I am fairly new to this site, but certainly not to student loans. I have a BA and MBA and am looking at $150K in loan debt now. I've only been out of school a little over a year and have already racked up over $25K in interest. There is more to my story, but that isn't the point of this post. I've been playing with an idea in my head and want to know if it would have any backing.
I was toying with the idea of walking from California to Washington DC and collecting all those interested in raising awareness along the way. I have connections that can run a website and keep blogs going, and was hoping to hit as many cities along the way to speak with politicians, news teams and students collecting and spreading their stories. These can then be compiled and presented once in DC. I am assuming, of course, that some media hype would be created along the way. Between social media, traditional media and You Tube, I don't foresee this as a major problem, though.
One thing we would need to do before setting out is come up with a unified message and solution. I am open to ideas on this.
If we can pull connections together it would also be helpful to have corporate sponsorship, such as getting Google to create a safe path with Google Earth that people can follow us on, or even letting Sallie Mae have an opportunity to fund part of the trip to show they support the college loan crisis (Wouldn't that be something?).
Anyway, I might be over-optimistic, but I am not going to put up with this idea that I have to live the rest of my life to service a corporation.
When are you looking to set out?
I was planning my own walk across the country but I was just gonna do it to do it but I am always down for helping a good cause. I have some college debt of my own and was in the military but the money they gave for school was nowhere near enough for my schooling.
You should go on meetup.com and start organizing something... Start a blog and send people to meetup.com get the masses together :)
The Rogue Student Loan Collector
Student Loan Collection<--Freedom Blog
Alan Collinge of Student Loan Justice did a cross-country bus tour in 2007, meeting with congresspersons (who refused to even vote for restoring bankruptcy to private loans after he gave them the stories of student loan victims), giving lectures at colleges, meeting with the media. You can read about that here:
He financed a lot of that out of pocket and from donations; I'm sure you won't (and shouldn't) get corporate sponsorship. Sallie Mae certainly isn't going to fund you, unless you're going to toe their line. The SLJ message is restoring full standard consumer protections to all student loans, including bankruptcy with no limits/special rules; I think that should definitely be the minimum of your demands.