A hospital in Tennessee found itself grossly understaffed when they had to send 40 nurses home in one day because they all lost their licenses to work.
A lawyer in New York got stripped of his license for the same reason. All of these people have defaulted on their unpaid student loans.
The situation isn’t uncommon. Laws in 22 states will punish borrowers default on student loans by stripping them of their professional license to work.
The Statistics Are Staggering
In all the professions across the board, about 30 percent of them require a professional license to work. The most common licenses that get stripped are those of teachers and nurses. Teachers typically get hit harder simply because they don’t land themselves in high-paying jobs. The balance between the cost of a teaching degree and the real wage value of what teachers get paid is severely lopsided. They just don’t get paid enough.
These people will be locked out of their only source of income simply because they chose to purchase groceries instead of paying off his student loan. What’s worse is that they are unable to work using their license until their loan is in good standing again.
Even Drivers Get Hit
In three states, Iowa, Oklahoma and Montana, the state takes away their driver’s license. The very ability to drive gets stripped if these professionals fail to keep up with their student loans to a T.
The Possible Reasons Behind the Laws
There're two possible reasons why these laws even exist. The first one was due to behavior in the early 90s – when people were just getting out of the recession from the late 80s. That was about 30 years ago. Back then, you could completely relieve yourself from student loan debt by declaring bankruptcy. The not a possibility anymore. Laws have been passed since then that make it so that if you owe student loans, bankruptcy is not a relief.
The other law, which is much more in line with what people are thinking, is punitive. In this line of thinking, the laws are designed to punish those who believe that their very survival takes precedence over a student loan payment.
Almost 70 percent of all pupils who attend higher education institutions borrow money to get there. By the time they graduate, they rack up a debt of over $33,000 – each. Let’s keep in mind that this number does not include students to pursue advanced degrees. For these students, the numbers may be well over $100,000 in debt.
The cycle is crazy. It has turned into a revolving door of court costs, unpaid tickets and people who are unable to work to pay for any of it. Getting a degree is being seen more and more as being akin to deliberately placing yourself between a pot and a flame.