Citizens oppose suspending licenses for people who default on student loans - – 359 citizens, 992 responses

May 19, 2015

Approximately 22 states have passed laws that suspend students’ licenses if they default on their state-serviced federal student loans. The details vary slightly by state, as some suspend occupational licenses needed to practice cosmetology or health care, while others suspend an individual’s driver's license. Based on responses to the question, “Should NH pass a law to suspend licenses if people default on their student loans?” a clear majority of Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) Facebook members would not support such a law in New Hampshire.

A total of 87% of respondents answered the question either directly or with a concurrence, and of these a 94% majority did not support suspending licenses for people who default on student loans with 6% in favor. Of the remaining respondents, 13% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms. In sum, 359 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 992 responses. 

For respondents of the majority opinion, many argued that today’s debts are harder to pay back. “Today's students are in unprecedented positions of being in deep debt,” remarked one gentleman. “When I went to college in the late 50s, and early 60s, a student could make enough money during the summer to pay for a year of school.” Others noted that suspending a student’s driver’s license would in fact make it more difficult to pay the loans back. One woman added, “How will they make money then? Why must every new law be against those who are already struggling?”
 
Respondents who expressed support for such a law, however, claimed it was a matter of personal responsibility. “Every loan taken out was a choice and should be paid back by the borrower,” said one respondent. One gentleman cited personal experience. “I and others learned how to budget our monies and we worked to pay off any student loans,” he said. “I show no sympathy for these students.”

For those who did not provide a direct “yes” or “no” to the question, several questioned whether college is still a wise investment. One respondent added, “People going into debt for a liberal arts degree are going to owe more money than they will ever end up making.”

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

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