CNN: Got Student Debt? Give Yourself to AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps

April 7th, 2010 9:38 AM

Burdened under a mountain of student debt? CNN has the answer - dedicate ten or so of your prime years to social work. Better yet, join the AmeriCorps.

Doing her best to channel Obama's inspiring Notre Dame address about shunning immoral endeavors in the private sector for virtuous and selfless community endeavors, Stephanie Elam sounded more like a Public Works Czar than a CNN correspondent on April 6.

"This is really about helping those people out, getting them ready as far as the choice for best course of study for the financial future," Elam said on CNN "Newsroom." "So you may consider the possibility of enlisting in public service. Demand is really high right now for government jobs ... and any remaining debt on federal student loans will be forgiven after you work full-time in public service for ten years."

In order to take advantage of this, however, students must make sure they're closely bound to the government. "But to get this benefit, you need to take out your loan from a federal lender as opposed to a private one like Sallie Mae," she continued (although the Obama administration has already taken over student loans - along with the banks, housing, and automakers, and...). "But you can get around this little restriction here if you consolidate your loans into the Direct Loan Program."

Elam's point was that the Obama administration is picking winners and losers. Join the "service" bureaucracy and you win - you won't have to repay your education debts. Join the shrinking private sector (the part of the economy that actually creates wealth) and you're on your own.

"If you enter a profession such as teaching, health services, social work - also if you take a look at clinical research - you could qualify for loan forgiveness through one of many programs," Elam stated. "But before you make of course a huge multi-year commitment, make sure the program has a way to make good on its promises."

When anchor Tony Harris asked, "if you're still looking for ways to ease that burden a bit, what about loan forgiveness? Is that available, say, through volunteer work?" Elam took the opportunity to champion AmeriCorps - another corrupt and inefficient government program that is unjustifiably bleeding taxpayers and adding to America's budget crisis.

"They're not going to forgive your loan, but if you do have service that you provide to AmeriCorps, you will enjoy loan forbearance, and what that really means is you won't be have to make any payments while you're serving, and AmeriCorps volunteers are also eligible for an education reward for $5,350," Elam said, before touting the beauties of Peace Corp service.

"In addition, volunteers with Perkins loans are eligible for a partial cancellation benefit. 15 percent of a Perkins loan can be canceled upon the completion of each full year of service of your first two years in the Peace Corps and 20 percent can be canceled upon completion of the third and fourth year. So what this really means is four full years of Peace Corps service will equal a 70 percent cancellation of an existing Perkins loan. So that's really not a bad deal Tony."