in the empty jar.

There used to be a thing about the Ponzi scheme, but anyone who can think clearly knows they are being ripped off by this one. The collector continues this until you are exhausted and the loan returns to default.

It is then sold to the next collector. Over time - I have repaid more than 3 TIMES my original loan. So here is how I see it. I am legitimately OWED a balance of zero debt remaining, PLUS the CREDITS I and the taxpayers paid for!!

I have been waiting for the right moment, and the right group to join. I think that teachers and professors need to be paid - NOT COLLEGES. The same might be said for doctors and nurses and cpas: they need to be paid - not insurance companies who are NOT taking care of my health whatsoever.

What we have here is a MENTALITY and a WAY OF THINKING that has accepted being ripped off and ripped off and ripped off, agreeing to one bad deal after another. Now here is one thing I do appreciate about Trump: and that is teaching me the art of the deal. I know now what I did not know then. I know when to WALK AWAY from the deal.

Change has arrived, people know and understand the need for change. The justice system and government has set things up to work this way. We trusted Clinton when he made those loans more accessible for us. It was supposed to help us achieve freedom not become perpetually enslaved by a debt we can’t get out from under. I have no assets at all. I don’t get tax returns. I live a life where I cannot own anything. And any work I do: before the student loan comes for its share? I’ve worked an ENTIRE WEEK to pay taxes. Just taxes alone. An entire week of my pay per month. I have three weeks of pay left for living from. Hillary couldn’t even pass the DC bar exam! I promise you? I could, given the chances she had.

I didn’t just quit paying my student loan, my friends. I stopped playing the entire game. I work for myself. Every person has a right to work and live. This is America, and I won’t be put down by rules I did not agree to.
I believe it was Lincoln who said it: “NO MAN IS FIT TO GOVERN ANOTHER WITHOUT HIS CONSENT.”

And I know the laws of contract. To enter into a binding agreement you must be old enough, and of sound mind and judgment. And you have a duty to clearly understand what it is you are agreeing to. But you are NOT the only party with responsibilities.
If the other party hides, conceals, or obscures what you are agreeing to in order to gain your consent? That is fraud.

And it is time for the frauds to be put out of business.


Vote for Bernie! My debt broke up my family.


Im 34 years old and a mom of 2 living kids . I had 4 but 2 are now deceased. my daughter’s health condition became soo bad i couldn’t go back to work i had to be with her every single hour of the day before she took her last breath on 3/8/2014 she was 14months old with severe brain damage. I called my school loan department they told me they needed a death certificate they put me in deferment and in 2017 they took all of my taxes and are still continuing to take it all . But for 2019 they charged me $3,500 alone for interest fees.

This is ridiculous now im $ 26,000 in school loans and my certification cannot be applied in the state I have been living in since 2012 .
I moved from California to Arizona and I would have to take the class over to get Arizona certified . Which is another $18,000 .No thank you ! Now i work at a burger joint.

I don’t know its fair for US to have to pay for schooling but other countries don’t pay for schooling and then they are coming here and having more opportunities.

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Why not petition Devos to order an executive administrative forbearance. That would be nationwide. Stops everything! No collections, no garnishment, no regular payments due. She has the authority to do just that.

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This is an interesting idea. I think the general sense is that DeVos is the most resistant to this idea, and that asking her to do this because it is the right thing to do is a lost cause. Trump seems more willing to toy with this idea but is getting pushback from DeVos. But maybe the reporting is wrong? Or maybe this moment means everything is different?

I have my doubts we could budge DeVos at all, but one thing I like about this approach is that it would spread the word to debtors that this is possible, and that they only reason they are still in debt is because DeVos wants to keep them in debt. The more people who realize that the better. It will create different expectations and demands in the future

My student debt is killing me. The balance has nearly tripled with interest. If they forgive 10-30k that woul d not even make a dent in my situation. I graduated in 96, went on the IBR plan initially was $0 for several years. I cant get a mortgage due to the debt to income ratio. Had a some serious financial set back mid 2000’s. The loan people said hey we can redo the IBR plan and get you back on track. WHat they did not explain and I did not realize is that it re-set the IBR clock that was in 2007. Now here I am in 2020, owing triple the original and no way I will ever be able to pay it. The minimum payment leaves me and my family basically broke, struggling. I thought I was the only one in this position but there are thousands in my positions (300k in debt). My professional school made it seem like I would be super rich and making a ton of money. That never happened. If I could give back my degree in exchange for no student debt I would. This has ruined my life…


You are absolutely right about this. There are many people and we have power if we organize. Please join the strike and tell everyone you know:

Most student debt has been suspended for six months, so we have a six month window of time to organize and build enough power to win full cancelation. That is our only way out, so let’s make our own way.

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I wrote this comment on an article about student debt several years ago, waiting and hoping for somebody to organize direct action like this!

Like most problems, the Federal Government created this one. They bailed out the banks, now they can bail out the people…

"Yet, the main reason tuition continues to rise is a dramatic change that took place regarding the Federal Stafford Loan more than a decade ago. When Uncle Sam opened the floodgates to government-backed student loans without parent income restrictions in 1992, colleges welcomed the news with open arms. The sudden injection of millions of additional aid dollars only furthered tuition increases. Add to that the government’s continued promotion of the Stafford Loan as a low-cost program, and you have the formula for hyperinflationary costs.

When the government made it exceptionally easy for students to borrow massive amounts of money, the colleges followed the lead by increasing their tuition rates. This combination led to record-level borrowing."

My hope is that someday soon, somebody of significant stature who can reach tens of millions of people and get lots of publicity will build a movement, brand it, pick a date, and call on everybody to stop paying on their student loans at the same time. Force the issue, threaten to crash the economy & the market (imagine a 1.5 trillion dollar default and 50+ million ruined credit ratings) and get the government to rectify this mess that they created. I think ten cents on the dollar would be an acceptable compromise.

For those of you who are blaming the people who took the loans, berating them on personal responsibility and are offended by my proposed solution, who do you think is paying for the ONGOING $16.8 Trillion dollar bank bailout. We are…

The Big Bank Bailout

“Most people think that the big bank bailout was the $700 billion that the treasury department used to save the banks during the financial crash in September of 2008. But this is a long way from the truth because the bailout is still ongoing. The Special Inspector General for TARP summary of the bailout says that the total commitment of government is $16.8 trillion dollars with the $4.6 trillion already paid out…This is a story about lies, cheating, and a multi-faceted corruption which was often criminal.”

Let the big banks that we saved and the federal government pay for this - It’s time to bail the people out! $1.5 trillion is trivial - if the banks pooled their resources they could pay for it all.


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Hi @FederalMismanagement, I’m glad you are here. If you haven’t joined the strike already please do, and please spread the word to everyone you know:

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When the 2008 crash happened, I was eventually forced to foreclose on my home and file bankruptcy. Surprisingly, my bankruptcy would not discharge my student loan. Surprise surprise.

I am a pharmacist with a huge amount of school debt and I just now after 7 years am able to restore my credit since the bankruptcy has been dropped from my credit profile. While the banks were bailed out, I had no choice but to work as hard as I can to keep my family afloat. I was so offended that the dishonest U.S. banking system was handsomely rewarded while honest paying consumers had no option but to switch to ‘survivor’ mode. And now the government wants us to spend our money to revive the economy? Help your people first

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@Cynthia_Macasaet I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that. Imagine what we could have done back in 2008 if we could organize everyone to stop foreclosures. We are still working towards getting to that level of organization, but it will be needed again soon.

You are right that bankruptcy for the most part will not eliminate student loans. You can thank Joe Biden for that one (he wasn’t alone in blame here, but he played a central starring role). Biden now says he will reverse his own bankruptcy law, which I guess is progress of a certain kind. One of the co-founders of the Debt Collective, Astra Taylor, has an op-ed out today that goes into more detail about all of this: Cancelling student debt was always the right thing to do. Now it's imperative | Astra Taylor | Opinion | The Guardian

For the next six months we have a chance to organize mass student debt refusal. I hope you will join the strike if you haven’t already, and spread the word to everyone you know who has student debt.

The Student Loan Debt is like committing a Murder… There is No Statue of Limitation on Student Loans . Some convicted murderers get released after serving their time. So why can’t Students who borrow money for Education and can’t afford to pay back their loans, get their loans Cancelled. I have been in default on a Student loan since 1990. The career school I attended totally misled me about everything including my ability to take the state exam for certification for the career I was training for that wasn’t even a job occupation at the time I took the course. No one heard of Medical Assistants until the late 1990’s, 10 years after I went to school for it in 1989. I borrowed $2,650 and now the interest and penalties have added up to $9000, 30 years later. The school has changed names so many times over the years after they closed because the state accrediting agency found the schools were not following the regulations and were fraudulent and misleading students about their education. I even owe money that I never borrowed. Why would I take out a $500 loan at the end of the program for a supposedly owing $100 to the school, and I could have paid that amount out of my pocket. What happened to the other $400? I never received it. Now 30 years later, Navient has pulled misleading tactics to get me to agree to Consolidate the loans that total $11,000but the new loan was for $14,000 at a interest rate of 7.50% . I am on the $0 payment plan because i was unemployed for years. When I agreed to do this with Navient in 2017, I was unaware they were misleading people about how they could help them. I gave them 3 payments of $450.00 and agreed to update my income status every year. I recently looked at the loan status and realized Navient has added $2000 interest on the Consolidated loan. If I couldn’t afford to pay off the original loan, how can I afford to pay the interest that is compounding daily and hasn’t stopped because of the Coronavirus. The Government needs to end all Student Loan debts, past and present… Immediately!!
We need Free College because I would like to continue my education to get a Degree in Healthcare.

Melva Powell

Hi @Melva_Marsha_Powell, based on what you have said, I recommend you file a borrower defense to repayment and challenge the legitimacy of these debts. You can do so here:

If you haven’t already joined the student debt strike you can do that here

Please tell everyone you know about the strike and recruit others.


I am sorry for your predicament. I agree strongly with everything you have said. It was so eloquent! I wish you well and hope that we all get some type of justice. I am a graduate of Sanford-Brown Institute/Brown Institute/Brown College, yes!, they changed the name three times when I attended a few years ago. Sanford-Brown has been sued by students and closed locations in many states. Complete FRAUDS!