An early example of loan counseling, via Shakespeare, was the advice that Polonius gave his son:

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be;

For loan oft loses both self and friend,

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” (Hamlet, Act I, Scene III.)

Abstenance.  For today’s and tomorrow’s college students, abstaining from borrowing may not be a likely way to make it through college.   Abstention may not be realistic in most cases,  as with the advice of Will Rogers on stock market investing:  “Buy good stocks and when they go up sell them, and if they don’t go up, don’t buy them.”  The days of “working your way through college” have essentially passed.

Still, there are plenty of people in the population willing to preach abstention to a student loan borrower in a jam.  See, for example, comments on a story about Cortney Munna,  who accumulated almost $100,000 in student loan debt at N.Y.U. studying women’s studies and religion.  (

Our members of AASLB (American Association of Student Loan Borrowers, formerly called S.O.S., Save Our Students) usually have already borrowed on a college education loan,  but some are students or parents exploring the college education loan scene.  If you are in any of those categories,  join S.O.S. right away.  S.O.S. is dedicated to acting to further the interest of student loan borrowers, present and future, not criticizing them.  Your membership will be free with no obligations and you can unsubscribe any time. S.O.S. plans to get petitions to all the politicians and schools,  to get commitments to its plan for lowering college costs and allowing volunteer work-off of loan balances. We will keep trying and  trying and trying.  Sooner or later the pressure will suffice for them to get together and do it.

Go to and become a member instantly.  We need all of you borrowers on those petitions!  The more of you who join S.O.S. the stronger will be the political and economic clout of student loan borrowers. A student in debt may not see a way out.  S.O.S. favors student loan relief both in needing lower loans to start with and more and better ways for student loan forgiveness. Current means available for loan forgiveness are limited and the forgiveness is dicey.  In point of fact, the overly high loans, resulting from overly hight charges by the schools, are a wrong that needs righting.  For those already stuck with the overly high loans, loan forgiveness, properly controlled, seems to the the best resort.

Part of the overall point of view of S.O.S. members is that if college costs were not so terribly high students would not have to be borrowing large amounts of money.  College administrators and state politicians who have caused public college costs to be so high apparently differ with S.O.S. members, since they have set those costs so high. They are already organized and get plenty of expression of their point of view.  Student loan borrowers, though, have had to deal individually with tough and harsh lenders.  Students have demonstrated, peacefully and otherwise, against raises in college costs, but heretofore they have got nowhere.  One reason they keep raising costs in public colleges is that in recent years many state legislatures have been reducing their financial support to the state colleges,  having in mind that students can go get federally guaranteed loans to cover the increases.  The notion seems to be that the economic impact of these increased charges does not land on anyone.  S.O.S.  seeks to persuade them that the impact of those high charges has landed on the students and their parents in a way that is bad for the country and terrible for the students.

Just as other organizations and interest groups do, S.O.S. members want to push back. These higher charges to students are causing economic harm to the intelligentsia of this country that has a negative impact on our competition with other nations.

S.O.S. is not seeking to do anything new and radical.  We are simply trying to stop the abuses to the states’ higher education systems stemming in part from the draw-down of public financial support for those schools. The public policy and philosophic reasons for making advanced education so accessible to citizens as it was previously have not changed. Rather, they are being abandoned.  S.O.S. will oppose that abandonment loudly and vigorously.  That opposition will be publicized and backed by members’ votes.

S.O.S. may be able to accomplish much, but the more borrowers of college education loans like you who join as members, the better.

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