Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just Like Slavery!

I have zero very little sympathy.

Yahoo! News
Student Loan Slavery: Paying More in Loans Than I Make Each Month

I just paid $1,810 in student loans this month. I make on average around $1,500. That's not counting another $500 monthly payment my parents make.

So, really, my student loans in total each month are $2,310 and rising. The only reasons I'm not broke is thanks to my tax return, that not all loans came out of deferral at the same time and that payment my parents make. Thankfully my parents allow me to live in their basement in Rochester, Minn., rent-free.

I work full-time at a job that I wouldn't have required my college degree in sociology from Arizona State. This job pays above minimum wage; however, it is unlikely I'll be able to advance further in this job. This job is mentally exhaustive to the point I couldn't handle working another job, whether part- or full-time. It's hard to go to work realizing that, in a sense, I'm working without pay -- because all my income pays my loans.


At 27, I am a slave to my student loans with no end in sight. I owe more than $160,000. My lenders, private and federal, thus far are unwilling to work with each other or me, even after I explain my situation in depth. I wish there was an individual or group that would fight on my behalf. I can't even begin to describe how miserable I am daily. I really don't know how much more of this I can take. I wish I'd never gone to college; instead of enhancing my life, it has made me lifeless. All thanks to student loans.

$160k is $40k per year. Assuming she is from MN, out-of-state tuition at ASU back in the early 2000's was between $13k to $16k per year. Let's also add $1000 per month for room and board so the entire degree should have cost around $110k. There was probably lots of drinking and/or a new car or something to account for the other $50k.

A few observations:

1. Why ASU? If you can't afford tuition without borrowing lots, go to your local public school and live with your parents. Paying out-of-state tuition is stupid... unless ASU is the #1 school for sociology. Even still...
2. Why sociology? That's almost as useless as ethnic and gender studies unless you get a Ph.D. College is an investment in your future, not a 4 year party on someone else's dime. Unless you're rich, pick a major that will pay the bills and leave other interests as hobbies.
3. Did she not work part-time during school? Why not? Even $5/hour for 10 hours/week is a couple of hundred dollars per month.
4. Take responsibility. Boy there was a lot of whining in the article. Student loans didn't ruin your life; your poor decisions did. If she was a finance or accounting major, she would probably have a job that pays twice what she makes now.
5. Just because you can get a loan doesn't mean you should take out the loan. I'm pretty sure I can borrow money for a Lamborghini or Aston Martin but that probably is not wise.

Having said that, loan payment amounts should be reasonable. My mortgage is larger than her outstanding balance yet my monthly payment is less than half her payment. She should be able to consolidate her loan and restructure payments. I want her to repay the loan, for the rest of her life if necessary, but at a level she can afford each month. I think we (taxpayers) all lose if she defaults.

Comparing this to slavery is a bit too much however. Slaves didn't get to hang out at a party school for 4 years.


Anonymous said...

i have a problem with the $160k balance as well at ASU.

was it a 5~6 year program?

usually you can become a resident after the first year.

maybe living in a sorority had extra fees since i have no clue what it was like to be in the greek system.

sociology is not a useless major. it is what made zuckerberg rich. of course there are some algorithms and huge data centers behind it but basically it is sociology.

closetmusician said...

hear hear! that said there are probably even worse things to major in besides sociology, hahaha.

btw you shouldn't pick on gender studies. maybe pick on medieval english or latin or something :P