THE BLOG
11/08/2010 06:33 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Addendum to the Recent Post on Suicidal Thoughts Among Student Loan Debtors

The subject of suicide must be approached with caution and sensitivity, and I want to make it clear that I am sympathetic to those of you who have struggled with suicidal thoughts.

Suicide has been of interest to me lately, precisely because of the desperate emails I've been receiving from indentured educated citizens. My latest piece entitled, "For the Indentured Educated Class, Suicidal Thoughts Are Not Merely A Personal Problem," received a lot of responses, too (i.e., when I originally posted it on Education Matters). I am also asserting that suicide is not merely related to the psychology of specific individuals (that is, of course, a factor), but reflects a larger societal problem as it directly relates to the student lending crisis. In a word, it has sociological implications, and that's why policy makers ought to be paying attention to the matter.

There is something very important that is missing in this conversation, however. I need to clear that up. Are you aware that death provides no discharge in some private loans, and that your co-signer(s) could still be liable? I don't mean to sound insensitive, but want to make this point. Of course, I think suicide is never the answer, and I've made that clear in previous posts on the subject (for instance, see my comments to readers here). In addition, it may also not be a good decision financially, if that is how you are thinking about it.