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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 February 19 - 25  > Student loan collection agency like a cold-blooded debt collector
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2014 February 19 - 25 [EDUCATION]

Student loan collection agency like a cold-blooded debt collector

February 23, 2014
“Current” column

“It was a threatening letter,” a friend of mine angrily said to me. He said that his son received the letter from a debt-servicing company, which hounds his son for repayment of school loans.

After graduating from a vocational college with the help of student loans, his son entered a company. The son left there because he could receive no wage increases and found a job at another company. During the time he was out of work, which lasted for several months, his son had no income and was unable to make his debt payments. The above-mentioned letter urged his son to pay the arrears with penalties without delay, according to my friend.

Trying to have a better-paid job, the son, who lives with his parents, knowingly got a job in a “black company” and is now working from early morning to late at night. My friend is concerned about his son’s health. The debt collector is trying to collect money from him like a gangster would.

Many young people are having a hard time paying back their student loans. Last year, some 330,000 people were behind with payments on their education loans, and a total of 92.5 billion yen of student loan remains to be repaid, which is the largest amount ever. The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), the operator of public student loan program, puts more emphasis on collecting loans. Banks and loan-collecting companies gathering student loans on behalf of JASSO are making profits from the interests and late payment fees.

“Under such a situation, the future of the youth and the future of Japan will be undermined,” Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Miyamoto Takeshi stated at a Diet meeting. Pointing to the fact that university tuitions in Japan are among the highest in the world, he demanded that the government set up a grant-type program and introduce a tuition-free education system. Miyamoto’s proposal attracted favorable responses from a wide range of the general public.

Having no choice but to borrow a large amount in student loans at university, young workers and their parents are in a state of financial distress. While depriving youth of the constitutional right to education, the government is spending a lot of money on the military and for the stationing of the U.S. forces in Japan. This is nothing but a distorted form of politics working against the public interest.

Past related articles:
> Create grant-type scholarship system at once: JCP Miyamoto [February 18, 2014]
> Gov’t should stop harsh collection of scholarship loans: JCP Miyamoto [April 1&2, 2013]

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