Ben Oostdam Story # 399



My daughter (aka xxx) never asked me to help her pay off her loan. Instead, I found an unopened American Education Services letter in the garbage stating that they would take measures if she did not pay up some $ 9,000 rightaway.

So I sent a letter to the person in charge of AES's Loan Assets Management, with relevant details about her medical debts and my support as well as her own and doctor's certification about her suffering from various such diseases as bipolar depression, PTSO and anxiety attacks.

In conclusion, I presented the following paragraphs:

Having followed closely our Government's recent and massive bail-outs of various supposedly respectable and reputable banks and agencies, I want to enquire if there is any way in which you can reduce xxx's indebtedness, e.g. by loan forgiveness, or reduction, or whatever.

In the meantime I will assure you that we will try and keep her alive so that eventually she can pay back her debt, or - if you can find some way to allow it - by way of substitution - I myself could consider contributing a tax-exempt donation as soon as circumstances allow.

Walking back from the mailbox, I got the sudden idea to propose to our congressman and/or senator to consider passing a law allowing the parents of adult student loan holders to pay off their debts in the form of a tax-deductible contribution.

My own moral quandaries are that although I feel primarily responsible for her health, board and lodging, and car expenses. I do not really feel obliged to pay her medical expenses to the local hospital which made profits of over $ 100 million during each of the last two years. Paying her board and lodging and car expenses may well allow someone to accuse me of being an enabler, but so what, she has to live and carry on and I push her as hard as I can toward self discipline and social conscientiousness.

Having been the recipient myself of several bursaries, scholarships and fellowships, I do feel some consciential need for reciprocity and making contributions to my alma maters and other universities or research projects now that all my educational debts have been paid either in $'s, good grades, or working them off as a teacher.

Presumably other parents face similar quandaries:
suppose you happen to have $ 10 K available, do you pay off your (adult) child's educational debt, or do you give it to your alma mater?

To solve this problem, it would be a good idea to have a law on the books which allows a parent (or maybe any "benefactor"?) to combine the two and be allowed to make a tax-deductible contribution either to the loan agency or any other non profit educational entity upon receipt of which the (adult? or any?) child's debt will be erased.

Your comments on this issue are cordially invited and your cooperation in attempting to get such a law on the books will be appreciated because this looks like a potential "money-maker" or "win-win" situation for EDUCATION !!

BLO fecit 20080910 -remember that date! - - stories