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DUNCE: Julio the unemployed artist is a 'success,' says new consumer agency report


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is out with a new website that allows consumers to view complaints against credit companies and banks. I found this little ditty labeled under "stories of success" in one of the CFPB's reports (emphasis mine):

Julio, a 31-year-old waiter from Florida struggled to pay his private student loans from a for-profit college after his payments shot up. When Julio left Puerto Rico to pursue his dream of studying to be an artist, he chose a for-profit college that he says advertised itself as a top ranking school.

Okay, we're already doomed. Not only did Julio want to be an "artist," but he went to a for-profit college.

But after accruing $110,000 in debt and graduating with only an Associate’s Degree, not the Bachelor’s he wanted, he couldn’t find a job in his field.

Who's surprised here, other than Julio, that he couldn't get a job "in his field"? Sistine Chapel's not hiring? No "Artists Wanted" signs at the National Portrait Gallery?

The college was not competitive, he was told. Like many other students, Julio says the school steered him into taking on expensive private loans before exhausting his federal loan options. For more than a year, he promptly paid $700 a month to the private student loan lender. But when his federal loan kicked in, his payments increased to $1,100 a month and he could no longer make ends meet. He called his private student lender and asked to work out a deal for lower, extended payments. The company refused, he said. After Julio contacted the CFPB, the loan provider discovered that Julio was eligible for a reduced-payment program. Julio’s private student loan payments were cut back to $407 a month for the next year. Julio is still working out a plan for to reduce his payments for the federal loans.

That's it?!

Julio is unemployed, figuring out how to pay back more than $100,000 in debt, probably sniffing his paint thinner because it's not good for anything else. But that's a success story.



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