Debt Collective: ‘Corinthian Fifteen’ Demand Free College Education, Refuse To Pay Student Loans

The Debt Collective is a group of college students calling themselves the “Corinthian Fifteen” who are refusing to pay back their student loans. As part of this effort, the Debt Collective has written an open letter to the Department of Education in an attempt to gain support for the cause of rejecting the “predatory empires” designed to push “hundreds of thousands into a debt trap.”

In a related report by the Inquisitr, Mark Cuban of Shark Tank explains how the student loan crisis will eventually destroy American colleges. President Obama has been promising to do something about how expensive college education has become, but some feel this “ObamaCollege” would be a disaster.

Student loan debt in the United States has ballooned to over $1.2 trillion, and many newly graduated students are defaulting on these loans. According to Forbes, the overall consumer price index has risen 115 percent since 1985 while the college education inflation rate has risen nearly 500 percent. But, unlike credit card debt, student debt is not forgivable in bankruptcy. Because student loans cannot be written off through bankruptcy, millennials are being buried by debt and cannot afford to buy cars, mortgage a house, invest in the stock markets, or begin to save for retirement.

As part of the Debt Collective movement, the Corinthian Fifteen are specifically complaining about the company Corinthian Colleges Inc., which operated under the names Everest, Heald, and WyoTech. Corinthian Colleges Inc. was forced to sell or close down its schools after a large number of lawsuits and issues with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Although Corinthian is now defunct, former students of any of those colleges still owe their federal student loans.

According to their website the Debt Collective, the students behind the Corinthian Fifteen letter claim the situation is wrong, claiming that their generation should not be forced to pay back these student loans.

“Who are we? We are the first generation made poor by the business of education.

“We are people living paycheck to paycheck, single mothers, and young people just starting out. We wanted an education because we were driven to learn and to achieve a better life for ourselves and for our families.

“We trusted that education would lead to a better life. And we trusted you to ensure that the education system in this country would do so. But Corinthian took advantage of our dreams and targeted us to make a profit. You let it happen, and now you cash in.

“Each month you force us to make payments into an immoral system that profits from our aspirations.

“We paid dearly for degrees that have led to unemployment or to jobs that don’t pay a living wage. We can’t and won’t pay any longer.

“Repayment plans presented as a helping hand simply aren’t good enough. The wrong done to us is deeper than that.

“We are not alone in this fight. Corinthian’s predatory empire pushed hundreds of thousands into a debt trap. But even beyond for-profit schools, tens of millions of students are in more debt than they can ever repay. And you are the debt collector, with powers beyond a payday lender’s wildest dreams.

“To the Department of Education and to the lenders, servicers, and guarantee agencies who have stolen our futures, we say: enough! Erase these loans.

“To current and former college students across the country, we say: we stand with you to demand the end of a higher education system that profits from all our dreams. Join our fight.

“We won’t pay. We are the Corinthian Fifteen.”

Unfortunately, there could be catastrophic effects on the economy if a large enough percentage of students take heed of Debt Collective’s message and default on their student loans. This is similar to how the housing bubble bursting caused the Great Recession, but that financial crisis only involved $900 billion, not the $1.2 trillion in student loan debt.

[AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin]