Author Topic: Article about Long Island student debt problem  (Read 2262 times)

charis

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Article about Long Island student debt problem
« on: February 08, 2019, 08:18:45 AM »
I'm not one to be critical of student debtors, especially in a inflated COL area like LI, by some of the comments like this are painful to a MMM-er:

"Steve Von Bargen, of Massapequa, can speak to the impact of the recession. After the stock market crashed, he and his wife had to rely heavily on loans to pay for the undergraduate degrees that they had promised their three children.

“We can’t go on vacation,” said Von Bargen, 58. “We used to buy a car every five to six years. Now our cars are a decade old.”

Then, two of the three Von Bargen kids went on to graduate school — on their own dime. All together, Von Bargen estimates the trio incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, although he declined to provide an exact figure."

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/student-loans-college-debt-home-ownership-1.27018508

Travis

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 08:58:37 AM »
The first person in the article went into quite a bit of debt for a job appears to top out at $60k/year. After five years she quit that for a career that pays half.

For some of the others, I have no sympathy for fully grown adults who sacrifice their retirements to send their kids to expensive schools.

Doing some rough math on the mother with a $550/mo payment for her kid's private school, she essentially signed up to buy another house.

As for the article's advice at the bottom on how to pay student loans, it forgot a couple important points it brought up:

-Do the math and see if you'll still be alive long enough to pay it off (looking at you middle-age parents)
-Don't trade the job for which you got the degree for something less that was paying the bills and expect the problem to go away
-If you have your heart set on a particular degree or a particular school and plan on financing it mostly through 7% loans, don't act surprised by the bill 4-6 years later.

mm1970

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 11:56:24 AM »
The first person in the article went into quite a bit of debt for a job appears to top out at $60k/year. After five years she quit that for a career that pays half.

For some of the others, I have no sympathy for fully grown adults who sacrifice their retirements to send their kids to expensive schools.

Doing some rough math on the mother with a $550/mo payment for her kid's private school, she essentially signed up to buy another house.

As for the article's advice at the bottom on how to pay student loans, it forgot a couple important points it brought up:

-Do the math and see if you'll still be alive long enough to pay it off (looking at you middle-age parents)
-Don't trade the job for which you got the degree for something less that was paying the bills and expect the problem to go away
-If you have your heart set on a particular degree or a particular school and plan on financing it mostly through 7% loans, don't act surprised by the bill 4-6 years later.
Actually, that's not too bad.  She studied elementary education, ended up working in preschools. 

Typical NY starting salaries for elementary school teachers start at $56k and medians are much higher.

So, at $60k loans, it was doable.  (If you do the  math on how much your monthly payment would be, for example).  In general, it seems like people should be able to safely borrow a total amount equal to the first year's salary.  Maybe up to 2 years.

The problem was that preschool teacher was not going to get her there, she needed to get into elementary education.  I believe the move to EMT was a step up in income.

Travis

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 08:17:17 PM »
The first person in the article went into quite a bit of debt for a job appears to top out at $60k/year. After five years she quit that for a career that pays half.

For some of the others, I have no sympathy for fully grown adults who sacrifice their retirements to send their kids to expensive schools.

Doing some rough math on the mother with a $550/mo payment for her kid's private school, she essentially signed up to buy another house.

As for the article's advice at the bottom on how to pay student loans, it forgot a couple important points it brought up:

-Do the math and see if you'll still be alive long enough to pay it off (looking at you middle-age parents)
-Don't trade the job for which you got the degree for something less that was paying the bills and expect the problem to go away
-If you have your heart set on a particular degree or a particular school and plan on financing it mostly through 7% loans, don't act surprised by the bill 4-6 years later.
Actually, that's not too bad.  She studied elementary education, ended up working in preschools. 

Typical NY starting salaries for elementary school teachers start at $56k and medians are much higher.

So, at $60k loans, it was doable.  (If you do the  math on how much your monthly payment would be, for example).  In general, it seems like people should be able to safely borrow a total amount equal to the first year's salary.  Maybe up to 2 years.

The problem was that preschool teacher was not going to get her there, she needed to get into elementary education.  I believe the move to EMT was a step up in income.

My deep and awesome skills in Google-Fu showed NYC EMT starting salaries to be half that of a public education teacher. Maybe it scales up better?

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 01:05:18 PM »
I have very little sympathy for people who complain about their student loan debt. I borrowed $74,000 to pay for my education and next month I'll have repaid $37,000 of it so far. You take out the debt so you can have a better life. You make the agreement; You pay your debt. It's really not that bad once you stop eating out three nights a week, going for fancy drinks twice a week, going to the movies every week, buying premade coffee every morning, paying for coins for online games, buying designer clothing at retail shops, etc. The crying about student loans annoys me so much.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 09:16:45 PM by WhiteTrashCash »

Just Joe

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2019, 03:26:51 PM »
Their cars are a DECADE old?!?

What would they say about our family who chooses to have TWENTY year old cars despite not having any debt except a mortgage?

Maybe they will have a moment somewhere along the way where they realize some of the same things frugal peoples already know.

penguintroopers

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 02:26:17 PM »
I have very little sympathy for people who complain about their student loan debt. I borrowed $74,000 to pay for my education and next month I'll have repaid $37,000 of it so far. You take out the debt so you can have a better life. You make the agreement; You pay your debt. It's really not that bad once you stop eating out three nights a week, going for fancy drinks twice a week, going to the movies every week, buying premade coffee every morning, paying for coins for online games, buying designer clothing at retail shops, etc. The crying about student loans annoys me so much.

I do feel bad for the ones that borrow $200k for a $30k job and didn't know any better because they were 18 and literally everyone they trust was telling them to go to college (no matter the cost) or else they would end up working retail/never getting ahead/insert negative outcome here.

Now the couple that makes $200k and belly-aches about their $30k debt and how they can never pay it off/never buy a house/woe is us/money is so hard/we can barely make ends meet people? Them I loathe.

lhamo

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 02:59:51 PM »
What about this family:

"Barry, who lives in Islip, is still paying off debt that he started to amass when he was a student at Suffolk County Community College in the mid-1980s. A decade later, Barry graduated with a bachelor's degree from Hofstra University. Then, he spent 18 months at Concord Law School in Los Angeles but didn't finish.

The final bill: roughly $70,000, which Barry estimates he has pared down to about $20,000.

"It's a double-edged sword," said Barry, 54, who expects to delay his retirement from TD Bank by at least three years to pay off his student loans. "There's a sense of accomplishment that I am paying the loans down myself. But I don't see how my daughter can ever be successful in this environment."

Barry's daughter, Kaytie, is a senior at Penn State University studying broadcast journalism. Her college debt is roughly $160,000.

"It does not seem like it will never end," he said."

What kind of idiot spends decades paying for his own relatively cheap degrees (and a professional one he didn't finish) and then lets his daughter sign on for that much debt for a degree in a DYING FIELD!!?!?!?!  Well, maybe broadcast journalism is a bit better than print journalism, but she isn't going to be raking in the big bucks when she graduates.

It will never end because you are STUPID.  And you work at a BANK?

Seriously, though, that is one really poorly written article.  Just glosses over the fact that enrollment in the most affordable option (community college) is actually down.  Why?  Because LI parents up to their eyeballs in debt are too status conscious to send their kids to the college option they might be able to actually afford?

Travis

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 07:10:30 PM »
These stories which are stacked with people making stupid decisions are always backstopped by "college is too expensive and there's no hope and we have no choice" statistics in order to make it appear like the people just featured are victims of the system.


Take this article about a retired Air Force Colonel who is living out of his van.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2536060/Homeless-veteran-Air-Force-colonel-lives-minivan-job-despite-three-graduate-degrees-experience-militarys-brass.html

It and other articles about him paint him into the "homeless vet" narrative, but if you peel it back a couple layers it looks way more like he's simply made some stupid financial decisions. As an Air Force Colonel he was making nearly $200k/year in his final years of service, and his pension even after the divorce is worth $40k/year.  I can't find the article that explained it more clearly, but it said he was paying nearly all the expenses for his two mid-20s sons to go to college in Philadelphia.  Most of the articles about him state that he just can't find work and is down on his luck, rather than point out that with 3 degrees and 30 years in the Air Force in the intel community he should have been able to find lucrative work anywhere.  Instead he intentionally hamstrung himself by insisting on staying close to his sons.  I'm sure after a lifetime of service he never saw them much, but he made a conscious decision to be homeless rather than go where the work was.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 07:34:50 PM by Travis »

monte0930

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 08:03:26 PM »
I grew up In Ca, slightly HCOL area, moved to the midwest for University after going to community college. Worked through college as much as possible, graduated with one semester of student loan debt. Meanwhile, many of the students at my school were out buying boats when students loans hit, serious. Graduated and started my first job, and met a guy who had $100k in student loans. It really had more to do with people making poor decisions with money than anything else. Also what is up with that website making me turn my adblock off...

Just Joe

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2019, 08:30:06 PM »
What about this family:

"Barry, who lives in Islip, is still paying off debt that he started to amass when he was a student at Suffolk County Community College in the mid-1980s. A decade later, Barry graduated with a bachelor's degree from Hofstra University. Then, he spent 18 months at Concord Law School in Los Angeles but didn't finish.

The final bill: roughly $70,000, which Barry estimates he has pared down to about $20,000.

"It's a double-edged sword," said Barry, 54, who expects to delay his retirement from TD Bank by at least three years to pay off his student loans. "There's a sense of accomplishment that I am paying the loans down myself. But I don't see how my daughter can ever be successful in this environment."

Barry's daughter, Kaytie, is a senior at Penn State University studying broadcast journalism. Her college debt is roughly $160,000.

"It does not seem like it will never end," he said."

What kind of idiot spends decades paying for his own relatively cheap degrees (and a professional one he didn't finish) and then lets his daughter sign on for that much debt for a degree in a DYING FIELD!!?!?!?!  Well, maybe broadcast journalism is a bit better than print journalism, but she isn't going to be raking in the big bucks when she graduates.

It will never end because you are STUPID.  And you work at a BANK?

Seriously, though, that is one really poorly written article.  Just glosses over the fact that enrollment in the most affordable option (community college) is actually down.  Why?  Because LI parents up to their eyeballs in debt are too status conscious to send their kids to the college option they might be able to actually afford?

How many cars have these people - especially Barry paid off since he graduated. Keep the cars longer, drive cheaper cars, pay down the student debt faster and be done with it.

mm1970

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 05:07:48 PM »
I have very little sympathy for people who complain about their student loan debt. I borrowed $74,000 to pay for my education and next month I'll have repaid $37,000 of it so far. You take out the debt so you can have a better life. You make the agreement; You pay your debt. It's really not that bad once you stop eating out three nights a week, going for fancy drinks twice a week, going to the movies every week, buying premade coffee every morning, paying for coins for online games, buying designer clothing at retail shops, etc. The crying about student loans annoys me so much.

I do feel bad for the ones that borrow $200k for a $30k job and didn't know any better because they were 18 and literally everyone they trust was telling them to go to college (no matter the cost) or else they would end up working retail/never getting ahead/insert negative outcome here.

Now the couple that makes $200k and belly-aches about their $30k debt and how they can never pay it off/never buy a house/woe is us/money is so hard/we can barely make ends meet people? Them I loathe.

I was going to say just this.  It seems like the college debt is good and for the right reasons and improves your life...until it doesn't.

There are plenty of people who don't finish the degree, or get sick while in college or after, or borrow too much money for a non-lucrative degree.  And the thing is, teenagers are stupid.  I'm kind of just lucky that it worked out for me because nobody was giving me any suggestions way back then.

For fun one of these days, I'm going to make up a spreadsheet on college costs, cost to service a loan, average starting salary, etc.  I did it once but didn't save the spreadsheet.

You know, common sense that isn't really that easy to suss out when you are 17 or 18.

"What do you want to be?" 
"I don't know"
"Start at CC or state school"

What is the average starting salary for what you want to be?
"X"
Don't borrow more than X.

How much aid did your college of choice offer you?
Well, I'll only have to borrow X * 75% each year!

That means you are borrowing 3X
You won't be able to pay it off.
Don't do it.

The end.

penguintroopers

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2019, 11:05:28 AM »
I have very little sympathy for people who complain about their student loan debt. I borrowed $74,000 to pay for my education and next month I'll have repaid $37,000 of it so far. You take out the debt so you can have a better life. You make the agreement; You pay your debt. It's really not that bad once you stop eating out three nights a week, going for fancy drinks twice a week, going to the movies every week, buying premade coffee every morning, paying for coins for online games, buying designer clothing at retail shops, etc. The crying about student loans annoys me so much.

I do feel bad for the ones that borrow $200k for a $30k job and didn't know any better because they were 18 and literally everyone they trust was telling them to go to college (no matter the cost) or else they would end up working retail/never getting ahead/insert negative outcome here.

Now the couple that makes $200k and belly-aches about their $30k debt and how they can never pay it off/never buy a house/woe is us/money is so hard/we can barely make ends meet people? Them I loathe.

I was going to say just this.  It seems like the college debt is good and for the right reasons and improves your life...until it doesn't.

There are plenty of people who don't finish the degree, or get sick while in college or after, or borrow too much money for a non-lucrative degree.  And the thing is, teenagers are stupid.  I'm kind of just lucky that it worked out for me because nobody was giving me any suggestions way back then.

For fun one of these days, I'm going to make up a spreadsheet on college costs, cost to service a loan, average starting salary, etc.  I did it once but didn't save the spreadsheet.

You know, common sense that isn't really that easy to suss out when you are 17 or 18.

"What do you want to be?" 
"I don't know"
"Start at CC or state school"

What is the average starting salary for what you want to be?
"X"
Don't borrow more than X.

How much aid did your college of choice offer you?
Well, I'll only have to borrow X * 75% each year!

That means you are borrowing 3X
You won't be able to pay it off.
Don't do it.

The end.

Something like that should be commonplace. I had a coworker who got her bachelors and masters and ended close to the same amount of debt as my husband and I getting our bachelors and my masters. Servicing our debt is possible on our combined income, but she's in a deep hole. She's counting on loan forgiveness and then a IRS loan to just continue on in debt. Last I heard she was still on income-based repayment, which by my calculations is either at or below what her loans are accruing just interest on.

Yeah, by my math...

Loans from undergrad for me: 3/5th starting salary for me
For husband: 1/2 his starting salary
For my masters: equal to starting salary

Masters right away probably wasn't the best financial choice, but we're taking big steps to pay it off quickly. Right now anyone who asks me "should I go get more education?" I pretty much yell to run away from school as fast as possible. Hopefully my opinion changes soon.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Article about Long Island student debt problem
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2019, 04:37:28 PM »
Thanks to people being stupid and not repaying their loans and everybody crying about borrowing money that they agreed to repay (but they don't actually want to), now Congress is considering forcing employers to deduct student loan payments directly from people's paychecks. Yes, I would love my employer to know how much I borrowed to go to school. They certainly wouldn't use that against me. What a cluster.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamminsky/2019/02/12/senator-proposes-sweeping-student-loan-reform/amp/