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View Full Version : Paying Off Student Loans (Sallie Mae Rant)



pony grandma
Apr. 8, 2012, 04:10 PM
What a crock. They don't make it favorable for prepaying these loans. The heavy student debt load has been a point of conversation now in politics. But the govt is not stepping up.

They make it extremely difficult to payoff this loan debt, ie don't want to let you do so. No principle payoffs can be made. I'm going to try to word this right - any extra payments do not go to the base equity they are figured as extra payments that come off the back side of the loan and anything extra paid cannot be considered extra principle.

DD just went thru the 'process' of paying off one of her loans that is for a small amt. When we called for the pay-off they made it as difficult as they could and complained that they would 'have' to refigure a new automatic deduction amt 'now.' Like that is not an easy part of a banking service nowadays with computers.

And paying off one loan only saved her $4/month!

What are the terms of these loans (length in yrs)? that is not a full reveal either, obviously ALL the interest is stacked up front b/c very little goes to principle.

My home equity line is set so that additional prinicple can be paid at my convenience of choice. These loans should be structured the same way.

If these loans were set up so that young people could more easily pay them down then it would reduce the individual's debt load and open up earnings for buying first homes, investing in businesses, etc etc. A win win for this country.

WorthTheWait95
Apr. 8, 2012, 04:18 PM
I'm a vet student and thankfully only have government loans but it's not a whole lot easier to pay on those either. I work two jobs to keep on top of interest from my non subsidized loans as best I can plus start chipping away at the principle. Every 4 months when I go to make a payment there seems to be a new hoop to jump through and we won't even talk about the fact that I had to spend 5 hours one day in the beginning of vet school to even find out where I needed to go to view my loans! Not as easy as the loan education quiz you have to take makes it sound...I never understood why they make it so difficult.

mvp
Apr. 8, 2012, 04:23 PM
And another thing!

No one should be borrowing $80K to get a bachelor's degree from University of Utah.

Had I paid full freight, my degree from Stanford (150 years ago) would have topped out at $70K or so.

Now you'd be looking at closer to a quarter million for all the fixin's at elite universities.

Yikes! People need to do some calculations regarding the ROI on a huge debt for Harvard vs. a still honkin' debt for U of U.

I pity the modern undergrad. It ain't right, OP.

WindyIsles
Apr. 8, 2012, 04:28 PM
The government is stepping up - or at least attempting to -

there's a bill being proposed to forgive student loans (10 years paying at least 10% your discretionary income. If it passes those who have already spent 10 years paying at least 10% discretionary income would be automatically approved).

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr4170

RedMare01
Apr. 8, 2012, 05:57 PM
I HATE Sallie Mae. Luckily I do not have a bunch of debt (relatively small, actually, especially for undergrad + masters). Their website payment sucks...why on earth does it take 2-4 days to apply payment? I can pay any other bill online and it is paid that day. They also sold one of my loans but didn't notify me. Three months later I get a call wondering why I hadn't paid...uh, because I had no idea that I now needed to pay someone else??? :mad:

Kat_Renee
Apr. 8, 2012, 06:21 PM
I don't have a huge student loan, so maybe it is easier for me. I have had no problems with Salle Mae. I pay a little extra for each payment and it always prompts me if I want to apply towards the principle or next payment (always choose principle).

It may also help that I only needed one small loan and that I don't have multiple ones.

Trixie
Apr. 8, 2012, 06:23 PM
The government is stepping up - or at least attempting to -

there's a bill being proposed to forgive student loans (10 years paying at least 10% your discretionary income. If it passes those who have already spent 10 years paying at least 10% discretionary income would be automatically approved).

That to me isn't stepping up, it's screwing the people that busted their ass to pay what they owed.

I do agree with MVP though, the costs are astronomical and are frequently well above the value of the degree. We need to do a better job of counseling students going into school what exactly it's going to cost them and help them to make more responsible decisions in that regard.

I was applying to enter one program and told them I intended to pay out of pocket, and was subjected to a twenty minute lecture on how I should talk to one of their loan counselors because "unlike a house or a car, education cannot be taken away from you." I had to to repeat myself at least three times that I could afford to pay for school myself. There is something really wrong when we're foisting these things on students.

WindyIsles
Apr. 8, 2012, 07:18 PM
That to me isn't stepping up, it's screwing the people that busted their ass to pay what they owed.

I do agree with MVP though, the costs are astronomical and are frequently well above the value of the degree. We need to do a better job of counseling students going into school what exactly it's going to cost them and help them to make more responsible decisions in that regard.

I was applying to enter one program and told them I intended to pay out of pocket, and was subjected to a twenty minute lecture on how I should talk to one of their loan counselors because "unlike a house or a car, education cannot be taken away from you." I had to to repeat myself at least three times that I could afford to pay for school myself. There is something really wrong when we're foisting these things on students.

And you're saying that people who haven't been busting their asses to pay what they're owed - aren't going to be helped? If you've been paying already you will be forgiven the rests.

This bill if it goes into affect it wouldn't just be for government loans, it would go after private lenders such as Sallie Mae they are working on legislation to curb the insanity of the Student Loan Lending Racket (because that's exactly what it is).

It's attacking, and attempting to fix, a symptom of a much bigger problem, yes. I hope that it goes through and then it gets the ball rolling for more higher education (and costs)reform. Right now Student Loan debt has surpassed credit card debt and is over 1 Trillion Dollars. Costs have risen something like 800% in the past 30 years for college.

abrant
Apr. 8, 2012, 07:34 PM
I was surprised to see my federal loans have been handed over to a servicing vendor.

I have a lovely letter stating that they would stop accepting payments on March 1st... The letter was dated March 18th. Thankfully I opened it before I made my payment (they said it would take 1-2 weeks for a payment to 'transfer' which would have meant I would have paid the loan twice in March). It's also amazing that I even opening the envelope considering how much 'consolidate now!' mail I still get after 6 years of paying on these darn things. (I can't consolidate, my Perkins loan is paid and my other loans are private).

My Perkins loan was actually sold... with $40 left on the balance. That was a pain and pretty pointless.

Tapperjockey
Apr. 8, 2012, 07:40 PM
And you're saying that people who haven't been busting their asses to pay what they're owed - aren't going to be helped?


How would this help people who were responsible and paid off their loans by taking the amount of debt they could afford and sensibly accumulating the debt?

WindyIsles
Apr. 8, 2012, 07:53 PM
How would this help people who were responsible and paid off their loans by taking the amount of debt they could afford and sensibly accumulating the debt?

You know I really really hate that word responsible.

You know what's responsible?

Going to college.

Busting your ass at getting good grades and a "good" degree.

Interning.

Working hard.

Doing everything right. All those ~responsible~ things that you are told to do.

Then you get out and the economy is in ruins and there are no jobs.

Or you find out the degree everyone told you would get you a job is useless and you need an advanced degree (be it a MA, MBA or JD). (More common than a lot of people like to admit).

So you do that.

Because you're being responsible.

Stacking the deck and hoping that when it's all said and done you can get a job and ~responsibly~ pay off all those loans you accumulated.

I wish it worked that way.

I've seen too many ~responsible~ friends who Did Everything Right. Followed All the Rules. Now trapped in debt with no way of getting out of it (unlike oh say credit card debt which can be cleared by bankruptcy.) and underemployed if they are employed at all.

The ones with the ~irresponsible~ debt that I know would LOVE to be able to find a job that would earn them enough so they could pay off their debt ~responsibly.~

But with the current system they won't be debt free for many, many years. (If ever).

They were the responsible ones. They are doing their best to be responsible.

It's the system that isn't responsible. It's the system that is broken.

So if this bill fixes at least some of the current problems and starts a snowball effect to address the bigger problems I am all for it.

Tapperjockey
Apr. 8, 2012, 07:58 PM
Nope. Being responsible means that if you accumulate debt, you pay it off. Maybe it takes your whole lifetime, but no one is forced to take on these debts, it is a choice.

WindyIsles
Apr. 8, 2012, 08:17 PM
Nope. Being responsible means that if you accumulate debt, you pay it off. Maybe it takes your whole lifetime, but no one is forced to take on these debts, it is a choice.

We're going to have to agree to disagree there.

I believe in student loan forgiveness.

I believe in rewarding those who did everything right and weren't handed a golden ticket and had things fail them (life factors they couldn't control: i.e. family illness or death, getting sick and having to drop out of their programs without a degree, the economy crashing and burning and leaving them with no job prospects etc).

I believe it's a step forward in fixing the higher education system.

Hinderella
Apr. 8, 2012, 08:20 PM
Tapperjockey is right, there's nothing responsible about accumulating a huge debt that you have no hope of paying back, and then crying the blues because your debt won't be forgiven. Those loans you're paying back are not monopoly money, it's real money, earned by your fellow taxpayers, that was paid out to your school for your education...with no guarantees that the education would pay dividends for you.
And yes, I DO have a college education, and I did graduate into a lousy economy where my degree meant nothing, and I did pay off my loans. And some of that is why I couldn't have a horse until I was in my 40's.
As for the OP's complaints, Sallie Mae should have options to pay down principal, just like any loan, and should make it as easy as possible to make payments and to get information.

Tapperjockey
Apr. 8, 2012, 08:22 PM
We're going to have to agree to disagree there.

I believe in student loan forgiveness.

I believe in rewarding those who did everything right and weren't handed a golden ticket and had things fail them (life factors they couldn't control: i.e. family illness or death, getting sick and having to drop out of their programs without a degree, the economy crashing and burning and leaving them with no job prospects etc).

I believe it's a step forward in fixing the higher education system.

That's everyone!! No one I've ever met has been handed a golden ticket. Life is not always good. Death, Illness, economic down turns, etc.. All part of life. Not one person, no matter what, isn't touched by that. And plenty of people still managed to go to school, get a degree, get a job and pay off the loans that they took out. The loans aren't a guarantee of a job, or of a degree even. A degree isn't a guarantee of a job, and never has been. It may help your chances, it may not... depending on how wisely you choose. They are taken out and used, and the person has the education they used those loans to pay for. If you use something, you should pay for it. Otherwise, it's stealing.

Trixie
Apr. 8, 2012, 08:29 PM
but no one is forced to take on these debts, it is a choice.

That's the thing. Mr. Trixie, for instance, would have gone to a much better school but he choose to go to one that he can afford. He paid for a lot of it out of pocket while bartending at night - and busted his ass to earn the money for it. Ultimately, I chose to attend a community college then state school since it's significantly less expensive that way and worked throughout. My brother attended a state undergraduate school insted of the one he wanted to go to - and worked hard and got a free ride for grad school. To forgive student loans tells the three of us that we shouldn't have bothered.


And you're saying that people who haven't been busting their asses to pay what they're owed - aren't going to be helped? If you've been paying already you will be forgiven the rests.

I don't see how this helps them so much as gives them a portion of their education for free while the rest of us paid for ours.

I don't disagree that the system needs to be reformed, but I do disagree with going about it like this.

ETA - when I say "the system" I mean on a greater level. Students need to stop paying $100K to get a degree in puppeteering, but employers need to stop demanding a degree for entry level positions without hope of promotion.

Trakehner
Apr. 8, 2012, 08:33 PM
The whine of the modern student.

"I don't want to pay my loan, it's too hard, it's not fair, college should be free, the banks screwed me over by loaning me money and they never told me I had to pay them back....Wah! Wah! Wah!

Of course, these same students demand everyone else pay for their loans (that's all loan forgiveness is, taxpayers get screwed for these delicate flowers).

So, instead of going to a local/community college and getting a "useful" degree with a job at the end of it, all these children took "fun" courses with no future at high rates. So, the chickens came home to roost and now, it's so unfair unless we let them remain children.

Rights without responsibility is the definition of a child
Responsibility without rights is the definition of a slave.

These students would have us be slaves so they don't have to be responsible for their choices.

randomequine
Apr. 8, 2012, 08:43 PM
The problem with student loan forgiveness is that I will graduate in a year and pay off my loans within two years. Yes, I *could* stretch those payments out over 10 years and get some forgiven, but instead I will be choosing to not increase my lifestyle until my debt is completely paid off.

I have friends who decided to finance VERY expensive undergraduate biology/music teaching degrees which I find ridiculous. Does a $45k/year degree *really* help you get into professional school? Then again, I realize it was their choice, not mine. My degree from a state school is extremely valuable.

Also, where is the money coming from? Us. My mother. My fiance. Myself. I'm not sure how I feel about paying for someone else's education when I've already paid for mine and will most likely be paying for my children's.

mvp
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:17 PM
God, you "haves" are ungenerous. If you are *not* looking down the barrel of being an undergrad now, thank your lucky stars.

Look, the price of a college education *has* escalated significantly.

The value of a BA/BS has dropped off badly.

Yet the earning potential of someone with just a HS Diploma is still in the toilet.

Now kids are asked to start adulthood behind the starting line--in debt. Or they are out of debt but with a college diploma and not a whole lot of substance behind that. Then employers will have another complaint (to the extent it has not already begun)... and college will still be expensive and most worth less. There will be an even large divide between those who can afford the on-campus experience and those who don't get anything close for the same piece of paper. I don't want to see a return to the 19th-century when education was only for the very rich.

And you want to "teach them a lesson"? What would that be? That they should forego what you did not? That they should not pursue the most advertised and likely path to a well-paying career? If they can't do otherwise, students will *still* borrow and be unhappy about it.

Note that after 2008 bankers, car companies and adults signing mortgages they didn't understand/couldn't afford were bailed out or excused. Of all the people who should have known better and could have done otherwise, how can you say that students shouldn't also get to be in line with their hands out?

And where *was* the government when for-profit scumball colleges like Phoenix University were using poor college students to launder money?

tja789
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:22 PM
We're going to have to agree to disagree there.

I believe in student loan forgiveness.

I believe in rewarding those who did everything right and weren't handed a golden ticket and had things fail them (life factors they couldn't control: i.e. family illness or death, getting sick and having to drop out of their programs without a degree, the economy crashing and burning and leaving them with no job prospects etc).

I believe it's a step forward in fixing the higher education system.

Sassenach, do you ever think about who will pay for student loan forgiveness? It won't be free. The government (i.e., taxpayers) will pay. Not a good idea given our country's debt crisis. As a country, we're broke and can't take on expensive commitments like paying for everyone's student loan.

Having said that, I do think that there should be much more publicity about the drawbacks of student loans, and young people should be encouraged to think long and hard about cost when choosing a college.

Trixie
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:29 PM
And you want to "teach them a lesson"? What would that be? That they should forego what you did not? That they should not pursue the most advertised and likely path to a well-paying career? If they can't do otherwise, students will *still* borrow and be unhappy about it.

No one said that anyone should "forego" college. And I didn't see anyone say that we should "teach them a lesson."

I didn't have the traditional college experience and neither did Mr. Trixie. Changing one's approach doesn't usually kill anyone.

mvp
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:30 PM
Sassenach, do you ever think about who will pay for student loan forgiveness? It won't be free. The government (i.e., taxpayers) will pay. Not a good idea given our country's debt crisis. As a country, we're broke and can't take on expensive commitments like paying for everyone's student loan.

We could have saved money by not bailing out the "too big to fail" car companies. We could save a hell of a lot by withdrawing from Iraq. All the McMansioners could be forced to continue paying on their mortgages-- any price, no matter what.

Then I think we could afford to forgive some student loans.

abrant
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:33 PM
So, instead of going to a local/community college and getting a "useful" degree with a job at the end of it, all these children took "fun" courses with no future at high rates. So, the chickens came home to roost and now, it's so unfair unless we let them remain children.

Yeah, stupid doctors, vets, and teachers! Ruining our country!

:winkgrin:

I wonder how much of those people who paid off their loans would have turned down assistance if it had been offered to them?

I won't get any help with my loans, they are scheduled out to be completed in 10 years (as are most? I though I took the longest option that was available to me at the time), but I wouldn't deny anyone else the opportunity because I know that I would have used the funds to buy a house, start a family, etc and I wouldn't deny anyone that opportunity because they weren't highly paid out of university.

Which leads me to the point that if private enterprise is the key to economic recovery then the money that is currently repaying student loans would be funneled instead into private industry and it may just help.

Of course, I would hoard my extra money because I've been broke and in debt so I wouldn't help anyone :) (car loans and mortages give me the shakes)

I would have LOVED to pay off my student loans immediately out of college and that was always 'the plan' but when you take home less than $18,000 a year for the first 4 years, those minimum payments look pretty darn good. My dad pointed out that given my previous year's income I could pay off my student loans in less than a a year by living as lean as I was. Meh, I had a wedding and bought a horse and decided to enjoy the last year of my twenties. So shoot me ;) I've get it paid off.... Eventually :)

WindyIsles
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:36 PM
Sassenach, do you ever think about who will pay for student loan forgiveness? It won't be free. The government (i.e., taxpayers) will pay. Not a good idea given our country's debt crisis. As a country, we're broke and can't take on expensive commitments like paying for everyone's student loan.

Having said that, I do think that there should be much more publicity about the drawbacks of student loans, and young people should be encouraged to think long and hard about cost when choosing a college.

No it won't be free.

But who pays for loan forgiveness for doctors/lawyers/teachers/firefighters and cops?

Who finances the G.I. Bill (and now Post 9/11 G.I. Bill) for the military (which depending on which branch you go/if you do active or reserve can net you up to 65K in student loan forgiveness). Who pays for ROTC programs?

No one is untouched by this whole fiasco.

The entire system is broken and needs to be revamped.

PonyPenny
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:40 PM
I believe student loans are the reason the cost of education is so high, especially government backed student loans. If loans were not available, less students would be able to go to college. In order to attract students, colleges would have to lower their rates. It is all about supply and demand. The demand for college degrees is at a all time high and loans are easily available. Colleges have no incentive to lower their rates.

Tapperjockey
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:44 PM
I would have LOVED to pay off my student loans immediately out of college and that was always 'the plan' but when you take home less than $18,000 a year for the first 4 years, those minimum payments look pretty darn good. My dad pointed out that given my previous year's income I could pay off my student loans in less than a a year by living as lean as I was. Meh, I had a wedding and bought a horse and decided to enjoy the last year of my twenties. So shoot me ;) I've get it paid off.... Eventually :)

And you see nothing backwards in that at all?

mvp
Apr. 8, 2012, 09:44 PM
No one said that anyone should "forego" college. And I didn't see anyone say that we should "teach them a lesson."

I didn't have the traditional college experience and neither did Mr. Trixie. Changing one's approach doesn't usually kill anyone.

Maybe not you, Trixster. I got amped up by the talk about "responsibility"-- as though college students were choosing vacations, not educational degree, and as though some kind of BA/BS wasn't pretty crucial in this era.

Also, I don't want to get into the discussion of the value of this or that kind of college education. Most of us only had one type-- we are utterly unqualified to rule on the value of the other!

It does make me sad and worried when people begin to measure the value of degrees only in terms of the job they will bring. It's not that I think some kind of classical education is fun (only). It's that people and employers tend only to know what students didn't get when it is too late-- they can't write their way out of a paper bag, they think of everything in terms of personal ROI that really does translate into cash, they don't "get" statistical arguments, they can't read carefully, they don't finish long and hard assignments.

What really bums me out is that people who didn't do this kind of traditional education-- for some really good reasons like not getting into huge debt-- will have to defend their choice. And they'll do that to richer folks who weren't forced to choose (and maybe did buy a better college experience). I see that as a classist and unwinnable argument.

HenryisBlaisin'
Apr. 8, 2012, 10:05 PM
Yeah, I can't say that now that I've worked my ass off for years to pay back every penny I borrowed that I'm down with paying for a bunch of other people's. Heck, maybe I should have kept refinancing them to lower.extend payments and then I could have gotten a free ride, too, courtesy of all of you who are for this bill!

Like it or not, a college education is a CHOICE. And there are many choices a person can make to get a degree and keep the costs down: go to a community college, then transfer to a state school, go to school at night and work during the day, WORK your way through. My mom took nearly 20 years to finish her degree because she could only afford to take one, maybe two classes a semester. She graduated with her bachelor's degree one week after I did. I'm immeasurably proud of her. There are ways to get a degree if you want one badly enough. It might mean not going to the school that's your first choice. Or, it might mean going there and having to pay back larger loans. That's a CHOICE.

You make sacrifices in life to get what you want. You are not entitled to anything, not even a college education. If you want it badly, you find a way to make it work, but it's not up to anyone, especially not the adults who have paid their loans, to foot your bill.

Frank B
Apr. 8, 2012, 10:12 PM
Student loans are passing the one Trillion mark, and many feel they will be the next economic bubble to burst. The availability of these loans is one of the major factors driving up the cost of tuition.

It isn't going to be pretty.

abrant
Apr. 8, 2012, 10:42 PM
And you see nothing backwards in that at all?

Yeah, totally, I saw it when I proofread my post :)

There are just so many years of my life that I was willing to give to work without play. I was 27 years old before I took my first vacation. Shoot, I was 26 before I had a job that was 5 days a week instead of 6 and then for 2 years I worked 40-45 hours a week at one job and 10 hours a week at a second.

For me, I was starting to fray mentally and had no concept of a work-life balance. Poverty was doable until I started living in the shadow of 30 and thinking that work can't be what its all about. Thankfully, at this point my efforts started to pay off financially.

My point was that I commend those who got the loans out of the way early, but for many that's not possible and at a certain point you have to learn to live with the monkey of student loans on your back.

Like I said though, I will pay every penny of mine back whether I like it or not :)

mvp
Apr. 8, 2012, 11:47 PM
I believe student loans are the reason the cost of education is so high, especially government backed student loans. If loans were not available, less students would be able to go to college. In order to attract students, colleges would have to lower their rates. It is all about supply and demand. The demand for college degrees is at a all time high and loans are easily available. Colleges have no incentive to lower their rates.

I work in higher ed and I agree with you.

It's already ugly in here. FYI: undergrads won't be getting the same quality from their profs as universities go to contract labor. You consumers need to insist on better.

But! One problem with this industry is that it is people rich. Besides paying all those salaries to white-collar people, you need to pay a lot of benies for the buck. This isn't like making stuff in a factory or on a farm. Many more people need to be funded, insured and pensioned to make a university go.

SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 9, 2012, 08:10 AM
Paying off student loans absolutely sucks. I was lucky to get off pretty lightly (~$10k) due to significant scholarships. I graduated two years ago and my student loans will be paid off by June. And then I will be going to grad school because the job market for a BA is pretty terrible.

Up until now I've been pretty gun shy about going back to school - adding any amount to my debt load scared the hell out of me. But, at this point, it's go back to grad school or work for peanuts for the rest of my life. I'm planning to join the military to get my grad school paid for - four years of post-grad service and I'm debt free again.

All that said, I'm completely for student loan forgiveness. A lot of my friends are drowning in student loans and it isn't because they made completely irresponsible decisions like everyone likes to pretend. Education is expensive and not everyone can afford to pay out of pocket.

Trakehner
Apr. 9, 2012, 08:29 AM
God, you "haves" are ungenerous. If you are *not* looking down the barrel of being an undergrad now, thank your lucky stars.
Now kids are asked to start adulthood behind the starting line--in debt. I don't want to see a return to the 19th-century when education was only for the very rich.
Note that after 2008 bankers, car companies and adults signing mortgages they didn't understand/couldn't afford were bailed out or excused. Of all the people who should have known better and could have done otherwise, how can you say that students shouldn't also get to be in line with their hands out?
And where *was* the government when for-profit scumball colleges like Phoenix University were using poor college students to launder money?”

Hmmm, have some problems here…”Haves”…just what exactly are haves? People who worked, sacrificed, went to school, did without and by working hard succeeded in life? Sound like OWS talking points, envy and finger-pointing. I love the “ungenerous” accusation…meaning, “you won’t give me your money, I want it, you OWE me, I’m speshul! Life’s hard, it’s so unfair, you won life’s lottery” all done with a stomping of a little foot.

Kids aren’t asked/forced/coerced/made to start adulthood with debt or anything else. In the 19th century the “Land Grant” colleges were started in every state. I went to one of these, the U. of MD. These colleges were designed for the average kid to attend, tuition was low and so were a lot of the requirements. This isn’t a class/wealth problem.

The housing crisis was a two-fer in causes…congress (Dodd, Frank and crew) demanded poor people be given loans they couldn’t qualify for claiming racism as the cause for a lack of Black home ownership vs. poor credit/earnings. Banks were forced to make these garbage loans. Scum bankers packaged these garbage loans, over-rated them and when the lowlifes wouldn’t/couldn’t pay their mortgages, taxpayers were royally screwed. I don’t believe we should have bailed out the banks or the car companies…not a penny, let em’ fail.

Some students borrowed for college, their choice. If you can’t afford Yale, go to a state or community college. Students, like bankers and car companies, don’t deserve to have loans forgiven.

The government tried to close student loans to colleges like Phoenix University…Black leaders/politicians complained…the majority of their students are minority and few complete their coursework…racism was accused and Phoenix and it’s like continues on.

WindyIsles
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:03 AM
Hmmm, have some problems here…”Haves”…just what exactly are haves? People who worked, sacrificed, went to school, did without and by working hard succeeded in life? Sound like OWS talking points, envy and finger-pointing. I love the “ungenerous” accusation…meaning, “you won’t give me your money, I want it, you OWE me, I’m speshul! Life’s hard, it’s so unfair, you won life’s lottery” all done with a stomping of a little foot.

Kids aren’t asked/forced/coerced/made to start adulthood with debt or anything else. In the 19th century the “Land Grant” colleges were started in every state. I went to one of these, the U. of MD. These colleges were designed for the average kid to attend, tuition was low and so were a lot of the requirements. This isn’t a class/wealth problem.

The housing crisis was a two-fer in causes…congress (Dodd, Frank and crew) demanded poor people be given loans they couldn’t qualify for claiming racism as the cause for a lack of Black home ownership vs. poor credit/earnings. Banks were forced to make these garbage loans. Scum bankers packaged these garbage loans, over-rated them and when the lowlifes wouldn’t/couldn’t pay their mortgages, taxpayers were royally screwed. I don’t believe we should have bailed out the banks or the car companies…not a penny, let em’ fail.

Some students borrowed for college, their choice. If you can’t afford Yale, go to a state or community college. Students, like bankers and car companies, don’t deserve to have loans forgiven.

The government tried to close student loans to colleges like Phoenix University…Black leaders/politicians complained…the majority of their students are minority and few complete their coursework…racism was accused and Phoenix and it’s like continues on.

Oh I love the wide brush you paint all students with. You think all students are childish and whining stamping their feet - and you come off as an holier than though arse quite frankly.

Newsflash: Not everyone is an entitled brat as you seem to think everyone who has a student loan debt and is for student loan forgiveness is either.

A trillion dollars of student loan debt does not come about because people are 'irresponsible.'

Credit card debt is irresponsible. And credit card debt can still be discharged. Those student loans? It's a lifelong mortgage on your brain you cannot get rid of barring death.

Yet those who 'irresponsibly' accrue credit card debt can be forgiven while those who have student loan debt can't.

And yes a lot of the manner in which you treat this issue does come across as classist and in some ways ageist - students are entitled brats! Students are whining~!

College is expensive. College is skyrocketingly expensive. 800% more expensive than it was 30 years ago.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have parents who saved/can pay for an education.

For the lower/middle-class first time in the family to ever go to college student who is told 'college is the way to a better life! Don't worry about the debt! You'll be able to pay it off!'

*raises hand* that is/was me.

I know now I didn't get the counseling I needed be in high school or college to make what you would consider the 'right' decision as to my education. My parents and family members couldn't help me - they had never gone to college. But y'know it's ok I guess I was stupid... I was lucky enough that I went to a great undergrad that gave me scholarships and I was able to graduate both in less time and with less debt than friends of mine who went to comparatively 'cheaper' State schools.

My oldest cousin is now in college and I'm doing my best to help my Aunt navigate all the ins and outs of college and she still doesn't understand half the baloney and gets the run around from school officials.

The system has to change. It's sick. It's broken.

Not everyone is lucky enough that they can stay at home and go to community college. (I have friends who had HORRIBLE abusive home lives - real abuse - not mommy and daddy are mean to me! And college for them was an escape and a way out).

They worked hard, got scholarships, parents wouldn't pay (not that they would accept it anyway) and still graduated with staggering tons of debt.

Working part-time minimum wage barely supports oneself while going to school. Maybe back in the 1970s it would be enough to pay rent/put food on the table/little extra for fun but not today (Y'know especially if you're taking a 'non'-fun degree with labs and such. College can damn near be a full-time job).

None of the people I know went to Yale. This is not an 'oh I can't afford an Ivy but I'll go anyway!' problem. These are regular 'everyday' colleges and State Schools.

It's not a result of 'wanting more than they can afford' it's 'wanting to afford' period.

Who pays for those community colleges and oh so cheaper State Schools? Think about that. They aren't magically cheaper without any reason. (And are they cheaper? Really? When even going fulltime in some majors you can't graduate for 5 or 6 years? It adds up.)

Everyone is paying in some way. It's just the label you attach.

And I can already hear you say: you have a choice! Serve or think about joining the military!

Not everyone is physically or mentally capable of joining the military.

For those who can and did they deserve every cent and more of the GI Bill and now the Post 9/11 GI Bill if they have access to it. (Boyfriend is a Marine who just got out and considering all the hell he went through any benefits he has from here on out from his service still aren't enough for what he did over there and went through IMHO).

JAGold
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:10 AM
Kids aren’t asked/forced/coerced/made to start adulthood with debt or anything else. In the 19th century the “Land Grant” colleges were started in every state. I went to one of these, the U. of MD. These colleges were designed for the average kid to attend, tuition was low and so were a lot of the requirements. This isn’t a class/wealth problem.
The University of Maryland now estimates that the annual cost of attending is $22,433 for an in-state student and $39,804 for an out-of-state student (http://www.admissions.umd.edu/finaid/tuition.cfm) College costs have increased dramatically over the last 20 years; I imagine that's quite a bit more than you paid when you attended. It's a great school, but it is not cheap anymore.

RockinHorse
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:13 AM
I would have LOVED to pay off my student loans immediately out of college and that was always 'the plan' but when you take home less than $18,000 a year for the first 4 years, those minimum payments look pretty darn good. My dad pointed out that given my previous year's income I could pay off my student loans in less than a a year by living as lean as I was. Meh, I had a wedding and bought a horse and decided to enjoy the last year of my twenties. So shoot me ;) I've get it paid off.... Eventually :)

A great case for not forgiving student loans:dead:.

SMF11
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:18 AM
I'm someone who is staring down the barrel at college tuition for my oldest son.

I think it is disgraceful that the middle class is squeezed. If you are poor there and work hard there are colleges that are "need blind". But if you are middle class -- you might not have the savings or income to pay for college and you don't qualify for financial aid.

I'm leaving the details out, but we applied for financial aid for the first time. We have a (relatively) modest mortgage -- which, however, is 30% of our income. The school came back and said that we should be able to contribute $90,000 to our kids' education. We pointed out that between that expected educational contribution and our mortgage we were left with $10,000 a year for a family of five to live on. How is this possible???!!!

pony grandma
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:46 AM
Yep! and a two mortgage household counts to reduce your ability to pay - as in seasonal home! And counselors have seen couples coming in that have paper divorces and the kid is placed with the parent with no assets.

We are in the minority that has a very low mortgage - bought fix-up property cheap yrs ago pd cash for improvements. We are older parents, closer to retirement ages, self-employed, don't have retirement benefits, pay cash monthly for our own medical insurance (whole other thread subject!) but all this doesn't factor into their formulas. The old-fashioned idea of a pd off mortgage for retirement vs a big 401k counts against us! And let's not call it retirement b/c that's never going to happen. let's call it older age and same problems.

It actually benefitted us to keep our income lower so I did not return to the job force full-time while the kids were in school, now that has come back to bite me. I am grateful tho that we put 3 kids thru school, all of their current jobs did require degrees.

My original pt being that the government, if they want to help ease this growing crisis, should put a foot on these loan companies and help make the loans more user friendly.

loshad
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:56 AM
You know what would be most helpful to me (and probably many others) is if you could make extra payments and reduce principle like you do with a mortgage. Simply paying ahead is for the birds.

lawndart
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:58 AM
Perhaps people should stop buying into the 'advanced degree' mantra. I'm pretty sure Plumbers, Electricians, other specialized tradesmen make a pretty good income. :)

Both Mr. Lawdart and I have two year degrees. Mine is in Business. It has been very useful, gotten me many jobs, and allowed me to support Mr. LD in running his business for the last 25 years, and my own for almost 15 years.

I don't think we should have bailed out the car companies, bad mortgages, or banks. If it fails, something will take its place, if necessary. How fair is it to Ford, that GM got bailed out?

My nephew is one who graduated two years ago, with his third degree. He STILL does not have a job, because he won't take a job that he feels is beneath him. His GF just kicked him out, I have no idea what is going to happen to this kid. He all is for the loan forgiveness, of course. :(

I have three kids, right around the same age as my nephew. One went into the Military to fund his education, my DD is in the middle of her Masters. My youngest will graduate from his program in May. All three of them have worked thru out their education, at some pretty crappy jobs, all while keeping on the Deans list. :) I'm proud of them, they will be useful members of society. Should they be penalized for working hard and being successful? (meaning that they should have to pay for other people's education)

Life is hard enough without having to take on debt incurred by others. We have enough programs to pay for already, adding another 'gimmie' would be way too much. No one is forced to go to college. Perhaps not everyone should go.

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:59 AM
Sassenach, that sounds more like a call for better counseling prior to college, rather than a band aid of just "forgiving" student loans.

I don't disagree that the present system is broken or that students need to be better informed. I also don't disagree that many schools are priced higher than the value of the degree. I don't like that many college counselors are unrealistic with students about this - "you can pay for it later" shouldn't constitute career advice without some amount of actual data, and I'm not sure how many 17 year olds have the foresight to argue with that - or to decide what they want to do for the rest of their life.

But, I think that the call needs to be made for a reformed system, not just throwing someone else's money at it and waiting for the problem to repeat itself. Otherwise, it seems you're just patching over a symptom and not addressing the actually issues that caused it.

WindyIsles
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:04 AM
Sassenach, that sounds more like a call for better counseling prior to college, rather than a band aid of just "forgiving" student loans.

I don't disagree that the present system is broken or that students need to be better informed. I also don't disagree that many schools are priced higher than the value of the degree. I don't like that many college counselors are unrealistic with students about this - "you can pay for it later" shouldn't constitute career advice without some amount of actual data, and I'm not sure how many 17 year olds have the foresight to argue with that - or to decide what they want to do for the rest of their life.

But, I think that the call needs to be made for a reformed system, not just throwing someone else's money at it and waiting for the problem to repeat itself.

I agree. I do however think that student loan forgiveness is a step toward reforming the system and believe that things will snowball from there.

pony grandma
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:05 AM
You know what would be most helpful to me (and probably many others) is if you could make extra payments and reduce principle like you do with a mortgage. Simply paying ahead is for the birds.

That was my point. I cannot believe how unfriendly and uncooperative the loan company is. I'm not in the loan forgiveness camp b/c too many students abused their loan offerings. Our kids worked all 4 yrs of school and made sacrifices and lived low. They kept their debt at a very reasonable level. And I did want them to be responsible for part of their educational costs. But I do wish they could pay these things off easier. What a boost for the economy that would be.

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:05 AM
How, exactly?

And how is that not a total screw you to those that busted their behinds to pay out of pocket? And those that have just finished paying off their student loans?

LauraKY
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:05 AM
Kids aren’t asked/forced/coerced/made to start adulthood with debt or anything else. In the 19th century the “Land Grant” colleges were started in every state. I went to one of these, the U. of MD. These colleges were designed for the average kid to attend, tuition was low and so were a lot of the requirements. This isn’t a class/wealth problem.

The housing crisis was a two-fer in causes…congress (Dodd, Frank and crew) demanded poor people be given loans they couldn’t qualify for claiming racism as the cause for a lack of Black home ownership vs. poor credit/earnings. Banks were forced to make these garbage loans. Scum bankers packaged these garbage loans, over-rated them and when the lowlifes wouldn’t/couldn’t pay their mortgages, taxpayers were royally screwed. I don’t believe we should have bailed out the banks or the car companies…not a penny, let em’ fail.



Annual tuition at Univ. of MD is now $8655 for 2011/12. That of course, doesn't include books and other expenses. If you live on campus, their projected expenses are about $22,400/year. Not chump change. Univ. of MD is no longer an "easy acceptance" college either. It is no longer for the "average" student. I don't believe there is a public college in MD for the "average" student. (I take that back...there's Towson).

As for the Community Investment Act causing the housing crises and resulting recession, I believe that's been refuted very well. Here's an example.

http://www.businessweek.com/investing/insights/blog/archives/2008/09/community_reinv.html

You can blame unregulated credit default swaps and the greediness and dishonesty of the banksters for the resulting crisis.

WindyIsles
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:11 AM
I have three kids, right around the same age as my nephew. One went into the Military to fund his education, my DD is in the middle of her Masters. My youngest will graduate from his program in May. All three of them have worked thru out their education, at some pretty crappy jobs, all while keeping on the Deans list. :) I'm proud of them, they will be useful members of society. Should they be penalized for working hard and being successful? (meaning that they should have to pay for other people's education)

Life is hard enough without having to take on debt incurred by others. We have enough programs to pay for already, adding another 'gimmie' would be way too much. No one is forced to go to college. Perhaps not everyone should go.

I assume you - and they - pay taxes right?

What do you think those taxes pay for? (Public schools including community colleges and state universities, the military and defense....)

And having student loan debt does not mean people are not 'useful' or 'successful' or can't 'contribute' to society. The implication in your post that those who have student loan debt are lazy or selfish is extremely wrong.

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:20 AM
I assume you - and they - pay taxes right?

What do you think those taxes pay for? (Public schools including community colleges and state universities, the military and defense....)


So, should they pay excessively higher taxes to shoulder an additional multi-billion dollar debt load?

This money has to come from somewhere.


I don't believe there is a public college in MD for the "average" student. (I take that back...there's Towson).

FWIW, one of the nice things about MD and VA is that 2 year degrees are designed to transfer as long as you get above a certain GPA (I think in MD it is 2.0, so a C average). And there are other insitutions beyond UMD.

WindyIsles
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:24 AM
So, should they pay excessively higher taxes to shoulder an additional multi-billion dollar debt load?

This money has to come from somewhere.

My point is we already 'pay for education and costs' and the idea that I PAID FOR MY EDUCATION I ~SHOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY FOR YOURS~ is idiotic null and void. You're already paying for others education (whether it's true the military in some form or community/state schools) whether you like it or not.

But y'know as long as your bill isn't screaming SALLY'S STUDENT LOAN DEBT in bright red letters you can continue burying your head in the sand and pretend it's not your problem and all on the idiotic irresponsible student who is drowning in debt.

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:31 AM
You still haven't answered my extremely pertinent question of how exactly "forgiving student loans" is going to magickally solve a much deeper problem. Or how it's fair to those that paid for theirs.

The government grants some money to cover student costs, but not all of it - and frankly, there are a lot of student loans out there that I don't think it's even remotely appropriate for taxpayers to shoulder. A grant or the military, fine. The guy in NY who spent $35,000 for a degree in puppetry? No. That? That isn't my problem.

tle
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:33 AM
Case 1: both my brother and I graduated without ANY loans. Yes, we both woudl have LOVED to go to a different school, but the one we went to was close to home with decent reputation in both our fields. We also both went through ROTC to help pay the bills, in addition to living at home and taking easy transfer classes at the local community college during summers.

Case 2: my mom graduated without ANY loans. She did it while raising my brother and I AND working full time by taking 1 or 2 classes per year... starting at the local community college (cheaper) then going to the local public university.

Last person I heard scream about how much their student debt load is went out of state, to a public university and got a degree in a field that it is pretty known for needing advanced degrees to get a good paying job in. And this person lives near me and could have gone locally and saved a TON of money... but they wanted to go to the big university (party). How is that responsible? And why shoudl I as a taxpayer have to bail them out? Granted I think it's a MUCH better plan to bail out student loans than the banks (think of all the money that would go back into the economy), but honestly, I still think it's stupid.

lawndart
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:33 AM
I assume you - and they - pay taxes right?

What do you think those taxes pay for? (Public schools including community colleges and state universities, the military and defense....)

And having student loan debt does not mean people are not 'useful' or 'successful' or can't 'contribute' to society. The implication in your post that those who have student loan debt are lazy or selfish is extremely wrong.

And your assumption that I was talking about anyone but MY children is extremely wrong. I've not called anyone lazy or selfish. I was trying to point out there is more than one way to skin a cat. I do think my Nephew is being very unrealistic to just hope his student loans go away, because he cannot immediately get his dream job.

Oh yeah, we pay taxes. Probably more than you. I'm all for paying taxes, supporting my community for the basics of life. I don't however think we should have to keep forgiving debt that adults willingly entered into with their eyes wide open.

Now if those young adults did not have their eyes wide open, or were willingly defrauded by college administration, that is another story.

WindyIsles
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:46 AM
You still haven't answered my extremely pertinent question of how exactly "forgiving student loans" is going to magickally solve a much deeper problem. Or how it's fair to those that paid for theirs.

The government grants some money to cover student costs, but not all of it - and frankly, there are a lot of student loans out there that I don't think it's even remotely appropriate for taxpayers to shoulder. A grant or the military, fine. The guy in NY who spent $35,000 for a degree in puppetry? No. That? That isn't my problem.

It's a step in the right direction. It's a treatment of a symptom of a much larger problem.

1 Trillion dollars of debt does not come about solely via people being irresponsible. (I'll grant you maybe 20% of it is due to irresponsibility. The remaining 80% are not irresponsible. Worked hard to get a degree. Financed it the best way possible and WANT to pay back their loans. Then that pesky thing called the economy crashed and they are undermployed if employed at all and unable to make payments + rising interest + more debt = this fiasco).

The student loan lending racket is a racket. There is no regulation right now. Be it on how much can be lent or how much interest can be charged. There are no caps.

It will get the ball rolling and force regulation.

And I do believe that forgiving student loan debt will help the economy. Those who have already paid and paid for years will be forgiven (doctors, lawyers, vets - you know those responsible contributing members of society who cannot attain those specialized and necessary degrees without massive amounts of debt).

'Fair to those who paid for theirs'? NO ONE did not 'pay for theirs' all on their own 100% every one had help in some way shape or form.

Community college and 'paying for yours' is still asking someone else to pay it for you so that those costs are low.

State schools and 'paying for your education' is still discounted somehow.

The military is paid for how?

Pell grants are paid for how?

Show me someone who 100% on their own today without any single form of assistance was able to pay for their own college degree. It doesn't happen. It doesn't exist. We all pay for something somehow in some way.

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:53 AM
It's a step in the right direction. It's a treatment of a symptom of a much larger problem.

Right. It treats a symptom. NOT the problem.


'Fair to those who paid for theirs'? NO ONE did not 'pay for theirs' all on their own 100% every one had help in some way shape or form.

Even still, there are a lot of people who paid MASSIVELY out of pocket in order to afford to go to school. Forgiving everyone else's still continues to say "screw you" to them.

loshad
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:55 AM
'Fair to those who paid for theirs'? NO ONE did not 'pay for theirs' all on their own 100% every one had help in some way shape or form.



Not to put words in her mouth, but I believe Trixie is talking about people who paid off their student loans themselves.

I partially agree that we should not forgive student loans. I say partially, because I do agree with proposals to forgive some portion of student loan debt for those who enter government service for a specified period of time (usually ten years) and maintain a regular payment schedule.

WindyIsles
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:55 AM
Right. It treats a symptom. NOT the problem.

Didn't say it's the be all end all. Means it's a start.

paintlady
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:55 AM
My husband and I were lucky enough to have parents who saved for our college educations. That said, we both went to State colleges that our parents could afford. We also worked during college and summer breaks to chip in for our living expenses.

We did have to take student loans for our Masters degrees, but we went to colleges we could afford and were both able to get scholarships. We both also paid off our debt 100% before the loan term expired.

My brother got his MD from the University of Chicago. How'd he do it? He joined the Army. The Army paid for his tuition and living expenses for all four years of medical school. Yes, he had to serve for several years as an Army doctor, but it was worth it. His wife also went through medical school thanks to the Army.

Sorry, but there are options to go to school without winding up in a huge mountain of debt. Even if you don't have parents that saved/contributed for your college expenses, you can get a job in the college to get free classes, go to State/community colleges that are less expensive, join the military, etc.

I have very little sympathy for those with huge student loans and no way to pay them off. I do not support programs to forgive debt either. If you dig your own hole - you better figure out a way to get out of it. It's not my problem.

WindyIsles
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:59 AM
Not to put words in her mouth, but I believe Trixie is talking about people who paid off their student loans themselves.

I partially agree that we should not forgive student loans. I say partially, because I do agree with proposals to forgive some portion of student loan debt for those who enter government service for a specified period of time (usually ten years) and maintain a regular payment schedule.

Yes and even the fact that they had 'less than'/'responsible'/'reasonable' amount of loans was due to other factors and benefits from outside sources be it going to a state school or community college, living at home, joining the military etc.

Not everyone can be that fortunate or able and they are no less or moreso responsible for making the best of situations that they could with the dice given to them.

SMF11
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:09 AM
I like the European model, where not everyone gets to go to college, but do get to go to vocational schools. Those that do go to college pay something like $10,000 or $15,000 -- a fee that is manageable on a middle class salary.

I think it rewards those who work hard and do well in school, regardless of the circumstances they are born into.

(Having said that, I do realize it is not a perfect system, and that if you are born into a very poor family in an inner city with poor schools you do not have as much of a chance -- but that happens to be true everywhere, certainly in the US)

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:11 AM
Yes and even the fact that they had 'less than'/'responsible'/'reasonable' amount of loans was due to other factors and benefits from outside sources be it going to a state school or community college, living at home, joining the military etc.

Please stop making excuses. There are plenty of people who managed to pay their own way, regardless of how they reduced their debt loads. It's easy to pretend that they're fortunate and living off someone else's dime, but that's just not necessarily TRUE - many worked for it and EARNED IT.

My SO worked an unsafe job (someone was brained in the parking lot across the street, people were beaten in the alley behind his job). He lived in a hovel that was, for all intents and purposes, a health hazard, but it was cheap. He paid for school out of pocket while paying the medical and living expenses of the man who drank away what was intended to be his college fund.

He could have taken out excessive loans and gone to a more expensive school. He didn't.

There IS an element of choice here.

ETA: I'm not sure I'd really call joining the military during wartime a "benefit." It's like saying "Here, you had your legs blown off for the privilege of attending school, so we're going to give that benefit for free to everyone else."

WindyIsles
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:24 AM
Please stop making excuses. There are plenty of people who managed to pay their own way, regardless of how they reduced their debt loads. It's easy to pretend that they're fortunate and living off someone else's dime, but that's just not necessarily TRUE - many worked for it and EARNED IT.

My SO worked an unsafe job (someone was brained in the parking lot across the street, people were beaten in the alley behind his job). He lived in a hovel that was, for all intents and purposes, a health hazard, but it was cheap. He paid for school out of pocket while paying the medical and living expenses of the man who drank away what was intended to be his college fund.

He could have taken out excessive loans and gone to a more expensive school. He didn't.

There IS an element of choice here.

Not making excuses.

I'm simply stating that there are nuances to every story and yes while there is an element of choice to everything there is also an element of 'I got lucky and was fortunate' and privilege evident to every instance that has been cited of 'I managed to graduate with few loans/less debt.'

I'm not painting everyone with large amounts of debt with the 'irresponsible'/'stupid' brush as many posters here like to.

Nor am I denying that for those who went to community college or state school or the military didn't sacrifice.

But to have those options available and open and accessible and to be able to take advantage of them is a form of privilege. And to condemn the former while raising up the latter as an example of 'smart'/they did it right or properly is wrong.

End of story.

End of discussion here for me.

JAGold
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:28 AM
Yes and even the fact that they had 'less than'/'responsible'/'reasonable' amount of loans was due to other factors and benefits from outside sources be it going to a state school or community college, living at home, joining the military etc.

Not everyone can be that fortunate or able and they are no less or moreso responsible for making the best of situations that they could with the dice given to them.
They may have had different options, but they also made different choices. Joining the military is certainly a choice -- a path that some people choose to follow in order to achieve other goals they care about. It's not a privilege available to a select few. Going to a state school or a community college is another choice.

I don't support forgiving student loans. I do support policy changes that help people repay the money they borrowed, including requiring that borrowers be allowed to apply early payments to principle.

I also think it's important to acknowledge that while some college degrees are investments, others are a form of consumption. There are fields that people study not as a way of qualifying for a job, but because they are passionate about the field. There's nothing wrong with that, just as there is nothing wrong with taking classes in flower arranging or playing the flute or horseback riding ;) But I don't see any reason that people who study things they love should expect the rest of society to finance this pursuit of passion. Not all education is preparation for employment. That doesn't make it less worthy or otherwise inferior, but it also doesn't mean that society should subsidize the consumption of knowledge.

I would like to see federal student loans at preferential interest rates for fields where there are legitimate employment shortages, or where the qualifications enable people to work in fields that have public benefits. I would support partial loan forgiveness or payment schedule adjustments for people who do, then, work low-wage jobs in these fields (I'm thinking home health care, not museum curator).

I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who take out large loans to study subjects that don't prepare them for the workplace, especially when they do so at expensive institutions. I similarly don't have a lot of sympathy for people who rack up credit card debt buying clothing or nice meals out. In both cases, people purchased something that they like but cannot afford. Just because it's education doesn't mean it's an investment; not all education prepares people to get jobs that justify the cost of the training.

I do, however, have some sympathy for the idea that people may not have the information they need to make good investments when they are 17 or 18 years old. Therefore, I think it's important for all colleges and universities to provide accurate, easy to understand, standardized (for ease of comparison across institutions) information about employment rates, starting salaries, and earnings trajectories for graduates in different majors.

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:29 AM
But to have those options available and open and accessible and to be able to take advantage of them is a form of privilege.

Last I checked, community college is open to just about everyone.

The military is open to many.

No one is "condemning" anyone, just saying that we don't agree with freely forgiving the student loans that they chose to take out.

JAGold
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:30 AM
Not making excuses.
Nor am I denying that for those who went to community college or state school or the military didn't sacrifice.

But to have those options available and open and accessible and to be able to take advantage of them is a form of privilege.
How is it "a form of privilege" to have the option of a community college available? To whom is that particular privilege not available?:confused:

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:31 AM
JAGold, that was an excellent post. I agree with the points you made.

I think it's a better investment to reform the system then to stick a band-aid on it. And I do believe that there are a lot of things that need fixing in that system.

paintlady
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:35 AM
JAGold, that was an excellent post. I agree with the points you made.

Me too. :)

WindyIsles
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:36 AM
How is it "a form of privilege" to have the option of a community college available? To whom is that particular privilege not available?:confused:

By assuming that everyone has a stable home-life where they can live at home and go to community college for cheap. Or go to the local state school and save money by living with their parents (as has been cited/previously suggested in this thread).

Or the economy is doing well enough that they can find a job or work college around their job without having to quit their job and take on debt for living expenses so they can earn that degree.

And while the military is 'available to everyone' not everyone physically or mentally qualifies for the military. So no it is 'not available' to everyone. It's available to the select few who qualify for it.

And now I am bowing out of this thread because it's like talking to a bunch of brick walls.

JAGold
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:44 AM
By assuming that everyone has a stable home-life where they can live at home and go to community college for cheap. Or go to the local state school and save money by living with their parents (as has been cited/previously suggested in this thread).

Or the economy is doing well enough that they can find a job or work college around their job without having to quit their job and take on debt for living expenses so they can earn that degree.

And while the military is 'available to everyone' not everyone physically or mentally qualifies for the military. So no it is 'not available' to everyone. It's available to the select few who qualify for it.

And now I am bowing out of this thread because it's like talking to a bunch of brick walls.
Please note, I didn't say anything about living at home. Attending community college is still substantially less expensive than attending a four-year university even if one does not live at home. Tuition at a community college is typically a fraction of tuition at a university.

Moreover, I didn't say anything about quitting one's job to attend community college. One advantage of community college is that class schedules and enrollment requirements are designed to be flexible in order to allow students to pursue an education while remaining in the workforce. People who can't find jobs regardless of their educational commitments have other financial needs that are not best addressed by student loans.

I'm not sure what fraction of 18 year olds meet the military's qualifications, but I'd guess it's more than a "select few!" However, I didn't say that the military was not a "privilege." I specifically stayed away from that characterization, to avoid the exact objection you've raised.

I am a card-carrying, tree-hugging liberal. I'm also an economist (and professor at a state university) who has studied education. I favor policies that increase access to education, and I favor policies that help prepare youth for the workforce. But I don't think that student loan forgiveness is the right approach. That doesn't make me a brick wall...

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:45 AM
By assuming that everyone has a stable home-life where they can live at home and go to community college for cheap. Or go to the local state school and save money by living with their parents (as has been cited/previously suggested in this thread).

I'm not sure why you're assuming that everyone who attends community college or a state school lives with their parents or has parental support. It was simply used as an example as ONE way to save money. Obviously, there are others.

I will mention that when I attended, the majority of the students that I knew in school worked during the day and attended classes at night. Some had children. Nearly all of them paid their own rent and tuition. Some had loans, some didn't.

There is nothing that requires anyone to finish on a two or four year time frame (there are even some nifty programs at 4-year institutions that cater to working adults). Even if they took out some loans, there's a difference between leaving school with a few thousand in loans versus a crippling hundred thousand dollars in loans.

Nottingham
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:47 AM
Although I am one of the people who would benefit from loan forgiveness, I agree that it's not the "right" fix. Pursuing an advanced degree, I am currently up to my eyeballs in debt. I do wish I had better counseling at the time before I agreed to these loans, but agree to them I did and I know it is my responsibilty to pay them back.

However, what I think WOULD help would be to reduce the INTEREST RATES on these loans. 6.8% in today's market is highway robbery, if you ask me.

wendy
Apr. 9, 2012, 12:15 PM
Perhaps people should stop buying into the 'advanced degree' mantra. I'm pretty sure Plumbers, Electricians, other specialized tradesmen make a pretty good income.


yes- I think we need to re-think. I was told "education, education, education.." I'm pretty sure I would now be better off, financially, and probably happier, if I'd opted to be say, a plumber, or a door-to-door computer doctor instead.

The problem with telling everyone they too can be at the top ignores the problem that if we all get on top, there's no bottom, and it falls apart. Doesn't our society appear to be falling apart right now? there's no "base" of manufacturing and basic trade for all of the highly educated, specialized persons to sit upon. Telling everyone that borrowing against your future to get an education is a sure route to the top is a flat-out lie, and unfortunately a lot of people are now victims of this societal lie.
However, I don't think we should just "Forgive" these loans. That's not fair to everyone else, and won't solve the basic problem.

HenryisBlaisin'
Apr. 9, 2012, 12:37 PM
Here are a few more thoughts:

Living at home might not be an option for all, but it is an option for many, if not most, and if they choose not to take advantage of that opportunity because they want the full "college experience," well, damn straight they should pay for it! For the few who have truly horrific home lives, it may require a few years of working before considering college if there's not place else to stay. I'm sorry if that sounds cold, but a poor home life doesn't entitle anyone to anything.

And to whoever pointed out that we do help pay for a public or community college education for others, well, DUH! We're not stupid. We know that. I'm personally fine with it. Pay it forward and all that. What I (and the others, most likely) object to is having to pay for the students' share of it as well as the public's share because these poor sweet flowers are having to work SO HARD to pay their loans.

Here's a novel concept:if you can't get a job in your degree field to pay back loans, or if that job isn't enough, well, then get a job, or a second job, doing whatever you can find to pay the bills! I worked nights and weekend in a grocery store, as many hours as I could get, in order to have the money to pay. even after I started teaching, I worlked nights and weekends as well as summers. Suck it up, buttercup. No job is beneath you.

I agree that the system needs reform. Loan companies should be required to let people pay down the principle as quickly as they want to/can afford to. Interest should be low and fixed. Tuition and costs at public universities should be addressed (how about dropping "activity" fees and not holding concerts and other entertainment, for one. College is there to educate, not entertain!) Require schools to give a refund on meal plans for every meal the student doesn't go to. Have a loaner system for books instead of making students buy them for electives. Open up more on-campus jobs to students to work towards their bills (custodial, maintenance, etc.). But just uniformly forgiving billions of dollars worth of loans is not "reform." It's nothing more than a handout to a select few who were lucky enough to take out their loans at just the right time and still be paying on them.

There are LOTS of jobs that don't require a four-year degree. The majority do require some kind of training post-high school, but that training is much less than a traditional 4-year university. Many of those jobs will have an average salary as high, if not higher, than a job requiring a 4-year degree. A good, qualified electrician, for example, makes more money per year than I ever did as a public school teacher. Qualified stone masons are in demand and the job is quite lucrative. Many high schools offer vocational programs that will let students graduate with entry-level training in those types of fields. The public school system where I taught turned out ASE certified mechanics, Level I CNA's, stone masons, and now has a cosmetology program. Those aren't glamorous jobs, but they generally are good enough to pay the bills while taking some night courses toward a degree.

North Carolina also has a program where high school students can take classes at community college for dual credit, at a cost of $7.50 per course. Some of these students can shave years off a university degree, or get a certificate in non-degree areas that qualifies them to work. I'm sure other states offer this as well; there's an option to get a good chunk of school done and paid for early.

I didn't do any of that. I went to a private university and had huge loans in exchange. It was probably one of the "irresponsible" choices that many are talking about. Going in as an 18-year-old, I probably didn't understand as much as I should have about student loans. There are times I wish I had made a different choice, but you know what? That doesn't make me any less responsible for paying them back. And I did, every penny. No, it was NOT easy, and I did NOT have help, save when my father died...yeah, great "help" there. On one occasion, I had to take a hardship forbearance, which means you get a grace period from paying, but interest still accrues, so you owe MORE in the end. That was my only option, so I took it. I also refinanced to stretch out my payments longer, even though it meant more interest in the end and a longer term. I'd still be paying if it hadn't been for the death of my father and the life insurance from his employer, and believe me, I'd trade back in a heartbeat, in which case I'd STILL be paying the loans. But they were MY decision and MY responsibility, even if it took me the rest of my life to pay them.

SamWerner
Apr. 9, 2012, 12:46 PM
I am graduating from law school in a month...and leaving with 200,000 in student loans. Law school is expensive, and living is expensive. My parents did not help me out at all through my grad school career. When I went into law school in 2009, the average salary for an entry level attorney was 65-75,000. Now it's 40,000. So, I went in thinking I would have more money to be able to pay back my loans with. Now I will be struggling even getting a job, and if I get a job, 40,000 will barely cover expenses without paying loans back. I think the new 10 year 10% would be a huge help to me and all my fellow classmates who are now going to be screwed by this economy. People pay taxes, and I know I will pay taxes in the future to help out students as well. I am sure that all of the people saying oh no I paid my debt, would be overjoyed if this was an option offered when they were in school!!1

JanM
Apr. 9, 2012, 01:02 PM
Sam-look at the federal government. Legal careers (they do hire civilians) are excepted service, which means they hire who they want off of a list of qualified applicants. After 10 years of payments your federal loans are forgiven (I don't know if that includes private loans or just federal ones). They pay decent salaries, work for virtually every agency, and can have almost any specialization.

To look and see what's out there go to usajobs.gov, click advanced search, and scroll down to "Legal". Fill out the resume form, and additional forms should be on there too. You can upload your transcripts easily (so easy that even I did it the other day, which is a miracle of computer operation on my part), and then can set up job notifications for new postings by email. You can select specific states or cities, or say "All States".

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 01:17 PM
I am sure that all of the people saying oh no I paid my debt, would be overjoyed if this was an option offered when they were in school!!1

But it isn't an option for everyone or even for most people. It's only an option for those that chose to go into debt. The rest will have paid a lot of money for something that would be given out for free.

Sam, the "median" BLS salary for an attorney is $112,760. That means that even in a lousy economy, your longterm earning potential is fairly high - certainly higher than most. So what your post tells me is that you would like to reap the long-term benefits of a higher-than-average earning potential, but you would like someone else to pay for roughly 3/4 of your education? And this is because you will eventually pay taxes? Do I have that correct?

Exactly how high are y'all prepared for taxes to go?

magnolia73
Apr. 9, 2012, 01:19 PM
We need to get away from sending everyone to college. Period.

My hairdresser went to hairstyling vo-ed in highschool. She is now the owner of a very busy hair, nail and tanning salon and not old enough to buy her a drink in a bar. I'd say she could use some community college courses in business but frankly she does pretty well.

A lot of what we need now are skilled trades- heck even a lot of office work can be handled by someone with a thousand dollars worth of training in Microsoft products. They don't need a 4 year degree.

loshad
Apr. 9, 2012, 01:33 PM
We need to get away from sending everyone to college. Period.

My hairdresser went to hairstyling vo-ed in highschool. She is now the owner of a very busy hair, nail and tanning salon and not old enough to buy her a drink in a bar. I'd say she could use some community college courses in business but frankly she does pretty well.

A lot of what we need now are skilled trades- heck even a lot of office work can be handled by someone with a thousand dollars worth of training in Microsoft products. They don't need a 4 year degree.

I think you are right that we need more people in skilled trades, especially given the demand for workers in skilled manufacturing positions.

However, some of the trades require fairly long apprenticeships (5-7 years) that don't come exactly cheap.

cowgirljenn
Apr. 9, 2012, 01:55 PM
But, I think that the call needs to be made for a reformed system, not just throwing someone else's money at it and waiting for the problem to repeat itself. Otherwise, it seems you're just patching over a symptom and not addressing the actually issues that caused it.

I think that's it: the university/higher education system is a mess. As someone else said, it is expensive to run a university and someone has to pay. The cost of education sky-rockets, while universities cut costs by taking on more post-docs and research assistants who help with the teaching load and such but are paid poorly. Students are pushed into higher and higher degrees without understanding what those degrees will get them/where they can go with those degrees.

It is a mess - and we need reform. Student loan repayment? I'm not sure how I feel about that. I'll be paying on mine and DH's for a long time and I could sure spend that money on other things. BUT we took out the loans, we got the education, and I don't think it is right to use tax money to pay for our student loans. I would rather see that money go to helping people that are truly desperate (not just a little uncomfortable or irritated).

Trakehner
Apr. 9, 2012, 02:13 PM
Annual tuition at Univ. of MD is now $8655 for 2011/12. That of course, doesn't include books and other expenses.

If a student can't work enough to come up with that level of tuition, they probably won't be bright enough or driven enough to succeed. I worked 2 jobs during undergrad/grad school, also had a very crappy GI bill of $235/month while in class. That sucked, but most vets and students were in the same situation. I left college with no loans (so do a lot of people who work their way through school). Didn't go to campus parties, play games or have nice vacations, went to class instead when not working (plus was a few years older than the typical student). I was an Army vet, now out and going to school...didn't expect others to pay my way.

There's no reason to live in the dorms, U. of MD is a commuter school, most students don't live on campus. A bunch of friends in an apartment doesn't cost $14,000 a year for rent each.

For a really quick savings, I'd like to see colleges get rid of athletics...no football, basketball...nothing at all. Save the money wasted on illiterate athletes and sports facilities, stop scholarships for athletics..what a total waste of money. Put the savings into lower tuition rates.

SMF11
Apr. 9, 2012, 02:19 PM
For a really quick savings, I'd like to see colleges get rid of athletics...no football, basketball...nothing at all. Save the money wasted on illiterate athletes and sports facilities, stop scholarships for athletics..what a total waste of money. Put the savings into lower tuition rates.

Completely agree with this. But I suspect the reason these schools admit illiterate athletes is because they *bring in* a lot of $$$ with televised games etc.

magnolia73
Apr. 9, 2012, 02:34 PM
To be fair to the kids graduating today... it has been pretty much pounded into their heads by society that they need a 4 year degree from a good school. No one encourages anything else. It was the same when I was in high school- except you just needed the 4 year degree, so a state school would do. My boss's kid got into a state school and a private school- she views the state degree as useless.

I dunno- its complex. I feel sorry for the kids who graduated into jobs at Starbucks and have huge debt. And it hurts our economy- it keeps them out of the housing market. They were encouraged to do that by their counselors and people they trusted. It wasn't like credit card debt where you know its a bad idea.

And damn- when in the hell are the lenders going to catch some fire for making these loans. Their responsibility to their business model was to assess risk. Just like the mortgage lenders- yeah- the homebuyer should pay the loan, but the lender should have known the risk. They took risk of default to- just like the homeowner risked a devaluing house and the student risked a devalued degree.

JAGold
Apr. 9, 2012, 02:40 PM
If a student can't work enough to come up with that level of tuition, they probably won't be bright enough or driven enough to succeed. I worked 2 jobs during undergrad/grad school, also had a very crappy GI bill of $235/month while in class. That sucked, but most vets and students were in the same situation. I left college with no loans (so do a lot of people who work their way through school). Didn't go to campus parties, play games or have nice vacations, went to class instead when not working (plus was a few years older than the typical student). I was an Army vet, now out and going to school...didn't expect others to pay my way.

There's no reason to live in the dorms, U. of MD is a commuter school, most students don't live on campus. A bunch of friends in an apartment doesn't cost $14,000 a year for rent each.
It's not a commuter school. From the UMD website, "93% of new freshmen live in campus-based housing or residence halls.
42% of all undergraduates live on campus" (http://www.collegeportraits.org/MD/UMCP/campus_life)

Further, living in the dorms is fairly cost-effective. Per UMD's website, the dorms plus average meal plan cost $9678/academic year -- the dorms are $5793, far less than the $14,000 you mention.

Marshfield
Apr. 9, 2012, 03:28 PM
I have very mixed feelings about student loan forgiveness. I am among those who would benefit from the proposal--though I'm still uncertain about the tax implications. I graduated with just over 90k in student loan debt which I have made a significant dent in over the last seven years. What I pay in interest is offset by the tax break I get from paying the interest. When I started, my loan payment was 15% of my net income. Now it's a bit less than 10% as I've recently taken a job with much better pay. Trade off is I work three nights in a row (Fri/Sat/Sun) for this premium pay. When I decided to go to vet school, I committed to paying these loans back and am fine to do so. I live in a modest house and drive older, paid for cars.

I'm just not sure it's fair to the rest of the taxpayers to bail out those who owe student loans. It seems as though a lot of folks signed on the dotted line without having a grasp of the level of debt. I have heard of some lawyers suing their schools for misleading them in regards to job prospects. I would be fully in favor of an interest rate reduction. I think current interest rates are more than triple what I pay.

I also agree that college costs are nuts. A friend of mine is faculty at our alma mater. In state tuition at this land grant plus fees is now over 15k. This just seems ridiculous

SamWerner
Apr. 9, 2012, 03:31 PM
Sam-look at the federal government. Legal careers (they do hire civilians) are excepted service, which means they hire who they want off of a list of qualified applicants. After 10 years of payments your federal loans are forgiven (I don't know if that includes private loans or just federal ones). They pay decent salaries, work for virtually every agency, and can have almost any specialization.

To look and see what's out there go to usajobs.gov, click advanced search, and scroll down to "Legal". Fill out the resume form, and additional forms should be on there too. You can upload your transcripts easily (so easy that even I did it the other day, which is a miracle of computer operation on my part), and then can set up job notifications for new postings by email. You can select specific states or cities, or say "All States".

Thank you very much I was actually thinking about looking at government jobs :)


But it isn't an option for everyone or even for most people. It's only an option for those that chose to go into debt. The rest will have paid a lot of money for something that would be given out for free.

Sam, the "median" BLS salary for an attorney is $112,760. That means that even in a lousy economy, your longterm earning potential is fairly high - certainly higher than most. So what your post tells me is that you would like to reap the long-term benefits of a higher-than-average earning potential, but you would like someone else to pay for roughly 3/4 of your education? And this is because you will eventually pay taxes? Do I have that correct?

Exactly how high are y'all prepared for taxes to go?

You say chose to go into debt like we are some type of crazy people who make bad decisions. Education is something that our country takes great pride in, and I was told from a young age that a higher education is the only thing that is going to make me successful in life. A four year degree does NOTHING for you today (of course there are always exceptions!). I graduated from a decent state school and it took me 6 months to find a job that paid bubkis! I was a college grad and make under 30,000 a year, and the only reason I got that job in the first place was because I knew the owner. I struggled for a year making under 30,000. I continued applying to other jobs, but no one wanted to hire anyone without experience (so how do people get experience if no one wants to hire you?!?!?!)

I decided to go to law school to better my education and make myself more appealing in this tough job market.

My parents could not afford the 100,000+ in tuition over 3 years, so I obviously had to take out loans. Like I said, when I went into school, the average salary was 65-75,000 for entry level, now it's 40,000 of you are LUCKY enough to even get a job. Just for example, only 30% of the last 2 years graduating classes from my school are employed as lawyers. The rest are law clerks or working in restaurants to just pay the bills. The other 70% have to defer their loan payments. Except the thing with deferment is that the interest keeps building making the amount you owe almost double.

Paying bills on 65-75,000 a year is a heck of a lot easier then making 40,000 a year. Yes I am aware that eventually I will be making 100,000+ a year, so then maybe we shouldn't be required to pay back loans until we are making that!!! And that would include the interest not building until you are making 6 figures...but obviously that is not going to happen, so this 10/10 plan is a great option that is going to help out a lot of struggling new doctors/vets/lawyers etc. If you had kids who were in the same boat as me I am sure that your tune would change. I am sure you would not want your kids struggling to pay rent and bills and loans. I don't think you would call your kids irresponsible (and I'm not saying just you I mean everyone opposed to the 10/10 plan) for wanting to further their education, I am sure you would be so proud of them and excited that your kid wants to become a doctor/vet/lawyer etc. My parents would have loved to help me out if they could, but they couldn't, and I had to do what I had to do to be able to get a higher education.

Maybe the schools are to blame. Is the degree I am getting worth paying 35,000 a year in tuition? And then I am expected to only make 40,000 a year for 3-5 years until I am "experienced"...that doesn't add up...If going to law school was only 5-8,000 a year, and the cost of living was a lot less then it is now, maybe it would be a different story. Us "irresponsible" kids wanting to further our education would be paying a whole lot less in debt if it was...

mvp
Apr. 9, 2012, 03:50 PM
^^

Yikes on those numbers you DVMs/JDs.

The rule of thumb for borrowing for professional degrees used to be:

Cap it at one year's salary in your first job.

Anyone still do this or counsel this?

tle
Apr. 9, 2012, 03:56 PM
struggling on $40K/year? How does one do that?

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 03:58 PM
You say chose to go into debt like we are some type of crazy people who make bad decisions.

I don't even know what this is supposed to be inferring. You DID choose to go into debt, but I didn't call you "some type of crazy people who make bad decisions." Stick to the facts.


And that would include the interest not building until you are making 6 figures...but obviously that is not going to happen, so this 10/10 plan is a great option that is going to help out a lot of struggling new doctors/vets/lawyers etc.


Yes I am aware that eventually I will be making 100,000+ a year, so then maybe we shouldn't be required to pay back loans until we are making that!!!

No, it is NOT a great option, because it still leaves the rest of us paying YOUR debt for all eternity while you go on to make a lot more money than most over the long haul.

What that would actually mean is that during the time when you will be making the least, you'll be contributing a fairly high percentage to paying down your student loans, but when you have a high percentage of disposable income, you won't be. In fact, at that point, your loans would be forgiven and the collective rest of us would still be on the hook for the rest of your tuition while you're making plenty of $.


If you had kids who were in the same boat as me I am sure that your tune would change. I am sure you would not want your kids struggling to pay rent and bills and loans. I don't think you would call your kids irresponsible (and I'm not saying just you I mean everyone opposed to the 10/10 plan) for wanting to further their education, I am sure you would be so proud of them and excited that your kid wants to become a doctor/vet/lawyer etc.

I want my kids to be responsible citizens, and to be resourceful enough to work within their means. That doesn't always mean instant gratification.

HenryisBlaisin'
Apr. 9, 2012, 04:00 PM
You say chose to go into debt like we are some type of crazy people who make bad decisions. Education is something that our country takes great pride in, and I was told from a young age that a higher education is the only thing that is going to make me successful in life. A four year degree does NOTHING for you today (of course there are always exceptions!). I graduated from a decent state school and it took me 6 months to find a job that paid bubkis! I was a college grad and make under 30,000 a year, and the only reason I got that job in the first place was because I knew the owner. I struggled for a year making under 30,000. I continued applying to other jobs, but no one wanted to hire anyone without experience (so how do people get experience if no one wants to hire you?!?!?!)

I decided to go to law school to better my education and make myself more appealing in this tough job market.


Right, but that was still a CHOICE. You didn't like living on a lower salary, so you went back to school. $30,000 isn't much, but you CAN live on it if you're very careful. I have (and that included paying on my student loans, which I did!); lots of people have. You decided you didn't want to do that. Which is fine, but don't try to make it out like you had no choice. You wanted a more expensive lifestyle. Good for you for being motivated to do it, but please don't ask others-including those making the under $30K that you found so repulsive-to pay your bills.

In a way, it's like buying a car. You can choose the top-of-the-line luxury model and the payments that go with it, or you can choose the 10-year-old Honda that will probably get another 100,000 miles but has no CD player or air conditioning and you have to roll the windows down by hand. You can get a car, but you have to choose what you can afford and what you can live without. College is no different in the fact that you have to make choices and sacrifices, and decide what's important.

SamWerner
Apr. 9, 2012, 04:14 PM
^^

Yikes on those numbers you DVMs/JDs.

The rule of thumb for borrowing for professional degrees used to be:

Cap it at one year's salary in your first job.

Anyone still do this or counsel this?

I have never heard that but it does make sense... although now a days that wouldn't work since most law schools are over 30,000 a year...with the 40,000 a year first year attorney's make, the minimum they would take out would be 90,000 just for schooling, and you have to take out $$$ for cost of living as well.



struggling on $40K/year? How does one do that?


I live in South Florida...it's quite easy to struggle on that with the high cost of living here.

After taxes that 40,000 is closer to 32,000.

Not including my horses, here is what it costs for me to live bare minimum a month:

1000-apartment (room and utilities)
200- health insurance
250- car payment
200- gas
200-groceries
125- car insurance
50-prescription meds
200- misc bills (cc's, doctor visits, essentials)

Thats right around 2200 a month. Therefore being 26,400 for JUST BILLS!!!! That's nothing extra...so only 5,600 a year left over.

So that means no going out to eat, no buying gifts for family on birthdays and holidays, no vacations...NOTHING. Even on the 10/10 plan, you would be paying 4,000 a year in loan payments, leaving you with 1,600 a year as emergency funds.
To me, that is struggling.

loshad
Apr. 9, 2012, 04:16 PM
If you had kids who were in the same boat as me I am sure that your tune would change. I am sure you would not want your kids struggling to pay rent and bills and loans. I don't think you would call your kids irresponsible (and I'm not saying just you I mean everyone opposed to the 10/10 plan) for wanting to further their education, I am sure you would be so proud of them and excited that your kid wants to become a doctor/vet/lawyer etc. My parents would have loved to help me out if they could, but they couldn't, and I had to do what I had to do to be able to get a higher education.



I do have a kid and he may well be in the same boat as you one day (hopefully not, he has a nice 529, but college is expensive). If he chooses to go to the $$$$ school rather than the $$ school, then I absolutely will expect him to pay every cent of his student loans over and above what Mr. Loshad and I can provide. If he chooses to go to grad school, it'll be on him.

Losh Jr. will get the same choice as my parents gave me: we'll pay every cent for your education in state (less books and spending money) or you can pay the difference between the state school and the school of your choice out of state. There is a reason I did not go to Georgetown. If Losh Jr CHOOSES to go into debt for Harvard, that's on him, just like my going into debt when I opted for grad school was on me.

I had pretty heavy duty loans when I came out of grad school -- my choice, my decision, my responsibility.

Tapperjockey
Apr. 9, 2012, 04:21 PM
Thats right around 2200 a month. Therefore being 26,400 for JUST BILLS!!!! That's nothing extra...so only 5,600 a year left over.

So that means no going out to eat, no buying gifts for family on birthdays and holidays, no vacations...NOTHING. Even on the 10/10 plan, you would be paying 4,000 a year in loan payments, leaving you with 1,600 a year as emergency funds.
To me, that is struggling.

So you want people who are struggling just to cover the bills and scraped while paying off their loans, to cover yours so you can go on vacations, have a horse, go out to eat and buy people presents?

tle
Apr. 9, 2012, 04:27 PM
So you want people who are struggling just to cover the bills and scraped while paying off their loans, to cover yours so you can go on vacations, have a horse, go out to eat and buy people presents?

this... Plus have a car that requires payments? When you've got the long term earning potential that you do?? Really???

One of the quotes I remember from my recent Dave Ramsey class is something like it takes a new couple 5-7 years to establish the same standard of living as their parents... who took 30+ years to get there.

Life's rough... especially when you're starting out. it's called sacrificing now to better your tomorrow. (the opposite of entitlement)

jetsmom
Apr. 9, 2012, 04:39 PM
Nope. Being responsible means that if you accumulate debt, you pay it off. Maybe it takes your whole lifetime, but no one is forced to take on these debts, it is a choice.

Absolutely! No one forced anyone to sign contracts for homes, student loans, credit cards, etc. If you agree to the contract, abide by it.
I HATE seeing the govt trying to "Forgive" debt, and making all of the people that take contracts seriously pay for it. If your home is worth half what it was when you bought it...too bad. If you agreed to a purchase price, it's not the banks and taxpayers fault you don't have equity.

HenryisBlaisin'
Apr. 9, 2012, 04:44 PM
Thats right around 2200 a month. Therefore being 26,400 for JUST BILLS!!!! That's nothing extra...so only 5,600 a year left over.

So that means no going out to eat, no buying gifts for family on birthdays and holidays, no vacations...NOTHING. Even on the 10/10 plan, you would be paying 4,000 a year in loan payments, leaving you with 1,600 a year as emergency funds.


That's EXACTLY what it means. Welcome to the real world.

And it's doable. Lots and lots of people do it. You choose to have horses and live in an expensive area. Neither is a necessity.

In my parents' day and age, living like that was EXPECTED when you first went out in the world. You lived in a small apartment, probably with a roommate or two, unless you were a couple with two incomes. If you got the bills paid in a month and had enough to eat, then it was a good, successful month. Bridal and baby showers were a necessity and people asked for necessary things as gifts. You only bought used cars, and if you had friends with kids older than yours, you were grateful for the hand-me-downs. This was how the majority lived right off the bat, and how they expected to live.

Today, young people seem to expect to live pretty high on the hog right off the bat. They want to own a home and have it fully equipped with the latest and greatest, more than basic cable, etc. etc. They want to own horses and drive new cars, and when something like student loan payments get in the way of that lifestyle they want, they complain about the expense. It's a far different world, with much less of a grasp of reality. Reality is you can share an apartment, have basic cable or none at all, forgo the flat screen TV, the dishwasher, the new car. Those are things you can always have later, when you have earned that station in life.

HenryisBlaisin'
Apr. 9, 2012, 04:47 PM
So that means no going out to eat, no buying gifts for family on birthdays and holidays, no vacations...NOTHING. Even on the 10/10 plan, you would be paying 4,000 a year in loan payments, leaving you with 1,600 a year as emergency funds.
To me, that is struggling.

But it's ok for people struggling on that same $30K to pay for YOUR debts through higher taxes so that you can live better than they can and have more than they do? Really?

Marshfield
Apr. 9, 2012, 05:02 PM
^^

Yikes on those numbers you DVMs/JDs.

The rule of thumb for borrowing for professional degrees used to be:

Cap it at one year's salary in your first job.

Anyone still do this or counsel this?

Tuition surpassed that many years ago. My parents covered my living expenses. So my roughly 95k in student loans is all tuition. I made a little more than half of that in my first non-intern job. Now with several years experience, I still don't make 95k per year. And what I graduated with in 2003 was well below average for my class. Would have been nice if 4 years tuition was capped at the 55k that was the average starting salary for my class. Reports from new grads nine years later is that starting salary is still around 55k. Meanwhile tuition has doubled. A past tech of mine is expected to graduate in 2014 with 210k in loans. The increased student loan debt along with rising insurance costs are among the biggest things driving the rise in the cost of veterinary care. I suspect it is the same thing in dentistry.

BabyGreen
Apr. 9, 2012, 05:21 PM
They should abolish student loans. If there were no student loans, tuition would be affordable. Loans drive up the demand, which drives up the prices.

JAGold
Apr. 9, 2012, 05:30 PM
They should abolish student loans. If there were no student loans, tuition would be affordable. Loans drive up the demand, which drives up the prices.
But without loans, only those who can pay for education will receive it. And since education is a major determinant of earnings, people who can't afford college to begin with will continue to be poorer, on average, than those who can. And they will be less able to help their children pay for college, so inequality will persist.

Loans let people invest in a profitable activity. If they are used to purchase an education that increases earnings by enough to pay back the principle and interest, then they are "optimal" in an economic sense -- they let people get the level of education that maximizes their earnings (or, in econ-speak, utility, which isn't quite the same). It's when loans are used to finance consumption -- education that does not pay off! -- that they are problematic.

The cost of college education actually exceeds the sticker price of tuition, which makes it unlikely that demand is driving up prices. I agree there are problems with the model of educational financing and I think part of the problem is the amenities that students expect to receive along with their lectures -- fancy gyms, lots of club sports and student activities, etc. But I don't think abolishing all student loans is a good idea at all. :no:

paintlady
Apr. 9, 2012, 05:37 PM
To be fair to the kids graduating today... it has been pretty much pounded into their heads by society that they need a 4 year degree from a good school. No one encourages anything else. It was the same when I was in high school- except you just needed the 4 year degree, so a state school would do. My boss's kid got into a state school and a private school- she views the state degree as useless.


:confused:

I grew up in NY and went to the State University of New York - Geneseo. It constantly ranks as one of the top public colleges in the nation.

My brothers both went to Clemson University. It's a State school with a national reputation too.

I now live in VA. Our state schools - University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary to name just two - are among to top in the country.

SMF11
Apr. 9, 2012, 05:57 PM
Look where I live $40,000 is TOUGH to live on -- secretaries make more than that here. And Sam is talking about being a lawyer which requires more skills and education. Just because you live in an area of the country where $40,000 is a good salary, don't think it is everywhere. Similarly, if you live in a cheaper area of the country, salaries are correspondingly lower.

While I'm not for loan forgiveness, I am all for reforming the system which is quite broken in my opinion.

jetsmom
Apr. 9, 2012, 06:24 PM
Or you stay home, go to a community college for your first two years to get the basic required courses out of the way, work a part time job, and afterwards attend college for the remaining 2 yrs.

Or you don't screw around in high school, and actually get good grades so you can try to get some scholarships, and attend, and work a part time job to help pay for classes. Or attend a college that is close to public transportation so you don't need a car, or attend a college close to home, so you can live at home. Or buy a used car for cash that you saved up for while working in high school, so you have no car pmts, and only need liability insurance. And you have roommates, if you are on your own.

sandsarita
Apr. 9, 2012, 06:47 PM
The attitude of some people here towards those of us with student loans is really beginning to tick me off. Personally, I have a lot of student loans but I expect to pay them off. I'm not expecting the government to just forgive them, but I do find it ridiculous that the loan interest keeps increasing constantly, making it even harder on us.

For me, I went to my state undergrad school as a 4.0 High School Student with high national testing. Couldn't get scholarships as the school mainly offered it off of one test, which I didn't score high enough on (and no, it wasn't the ACT/SAT - think it was the PSAT). Couldn't get grants because my parents made too much money - but guess what - my parents wouldn't pay a cent towards my tuition. They would occasionally give me a bit for spending money, but not enough to come close to covering living expenses. I did take college classes through my community college in high school, but they wouldn't all transfer; they weren't viewed as high enough quality (so there goes that option). I lived with a roommate all 4 years, drove a used paid for vehicle, and work my rear end off and graduated summa cum laude with less than $2000 in student loan debt in a 4year time period.

Go on to grad school, and with the schedule they have us on, you don't have time to work. Still at a state school, but have to take out loans for tuition and living expenses. The first two years I lived in lower income housing, but after being threatened physically and having the roof collapse in on my apartment, I move a LITTLE bit nicer place (ie safer). Worked during the summer to make some spending money, took no vacations, paid on the interest for my loans with the money I made during the summer, but when your hands on time at school includes 36hrs shifts every 4 days, about 80hrs per week PLUS book time, you don't have much time to go out and make money. So yes, I have a lot of loans from that time period but it is less than other people I graduated with. Now I am in my "apprentice" 4 years of training to speak of. I'm making some money, but pretty minimal, basically equal to how much I took out in loans each year during grad school. I'll be starting my real job in July and specifically looked for a job that offers loan repayment as a benefit. It's enough to cover my loan payment each month, AND I will be adding a bit to it to help pay down quicker.

I hate having loans over my head. This is the ONLY loan I have - no credit card, no house, no car payment, just student loans. So yes, I want to get this paid down as soon as I can so I can get on with my life. THe interest rate on my student loan right now is higher than what it would be on a house. That seems backwards to me. And I am tired of people implying here that I was irresponsible for going to graduate school, getting a degree that will help numerous people, and using loans to do it.

Oh, and to everybody who thinks that getting rid of student loans completely is a good idea. Think of this - pretty much every physician, vet, lawyer who graduates from school will have a parent who does the same as no lay person will be able to afford this type of grad school. For all of these, you are talking 30 - 50,000 a year plus, including most state schools. Not a good idea.

Sorry for the rant, it probably didn't make sense.

WildBlue
Apr. 9, 2012, 06:52 PM
So that means no going out to eat, no buying gifts for family on birthdays and holidays, no vacations...NOTHING. Even on the 10/10 plan, you would be paying 4,000 a year in loan payments, leaving you with 1,600 a year as emergency funds.
To me, that is struggling.

In the nicest possible way, you're making a lot of peoples' points for them.

Plenty of us (professionals with advanced degrees) worked a ridiculous amount during school and 60+ hour weeks (at one or more jobs) after graduation. It's not uncommon to have to move somewhere you don't want to live for a job. It's not uncommon to have to rent an utter dump and/or have room mates to keep housing costs low and have an ancient car you're embarassed to be seen driving. And, yes, it SUCKS to either have no social life because you're working your weekend job or, for example, have your budget limit you to a water and side salad while the rest of the table is chowing down. It's called paying your dues because college, sadly, is just the down payment.

That said, the system as it exists absolutely sucks. There have been great suggestions on this thread requiring greater transparency and counseling up front so kids can make more realistic decisions about their education and debt load. Heck, just making it so you could pay extra on principle would be a huge step in the right direction.

MMacallister
Apr. 9, 2012, 07:06 PM
This has been a pretty interseting thread.

I am with the others that college is a choice and how you choose to pay for it is also a choice. Some have parental help, some have govt help, some join the military, some take out loans, some work for it, some get scholarships for one thing or another, etc.

Why is one group of people better than the other?

I will agree that teenagers probably are not getting the best advice, but that doesn't mean you still don't owe that money.
I will also agree that we probably need tighter restristrictions on loans for college students, some of the stories about loan companies you guys are telling are horrendous, you would have been better off borrowing money from My Cousin Vinny :D

I am another one with no student loan debt, but I am 35 and still working on a degree. I had a baby at 15, got a ged, went to work and took a few classes at communtiy collge. I couldn't make ends meet, so I worked more jobs and gave up on the college thing for a while. Now I have a good job, for a company that is paying for me to go back to school. They pay the max allowed by the IRS but that will still only cover about 4 or 5 classes a year. I cover the books and any other classes I want to take. Which works out good because my time is limited and I can really only handle a few classes at once.

For the record, my school also never suggest student loans.

Trakehner
Apr. 9, 2012, 07:39 PM
I am another one with no student loan debt, but I am 35 and still working on a degree. I had a baby at 15, got a ged, went to work and took a few classes at communtiy collge. I couldn't make ends meet, so I worked more jobs and gave up on the college thing for a while. Now I have a good job, for a company that is paying for me to go back to school. They pay the max allowed by the IRS but that will still only cover about 4 or 5 classes a year. I cover the books and any other classes I want to take. Which works out good because my time is limited and I can really only handle a few classes at once.

Wow! A responsible adult who transcended all sorts of challenges who doesn't whine about her lot in life due to student loan debt...what a great example for your kid on how to get an education. I'm also guessing you aren't demanding others pay for you since life's so unfair.

Beam Me Up
Apr. 9, 2012, 07:51 PM
They should abolish student loans. If there were no student loans, tuition would be affordable. Loans drive up the demand, which drives up the prices.

It would drive the price down. But it would also limit the pool of students who can afford to attend, as then those costs fall to the students' families rather than the students themselves.


It's sort of like health insurance--if we didn't have that, health care would be cheaper, but some folks would be totally priced out. Colleges sort of price this way too--the really rich people who pay full fare help subsidize some of those who can't (via grants, need blind admissions), but it still leaves a lot of people who can't afford *their* price.


ETA--We may be way past this now, but I don't think the OP was talking about loan forgiveness--I think her concern was that you couldn't pay down the principle faster, as you can on some mortgages. I definitely agree with her that there are a number of ways in which these loans could be made friendlier.

BasqueMom
Apr. 9, 2012, 07:58 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/295259/texas-s-10000-degree-thomas-k-lindsay


The above is a link to a new program starting in Texas to help offset the cost of a degree. It's a start. There's a university in New York offering
something similar.

By the way, whatever happened to vocational high schools? Back in the stone ages when I went to high school in St. Louis, the city had two vocational high schools. One was quite new and high tech. One of the gals in our gifted program elected to attend that school rather than go through the college prep gifted high school program. My mom had to march into the
principals's office and demand that I be allowed to type typing and shorthand
classes. Bless her heart.....those skills paid my way for many years and at about the same rate if I had finished college.

SamWerner
Apr. 9, 2012, 08:12 PM
So you want people who are struggling just to cover the bills and scraped while paying off their loans, to cover yours so you can go on vacations, have a horse, go out to eat and buy people presents?

Ok I think you are taking what I said a little extreme. I didn't say I want to do those things, I said I CAN'T do those things on 40,000 a year. And I am sorry, but I don't think it weird to buy your parents and siblings gifts on birthdays and holidays. Pretty standard around here.

And I did not say pay for my horses. The reason my parents could not afford to help pay for grad school is because they pay the horse bills, which is extremely generous of them.


That's EXACTLY what it means. Welcome to the real world.

And it's doable. Lots and lots of people do it. You choose to have horses and live in an expensive area. Neither is a necessity.

In my parents' day and age, living like that was EXPECTED when you first went out in the world. You lived in a small apartment, probably with a roommate or two, unless you were a couple with two incomes. If you got the bills paid in a month and had enough to eat, then it was a good, successful month. Bridal and baby showers were a necessity and people asked for necessary things as gifts. You only bought used cars, and if you had friends with kids older than yours, you were grateful for the hand-me-downs. This was how the majority lived right off the bat, and how they expected to live.

Today, young people seem to expect to live pretty high on the hog right off the bat. They want to own a home and have it fully equipped with the latest and greatest, more than basic cable, etc. etc. They want to own horses and drive new cars, and when something like student loan payments get in the way of that lifestyle they want, they complain about the expense. It's a far different world, with much less of a grasp of reality. Reality is you can share an apartment, have basic cable or none at all, forgo the flat screen TV, the dishwasher, the new car. Those are things you can always have later, when you have earned that station in life.

I didn't choose to live in an expensive area, I was born and raised here, so I guess you can say my parents chose for me. I got into a school in this area, so that's where I had to go.My parents pay the horse bills, while I pay everything else.
I do live with roommates, and share expenses. I had a used car that I bought with my own money back in high school (I was working since I was 14 to help with the horses and save for a car), and it basically died my first year of law school,and I only had to lease a new car because I could not afford to come up with a few thousands of dollars all at once since I was in law school to buy a car. You are NOT allowed to work your first year of law school btw, nor do you have the time. I am not complaining about paying off loans, I am complaining that in this economy the career I signed up for is now not going to allow me to be able to afford to pay for the loans I took.



But it's ok for people struggling on that same $30K to pay for YOUR debts through higher taxes so that you can live better than they can and have more than they do? Really?

Once again, taking what I said to the extreme. If you are making 30k, I don't think your taxes are going to be raised as dramatically as you are making it seem. And I don't want to "live better" then other people, I don't see where I ever stated that.


Look where I live $40,000 is TOUGH to live on -- secretaries make more than that here. And Sam is talking about being a lawyer which requires more skills and education. Just because you live in an area of the country where $40,000 is a good salary, don't think it is everywhere. Similarly, if you live in a cheaper area of the country, salaries are correspondingly lower.

While I'm not for loan forgiveness, I am all for reforming the system which is quite broken in my opinion.

40,000 is nothing in South Florida...I am sure in a more rural area it may be a decent salary, but not here.


Or you stay home, go to a community college for your first two years to get the basic required courses out of the way, work a part time job, and afterwards attend college for the remaining 2 yrs.

Or you don't screw around in high school, and actually get good grades so you can try to get some scholarships, and attend, and work a part time job to help pay for classes. Or attend a college that is close to public transportation so you don't need a car, or attend a college close to home, so you can live at home. Or buy a used car for cash that you saved up for while working in high school, so you have no car pmts, and only need liability insurance. And you have roommates, if you are on your own.

I didn't screw around in high school and I got good grades and a full scholarship to undergrad. Grad school does not offer as many scholarships as undergrad. There isn't really public transportation in South FL... I had a used car as stated above and it died forcing me to lease a car since I had no money to outright purchase another car since I was living off loans. I do have roommates. It's still expensive to live :)



In the nicest possible way, you're making a lot of peoples' points for them.

Plenty of us (professionals with advanced degrees) worked a ridiculous amount during school and 60+ hour weeks (at one or more jobs) after graduation. It's not uncommon to have to move somewhere you don't want to live for a job. It's not uncommon to have to rent an utter dump and/or have room mates to keep housing costs low and have an ancient car you're embarassed to be seen driving. And, yes, it SUCKS to either have no social life because you're working your weekend job or, for example, have your budget limit you to a water and side salad while the rest of the table is chowing down. It's called paying your dues because college, sadly, is just the down payment.

That said, the system as it exists absolutely sucks. There have been great suggestions on this thread requiring greater transparency and counseling up front so kids can make more realistic decisions about their education and debt load. Heck, just making it so you could pay extra on principle would be a huge step in the right direction.

I realize how I stated that may be misunderstood. The thing with being a lawyer, is that you take a bar in a state, only allowing you to practice law in that one state. So I can't just up and move to another state. I wouldn't be allowed to practice there. I am taking the FL bar, meaning I have to get a job in FL, an expensive place to live.

As a first year attorney, I will not have time to have a second job as I will most likely be working at whatever firm I am at on the weekends as well.

I plan on having roommates until I can afford not to, and I don't drive a big fancy car, I lease a Jetta, a small sedan that gets good gas, not a BMW or Mercedes.

The system does suck, and I hope they figure out how to fix it so the generations after me are not stuck in a financial hell like my generation is.

Also, I hope everyone realizes that tuition has gone way up. My professor who graduated from law school 20 years ago paid 3,000 a year in tuition, while I pay almost 35,000. Big difference. And lawyers made big bucks back then too. So, 200,000 in debt is pretty standard amount grad school graduates, unlike the 15-20,000 from 15-30 years ago...schools need to lower costs

two sticks
Apr. 9, 2012, 08:18 PM
Not going to get into the whole loan forgiveness debate but -

I HATE HATE HATE SALLIE MAE. I have loans through another lender (Nelnet) and they are SO SO much easier to deal with.

The Sallie Mae people, god forbid you have to call them, are condescending, rude, and incredibly difficult. They make it really hard to give them the money they are asking for.


Side Note - does anyone know anything about loan consolidation? I have loans through Sallie Mae and Nelnet and would be extremely grateful to not have to deal with Sallie Mae EVER again.

MMacallister
Apr. 9, 2012, 08:22 PM
Wow! A responsible adult who transcended all sorts of challenges who doesn't whine about her lot in life due to student loan debt...what a great example for your kid on how to get an education. I'm also guessing you aren't demanding others pay for you since life's so unfair.

Thanks Trak! And you are correct I don't expect anyone else pay for it. I consider it very generous that the company offers this benny. My children have already been told that they will be contributing to their education should they choose that route. I think by not raising them to expect a free ride, they are more prepared to make these very tough life choices.

jetsmom
Apr. 9, 2012, 08:45 PM
And I did not say pay for my horses. The reason my parents could not afford to help pay for grad school is because they pay the horse bills, which is extremely generous of them.





And you don't think that getting rid of the horses, and having your parents help pay for grad school might have been a financially wiser decision?

magnolia73
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:00 PM
Not including my horses, here is what it costs for me to live bare minimum a month:

1000-apartment (room and utilities)
200- health insurance
250- car payment
200- gas
200-groceries
125- car insurance
50-prescription meds
200- misc bills (cc's, doctor visits, essentials)


OK, but many Americans live on much less. Average income per capita is $27,000 ..., median household is $51,000 (2.6 people or so in the average household).

I assume you are in a city/urban area and not rural. My first suggestion- get a 2 bedroom and a roommate. Then you split utilities and rent. Health insurance is probably fixed. Learn to take the bus/use the busline/transit. The roommate alone would probably save you a couple hundred a month.Even using your car half as much would save you $100 a month.

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:06 PM
And I did not say pay for my horses. The reason my parents could not afford to help pay for grad school is because they pay the horse bills, which is extremely generous of them.

So what you're saying is you want taxpayers to subsidize your lifestyle, because they should forgive your loans because your parents were paying for you to have a luxury animal during that time instead of helping with school expenses?

FWIW, I've lived on $40K in Washington, DC. I can understand that it's not exactly flush with cash, but it's hardly unliveable.

I don't have a problem with student loans specifically. I do think some people abused them. I believe they need to be reformed, not eliminated or forgiven.

mvp
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:45 PM
The attitude of some people here towards those of us with student loans is really beginning to tick me off. Personally, I have a lot of student loans but I expect to pay them off. I'm not expecting the government to just forgive them, but I do find it ridiculous that the loan interest keeps increasing constantly, making it even harder on us.

For me, I went to my state undergrad school as a 4.0 High School Student with high national testing. Couldn't get scholarships as the school mainly offered it off of one test, which I didn't score high enough on (and no, it wasn't the ACT/SAT - think it was the PSAT). Couldn't get grants because my parents made too much money - but guess what - my parents wouldn't pay a cent towards my tuition. They would occasionally give me a bit for spending money, but not enough to come close to covering living expenses. I did take college classes through my community college in high school, but they wouldn't all transfer; they weren't viewed as high enough quality (so there goes that option). I lived with a roommate all 4 years, drove a used paid for vehicle, and work my rear end off and graduated summa cum laude with less than $2000 in student loan debt in a 4year time period.

Go on to grad school, and with the schedule they have us on, you don't have time to work. Still at a state school, but have to take out loans for tuition and living expenses. The first two years I lived in lower income housing, but after being threatened physically and having the roof collapse in on my apartment, I move a LITTLE bit nicer place (ie safer). Worked during the summer to make some spending money, took no vacations, paid on the interest for my loans with the money I made during the summer, but when your hands on time at school includes 36hrs shifts every 4 days, about 80hrs per week PLUS book time, you don't have much time to go out and make money. So yes, I have a lot of loans from that time period but it is less than other people I graduated with. Now I am in my "apprentice" 4 years of training to speak of. I'm making some money, but pretty minimal, basically equal to how much I took out in loans each year during grad school. I'll be starting my real job in July and specifically looked for a job that offers loan repayment as a benefit. It's enough to cover my loan payment each month, AND I will be adding a bit to it to help pay down quicker.

I hate having loans over my head. This is the ONLY loan I have - no credit card, no house, no car payment, just student loans. So yes, I want to get this paid down as soon as I can so I can get on with my life. THe interest rate on my student loan right now is higher than what it would be on a house. That seems backwards to me. And I am tired of people implying here that I was irresponsible for going to graduate school, getting a degree that will help numerous people, and using loans to do it.

Oh, and to everybody who thinks that getting rid of student loans completely is a good idea. Think of this - pretty much every physician, vet, lawyer who graduates from school will have a parent who does the same as no lay person will be able to afford this type of grad school. For all of these, you are talking 30 - 50,000 a year plus, including most state schools. Not a good idea.

Sorry for the rant, it probably didn't make sense.

You are the poster child for what is happening to good students. I wish you the best.

And for the rest of you:

In order to make this discussion work, y'all really need to distinguish between debt for undergrad and grad/professional school.

They have very different expected ROIs at this point.

Sadly, the borrowed-for-BA/BS seems a bit coercive: It's not a degree with an ROI that justifies the cost. But it is much, much better than a HS or AA degree.

What's a kid to do?

mvp
Apr. 9, 2012, 09:48 PM
SamWerner--
I was with you all the way until you got to "my parents keep me in horse(s)."

That was/is wrong. That money always should have been saved for educational expenses. That's how my family has done it for 4 generations. No one owned any horses until I bought my own.

And your parents couldn't have seen why they should take, say $3K, out of the horse budget to buy you a used car? Leasing (the worst deal on the planet) was all you guys could do?

SamWerner
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:20 PM
And you don't think that getting rid of the horses, and having your parents help pay for grad school might have been a financially wiser decision?

Ok I will explain this once. Before you all make assumptions, I have had my mare since I was 14. She is 22 years old. I know ALL OF YOU would never sell a 22 year old horse. She is my heart horse, my baby. She gave me many amazing years and deserves a good life, whatever is left of it. My parents would not help me with my education if I didn't have a horse or not, as they did not help my brothers with education beyond a 4 year degree. My parents felt responsible for my old mare and are good hearted people so they would never try to sell a horse that old and never know where she could end up (aka as meat). They scrape together enough money to help pay for her. I had this horse wayyyyyyyy before law school was ever a twinkle in my eye. So I would never give her up, and I know you guys wouldn't either. It's not like shes a young spring chicken I can sell to some young show kid. I decided to go to law school so I could afford the lifestyle that allows you to own horses, as my previous job before law school was not allowing me to support a horse on my own without parental help. I have not shown since I started law school, gotten any new tack, equipment, etc. We have kept it to the bare minimum. So, really...I should sell a 22 year old horse that gave me the best 12 years of her life? I don't think so...


OK, but many Americans live on much less. Average income per capita is $27,000 ..., median household is $51,000 (2.6 people or so in the average household).

I assume you are in a city/urban area and not rural. My first suggestion- get a 2 bedroom and a roommate. Then you split utilities and rent. Health insurance is probably fixed. Learn to take the bus/use the busline/transit. The roommate alone would probably save you a couple hundred a month.Even using your car half as much would save you $100 a month.

I assume you did not read the newer post I wrote :) I live in a 3 bedroom in a cheaper part of town with two other roommates. I pay 680 for my room, and about 150 in utilities. I also stated there isn't really public transportation here. It's not a metro area. Health insurance is 200 a month, I have the cheapest plan. I drive to school, and the barn. That is it. I am not taking road trips or anything. The grocery store is next to my apartment. I chose a barn that is only 5 miles from my house. Gas is 4.15 a gallon, and even staying within my 10 mile radius I spend 200 a month on gas. I am a pretty smart girl, and have done the best I can :)


So what you're saying is you want taxpayers to subsidize your lifestyle, because they should forgive your loans because your parents were paying for you to have a luxury animal during that time instead of helping with school expenses?

FWIW, I've lived on $40K in Washington, DC. I can understand that it's not exactly flush with cash, but it's hardly unliveable.

I don't have a problem with student loans specifically. I do think some people abused them. I believe they need to be reformed, not eliminated or forgiven.


Please read above in regards to the horse. They will not help with school, horse or not (and the horse is 1/18 of what school and living expenses are FYI, so even if they would contribute what the horse costs, it would barely put a dent into it).

I have not abused my student loans. I pay my bills and lead a simple lifestyle.


SamWerner--
I was with you all the way until you got to "my parents keep me in horse(s)."

That was/is wrong. That money always should have been saved for educational expenses. That's how my family has done it for 4 generations. No one owned any horses until I bought my own.

And your parents couldn't have seen why they should take, say $3K, out of the horse budget to buy you a used car? Leasing (the worst deal on the planet) was all you guys could do?

As I stated, please read above in regards to the horse :) The horse was purchased when I was 14 and times were better, and she is 22 now (aka not a horse you put up for sale).

I am financially independent of my parents. They did not help me with the lease, nor would they give me money towards a car. I did the best that I could when my used car I had purchased many years before broke down. I could not come up with 3k on my own, so I went out and leased a cheap car that gets good gas miles.


I feel like I am being chastised for owning a horse...this is a horse forum and I am just a little surprised by you guys. I thought you would have been a little more supportive of that, and before assuming anything, asked me questions about her, like how old, could she be sold...yada yada, instead of saying "omg you have a horse instead of having your parents pay for school, get rid of that luxury and have them pay 1/18 of your tuition!!!!"

jetsmom
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:28 PM
Ok I will explain this once. Before you all make assumptions, I have had my mare since I was 14. She is 22 years old. I know ALL OF YOU would never sell a 22 year old horse. She is my heart horse, my baby. She gave me many amazing years and deserves a good life, whatever is left of it. My parents would not help me with my education if I didn't have a horse or not, as they did not help my brothers with education beyond a 4 year degree. My parents felt responsible for my old mare and are good hearted people so they would never try to sell a horse that old and never know where she could end up (aka as meat). They scrape together enough money to help pay for her. I had this horse wayyyyyyyy before law school was ever a twinkle in my eye. So I would never give her up, and I know you guys wouldn't either. It's not like shes a young spring chicken I can sell to some young show kid. I decided to go to law school so I could afford the lifestyle that allows you to own horses, as my previous job before law school was not allowing me to support a horse on my own without parental help. I have not shown since I started law school, gotten any new tack, equipment, etc. We have kept it to the bare minimum. So, really...I should sell a 22 year old horse that gave me the best 12 years of her life? I don't think so...



I assume you did not read the newer post I wrote :) I live in a 3 bedroom in a cheaper part of town with two other roommates. I pay 680 for my room, and about 150 in utilities. I also stated there isn't really public transportation here. It's not a metro area. Health insurance is 200 a month, I have the cheapest plan. I drive to school, and the barn. That is it. I am not taking road trips or anything. The grocery store is next to my apartment. I chose a barn that is only 5 miles from my house. Gas is 4.15 a gallon, and even staying within my 10 mile radius I spend 200 a month on gas. I am a pretty smart girl, and have done the best I can :)




Please read above in regards to the horse. They will not help with school, horse or not (and the horse is 1/18 of what school and living expenses are FYI, so even if they would contribute what the horse costs, it would barely put a dent into it).

I have not abused my student loans. I pay my bills and lead a simple lifestyle.



As I stated, please read above in regards to the horse :) The horse was purchased when I was 14 and times were better, and she is 22 now (aka not a horse you put up for sale).

I am financially independent of my parents. They did not help me with the lease, nor would they give me money towards a car. I did the best that I could when my used car I had purchased many years before broke down. I could not come up with 3k on my own, so I went out and leased a cheap car that gets good gas miles.


I feel like I am being chastised for owning a horse...this is a horse forum and I am just a little surprised by you guys. I thought you would have been a little more supportive of that, and before assuming anything, asked me questions about her, like how old, could she be sold...yada yada, instead of saying "omg you have a horse instead of having your parents pay for school, get rid of that luxury and have them pay 1/18 of your tuition!!!!"

You changed your story. You stated earlier that the reason your parents don't help pay for grad school is because they pay for your horse.

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:34 PM
It's kind of hard to be "supportive" when you're posting about owning a horse (that is paid for), are complaining about living on a reasonably liveable entry-level salary, and want everyone else to pay for the loans that are going to allow you a career that, in the long run, is fairly likely to leave you in a better financial position than a fairly large majority of other people. Moreso, you want us to start paying for them as your earning potential gets even higher.

The economy sucks for everyone right now.

FWIW, could you bike? I stopped driving the 7 miles to my office when gas hit $4 a gallon, and while DC has a good public transportation system, I use my bike when I can.

SamWerner
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:35 PM
You changed your story. You stated earlier that the reason your parents don't help pay for grad school is because they pay for your horse.

I apologize, it was just the easy shortened story instead of explaining all that. My bad :) Either way, horse or no horse, they wouldn't pay.

Backstage
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:38 PM
You are NOT allowed to work your first year of law school btw, nor do you have the time. I am not complaining about paying off loans, I am complaining that in this economy the career I signed up for is now not going to allow me to be able to afford to pay for the loans I took.

So, first I have a genuine question - what school did you attend and how do they enforce this rule? Frankly, I find it a bit incredible that a second entry program would find it appropriate to institute such a rule. IMO, adults can and should make their own decisions about whether or not to work while in school.

As for not having the time to have a job while in law school...your mileage may vary, but no one I knew (including some students at top US schools) genuinely could not have worked part-time if push came to shove.



Also, I hope everyone realizes that tuition has gone way up. My professor who graduated from law school 20 years ago paid 3,000 a year in tuition, while I pay almost 35,000. Big difference. And lawyers made big bucks back then too. So, 200,000 in debt is pretty standard amount grad school graduates, unlike the 15-20,000 from 15-30 years ago...schools need to lower costs

I acknowledge that law school in Canada is generally cheaper than in the US, but given that I considered attending school in the US and spent some time crunching the numbers, I still feel like I can comment.

I could be wrong, but I think the point that some of your fellow COTH'ers are trying to make is that life is about choices, and being responsible for those choices. No one threw you in "financial hell", you made choices that got you there, at least temporarily. Yes, tuition has increased since the 1980s. And yes, the job market for new lawyers is not great. But neither of these things are new developments. I entered law school in 2005, pre-economic melt down, and even then the cost-benefit analysis of taking on 150-200k in debt to attend a good US school didn't make sense given the risks of not snagging one of the really well paying jobs. When you chose to attend law school, you chose to take on those risks. That the job market might get worse, should have been high on your list of factors to consider. It was something many people I know thought about and the job market was pretty good at the time.

The bottom line is that you weren't forced to take on that debt - you had other options. You could have not gone to law school. You could have waited and worked for a few years to save up some money for tuition. You might even have decided to move somewhere other than South Florida temporarily in order to do, or even applied/waited to get into a school that offered better financial incentives or in an area with a lower cost of living. I actually know people who made similar decisions. One classmate of mine decided she wanted to go to law school nearly 5 years before she actually started. She and her husband socked money away so that they would be able to pay for school and live on his income alone. Personally, there were two good schools I didn't even apply to as the cost of attending them would have been 30-50k more over three years than the schools I did apply to. I would have rather waited a year or two to go to law school than take on that debt when I didn't know what kind of job I would be able to get or whether I would even enjoy being a lawyer.

JAGold
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:40 PM
Ok I will explain this once. Before you all make assumptions, I have had my mare since I was 14. She is 22 years old. I know ALL OF YOU would never sell a 22 year old horse. She is my heart horse, my baby. She gave me many amazing years and deserves a good life, whatever is left of it. My parents would not help me with my education if I didn't have a horse or not, as they did not help my brothers with education beyond a 4 year degree. My parents felt responsible for my old mare and are good hearted people so they would never try to sell a horse that old and never know where she could end up (aka as meat). They scrape together enough money to help pay for her. I had this horse wayyyyyyyy before law school was ever a twinkle in my eye. So I would never give her up, and I know you guys wouldn't either. It's not like shes a young spring chicken I can sell to some young show kid. I decided to go to law school so I could afford the lifestyle that allows you to own horses, as my previous job before law school was not allowing me to support a horse on my own without parental help. I have not shown since I started law school, gotten any new tack, equipment, etc. We have kept it to the bare minimum. So, really...I should sell a 22 year old horse that gave me the best 12 years of her life? I don't think so...
So, who should pay for the horse? The tax payers who would fund loan forgiveness programs? :confused: Having a good reason to spend money does not change the fact that you don't have the money to spent.

SamWerner
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:46 PM
It's kind of hard to be "supportive" when you're posting about owning a horse (that is paid for), are complaining about living on a reasonably liveable entry-level salary, and want everyone else to pay for the loans that are going to allow you a career that, in the long run, is fairly likely to leave you in a better financial position than a fairly large majority of other people. Moreso, you want us to start paying for them as your earning potential gets even higher.

The economy sucks for everyone right now.

FWIW, could you bike? I stopped driving the 7 miles to my office when gas hit $4 a gallon, and while DC has a good public transportation system, I use my bike when I can.

I do see what you are saying...yes I know theoretically the country would be paying for all students loan forgiveness. When I am older and making a decent living, I think I will be quite fine for helping pay for the education of the younger generations (as is already done for public elementary school, middle school, high school). You all pay taxes for highways to be built that will be there long after you are gone, pay taxes for people who don't work yet they still get money to support themselves, pay taxes to get banks out of the rut they are in, pay taxes for this war that many do not agree with, pay taxes to support medicare, medicade and social security that won't be around for my generation. So there are many things that most of you hate that your taxes go to, and this 10/10 might be added to the already long list that upsets everyone...but I think if it can benefit my generation, essentially assisting the economy allowing people to buy houses, groceries, etc, I think its a good thing.

Backstage
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:52 PM
I do see what you are saying...yes I know theoretically the country would be paying for all students loan forgiveness. When I am older and making a decent living, I think I will be quite fine for helping pay for the education of the younger generations (as is already done for public elementary school, middle school, high school). You all pay taxes for highways to be built that will be there long after you are gone, pay taxes for people who don't work yet they still get money to support themselves, pay taxes to get banks out of the rut they are in, pay taxes for this war that many do not agree with, pay taxes to support medicare, medicade and social security that won't be around for my generation. So there are many things that most of you hate that your taxes go to, and this 10/10 might be added to the already long list that upsets everyone...but I think if it can benefit my generation, essentially assisting the economy allowing people to buy houses, groceries, etc, I think its a good thing.

Well, just think of paying your loans as helping out other generations. Don't most of these government loan programs self-fund using the interest of past loans? And even if they don't, as long as the interest is being paid to the government, just think of it as being funnelled toward some other program that needs the money.

Personally, I could endorse some breaks for graduates of professional programs that pursue paths that are less remunerative but have significant social value - legal aid, under-serviced communities, etc. But like JAGold, I really have trouble swallowing the notion that at year 10, the tax payer would pick up a professional's student loans just as the professional is likely to be hitting his/her high-income years. Just doesn't make any sense to me.

HenryisBlaisin'
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:53 PM
Once again, taking what I said to the extreme. If you are making 30k, I don't think your taxes are going to be raised as dramatically as you are making it seem. And I don't want to "live better" then other people, I don't see where I ever stated that.



My point is, they shouldn't go up for this reason AT ALL. And by saying that they should pay more, even a little, of their $30K salary to forgive your student loans because you went back to school for a job because you didn't want to live at that level...that's EXACTLY what you're saying. So what if you can't eat out or take a vacation? Neither can millions of Americans. Heck, I just took the first real vacation of my adult life last year...at age 38! Why do you think you should have these things on others' dime when they can't?

Nobody is disparaging anyone for taking out loans. What we're saying is that taking them out and then asking the rest of the country for to pay them so you can afford the lifestyle you want, right now, is pretty selfish. Lots of us live on under $30K, and yet you don't want to and think those of us who are should help finance it because you chose to take out the loans. Drop the cable TV, drop the cell phone to only basic phone call service, no text and data. "I have to stay in Florida" is a cop out. You're an adult, and you don't have to stay anywhere once you graduate, including somewhere where you can live and pay your loans on Nobody is holding a gun to your head and making you take the Florida bar exam. I'm pretty sure that every lawyer does not live in the same state for his or her entire career. I'm sure lawyers do move out of state from time to time, take the new state's bar exam, and go on with their lives. In fact, some of them do it right out of law school if that's where they are hired.

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:57 PM
essentially assisting the economy allowing people to buy houses, groceries, etc, I think its a good thing.

And apparently vacations, gifts, and other luxuries.

SamWerner
Apr. 9, 2012, 10:58 PM
So, who should pay for the horse? The tax payers who would fund loan forgiveness programs? :confused: Having a good reason to spend money does not change the fact that you don't have the money to spent.

LOL I am confused, as I already stated my parents pay for the horse. Why would tax payers be paying for my horse?? My parents would NOT PAY FOR EDUCATION. That is their decision and I am not going to question it. They felt responsible to pay for the horse. Once again, they pay for the horse, not taxpayers.


So, first I have a genuine question - what school did you attend and how do they enforce this rule? Frankly, I find it a bit incredible that a second entry program would find it appropriate to institute such a rule. IMO, adults can and should make their own decisions about whether or not to work while in school.

As for not having the time to have a job while in law school...your mileage may vary, but no one I knew (including some students at top US schools) genuinely could not have worked part-time if push came to shove.



I acknowledge that law school in Canada is generally cheaper than in the US, but given that I considered attending school in the US and spent some time crunching the numbers, I still feel like I can comment.

I could be wrong, but I think the point that some of your fellow COTH'ers are trying to make is that life is about choices, and being responsible for those choices. No one threw you in "financial hell", you made choices that got you there, at least temporarily. Yes, tuition has increased since the 1980s. And yes, the job market for new lawyers is not great. But neither of these things are new developments. I entered law school in 2005, pre-economic melt down, and even then the cost-benefit analysis of taking on 150-200k in debt to attend a good US school didn't make sense given the risks of not snagging one of the really well paying jobs. When you chose to attend law school, you chose to take on those risks. That the job market might get worse, should have been high on your list of factors to consider. It was something many people I know thought about and the job market was pretty good at the time.

The bottom line is that you weren't forced to take on that debt - you had other options. You could have not gone to law school. You could have waited and worked for a few years to save up some money for tuition. You might even have decided to move somewhere other than South Florida temporarily in order to do, or even applied/waited to get into a school that offered better financial incentives or in an area with a lower cost of living. I actually know people who made similar decisions. One classmate of mine decided she wanted to go to law school nearly 5 years before she actually started. She and her husband socked money away so that they would be able to pay for school and live on his income alone. Personally, there were two good schools I didn't even apply to as the cost of attending them would have been 30-50k more over three years than the schools I did apply to. I would have rather waited a year or two to go to law school than take on that debt when I didn't know what kind of job I would be able to get or whether I would even enjoy being a lawyer.

I will send you a PM with the law school I attend. But there is an ABA rule that states that first year full time law students may not work. We even had to sign a contract stating that we will not work during our first year, or we will be reported to the bar we are applying to.

I stated in an earlier post, before attending law school in 2009, I did the research for a first year attorney graduating in South FL, and the average starting salary was 65,000-75,000. So I did my research, and crunched numbers and would be quite able to to pay my loans back on that salary. It is now that the economy sucks (yes for everyone) that I along with my classmates will struggle to pay back loans on 40,000 a year when we went into it being told that we would be making 65-75,000 a year out of school. Also, I am single so don't have the option to save with a husband (I wish I did :D )

Trixie
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:03 PM
Why would tax payers be paying for my horse??

I would assume that since you said that you "decided to go to law school so I could afford the lifestyle that allows you to own horses" and that you're aware that you'll eventually be making over $100K.

If you then demand that taxpayers to subsidize a large portion of your education, and then you turn around and use these savings to pay for an expensive lifestyle, then they are paying for that, since you aren't.

paintlady
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:10 PM
The US Army (and I'm sure the other branches of the military) really do have some great programs for helping with student loans or paying for education...

http://www.goarmy.com/benefits/education-benefits/money-for-college.html

My parents wouldn't pay for graduate school either. My brother and his wife got their MDs thanks to the Army. Neither one had to take a single student loan. My brother graduated from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago which runs between $72-92K per year. My brother was out of the Army and opened his own practice before he was 40 y/o. My sister-in-law is still working for the Army as a surgeon. Oh yeah, and they live in Hawaii.

The Army will even pay for vet school.

Backstage
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:10 PM
I will send you a PM with the law school I attend. But there is an ABA rule that states that first year full time law students may not work. We even had to sign a contract stating that we will not work during our first year, or we will be reported to the bar we are applying to.

If that is the case, I think the ABA is doing its students a disservice. Law school is not so taxing that students cannot work, nor does it make any sense for grown adults to be told what they can/cannot do.


I stated in an earlier post, before attending law school in 2009, I did the research for a first year attorney graduating in South FL, and the average starting salary was 65,000-75,000. So I did my research, and crunched numbers and would be quite able to to pay my loans back on that salary. It is now that the economy sucks (yes for everyone) that I along with my classmates will struggle to pay back loans on 40,000 a year when we went into it being told that we would be making 65-75,000 a year out of school. Also, I am single so don't have the option to save with a husband (I wish I did :D )

I'm honestly not trying to be difficult, but I think you may be missing the point here. You might have thought it would turn out ok based on the numbers you believed at the time, but if you failed to account for the worse case scenario (i.e. earning no more than you were making pre-law school all while carrying the law school debt), then you did yourself a disservice and I think you'll find that many people don't think that the taxpayer should pay for your error in judgment.

And whether or not you have a husband is not important. The point I was trying to make was that many others have considered their own personal circumstances before making important life decisions, and that if someone fails to do the same, others should not have to pay for that mistake.

SamWerner
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:17 PM
My point is, they shouldn't go up for this reason AT ALL. And by saying that they should pay more, even a little, of their $30K salary to forgive your student loans because you went back to school for a job because you didn't want to live at that level...that's EXACTLY what you're saying. So what if you can't eat out or take a vacation? Neither can millions of Americans. Heck, I just took the first real vacation of my adult life last year...at age 38! Why do you think you should have these things on others' dime when they can't?

Nobody is disparaging anyone for taking out loans. What we're saying is that taking them out and then asking the rest of the country for to pay them so you can afford the lifestyle you want, right now, is pretty selfish. Lots of us live on under $30K, and yet you don't want to and think those of us who are should help finance it because you chose to take out the loans. Drop the cable TV, drop the cell phone to only basic phone call service, no text and data. "I have to stay in Florida" is a cop out. You're an adult, and you don't have to stay anywhere once you graduate, including somewhere where you can live and pay your loans on Nobody is holding a gun to your head and making you take the Florida bar exam. I'm pretty sure that every lawyer does not live in the same state for his or her entire career. I'm sure lawyers do move out of state from time to time, take the new state's bar exam, and go on with their lives. In fact, some of them do it right out of law school if that's where they are hired.

I don't know where you get your information from, but it is not easy by any means for a lawyer to just jump into another state and take their bar. I took specific classes in law school that were geared towards FL law. I went to a law school in FL bc that is where I want to practice. You can apply for the bar in your first year of law school, so it's not like I can just snap my fingers and say, oh, now I'll take the GA bar instead! I paid over 1000 to apply to take the FL bar. Friends that are taking out of state bars applied for that ahead of time. If they are from NY and want to move back, they take the NY bar. This is a process that can take up to a year for clearance to practice in a state. It is not just oh hey I'm going to practice in a different state tmrw. And FYI, studying for the bar is a full time job. So if you want to take a bar, and pass, you will not be working for 9-10 weeks. You will be studying for 12-15 hours a day. Ask any lawyer on here :)



Well, just think of paying your loans as helping out other generations. Don't most of these government loan programs self-fund using the interest of past loans? And even if they don't, as long as the interest is being paid to the government, just think of it as being funnelled toward some other program that needs the money.

Personally, I could endorse some breaks for graduates of professional programs that pursue paths that are less remunerative but have significant social value - legal aid, under-serviced communities, etc. But like JAGold, I really have trouble swallowing the notion that at year 10, the tax payer would pick up a professional's student loans just as the professional is likely to be hitting his/her high-income years. Just doesn't make any sense to me.

And I think that having a lawyer pay back their loans in the high income years may solve a lot of problems. I would be less likely to complain paying 1000 a month to Sallie Mae when making 100k then paying it when I am only making 40k. So if I wasn't required to pay back loans until I was making in the 6 figures, fine by me :)


I would assume that since you said that you "decided to go to law school so I could afford the lifestyle that allows you to own horses" and that you're aware that you'll eventually be making over $100K.

If you then demand that taxpayers to subsidize a large portion of your education, and then you turn around and use these savings to pay for an expensive lifestyle, then they are paying for that, since you aren't.

Oh ok I understand what you are saying now I thought you meant tax payers were paying for my horse at the moment.

cowgirljenn
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:20 PM
By the way, whatever happened to vocational high schools? Back in the stone ages when I went to high school in St. Louis, the city had two vocational high schools.


My dad rents the house on the family farm to a family (in central MO). They don't have much money. The community is fairly poor - there are farmers (who aren't necessarily poor but much of their money is tied up in land and equipment) and people who work at the prison, and then the people who work at the stores in town. Not much money... the high school has a program where they will take the students to classes at a vocational school at no cost to the students. They also have a lot of college credit classes (I'm not sure how all those work).

So there are still some places that offer something similar.

HenryisBlaisin'
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:25 PM
I don't know where you get your information from, but it is not easy by any means for a lawyer to just jump into another state and take their bar. I took specific classes in law school that were geared towards FL law. I went to a law school in FL bc that is where I want to practice. You can apply for the bar in your first year of law school, so it's not like I can just snap my fingers and say, oh, now I'll take the GA bar instead! I paid over 1000 to apply to take the FL bar. Friends that are taking out of state bars applied for that ahead of time. If they are from NY and want to move back, they take the NY bar. This is a process that can take up to a year for clearance to practice in a state. It is not just oh hey I'm going to practice in a different state tmrw. And FYI, studying for the bar is a full time job. So if you want to take a bar, and pass, you will not be working for 9-10 weeks. You will be studying for 12-15 hours a day. Ask any lawyer on here :)


I never said it was easy. Life isn't easy. I merely said that if you want to make it work, it can be done. Yes, that means a lot of hard work and maybe not instant gratification. It would be silly to think that every single lawyer in America practices their entire career in the state where they first passed the bar. And you did choose to take the Florida bar instead of considering a state where the cost of living is lower. Lots of people make student loan payments on a $40K salary or less, If you're smart enough to get into law school, you're smart enough to figure out how to pay for it without having me do it so you can go on vacation or eat dinner out.

SamWerner
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:39 PM
I never said it was easy. Life isn't easy. I merely said that if you want to make it work, it can be done. Yes, that means a lot of hard work and maybe not instant gratification. It would be silly to think that every single lawyer in America practices their entire career in the state where they first passed the bar. And you did choose to take the Florida bar instead of considering a state where the cost of living is lower. Lots of people make student loan payments on a $40K salary or less, If you're smart enough to get into law school, you're smart enough to figure out how to pay for it without having me do it so you can go on vacation or eat dinner out.

So at 22 years old I was supposed to predict the future and say hmm, I think there might be an economic meltdown, I should apply to a different bar! I wanted to take the bar in that state I live and attend law school.

Obviously in the future I could take a bar in a different state, but initially almost every single new attorney takes the bar in the state in either which they live or the state in which they attend law school. You don't just get a random job offer from a random state. You usually don't get a job until AFTER you take the bar, so how would I know what bar to take if I was waiting on an employer? The way it works is you sign up for the bar your 1st or 2nd year, graduate in May of your 3rd year, take the bar that July, and then pray you pass and get a job in the state you took the bar in. Getting a legal job requires networking, so living in the state or going to school in the state you want to practice is helpful. So I couldn't for example just pick Iowa to take the bar in, it doesn't work that way.

And OY VEY I'm sorry I ever mentioned my lack of eating out and buying presents, you guys sure are good at throwing things back in peoples faces LOL.

magicteetango
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:43 PM
I have a high amount of student loan debt. I do not need/want anyone to pay for my poor judgement, sometimes in life we make poor choices and mine were expensive. I did not research my college, and went because I felt pressured by my family. My father said he would pay for me to attend this school, and didn't. I signed my name on those loans, I said I would pay them back. I have, when needed, taken advantage of forbearance options and lowered payments. It is my problem, they are my loans.

The kicker is I am now going for nursing at a local college, something I wanted to do for years (and this time I was smart, I researched the hell out of salaries to make sure this was a good choice for me, for years) a very long time. I am applying for financial aid, if I don't get it I will defer my loans if needed so I can pay for my education in cash. My college was a for profit and privately accredited, this college will only accept my classes (a Bachelors) as electives. It sucks... I made a bad choice. But it was mine and not every tax payer's. We are already in a deficit and need no help creating a bigger one. I do have horses and pay for them myself, but my loans are paid monthly and on time. I am not going to cry over not eating out or taking vacations... Seriously, they're a choice you made to finance your education. No one held a gun to your head. It sucks but that is life.

Backstage
Apr. 9, 2012, 11:55 PM
So at 22 years old I was supposed to predict the future and say hmm, I think there might be an economic meltdown, I should apply to a different bar!

Let's not re-write history. If you started in 2009, the economic melt down was already underway. I spent part of my third year (2007-2008) on exchange with a bunch of US law students. They were already concerned about associate classes being slashed, and one already knew she no longer had a job waiting. There was plenty of information available by 2009 for you to be aware of the flooded legal market if you did your research. Like many, you probably thought you would still get at least an "average" job. You were wrong. It's unfortunate, and I'm not unsympathetic but why should someone else pick up the tab?

SamWerner
Apr. 10, 2012, 12:03 AM
Let's not re-write history. If you started in 2009, the economic melt down was already underway. I spent part of my third year (2007-2008) on exchange with a bunch of US law students. They were already concerned about associate classes being slashed, and one already knew she no longer had a job waiting. There was plenty of information available by 2009 for you to be aware of the flooded legal market if you did your research. Like many, you probably thought you would still get at least an "average" job. You were wrong. It's unfortunate, and I'm not unsympathetic but why should someone else pick up the tab?

You are very right, I did think I would be able to at least get an average job. I was mistaken, the economy got worse.

So, I can compare forgiving some of student's debt to bankruptcy and foreclosure. Do you think people who buy a house and then lose their jobs should be forced to keep the house and make the payments or else, or should they be able to wipe their slate clean?? I have a feeling some of you had to have filed for bankruptcy and/or foreclosure, and it sucks but we live in America and have the option to start over. And yes, I bet you guys will say oh but it doesn't directly come out of my taxes, but you bet it does when the government has to bail out all the banks that have MANYYYYYY foreclosed mortgages.

Try taking away bankruptcy and foreclosure and see how many people change their tune when it comes to them.

Tapperjockey
Apr. 10, 2012, 12:09 AM
You are very right, I did think I would be able to at least get an average job. I was mistaken, the economy got worse.

So, I can compare forgiving some of student's debt to bankruptcy and foreclosure. Do you think people who buy a house and then lose their jobs should be forced to keep the house and make the payments or else, or should they be able to wipe their slate clean?? I have a feeling some of you had to have filed for bankruptcy and/or foreclosure, and it sucks but we live in America and have the option to start over. And yes, I bet you guys will say oh but it doesn't directly come out of my taxes, but you bet it does when the government has to bail out all the banks that have MANYYYYYY foreclosed mortgages.

Try taking away bankruptcy and foreclosure and see how many people change their tune when it comes to them.

Absolutely in favor of doing away with bankruptcy. And yes, I do believe if someone has lost a house to foreclosure, they should NOT be given a clean slate. Many, many, many people bought houses and did not adequately prepare for it. Between no money down, interest-only loans, adjustable rate loans.. all can be good options, but only if you read the fine print and know what you are getting into. Many did not do that.

Still more, managed to buy homes and not lose them, because they researched the homes well, did not buy more than they could afford, and didn't take offers that appeared to be too good to be true.

magicteetango
Apr. 10, 2012, 12:11 AM
If they forgave your loan, would you give back your degree? Then you would have to start from scratch to earn a new one, something most consider a prerequisite for decent employment these days. I would not, I think most feel the same. Very different from a foreclosure. Years of your life are invested, and you cannot rent or go buy another without 4+ years of work.

SamWerner
Apr. 10, 2012, 12:25 AM
If they forgave your loan, would you give back your degree? Then you would have to start from scratch to earn a new one, something most consider a prerequisite for decent employment these days. I would not, I think most feel the same. Very different from a foreclosure. Years of your life are invested, and you cannot rent or go buy another without 4+ years of work.

HAHA honestly yes, if they would forgive my loans, I would give back the law degree. Way too expensive with not enough income potential in this economy. And I'll become a teacher or nurse and make an average salary like everyone else and not have crazy loans to pay back :)

jetsmom
Apr. 10, 2012, 12:43 AM
You are very right, I did think I would be able to at least get an average job. I was mistaken, the economy got worse.

So, I can compare forgiving some of student's debt to bankruptcy and foreclosure. Do you think people who buy a house and then lose their jobs should be forced to keep the house and make the payments or else, or should they be able to wipe their slate clean?? I have a feeling some of you had to have filed for bankruptcy and/or foreclosure, and it sucks but we live in America and have the option to start over. And yes, I bet you guys will say oh but it doesn't directly come out of my taxes, but you bet it does when the government has to bail out all the banks that have MANYYYYYY foreclosed mortgages.

Try taking away bankruptcy and foreclosure and see how many people change their tune when it comes to them.

No bk's or foreclosures in my past in spite of job losses and divorce.. Moved out of a nice home into a furnished 2 bdm trailer in a not so nice trailer park when I was younger and lost my job. Got another job, and company went under so I moved to a different city, rented a room in a private home with 2 kids from hell (would play a trumpet (poorly) at 3 in the morning because they were mad at their mom, leave large turds in the toilet without flushing, etc), and got a job where I worked 12 hr days 6 days a week to pay bills.
So yes, people can tough it out and rough it when needed. And if someone can't pay for their home, they SHOULD be foreclosed on. The home was collateral for the loan contract they signed and agreed to.

darkmoonlady
Apr. 10, 2012, 01:07 AM
The issue I have with student loans isn't even the paying them back, it is the system is stacked against students from day one. Yes they give you the information about paying the loan back but what they don't tell you is that if you consolidate and don't do it properly or miss a payment (or even if you do everything right and someone else makes a mistake against you) your debt is sold off. Who the government sells the loans too are those lovely debt call bank system businesses that do really underhanded things in the name of "paying off your loan". Well in a lot of cases your loan as it was issued from the government is now going towards commissions for those underhanded call bank workers at underhanded companies.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-26/obama-relies-on-debt-collectors-profiting-from-student-loan-woe.html

kathy s.
Apr. 10, 2012, 01:48 AM
I did things backwards, I guess. I had the opportunity to have my education paid for by my parents when I graduated from high school but at the time I was much smarter than they were,lol. So, I worked in blue collar occupations but quickly learned that if I wanted to earn wages equal to men, I had to enter the male-dominated fields. I was the first woman hired as part of a line crew by a large electric company. Made excellent money. Eventually I quit that job b/c I realized that I didn't want to be climbing 90 foot poles when I was 40. Went to college for a little while and worked 2 jobs to get by. Had to give up school and work then was hired on as a switchman for a large railroad company. I was the first woman hired into train service by that company in 15 years.
In the early 2000's, I was hurt on the job, spent 2 years getting physical therapy so I could get around and enrolled in college at age 47. I'm working on my Masters and will probably earn a Phd to get a job b/c of age discrimination. My point is this- male-dominated blue collar jobs pay very well. I know that even with a Phd I am going to a tough time topping the $80,000+ I made as a Locomotive Engineer. In this society, kids are still taught that many jobs are gender specific which makes it difficult for women to earn pay equal to men. Additionally, I agree that not everyone is cut out to go to college and shouldn't be forced to do so.
One of my stats professors put it this way-in the big scheme of things, if Armageddon came to pass, who do you think people would need the most,plumbers or statisticians?

As far as student loans, I think the interest rate should be lowered to make them easier to pay off. I also think colleges should be required to have a mandatory course on student finances. Freshman and transfer students would be required to take this class and no one could graduate without it. The curriculum would cover budgeting, credit card use, writing a check (many students don't have a clue), managing bills, and managing student loans. One of the requirements would be to submit a workable budget.

Tapperjockey
Apr. 10, 2012, 03:07 AM
I think that class would be nice to see in High School!!!!

foggybok
Apr. 10, 2012, 04:23 AM
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