Author Topic: Student loan debt article  (Read 5239 times)

TexasStash

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Student loan debt article
« on: July 16, 2018, 04:39:10 PM »
Anyone seen this? Sorry if posted twice. Would be interesting as a MMM case study to see the real lifestyle numbers and whether this was more bad luck or poor spending and planning.

Spoiler: not a happy story.

https://thebaffler.com/salvos/looks-like-debt-to-me-miller

TexasStash

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Student loan debt article
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 04:39:42 PM »
Anyone seen this? Sorry if posted twice. Would be interesting as a MMM case study to see the real lifestyle numbers and whether this was more bad luck or poor spending and planning.

Spoiler: not a happy story.

https://thebaffler.com/salvos/looks-like-debt-to-me-miller

ysette9

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 05:09:28 PM »
Say all you want about personal responsibility, but there is something fundamentally wrong in my mind about a society that lets its vulnerable get themselves into these kinds of positions. My 17-year old self could have easily gotten into this kind of mess without appreciating the consequences because I was A KID at that age. Is this the new serfdom? We can and should do better. This doesn’t benefit anyone.

Raymond Reddington

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 05:45:49 PM »
Say all you want about personal responsibility, but there is something fundamentally wrong in my mind about a society that lets its vulnerable get themselves into these kinds of positions. My 17-year old self could have easily gotten into this kind of mess without appreciating the consequences because I was A KID at that age. Is this the new serfdom? We can and should do better. This doesn’t benefit anyone.

This. Schools administrative payrolls have bloated as costs have risen, but the quality of the education hasn't justified the increases to tuition and room & board. Not only that, but I have a huge issue with nationally televised college sports for athletes that are unpaid attending on scholarship when many aren't fit to be in college in the first place, save for their athletic ability. Capital costs at colleges in general are out of control as well, as everyone wants to have the newest most technologically advanced dorms, and every tiny subset of each program demands their own building on campus.

For many the cost of attending college after high school isn't worth it - you can learn a skilled trade and make plenty of income and go back to school if you need to do add to your skills or learn something else. SIgning up to go over $100,000 into debt majoring in things that make you a more well rounded, cultural person, but are not often useful in any practical career, is a bad investment while being excessively leveraged. It will be interesting to see what happens, because colleges at some point, will have to answer for their costs vs. the benefits, and we may see a large reduction in the number of institutions running. At some point, I imagine employers will probably figure out sooner or later that it is cheaper to invest in training people who demonstrate a level of intelligence and aptitude, and then training them yourself, rather than relying on a $25,000 to $40,000 a year rubber stamp of a person who has no practical skills and still must be taught what to do, but requires the support of HR to verify all the college credits and transcripts upon receipt of applications.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 06:50:48 PM »
  • Don't go to school for a major that won't pay the bills, ESPECIALLY if you are going to take out major loans.
  • Don't rely on your parents to pay your bills
  • Move the hell out of NYC!

vivophoenix

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2018, 07:00:03 AM »
  • Don't go to school for a major that won't pay the bills, ESPECIALLY if you are going to take out major loans.
  • Don't rely on your parents to pay your bills
  • Move the hell out of NYC!

don't loan to students, who go to schools for majors that don't pay.

 to rely on your parents to pay your bills is a personal choice

move how? they said the mom has breast cancer and it sounds like they live together to maximize money saved. so with what mone,y were they to move where, during the economic crisis? oh and also find a job for a woman on chemo[/li][/list]


student loan debt is a contentious argument on this forum. but these people were put through the ringer. there is blame on all sides: the parents, the student, the school and the bank. but for some reason, the most blame always lands on the 17-year-old. which just makes no sense to me.
why does society blame the most vulnerable party? 
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 07:06:54 AM by vivophoenix »

Warlord1986

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2018, 07:46:15 AM »
Dude said he was taking night classes. He could have learned something more lucrative than French, like app development. He should also stop meeting his dad at a restaurant when they're in debt up to their eyeballs. And he could do what millions of people have done, which is get a second job.

That last paragraph had me rolling my eyes. He's angsting over taking home food in take out boxes? And that "Maybe the next generation would do better, but I felt like we were broke and broken. No number of degrees or professional successes would put us back together again." was just the icing on the drama cake.

LennStar

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2018, 07:59:03 AM »
And he could do what millions of people have done, which is get a second job.
There are millions of people who can't even get a first job, for whatever reason, often not their fault.
I always find this type of line extremely... offensive.
Just generally speaking, not for this one case.

Warlord1986

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2018, 07:59:18 AM »
Dude said he was taking night classes. He could have learned something more lucrative than French, like app development. He should also stop meeting his dad at a restaurant when they're in debt up to their eyeballs. And he could do what millions of people have done, which is get a second job.

That last paragraph had me rolling my eyes. He's angsting over taking home food in take out boxes? And that "Maybe the next generation would do better, but I felt like we were broke and broken. No number of degrees or professional successes would put us back together again." was just the icing on the drama cake.

Edit: To be clear, I have some sympathy. The economy was awful when he graduated, and it seems he received very little guidance. Seventeen year olds make dumb decisions, news at eleven. But twenty-somethings have an obligation to do what they can to improve their lives, and this person hasn't done that.

Warlord1986

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2018, 08:01:36 AM »
And he could do what millions of people have done, which is get a second job.
There are millions of people who can't even get a first job, for whatever reason, often not their fault.
I always find this type of line extremely... offensive.
Just generally speaking, not for this one case.

Be as offended as you want. There is nothing to suggest the writer can't or couldn't find a second job.

FIRE@50

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2018, 08:29:18 AM »
This just reinforces my plan to be prepared to FIRE before the inevitable layoff in my 50's while also teaching my child the value of money, education, and getting a valuable degree from a reasonably priced state school.

ysette9

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2018, 10:47:23 AM »
In design for consumer products they say that if the user is using the product incorrectly then it is your design that is wrong. The meaning is that the design should be such that it is obvious the correct way to use the product; the right way should be both intuitive and easy.

As a society I feel like we are getting closer and closer to a state where the right path is neither obvious nor easy. I don’t mean the hard work part, that is a given. But it shouldn’t be a mystery what steps you need to take to be successful in life. It shouldn’t be easy to get yourself into a massive pile of poo that will take decades to dig out from. If society is telling you that college is the key to success, people will respond to those signals. We owe it to people to make the obvious choice one that isn’t massively expensive. It should be harder to sign up for $100k worth of debt for a non-lucrative major. No one is being served by making it easy for kids who don’t have fully matured brains able to sign up for a lifetime of non-dischargeable debt.

Maybe this will sound scandalous, but I think we should severely restrict the access to student loans. Yeah, it will be hard in the near term, so maybe do it first for incoming freshman, but we can’t reasonably expect university costs to come down when there is this endless supply of money available in the form of debt. If that path is restricted then people will be forced to look for alternatives like junior college off the bat.

vivophoenix

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2018, 11:08:38 AM »
In design for consumer products they say that if the user is using the product incorrectly then it is your design that is wrong. The meaning is that the design should be such that it is obvious the correct way to use the product; the right way should be both intuitive and easy.

As a society I feel like we are getting closer and closer to a state where the right path is neither obvious nor easy. I don’t mean the hard work part, that is a given. But it shouldn’t be a mystery what steps you need to take to be successful in life. It shouldn’t be easy to get yourself into a massive pile of poo that will take decades to dig out from. If society is telling you that college is the key to success, people will respond to those signals. We owe it to people to make the obvious choice one that isn’t massively expensive. It should be harder to sign up for $100k worth of debt for a non-lucrative major. No one is being served by making it easy for kids who don’t have fully matured brains able to sign up for a lifetime of non-dischargeable debt.

Maybe this will sound scandalous, but I think we should severely restrict the access to student loans. Yeah, it will be hard in the near term, so maybe do it first for incoming freshman, but we can’t reasonably expect university costs to come down when there is this endless supply of money available in the form of debt. If that path is restricted then people will be forced to look for alternatives like junior college off the bat.
this!


17 years olds are auctioning their futures and we allow and encourage them to do so. but when it does not turn out well, we do not share responsibility. legitimate policy changes need to be made

FIRE@50

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2018, 11:18:19 AM »
In design for consumer products they say that if the user is using the product incorrectly then it is your design that is wrong. The meaning is that the design should be such that it is obvious the correct way to use the product; the right way should be both intuitive and easy.

As a society I feel like we are getting closer and closer to a state where the right path is neither obvious nor easy. I don’t mean the hard work part, that is a given. But it shouldn’t be a mystery what steps you need to take to be successful in life. It shouldn’t be easy to get yourself into a massive pile of poo that will take decades to dig out from. If society is telling you that college is the key to success, people will respond to those signals. We owe it to people to make the obvious choice one that isn’t massively expensive. It should be harder to sign up for $100k worth of debt for a non-lucrative major. No one is being served by making it easy for kids who don’t have fully matured brains able to sign up for a lifetime of non-dischargeable debt.

Maybe this will sound scandalous, but I think we should severely restrict the access to student loans. Yeah, it will be hard in the near term, so maybe do it first for incoming freshman, but we can’t reasonably expect university costs to come down when there is this endless supply of money available in the form of debt. If that path is restricted then people will be forced to look for alternatives like junior college off the bat.
I would agree. I think the logical solution is for the government to stop providing/subsidizing loans to private schools.

tyrannostache

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2018, 11:29:00 AM »
I don't think we need to pile on this writer's poor choices--it seems like he's pretty clear-eyed about the fact that his student loan debt was a huge mistake.

I do wish we would quit denigrating English as a major. Sure, it doesn't have a clear, direct-to-job pathway like programming or accounting, but when done well, it involves developing a broad suite of writing and analytical skills that are useful in many, many fields. As an English major, I never had any problems finding work. Given our rapidly changing work environment, adaptable backgrounds can be a big plus. Pair it with some technical skills, and you can write your own ticket.

However, I also wish young writers understood that you don't need an advanced degree in order to write.

LennStar

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2018, 01:56:37 PM »
And he could do what millions of people have done, which is get a second job.
There are millions of people who can't even get a first job, for whatever reason, often not their fault.
I always find this type of line extremely... offensive.
Just generally speaking, not for this one case.

Be as offended as you want. There is nothing to suggest the writer can't or couldn't find a second job.
You know that getting a job always needs a second party that gives you one? Which is in many cases the core of the problem, not to mention the conditions.

You know the running gag of the "20 years young, 30 years experience, 40 hours a week for 50 cents the hour?"

Warlord1986

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2018, 02:11:11 PM »
And he could do what millions of people have done, which is get a second job.
There are millions of people who can't even get a first job, for whatever reason, often not their fault.
I always find this type of line extremely... offensive.
Just generally speaking, not for this one case.

Be as offended as you want. There is nothing to suggest the writer can't or couldn't find a second job.
You know that getting a job always needs a second party that gives you one? Which is in many cases the core of the problem, not to mention the conditions.

You know the running gag of the "20 years young, 30 years experience, 40 hours a week for 50 cents the hour?"

During the Great Recession I lived in a city that was has little in the way of a private sector and I graduated in 2008 with a degree in Communications. I currently live in a much poorer area of the US than the writer.

During the GR I worked at JC Penney's and a test scoring cubicle farm. I currently work at a college and at a deli. If I can find two jobs during the GR, and if I can find a second job in my dinky little middle-of-nowhere city now, then the writer of this article can find something.

As I said, you can be as offended as you want. Just don't expect me to care.

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2018, 02:25:07 PM »
Quote from: vivophoenix
don't loan to students, who go to schools for majors that don't pay.

Educate the potential debtor and let them decide.  "In this profession you can expect to make $XX.  This is how much your loan will cost." etc.

Quote from: vivophoenix
don't loan to students, who go to schools for majors that don't pay.

Again, an education issue.

Quote from: vivophoenix
to rely on your parents to pay your bills is a personal choice

I guess if you have no sense of personal responsibility you won't have a problem with that.  Personally, I would.


Quote from: vivophoenix
move how? they said the mom has breast cancer and it sounds like they live together to maximize money saved. so with what mone,y were they to move where, during the economic crisis? oh and also find a job for a woman on chemo

I see no justification for them living in one of the HCOL areas in the country.  Dumb choice.   Live together, that's fine but find somewhere else to do it.


Quote from: vivophoenix
student loan debt is a contentious argument on this forum. but these people were put through the ringer. there is blame on all sides: the parents, the student, the school and the bank. but for some reason, the most blame always lands on the 17-year-old. which just makes no sense to me.
why does society blame the most vulnerable party?

The overriding theme here is lack of personal responsibility.  This whiny guy wants to blame everyone else.  My wife was in pretty much the same situation minus the family issues (which BTW are completely inconsequential to HIS debt issue).  I sucked it up, made major sacrifices and paid it off.  I didn't blame her, her parents, her school, or the banks.  He would be wise to do the same.

therethere

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2018, 02:50:48 PM »
While I don't agree with the dramatic sob story of the past 10 years of not getting on top of paying the loans.... I do take issue with people saying to blame the students. Yes, I'm not faultless, but in the eyes of the law you are a minor when you start these choices. I was encouraged by all parties (parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and coaches) to go to college. I applied to colleges at 16.  I could not drive after 9pm. Drink alcohol. Buy cigarettes or even spray paint. The government outlawed all this for me as a 17 year old college student. Yet, at 17, I was able to sign for ~20k of loans for the first year of school. With every adult around me telling me it was the right thing to do. I was fortunate that I chose a STEM major. But I still ended up with 100k+ in loans that took 10 years to pay off.

Is that not backwards?!


Samuel

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2018, 03:00:54 PM »
A big part of this story is the parental piece, how they encouraged (and co-signed) the borrowing, then got their legs taken out from under them in the 2008 crash and couldn't contribute what was expected. The author is pretty opaque on who was supposed to be paying what portion of the loans, but it's pretty clear he wasn't intending to pay them all himself.

Overly optimistic parents + naive 18 year old + a financial industry incentivized to lend lend lend = potential disaster. At least in this case the guy graduated and has leveraged that MFA pretty well. An editor gig at the New York Times is pretty darn good, considering the worst alternatives. He has a long but viable road to escape, but he needs to cut expenses, pick up side work, and murder those loans well ahead of the 14 year (and $82,000 in additional interest) point.

Educate the potential debtor and let them decide.  "In this profession you can expect to make $XX.  This is how much your loan will cost." etc.
Yep. Student loan applications should come with a required worksheet showing the proposed amount borrowed, what the payments will be (at minimum payment, and also higher levels), how long until it's paid off, and the total payments. Having the borrower fill in their expected salary (then also force them to also calculate on 1/2 of that salary) and do the math may help drive the point home. A lot of this problem is people not understanding how big balances + seemingly low interest rates + only making minimum payments (or forbearance) + time can really spiral out of control. Make them do the math in a variety of scenarios before you give them the money.

EricL

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2018, 03:04:40 PM »
I think a fair amount of sympathy can be spared.  The American mantra of "go to college and you'll make tons of money" was huge for generations and even now still has huge proponents.  I was a victim of this bullshit myself.  I only escaped because of the GI Bill, college tuition hadn't gone through the roof yet (though it was well on its way).  Also, war broke out allowing me to shunt my entire paycheck over a deployment and a half to pay my debts.  (It's telling the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act doesn't apply to student debts.)  That last bit seems a Deal with the Devil a lot of people couldn't do - I couldn't blame them for that opinion. 

If the economy hadn't crashed and burned, if his parents hadn't lost their jobs, if his mother hadn't got cancer, if the loan companies had been a tad more human - that's a shit storm.  Chances are the debt was probably manageable prior to all that but defaulting drove interest on the principle out of sanity.  I can totally get his distaste for distant politicians, technocrats, bankers, and such not at ground zero to see the stress and agony the economic crisis incurred.  I saw versions of it myself during the recession and in the jackasses in charge of OIF. 

Getting super critical about take out food is BS.  When you're that far in the hole debt wise a little extra money spent doesn't hurt anymore than it helps.  It's a form of despair and it's wrong, yeah.  But it's totally understandable.  And ultimately, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone who drowned in debt that large where, when the after action review was done, forensic accountants concluded "she'd have made it if she'd just cut back on fucking avocado toast."

kite

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2018, 03:25:37 PM »
Whoa!
The author's family didn't make a single blunder by choosing too expensive a school....they made a series of them day-in and day-out for years.  By failing to plan, they planned to fail.  They planned it.   
His parents....around age 60......lost their home, HIS CHILDHOOD HOME....within 6 months of a job loss.  So, while he was in his early 20's, the home they purchased roughly two decades prior was gone because they had neither enough equity nor enough savings to sustain them.  He thinks their lives weren't extravagant because they always worried about paying bills.  And yet, they leased cars; took annual vacations from Detroit to places like Myrtle Beach or Miami.  They had (and still have!) HBO.   And while his education and skills as a writer enable him to craft an eloquent argument for why student loan debt should be dis-chargeable in bankruptcy, he actually doesn't get it.  He does not grasp all that will go wrong with such a scheme, because they did not grasp what was an entirely predictable outcome from the way they lived their lives.  They lived beyond their means right up until today, apparently.  How do you arrive within sight of retirement age with no savings?  How do you spend decades in a home without paying if off in full?  These are rhetorical  -- clearly the way to do that is the death by a thousand cuts and the small little leaks that sink a financial ship. 
What kind of bubble did they live in all those years?  Did they never know anyone who was laid off or down-sized out of a job in late middle-age?  Did his boomer parents completely reject the thrift and savings habit of their own parent's generation?
I'm not a complete curmudgeon.  I like the idea of a free or very low cost higher education. It turns out we already have that exact thing:  Community College.  It is cheap enough if you are middle class.  And it works out to be free if you are poor.  There are Pell Grants, Federally Subsidized Student loans, the GI bill and merit based scholarships.  If the cost of a seat in a particular school exceeds the available funds, families just need to say no.  It's irresponsible and unfair for those who don't get to go to a fancy school to further fund the educational experiences of those select few who do.  In addition to being unfair, it is simply not sustainable. 
We are a damn fat and spoiled country, with a standard of living that remains the envy of the world.  What jumped out at me from that article was the obliviousness of those who attended the SoFi dinner, bemoaning the debt that funded their educations.  They carted home left-overs, with no mention of the struggles of those who cooked and served that meal.  The classes of people who grow, raise and drive trucks to deliver food along with all of those who clean up after those diners remain invisible.   
   


dogboyslim

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2018, 03:27:05 PM »
I'm more in favor of letting people bankrupt out of school debt.  This will make the banks underwrite them so people who shouldn't be going into debt and have no hope of paying back the loan won't get in over their heads.

kite

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #23 on: July 17, 2018, 03:31:31 PM »
I'm more in favor of letting people bankrupt out of school debt.  This will make the banks underwrite them so people who shouldn't be going into debt and have no hope of paying back the loan won't get in over their heads.

That makes it unsecured debt which carries an interest rate on par with a cash advance on your credit card.  It will make loans less affordable for everyone.  Everyone who thinks this is such a great idea should take a chunk of their own savings and loan it to some random 18 year old. 

ysette9

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2018, 03:37:42 PM »
We certainly are the envy of many countries, such as those trying to come here for a better life. There is a whole other cohort of countries who have a better living standard than we do though (“we” referring to the US; we are so US-centric around here). There are countries where you don’t need to plan and save two decades in advance to give your kids the education they need to be successful in our current knowledge economy. Countries where you can switch jobs and take breaks in your career and raise a family without worrying about losing health care. Speaking with friends in life and on these forums there are a lot out there who think our lack of a safety net is fairly barbaric. It is easy to not appreciate this when this is all we Americans have personally known. It doesn’t have to be this way though. There are better options.

ysette9

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2018, 03:39:57 PM »
I'm more in favor of letting people bankrupt out of school debt.  This will make the banks underwrite them so people who shouldn't be going into debt and have no hope of paying back the loan won't get in over their heads.

That makes it unsecured debt which carries an interest rate on par with a cash advance on your credit card.  It will make loans less affordable for everyone.  Everyone who thinks this is such a great idea should take a chunk of their own savings and loan it to some random 18 year old.
Maybe we shouldn’t be loaning out a bunch of money to 18 year olds. I think this just masked the true problem which is prices spiraling out of control.

FatCat

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #26 on: July 17, 2018, 03:51:40 PM »
How is it tacky to take home leftovers? I think it's tacky to leave a big plate of food behind to be thrown in the trash.

remizidae

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2018, 05:26:10 PM »
While I don't agree with the dramatic sob story of the past 10 years of not getting on top of paying the loans.... I do take issue with people saying to blame the students. Yes, I'm not faultless, but in the eyes of the law you are a minor when you start these choices. I was encouraged by all parties (parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and coaches) to go to college. I applied to colleges at 16.  I could not drive after 9pm. Drink alcohol. Buy cigarettes or even spray paint. The government outlawed all this for me as a 17 year old college student. Yet, at 17, I was able to sign for ~20k of loans for the first year of school. With every adult around me telling me it was the right thing to do. I was fortunate that I chose a STEM major. But I still ended up with 100k+ in loans that took 10 years to pay off.

Is that not backwards?!

Most college students are over 18, actually. Even more true with grad school loans. And, if we banned 18-year-olds from taking on loans, we'd just see their parents taking on more debt.

remizidae

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2018, 05:29:10 PM »
It's frustrating when people complain about their own finances without being willing to spill the details. The author says his loan payment is less than half of his friends $2300/month--so max of $1150. That's a lot. But he also says he's an editor at the NY Times. Per Google, even an assistant editor is making $100-110k. And he's living with a working significant other who presumably can help with the rent. But he still says he can't afford the loan payment.

So where is all his money going? We can only speculate. Give us the details please!

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2018, 06:46:41 PM »
It's frustrating when people complain about their own finances without being willing to spill the details. The author says his loan payment is less than half of his friends $2300/month--so max of $1150. That's a lot. But he also says he's an editor at the NY Times. Per Google, even an assistant editor is making $100-110k. And he's living with a working significant other who presumably can help with the rent. But he still says he can't afford the loan payment.

So where is all his money going? We can only speculate. Give us the details please!

In the article it says his debt is about 100k which is more than his annual salary.  Even if he's making 80k there are a lot of unanswered questions.  I'm having a hard time feeling bad for this whiner crybaby.

craiglepaige

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2018, 06:50:25 PM »
Whoa!
The author's family didn't make a single blunder by choosing too expensive a school....they made a series of them day-in and day-out for years.  By failing to plan, they planned to fail.  They planned it.   
His parents....around age 60......lost their home, HIS CHILDHOOD HOME....within 6 months of a job loss.  So, while he was in his early 20's, the home they purchased roughly two decades prior was gone because they had neither enough equity nor enough savings to sustain them.  He thinks their lives weren't extravagant because they always worried about paying bills.  And yet, they leased cars; took annual vacations from Detroit to places like Myrtle Beach or Miami.  They had (and still have!) HBO.   And while his education and skills as a writer enable him to craft an eloquent argument for why student loan debt should be dis-chargeable in bankruptcy, he actually doesn't get it.  He does not grasp all that will go wrong with such a scheme, because they did not grasp what was an entirely predictable outcome from the way they lived their lives.  They lived beyond their means right up until today, apparently.  How do you arrive within sight of retirement age with no savings?  How do you spend decades in a home without paying if off in full?  These are rhetorical  -- clearly the way to do that is the death by a thousand cuts and the small little leaks that sink a financial ship. 
What kind of bubble did they live in all those years?  Did they never know anyone who was laid off or down-sized out of a job in late middle-age?  Did his boomer parents completely reject the thrift and savings habit of their own parent's generation?
I'm not a complete curmudgeon.  I like the idea of a free or very low cost higher education. It turns out we already have that exact thing:  Community College.  It is cheap enough if you are middle class.  And it works out to be free if you are poor.  There are Pell Grants, Federally Subsidized Student loans, the GI bill and merit based scholarships.  If the cost of a seat in a particular school exceeds the available funds, families just need to say no.  It's irresponsible and unfair for those who don't get to go to a fancy school to further fund the educational experiences of those select few who do.  In addition to being unfair, it is simply not sustainable. 
We are a damn fat and spoiled country, with a standard of living that remains the envy of the world.  What jumped out at me from that article was the obliviousness of those who attended the SoFi dinner, bemoaning the debt that funded their educations.  They carted home left-overs, with no mention of the struggles of those who cooked and served that meal.  The classes of people who grow, raise and drive trucks to deliver food along with all of those who clean up after those diners remain invisible.   
 

Well said.
Thanks!

tralfamadorian

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2018, 07:17:03 PM »
As others have mentioned, I don't think it's fair to blame legal minors for making life-changing financial decisions where practically everyone is telling them it's the right thing to do. For someone entering college right now, the narrative has changed somewhat and finances are discussed.

But 10 years ago? No one was talking about this because the vast majority of Americans were unaware of the boon that had been handed to the private lending industry in 2005 that made all private schooling debt non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. This change right here is the root of the problem and undoing it will, imo, in time will solve it.

Prior to 2005, lenders had to weigh the risk of default when making loans. After the 2005 amendment was passed, they have been virtually guaranteed payback except in cases of death or other removal of the debtor from the employment pool. Now 100% of the cost calculation has been passed to the student and often parents. Most Americans don't know that Puerto Rico is an American territory or can find France on a globe. It's a joke to expect them to be able to do the financial calculus to determine opportunity costs and payoff periods for six figure debt.

Roll back the legislation. Some people will declare bankruptcy and default. The lending institutions that have been making money hand over fist during the last 10+ years will have to adapt or go under. Students will not longer be able to borrow an unreasonable volume of funds. Schools will have to adjust tuition to keep their seats full and cut some of fat from their administrative payrolls. 

briesas

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2018, 08:10:12 PM »
I got an English degree in NYC at around the same time as the author. The difference? I went to CUNY. cost me $1600 per semester for tuition, full time, of which about half was covered by Pell Grants. The I went to grad school and did rack up some loan debt - but I was able to pay it off since my degree was in a practical field (librarianship) though not necessarily high paying (though I’ve ended up making more than most in my field by virtue of being able/willing to administrate and also, ultimately, to do ‘unsexy’ but enjoyable work managing contracts)


Also, great point @kite
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 08:16:58 PM by briesas »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2018, 08:24:19 PM »
He's an editor at the NY Times Style Magazine, not the NY Times. I can't imagine the pay scale is the same.

But yeah, lots of whining, very little indication he's actually attempted to do anything about his situation.

Hargrove

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2018, 09:07:33 PM »
Quote
That makes it unsecured debt which carries an interest rate on par with a cash advance on your credit card.  It will make loans less affordable for everyone.  Everyone who thinks this is such a great idea should take a chunk of their own savings and loan it to some random 18 year old.

If you are willing to acknowledge it's silly to loan "chunks of money" to "random 18 year olds," then it sure doesn't make it a good idea just because we can establish guaranty for the money on the "random" kid's hide.

As for the editor, he is doing ok for the position if he hit 45-60k, and it drops hard if he leaves the area.

I was going to respond to several things, but then I kept finding ysette9's posts, which covered almost everything.

I don't understand the interest argument... if rates come from Dept. of Ed, rates go where the Dept puts them, no? Of course, make bankrupty wipe student loans from Dept. of Ed and you have a funding problem requiring immediate attention. Make bankruptcy wipe private loans and you have an interest problem requiring immediate attention. Make bankruptcy leave student loans intact, and you have a "poison the educated of the next generation against the social compact" problem requiring immediate attention. It seems we should all be able to agree SOMETHING, RIGHT NOW, requires immediate attention, no?

How is it exclusively the 17-year-old's fault for irrationally chasing "gobs of money as long as you go to college - else you pump gas, kids!" nonsense that the adult leadership kept telling them, and it's not maybe slightly more the adults in leadership roles who dropped the ball?

Naive 17-year-olds make bad choices. (say they deserve badness, if you must)
17-year-olds left in the worst possible position to inherit the society (badness as needed)
They're angry about it (you turn a deaf ear if you want)
They inherit it anyway (this you can't prevent)
They turn 18, 19, 20, 21, start voting, running for office... (you also can't prevent this)
"DAMN KIDS! I ignore their complaints for years because they deserve everything they get, and they mobilize against me and my vision of society? How dare they! Things were better in this other period I prefer to remember! Also music stopped being good at whatever year I turned 20!"

We should do better than this, and we're going to have to, or we can all just be grumpy when it's our turn, I guess. How about instead of caring because it's fuzzy and nice, maybe we care a little because it makes for a much better society? It's, you know, way more functional?

LennStar

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2018, 11:03:26 AM »
We certainly are the envy of many countries, such as those trying to come here for a better life. There is a whole other cohort of countries who have a better living standard than we do though (“we” referring to the US; we are so US-centric around here). There are countries where you don’t need to plan and save two decades in advance to give your kids the education they need to be successful in our current knowledge economy. Countries where you can switch jobs and take breaks in your career and raise a family without worrying about losing health care. Speaking with friends in life and on these forums there are a lot out there who think our lack of a safety net is fairly barbaric. It is easy to not appreciate this when this is all we Americans have personally known. It doesn’t have to be this way though. There are better options.

Yeah, those freaking commis with the taxes so high that it is impossible to live!

On a more serious answer, why the hell is university so expensive in the US, when the average German university is (nearly) free, you can get extremely cheap loans for your living if your parents are poor (no interest in first years, and if you manage to pay back after a few years in a lump sum, you may only need to pay back 30%) and at the same time the quality is often near the lower "Ivy league" level?


LiveLean

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2018, 11:17:38 AM »
1. Go to an in-state college. I'll take Michigan or Michigan State over NYU, anyway -- as this dude should have. That $50K a year thus would have been $15K tops by 2008ish numbers, less if he lived at home.

2. Don't major in English. Want to write? Great. Major in business, computer science, or engineering and exercise your creativity at the student media outlets. You can still pursue media jobs, such as they are, but you'll have a back-up plan.

3. Don't ever move to NYC for college unless it comes with a free academic ride -- and a couch in some relative's apartment.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2018, 11:21:33 AM »
We certainly are the envy of many countries, such as those trying to come here for a better life. There is a whole other cohort of countries who have a better living standard than we do though (“we” referring to the US; we are so US-centric around here). There are countries where you don’t need to plan and save two decades in advance to give your kids the education they need to be successful in our current knowledge economy. Countries where you can switch jobs and take breaks in your career and raise a family without worrying about losing health care. Speaking with friends in life and on these forums there are a lot out there who think our lack of a safety net is fairly barbaric. It is easy to not appreciate this when this is all we Americans have personally known. It doesn’t have to be this way though. There are better options.

Yeah, those freaking commis with the taxes so high that it is impossible to live!

On a more serious answer, why the hell is university so expensive in the US, when the average German university is (nearly) free, you can get extremely cheap loans for your living if your parents are poor (no interest in first years, and if you manage to pay back after a few years in a lump sum, you may only need to pay back 30%) and at the same time the quality is often near the lower "Ivy league" level?
The thing you have to understand is that nobody who knows what they're doing gets into that much debt. Getting a good university education in the US is extremely progressive in the sense that only the wealthiest (or the uninformed) pay sticker price. It's a very progressive, but very complicated system of grants, scholarships, financial aid, and it has its share of problems, but the reality is that most Americans pay nowhere near sticker price for college. Financial aid is pretty generous at good schools. In Germany if your parents make 70k you are considered well-off. In the US you're squarely in the middle class and nobody will qualify for all sorts of stuff if you get the grades.

Add to that the fact that professional salaries in the US are 2-3 times what they are in Germany. Who gives a shit if you incur 100k of debt (again, most people don't!) for an education if it leads to over a million more in career earnings? That's like, the definition of a successful investment.

American students get in trouble when they fall outside of these established rules. Either they go to a bad school that's happy to take their money, or their family doesn't contribute as much as they're expected to, or they fail to finish. Nobody will stop them from fucking up.


Dabnasty

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2018, 11:56:33 AM »
We certainly are the envy of many countries, such as those trying to come here for a better life. There is a whole other cohort of countries who have a better living standard than we do though (“we” referring to the US; we are so US-centric around here). There are countries where you don’t need to plan and save two decades in advance to give your kids the education they need to be successful in our current knowledge economy. Countries where you can switch jobs and take breaks in your career and raise a family without worrying about losing health care. Speaking with friends in life and on these forums there are a lot out there who think our lack of a safety net is fairly barbaric. It is easy to not appreciate this when this is all we Americans have personally known. It doesn’t have to be this way though. There are better options.

Yeah, those freaking commis with the taxes so high that it is impossible to live!

On a more serious answer, why the hell is university so expensive in the US, when the average German university is (nearly) free, you can get extremely cheap loans for your living if your parents are poor (no interest in first years, and if you manage to pay back after a few years in a lump sum, you may only need to pay back 30%) and at the same time the quality is often near the lower "Ivy league" level?

The whole German system is different. Students are directed towards a career path earlier and trade schools aren't viewed as second best to university. I think the ability to cover tuition is related to the fact that only students who really belong at university go to university and those who want to pursue a trade go to trade schools and get apprenticeships. Industry groups often pay the cost of trade schools to ensure well educated employees.

It's a system that I think is much better than what we have in the US but I'll admit I don't know what steps to take to move us toward that model. It works because it's well established both institutionally and within society. Also I'm not that familiar with it. I'm sure there are important aspects of how it works that I don't know about if anyone else has anything to add.

One potential drawback of the German model is a lack of ability to change course. I wonder how many reach their early 20's and realize they want to do something other than be a mechanic (or whatever they've trained to be) but feel locked in for life.

mm1970

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #39 on: July 18, 2018, 01:13:34 PM »
Whoa!
The author's family didn't make a single blunder by choosing too expensive a school....they made a series of them day-in and day-out for years.  By failing to plan, they planned to fail.  They planned it.   
His parents....around age 60......lost their home, HIS CHILDHOOD HOME....within 6 months of a job loss.  So, while he was in his early 20's, the home they purchased roughly two decades prior was gone because they had neither enough equity nor enough savings to sustain them.  He thinks their lives weren't extravagant because they always worried about paying bills.  And yet, they leased cars; took annual vacations from Detroit to places like Myrtle Beach or Miami.  They had (and still have!) HBO.   And while his education and skills as a writer enable him to craft an eloquent argument for why student loan debt should be dis-chargeable in bankruptcy, he actually doesn't get it.  He does not grasp all that will go wrong with such a scheme, because they did not grasp what was an entirely predictable outcome from the way they lived their lives.  They lived beyond their means right up until today, apparently.  How do you arrive within sight of retirement age with no savings?  How do you spend decades in a home without paying if off in full?  These are rhetorical  -- clearly the way to do that is the death by a thousand cuts and the small little leaks that sink a financial ship. 
What kind of bubble did they live in all those years?  Did they never know anyone who was laid off or down-sized out of a job in late middle-age?  Did his boomer parents completely reject the thrift and savings habit of their own parent's generation?
I'm not a complete curmudgeon.  I like the idea of a free or very low cost higher education. It turns out we already have that exact thing:  Community College.  It is cheap enough if you are middle class.  And it works out to be free if you are poor.  There are Pell Grants, Federally Subsidized Student loans, the GI bill and merit based scholarships.  If the cost of a seat in a particular school exceeds the available funds, families just need to say no.  It's irresponsible and unfair for those who don't get to go to a fancy school to further fund the educational experiences of those select few who do.  In addition to being unfair, it is simply not sustainable. 
We are a damn fat and spoiled country, with a standard of living that remains the envy of the world.  What jumped out at me from that article was the obliviousness of those who attended the SoFi dinner, bemoaning the debt that funded their educations.  They carted home left-overs, with no mention of the struggles of those who cooked and served that meal.  The classes of people who grow, raise and drive trucks to deliver food along with all of those who clean up after those diners remain invisible.   
 

From the article:
Quote
Like many well-meaning but misguided baby boomers, neither of my parents received an elite education but they nevertheless believed that an expensive school was not a materialistic waste of money; it was the key to a better life than the one they had.

So I'm going to go with no, they didn't know.  This group of recent graduates, over the last few years - I think they are the first, really, to grow up in middle class families that climbed to the middle class.  Their parents pushed education as the key, but note the PARENTS had never navigated that themselves.  And so, no - they didn't really see what could happen to others - job loss, losing a home - because it had never happened to them.

Conversely, I fall in the middle of these groups as an X-er.  I grew up poor.  My parents grew up poor.  We maybe barely made it into the middle class for a few years. So MY family grew up seeing people lose their jobs and not be able to get a new one (poor, rural area).  My dad was raised during the depression.  The way that people who have only experienced the middle class act can be very different because the expectations are different.

You only need to read a book like "Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century" to read about many folks who lost everything in 2008, as they were nearing retirement and hence, almost certainly unemployable when there were few jobs to be had.

People make mistakes, for sure, but I find it fascinating the number of people who feel like it could "never" happen to them.  They are always looking for this and that, whether it be financial, health related, a child's accidental drowning - if you convince yourself that it could never happen to you because of X, Y, Z, then it's much easier to think that people are stupid and got what they deserved.

The fact of the matter is, the answer is in the middle.  Yes, people do dumb things.  But the system certainly takes advantage of that.

dcheesi

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2018, 01:21:41 PM »
We certainly are the envy of many countries, such as those trying to come here for a better life. There is a whole other cohort of countries who have a better living standard than we do though (“we” referring to the US; we are so US-centric around here). There are countries where you don’t need to plan and save two decades in advance to give your kids the education they need to be successful in our current knowledge economy. Countries where you can switch jobs and take breaks in your career and raise a family without worrying about losing health care. Speaking with friends in life and on these forums there are a lot out there who think our lack of a safety net is fairly barbaric. It is easy to not appreciate this when this is all we Americans have personally known. It doesn’t have to be this way though. There are better options.

Yeah, those freaking commis with the taxes so high that it is impossible to live!

On a more serious answer, why the hell is university so expensive in the US, when the average German university is (nearly) free, you can get extremely cheap loans for your living if your parents are poor (no interest in first years, and if you manage to pay back after a few years in a lump sum, you may only need to pay back 30%) and at the same time the quality is often near the lower "Ivy league" level?

The whole German system is different. Students are directed towards a career path earlier and trade schools aren't viewed as second best to university. I think the ability to cover tuition is related to the fact that only students who really belong at university go to university and those who want to pursue a trade go to trade schools and get apprenticeships. Industry groups often pay the cost of trade schools to ensure well educated employees.

It's a system that I think is much better than what we have in the US but I'll admit I don't know what steps to take to move us toward that model. It works because it's well established both institutionally and within society. Also I'm not that familiar with it. I'm sure there are important aspects of how it works that I don't know about if anyone else has anything to add.

One potential drawback of the German model is a lack of ability to change course. I wonder how many reach their early 20's and realize they want to do something other than be a mechanic (or whatever they've trained to be) but feel locked in for life.
Isn't some of that "direction" based on test scores? If so, some folks might feel like they never had a choice, even early on.

kite

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #41 on: July 18, 2018, 05:00:33 PM »
Quote from: mm1970

From the article:
Quote
Like many well-meaning but misguided baby boomers, neither of my parents received an elite education but they nevertheless believed that an expensive school was not a materialistic waste of money; it was the key to a better life than the one they had.

So I'm going to go with no, they didn't know.  This group of recent graduates, over the last few years - I think they are the first, really, to grow up in middle class families that climbed to the middle class.  Their parents pushed education as the key, but note the PARENTS had never navigated that themselves.  And so, no - they didn't really see what could happen to others - job loss, losing a home - because it had never happened to them.

Conversely, I fall in the middle of these groups as an X-er.  I grew up poor.  My parents grew up poor.  We maybe barely made it into the middle class for a few years. So MY family grew up seeing people lose their jobs and not be able to get a new one (poor, rural area).  My dad was raised during the depression.  The way that people who have only experienced the middle class act can be very different because the expectations are different.

You only need to read a book like "Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century" to read about many folks who lost everything in 2008, as they were nearing retirement and hence, almost certainly unemployable when there were few jobs to be had.

People make mistakes, for sure, but I find it fascinating the number of people who feel like it could "never" happen to them.  They are always looking for this and that, whether it be financial, health related, a child's accidental drowning - if you convince yourself that it could never happen to you because of X, Y, Z, then it's much easier to think that people are stupid and got what they deserved.

The fact of the matter is, the answer is in the middle.  Yes, people do dumb things.  But the system certainly takes advantage of that.

I'm most certainly not in the camp who think it can't happen to me, or that the author and his family are getting what they deserve. 
For starters, it did happen to me.  I lost my job in 2008 and was out of work for 13 months.  I got a short term thing that lasted 5 months and was out again for another three months.  It happens everywhere and in every generation.  You have to be willfully ignorant to think otherwise.
To the other point, it's not that deserve punishment for a series of stupid choices.  Nobody deserves anything, least of all a free ticket to a pricey school.  There simply aren't enough to go around. 
I'm only bothered by the author's seeming belief that he should not be struggling.  What makes him so special that he should have an ever expanding standard of living?  He grew up near Detroit.  Detroit, for fucks sake.  How the hell did they not know from real struggle. Did they never see Roger & Me?  Never read a local paper? What do they think should be done for the hundreds of thousands still in Detroit.?  And why should we bail out an bunch of young adults with elite educations while the water in Detroit is still a fucking emergency. 
He's already got it good.  And his folks still got HBO. 

Warlord1986

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2018, 07:28:12 AM »

Getting super critical about take out food is BS.  When you're that far in the hole debt wise a little extra money spent doesn't hurt anymore than it helps.  It's a form of despair and it's wrong, yeah.  But it's totally understandable.  And ultimately, I don't think I've ever heard of anyone who drowned in debt that large where, when the after action review was done, forensic accountants concluded "she'd have made it if she'd just cut back on fucking avocado toast."

You must be new here.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/08/01/a-millionaire-is-made-ten-bucks-at-a-time/

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/03/19/a-lifetime-of-riches-is-it-as-simple-as-a-few-habits/

Just Joe

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2018, 09:30:19 AM »
He needs to seriously assess his career options in NYC. Maybe he can make the most money there but also, maybe he is spending far more to live there than it is worth.

My impression of NYC was folks make a little more than my part of the country but spent far more to live there. DW and I have friends there that we visit with from time to time.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 03:03:58 PM by Just Joe »

exterous

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #44 on: July 19, 2018, 10:42:57 AM »
So I have a hard time feeling much sympathy for the author despite a similar story. I lived in some very poor areas which might even be the same as the author's although I stayed in the Detroit area. The degree I got topped Georgetown's Center for Educations degree report for highest unemployment rate for a major degree and stayed there for around a decade after I graduated (Architecture in the 10-18% range). I lost my job in the 2008 recession as the company went bankrupt. My father lost his job* and my mother had been out of the workforce for a few years at that point.

But there are some significant differences. I didn't go to an out of state school. I actually went to an even cheaper in-state school for 2 years then transferred to a more recognizable but more expensive in-state school. When I found out how terrible the job market was for my degree I switched to IT and mostly taught myself over the years. For years I was behind in my career compared to people who went to school for it. This meant I dealt with being a Help Desk monkey for longer. But I also worked a two jobs for a while to pay down my loans. 'Following my passion' was less important than finding something I was ok doing that paid the bills.

*Also his parents losing their jobs should have been a huge windfall for his education. All of a sudden your parents' support drops to $0 on the FAFSA form and you can get all kinds of financial aid. I "lucked out" on a very cheap year of education because of this. I would be surprised if the available financial help from both of them losing their jobs wasn't significantly more than they would have contributed towards the education.

So I know some of this is personal bias rooted in "My situation was tough and I managed it" but I also know not everyone has the same predispositions so its a bit hard for me to find the middle ground. I do think many of these are still outliers. The median student loans for a 4 year degree is $25k and its $45k for a post graduate degree so if you're in the $100k and above range and not a lawyer or doctor you're doing something wrong. Yes college costs are going up faster than they should. Yes too many parents, schools and cultural aspects push college. But I see a lot of complaining about high student loan debt from people managing to run up totals far in excess of what most people have.

dogboyslim

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #45 on: July 19, 2018, 10:48:42 AM »
I'm more in favor of letting people bankrupt out of school debt.  This will make the banks underwrite them so people who shouldn't be going into debt and have no hope of paying back the loan won't get in over their heads.

That makes it unsecured debt which carries an interest rate on par with a cash advance on your credit card.  It will make loans less affordable for everyone.  Everyone who thinks this is such a great idea should take a chunk of their own savings and loan it to some random 18 year old.

"Free" low interest money for everyone has not done higher education any favors.  More dollars are spent, but not in furtherance of education, but in additional luxury.  Larger dorms, air conditioning, apple laptops, more extra programs unrelated to academics, better perks.  Professor salaries certainly haven't gone up nearly the same degree as college costs, so they aren't the problem.  The government said "HERE! Let me give you a bunch of money to go to school.  SCHOOL FOR EVERYONE!!!!  A noble pursuit.  The problem is that college isn't for everyone, but the funding source for colleges increased dramatically.  Kids got the raw end of this deal because they bought into the fiction of go to college and get a good job.  The went to college and barely got by on art history degrees and came out of school surprised that businesses weren't throwing money at them.  Then the get that lovely letter in the mail saying "Congratulations!  Now pay us back!" 

The root of this problem from my perspective is that money is being spent sending people to college who would be better off in trades or other professional endeavors that don't need college, and the societal perception that somehow an accountant is better than a plumber.  Cut off the ridiculous funding source, let banks properly underwrite school loans (I'm confident this can be done) and let them be discharged in bankruptcy.  It won't solve the problem, but it will force us to address the real problem.  At least from my perspective, the problem is NOT "too few people go to college."  The problem IMO is "some people who want to go to college, who are very well prepared for college, understand what college will do to further their lives, and will likely succeed in whatever they do cannot get funding to go." That, and people who have no clue what they want to do but know that "go to college" is the next thing on the checklist toward a great life, and that the great job will be handed to them right when they graduate. 

The art history masters guy is a cashier at my local grocer.  He was expecting a 100k+ job after he got his masters degree, but found that a B average from a private college no one has heard of doesn't have any options other than being a professor of Art History at a different private college no one has heard of, stepping into an unrelated role and leveraging his general knowledge at a low pay entry level career job, or just give up and work at the local piggly wiggly and wait for the job they deserve to materialize.

Sorry...I guess that was a rant.

Spiffy

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #46 on: July 19, 2018, 07:46:11 PM »

The art history masters guy is a cashier at my local grocer.  He was expecting a 100k+ job after he got his masters degree, but found that a B average from a private college no one has heard of doesn't have any options other than being a professor of Art History at a different private college no one has heard of, stepping into an unrelated role and leveraging his general knowledge at a low pay entry level career job, or just give up and work at the local piggly wiggly and wait for the job they deserve to materialize.

Sorry...I guess that was a rant.
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But he doesn't even have that option. Being a Professor requires a PhD, not just a Masters. And there are already too many PhD looking for too few jobs. We keep producing more and more, so the competition is fierce even for jobs that don't pay well. My husband has an Ivy League PhD and for a few years I was disappointed that he didn't get a tenure track position. He is a Senior lecturer. I have lately realized that he is one of the lucky ones. Friends of ours with PhDs from the best schools for their field are eeking out a living teaching at home school coops, tutoring, adjuncting, etc. They should give up the academic dream, but it so hard to let go after so much work.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2018, 07:53:21 PM by Spiffy »

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #47 on: July 19, 2018, 09:31:48 PM »
Free market solves all problems.

LennStar

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #48 on: July 20, 2018, 03:42:36 AM »
Free market solves all problems.
That it certainly does. Unfortunately often not with a result that most people would consider fair or moral. Or you could say, it is inherently in the free market logic to not do this, because fairness and morals have a price, while externalizing costs (e.g. health) makes a profit.

Cool Friend

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Re: Student loan debt article
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2018, 08:23:51 AM »
While taking on debt to get an art degree seems like an obviously boneheaded move, consider the following things using myself as an example:

1. Not everyone has the aptitude to pursue a STEM degree. I was very interested in science from a very young age, but unfortunately I was terrible at it and barely got by in public school.  There was no way I was going to be accepted into a STEM program, let alone compete with people who are actually good at it.

2. The cultural wisdom, at least 15 years ago, was that having any degree would be a worthwhile investment that would absolutely pay off long term.  I remember a lot of graphs explaining how a college degree in any subject/industry would net bigger earnings over a lifetime.

At least where I grew up, it was pounded in our head from the moment we entered high school that getting a degree was absolutely paramount if you didn't want to work in a gas station for the rest of your life.  Trade schools were not even discussed as an option.  Shop classes in high school were populated by the school bullies and not where you wanted to spend your time unless you wanted the shit kicked out of you.  When you're a teenager whose strengths are in writing and art and other "soft" disciplines, and every ostensibly wise adult tells you that you need a degree to get anywhere in life, then that's what you go to school for.

I had arguments with teachers and parents alike where I suggested that it seemed like a bad move to take out tens of thousands of dollars (at a state school!) to study the arts when the other piece of popular wisdom seemed to be that art jobs don't pay well.  I should have gone to trade school or even just bartended for a few years so that I would be eligible for grants and non-loan-based financial aid instead of jumping into it immediately (I was told "if you don't go now, it's much harder to go later," which ended up being the total opposite of the truth).  My gut was telling me that it was a bad move, but All Of Society was telling me it was a good one.  It's easy to underestimate the power of social conditioning, especially when you are a teen.  Going with the status quo is hardwired into our brains.  But I still blame myself for not trusting my gut.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 08:25:45 AM by Cool Friend »