“I guess the best advice is to use your head when you are making loans and not to go over your head, to think about the job you’re trying to get and whether or not it is going to provide the income that will sustain your family and enable you to repay your loan.” (USA Today)
I thought it would be best to jump right in with that gem that Molly Corbett, American Council on Education, gave USA Today.
Corbett, President Obama, governors, it doesn’t matter who is speaking about student loans, none of them actually know how the system is working.
As I did my best in college to make responsible loan decisions, this is how the
one-sided conversation really went:
Welcome to college, how will you pay for it?
Oh, your father lost his job? That’s too bad, here, take this higher interest loan. You don’t want it? Well, you can’t afford to attend school without it, good luck.
We see you accepted our offer last year, and your dad found a job, that’s great! We see that he only makes half of what he did before, and you’ve got two loans that we’re cutting back, just take this Parent Loan. They can’t afford it because you’re sister is starting college next year? Well, you won’t be able to pay for school without it, and we’ll just make a note to make sure we only give your sister these options, that way we can catch her with these loans at the beginning.
Congratulations, you graduated! Now, we know this is one of the worst economies ever, and that you can’t find a job, so we’ll set your payments around $500.
Oh, you can’t afford that… Hm. Just ask your parents for help.
They still can’t afford it? That’s right, you have a sister, well congratulations on graduating, but we’re still going to need that money.
I only accepted federal student loans while I was in college, but I am paying back Sallie Mae and Great Lakes, a non-profit student loan group that I send money to every month. With that being said, I find it hard to believe that the government is actually concerned with my financial well-being, since they already made their money by selling my loans to two other companies.
The truth is, there is no job post-graduation that will provide the magic sustainability to repay loans and start a family, it simply will not happen. Personally, I am paying for loans from each semester I was in school, in addition to the loans that my parents had to take out on my behalf.
Because it isn’t my parents’ education. It was mine. Unfortunately, being responsible for yourself isn’t what pays loans or eases the burden.
Nor does losing a job.
So allow me to ask, what are college grads supposed to do when they pay their loans responsibly, because they took the first job that came their way, but that job comes to an end without a replacement to be seen?
Why should students pursuing a better future be penalized for doing things in the order it was prescribed to them?
The student loan problem will never be fixed, because there is too much money to be made from it. Thanks to the inflation of college, tuition is never going to be checked. The colleges raise tuition, they get paid by the banks making the loans, then the banks make money by sticking their hands in the pockets of the students and their families.
You tell me where the problem is, and if you really think the government cares.
2 thoughts on “Student Loans: What They Don’t Understand”
You are not alone! I feel your pain when it comes to repayment. Even though I’m still in college, I constantly stress over the amount of debt I’ve already accrued. What bothers me most is that I was given the opportunity to have less debt (through generous scholarships from other schools I was admitted to), but I chose to attend the school where I felt the most comfort. Sometimes I don’t think “comfort” is worth it when it comes to repaying Sallie Mae tens-of-thousands in the future.
I believe college costs are inflated because of the rise in demand. We’ve been brainwashed into believing that college guarantees job stability. It’s a paradox; while a degree can get you a higher paying job than a high school grad, it can’t keep you there. Technology continues to advance and employers are demanding more from their employees. At some point, all these degrees are going to decrease in value and it’ll be standard to have a PhD!
I highly doubt that the government cares about not breaking our pockets. The country’s trillions of dollars in debt itself, so reducing education costs might be the least of its problems…
Through it all, continue to find the bright side of things. I’m pretty sure that you are doing something you like, instead of just working to put bread on the table.
Thanks Keosha! I knew I couldn’t be alone in the way I felt about the student loan problem. My sister is actually working two jobs to counter some of the expenses she’s already accruing, and that would my best advice.
I couldn’t find a job while I was in college, but if you can and can even put $50 a month toward them now, do it so you can start paying on the principal before your interest gets outrageous!
Good luck with everything, and I think that the loan experience for our generation is going to help us make the decisions to fix the government in the future.