American Dust

A random blog that features things like soccer, politics, personal financial advise, and sometimes comics.

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A Small Victory for GradGirl

Posted by americandust on December 13, 2007

I noticed that as of 12 11 2007 Joe Perez is donating all money donated to his page to  Before GradGirl started riding his butt around the internet he planned to pocket his donations (afterall, he had to pay for his $125 webpage).  Now, after GradGirl’s efforts let everyone know what a selfish little plan he was running, he has turned the money to charity… well, not real charity, just a Political Action Committee.  You know, those mean old nasty PAC’s that are decreasing the value of your vote and increasing the importance of political butt-kissing for cash donations from special interests like Allan Collinge’s.

Anyway, I noticed Joe has raised $100 or more for the special interest.

Congrats GradGirl on bringing awareness about Joe Perez and motivating him to do what (in his opinion) was the right thing!

22 Responses to “A Small Victory for GradGirl”

  1. Joe Perez said

    Where did I get $400?

    I’ve only raised $144.50 and it all goes into a savings account to pay off a loan.

    You need to check some facts. Now you are spreading LIES.

    joe p

  2. Joe Perez said

    plus the site cost me $125 to build…

  3. Joe Perez said

    The right thing is to spread awareness, not hate.

    Tell me how hatred and ridicule solves problems?

    They don’t — you have no argument, you have no legs to stand on.

  4. I just read Joe’s posts over at

    What strikes me as funny is how he can’t understand how anyone could read his life story and not feel sorry for him! At one point he even says “have you even read my life story” like that will automatically make us have soooooo much pitty.

    Look Joe, all of us have had problems to overcome. And yes, we have taken chances, many of which didn’t work out. And seriously, yes, many of us were Savy at the end of high school. I know lots of high schoolers who have their crap together enough to make much better choices then you did. I believe most of us become adults in high school. Sure, we still acted goofy and immature, but our basic values and basic financial wits are formed by that point (although they can change).

    You sound like many students I’ve seen: they’ve got a bit of talent, used to succeeding, and think they have the whole world at their feet. However, they have thier head in the clouds or they lack a strong work ethic. I honestly think you are a better person then Allan Collinge. I think you made some bad choices, then had some bad luck (the medical stuff) whereas Allan was one bad choice after another. But nonetheless, you have to work even harder now to get out of your hole. Just begging for money on the net (and that is exactly how you came off for months before you switched where your money was going) won’t cut it.

    Some advice:
    1) Quit posting everywhere like you’re whiney and have nothing better to do.

    2)Never, ever respond to your critics. You just legitimize them by doing so. I think Alan has learned this, as he hasn’t posted here lately. If he hadn’t responded then this blog wouldn’t have gone national.

    3) Get a job. Show the world you are working as hard as you can to make up for your mistakes. Become more sympathetic and you will help your cause.

    4)Distance yourself from Allan Collinge. Seriously, he is such an easy target for the other side. What a loser.

  5. I got the $400 from your page two days ago, that was what the counter said. Now it’s a significantly lower number, so I naturally assumed you started it over after changing where the money went so that studentloanjustice won’t ask where there other $400 is.

  6. Where’d you get $125 and the monthly hosting fee if you’re so far into debt?

    I guess you continue to waste money. Old habits are hard to break, huh?

  7. Joe Perez said

    Robbing Joe College to Pay Sallie Mae
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    Save Article

    Published: December 12, 2005
    New Orleans

    THE higher education financing system in this country, like the health care system, is broken. In both cases, costs spiral out of control while millions of people, especially the poor, are not served. And in both cases, a few corporations are making hefty profits.
    Forum: Contemporary Education
    From the 1950’s to the 1970’s, college attendance grew along with federal student grant aid. Then, as tuition mushroomed and loans replaced grants, educational attainment stagnated. Today, those lucky enough to graduate from college end up with an average of $17,600 in loans, a burden that shapes decisions like buying a house or having children. But most young people are not so lucky – half of those who start college do not graduate at all, in part because of the financial burden of staying in school. As a result, Americans aged 25 to 34 are less educated than 45- to 54-year-olds – and more to the point, less educated on average than the citizens of several other industrialized nations.

    The federal student aid system fails students, but it does a great job of delivering profits to private lenders, which issued $65 billion in loans last year. When it created the loan program, Congress assumed that banks would not lend to young people without extensive guarantees and incentives. So they guaranteed a certain rate of return on student loans, made up their losses on defaulters, created a secondary market for student loans by chartering the Student Loan Marketing Corporation (Sallie Mae) and allowed state lending authorities to issue tax-exempt bonds to raise loan capital. Student lending has grown into a highly profitable and low-default market, yet these special privileges persist.

    Sallie Mae, the private company that makes, buys and sells the most student loans, boasted the second-highest return on revenue in the 2005 Fortune 500. Sallie Mae also happens to be the largest contributor, by far, to members of the House Education Committee. The Chronicle of Higher Education found that the committee chairman alone, John Boehner of Ohio, received $172,000 from student lenders and loan consolidators in 2003 and 2004.

    It’s thus no surprise that lawmakers are apt to protect lenders and not students. On Oct. 26, Mr. Boehner’s committee approved more than $14 billion in cuts over the next six years, which would be the largest reduction in the history of the federal student aid program. Mr. Boehner defended the cuts by saying they mostly came from corporate subsidies to Sallie Mae, Bank One, Citibank and the rest. But that gets to the heart of what is wrong with this program – and the way to fix it. The best way to reverse the shocking trends in debt and educational attainment would be to switch from loans back to grants. Given ballooning deficits, though, that’s a nonstarter. Instead, why not cut off subsidies to banks and give that money to needy students?

    One way to do that is to expand a program begun in 1992 in which the government makes loans directly. A recent Government Accountability Office report showed that direct loans cost the government one-fifth as much as subsidized loans over the past 10 years. Mr. Boehner, however, kept the report under wraps for 30 days, and it was released just hours before the House committee vote. Representative George Miller, Democrat of California, estimates that the aid program could save $60 billion over the next decade by switching entirely to direct loans – enough for almost a 50 percent increase in Pell Grant money.

    A group of students has also proposed a National Tuition Endowment, which would preserve an estimated $30 billion for need-based grants by cutting loan subsidies and finally closing an infamous loophole that has lenders collecting 9.5 percent interest from the government on certain loans.

    Yet Mr. Boehner is heading in a different direction. He told an audience of commercial student lenders earlier this month that “I’ve got enough rabbits up my sleeve” to make them happier with the bill.

    With the higher education budget scheduled for passage next year, this is a great occasion for a public debate on the values that conservatives claim, like individual self-determination, free markets and international competitiveness. Do we want to keep robbing from our future?

    Anya Kamenetz is a columnist for the Village Voice and author of the forthcoming “Generation Debt: Why Now Is A Terrible Time to Be Young.”

  8. Joe Perez said

    It never read $400

  9. Joe Perez said

    Maybe you should learn how to count

  10. I tell you what Joe, I’m a good guy. I’ll take your word for it. It is possible that I was mistaken when I thought I saw a $400 a couple days ago. To be specific, I thought it was like $477, but I might have been looking at another similar page that pleas for money to make up for their mistakes.
    Anyway, I’ve edited the post and am willing to say that I was probably mistaken. I appologize for the mistake.

  11. Joe Perez said

    No problem. Mistakes happen.

    So, in all reality i’ve only made around $20. because it cost $125 to create.

    I’m just a designer. And paid friends next to nothing to build a code heavy flash clock, and the pretty HTML pages.

    And $125 is a drop in the bucket next to what Sallie Mae wanted as a monthly payment.. They orginally wanted $856 for 2 of my 4 loans.

    That is for 2 LOANS!! I mean thats almost half my pay check, and I still have loans with wells fargo, citi bank and key bank. Not to mention all the normal bills that you and I have to pay to live.

    If I were to accept and Pay back all of my loans they would take 90% of my pay check.

    Tell me if that is RIGHT.

  12. Joe Perez said

    Tell me, how that helps this booming economy when more and more grads can’t buy houses, cars, or Bare Necessities.

    I’m not alone.. There are THOUSANDS.

  13. Joe Perez said

    Tell me, how that helps this booming economy when more and more grads can’t buy houses, cars, or Bare Necessities.

    I’m not alone.. There are THOUSANDS.

  14. I know you are not alone.

    I think we need to get high school counselors to tell kids a few hard facts. We need to quit telling EVERY kid he needs to go to college. Our entire high school system is set up to test kids on skills they need for college and we spend all our time on working kids towards scoring better. We push kids into college that aren’t ready for college. There is nothing wrong with getting your feet wet at a cheap community college for a year or two to save money and see if you’re ready for it.

    Now I know that Community college wasn’t an option for you (although I think I heard somewhere that LA has a great film school in a community college-although I don’t know if your specialty was there). But if we want to get serious we need to teach kids some financial sense, and we need to let them know what college will really cost them.

  15. How to fix the system:
    1. Be upfront about the cost of college.
    2. Try to get kids to make better, cheaper college decisions. In the end, unless it’s an Ivy League school, they’re all looked at the same more or less.
    2. How about we get colleges to quit spending so much money on their sports teams. I read somewhere that Western Kentucky University moved their football team from Division 1AA to Division 1, and paid for it by charging every student a few extra hundred dollars. This was to get a few more scholarships for football players (the only real difference in the divisions). What a waste. That’s ONE sport… how much are regular students playing for sports teams? Is it worth it? Let’s take a serious look sometime.
    3. Teach financial sense to high schoolers.
    4. Support trade schools for those that aren’t right for college.
    5. Let’s get a longer grace period before you have to pay back your loans. Six months isn’t really long enough. Give grads a year or two to start making serious payments. Maybe like $25 a month after six months. Then full normal payments after a year. Let’s advicate for small changes in the system before we ask for a total overhaul.

    These changes won’t help everyone, but they are a logical start. If we eliminate Sally Mae alltogether, then many will not be able to go to college alltogether.

  16. Joe Perez said

    American Dust I have to agree with you on how to fix the system.

    I always stress that, “Not Paying” is not the way to go. It’s a loan, you should pay it back.

    I would just like to see some consumer protections come back to the student loans that were lost when the HEA was passed.

    Basic protections that we enjoy with credit cards, and pay day loans.

    That combined with better education on finance to our children will be a good start.

    Right Now, Alan and I are doing as much as we can to get people talking. Whether you agree with our execution or not.

    I hope your blog has continued success.

    Joe P

  17. Give us some specifics on the HEA that you don’t like. When were the changes made?

    “I would just like to see some consumer protections come back to the student loans that were lost when the HEA was passed.”

    Please enlighten us to what protections were taken out and when.

  18. Joe Perez said

    Government Collection Procedures on Defaulted Student Loans

    The Higher Education Technical Amendment (HEA) eliminated all statutes of limitations for any collection action by a school, guaranty agency, or the United States under a federal loan program. The amendments also eliminated all limitation periods for tax intercepts, wage garnishments, and other collection efforts.
    If you’re not able to discharge your student loans in bankruptcy or establish a repayment plan in a Chapter 13 proceeding, the federal Department of Education has the right to:

    Tack collection fees of 25% and collection agency “commission” fees of approximately 28% onto the principal, interest and penalties you already owe

    Take your federal income tax refund until all your defaulted student loans have been paid

    Garnish up to 15 percent of your wages, without suing you first

    Take as much as $750 per month (up to 15 percent of your income) in federal benefits to which you might be entitled, including social security retirement and social security disability income, and apply that amount toward your outstanding defaulted student loan debt

    Sue you for your outstanding student loan debt and place liens on your property

    What the private lenders fail to realize is the human element.

    What if you get sick, get caught in a natural disaster, etc. There are no what if’s.

    And when you can’t pay. Here comes the late fees and the constant phone calls.

    A lot of the stories on Student Loan Justice are of people, or new grads who have met with certain bumps in the road of life ( an illness, etc ) which would be normally hard to deal with, but now with a unrelenting Private Loan Corporation bearing down.. it makes it that much more awful.

    I know, and I can relate because a year After I graduated I had acute atrial fribrilation which i had to have corrected. At the same time, I lost my job and my car died.

    In the span of one month I was brought to my knees with medical debt. I was forced to move home.

    The loan corporations don’t care what is going on in your life. Even if you have Doctor notes and letters to prove that you have a legitimate problem.

    So, I defaulted. I am repaying in collection. And it was the only way I could get a ” DEAL “. After bankruptcy my credit was wrecked. And you can only consolidate if you have good credit, or so Sallie Mae told me over the phone.

    It’s one of those instances where you have to live it, to realize, “wow, this isn’t right”.

    If I could have made a deal, maybe I would still be in LA with a higher paying job. It’s really counter productive to knock the people trying to pay you back, into a lower tax bracket — but they’re not structured to keep the Human Element in mind.

    Joe P

  19. Gradgirl24 said

    Wow, thank you very much for the accolades Americandust…..I started coming here when I read that Alan Collinge post and have been a loyal visitor since. I post a link to it in as many places as i can in hopes that people get the other side to his story. I’m truly amazed that reputable papers and news organizations report his rants without giving us his real story of failure.
    I only jumped on Joe Perez because he seems like a carbon copy of Alan. It’s the same old tired story. Luckily for us, he proves all of our points true everytime he posts. He is truly his own worst enemy.
    So I want to tell you how much i appreciate your blog, your brutally honest dialogue, and most importantly, your firm spot on the front page google search of Alan Collinge. I am doing my best to keep this site up there in the ranks so that anyone who is interested in Alan or his lame creation StudentLoanJustice can find out the truth about what is behind it.

  20. Joe Perez said

    Gradgirl24, i think you work for the enemy.

  21. Thanks Gradgirl, in fact, you are more responsible then anyone (except Allan of course!) for the number of hits this page gets.

    I thought the same thing about Joe at first, but after reading more of his story and his replies (which I think showed a little more spunk) I realize he is much much better then Alan. He actually had a bit of bad luck (the illness) whereas Allan is just completely idiotic.

  22. GradGirl24 said

    Merry Christmas Everyone!…….even Alan and Joe.

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