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I hear the term predatory used with school loans but I don't get it, what is predatory about them? Almost all of these people are HS graduate adults. These adults have choices- no college, trade schools, community college, online college, state, private, etc. Most (the normal non-star athletes or geniuses) people who choose college pursue the college, the college doesn't pursue the person. Those who choose college normally apply to a few different colleges because they may not get in. The student has to fill out a lot of paper work that takes time, this isn't some ToS agreement where looking at a college means you accept any loan and debt.

If colleges cold called prospective students and lied about the cost of education that would be predatory. The borrowers are not passive victims- it is only by their overt choices and actions that they go into debt.

250k for a 40k per year job is a bad investment but simply being a bad investment isn't predatory. A TV is a bad investment, Starbucks is a bad investment- they aren't predatory.

What is it about student loans that makes them predatory?

For those who believe people 18-24 are still developing and need special protection- do you think the voting age should be raised?




I always saw the lenders themselves as predatory. If a student tried to take out a mortgage, the bank would look at their ability to feasibly pay back the loan before denying them or approving them at a lower amount. It seems like folks just get their student loans rubber stamped. Since it's so easy to get lent more money, colleges are incentivised to charge more.

I'd be interested to see a world where your degree itself was factored into the equation. Pursuing biology? Nope, we've got too many of those and biologists don't make enough money on average. You'll only get lent a safe amount. Pursuing law? Now that's a safe loan with good payback odds! This would likely incentivize schools to put more scholarships in the less lucrative fields, and potentially keep those fields from becoming overpopulated. Or maybe folks will need to start their education in a community college or state school to build credibility. I'm sure the implications would be more nuanced than that, but I think that the incentive system for lenders is currently not working as intended.


What's predatory is the for-profit colleges that generally turn out students with basically worthless credentials. In plenty of cases it's even been found the signatures on the loan documents were forged.




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