Student loans vs. Being an Indentured Servant

A friend gave me the idea for this post.  Here’s a definition of indentured servant from Simple English Wikipedia:

“An indentured servant was a worker in a contract with an employer for a certain length of time. Usually a laborer or craftsman would have to work three to seven years[1] in exchange for the cost of transportation across the ocean, food, clothing, land, a place to live and other things they needed to live or work during their contract. This kind of contract was called “indenture.” Indentures were quite common in Colonial America in the 17th and 18th centuries.”

While being an indentured servant could involve very tough, sometimes dangerous work, it was only for a limited time.  Once the three to seven years was up, the person was free to go on with their life.

Contrast this with today’s student loans in America.  The choices are: high payments (these are sometimes mortgage sized or larger) for ten years or slightly lower payments for twenty five years.  In my case, I couldn’t afford any of the payment plans, including the so-called Income Based Repayment plan.  With current law, the student loan lenders can garnish paychecks or Social Security if you don’t come up with the amount they are demanding.  So I was forced to start pleading for money online, or face the possibility of homelessness once my savings ran out.  So it’s pay up or else!  For twenty-five years.  Which in my case, would be until I am eighty five years old, or dead, whichever comes first.  Never mind that I couldn’t find a better job.  Never mind that because I was a single parent for years, I wasn’t able to save nearly enough for emergencies or retirement, which is looming.  It’s come up with the money or else!  One friend, looking at a letter showing me paying thousands every year until advanced old age expressed it well.  He said, “This isn’t a payment plan.  It’s slavery!”

I’d have been better off as an indentured servant.  At least there would be an end to it.


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