Sat | Dec 3, 2016

SLB ruining debtors' ability to repay

Published:Saturday | November 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM

I was recently informed that I will be published as a Students' Loan Bureau (SLB) delinquent in the paper of Sunday, November 30, 2014. Still, I cannot understand why it is that I should be publicly labelled as a delinquent when at all times I have made good-faith efforts to pay my loan.

As far as I can see, the SLB's only interest is being a bully, and not necessarily in actual collection. They call and harass, yet there is no consideration for any affordable arrangements.

"That's just not enough money," they'll tell you. Thereafter, they'll send the account to a collections agency that tramples on any idea of customer service and argues with you when you inform them that you cannot pay $50,000 from your $30,000 salary.

Hardships exist, and we all know employment rates are not as impressive as we would hope. Graduates, in most cases, are either unemployed or underemployed. We are not able to pay the $50,000 from our now $0 salary. This still doesn't mean we don't want to pay; it just means we need a bit more time and some of us still pay what we can, even though we are not earning currently. Yet you still want to ruin my credibility. We really don't want a $282-million write-off; we only want a bit of consideration.

ABCD GOVERNANCE

I take full responsibility for my debts, and am making good-faith efforts to repay my loan. As a matter of fact, I do odd jobs to pay $20,000 per month. I run a non-profit organisation to assist children from a lower socio-economic background so that one day, they cannot only dream to go to college, but also accomplish said dream.

This face-publishing policy is nothing more than the ABCD type of governance Robert Montague spoke about. It won't work, and the evidence shows that it isn't working. Publishing people's names makes borrowers less able to pay you. Since you already know this, what really are you trying to accomplish?

I urge the SLB to re-evaluate its policies and collection mechanisms to facilitate a greater success rate. I also urge the Government to invest in programmes that allow students who are facing hardship and having difficulties paying to volunteer in rebuilding the country, to assist with literacy, youth-development programmes and poverty reduction, instead of trying to make them poorer by reducing their credibility. Stop being penny wise and pound foolish.

LISA DUNN

lisadunnjm@yahoo.com