Gemma Pinto- Staff Writer
In a perfect world, college students and their parents would not have to take out loans and the 99 percent wouldn’t be drowning in debt. Our country alone has accumulated enough education related debt that student loans have become the largest source of this, coming in over $1 trillion. This excludes other kinds of debts– debt from loans for houses, cars and even the everyday necessities bought with credit cards. However, it’s 2014 and a great time to be alive. That is, if you know about Rolling Jubilee.
The Rolling Jubilee is a project under the Strike Debt Corporation, which is a branch of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. “Jubilee” is a word rooted historically in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, an event where all debts are cancelled. That’s exactly what Rolling Jubilee does; it takes your debt and abolishes it. It sounds like a miracle, but how exactly does this work?
Well, those at RJ are able to buy debt for pennies on the dollar. Banks actually sell debt and buyers attempt to collect it, whereas Rolling Jubilee buys it and gets rid of it. It is a legal project because they find multiple outlets of fundraising that contribute to the cause. It sounds like such a simple process that could potentially eliminate everyone’s debt, but there is a method to the miracle.
For the Rolling Jubilee to work, it can’t take away everyone’s debt. The jubilee occurs at random, where they buy anonymous debt accounts that happen to be bound together. Their website keeps track of how much money has been raised and how much debt has actually been abolished. The numbers may surprise you.
As appealing as RJ sounds, it might not be in the best interest of college students that have impending loans to pay back. The FAQ on the website answers the question we all want to know, “Can Rolling Jubilee Abolish Student Debt?” Due to the federal guarantees, there is no way for RJ to buy these loans for lack of a secondary market. However, they are hopeful that with awareness, funding, and research the abolishment of student debt is possible.
Their website, rollingjubilee.org, holds all information and encourages
everyone to become a part of the movement.