Loan forgiveness needs to be fair
If you take out a loan to buy a car that turns out to be a lemon, do you stop making payments to the bank? Some do, deciding their vehicles were such bad deals that letting the lender repossess them may be the best way out of a bad situation.
Understandably, the bank wants its money. The car buyer, not it, made a mistake.
About 95,000 people who took out student loans to attend for-profit institutions of higher learning are asking that the federal government forgive their debts because the schools defrauded them. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is under fire because she has suspended the appeals process one-time students use to seek cancellation of their federal loan debts.
Under former President Barack Obama, most such requests reportedly were approved with few, if any, questions asked.
That is not appropriate, of course. While the federal government may bear some fault for approving student loans at shady institutions, the final decision to attend them was made by the students themselves.
DeVos wants a fair system of deciding loan forgiveness in individual cases. That, for taxpayers as well as ex-students, is the right way to proceed.