So, how many of you have some student loans lurking in the back of your credit closet that you just haven’t gotten round to paying off? If you do you’re clearly not alone, since according to one study from Forbes last year the rate of federal student loans in default varies anywhere from roughly 11 to 15% from year to year. We’re talking about many millions of people. But what’s the worst that can happen if you just keep putting it off? Well, if you happen to live in Houston you may wind up with the US Marshals beating on your door and hauling you off for questioning.
Believe it or not, the US Marshals Service in Houston is arresting people for not paying their outstanding federal student loans.
Paul Aker says he was arrested at his home last week for a $1500 federal student loan he received in 1987.
He says seven deputy US Marshals showed up at his home with guns and took him to federal court where he had to sign a payment plan for the 29-year-old school loan.
Before continuing, here’s the brief video from Fox 26 in Houston providing the details.
So wait a minute… you can’t actually go to jail for not paying your loan, can you? According to Geeks on Finance, the answer is usually no, but there are exceptions. One of the most common of these is child support, where you can definitely wind up in jail after a while. Depending which state you live in, there are some other oddball scenarios as well. If a prosecutor really wants to invest the time, and they can prove that you took the loan with no intention of ever paying it back you could conceivably be prosecuted (and jailed) for some form of fraud, but that’s not the same as being locked up for the actual debt. If the Marshals bring you in and demand that you sign a contract agreeing to have your wages garnished, they might be able to jail you for a while if you refuse. But mostly they’ll just trash your credit rating to the point where you can’t even rent an apartment, say nothing of buy a home.
But the bottom line here is that a student loan is still a loan. You took it out and signed on the line agreeing to repay it. If the rates were too high or it was more debt than you could reasonably afford to take care of, isn’t that really on you and not the government? Not if you listen to the Democrats. There are already multiple ways to have your debt “forgiven” for you, and if they can manage a few more reforms there will be even more opportunities!
And for all of you old timers out there who actually paid off your loans because you felt like it was an obligation on your part, well… sucks to be you, I suppose.