Thursday, December 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

How to support our troops — honest loans

By
From page A6 | October 26, 2012 |

The issue: Exploiting young soldiers is not only sleazy, it’s unpatriotic

We love our troops, but some of us love ripping them off even more.

Among those most determined to get their hands on the skimpy paychecks of the younger members of the military are certain segments of the student-loan industry.

“MANY SERVICE members may not have access to the full range of benefits afforded to them due to servicing errors and complex eligibility,” says a government report released last week. Often, this is in violation of the law, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at a news conference.

Somehow, this confusion results in increased profits for the loan companies. And it has to be deliberate. After the liar loans, toxic mortgages and flawed foreclosures of the Great Recession, it has to be deliberate profiteering. The financial institutions no longer get the benefit of the doubt.

The loan companies will argue that the youngsters who signed for the college loans were of legal age and should have known what they were signing. Try telling that to St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. It’s hard even for most loan officers to make heads or tails of the fine print in the documents they are putting before 18-year-olds.

The number of military personnel with student-loan debt somewhat mirrors the general population. About 41 percent in the military have student-loan obligations, compared to about 67 percent of college seniors. The average burden of $25,566 for a military member compares with $26,600 for the average college borrower.

A corporal with two years of experience earns about $23,360 a year, according to the Army. Clearly, this is someone scraping the bottom of Mitt Romney’s 47 percent, but then Romney is clearly unfamiliar with the military and how its enlisted members live.

THE INDEBTEDNESS of younger military members is a threat to national security. Pentagon officials say debt is one of the top sources of anxiety among troops.

Members of the military struggling with serious debt are likely to lose their security clearances; in fact, it’s the top reason they do. Panetta says that’s something “we absolutely have to address.”

Debt-burdened members of the military do have certain recourses, but lenders aren’t likely to tell them. They are eligible for reductions in monthly payments, for loan forgiveness after a certain number of payments, a reduction in the amount of principal for each year of military service, and a reduction in interest rates to 6 percent for student loans taken out before service.

Curiously, these benefits are not widely publicized by the lenders.

PUT SIMPLY, our young soldiers may be naive and not terribly well educated in the ways of the world. But exploiting them is not only sleazy, it’s unpatriotic.

Comments

comments

.

News

Former foster youths aided by UCD’s Guardian programs

By Sarah Colwell | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
City plans signs to improve flow on Fifth Street

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

U.S., Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
State gets more rain, big mudslide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Boston bombing suspect in court for first time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Journalist will join post-film discussion Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

City offices will take a winter break

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Feds will discuss Berryessa Snow Mountain protection

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
‘Longest Night’ service Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Yolo County needs a few good advisers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Per Capita Davis: Time to stop fooling around

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

NAMI-Yolo offers free mental health education program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
.

Forum

Disagreement on mother’s care

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Marovich is a brilliant diplomat

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

And a jolly time was had by all

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Remember that all lives matter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Pollution from electric vehicles

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

On skiing: What to know when buying new skis

By Jeffrey Weidel | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devil boys host Les Curry beginning Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

UCD women gear up for second half of swim season

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men begin 4-game road trip at Air Force

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Youth roundup: DBC Juniors rider Kanz wins a cyclocross event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
.

Features

College Corner: How does applying for financial aid work?

By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: B3

 
What’s happening

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

 
Anniversary: Barbara and Jan Carter

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Something growing in the mailbox

By Don Shor | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Sing and dance along to Cold Shot at Froggy’s

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Point of Brew: Recollections of Christmases past

By Michael Lewis | From Page: A7

Golden Bough brings Irish holidays to The Palms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, December 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6

 
.

Last Minute Gift Guide

Young phenoms make YouTube success look like child’s play

By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG1

Classic or contemporary, it’s all holiday music to our ears

By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG2

Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG3

Holiday decorating contest winners light up our lives

By Dave Ryan | From Page: LMG4 | Gallery

Gift ideas for the health-conscious

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: LMG6

Hall of Fame proudly puts these toys on the shelf

By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG7