Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, had financial ties to a large student loan servicer in contract negotiations with the Department of Education—all the way up until the time of her confirmation. In fact, reports Binta Baxter, just prior to her appointment, DeVos divested from LMF WF Portfolio, which helped to finance a $147 million loan to a student debt collection agency called Performant—an agency with more than 346 complaints against filed with the Better Business Bureau.
“The untold story of student loan debt in the United States is that it is being used as a form of economic terrorism designed not only to redistribute wealth from everyday Americans to the elite, but to undermine and degrade American democracy as a whole,” Baxter argues.
Contrary to what most Americans are led to believe, many loans “from the U.S. Department of Education” are, in reality, owned by big private banks, or as Binta puts it, “private loans dressed up in U.S. Department of Education attire.”
“When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think,” Chomsky famously said.
Here’s the kicker: Secretary DeVos recently announced that the Public Service Loan Forgiveness agreements that the DOE made with “borrowers who agreed to work in the public service field for at least 10 years might not be honored. In other words, those students may now be requried to pay for those loans after all, despite their service and despite having honored their end of the bargain.