Student Loan Defaulters Have Become The Scourge Of Society

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The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet’s guest contributor program, which is separate from the company’s news coverage.Parents have taught children about ethics, integrity and responsibility. Yet many of them (parents and children) don’t repay their student loans. Where is the honour in that?

Thousands of young adults who graduated from college don’t have jobs, have poor-paying jobs and are in debt for loans. That’s the same story I heard since I was a college grad in the 1970s.

But here’s “the rest of the story,” as famed newsman Paul Harvey coined: They’re contemplating not honouring their commitment to pay the debt, or looking for a job, and are simply occupying whatever venue is convenient.

Translation: Become educated bums, worthless citizens, or government entitlement leaches … three alternatives none of my cohorts considered. Whether out of shame, guilt, or dare I say, “honouring the way we were raised,” we did what we had to: Find a job, get a start and pay the bills.

So what’s different today? My boomer generation and Gen X have somehow lowered the standards of responsibility and raised the bar on “entitlement thinking” and abdication of obligations to the point where reneging on loans, mortgages, credit card debt, etc., is an acceptable option.

No it isn’t. You made a choice. You entered a contract. You gave your word. To renege now is unacceptable.

House mortgages are under water. Well so is the value of everything you purchase on credit and fail to pay off immediately. From the car you drive, to the groceries, TVs, and toys. If you didn’t pay cash, and in many cases even if you did, those same items aren’t worth what you paid for them. Tough. It’s called life.

It’s called choices. No one forces you to overextend, fulfil every desire, and try to keep up with the Joneses.

So you have two choices: Keep it up ’til you crash or stop the insanity now and commit to resolve your debts with professional help and having an honest talk with your creditors about options.

Decide today to make better, more honorable decisions in the future.

Probably the saddest inevitable consequence to this downward spiral is that these workforce entrants are the future leaders of our business, health care, government, education and nonprofit sectors. Can we really afford to lower the standards any more than they already are?

Remember, your kids are watching and learning. Demonstrate the right thinking and behaviour.

–Vince Crew

This post originally appeared on TheStreet.

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