Author Topic: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)  (Read 8119 times)

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2717
  • Location: South Korea
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #50 on: August 27, 2019, 06:49:10 PM »
In which case it can't be blamed on the universities, but rather represents a collective failure of the students, their parents, their peers, their teachers, etc.

If you're 18 and you're privileged enough to go to university, you need to take some responsibility for signing on the dotted line.

Need some context. What privilege are you referring to? 

I'll expand on my previous comment to you.  There are many universities in the US. Countless.  Some of them require a broad and deep resume of high-mark academics, extra-curricular work, letters of recommendation from civic leaders, essays explaining why you're the ideal candidate, and maxed-out standardized test scores.  Other universities simply require average or slightly higher than average academics.  The former may offer a full scholarship paying all expenses, while the latter offers assistance in the form of grants or government-backed loans. 

Society and the business world have been beating into our youth the requirement of a four-year degree.  There are far more requirements in the job market for a four-year degree than there are teenagers who can afford to attain those degrees out of pocket.  The universities increase tuition far in excess of inflation.  There is no limit to the supply of banks and state/federal government programs offering loans to fulfill this demand.  There are no checks, filters, or tests anywhere in the system to determine if the loans paying for the degree program will lead to a career commensurate with the debt incurred.  If wages don't rise at the same rate as tuition, then the loans take up an increasing amount of income.  Most public school students receive only a cursory education on the financial obligations and impacts of accepting such a loan.  The concept of "return on investment" is something they'll read for the first time on a financial blog a decade later.  The banks issuing the loans aren't concerned about ROI either since the loans can't be discharged in bankruptcy and many are insured by the governemnt.

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 939
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #51 on: August 27, 2019, 07:03:43 PM »
Just because people don't know everything they need to doesn't mean taking advantage of them is any more ethical or acceptable.

Blaming people for being caught in a trap is fairly heartless and excuses those who create and set them, often profiting off the length and interest of those loans.

WhiteTrashCash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #52 on: August 27, 2019, 07:12:58 PM »
Reality is that people are adults when they turn 18 and are legally responsible for themselves.
Well, even in the United States you really haven't reached the legal age of majority in all states until you are 21. Plus, that's the federal drinking age so... you are mostly a legal adult at 18 and are really a legal adult at 21.

Parents are no longer legally required to financially provide for their offspring at the age of 18 and that's the legal age to vote. Drinking and renting a car are privileges that have nothing to do with the legal definition of adulthood. Just because someone behaves in a voluntarily immature way, it doesn't mean that they are still children.

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2717
  • Location: South Korea
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #53 on: August 27, 2019, 07:18:04 PM »

If they take out $150,000 in student loans and they don't end up as a doctor, then they are just stupid and there is no helping that.

In retirement I want to spend some time in a high school guidance counselor office just so I can tell them this.  Right now the mantra is "get a degree at all costs."  I won't call somebody stupid for doing what everybody that student considers an authority figure is telling them to do.  Carving 30 minutes out of the mandatory macroeconomics class we all get would solve so many of these problems.

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2275
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #54 on: August 27, 2019, 07:19:16 PM »
In which case it can't be blamed on the universities, but rather represents a collective failure of the students, their parents, their peers, their teachers, etc.

If you're 18 and you're privileged enough to go to university, you need to take some responsibility for signing on the dotted line.

I said nothing about blaming universities. I was simply refuting your statement

I think if you are smart enough to get into university you ought to be smart enough to do a cost/benefit evaluation regarding student loans.

I don't think one logically follows the other and I explained why. Do you stand by this claim?

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 939
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #55 on: August 27, 2019, 07:26:27 PM »

If they take out $150,000 in student loans and they don't end up as a doctor, then they are just stupid and there is no helping that.

In retirement I want to spend some time in a high school guidance counselor office just so I can tell them this.  Right now the mantra is "get a degree at all costs."  I won't call somebody stupid for doing what everybody that student considers an authority figure is telling them to do.  Carving 30 minutes out of the mandatory macroeconomics class we all get would solve so many of these problems.

Having worked in schools for close to a decade the notion that 'kids just need ME to inject some reality' is really arrogant and unwise.

Plenty of people in kids' lives give them good advice, that doesn't mean they're listening, or that the advice gets through. To a certain extent you've got to live a little to learn a lot.

In this particular case most debt appears moderate, it's the stagnation of wages, the increases in text books, the added costs of going to school being spread over a longer period with less disposable income that makes a bigger problem.

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2717
  • Location: South Korea
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #56 on: August 27, 2019, 07:44:00 PM »

If they take out $150,000 in student loans and they don't end up as a doctor, then they are just stupid and there is no helping that.

In retirement I want to spend some time in a high school guidance counselor office just so I can tell them this.  Right now the mantra is "get a degree at all costs."  I won't call somebody stupid for doing what everybody that student considers an authority figure is telling them to do.  Carving 30 minutes out of the mandatory macroeconomics class we all get would solve so many of these problems.

Having worked in schools for close to a decade the notion that 'kids just need ME to inject some reality' is really arrogant and unwise.

Plenty of people in kids' lives give them good advice, that doesn't mean they're listening, or that the advice gets through. To a certain extent you've got to live a little to learn a lot.

In this particular case most debt appears moderate, it's the stagnation of wages, the increases in text books, the added costs of going to school being spread over a longer period with less disposable income that makes a bigger problem.

Maybe it's my anecdotal experience with public school, but the teachers who could/should have imparted these lessons didn't say a word.  They just stuck to the script which didn't include these matters as part of the curriculum.  My guidance counselor was just there for the paycheck.  Talking to students was the last thing on her mind.  In my hometown the same people are still running the show.  To the comment of yours I bolded, we're discussing an expensive lesson to learn the hard way.  I'd love to be wrong and schools are making an effort to educate students on ROI and alternatives to college/loans, but I just haven't seen it. Maybe it is arrogant to think I can help, but if I can impart some wisdom on an impressionable teenager I think it's worth a try.

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 939
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #57 on: August 27, 2019, 08:57:12 PM »
Perhaps.

I also think that there are definitely teachers who do teach those things but the lessons don't sink in. For example, it's always popular to blame schools for not teaching kids to file taxes, but we do, it's just a really boring thing for most teenagers so it doesn't really sink in. That and, in Australia at least, the system is so simple if you're basically literate you can navigate your income tax legally (though not necessarily optimally), so it's not the sort of thing we're spending a week or two on.

Teenagers are impressionable, that's for sure, but a classroom environment isn't always the best place to have an impactful, specific change.

WhiteTrashCash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #58 on: August 27, 2019, 09:51:41 PM »
Perhaps.

I also think that there are definitely teachers who do teach those things but the lessons don't sink in. For example, it's always popular to blame schools for not teaching kids to file taxes, but we do, it's just a really boring thing for most teenagers so it doesn't really sink in. That and, in Australia at least, the system is so simple if you're basically literate you can navigate your income tax legally (though not necessarily optimally), so it's not the sort of thing we're spending a week or two on.

Teenagers are impressionable, that's for sure, but a classroom environment isn't always the best place to have an impactful, specific change.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that people who blame teachers for kids not knowing things have very little experience dealing with children. Teenagers are much more interested in Fortnite and sportsball (and YouTuber influencers) than in learning about personal finance and other life skills. Our local high school has mandatory classes in all that stuff for high school students and they still claim they were never taught any of it. They were taught these skills, but they chose not to pay attention or take it seriously.

Bloop Bloop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1318
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #59 on: August 27, 2019, 10:34:32 PM »
In which case it can't be blamed on the universities, but rather represents a collective failure of the students, their parents, their peers, their teachers, etc.

If you're 18 and you're privileged enough to go to university, you need to take some responsibility for signing on the dotted line.

I said nothing about blaming universities. I was simply refuting your statement

I think if you are smart enough to get into university you ought to be smart enough to do a cost/benefit evaluation regarding student loans.

I don't think one logically follows the other and I explained why. Do you stand by this claim?

Yeah, I stand by the claim. Sure, there might be a few outlier cases of people with 90 IQs getting into Podunk Community College or something. But then I suspect they wouldn't be racking up $150k in student loan debt either. That's not how the market works. According to this article, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/12/tuition-at-community-colleges-is-3660-a-year-on-average.html

The average tuition fee at a CC is $3-4k per year. Even if we double that, it's hardly at a crushing level. You could go there for one semester, find out that it's not for you/your career, and then withdraw with a few thousand in debt. Which is about how much the average person has revolving on their credit card anyway.

Student loan debt is only going to be crushing if you go to an institution of some repute. And if you have the means to do that, you also have the means to take a hard look at yourself at some point along the process and evaluate the cost/benefit of the situation. At some stage in life you have to accept personal responsibility for your academic choices.

The other thing is, certainly in my country and I suspect in the U.S. too, there are ways to get your semester fees partly or totally refunded (whether or not you withdraw from the subjects in time) due to genuine hardship, unexpected illness, etc. There are always ways around it. Sure, you need to understand how the system works, but that applies to all areas of life: the smart get ahead. And university is for the smart.

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 939
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #60 on: August 27, 2019, 11:01:04 PM »
Bloop bloop expects a lot of 17 year olds!

Teenagers, developmentally, are defined in part by a lack of perspective, or a growing perspective (depending on how harsh one wants to be). It's certainly a bold claim to suggest that someone who is able to follow instructions, jump through hoops, get buoyed along by their dreams and the naivety should also be able to work out exactly what's going on. University is usually the 2nd system a teenager is exposed to, after the grading/examinations in their final year, so many are very confused and don't have a good picture of what the different branches of a University are and what's available. Combine that complexity, the lack of experience with organisations and a limited perspective and that's not a great recipe for self awareness.

More generally, I find there's a bit of a problem with some of your arguments: people are so easily sold snake oil on social media/so easily influenced (as you've argued in another thread) but they should also be aware and insightful enough to see the future and how it will play out for them? If people are rubes then blaming them is condescending and unhelpful. If people are smart then perhaps we should listen to them.

I'm not sure how to reconcile that, especially for people who - in our country - largely 17 when applying for University, and often younger when hearing and deciding about the options.

I'm not a huge fan of how the system works - in terms of finishing school and moving on to post school options - but it needs to be remembered that very, very few 18 year olds are ready to be independent and NONE have as much power as the workplaces that demand degrees, the court rulings that increase the necessity of training, the University boards that choose numbers, the government regulations that set fees, loans, conditions and student enrollment conditions or the feeling that more school is ok because school is a known known.

Bloop Bloop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1318
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #61 on: August 28, 2019, 12:40:21 AM »
I expect a lot of people, full stop. And I know not everyone is going to hit those expectations, and for those who don't, they're gonna have to suffer the consequences.

Teenagers lack insight, yes. But we let them drive. We let them select university courses. If they want to do that, they're going to have to deal with the consequences. As I said, it's not like you incur a $150k debt immediately after starting your first week of university.

Some people are easily influenced. They unfortunately are going to live a bad life of unexamined spending. Some people are poor at planning. Some of them (although I suspect not many of them) will end up racking up a 6 figure debt. Despite all that, that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with "the system". It means only that they have to face responsibility for their own actions.

Particularly when it comes to college/university entrants, who purport to have academic ability, I have very little patience for self-pitying arguments to the contrary.

Wrenchturner

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 878
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Canada
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #62 on: August 28, 2019, 06:10:41 AM »
I went to an average high school in a small city, and even then it was well known that student loans were a risk-reward proposition.  I graduated 06 and went to a community college for a two year music diploma for this reason. 

However, if you aren't risk averse enough, and perhaps your parents are fond of debt, you might not proceed sensibly.

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #63 on: August 28, 2019, 07:10:57 AM »
Bloop bloop expects a lot of 17 year olds!

Teenagers, developmentally, are defined in part by a lack of perspective, or a growing perspective (depending on how harsh one wants to be). It's certainly a bold claim to suggest that someone who is able to follow instructions, jump through hoops, get buoyed along by their dreams and the naivety should also be able to work out exactly what's going on.

That's really not the claim. The claim is that people should understand, even at that young impressionable age, that debt is bad and should generally be avoided at all costs. Certainly not all of it can be avoided, but then one should be minimizing discretionary spending, living with roommates, working at a part-time job, riding a bike everywhere, etc.

This is basic MMM 101 in my mind. Sure, some people won't get it and will be maxing hedonistic pleasure for all its worth, but I don't see why everyone else should be required to support their unwise choices.

BTDretire

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2870
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #64 on: August 28, 2019, 09:06:29 AM »
I don't know where else to post this, it applies, and, I like it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enTEvon9pbw&feature=youtu.be

therethere

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 787
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #65 on: August 28, 2019, 09:10:58 AM »
I expect a lot of people, full stop. And I know not everyone is going to hit those expectations, and for those who don't, they're gonna have to suffer the consequences.

Teenagers lack insight, yes. But we let them drive. We let them select university courses. If they want to do that, they're going to have to deal with the consequences. As I said, it's not like you incur a $150k debt immediately after starting your first week of university.

Some people are easily influenced. They unfortunately are going to live a bad life of unexamined spending. Some people are poor at planning. Some of them (although I suspect not many of them) will end up racking up a 6 figure debt. Despite all that, that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with "the system". It means only that they have to face responsibility for their own actions.

Particularly when it comes to college/university entrants, who purport to have academic ability, I have very little patience for self-pitying arguments to the contrary.

You ignored the fact that adults are encouraging minors to take on these loans. Or that marketing on TV is constant ads for cars, leases, and home equity loans? Debt is common in the US and easily accepted and marketed. Or that universities purposefully make a lot of credits untransferable so you're stuck for the full 4 years or get loans without a degree? What about the system that is set up with automatic 3-5% tuition increases once you start making it noticeably more expensive at year 4 versus year 1? I could go on and on... I took on loans when I was 17. 17 years later I'm still paying them. I'm fairly confident in saying I did not have enough worldly experience at 17 to determine the enormity of my school decision regarding loans and the certainty/uncertainty of job prospects along with the 1000x other adult things being thrown at me at the time. I relied on adults advising me at the time.

But no, the system isn't broken, it's just the MINORS who didn't plan enough or are too weak. /s

WhiteTrashCash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #66 on: August 28, 2019, 09:26:21 AM »
I expect a lot of people, full stop. And I know not everyone is going to hit those expectations, and for those who don't, they're gonna have to suffer the consequences.

Teenagers lack insight, yes. But we let them drive. We let them select university courses. If they want to do that, they're going to have to deal with the consequences. As I said, it's not like you incur a $150k debt immediately after starting your first week of university.

Some people are easily influenced. They unfortunately are going to live a bad life of unexamined spending. Some people are poor at planning. Some of them (although I suspect not many of them) will end up racking up a 6 figure debt. Despite all that, that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with "the system". It means only that they have to face responsibility for their own actions.

Particularly when it comes to college/university entrants, who purport to have academic ability, I have very little patience for self-pitying arguments to the contrary.

You ignored the fact that adults are encouraging minors to take on these loans. Or that marketing on TV is constant ads for cars, leases, and home equity loans? Debt is common in the US and easily accepted and marketed. Or that universities purposefully make a lot of credits untransferable so you're stuck for the full 4 years or get loans without a degree? What about the system that is set up with automatic 3-5% tuition increases once you start making it noticeably more expensive at year 4 versus year 1? I could go on and on... I took on loans when I was 17. 17 years later I'm still paying them. I'm fairly confident in saying I did not have enough worldly experience at 17 to determine the enormity of my school decision regarding loans and the certainty/uncertainty of job prospects along with the 1000x other adult things being thrown at me at the time. I relied on adults advising me at the time.

But no, the system isn't broken, it's just the MINORS who didn't plan enough or are too weak. /s

Yes, advertising is a really bad thing and Madison Avenue manipulates people into spending all their money, but we now have DVRs, subscription-based non-advertising streaming entertainment platforms, ad-free satellite radio, Ad-Block internet browser plug-ins, etc., so people really don't need to see advertising unless they really desperately want to. I know that the media and corporations like to push the idea that we're all helpless feathers floating on the wind with no choice to the direction of our lives, but that's manipulation to trick young people into not obtaining power and independence.

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #67 on: August 28, 2019, 09:39:43 AM »
I don't know where else to post this, it applies, and, I like it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enTEvon9pbw&feature=youtu.be

I enjoyed it too. I'm not sure why it's so hard to grasp that most people (trust fund babies excluded) are poor when they enter college, and should live their lives accordingly. And that they really shouldn't be able to spend much discretionarily, since they should be spending their waking hours 1) studying and 2) working to pay their way.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7310
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #68 on: August 28, 2019, 11:05:21 AM »
In which case it can't be blamed on the universities, but rather represents a collective failure of the students, their parents, their peers, their teachers, etc.

If you're 18 and you're privileged enough to go to university, you need to take some responsibility for signing on the dotted line.

I read something a while ago where they said that the American public has now decided that people aren't adults until they are 26. Reality is that people are adults when they turn 18 and are legally responsible for themselves. Maybe we should stop babying young people so much and let them handle their own stuff. They'll make some mistakes along the way, but then they can learn the valuable life lessons that everyone learns when they fix their errors.

If they take out $150,000 in student loans and they don't end up as a doctor, then they are just stupid and there is no helping that.
It's a combination of things.
You can vote at 18 and join the military.
You cannot drink until 21.
In some cases, you cannot even rent a car before 25.

...And there is a reason for that - we learn new things all the time, and it turns out that the brain isn't fully formed until about 25 or so, which is why dumb kids do dumb things.

That doesn't mean that SOME people aren't adults by 18, or 16, or 20.  I certainly was but I always was kinda shy, boring, and risk averse.

But it does mean that there's actual science behind why people have adjusted their expectations of 20-somethings.

(Similarly, science shows us that it's safer for babies and toddlers to be rear facing past age 2.  And science shows us that it is not until age 10 that MOST children are safely able to cross a street by themselves.)

saguaro

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #69 on: August 28, 2019, 11:54:56 AM »
You ignored the fact that adults are encouraging minors to take on these loans. Or that marketing on TV is constant ads for cars, leases, and home equity loans? Debt is common in the US and easily accepted and marketed. Or that universities purposefully make a lot of credits untransferable so you're stuck for the full 4 years or get loans without a degree? What about the system that is set up with automatic 3-5% tuition increases once you start making it noticeably more expensive at year 4 versus year 1? I could go on and on...

I could touch on all these points re: college.   My college's financial office (and I know it's by no means the only one) pretty much had the attitude of "just take a loan" even when told I was working during the school year to help pay my way, because I should be "focusing on my education and not working", wtf.  I remember being shocked how just they were just so nonchalant about it and that the idea of someone trying to pay their way without debt when they didn't have parents who could provide a full ride, seemed almost silly to them as opposed to being responsible. 

I managed to get through college without taking on any loans, but just barely.  I was looking at taking out a loan to help pay for tuition in my senior year because of the tuition hikes that were outpacing my raises at my job.    I didn't but what saved me was that a transferred credit reduced my course load in my final semester, which might have been a fluke given the college was terrible at accepting credits or not giving full credit on transferred ones.  They gave me something like 7/8 of a credit for two core classes taken while in high school, classes that would have allowed me to graduate a semester earlier if fully accepted. 

Getting a loan was my last resort but it was on the table if that is what it took to finish, just wanted to minimize what debt I would have upon graduation, if I couldn't avoid it.  I lived at home, rode my bike to school, except in the winters, I worked part-time during the school year and full-time during the summers and breaks.   
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 12:53:19 PM by saguaro »

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2233
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #70 on: August 28, 2019, 12:03:29 PM »
In which case it can't be blamed on the universities, but rather represents a collective failure of the students, their parents, their peers, their teachers, etc.

If you're 18 and you're privileged enough to go to university, you need to take some responsibility for signing on the dotted line.

I read something a while ago where they said that the American public has now decided that people aren't adults until they are 26. Reality is that people are adults when they turn 18 and are legally responsible for themselves. Maybe we should stop babying young people so much and let them handle their own stuff. They'll make some mistakes along the way, but then they can learn the valuable life lessons that everyone learns when they fix their errors.

If they take out $150,000 in student loans and they don't end up as a doctor, then they are just stupid and there is no helping that.
It's a combination of things.
You can vote at 18 and join the military.
You cannot drink until 21.
In some cases, you cannot even rent a car before 25.

...And there is a reason for that - we learn new things all the time, and it turns out that the brain isn't fully formed until about 25 or so, which is why dumb kids do dumb things.

That doesn't mean that SOME people aren't adults by 18, or 16, or 20.  I certainly was but I always was kinda shy, boring, and risk averse.

But it does mean that there's actual science behind why people have adjusted their expectations of 20-somethings.

(Similarly, science shows us that it's safer for babies and toddlers to be rear facing past age 2.  And science shows us that it is not until age 10 that MOST children are safely able to cross a street by themselves.)

If the child in question is raised in a foam-padded world where they don't get street crossing practice, it's reasonable to expect them to fail at this up to age 10. If the kid is raised on a farm and is used to handling livestock and driving tractors at age 10, or if the kid is encouraged to walk to school or to the bus stop, they are fully capable of crossing a street safely by age 5 or 6.

It's becoming increasingly acceptable to excuse stupid, short-sighted behavior because a person's "brain isn't fully developed", and to use that as a justification to deprive people of brain-development exercise (that is to say, decision making) opportunities. To my way of thinking-- and I may be the only human on the planet or at least in the United States who has this opinion-- the solution is to let kids have some low-stakes learning experiences so that their brains develop, instead of trying to communicate everything in a classroom. Let them have the experience of finding out what happens when they borrow a dollar from a friend or sibling and don't repay it. Let them have the experience of finding out what happens when they don't do their homework, or when they miss the bus and have to walk three miles to school. This involves allowing the child to become uncomfortable, while ideally stopping short of any serious physical danger.

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 939
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #71 on: August 28, 2019, 05:56:33 PM »
I expect a lot of people, full stop. And I know not everyone is going to hit those expectations, and for those who don't, they're gonna have to suffer the consequences.

How is the world better off by making people suffer?

Quote
Teenagers lack insight, yes. But we let them drive. We let them select university courses. If they want to do that, they're going to have to deal with the consequences. As I said, it's not like you incur a $150k debt immediately after starting your first week of university.

But with driving we make them go through significant training. In Victoria we have the most demanding system for gaining a licence to drive anywhere in the world (last time I checked, it's possible other countries have changed). Driving is also very material: you crash, it's bad. It's actually a great teaching tool for teens because of this. Learn responsibility or you'll hurt. And it's easy to grasp by everyone.

But I digress, that's a tangent. The $150k debt is a bit of a furphy/outlier so it's not really a good case to examine.

You're advocating that individuals should be more informed and therefore able to overcome society's flaws and designs. I'm advocating that society should be less capricious and flawed so that someone doesn't have to rise above to not be taken advantage of and that we should vociferously criticise systems and policies that simultaneously baby and hoodwink kids.

Obviously it's great when individuals rise above the mean, great for them, excellent, lovely. That shouldn't be a pre-requisite of attending the next step in schooling and doing ok. Luckily in Australia it's (usually) not because with HECS the majority of courses are reasonable or, at least, not heinous. We're lucky there and should preserve that.

Quote
Some people are easily influenced. They unfortunately are going to live a bad life of unexamined spending. Some people are poor at planning. Some of them (although I suspect not many of them) will end up racking up a 6 figure debt. Despite all that, that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with "the system". It means only that they have to face responsibility for their own actions.

I don't know - I think most of us in Australia will hit 6 figure debt due to mortgages, regardless of how informed or otherwise we are. I'd also argue that problem (housing prices) is a systemic flaw.

I don't think you can have a meaningful conversation about tertiary education, prices and choices without acknowledging that the Federal and State governments set those things and manipulate them and that decision making process is a system that's outside of our control and, at times, does break and is flawed.

Quote
Particularly when it comes to college/university entrants, who purport to have academic ability, I have very little patience for self-pitying arguments to the contrary.

I've worked with over a thousand kids heading to University, they aren't this arrogant swashbuckling know it alls you're railing against. They are usually excited, nervous, unsure, naive and inexperienced. But hopeful and looking forward to learning and growing. That's a good place for people to be, and it's an easy place to take advantage of, but we do owe our young people at least a social bargain of not saddling them with decades of financial regret because someone takes advantage of that.

It seems you've got little sympathy for the young, but what about the for profit places who are very happy to oversell, lie, cheat and over-charge? Surely these aren't defensible businesses?

What about all the for profit colleges in Australia who take advantage of international students, lie directly to their faces about job prospects, visas, charge, payments, etc, often illegally, make someone miserable for the years they're involved (or longer) - these are systemic flaws and these are, to my mind, indefensible.

Bloop Bloop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1318
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #72 on: August 28, 2019, 06:17:35 PM »
I expect a lot of people, full stop. And I know not everyone is going to hit those expectations, and for those who don't, they're gonna have to suffer the consequences.

Teenagers lack insight, yes. But we let them drive. We let them select university courses. If they want to do that, they're going to have to deal with the consequences. As I said, it's not like you incur a $150k debt immediately after starting your first week of university.

Some people are easily influenced. They unfortunately are going to live a bad life of unexamined spending. Some people are poor at planning. Some of them (although I suspect not many of them) will end up racking up a 6 figure debt. Despite all that, that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with "the system". It means only that they have to face responsibility for their own actions.

Particularly when it comes to college/university entrants, who purport to have academic ability, I have very little patience for self-pitying arguments to the contrary.

You ignored the fact that adults are encouraging minors to take on these loans. Or that marketing on TV is constant ads for cars, leases, and home equity loans? Debt is common in the US and easily accepted and marketed. Or that universities purposefully make a lot of credits untransferable so you're stuck for the full 4 years or get loans without a degree? What about the system that is set up with automatic 3-5% tuition increases once you start making it noticeably more expensive at year 4 versus year 1? I could go on and on... I took on loans when I was 17. 17 years later I'm still paying them. I'm fairly confident in saying I did not have enough worldly experience at 17 to determine the enormity of my school decision regarding loans and the certainty/uncertainty of job prospects along with the 1000x other adult things being thrown at me at the time. I relied on adults advising me at the time.

But no, the system isn't broken, it's just the MINORS who didn't plan enough or are too weak. /s

The only adults encouraging minors to take on these loans are parents. And they should know better - and if they don't, it's a culpable failure of parenting.

The rest of your post draws a long bow. What do "buy now, pay later" advertisements for TV and furniture have to do with enrolling in a 4-year degree? Are you saying that 17 and 18-year-olds who are bright enough to want to go to university (given almost no community colleges come with a debt burden nearly as large) also can't understand the concept of debt and interest rates?

Bloop Bloop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1318
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #73 on: August 28, 2019, 06:23:33 PM »
LonerMatt - the Australian university system is about as fair as you can get (edit - other than the little colleges that exploit international students. No doubt a rort. But that's a special case.) HECS is incredibly cheap, it's regulated (at least at the undergraduate level) and it bears no interest. So I'm sure you agree that our university system, at least as far as payment goes, is fair.

As for Americans, most of the really expensive universities - the ones where the 6 figure debts come from - are not easy to get into. You have to really try. And most of the time you have to have some ability. If you have that ability, and if you want that sort of standing/privilege (it's not like you're going to rack up a $150k debt, or even $50k, by attending your local community college or low-ranked state university), you have to think it through. No one's taking advantage of the students by springing on them a figure, or terms, that they don't know. The reason they wind up in trouble is because they are irrationally optimistic about their own abilities or about the job market.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 06:26:48 PM by Bloop Bloop »

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 939
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #74 on: August 28, 2019, 06:59:10 PM »
..and - as you've alluded to - there are shady businesses willing to exploit those rose coloured glasses typical of youth.

Hard to blame a young person for being young in the face of someone operating shady and exploitative businesses.

But to return to a previous point, given wage stagnation the effective cost of the debt rises.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2191
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #75 on: August 28, 2019, 07:09:43 PM »
LonerMatt - the Australian university system is about as fair as you can get (edit - other than the little colleges that exploit international students. No doubt a rort. But that's a special case.) HECS is incredibly cheap, it's regulated (at least at the undergraduate level) and it bears no interest. So I'm sure you agree that our university system, at least as far as payment goes, is fair.

As for Americans, most of the really expensive universities - the ones where the 6 figure debts come from - are not easy to get into. You have to really try. And most of the time you have to have some ability. If you have that ability, and if you want that sort of standing/privilege (it's not like you're going to rack up a $150k debt, or even $50k, by attending your local community college or low-ranked state university), you have to think it through. No one's taking advantage of the students by springing on them a figure, or terms, that they don't know. The reason they wind up in trouble is because they are irrationally optimistic about their own abilities or about the job market.

I have to contradict your statement. Here in SE Michigan USA, in-state tuition rates (i.e., only for established Michigan residents) at the local public universities ranges from $11k to $15k per year (this includes the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Dearborn, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Wayne State University). That's a total of $4460k before books, supplies, course fees, and living expenses.

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #76 on: August 29, 2019, 06:59:21 AM »
How is the world better off by making people suffer?

I think we have different definitions for the word "suffer". Having to skip some lattes and maybe ride your bike around some more has nothing to do with suffering. It's called life.

Staying out of debt or getting out of debt is not hard, as evidenced by the success stories on this site. But it does require a reframing of one's mental outlook. Forgiveness of debts that these people willingly took on* is foolhardy, because they are not learning the bigger lesson.

*As compared to a debt that arose due to poor fortune (and might be associated with actual suffering), something like a medical emergency combined with out-of-network surgeons or an unforeseeable natural disaster.

DadJokes

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1214
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #77 on: August 29, 2019, 07:20:05 AM »
I don't know where else to post this, it applies, and, I like it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enTEvon9pbw&feature=youtu.be

I enjoyed it too. I'm not sure why it's so hard to grasp that most people (trust fund babies excluded) are poor when they enter college, and should live their lives accordingly. And that they really shouldn't be able to spend much discretionarily, since they should be spending their waking hours 1) studying and 2) working to pay their way.

One problem is that kids move out and think they should have the same standard of living they had under their parents' roof. I don't really know how to combat this as a society. Sure, it would be great if schools didn't make children think that college is necessary. It would be great if student loans weren't so easily accessible. It would be great if parents taught their kids to always live on less than they make. Since there doesn't seem to be a societal fix to this, the best we can do is ensure that our own children understand these things.

therethere

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 787
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #78 on: August 29, 2019, 08:50:44 AM »
I expect a lot of people, full stop. And I know not everyone is going to hit those expectations, and for those who don't, they're gonna have to suffer the consequences.

Teenagers lack insight, yes. But we let them drive. We let them select university courses. If they want to do that, they're going to have to deal with the consequences. As I said, it's not like you incur a $150k debt immediately after starting your first week of university.

Some people are easily influenced. They unfortunately are going to live a bad life of unexamined spending. Some people are poor at planning. Some of them (although I suspect not many of them) will end up racking up a 6 figure debt. Despite all that, that doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with "the system". It means only that they have to face responsibility for their own actions.

Particularly when it comes to college/university entrants, who purport to have academic ability, I have very little patience for self-pitying arguments to the contrary.

You ignored the fact that adults are encouraging minors to take on these loans. Or that marketing on TV is constant ads for cars, leases, and home equity loans? Debt is common in the US and easily accepted and marketed. Or that universities purposefully make a lot of credits untransferable so you're stuck for the full 4 years or get loans without a degree? What about the system that is set up with automatic 3-5% tuition increases once you start making it noticeably more expensive at year 4 versus year 1? I could go on and on... I took on loans when I was 17. 17 years later I'm still paying them. I'm fairly confident in saying I did not have enough worldly experience at 17 to determine the enormity of my school decision regarding loans and the certainty/uncertainty of job prospects along with the 1000x other adult things being thrown at me at the time. I relied on adults advising me at the time.

But no, the system isn't broken, it's just the MINORS who didn't plan enough or are too weak. /s

The only adults encouraging minors to take on these loans are parents. And they should know better - and if they don't, it's a culpable failure of parenting.

The rest of your post draws a long bow. What do "buy now, pay later" advertisements for TV and furniture have to do with enrolling in a 4-year degree? Are you saying that 17 and 18-year-olds who are bright enough to want to go to university (given almost no community colleges come with a debt burden nearly as large) also can't understand the concept of debt and interest rates?

Because you are insinuating that all kids should magically have the insight to know better than to follow societal norms. And the societal norms in the US is capitalism, materialism, and debt. How do you expect a 17 year old to realize it's all BS even though most adults haven't even figured it out yet? 

But you're in Austrailia so I don't expect you to understand.

WhiteTrashCash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #79 on: August 29, 2019, 08:53:54 AM »
This conversation is getting off-track. Let me help get it back where it needs to be:

1.) Yes, you can pay your student loans.
2.) No, I won't pay your student loans for you.
3.) Yes, you pay your student loans by not buying Starbucks (or takeout or beers at the bar or books at B&N, etc.)
4.) No, the government is not going to change laws to force other people to pay your student loans for you.
5.) Yes, you are going to need to suck it up, buttercup.

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4747
  • Age: 12
  • Location: UTC-10:00
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #80 on: August 29, 2019, 08:57:03 AM »
Because you are insinuating that all kids should magically have the insight to know better than to follow societal norms. And the societal norms in the US is capitalism, materialism, and debt. How do you expect a 17 year old to realize it's all BS even though most adults haven't even figured it out yet? 

But you're in Austrailia so I don't expect you to understand.
You know Australians are basically upside-down Americans with alligators and kangaroos, right?

They're not wearing tweed jackets and reading Sartre in their home libraries.

WhiteTrashCash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #81 on: August 29, 2019, 09:02:11 AM »
Because you are insinuating that all kids should magically have the insight to know better than to follow societal norms. And the societal norms in the US is capitalism, materialism, and debt. How do you expect a 17 year old to realize it's all BS even though most adults haven't even figured it out yet? 

But you're in Austrailia so I don't expect you to understand.
You know Australians are basically upside-down Americans with alligators and kangaroos, right?

They're not wearing tweed jackets and reading Sartre in their home libraries.

That's completely incorrect. Australia has crocodiles, not alligators.

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2275
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #82 on: August 29, 2019, 09:19:09 AM »
Because you are insinuating that all kids should magically have the insight to know better than to follow societal norms. And the societal norms in the US is capitalism, materialism, and debt. How do you expect a 17 year old to realize it's all BS even though most adults haven't even figured it out yet? 

But you're in Austrailia so I don't expect you to understand.
You know Australians are basically upside-down Americans with alligators and kangaroos, right?

They're not wearing tweed jackets and reading Sartre in their home libraries.

That's completely incorrect. Australia has crocodiles, not alligators.

What's a crocodile? Is that an upside down alligator?

Wrenchturner

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 878
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Canada
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #83 on: August 29, 2019, 09:34:49 AM »
In which case it can't be blamed on the universities, but rather represents a collective failure of the students, their parents, their peers, their teachers, etc.

If you're 18 and you're privileged enough to go to university, you need to take some responsibility for signing on the dotted line.

I read something a while ago where they said that the American public has now decided that people aren't adults until they are 26. Reality is that people are adults when they turn 18 and are legally responsible for themselves. Maybe we should stop babying young people so much and let them handle their own stuff. They'll make some mistakes along the way, but then they can learn the valuable life lessons that everyone learns when they fix their errors.

If they take out $150,000 in student loans and they don't end up as a doctor, then they are just stupid and there is no helping that.
It's a combination of things.
You can vote at 18 and join the military.
You cannot drink until 21.
In some cases, you cannot even rent a car before 25.

...And there is a reason for that - we learn new things all the time, and it turns out that the brain isn't fully formed until about 25 or so, which is why dumb kids do dumb things.

That doesn't mean that SOME people aren't adults by 18, or 16, or 20.  I certainly was but I always was kinda shy, boring, and risk averse.

But it does mean that there's actual science behind why people have adjusted their expectations of 20-somethings.

(Similarly, science shows us that it's safer for babies and toddlers to be rear facing past age 2.  And science shows us that it is not until age 10 that MOST children are safely able to cross a street by themselves.)

If the child in question is raised in a foam-padded world where they don't get street crossing practice, it's reasonable to expect them to fail at this up to age 10. If the kid is raised on a farm and is used to handling livestock and driving tractors at age 10, or if the kid is encouraged to walk to school or to the bus stop, they are fully capable of crossing a street safely by age 5 or 6.

It's becoming increasingly acceptable to excuse stupid, short-sighted behavior because a person's "brain isn't fully developed", and to use that as a justification to deprive people of brain-development exercise (that is to say, decision making) opportunities. To my way of thinking-- and I may be the only human on the planet or at least in the United States who has this opinion-- the solution is to let kids have some low-stakes learning experiences so that their brains develop, instead of trying to communicate everything in a classroom. Let them have the experience of finding out what happens when they borrow a dollar from a friend or sibling and don't repay it. Let them have the experience of finding out what happens when they don't do their homework, or when they miss the bus and have to walk three miles to school. This involves allowing the child to become uncomfortable, while ideally stopping short of any serious physical danger.
Bingo.  This is known as "anti-fragility".

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2275
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #84 on: August 29, 2019, 09:43:35 AM »
This conversation is getting off-track. Let me help get it back where it needs to be:

1.) Yes, you can pay your student loans.
2.) No, I won't pay your student loans for you.
3.) Yes, you pay your student loans by not buying Starbucks (or takeout or beers at the bar or books at B&N, etc.)
4.) No, the government is not going to change laws to force other people to pay your student loans for you.
5.) Yes, you are going to need to suck it up, buttercup.

I agree it seems there is a disconnect in what is being debated. I think some posters are arguing against specific claims while not necessarily being in favor of student lone forgiveness.

I would be in that group. I'm not in favor of student loan forgiveness and I think the article (which is really just a compilation of social media posts) in the OP is nonsense. However, I also think there are a number of issues that should be addressed including the ease with which we allow 17-18 year olds to spend money they haven't earned and may not have a clear plan for earning in the future.

The argument that kids smart enough to get into college should also be smart enough to figure out the financial side of the equation is odd to me. We can say it all we want but clearly that's not the way it's playing out in the real world. I think it's tempting to determine one's beliefs based on theories that sound reasonable but then when real world data disagrees with those theories, we fail to incorporate it into our beliefs. Rather than acknowledge that there may be other factors at play, we just figure out a way to blame it on the individual. And hey, it may very well be the individuals fault, but that doesn't mean it's not a problem worth addressing.

Here's another way to put this: if I were talking to an individual who had a big student loan to pay off, I would explain the benefits of getting rid of the debt asap and give advice on how to do so because they should operate with the assumption that no one else is going to solve this problem for them. If however, I was tasked with working on a plan to improve the situation at a societal level, I'd focus on what people are doing, not what they should be doing.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 09:45:11 AM by Dabnasty »

Davnasty

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2275
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #85 on: August 29, 2019, 09:56:28 AM »
Another thought about the bigger picture - I'm very much in favor of giving children the opportunity to fail and learn how the real world operates and making them feel the consequences of failure. The issue I see with student loans is that the potential consequences are drastically out of proportion to the ease with which the mistake can be made.

DadJokes

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1214
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #86 on: August 29, 2019, 10:10:27 AM »
Another thought about the bigger picture - I'm very much in favor of giving children the opportunity to fail and learn how the real world operates and making them feel the consequences of failure. The issue I see with student loans is that the potential consequences are drastically out of proportion to the ease with which the mistake can be made.

And if what I read on the internet is to be believed (huge leap of faith there), most of them aren't learning from the mistake anyway.

It's why we as parents need to let them make mistakes and learn from them earlier in life before the consequences are bigger.

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #87 on: August 29, 2019, 10:21:03 AM »
Here in SE Michigan USA, in-state tuition rates (i.e., only for established Michigan residents) at the local public universities ranges from $11k to $15k per year (this includes the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Dearborn, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Wayne State University). That's a total of $4460k before books, supplies, course fees, and living expenses.

Let's take this figure at face value (I'm not picking on your post, just referencing it for real numbers), and also assume the students are studying really hard so can't get a part-time job, but at the same time are frugal and spend $10k per year for room and board, putting them at $100k debt upon graduation at 22 years old. Don't get me wrong, that's a sucky amount of debt. But when you consider the average college graduate entry level job pays $50k per year (https://www.thebalance.com/college-graduate-salaries-expectations-vs-reality-4142305), and if one lived like a Mustachian for four years with $25k annual expenses, they could be debt free within four years.

Here's an interesting table: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d18/tables/dt18_331.30.asp?current=yes. If I'm reading this correctly, the average cost (including tuition, fees, room, and board) to attend a public 4-year college in the U.S. for students whose parents make no more than $48k (an income above which parents are expected to make some level of contribution) is less than $11,000 annually when considering grant and scholarship aid.

WhiteTrashCash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1061
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #88 on: August 29, 2019, 10:39:52 AM »
Because you are insinuating that all kids should magically have the insight to know better than to follow societal norms. And the societal norms in the US is capitalism, materialism, and debt. How do you expect a 17 year old to realize it's all BS even though most adults haven't even figured it out yet? 

But you're in Austrailia so I don't expect you to understand.
You know Australians are basically upside-down Americans with alligators and kangaroos, right?

They're not wearing tweed jackets and reading Sartre in their home libraries.

That's completely incorrect. Australia has crocodiles, not alligators.

What's a crocodile? Is that an upside down alligator?

And a bogan is upside-down white trash.

OtherJen

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2191
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #89 on: August 29, 2019, 10:46:39 AM »
I expect a lot of people, full stop. And I know not everyone is going to hit those expectations, and for those who don't, they're gonna have to suffer the consequences.
That's really not a healthy way of looking at the world, and that's coming from a certified cynic. By all means hold yourself to high standards, but make the bar progressively lower depending on your relationship with other people (e.g., family not quite as high as yourself, friends a bit lower, etc.) and the random person on the street should have an exceedingly low bar to meet.

Of course you will still be disappointed more often than not, but at least there is a chance that people can meet expectations.

I have to contradict your statement. Here in SE Michigan USA, in-state tuition rates (i.e., only for established Michigan residents) at the local public universities ranges from $11k to $15k per year (this includes the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Dearborn, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Wayne State University). That's a total of $4460k before books, supplies, course fees, and living expenses.
Ann Arbor tends to ping-pong back and forth with Michigan Tech as the most expensive in the state as well, just to put things in context.

The lowest average in-state tuition at at a public university appears to be at Northern Michigan University (Marquette), at just under $10K per year. So the average cost of a 4-year degree at a public university in my state, assuming in-state tuition rates, ranges from $4060K before factoring in fees/books/supplies/living expenses.

Not arguing that $50K of student loan debt is insurmountable by any means, but someone who lives on the other side of the world claimed that it would be impossible to rack up that amount of debt at a public university.

Disclaimer: I have never held student loan debt; my tuition was paid for by a combination of generous scholarships and parental contributions, as I was fortunate to be an only child. Several friends who were the oldest of multiple-kid families got screwed by a combination of parental income and an inability/unwillingness of the parents to make the expected parental contributions. So yeah, loans. In-state tuition was a lot less crazy in the mid to late 1990s, though (at Michigan State, roughly $4-5K per year then vs. roughly $11K per year now).

therethere

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 787
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #90 on: August 29, 2019, 10:59:40 AM »
Here in SE Michigan USA, in-state tuition rates (i.e., only for established Michigan residents) at the local public universities ranges from $11k to $15k per year (this includes the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Dearborn, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Wayne State University). That's a total of $4460k before books, supplies, course fees, and living expenses.

Let's take this figure at face value (I'm not picking on your post, just referencing it for real numbers), and also assume the students are studying really hard so can't get a part-time job, but at the same time are frugal and spend $10k per year for room and board, putting them at $100k debt upon graduation at 22 years old. Don't get me wrong, that's a sucky amount of debt. But when you consider the average college graduate entry level job pays $50k per year (https://www.thebalance.com/college-graduate-salaries-expectations-vs-reality-4142305), and if one lived like a Mustachian for four years with $25k annual expenses, they could be debt free within four years.

Here's an interesting table: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d18/tables/dt18_331.30.asp?current=yes. If I'm reading this correctly, the average cost (including tuition, fees, room, and board) to attend a public 4-year college in the U.S. for students whose parents make no more than $48k (an income above which parents are expected to make some level of contribution) is less than $11,000 annually when considering grant and scholarship aid.

Not to nitpick... But you conveniently excluded taxes and interest rates which make a huge difference. With a 50k salary, and 25k spend rate once you include ~5% rate on the loans and income taxes your repayment length on 100k is actually 8 years, not the 4 you stated with simple math. That's if you're good and have no lifestyle inflation and no job loss.


Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #91 on: August 29, 2019, 11:34:09 AM »
Here in SE Michigan USA, in-state tuition rates (i.e., only for established Michigan residents) at the local public universities ranges from $11k to $15k per year (this includes the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Dearborn, Michigan State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Wayne State University). That's a total of $4460k before books, supplies, course fees, and living expenses.

Let's take this figure at face value (I'm not picking on your post, just referencing it for real numbers), and also assume the students are studying really hard so can't get a part-time job, but at the same time are frugal and spend $10k per year for room and board, putting them at $100k debt upon graduation at 22 years old. Don't get me wrong, that's a sucky amount of debt. But when you consider the average college graduate entry level job pays $50k per year (https://www.thebalance.com/college-graduate-salaries-expectations-vs-reality-4142305), and if one lived like a Mustachian for four years with $25k annual expenses, they could be debt free within four years.

Here's an interesting table: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d18/tables/dt18_331.30.asp?current=yes. If I'm reading this correctly, the average cost (including tuition, fees, room, and board) to attend a public 4-year college in the U.S. for students whose parents make no more than $48k (an income above which parents are expected to make some level of contribution) is less than $11,000 annually when considering grant and scholarship aid.

Not to nitpick... But you conveniently excluded taxes and interest rates which make a huge difference. With a 50k salary, and 25k spend rate once you include ~5% rate on the loans and income taxes your repayment length on 100k is actually 8 years, not the 4 you stated with simple math. That's if you're good and have no lifestyle inflation and no job loss.

Feel free to nitpick, I do it all the time. :)  You're right, I should have done the math with interest and income taxes (and social security taxes, etc.). Adding all that together and assuming no major pay increases, I'll concede 8 years for $100k.

However, to nitpick your nitpick, if the average net cost for a U.S. student is $11k (as shown in my second paragraph), bringing the average student debt at graduation to $44k (that's again assuming no job during college), then the timeframe drops back to less than 4 years to pay off the debt.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7310
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #92 on: August 29, 2019, 01:51:08 PM »
Quote
It's becoming increasingly acceptable to excuse stupid, short-sighted behavior because a person's "brain isn't fully developed", and to use that as a justification to deprive people of brain-development exercise (that is to say, decision making) opportunities. To my way of thinking-- and I may be the only human on the planet or at least in the United States who has this opinion-- the solution is to let kids have some low-stakes learning experiences so that their brains develop, instead of trying to communicate everything in a classroom. Let them have the experience of finding out what happens when they borrow a dollar from a friend or sibling and don't repay it. Let them have the experience of finding out what happens when they don't do their homework, or when they miss the bus and have to walk three miles to school. This involves allowing the child to become uncomfortable, while ideally stopping short of any serious physical danger.
My friends and I do our best to do this (I mean, the homework thing, and the money thing).  I'm not exactly willing to let my 7 year old cross the street by himself - not in our neighborhood anyway.  That's a fast way to end up without a kid.

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 939
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #93 on: August 29, 2019, 02:36:15 PM »
KIDS ARE WEAK, YOU GOTTA MAKE THEM TOUGH. IT'S WHAT BEING A MAN IS ABOUT. LET THEM FREEZE. LET THEM FEEL PAIN. LET THEM LEARN TO RESPECT MONEY BY GOING IN DEBT. LET THEM FEEL LIKE SHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!

THAT'S HOW A MAN TEACHES A LESSON!

Boofinator

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #94 on: August 29, 2019, 02:58:12 PM »
KIDS ARE WEAK, YOU GOTTA MAKE THEM TOUGH. IT'S WHAT BEING A MAN IS ABOUT. LET THEM FREEZE. LET THEM FEEL PAIN. LET THEM LEARN TO RESPECT MONEY BY GOING IN DEBT. LET THEM FEEL LIKE SHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!

THAT'S HOW A MAN TEACHES A LESSON!

Do you really want to play the hyperbole game?

kids have it so tough these days. we should make college education free so they don't have to be under any debt. we should also give them $12,000 a year so they won't have to be under any living pressure. oh wait, some people need $20,000 a year? well maybe we should make it fair and give everyone $20,000 per year, we don't want to see any suffering or unfairness in the world. let's make electricity free, since people function best at 72f and we don't want them to pay huge electric bills. let's issue everyone a bedpan and catheter, sure don't want to make them suffer the long walk to the bathroom.

that's how society shows compassion.

TheGrimSqueaker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2233
  • Location: A desert wasteland, where none but the weird survive
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #95 on: August 29, 2019, 03:53:38 PM »
KIDS ARE WEAK, YOU GOTTA MAKE THEM TOUGH. IT'S WHAT BEING A MAN IS ABOUT. LET THEM FREEZE. LET THEM FEEL PAIN. LET THEM LEARN TO RESPECT MONEY BY GOING IN DEBT. LET THEM FEEL LIKE SHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!

THAT'S HOW A MAN TEACHES A LESSON!

Funny you should mention "feeling like shit".

My daughter once complained to me that she felt like "a real piece of shit" because she'd recently done some cruel, antisocial, and self-absorbed things. I told her that the feeling she was having was the normal and predictable consequence of what she'd done. I said that if she liked that feeling and wanted more of it, then all she had to do is repeat those specific dishonest and irresponsible behaviors. But if she wanted the feeling to go away, she needed to stop giving herself permission to do the things that produced those feelings.

Apparently nobody had ever told her that before. She'd been raised in an environment where everyone told her she was a special little snowflake, that the rules didn't apply to her, that she was a Very Good Person because she believed in an imaginary sky daddy, and that because of her belief she was double-plus-special. Therefore it didn't matter what she did to other people: she could do as many bad things as she wanted and still be a Very Good Person, because her beliefs put her above things like laws, commandments, house rules, and any sort of moral standards. Furthermore, she'd learned that she could get what she wanted if she threw a big enough tantrum and was abusive enough toward enough people.

There were a few years of drama, and my daughter experienced lots of natural consequences from sources besides me, but I now have a young adult who consistently behaves in a reasonably considerate manner toward me. Over the years I did have to help her connect the things she was experiencing with the behavior she'd been dishing out, because she genuinely could not see the connection. Time after time, I asked: "what happened immediately before that?" A normal person does make that connection, just like a puppy does, however not everyone is wired that way. They are genuinely unable to learn by being told, or from other people's experience. They really do have to stick the fork in the light socket themselves.

I would never describe my daughter as weak, however her thinking and reasoning patterns were based on a very reactive world-view rooted in her reaction to trauma and instability. That world-view had to change before she was able to move forward.

I didn't get off on watching my daughter suffer. The destruction of one's world-view, maladaptive though it may be, is never fun or easy.

The "tough love" parenting concept was not my first choice. In fact it was my tenth, due in part to the fact that until my daughter had reached her legal majority I was legally required to continue providing for her and to continue allowing her access to my home. She knew that. Only once she reached her legal majority, when she was no longer entitled to financial support from me in any way, did she have an incentive to lay off the abuse. But it did eventually work. It was the only thing that did. Also, I was the only parent and authority figure to succeed in causing my daughter to act like a civilized person without being heavily medicated. About eleven other households, including professional treatment foster parents, had tried and failed. We're not in danger of becoming a Campbell's Soup happy family, but she truly has changed and my well-being is actually a small and intermittent blip on her radar screen.

The thing to remember about cause and effect parenting is that it's far more effective when the kid is young and can fail on a small scale. As they reach the teen years and beyond, they develop the ability to damage themselves, and others, on a more impressive scale. I got my daughter when she was fifteen and we didn't finalize the adoption and kick the social workers out until she was almost sixteen and a half. I didn't have a lot of time, and some of the legal and logistics aspects of being an adoptive family made it hard to create an environment where cause and effect could really roll.

I suppose that the upshot of all of this is that if you're dealing with a basically normal, well-adjusted young person who's on the right side of the bell curve in terms of opportunity and brain power, all you really have to do is place them in the right environment and they'll bloom where they're planted. It's also reasonable to expect them to understand things like compound interest and the impact of student loans. An individual like my daughter, however, has the same legal right to take out massive student loans at Bullshit U and is legally on the hook to pay them even if she washes out or is socially promoted to the point where she's issued a worthless degree and can't find a job. Because my daughter's difficulties aren't severe enough to put her two full sigmas to the left, she's not legally incompetent and she can and will be held legally accountable if she takes out a loan. Yet she's incredibly vulnerable to snake-oil salespeople, car salespeople, Bullshit U finance departments, and a bunch of other people who make a living selling overpriced and overrated merchandise.

People like my daughter live in the same world as Buff Elvis, who because of his hardcore badassity was able to raise himself out of poverty through a combination of education, hard work, student loans, and a pair of gigantic brass testicles. Now, Buff Elvis is kind of a Horatio Alger wet dream (except he's a fully grown adult and apparently straight). My daughter? Well, she's making outstanding progress but in some respects she's still catching up. Compared to most people her age, her concentration capability's not as intense, she isn't a good credit risk, her impulse control has room for improvement, and her work ethic isn't as well developed and it might not ever be. I won't even get started on the testicle issue. But the same laws and expectations apply to her as apply to Buff Elvis. What created an outstanding opportunity and success pathway for him could easily create a pitfall for her.

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 939
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #96 on: August 29, 2019, 05:39:56 PM »
KIDS ARE WEAK, YOU GOTTA MAKE THEM TOUGH. IT'S WHAT BEING A MAN IS ABOUT. LET THEM FREEZE. LET THEM FEEL PAIN. LET THEM LEARN TO RESPECT MONEY BY GOING IN DEBT. LET THEM FEEL LIKE SHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!

THAT'S HOW A MAN TEACHES A LESSON!

Do you really want to play the hyperbole game?

kids have it so tough these days. we should make college education free so they don't have to be under any debt. we should also give them $12,000 a year so they won't have to be under any living pressure. oh wait, some people need $20,000 a year? well maybe we should make it fair and give everyone $20,000 per year, we don't want to see any suffering or unfairness in the world. let's make electricity free, since people function best at 72f and we don't want them to pay huge electric bills. let's issue everyone a bedpan and catheter, sure don't want to make them suffer the long walk to the bathroom.

that's how society shows compassion.

Challenge doesn't equal suffering.

I'm all for challenge.

I am not in any way for suffering.

Wrenchturner

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 878
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Canada
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #97 on: August 29, 2019, 07:09:12 PM »
KIDS ARE WEAK, YOU GOTTA MAKE THEM TOUGH. IT'S WHAT BEING A MAN IS ABOUT. LET THEM FREEZE. LET THEM FEEL PAIN. LET THEM LEARN TO RESPECT MONEY BY GOING IN DEBT. LET THEM FEEL LIKE SHITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!

THAT'S HOW A MAN TEACHES A LESSON!

Do you really want to play the hyperbole game?

kids have it so tough these days. we should make college education free so they don't have to be under any debt. we should also give them $12,000 a year so they won't have to be under any living pressure. oh wait, some people need $20,000 a year? well maybe we should make it fair and give everyone $20,000 per year, we don't want to see any suffering or unfairness in the world. let's make electricity free, since people function best at 72f and we don't want them to pay huge electric bills. let's issue everyone a bedpan and catheter, sure don't want to make them suffer the long walk to the bathroom.

that's how society shows compassion.

Challenge doesn't equal suffering.

I'm all for challenge.

I am not in any way for suffering.

Are you certain you can always tell the difference?

LonerMatt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 939
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #98 on: August 29, 2019, 07:18:20 PM »
No, of course not. There's always grey areas, and personality at play, and context. However, after spending a decade working with suffering day in day out I really do not think there's a reasonable argument that it promotes growth or ability in any but exceedingly rare (and lucky) individuals.

Even accounting for difference, conceptually suffering's cons outweigh the pros, while hardship can make us more resilient and provide learning opportunities.

So I don't put any stock into the value of suffering. If suffering made us better society would be getting worse and less effective now than it was during times of famine, war, slavery, genocide, but that's not really how things work.


Wrenchturner

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 878
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Canada
Re: Waah! It's impossible to ever pay off student loan debt! (Article)
« Reply #99 on: August 29, 2019, 08:47:56 PM »
Suit yourself, but don't forget, the Flood is always coming, and when it hits you, you might wonder if you could have made yourself stronger beforehand.