Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Nov 28, 2011

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On November 21, 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement mounted an attack against the student loan industry. The “Occupy Student Debt” (OSD) campaign has pledged if they gather support, participants en masse will refuse to make payments on their student loans.

 

According to the OSD’s website, their protest is built on a pledge to stop making payments on student loans once one million people have signed their online form. This pledge is justified by four principles listed on the OSD’s site.

 

The OSD asks supporters to sign their pledge if they believe in just one of the following:

 

  1. Tuition should be federally funded. The OSD believes the federal government should cover the cost of all student loans. They believe the cost would be around $70 billion a year, and claims this money is equivalent to that which the “Pentagon ‘wastes’ in unaccountable spending every year.”
  2. Student loans should be interest free. The protest group feels no government, bank, or agency should profit off the education of the nation’s youth.
  3. Private and for-profit colleges’ spending costs should be transparent.
  4. Current student debt should be entirely forgiven. Immediate forgiveness “is the only just response to this crisis,” as stated on the OSD’s site.

 

The OSD has said their principles are not demands, but instead are the basis for empowering debtors, since, in their words, “education at all levels is a right and a public good, and it should be properly funded as such.”

 

The movement’s online form allows for the signatures of debtors, non-debtors, and education faculty members. There is no requirement to verify indebtedness or employ at an educational institution.

 

The amount of signatures from each group is accessible for all to see. Currently, the pledge only has a total of 1,631 signatures.