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“Attacking the Concept of Debt” | Harvard Magazine

Only a few years ago, Douglas Jones, who worked night shifts as a security guard at a nursing home in Roxbury, was hesitant to spend even $10 more than his typical budget allowed. Payments on his student loan debt were being withdrawn directly from his bank account. If the balance was short—for instance, if Jones hadn’t managed to get 40 hours at his job that week—the bank charged an overdraft fee. The debt had ruined his credit score and he hadn’t had a credit card in years. “They were even taking money I didn’t have,” Jones says. “It was stressing me the hell out.” Along with millions of other Americans, Jones had fallen prey to the for-profit college industry, which is in essence a two-pronged system—federal loans at one end and for-profit schools designed to access those loans at the other.

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