My Vision: A Radical New Way of Looking at Student Loans

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. – Albert Einstein

Here’s my vision for changing the world.

It’s challenging to think of a catchy name for this dream, this mission, but if pressed, maybe it would be something along the lines of “Student Loan Secrets Revealed: An Insider Tells All About the Industry.”

But that kind of slogan almost sounds like it’s trivializing the mission—a mission I believe in and that I think could help millions of people who are struggling unfairly financially.

I’m writing this because I desperately want people to understand what’s going on with our student loan crisis. Because insight is the first and most crucial step to solving life’s problems. This insight goes way beyond the surface conversations that you hear in the news or read in the paper. If you truly get the arguments that I’m about to lay out, I believe your life (and/or the lives of those who struggle with this problem) could be transformed. Whether you’re under the boot of student loans and grappling with ways to deal with the pain; or you’re an activist who wants to drill down and actually understand/solve this problem at its root, you should find this helpful.

We’re going to cover a LOT of territory, but our journey is really just a quest to answer these three simple questions:

  1. How did we get here—how did this problem become so big?

  2. How can we use student loan solutions that are already in place to help people?

  3. Where do we go from here—as individuals and as a society?

Over the course of multiple blog posts (which I plan on uniting into a book down the line), I will address all these questions. Unless you’ve spent years immersed in this subject—and done tons of independent research and worked with hundreds of clients, like I have—you will be absolutely floored by many of these concepts. Prepare to be in turn astonished, enraged, bewildered, then hopeful and relieved.

Knowledge is power. And the knowledge you’re about to learn about the student loan system—a look inside the sausage-making factory—will be particularly empowering because nothing like these blog posts exists anywhere on the web. (At least as far as I know!)

We’ll cover all three questions. I don’t want to spend tons of time on the history of student loans—that’s what practically every other book on this subject is about, the “how we got here.” But you have to have historical context to get an idea of where we are now and what to do next.

I am a solution-focused individual. So in the second section, we will drill down and explore real-world solutions that I use every day with my clients to solve their student loan challenges. You can take and use these concepts immediately.

Finally, we’ll discuss what we can do to start to right the ship in this country—to begin to watch the debt reduce instead of balloon. There are certain simple fixes—like, for instance, the government deciding to license people like me! Or—here’s a crazy thought—what if the government made it easy to find the information people need about the loans and programs they qualify for? Either way, my hope is that once people know what I know, we will see positive change.

I have read every article and tons of books on the subject. I literally talk to people with student loan challenges every day; and I have for many years. I have taught others how to help those struggling individuals. So I have a unique view of the problem—the “in the trenches” view of it. And I promise you this, agree or disagree, you will know so much more about student debt than the average person walking the street and maybe even more than the talking heads on TV. The question is: what will you do with this knowledge? Me personally? I chose to help as many people as possible once I understood the truth. That is my mission. I hope you will do something similar.

Again, this series is not just for people who are dealing with some student loan debt crisis. It’s also for policy wonks; for reformers; and for a general interest audience. Ideally, I want people to take this information and run with it. Here’s what we can do to help people with student debt, now and in the future.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

-Margaret Mead

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