i have gone over much of the USDA, FSA and other grants and loan programs for beginning farmers...it's pretty thick but there is funding available to start ups, and land purchase.
been going over all this stuff again so here is more info:
this is a major road block for many and so i hope this type legislation gains ground and more states consider opening up more federal and state funding to beginning farmers regardless of student loan debt.
One of the best predictors for what someone will do with money, is to look at what they have done with it in the past. If they have squandered money in the past, they are more likely to squander it in the future. If they have borrowed money and not paid it back in the past, I wouldn't expect them to pay it back in the future.
In order for a program like that to be truly fair, it would need to provide extra money for those who had student loans, and paid them off.
I'm in Canada, where it isn't as expensive to go to school. Still many people train for things that don't lead to employment. Many of them have loan debt. Both of my daughters are in their twenties, and they have paid off all of their student loans. They didn't live high on the hog while doing this. Some of their friends partied straight through their twenties, and now would like the government to forgive their loans.
@ dale -- the requirement for these programs are not entirely easy. one must have acceptable --> good credit, and an ability to repay (income).
there are some small grant programs, but those are mostly for functional (though perhaps very small) farms showing verifiable income and qualifying in other ways- for purchase of equipment and such. another words, you have to have already gotten pretty far on your own to qualify for these, have business plans, tax records, and farm experience and/or income to be considered for small grants or farm loans.
further for the student loan forgiveness/income based repayment plans the government is considering...many of them you have to have graduated, and then serve as a farmer for five to ten years. after ten years you would get student loan forgiveness, if this legislation passes.
they arent sweeping programs that allow anyone to just say they are farming and then apply for student loan debt forgiveness, its only possible through considerable hard work and with some funds of your own.
i do think that is unfair that student loans, as well as risky credit offers, are basically pushed on young people, who do not yet have a firm grasp of consequences, supporting themselves etc.
many people have gotten themselves way buried before they even really start, going deep into debt to pursue education, and yes often at things that are difficult to make money with once graduated.
before they know they are saddled with the debt... and it grows quickly with extra interest, especially if people fall behind.
and yes i think this is a much bigger issue in america with much more expenses for education.
also the usda, other mortgage assistance and other programs look at student loan debt differently, and not even being default on a student loan can be a deterrent to getting a farm loan or other low rate federally backed loan. for the FHA and FSA and other similar type loans that offer assistance for low and moderate income people will calculate the debt into their qualifying, not the amount of the actual payments, in your expenses.
even if someone is on a income based repayment plan (which can make your student loan payment 0$ for a long period of time providing you make less than 40k a year or so....) they calculate the whole debt into your expenses, and it often can disqualify people with large debt from ever being able to obtain financing for a home or farm purchase. even if they are paying on time, and even if they are current on all payments due to deferment or the income based repayment plan.
and being delinquent on any student loans will disqualify you from any participation.
The only thing that kept the leeches off of me was this tiny ad: