Student Loan Documentary
The US Government set up a system of greed that is sending students, parents and colleges over the cliff. SCARED TO DEBT: America's Student Loan Scam is the documentary (in progress) about the cancer that is ruining lives and destroying families. Watch this jaw-dropping footage and decide for yourself.
"If we don't tell this story, no one else will," says Alan Collinge. Donate whatever you can ....
In a few months, more than 50% of America's newly graduates will realize just how hard it is to repay student loans. Some will land in forbearance or "default" without their permission. Like others, they will face stiff penalties and fees and soon, join the millions of indentured servants. It wasn't anyone's dream, yet it will be their reality and quite unfortunately, some have chosen to take their lives.
44 million Americans are facing student loan debt. 63% (or 27 million) can no longer make good on their payments. This UNSURMOUNTABLE hardship is destroying America's economy from the noted drop in basic consumer appliances, auto sales, living with family, to delays in getting married and buying a home.
Make no mistake: this runaway train is perpetuated by Sallie Mae, Congress and the entire lending system. While US Presidential candidate Jill Stein made it part of her 2016 campaign, student debt cuts along ALL PARTIES and their constituents. Those in the banking industry predict numerous institutions in Higher Ed will be adversely impacted when this financial bubble bursts.
Despite blowing the whistle on Sallie Mae's predatory lending practices in 2006, ALLAN COLLINGE, author of "The Student Loan Scam" (Beacon Press) and founder of StudentLoanJustice.Org is about to release his latest findings behind record breaking defaults and predatory practices.
These practices have caused CONSIDERABLE HARM to borrowers AND their co-signers (family and friends). Some have been wrongfully arrested, some fled the country, others have tragically committed suicide.
There are many good reasons why student loans may require time to pay off. Some lose a family member, a spouse, a job or a health crisis. IMAGINE, going to college in pursuit of your life's dream only to discover that your college loan is what sinks you to the bottom ... for the rest of your life.
I'm not making this up.
I was first introduced to the problem of student loan debt by Cynthia Pooler, who hosts FOCUS ON ALBANY, a blog radio show that featured Allan Collinge of 60 Minutes, NY Times, Rolling Stone and Fortune Magazine fame.
As a filmmaker, I know first hand how important it is for any group to communicate their message. I once heard story after story of how these were "Deadbeat borrowers" yet what I'm learning now is quite the OPPOSITE.
I'm fortunate to have paid off my graduate student loans, yet there are MILLIONS of our fellow Americans who need our help. Once I learned it was an issue effecting my friends like singer/songwriter, Reggie Harris, I took action.
There was a time when America DIDN'T have this $1.5 Trillion dollar problem. So, I asked myself: HOW did this happen? WHY is it happening more now? WHO is responsible? WHAT is the solution or solutions ... and HOW can I help?
I've since learned a few things: (1) This is NOT a BAD Borrower problem, it is a BAD LENDER PROBLEM and I AM prepared to show you how it all happened. (2) this issue is effecting women and minorities disproportiantly. (3) these borrowers are GOOD people. They're vulnerable and they don't deserve to be shackled with extraodrinary debt so a few can suck life from their very existence.
I'm willing to help, yet I can't solve a $1.5 Trillion dollar problem by myself. We need YOUR help now.
PHASE I: We are raising the first $25,000 to conduct key interviews with authors, students, political leaders and financial experts and student loan borrowers willing to be on camera. We will first travel across the eastern US from New York to Boston (completed). Next we film in Philadelphia, Washington and edit a compelling promo which industry contacts and cable execs are waiting on. There's a tremendous audience in need of this program.
PHASE II: The tough part. We need to raise $225,000 to continue filming and simultaneously, move quickly into editing, with further interviews venturing by van to Chicago (where an elderly woman is losing her retirement to payoff student loans, with not much else to live on). Then head south to South Carolina, Texas, California and finally, Tacoma, WA where Alan's activism first began.
OUR GOAL: Complete filming by Fall, 2016. Complete editing and release SCARED TO DEBT in 2018.
Debt is a MORAL ISSUE. In the handful of student borrowers I have interviewed these are people who take their obligations seriously ... yet the deck is stacked against them. It's unfair. Let me ask you. Is it FAIR to have a $32K debt turn into a $200K albatrose around your neck? Who can come out from under that debt?
Too few were offered a single session of financial counseling about the "fine print" before taking on such an enormous risk. After making a decade of payments, few ever get ahead ... leaving many regretting ever going to college.
By 2018, student loan debt will be well over $2 Trillion. The student lending system is shark infested, folks, on a tremendous scale. Millions of Americans need us to tell their story, as clearly as Alan can, such that we can FIX this. And it is fixable.
For more about the film visit our website:
About the production company:
Who will help protect the next generation of borrowers?
Join others in doing whatever you can. For a contribution as little as a cup of coffee, you can not only make movie history, you will make a difference for millions of Americans.
Michael J. Camoin, Filmmaker
Videos For Change Productions