“I’m on strike right now,” said Amin Husain, a former highly paid lawyer who left his corporate practice in a bid for happiness and now works on education projects in Palestine, where he grew up. Even as a well-paid lawyer, Husain could not pay off his large law school debts while supporting his family in Palestine, and has now reframed his inability to make loan payments. “I’m very poor, I don’t have healthcare and I used to worry about it all the time. At a certain point, I just thought, ‘Fuck you’.”
Husain emphasizes the importance of demystifying the consequences of student debt default. “The maintenance of this debt system relies on a form of intimidation – people fear the possible hurt of forgoing a credit score.” And indeed the very real consequences of default include the inability to get a lease on a rental, the hounding from collection agencies that can even garnish future wages, Social Security payments and unemployment benefits. But equally real is the crushing burden and poverty that often comes with trying to fulfill extortionate student debt obligations.