In Thailand there are over 90,000 students that are delinquent on their student loans. Now letters have gone out along with a summons to tell it to the judge.
As there are 90,000 students, no doubt there will be 90,000 stories of hardship as to why the loan was not paid. That is a line of students 56 miles long. Many students will have to travel to the Provence where the loan was taken. This works out to about 3 day with one day to get there, one day in court, and one day to get back.
Many of the student loans that are delinquent are from poor families that got student loans from a populous plan of the now defunct Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party. Many of these loans went to families who in the best of times could not afford to pay them back. If the loans are not paid back then the penalty will be the doubling of the debt and that could simply place the students in a no win situation where the interest accrues faster than payments can be made. The loan plan was seen by experts outside of the TRT as causing future bankruptcy and problems for the next generation. A sad price to pay for a vote on election day.
To make matters worse many of the female students who did have good intentions of paying back the loans got pregnant and were abandoned by the father of their child. Unfortunately there is an epidemic of this behavior with young Thai men, leaving single mothers to raise their child and help their families. Over 50% of the women in Bangkok are single moms to give you some idea how bad this is. Some estimates put that as high as 70%. In many cases this forces women into Bangkok’s naughty nightlife just to have enough money. There is also a high suicide rate as one can easily suspect. So no doubt the pressure from the government to pay back the loan will have a huge ripple effect.
As this is just the beginning of the collection process, it is too soon to say how this will end, but there is no doubt it will be harder to find smiles in the land of smiles as a result of this.