Nearly half of all America’s college students have deluded themselves into believing that the federal government will graciously forgive their student loans despite the fact that the federal government forgives only a very low percentage of student loans.
LendEDU, a student loan marketplace website, documented this startling disparity between belief and reality in a nationwide survey of 500 students currently attending America’s colleges and universities, reports the New York Post.
The survey shows that 49.8 percent of the students surveyed think they will be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness.
In reality, only about 10 percent of all college graduates will ever see any portion of their student loans forgiven under current loan forgiveness law.
In order to qualify under forgiveness programs, student loan borrowers must either take specifically-identified public service jobs for a long period of time or teach in schools in poverty-stricken and under-served areas of the country.
Two other ways to receive federal forgiveness on student loans are to become permanently disabled and to die.
The final alternative — a veritable unicorn — is attending a college that shuts down while you are enrolled or just after you graduate.
That’s it. There aren’t any other ways.
“Very few students go into public service,” LendEDU co-founder Nate Matherson told the Post.
“With maybe 14 percent of the American workforce in a public service job, the actual numbers of those who may qualify for student loan forgiveness or discharge is maybe below 10 percent,” Matherson also said.
“The fact that many students do not understand this means that they may be significantly underestimating the cost of financing a college education.”
In another bit of depressing news, 84 percent of the college students surveyed had no idea when the filing deadline for their yearly Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Student loan debt continues to rise annually in the United States. Some 44 million Americans hold $1.31 trillion in student loan debt, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported earlier this month. (America’s Total Student Loan Debt Is Hilariously Staggering)
To put this $1.31 trillion figure in perspective, Americans hold just $779 billion in outstanding credit card balances.
Or think about it this way: The enormity of the U.S. student loan mess is almost as big as the entire economy of Russia, where the nominal gross-domestic product is $1.33 trillion annually.
Still another way to think about it: the amount Americans collectively owe on student loans is more than the annual gross domestic products of the Netherlands, Greece and Chile — combined.
Of the $1.31 trillion in outstanding student debt, some $31 billion, is “seriously delinquent,” meaning the debtors are at least 90 days past their payment dates.